Cassini-Huygens team wishing happy new year


New year wish from Cassini-Huygens team . They offer their views on Saturn and spacecraft Cassini.

You can find the spacecraft Cassini at the top right side of the image .

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Airborne telescope


Airborne telescope will unlock secrets of the cosmos
A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone December 18 when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified 747 jet known as SOFIA, flew for one hour and 19 minutes, which included 2 minutes with the telescope's doors fully opened. The goal was to allow engineers to understand how air flows in and around the telescope. It was the first time outside air has interacted with the part of the plane that carries the 98-inch (249-centimeter) infrared telescope.
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Santa wishing from Lunar North Pole


Two days to go for Christmas . Santa Claus wishing Christmas from Lunar North Pole. Oops....... it is just an imagination!!!!! Have a Great Christmas .

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Glint of sunlight confirms liquid in Titan


Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn, along with Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, is classified as a gas giant. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian, meaning "Jupiter-like", planets.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.

This is a guest post by Murali dharan , who is a blogger.

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The Face on Mars : a myth

Face on Mars is a myth, although the picture resembles a human head formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth.

In 1976, NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft took the photos of Mars and one of the photos shows the resemblance of human face.The head is huge nearly 3 km from the region of planet called Cydonia. Since, then some people think that Mars has life and that NASA is trying to hide the fact from people.


On April 8, 2001 — a cloudless summer day in Cydonia pictures were taken and the pictures were like landforms common in American West and these are known as butte or mesa in Mars.It was found that Cydonia contains many mesas like the Face, but the others don't look like human heads, so they've attracted little attention.

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New Year's Eve and "blue moon"

This December 31, 2009 will observe a blue moon. Now, don't think that moon will turn visibly blue.

Blue moon means a full moon that is not timed to regular monthly pattern . Most years have 12 full moons , which appear approximately monthly , but there are are 11 additional days in the year so once in nearly every three years an additional full moon is observed. Now this additional full moon is called "blue moon".

This phenomenon occurs every three years , the last blue moon was on June 30, 2007 and the next will be on August 31, 2012. This year's New Year Eve's Blue moon is special as there will be a partial lunar eclipse which will be seen in countries like Asia , Africa , Australia and Europe.


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Gift a "Space beer" this Christmas


This Christmas , gift your friends and loved ones "Sapporo" a beer which is made from space-grown barley . Sapporo will be available till 24th December through online lottery for orders of a six-pack. 250 people will be chosen from the lottery and allowed to purchase the beer. Beer will cost you for a pack of 6 about $110.

The sale from beer will go to Okayama University with the aim of promoting children's education and space science research. The taste of beer won't be different as some people will expect.

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A Christmas gift from Hubble Telescope


Hubble Space Telescope has produced a lot of images and hence the The Big Picture at The Boston Globe is doing an advent calender to countdown the days until Christmas.

Until Christmas every day you can see a new image by Hubble Space Telescope . The images are awesome.

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Explore Mars from Earth


For everyone who want to explore Mars but scared of going there , you can have your dream realised by going to NASA's Be a Martian website.

The Be a Martian site is a collaboration between NASA and Microsoft that uses the tool of crowsourcing to sift through the hundreds of thousands of photos sent back by Mars rovers and orbiters. The format of the site is much like a game, where you complete tasks to earn points and badges.
There is a forum on the site where one can ask questions, vote on questions and make comments to earn "Curiousity Points". NASA Mars experts will read the questions to see what the virtual Martian community is interested, and will host town hall-type meetings in the future where members can participate.
For games and videos you need to have Microsoft’s Silverlight application to work for this site.
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Eta Carinae


Image of Eta Carinae which is a blue hot star, in 1843 was the second brightest star in sky after Sirius but it soon faded after 50 years.

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Leonid meteor shower

For those who love to watch meteor shower , there is going to be Leonid meteor shower during the night 16 th and 17 th November , 2009.

These meteor emanate from the constellation Leo hence they are named as Lenoid.

Astronomers believe that we can observe upto hundreds of meteors.

On 17 th November, 2009 we can observe meteor shower between 1:30 am EST and sunrise.

