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Why do identical twins end up having such different lives?

Barbara Oliver has had an intriguing relationship with her identical twin sister, Christine, over the decades. Throughout their childhoods, they were …

'Rings of fire' blaze in outer space

A galactic ring of fire "burns, burns, burns" with starbirth in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The brilliant ring circling the core of the galaxy, known as Messier 94 or NGC 4736, signals a frenetic round of star formation inside the ring.<p>Here's what Spitzer's astronomers think is …

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Mission to Mars would blast astronauts with harmful levels of radiation, study finds

Future human astronauts traveling to Mars would face risks beyond each other's changing moods in cramped quarters. They would also get blasted with extremely high, harmful doses of space radiation, well beyond the lifetime acceptable limits currently used by NASA, according to a new study of data …

NASA: Mars Travelers Would Get Fried By Radiation

Data collected during Curiosity's journey to Mars shows radiation exposure will present a major challenge for manned interplanetary missions.<p>Bad news for those of you who want to go to Mars in the next few years: Without better shielding technology, you'll probably get fried by radiation, as new …

Tiny moon discovered around asteroid that's due to fly by Earth on May 31st

An asteroid the size of the Golden Gate Bridge (about 1.7 miles wide) is due to fly near the Earth on May 31st, that much scientists have known for a while. But what they did not know was that the asteroid, named 1998 QE2, would be bringing along a friend. New radar imagery of the asteroid's …

The right stuff: inside the race to be the first American in space

Private companies trying to shuttle tourists into space. Audacious plans to send civilians on a one-way mission to Mars. Astronauts recording David Bowie cover songs from 230 miles above the Earth. Nope, space travel isn't what it used to be.<p>More than 50 years ago, a select cadre of American test …

The cape and cowl aren't the only villainous things about him... here's 5.2 Reasons to explore the villainous side of Batman: The Dark Knight!

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Mine of Steel: Superman in Minecraft Trailer


UN mulls ethics of 'killer robots'

<b>So-called killer robots are due to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva.</b><p>A report presented to the meeting will call for a moratorium on their use while the ethical questions they raise are debated.<p>The robots are machines programmed in advance to take out people or targets, …

APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28) Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA Explanation: It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet. The storm was tracked not only from Earth but from up close by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. Pictured above in false colored infrared in February, orange colors indicate clouds deep in the atmosphere, while light colors highlight clouds higher up. The rings of Saturn are seen nearly edge-on as the thin blue horizontal line. The warped dark bands are the shadows of the rings cast onto the cloud tops by the Sun to the upper left. A source of radio noise from lightning, the intense storm was thought to relate to seasonal changes when spring emerges in the north of Saturn. After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD

APOD: Hungarian Spring Eclipse (2013 May 04) Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN) Explanation: Last week, as the Sun set a Full Moon rose over the springtime landscape of Tihany, Hungary on the northern shores of Lake Balaton. As it climbed into the clear sky, the Moon just grazed the dark, umbral shadow of planet Earth in the year's first partial lunar eclipse. The partial phase, seen near the top of this frame where the lunar disk is darkened along the upper limb, lasted for less than 27 minutes. Composited from consecutive exposures, the picture presents the scene's range of natural colors and subtle shading apparent to the eye. At next week's New Moon, the season's celestial shadow play will continue with an annular solar eclipse, the path of annularity tracking through northern Australia and the central Pacific. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD

APOD: Ring of Fire over Monument Valley (2013 May 09) Image Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN) Explanation: As the New Moon continues this season's celestial shadow play, an annular solar eclipse track begins in western Australia at 22:30 UT on May 9 -- near sunrise on May 10 local time. Because the eclipse occurs within a few days of lunar apogee, the Moon's silhouette does not quite cover the Sun during mid-eclipse, momentarily creating a spectacular ring of fire. While a larger region witnesses a partial eclipse, the annular mid-eclipse phase is visible along a shadow track only about 200 kilometers wide but 13,000 kilometers long, extending across the central Pacific. For given locations along it, the ring of fire lasts from 4 to 6 minutes. Near the horizon, the appearance of the May 9/10 annular eclipse (online viewing) is suggested by this dramatic composite from May of 2012. The timelapse sequence depicts an annular eclipse in progress before sunset over Monument Valley in the southwestern United States. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD

APOD: Cape York Annular Eclipse (2013 May 11) Image Credit & Copyright: Courtesy Cameron McCarty MWV Observatory, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbus State University Eclipse Team Explanation: This week the shadow of the New Moon fell on planet Earth, crossing Queensland's Cape York in northern Australia ... for the second time in six months. On the morning of May 10, the Moon's apparent size was too small to completely cover the Sun though, revealing a "ring of fire" along the central path of the annular solar eclipse. Near mid-eclipse from Coen, Australia, a webcast team captured this telescopic snapshot of the annular phase. Taken with a hydrogen-alpha filter, the dramatic image finds the Moon's silhouette just within the solar disk, and the limb of the active Sun spiked with solar prominences. Still, after hosting back-to-back solar eclipses, northern Australia will miss the next and final solar eclipse of 2013. This November, a rare hybrid eclipse will track across the North Atlantic and equatorial Africa. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD