Been a while since an update, heres whats happened:
Dust Devils Photographed in Martian Arctic story
Search for Magical Dark Matter Gets RealStory
Also related to the LHC!
Naked-Eye Gamma-ray Burst Aimed Directly at EarthStory
Sept. 10, 2008: Astronomers announced today that a remarkable gamma-ray burst visible to the human eye earlier this year came from an explosive stellar jet aimed almost directly at Earth.
Above: GRB 080319B makes a brief appearance among the stars of Bootes in a movie made by Pi of the Sky, a Polish group that monitors the sky for afterglows and other short-lived phenomena.
NASA to Explore 'Secret Layer' of the Sunstory
Researchers call it "the transition region." It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph.
It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather.
Now this one is pretty cool..
New Partial Rings Discovered Around Saturn source
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found two new, partial rings around Saturn that each accompany a small moon, shedding light on what determines whether a partial or complete ring forms with the moon.
The partial rings, called ring arcs, extend ahead of and behind the small Saturnian moons Anthe and Methone in their orbits.
Both Anthe and Methone orbit Saturn in locations called resonances, where the gravity of the nearby larger moon Mimas disturbs their orbits. Mimas provides a regular gravitational tug on each moon, which causes the moons to skip forward and backward within an arc-shaped region along their orbital paths, said Nick Cooper of Queen Mary, University of London an a member of the Cassini imaging team.
"When we realized that the Anthe and Methone ring arcs were very similar in appearance to the region in which the moons swing back and forth in their orbits due to their resonance with Mimas, we knew we had a possible cause-and-effect relationship," Cooper said.
Scientists believe that the faint ring arcs likely consist of material knocked off the small moons by micrometeoroid impacts. The material doesn't spread all the way around Saturn to form a complete ring because the interactions of the moons with Mimas confine the material to a narrow region along the moons' orbits.
The recent Cassini images were the first detection of arc material near Anthe. The images confirmed the presence of the Methone arc, which was previously detected by Cassini's Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument.
Previous Cassini images have also shown faint rings connected with other small moons within or near the outskirts of Saturn's main ring system, such as Pan, Janus, Epimetheus and Pallene. Cassini has also previously observed an arc in the G ring, one of Saturn's fain, major rings.
"This is probably the same mechanism responsible for producing the arc in the G ring," said Matthew Hedman of Cornell University and another Cassini imaging team member.
Hedman and his colleagues previously determined that the G-ring arc is also formed by gravitational resonance with Mimas.
"Indeed, the Anthe arc may be similar to the debris we see in the G-ring arc, where the largest particles are clearly visible," Hedman said. "One might even speculate that if Anthe were shattered, its debris might form a structure much like the G ring."
The material that orbits with Pallene, Janus and Epimetheus, however, isn't subject to the same powerful resonant forces and is free to spread out around the planet, forming a complete ring.
THIS RAWKS. IMO of course.. *coughs* (pun intended)
Rosetta probe makes asteroid pass
Steins: A diamond in the skyfull story and watch the movie!larger videohttp://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta/index.html
6 September 2008
The first images from Rosetta’s OSIRIS imaging system and VIRTIS infrared spectrometer were derived from raw data this morning and have delivered spectacular results.
"Steins looks like a diamond in the sky," said Uwe Keller, Principal Investigator for the OSIRIS imaging system from the Max Planck Institut Fuer Sonnensystemforschung, Lindau.
Visible in the image are several small craters on the asteroid, and two huge ones, one of which is 2 km in diameter, indicating that the asteroid must be very old.
The images are 50 to 60 pixels in diameter, enough to characterise the shape and other characteristics of the body of the asteroid.
Rita Schulz, Rosetta Project Scientist, said, "In the images is a chain of impact craters, which must have formed from recurring impact as the asteroid rotated. The impact may have been caused by a meteoroid stream, or fragments from a shattered small body."
The chain is composed of about 7 craters. To determine the age of the asteroid, a count of the craters on the asteroid’s surface has been started (the more the number of craters, the older the asteroid). So far, 23 craters have been spotted.
From the images, scientists will try and understand why the asteroid is unusually bright, and how fine grains of the surface regolith are. This will tell them more about how the asteroid formed.
Gerhard Schwehm, Mission Manager for Rosetta said, "It looks like a typical asteroid, but it is really fascinating how much we can learn from just the images. This is our first science highlight; we certainly have a lot of promising science ahead of us. I’m already looking forward to encountering our next diamond in the sky, the much bigger Lutetia."
The OSIRIS imaging system's Wide Angle Camera (WAC) worked perfectly through the fly-by.
The OSIRIS team expects that the images that they will retrieve from the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) will be of comparable resolution. This will add to the detailed colour information and hence to knowledge of the surface composition.
Science team members noted that the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) appears to have switched to safe mode a few minutes before closest approach, but switched back on after a few hours. The software is programmed to switch to safe mode when certain parameter thresholds are crossed to protect the camera. The team will concentrate investigating the reasons for this anomaly once the science data has been analysed.
After analysis of the Rosetta data, Steins will be one of the best-characterised asteroids so far. more storiesTHENHigh Res Camera FAILURE at critical moment with asteroid fly by.
YEA RIGHT! *doesn't buy the story*
Closest Look Ever at the Edge of a Black HoleFull story
In Solar News (our sun) No sunspots and solar wind is at a minimum. Things are looking pretty good!
(There was a small sunspot last Thursday but dissolved with in a day)
My last update today is a wild one.. Its LONG so I'll refrain from posting the whole thing but I urge you to read it if your curious about Mars and the Phoenix Mission. Its kinda ODD that regular news updates kinda STOPPED after the announcement of WATER & ICE ON MARS. After it could no longer be disputed, just about all pictures (save for those posed up there with the dust devils) have just stopped. This is after the fact that over a month ago NASA said "we are getting ready for a major news announcement next week and we have already talked to Washington about it. This is big." Then nothing.. If you think something is odd with that, then read this article.World-Class Astrobiologist Says "NASA's Hiding Current Life on Mars!"