If you are not outside on 17 th November night then you will surely miss it.
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Water found on Moon surface

My earlier post was Was moon bombing a success now LCROSS team has successfully found water on permanently shadowed lunar crater . The team was able to observe 25 liters of water with spectroscopic telescope.

The team has also found some components such as Sodium and Carbondioxide which they are analysing.

The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume about 10-12 meters across of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material. This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

Lunar scientists are trying to find out that how the water has come, whether by comets , meteorites or by some process in moon or the moon surface is creating water.
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Spirit Rover finally moves in Martian soil

Spirit Rover which was stuck in Martian soil since April, 2009 has finally showed some movements from its current position.

The Spirit Rover team is trying to get her out from the sand trap in which she has got stuck.

Enjoy the animations of recent movement of Spirit









NASA is planning to have a press conference on 12th November, 2009 regarding the escape plan of the Rover.

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" Marquette Island" a Martian Rock

3D image of the rock

Opportunity Rover has found a big rock on planet Mars. It is not clear that the rock is a meteorite or some thing else.

The rock has been named as "Marquette Island".

Enjoy these amazingly beautiful images of the " Marquette Island".

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Amazing Enceladus Images

Image of plume from far away.




In my previous post Happy Halloween from Cassini Spacecraft Team i mentioned about Cassini spacecraft going to the Moon of Saturn, Enceladus on 2th November, 2009.

Cassini has captured some amazing images of the plumes shooting from Enceladus , they are simply the raw images.

The objective of Cassini is to analyse the particles in the plume with the instruments that can detect the mass , size, charge, speed and composition.

These are the first images of the plume and are amazing.

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Happy Halloween from Cassini spacecraft team


Cassini spacecraft team has wished every one Happy Halloween.


Cassini spacecraft would be flying to the moon of Saturn, Enceladus on Nov 2, 2009 .


Cassini will go deep into the moon of Saturn.

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First ever close-up look of solar flare


NASA's spacecraft Messenger has recorded a closed-ever-look at the solar flare . It was the first time that the scientists have got a close-up look at neutron production during solar flare. The scientists were able to record neutrons from this flare over 6 to 10 hours.

The study of solar flare radiation is important for space flight programs as they can damage satellites and can endanger astronauts working in International Space Station.

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Moon crash plume visible to spacecraft



The image of impact plume of "moon bombing" by NASA.

In my previous blog posts Moon bombing to probe water and Was NASA moon bombing a success i told you about "moon bombing" by NASA .

NASA had said that observers from Earth will be able to see the plume of " Moon bombing'' with their telescopes but no one was able to see that from Earth.

Acoording to NASA nine instruments on board the LCROSS spacecraft captured the entire crash sequence of the Centaur impactor before the spacecraft itself impacted the surface of the moon.

From images and data, the team was able to determine the extent of the plume at 15 seconds after impact was approximately 6-8 km in diameter. The data which which the spacecraft has gathered is of high quality.


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Orionid meteor shower

For everyone who love to watch meteor shower.The Orionid shower peaks the night of October 20/21, with the best views coming before dawn on the 21st.We can expect to see 20 to 30 "shooting stars" per hour — an average of one every 2 to 3 minutes — at the Orionids' peak.

If there will be no Moon then people will be able to see what the shower has to offer.The best views will come in the hours before dawn starts to paint the sky, between about 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

These meteors began life as tiny specks of dust ejected by Comet Halley during its innumerable trips around the Sun.
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Image of Galaxy M31



NASA's Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own.




The image was taken by Swift's Ultraviolet Telesecope.

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NASA has released rare footage of Sun erupting

NASA spacecraft has captured a rare footage of Sun erupting for the first time.



The phenomenon came to an end and the cloud lifted up.



Enjoy the video .

video
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Image of collison between two Milky- way like Galaxies


Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of collision between two Milky-Way like galaxies.


These two galaxies are known as NGC 2623 or Arp 243 are in the stages of emerging . The tail of NGC 2623 is richly populated with bright star clusters.


The galaxy NGC 2623 is an extensively studied galaxy and is bright in the infrared.

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Was NASA "Moon bombing" a success ?


NASA's Lunar CRater Obsevation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) impacted the Moon's crater Cabeus on October 9, 2009 near the South Pole to find if the permanently shadowed crater might be hiding water.

