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Posts Tagged ‘UK Space’

Stephen Hawking To Make Cameo In ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 12, 2012

Physicist Stephen Hawking is to make a cameo appearance in American sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

The eminent scientist, who recently turned 70, will turn up in the show after filing his spot on a recent trip to California.

Hawking will guest star on the CBS-produced show on 5 April.

For those familiar to the programme, we’re informed Hawking will meet Sheldon, the most neurotic and nerdy genius among the four nerdy geniuses at the show’s core.

Sheldon was pranked in previous episode with a fake voicemail supposedly from the brilliant scientist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Magnetic Storm Warning: Airlines On Alert After ‘Massive’ Solar Explosion

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2012

Airlines and energy suppliers are on alert after an explosion on the surface of the Sun led to an enormous magnetic storm which has the power to disrupt power lines, satellite navigation systems and flight paths.

The eruption, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), has led to a “massive amount of solar particles heading towards Earth”, which are due to pass the planet tomorrow morning, a spokesman for the Met Office said.

But he added that the phenomenon was likely to go unnoticed by most.

He said: “Part of our role is to advise the government and relevant industries about the potential impact of events such as this, so we have advised the aviation and energy industries.

“Airlines may re-route planes from near the polar regions as that is where the storm would be most intense and the National Grid could also be affected, but they will take action to limit any risk. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Marsquake’, How Earthquakes On Mars Could Sustain Alien Life (PICTURES)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2012


Recent earthquakes on Mars point at the existence of active volcanoes and liquid reservoirs that could sustain life on the Red Planet.

A recent quake with a magnitude of 7 is thought to have occurred after scientists analysed tracks made by boulders that toppled from a Martian cliff.

The paths of the rocks, which ranged from 6.5 to 65 feet in diameter, were captured by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and were analysed by a University of London team. Read the rest of this entry »

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GJ1214b, New ‘Water World’ Planet Confirmed By Hubble Telescope

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 22, 2012

Astronomers have identified a new category of planet which is dominated by water.

GJ1214b, which was discovered in 2009, is a “water world” enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere, researchers using Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescopehave confirmed.

The watery planet exists in a solar system known to already contain rocky, terrestrial worlds (like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars), gas giants (including Jupiter and Saturn) and ice giants like Uranus and Neptune.

Planets orbiting distant stars come in an even wider variety, including lava worlds and “hot Jupiters”.

Zachory Berta, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA), said: “GJ1214b is like no planet we know of. A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water.”

GJ1214b was discovered in 2009 by the ground-based MEarth (pronounced “mirth”) Project, which is led by CfA’s David Charbonneau. This super-Earth is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and weighs almost 7 times as much. It orbits a red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles, giving it an estimated temperature of 450° Fahrenheit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mars Rocks Fall In Morocco, Scientists Confirm

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 18, 2012

Rocks from a meteorite shower which fell on Morocco are from Mars, scientists have confirmed.


The 15 pounds of rock fell to Earth last July, but were only discovered at the end of December.


It marks the fifth time in history that scientists have chemically confirmed Martian meteorites that people have witnessed falling to Earth.


The discovery is significant because so far no Nasaor Russian spacecraft has returned bits of Mars, so the only samples examined have been brought to Earth through meteor showers, AP reported.


The rocks are rarer than gold, and as a result are worth ten times as much.


Former Nasa sciences chief Alan Stern said: “It’s Christmas in January. It’s nice to have Mars sending samples to Earth, particularly when our pockets are too empty to go get them ourselves.”


Known Martian meteorite falls happen only once every 50 years or so, the Daily Mail reported.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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American X-37B Space Plane ‘Probably’ Spying On China

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

A classified American spy plane is “probably” spying on China, a report in Spaceflight magazine has claimed.

Neither the Pentagon or the US Air Force have revealed what mission their X-37B vehicle, which is unmanned and has been in space since March, is undertaking.

However amateur space researchers have been tracking the plane, and say they have compiled enough evidence to reveal what it’s up to from a low orbit about 300km above the Earth.

According to Spaceflight and the BBC, the X-37B’s path is almost exactly the same as China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory.

“We think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China’s nascent space station,” Spaceflight editor Dr David Baker told the BBC.

Other researchers quoted in the Spaceflight article, which will be published on Saturday, claim that if the Pentagon wanted to spy on Tiangong-1 it could do so without using the X-37B, and argue the similarity in their flight path could just be a coincidence.

The US Navy has kept tight-lipped about the X-37B, saying merely that it is a testbed for new technologies.

