Archive of 2012 April

17Apr2012

Canberra Wins Right To Broadcast Mars Landing

Canberra Wins Right To Broadcast Mars Landing The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex has secured exclusive rights to broadcast the Mars landing of the world's largest robotic laboratory. NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Lab

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17Apr2012

See The Sun In A Whole New Light

See The Sun In A Whole New Light Astrophotographer Alan Friedman captured this gorgeous portrait of the sun on April 7 from his home in Buffalo, NY, using a backyard solar telescope and a new Grasshopper CCD camera by Point Gre

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13Apr2012

Old Pilot UFO Reports Surface

Old Pilot UFO Reports Surface On the night of Feb. 6, 1975, Marine Reserve Squadron Capt. Larry Jividen was piloting a T-39D Sabreliner (see image above) combat trainer and utility aircraft with five Naval officer pilots on board

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13Apr2012

Rihanna Spots UFOs

Rihanna Reveals UFO Spotter Past Rihanna used to be a UFO spotter. The 24-year-old singer says her father Ronald Fenty used to have her sit on the doorstep of their home in Bridgetown, Barbados, and monitor the skies for signs of

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13Apr2012

Gagarin’s Flight Was Illegal

Gagarin's Flight Was Illegal If you flew 9,000 miles east from Florida’s sand spit Cape Canaveral, you would arrive at the land of the sky: the vast steppes of Kazakhstan, a flat plain where the yellowed grasslands turn green only in the spring — where at day's end one can see nothing, not even a leaf or twig, between self and setting sun. (more…)

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13Apr2012

Narrowing The Search For Dark Matter

Fermi Space Telescope Searches For Dark Matter. Most of the Universe is made up of 'stuff' we can't see Scientists have further narrowed the search for a hypothetical particle that could be dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up 80 percent of all the mass in the universe. Caltech postdoc Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins presented the researchers’ results, compiled from two years’ worth of data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Atlanta earlier this week. Gamma rays are very energetic light, and the telescope looks for faint gamma-ray signals that are generated by a variety of sources, such as gas and dust spiraling into supermassive black holes or exploding stars. But another potential source of gamma rays is dark matter. Although no one is sure what dark matter is, one of the leading candidates is a yet-to-be-discovered particle called a weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP). When two of these WIMPs meet, the theory goes

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13Apr2012

Closing In On The ‘God Particle

Closing In On The 'God Particle. Early in the morning of April 2, 2012 (at 00:38 CEST) opposing stable beams of protons were smashed into each other at four observation positions. The LHC shift crew declared ‘stable beams’ as two 4 TeV proton beams were brought into collision at the LHC’s four interaction points. LHC beams include trillions of these particles, each travelling at more than 99.999999% of the speed of light! The Large Hadron Collider's winter break is over and a search for Higgs boson continues..    This signals the start of physics data taking by the LHC experiments for 2012. The collision energy of 8 TeV is a new world record, and increases the machine’s discovery potential considerably. "The experience of two good years of running at 3.5 TeV per beam gave us the confidence to increase the energy for this year without any significant risk to the machine," explained Steve Myers, Director for Accelerators and Technology of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Re

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13Apr2012

When Is The Next Major Meteor Shower?

When Is The Next Major Meteor Shower? The next meteor shower in 2012 is the Lyrid shower this month. The best night will probably be from late night April 21 until dawn April 22, 2012. But you could also try watching a couple of nights before . (more…)

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13Apr2012

$500,000 Round Trip To Mars By 2040

$500,000 Round Trip To Mars By 2040 Within the next five years or so, you'll be able to buy a ticket to suborbital space for about $200,000. And that'll be fun, we're looking forward to it. SpaceX, a major player in the suborbital industry, is thinking about where else the company will be able to take people within the next few decades, and founder Elon Musk says Mars is a real possibility. And it'll be damn cheap. The secret to cheap space travel, Musk says, is modeling spacecraft after airplanes. As you may have noticed, it doesn't c

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13Apr2012

Time Lapse Tribute to Sky Watchers

A Tribute to Sky-Watchers.  It seems there’s no shortage of jaw-dropping astronomy time-lapse videos floating around the web, which highlight the gorgeous spangle of stars visible over lovely locales (for instance, in the high Chilean desert, the northern U.S. West, and the mountains of La Palma, in the Spanish Canary Islands). But in a new twist, astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi has aimed his lens at the people who scan dark skies for their treasures with the same gusto as foodies shopping in a farmer’s market. Tafreshi’s newe

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13Apr2012

The Moon Bike

 The Moon Bike When President Kennedy promised the United States a Moon landing by the end of the decade in 1961, he presented more challenges than just figuring out the logistics of getting to the Moon. The astronauts would have to get out and walk around; no one wanted to go all that way and just look out a window. A vehicle to take them further across the surface was also prudent to make the most of their brief stays. As part of the Apollo program, NASA considered a wide variety of lunar roving vehicles, only one of which was ever b

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13Apr2012

James Cameron Got Titanic’s Sky Wrong

James Cameron Got Titanic's Sky Wrong Director James Cameron, a self-proclaimed perfectionist, has made only one change in the re-release of his 1997 blockbuster, Titanic – and it’s all thanks to one man.  American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was on Cameron’s case for more than a decade trying to have a historically accurate night sky - spoiler alert - in the scenes after the Titanic sank. After several encounters, Dr Tyson got his wish, but first, Cameron challenged Dr Tyson to send him the exact constellation map for the

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12Apr2012

Saturn Rules In April

Saturn Rules In April The best time to see the planet Saturn is here. April and May 2012 are when this golden world – planet of the rings – is easiest to spot and brightest. The planet Saturn is relatively easy to find in 2012, because it’s near a bright star, Spica, in the constellation Virgo. This star always returns to the early evening sky in April – spring for the Northern Hemisphere, autumn for the Southern Hemisphere. Spica stays out all night long – or nearly all night long – on April and May nights. Likewise, April or

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11Apr2012

2012 Doomsayers Being Watched

2012 Doomsayers Being Watched On Dec. 31, the Gregorian calendar did something terrifying. It flipped from the year "2011" to "2012." What did we experience as the year came to an end? Global earthquakes? A planetary collision? Weird gravitational effects caused by an alignment with the galactic plane? A comet impact? Global enlightenment? As much as I'd love the latter to be true, the New Year celebrations most likely just involved a ton of alcohol and fireworks. It's the start of a brand-new year for our calendar. Nothing more, nothin

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11Apr2012

Superfast Spaceships To Beam Us Into Future?

 Superfast Spaceships To Beam Us Into Future? Humans may one day be able to use time travel to skip generations into the future, says Stephen Hawking. He has suggested humans could build spaceships capable of such high speeds that time itself would slow down for those on board. Such a spaceship could travel thousands of years into the future at close to the speed of light, reaching distant star systems within the lifetime of its crew. In theory it could allow humans to “colonise the future” —perhaps even returning to repopulate E

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07Apr2012

Goldilocks Planet Will be Found Soon

Goldilocks Planet Will Be Found Soon NASA's Kepler spacecraft is discovering a veritable avalanche of alien worlds. Recent finds include planets with double suns, massive "super-Earths" and "hot Jupiters," and a miniature solar system. The variety of planets circling distant suns is as wonderful as it is surprising. Amazing echnology. As the numbers mount, it seems to be just a matter of time before Kepler finds what astronomers are really looking for: an Earth-like planet orbiting its star in the "Goldilocks zone"—that is, at just the

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