NASA previously eatimated that the debris plume would be witnessed by viewers on Earth with a 12 inch or large telescope , but no one on Earth witnessed it and the images broadcasted by LCROSS also did not showed debris plume.

However, LCROSS captured some high quality data.

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Moon "bombing" to probe water


On Friday that is today 9th September, 2009 a NASA spacecraft known as Centaur will crash on the South pole of Moon with a force that will throw 350 tonnes of lunar debris and create a 13-foot-deep-crater.


Soon four minutes after the crash another spacecraft Shepherding will fly through the debris and crashland on Moon's surface.


These Four minutes will decide about the preparation of 3 years , space travel of four months . A whopping $79 million has been invested on the preparation.


If LCROSS proves water resides on the Moon, it could be a boon for engineers in the early stages of planning for a human return to the lunar surface.


The impact will be observed by observatories all over the world.


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Images by Herschel's camera of our Milky way


Two Herschel's camera has taken images simultaneously of our Milky way which has never been seen before.


The image reveals a cold and turbulent region where material is just beginning to condense into new stars. It is located in the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, 60 degrees from the center. Blue shows warmer material, red the coolest, while green represents intermediate temperatures.


Large areas of the Milky Way will be studied in a systematic way by Herschel , which will help astronomers to find the mysteries of star formation .

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Northern lights a rare atmospheric phenomenon


Northern lights are the rare occuring faint atmospheric phenomenon seen in the nite sky at higher altitudes which are yellow-green lights.


Northern lights are also known as Aurora and are more visible in Central Europe and the UnitedStates.

Causes of Northern lights:

Northern lights are caused by the stream of particles constantly which are flowing from Sun that carries the Sun's magnetic field out into space. The solar wind is moving at a speed of 400km/sec flows past Earth's magnetic field and molds it into an elongated bubble.

Powerful events occurring on the Sun can drive enormous changes in the solar wind, increasing both its speed and density and enhancing its effect on Earth.


Northern lights do have an effect on our day to day lives. Here i would like to site some examples from the past.


During the aurora of September 2, 1859 the currents of electricity on the telegraph wires were so steady and powerful that, on several lines, the operators succeeded in using them for telegraphic purposes as a substitute for the battery and for some time messages were transmitted solely on auroral currents.


Northern lights are a beauty to watch.

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Soyuz finally lifts off


Soyuz the Russian rocket soyuzreadyforliftoff was finally launched from from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, on its way to the International Space Station.


It is carrying Expedition 21 flight engineers Jeffrey Williams and Maxim Suraev, as well as a spaceflight participant.

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Soyuz Rocket ready for liftoff


Russian Soyuz rocket has arrived to the launch pad on Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz is scheduled to launch the crew of Expedition 21 and a spaceflight participant on Sept. 30, 2009.

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Water molecules on Lunar surface


NASA scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. Water molecules are greater than predicted , but still relatively small.


Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, also was found in the lunar soil.


NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, or M3, instrument reported the observations. M3 was carried into space on Oct. 22, 2008, aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. Data from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, or VIMS, on NASA's Cassini spacecraft and the High-Resolution Infrared Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's EPOXI spacecraft contributed to confirmation of the finding. The spacecraft imaging spectrometers made it possible to map lunar water more effectively than ever before.


The M3 team found water molecules and hydroxyl at diverse areas of the sunlit region of the moon's surface, but the water signature appeared stronger at the moon's higher latitudes.


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Whirlpool Galaxy ( M51)


A picture of Whirlpool Galaxy( M51).
Whirlpool Galaxy ( M51) is a well known spiral galaxy . It lies approximately 31 milllion light –years away in constellation canes venetici .

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Details of our Milky Way


Enjoy the breath taking portrait of our Milky Way in detail.


The image spans the region of sky from the constellation of Sagittarius to Scorpius. The very bright and colourful feature towards the right of the image are the Rho Ophiuchi and Antares regions. Darker areas such as the Pipe and Snake nebulae also stand out.


The dusty lane of our Milky Way runs obliquely through the image, punctuated with bright, reddish nebulae including the Lagoon and the Trifid nebulae. A supermassive black hole is at the centre of our galaxy.


