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March 2008
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Artificial Intelligence Aiding Search for Life on Mars

Artificialintelligence_2 Over the past several years we have heard a lot from the European Space Agency in their search for signs of past or present life on Mars. Since January 2005, the Express search has been using its sophisticated instruments to study all aspects of Mars; from its atmosphere, all the way down to its subsurface.

As a result, we’ve seen evidence of glaciers, water, and more that has lent support to the idea that there could be, or could have been, life on Mars.

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The 'Downtown' Milky Way -An X-Ray View

143338main_xray_background_500_2 X-Ray vision is normally associated with Superman, but NASA is using it on a foe that would dwarf even the Man of Steel: a supermassive black hole.  Hidden at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A-star is the mass of three million suns, bigger than the solar system, and basically makes Krypton look like an unimpressive pebble.

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Google Ocean 3-D Visualizations of World's Marine Ecosystems

Gm_shom_s Google Maps and Google Earth are morphing into visualization tools for marine data, called, oddly enough, Google Ocean. Google Maps (GM) on the web and Google Earth (GE) as a 3D interactive atlas software application are ideal tools for sharing geographical information in a simple way. Google Ocean is rumored to contain 3D oceanographic maps with underwater topography, search features for spots and attractions, and also have zooming and panning features. Much like Google Earth and Sky, you will be able to overlay layers on top of the oceanographic maps, such as weather patterns, currents, temperatures, shipwrecks, coral reefs, worldwide tide predictions, weather, magnetic declination and algae blooms.

Posted by Casey Kazan. Image shows Shipwrecks off Coast of France.

Google Ocean


Mini Galaxies 200 Billion X Mass of the Sun Populated Early Universe

Fig2_small_3The universe was only 3 billion years old, merely an infant, and yet already it was exhibiting strange tendencies. A team of astronomers have looked at the universe’s past, and found nine young, and surprisingly compact galaxies, each weighing in at 200 billion times the mass of our own Sun.

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Google Earth Reveals Major Impact Crater

711151 An Australian geologist, Arthur Hickman, has discovered a rare meteorite impact crater in remote Western Australia using Google Earth to conduct research on channel ore deposits. It looks as though the Hickman Crater will be Australia's second largest preserved rim crater – one that has not eroded significantly from its original shape. The crater's rim, which is 80 per cent preserved, stands 30 meters above its floor, and consists mainly of rhyolite, a rock similar to granite.

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The Limits of Memory: We Can Only Remember Four Things at a Time

Kingscollegepinkfull_2_2 New research in to our minds capabilities to retain knowledge has shed light on a question that has been discussed for many years; how much, can our mind remember, at a time?

The study focused on ‘working memory’, that part of our mind which refers to the temporary storage of information that still allows us to pay attention and manipulate it. Some believe that working memory is separate to any of our other memory storages, many believe that working memory is simply that part of our long-term memory that we can currently access.

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Massive Magnetic Fields Observed at the Milky Way Core

Gradioarc_xray_r_comp_2 There's a reason you never see scientists at fireworks displays - the universe puts on a far better show for them all year round.  One such ultra-impressive artifact is "The Arches", megascale ribbons of hot plasma flowing around the supermassive black hole at the core of our galaxy.

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Da Vinci's Parachute -Field Tested 523 Years Later!

Vinciwdm2704_468x459_2 The parachute that Renaissance-genius Leonardo Da Vinci drew is built and tested... after 523 years Parachutes have come a long way in the last few decades: They're easier to steer and a great deal less likely to go wrong. So it takes a certain amount of nerve to plunge 2,000ft relying on a "chute designed in an era when heretic astronomers were being burned at the stake."

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