NASA authorities report that an unknown object approaching the Earth from deep space is almost certainly artificial in origin rather than being an asteroid. Object 2010 KQ was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona earlier this month, and subsequently tracked by NASA's asteroid-watching service, the Near-Earth Object Program headquartered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Like something out of Terminator 2, researchers are developing techniques for warfare of the future to create materials that self-assemble or alter their shape, perform a function and then disassemble themselves. These capabilities offer the possibility for morphing aircraft and ground vehicles, uniforms that can alter themselves in any climate, and “soft” robots that flow like mercury through small openings to enter caves and bunker complexes.
Scientists suspect that Venus's atmosphere might hide extraterrestrial lifeforms, and in the most extraordinary safari ever, they want to go there and capture them with a flying balloon. Interplanetary travel, extraterrestrial life, and Venusian airships - anyone doing anything other than science is missing out.
Dwarf galaxies are faint, inconspicuous systems with only a few million stars, but they may ultimately play a key role in understanding dark matter. Measurements of the random motions of stars in nearby dwarf galaxies show that these galaxies may require a much larger fraction of dark matter than normal galaxies. They may be the best places to search for X-rays or gamma-rays which could result from the decay or annihilation of dark matter particles.
Vernor Vinge, futurist and author of Rainbows End.
Mars' Moon Phobos has been analyzed as being one-third hollow according to European Space Agency reports, which has triggered some wild and utterly fascinating rumors and speculation that we've featured below.
From "The Phobos Blog" -- published on March 25th: General , Science 25 March, 2010 17:21
Radio science result from 2008 Phobos Flyby now accepted for publication:
We report independent results from two subgroups of the Mars Express Radio Science (MaRS) team who independently analyzed Mars Express (MEX) radio tracking data for the purpose of determining consistently the gravitational attraction of the moon Phobos on the MEX spacecraft, and hence the mass of Phobos. We conclude that the interior of Phobos likely contains large voids. When applied to various hypotheses bearing on the origin of Phobos, these results are inconsistent with the proposition that Phobos is a captured asteroid.
Seven Key Turning Points That Made Apple No. 1
Apple has been through some extreme ups and downs, but yesterday the corporation climbed to an all-time high. Apple surpassed longtime rival Microsoft in market capitalization, making the Cupertino, California, company the most valuable technology company in the world, for the moment, at least. The milestone is even more remarkable given Apple’s single-digit share of the computer market. Microsoft, by contrast, runs on about 90 percent of the world’s PCs. Steve Jobs should feel vindicated. After being fired from his own company in the 1980s, the company gradually became less and less relevant, its market share dwindling and its innovative edge dulled. From the first iMac to the revolutionary iPad, what follows is a list of key turning points that took Apple from an also-ran into a champion.
The Creative Brains Behind iTunes & App Store: Eddie Cue
Steve Jobs may own the limelight, but Eddy Cue, 46, holds the key to the Apple kingdom. Cue runs arguably the most disruptive 21st-century Web businesses: iTunes and the App Store, the latter of which is poised to create a $4 billion app economy by 2012. The unassuming Cue shot up through Apple's ranks in the late '80s, going from desktop support to Hollywood power broker, cutting deals for movies and music. Cue's next campaign will be challenging Amazon's Kindle dominance, with the Cupertino cocktail of the iPad and the iBook store.
The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson's Novel of the Future?
This may, possibly, be one future of the novel: as an app. And who better to push the limits of writing than Neal Stephenson, an author whose novels have already explored weird and unusual corners of sci-fi, including intelligent books. Late yesterday in San Francisco, at the SF App Showcase, a sneaky little startup company called Subutai demonstrated some of the tech that'll be going into the Mongoliad app. This oddly-named creature is actually what we're interested in--a reinvention of the novel as a serialized publication through a dedicated app. Stephenson isn't the only one taking part, as both Greg Bear and Nicole Galland will be writing too, but Stephenson is really the core of the project.
Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd don't need to suit up for this one. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory located a cosmic "ghost," and scientists think it is evidence of a huge eruption produced by a supermassive black hole equal in power to a billion supernovas. The source, HDF 130, is over 10 billion light years away and existed at a time 3 billion years after the Big Bang, when galaxies and black holes were forming at a high rate.