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Fastest moving planet


A small planet known as CoRoT-7b which is 500 light years from Earth and is the fastest moving planet known . It is moving around its star every 20.4 hours and is confirmed as a rocky planet.


CoRoT-7b is a rare breed of exoplanets with masses just a few times that of Earth.

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Is there a life in Universe ?


Glycine , an amino acid which is a fundamental building block of life has been found in a comet.

This is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet.


Glycine, has been identified in the samples returned from comet Wild 2 by NASA's Stardust mission.


Comets have long been thought to hold the secrets of our solar system's history and play an important role in delivering the building blocks of life to Earth.


The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the Universe may be common rather than rare.

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Images released by Hubble telescope after repair


Hubble telescope has finally got repaired and NASA scientists have released the first images taken by the telescope after repair.


The image is of planetary nebula NGC 6302. I have defined planetary nebula in my earlier posts also. The image is simply awesome.


A planetary nebula is emission nebula consisting of a glowing shell gas and plasma formed by certain types of stars when they die

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NGC 4945 galaxy


NGC 4945 is classified as Seyfert galaxy.It is much like our own Milky way.


NGC 4945 resides 13 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus, and can be seen in modest amateur telescopes. It appears cigar-shaped from our perspective but it is actually many times wider than it is thick, with bands of stars and glowing gas marching around its centre.

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Winners: 200 Custom Postcards Printing Giveaway from UPrinting

I would like to thank everyone for participating in the contest , all my friends who have inspired me to do the contest and also i would like to thank UPrinting for giving me this opportunity.

Winners for 200 Custom Postcards Printing Giveaway

  • Ashlee912 -

I use these cards as a part of reunion of my friends / my relatives. I store these cards up to Dec month and send these post cards as a surprise in the eve of New Year & for X-Mas greeting. In fact, If I send a SMS thru a mobile it will be remembered only for a while or a day. These cards will be a special and sweet memory. These days sending greeting cards or post cards has been decreased a lot by us. For almost 5yrs I didnt even post single greeting or post card to my friends or my family members or even my relatives. sending cards to some one, it would be really a thrilling experience . Just try it.

  • Nitin-

dont use post or greeting card <- this is going to the most common response given the era we all are in. For UPrinting (and not for winning any contests :) ) my response is- I would use the postcards to send Diwali greetings to friends and family. It's different, long forgotten and rest assured will bring a smile to any recipient. To add on, and again for UPrinting benefit-capture unique photos, or Natgeo like sites to gain coverage. See bing.com as an example. Millions of users are visiting this new search engine not for comparing against google but the constant changing images and messages.

The winners will be contacted by sponsors very soon. Thank you everyone.
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Chandrayaan-I moon mission over

Ten months after it was launched, India's maiden moon mission the Chandrayaan-1 came to an abrupt end today after ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft.

Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission said that the mission is over as we have lost contact with the spacecraft. However, he said that Chandrayaan-1 has done its 90-95% job.

At the moment moon mission has been suspended. The two year moon mission was launched on last October and was abandoned today after radio contact with the mooncraft was abruptly lost at 0130 hours.

It has provided large volume of data from sophisticated sensors such as terrain mapping camera, hyper-spectral imager and moon mineralogy mapper, meeting most of the scientific objectives of the mission and providing meaningful
data for study by physics students at many world's research universities.

Chandrayaan-1 had sent more than 70,000 images of the lunar surface which provide breathtaking views of lunar mountains and craters, especially craters in the permanently shadowed areas of the Moon's polar region
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Foreign universities' satellites to be launched by ISRO

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch foreign universities into space.

Five months after ISRO launched India's first student satellite " Anusat" on April 20 , it will place in orbit four university satellites in September.They are from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey. "Chandrayaan-1 " and "Anusat" have boosted India's space program.

India will launch a Turkish student satellite in September.

India will launch six international nano satellites mainly from Germany and one from Turkey totally weighing 25 kg.

The tiny foreign satellites are "Rubin 9.1", and " Rubin 9.2" both from Germany. "Rubin 9.1" is related to the field of communications." Rubin 9.2" is for technology demonstration.

The satellite from Switzerland is called "Swisscube-1", which is first entirely built Swiss student satellite.

