Scott Cain

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The Smallest Star

Astronomers may have identified what may be the smallest known star. And not just the smallest known star but quite possibly the smallest <i>possible</i> …

Cassini's Flyby of Phoebe Shows a Moon With a Battered Past

First images from the Cassini flyby of Phoebe reveal it to be a scarred, cratered outpost with a very old surface and a mysterious past, and a great …

Solar Mini-Max

Years ago, in 2008 and 2009 an eerie quiet descended on the sun. Sunspot counts dropped to historically-low levels and solar flares ceased …

Wow! NASA Rover on Mars Sees Mercury Cross the Sun's Face (Photos, Video)

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has photographed Mercury crossing the face of the sun, marking the first time such a planetary "transit" has ever been …

ALMA Sheds New Light on ‘Dark’ Gamma-ray Bursts

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) represent the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, sending out as much energy in a matter of seconds as our Sun will give …

Too WISE to be Fooled by Dust: Over 300 New Star Clusters Discovered

Brazilian astronomers have discovered some 300+ star clusters that were largely overlooked owing to sizable obscuration by dust. The astronomers, …

Night in the City: Milky Way Dazzles Over New Zealand Lights (Photo)

The Milky Way shines over the bright city lights of Wellington, New Zealand in this stunning image from a veteran night sky …

#OTD in 1957 was 1st launch of Atlas A missile, exploded 50 sec later. Shown here is successful Atlas 10A:  http://t.co/FpUy6EJCk3

Why Complex Mineral Surfaces Could Be Indications Of Life

Earth’s complex environment of 4,900 minerals likely came from the interactions of life with the surface and the atmosphere, Robert Hazen argues. …

Earth Science

Boeing Unveils Commercial CST-100 'Space Taxi' to Launch US Astronauts to Space from US Soil

Boeing unveiled full scale mockup of their commercial CST-100 ‘Space Taxi’ on June 9, 2014 at its intended manufacturing facility at the Kennedy …

First images from the CSIRO's ASKAP radio telescope

In preparation for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope project set to start construction in 2018, the CSIRO’s recently unveiled …

This Chart Shows Just How Crazy Crowded The Outer Solar System Really Is

If you think Pluto is the only thing orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, this new chart will set you straight. It shows 132 of the 1,400 "trans-Neptunian objects" that are known to exist in a region that lies 4.5 billion to 7.5 billion kilometers from the sun.<p><b>(Article continues below chart.)</b><p>The …

APOD: M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool (2014 Jun 10) Image Credit & Copyright: X-ray: NASA, CXC, R. Kilgard (Wesleyan U.) et al.; Optical: NASA, STScI http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140610.html Explanation: What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced intense bursts of massive star formation. The bright cores of both galaxies, NGC 5194 and NGC 5195 (right and left respectively), also exhibit high-energy activity. In this false-color image where X-rays are depicted in purple, diffuse X-ray emission typically results from multi-million degree gas heated by supernova explosions. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.chandra.si.edu/photo/2014/m51/ http://www.wesleyan.edu/astro/ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014AAS...22431402K http://www.stsci.edu/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140610 #APOD

How Humans Can Be Put Into 'Suspended Animation'

Dr. Sam Tisherman and a team of surgeons at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have recently started human trials for a practical application of EPR. This surgical technique replaces all of a patient's blood with a solution to cool the body down and buy time for doctors to fix …

Future Planes Might Run On Just Sunshine, Water, And CO2 Sucked From The Air

Researchers at the EU-funded SOLAR-JET project recently proved that at least the second part of the process is possible: A super-hot solar reactor …

UC Berkeley

Suspended-animation trials to begin on humans

This month, the world's first attempts at placing humans in suspended animation using a new technique will take place at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- not for space travel, but to save lives.<p>The technique will initially be used on 10 patients whose wounds would …

There Might Be 100 Million Planets In The Galaxy With Complex Life

What a multitude of worlds! A new study suggests that the Milky Way could host 100 million planets with complex life, leaving no lack of choice for …

Universe

Why the moon doesn’t have two ‘faces’

When meteoroids struck the Earth-facing side of the moon, they created large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria. These areas …

Greenland's snow is getting darker, and that's bad for you and me

Greenland has long has pure, white snow. But over recent years, that snow is becoming less white — seemingly a little bit dirtier.<p>For a long time, scientists thought this was because warmer weather was producing larger snowflakes, which tend to be darker. But new research revealed that the darker …

NASA Delays 'Flying Saucer' Test Launch Until Wednesday

Bad weather has delayed the first test flight of NASA's new "flying saucer" yet again, pushing the liftoff back to Wednesday (June 11) at the …

Bye-Bye To The Home Of A Favorite Internet Conspiracy Theory

It sure <i>looks</i> suspicious: a remote military compound in the south-central Alaskan wilderness filled with 180 weird-looking antennas.<p>They want to bulldoze it, which is really atrocious to me. It's like burning the Alexandria Library.<p>It's the home of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program …

This Newfound Species Has The Highest-Pitched Call Recorded

Which it uses to attract mates, natch.<p><i>Supersonus</i> can hit the high notes. One species in this newly discovered genus of katydid hailing from the rainforests of Ecuador and Colombia can produce mating calls of a higher pitch than previously recorded for any arthropod, a vast group that includes …