The Boeing-built craft, which is about 9m long, reusable and can automatically land on a runway. It also has space for a payload about the size of a small van – but what is carried inside is not known.

China expects to send its astronauts to the lab later this year. Whether or not they’ll be greeted by the mysterious American spaceship or not is yet to be seen.

Of course given the state of the Pentagon’s research into creating time holes to hide entire events inside, it’s possible they’ll never know either way.

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Stephen Hawking: Women Are ‘A Complete Mystery’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most eminent physicists, has admitted that women number among black holes and supersymmetry as one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.

In an interview with New Scientist magazine ahead of his 70th birthday on Sunday, Hawking was asked what he thinks about most during the day.

“Women,” he replied. “They are a complete mystery”.

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, and was expected to live for just a few years.

Since his diagnosis Hawking has gone on to become one of the world’s most famous scientists, both for his academic work on black holes and his books including A Brief History Of Time, which has sold more than 10m copies since 1988.

In the interview with New Scientist, Hawking also refers to the “blunders” that have blighted his academic and also his personal life.

“I used to think that information was destroyed in black holes,” he said. “That was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science.”

Asked to list the most exciting developments in science in his career, Hawking discusses recent evidence discovered that appear to confirm the theory of inflation – the idea that the universe underwent a period of sudden expansion after the big bang.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Are Aliens On The Moon? Scientists Want YOU To Join The Search

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 26, 2011

American scientists want to enlist online volunteers to identify signs of alien life in moon images collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner ofArizona State University believe there may be signs of extra terrestrial life in the form of messages, scientific instruments, waste or evidence of mining that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.

In their paper published online in the journal Acta Astronautica, the pair wrote: “Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artefact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.

“If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien technology at work may be exceedingly low.”

The paper adds: “Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy. Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago.

“The lunar environment could preserve artefacts for millions of years.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The Gods must be crazy: Metal ‘Teletubby head’ falls near Namibian village

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 23, 2011

Namibia, Desert Region : A handout photo provided by the National Forensic Science Institute shows a giant metallic ball of 1,1 metre in diameter weighing some 6 kilograms that fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency (ESA) on December 21, 2011. AFP Photo / National Forensic Science Institute)

Mystery surrounds a 13-pound unidentified flying object which fell from the skies in northern Namibia. Despite efforts by researchers to identify its composition and origins, nobody has been able to establish where the metal sphere came from.

Mystery surrounds a 13-pound unidentified flying object which fell from the skies in northern Namibia. Despite efforts by researchers to identify its composition and origins, nobody has been able to establish where the metal sphere came from.

The ball, weighing 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) and measuring 14 inches (35 centimeters) in diameter hit the ground next to the Namibian village of Omanatunga in the Omunsati region in the north of the country.

Locals reported hearing a series of loud explosions before the sphere was found by a farmer sometime between November 15 and November 20. The metal ball was found some 60 feet (1.5 meters) away from a small crater it is assumed to have created when it fell.

Ever since, local officials and researchers have been kept busy investigating the origins and make-up of the mysterious ball. Local police chief Vilho Hifindaka was quick to calm everyone down by saying the object did not pose any danger, as it was hollow inside.

The director of the Namibian National Forensic Science Institute, Paul Vidik, said the two sides of the ball appear to be welded together and that the sphere contains a metal alloy used in spaceships. He rejected the idea that it could be an extraterrestrial object and said such findings are commonplace throughout the southern hemisphere – in South America, Africa and Australia.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Vampire Star SS Leporis Spotted By Powerful Telescope

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 7, 2011

Imagine having your life force slowly sucked out of you by a close lingering companion who just won’t leave you alone.

A “vampire” star has been doing just that to its companion in the small constellation of Lepus.

The strange star system in The Hare constellation contains two stars, once of which – a red giant – is losing its matter to its hotter companion.

“We knew that this double star was unusual, and that material was flowing from one star to the other,” says Henri Boffin from ESO, co-author of the findings.

“What we found, however, is that the way in which the mass transfer most likely took place is completely different from previous models of the process. The ‘bite’ of the vampire star is very gentle but highly effective.”

The stars are separated by a distance equivalent to that between the Sun and the Earth. Because of the closeness, the hot companion has already cannibalised about half of the mass of the larger star, possibly by a stellar wind.

The video below shows the vampire in action, beginning with a broad view of the Milky Way, then zooming in on the small constellation of Lepus next to the more familiar Orion.

The images were created using the VLT Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, which produces photos fifty times sharper than those from Hubble Space Telescope.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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