The launch is scheduled for the second half of September and the launch campaign has been initiated.

day
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NGC 6280 Nebula


NGC 6820 is an emission nebula that surrounds open cluster NGC 6823 in the constellation Vulpecula.


Emission nebulae are clouds of high temperature gas. The atoms in the cloud are energized by ultraviolet light from a nearby star and emit radiation as they fall back into lower energy states (in much the same way as a neon light). These nebulae are usually red because the predominant emission line of hydrogen happens to be red .


Velpecula is a faint constellation in the northern sky.

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Picture of Cat's Eye Nebula


The Cat's eye nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Draco.

A nebula is a cloud of dust and gas in space. A nebula is of four types- planetary nebula , reflection nebula , emission nebula and absorption nebula.

Cat's nebula can be seen through Hubble's telescope and can even be seen through small telescopes.

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200 Custom Postcards Printing Giveaway from UPrinting


The contest: Win 200 Custom Postcards Printing Giveaway from UPrinting.com


What is this all about ?


Uprinting is a leading online printing company that provides high quality printing at the most affordable prices and are sponsoring this chance for you to win 200 "Custom Greeting Cards "or "Custom Post Cards" .

How to win the contest ?

To win the contest you need to leave a comment at the end of this post, describing what you would use the free custom greeting cards and/or custom postcards for. That’s all ! I will choose the 2 winners at random. Please be sure to include your name and email address so that I can contact you if your name is chosen.

The Details of the contest

(2) PRIZE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE 200 Custom Postcards (choose your size: 4x6, 4.25x6, 5x7"); 14pt gloss or matte, 13 pt uncoatedFull Color on both sides (4/4)Shipping must be paid by Winner. Offer Valid for UNITED STATES SHIPPING ONLY. The contest will end by 31st August and i will announce the winner shortly after.


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Meteor shower in the sky


The meteor season is into full swing over the next few days as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak over the nights of 11-12 and 12-13 August. If we can blot out some of the Moon’s light behind a tree or nearby building, we can see at least one meteor per minute.


Perseids , gets the name from constellation Perseus. The warm summer nights in UK will make the Perseids more visible.


Some Perseids can be as bright as the brightest stars, such as Vega or as Jupiter or even as Venus. Some leave behind lingering orange trails or on odd occasions appear as fireballs. You either record these events or sit back and just enjoy.

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First orbital launch attempt by South Korea

South Korea's space agency has announced it will attempt to fly its first satellite launcher this week.

The rocket's design and construction has cost about $400 million.

The new rocket, made from Russian and South Korean parts, could lift off as soon as Aug. 11 from the new Naro Space Center at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, about 300 miles south of Seoul.
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Motion of stars in distant galaxy

Astronomers have measured the motions of stars for the first time in a very distant galaxy, speeding around its host at twice the speed of our Sun through the Milky Way.

The speeding stars may help astronomers understand how such compact galaxies form so early in the Universe and then evolve into the galaxies we see in today's 13.7 billion year old Universe.

It will also help to see how these galaxies are formed with the help of Hubble's new Wide Field Camera 3.
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Future of U.S human space flight

A commission is reviewing the future of U.S. human spaceflight and will present up to a half-dozen options to President Obama late next month, ranging from a conservative, methodical space program to an aggressive blueprint for a mission to Mars.

NASA is having budget constraints and is planning to retire the space shuttle next year and continuing the station program until at least 2015. Lunar flights will not start until after 2020.

The White House established the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee in May to help chart the nation's future in space. It will complete its report by the end of August.

After space shuttle Endeavour returned Friday from its current mission, there are only seven more flights planned for the spaceplane.
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Friday landing for Endeavour


The Endeavour astronauts tested the shuttle's re-entry systems today before packing up for the trip back to Earth Friday to close out a 16-day space station assembly mission. There are no technical problems of any significance, but forecasters are predicting a slight chance for rain and thunderstorms near Endeavour's Florida runway at the 10:48 a.m. EDT landing time.

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Gigantic bubbles boiling on the surface of star Betelgeuse


Giant star Betelgeuse shed the equivalent mass of the Earth every year but how do it does is not properly understood. Using state of the art imaging techniques, astronomers have revealed a vast plume of gas and gigantic bubbles boiling on the surface of star Betelgeuse. The new technique will provide clues to how they shed the mass?


