Good news from the Stars
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Good news from the Stars
To boldly go where only Astrophysicians have gone before. What I find interesting (and can roughly understand) in Astronomy & Space exploration these days.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Starless planets may be habitable after all

Starless planets may be habitable after all | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
So a lone rock wandering in Space could be our next home? Makes me think of Space 1999...

"The radioactive decay of elements in a planet's core could keep it warm enough to maintain liquid water, even if it was no longer orbiting its star"
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Wanted: Adventurous micro-organisms for mission to Mars (video)

Wanted: Adventurous micro-organisms for mission to Mars (video) | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
"Scientists seek reliable bacteria and algae to provide astronauts with oxygen and food on two-year round-trip to Mars. Ability to recycle human waste desirable" (The Guardian)
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Suggested by Marc Rougier
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Tyche, Giant Hidden Planet, May Exist In Our Solar System

Tyche, Giant Hidden Planet, May Exist In Our Solar System | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
"We may have lost Pluto, but it looks like we might be getting Tyche. Scientists may soon be able to prove the existence of the gas giant, which could be four times the size of Jupiter, according to astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette."

For those following this topic, this apparently is the new name of the G1.9 Brown Dwarf Star that Spanish Astronomers claimed the discovery of last summer (see post here: http://t.co/shYC8Fk ).

And it's apparently not a new discovery (NASA P/R again ?) since this article dated last April already mentioned the whole Nemesis/Tyche story: http://bit.ly/cVXSOs

Per Wikipedia, "The use of the name "Tyche" for the planet may also be a reference to an earlier theory of the Solar System's structure that involved the Sun having a dim companion named Nemesis as it was proposed as a cause for mass-extinctions on Earth. Tyche was the name of the sister of Nemesis." http://bit.ly/es1eE5
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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NASA Invents New Technique For Finding Alien Life

NASA Invents New Technique For Finding Alien Life | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
"By adding a laser and an ion funnel to the mass spectrometer, researchers may be better equipped to finding life on Mars."

I love the whole Alien hunt stuff but sometimes I wonder how far NASA is ready to leverage that in their P/R strategy to get funded.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Betelgeuse supernova to be second sun for Earth; explosion could happen this year

Betelgeuse supernova to be second sun for Earth; explosion could happen this year | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Juste like Luke Skywalker's Tatoine, Earth could have 2 suns for a few weeks as soon as this year when Betelgeuse explodes.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Physicists call for alien messaging protocol

Physicists call for alien messaging protocol | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Earth's previous attempts to contact intelligent, extraterrestrial life could be too disorganised or cryptic for non-human beings to decode, US physicists have reported.

Hence the proposition they made of a Framework for extraterrestrial communications.

But maybe, this is all a bad idea... Remember what Stephen Hawking said: http://bit.ly/eAx7Kz
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Scooped by Guillaume Decugis
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Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking

Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
THE aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet." he said before continuing: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Mission to Mercury scheduled for 2014 (video)

Mission to Mercury scheduled for 2014 (video) | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Scientists hope to answer many question about Mercury, such as is its core liquid or solid? They also want to know the origin of the many long marks across its surface, and whether there could be water and ice at the poles of this intensely hot planet.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Love in Space: NASA Spacecraft Prepares for Valentine's Day Comet Rendezvous

Love in Space: NASA Spacecraft Prepares for Valentine's Day Comet Rendezvous | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft is nearing a celestial date with comet Tempel 1 at approximately 8:37 p.m. PST (11:37 p.m. EST), on Feb. 14. The mission will allow scientists for the first time to look for changes on a comet's surface that occurred following an orbit around the sun.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Watch the sun through the SDO (Solar Dynamic Observatory)

Watch the sun through the SDO (Solar Dynamic Observatory) | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Flash animation lets you watch the sun under different conditions (wavelengths?) and zoom in, zoom out. Pretty cool!

SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.
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Suggested by Marc Rougier
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NASA's Kepler mission discovers its first rocky planet

NASA's Kepler mission discovers its first rocky planet | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Get ready, we are moving!

In fact not yet... as this exoplanet orbits it's sun in less than a day and is way too close to be habitable.

But still. There are more and more discoveries : our next home will ve discovered soon!
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Scooped by Guillaume Decugis
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Have scientists discovered proof our universe wasn't the first?

Have scientists discovered proof our universe wasn't the first? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Recent analysis of cosmic microwave background radiation could lead to the conclusion that observed microwave rings are echoes of a "cyclic universe".