The images show that the whole outer shell of the star is not shedding material evenly in all directions, which may be due to either large scale gas motions caused by heating, or because of the star's rotation. Betelgeuse's atmosphere is bouncing vigorously up and down in bubbles that are as large as the supergiant star itself, and could be responsible for the ejection of the massive plume into space.


Betelgeuse is the nearest star to Earth.

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Ammonia on Saturn's moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed the presence of ammonia on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus.

If there is an underground ocean on Enceladus, then ammonia would be vital to it. Ammonia acts as an antifreeze, allowing water to remain liquid at temperatures as low as –97 degrees Celsius . This is the first time that scientists have found ammonia on an icy satellite of a giant planet.
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Something has struck Jupiter


Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer that a new dark "scar" had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, on 20th July, 2009 between 3 and 9 a.m. PDT (6 a.m. and noon EDT) scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact.


New infrared images show the likely impact point was near the south polar region, with a visibly dark "scar" and bright upwelling particles in the upper atmosphere detected in near-infrared wavelengths, and a warming of the upper troposphere with possible extra emission from ammonia gas detected at mid-infrared wavelengths.


It could be due to the comet but the scientists are not sure .

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Never before seen photo shows Neil Armstrong's face


An amazing never before seen photo of Neil Armstrong showing his face through his space suit visor has come to light on the 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing.


It shows Armstrong's face in clear view as he walks across the lunar surface.

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Video of Neil Armstrong's first Moon Walk

video

Enjoy the video of Neil Armstrong's first moon walk restored by NASA.


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Earth's gravity and solar eclipse

A team of Chinese scientists is planning to conduct a once-in-a-century experiment on July 22, the day of the total solar eclipse, which would test the controversial theory that gravity drops slightly during a total eclipse.

According to a report in New Scientist, geophysicists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences are preparing an unprecedented array of highly sensitive instruments at six sites across the country to take gravity readings during the total eclipse due to pass over southern China on July 22.

The results, which will be analyzed in the coming months, could confirm once and for all that anomalous fluctuations observed during past eclipses are real.

The first sign that gravity fluctuates during an eclipse was in 1954, when French economist and physicist Maurice Allais noticed erratic behaviour in a swinging pendulum when an eclipse passed over Paris.

Pendulums typically swing back and forth as a result of gravity and the rotation of the Earth. At the start of the eclipse, however, the pendulum's swing direction shifted violently, suggesting a sudden change in gravitational pull.

In the run up to July's eclipse, Chinese researchers have prepared eight gravimeters and two pendulums spread across six monitoring sites.

At over five minutes, the event will be the longest total solar eclipse predicted for this century.
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Indian moon mission saved

India's only satellite Chandrayaan -I orbiting moon came close to overheating and failure but scientists improvised to save it.

Last month the satellite lost a critical instrument called the star sensor. The sensor helps the $80-million satellite stay oriented so its cameras and other recording equipment are constantly aimed at the lunar surface. Without the sensor , the mission is useless.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) team used other systems such as an antenna mechanism and gyroscope to make sure that satellite was " looking at the moon". Now, the mission is safe and the systems are working.

Chandrayaan is scheduled to last two years. Scientists hope that Chandrayaan project will boost India's capacity to build more efficient rockets and satellites.
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Endeavour arrives at Space Station


Endeavour has arrived at the International Space Station for its construction mission that will install an external science deck to complete Japan's Kibo facilities, pre-stage critical spare parts for the outpost and replace aging batteries in the power grid.

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Shuttle Endeavour finally launched


Shuttle Endeavour finally roared to life and blasted off Wednesday on its sixth try, rocketing away through a hazy sky toward a Friday rendezvous with the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center.


Multiple pieces of foam insulation fell from the ship's external tank during the early moments of flight, but it was not immediately clear whether the shuttle's fragile heat shield suffered any significant damage.


With commander Mark Polansky and pilot Douglas Hurley at the controls, Endeavour's three main engines ignited in staggered sequence and throttled up to full thrust, followed seconds later by ignition of the shuttle's twin solid-fuel boosters at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT.

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