These deductions have been met with some doubt within the astrophysics community, and three papers have already been written to rebut their claims. Until more is learned, it will have to remain a theory—but it's an awesome one.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Giant ring of black holes

Giant ring of black holes | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
This would not be a good place for space tourism...

"This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md."

"The nine X-ray sources scattered around the ring in Arp 147 are so bright that they must be black holes, with masses that are likely ten to twenty times that of the Sun."

Apparently, the collapse (explosion ?) happened some 15 million years ago.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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The eruption that rocked the sun

The eruption that rocked the sun | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Understanding the sun is not easy. This eruption proved it again by shattering our previous beliefs on how the whole solar mechanic worked.
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Suggested by Vincent Lieser
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NASA Looks Into Laser-Propelled Rockets As a Safer, Cheaper, and More Efficient Way to Space | Popular Science

NASA Looks Into Laser-Propelled Rockets As a Safer, Cheaper, and More Efficient Way to Space | Popular Science | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Replace controlled explosions by more clever ways ? Looks promising.

"Launching payloads into space is expensive, but high costs aside it’s also a horribly inefficient process. Conventional rockets are almost pure fuel, leaving only a small percentage (usually in the low single digits) of a launch vehicle's total weight available for payload. So NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio is looking into a whole new system of payload propulsion that uses lasers or microwaves to launch vehicles into orbit."
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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NASA finds planets a plenty outside solar system

NASA finds planets a plenty outside solar system | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
NASA's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life. An early report from a cosmic census indicates that relatively small planets and stable multi-planet systems are far more plentiful than previous searches showed.
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Suggested by axelletess
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New launcher for NASA Astronauts: Europe at the rescue ?

New launcher for NASA Astronauts: Europe at the rescue ? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
New rocket, made partly of Ariane 5, could lift astronauts.
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Scooped by Guillaume Decugis
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The new space race: flying robots to the moon

The new space race: flying robots to the moon | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
The ambitions for lunar exploitation are huge. Are they really about to start ?
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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NASA's dreaming: Future space technologies

NASA's dreaming: Future space technologies | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
From Antimatter-powered rockets to sun-powered spaceships and new types of exploration suits. In pictures
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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An Astronomer's Field of Dreams - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

An Astronomer's Field of Dreams - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
A group of JPL researchers and their colleagues will hunt for new and exotic objects in the sky by using ceiling-fan-size antennas.
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Scooped by Guillaume Decugis
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No Direct Link Between Black Holes & Dark Matter

No Direct Link Between Black Holes & Dark Matter | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Massive black holes have been found at the centers of almost all galaxies, where the largest galaxies -- who are also the ones embedded in the largest halos of dark matter -- harbor the most massive black holes. This led to the speculation that there is a direct link between dark matter and black holes, i.e., that exotic physics controls the growth of a black hole. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics, the University Observatory Munich, and the University of Texas in Austin have now conducted an extensive study of galaxies to prove that black hole mass is not directly related to the mass of the dark matter halo but rather seems to be determined by the formation of the galaxy bulge.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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The Prospects for Lunar Mining

The Prospects for Lunar Mining | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
With the discovery of vast amounts of water on the Moon, some frozen in the shadows of craters at the Lunar poles and some chemically bonded with the regolith, interest in lunar mining has arisen among commercial space entrepreneurs.
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Suggested by Sakis Koukouvis
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Inclined Orbits Prevail in Exoplanetary Systems

Inclined Orbits Prevail in Exoplanetary Systems | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
A research team led by astronomers from the University of Tokyo and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has discovered that inclined orbits may be typical rather than rare for exoplanetary systems.

(Space Ref)
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Suggested by Avrel
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Sun, Moon and ISS all aligned in this INSANELY awesome solar eclipse picture

Sun, Moon and ISS all aligned in this INSANELY awesome solar eclipse picture | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
The silhouette of the Moon taking a dark bite out of the Sun is obvious enough, as are some interesting sunspots on the Sun’s face… but wait a sec… that one spot isn’t a spot at all, it’s the International Space Station! This was a double eclipse!
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Marc Rougier's comment, January 10, 2011 8:20 AM
It IS insane!

Great pic, thanks Guillaume :)
Guillaume Decugis's comment, January 10, 2011 9:14 AM
Thanks Avrel: he made the suggestion! Don't hesitate to suggest: this topic is very open and I love receiving suggestions ;-)