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October 2010
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"Page One" Story of the Century? NASA May Announce Thursday to Have Found Extraterrestrial Life

Pia09034 NASA has called a 2 p.m. news conference for Thursday "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." The group includes Pamela Conrad, author of a paper on geology and life on Mars; and James Elser, an Arizona State University professor involved in a NASA-funded program that emphasizes looking at the chemistry of environments where life evolves (and not just looking at water or carbon or oxygen); Felisa Wolfe-Simon (an oceanographer) has written extensively on photosynthesis using arsenic recently (she worked on the team mentioned in this article); Steven Benner (a biologist) is on the "Titan Team" at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; they're looking at Titan (Saturn's largest moon) as an early-Earth-like chemical environment. This is likely related to the Cassini mission.

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The 500th Alien Planet Discovered -"Finding a Second Earth Could Happen Anytime Now": NASA/Harvard Teams (Today's Most Popular)

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"It could happen almost any time now. We now have the technological capability to identify Earth-like planets around the smallest stars."

David Latham -Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Last week a 21st-century miles was reached: Planet hunters discovered the 500th planet beyond our solar system.  To be sure, the vast majority are hot, Jupiter-sized planets that would dwarf the Earth and are almost certainly lifeless. Over the past 15 years, the count of these extrasolar worlds, has soared from single digits to the dozens and then into the hundreds. The pace of discovery is now so rapid that the number of identified planets leaped from 400 to 500 entries in just over a year.

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"Cosmic Seesaw": New Theory Balances Universe's Visible Matter with Antimatter

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Physicists have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter (image above of antimatter cloud near Milky Way center) and the so-called baryon asymmetry--the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the Universe. UBC and TRIUMF physicists have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter and the so-called baryon asymmetry--the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the Universe. Observations of the the big bang’s afterglow, the cosmic microwave background, by the WMAP satellite now show about 4.6 per cent of the Universe (by density) is comprised of atoms, with about five times more dark matter (23 per cent).

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"Blue Plague" from the BP Oil Spill -It's Not Wise to Mess With Mother Nature (Environment Alert VIDEO)

Burning-oil-rig-explosion-fire-photo11 As part of their new logo and corporate image campaign, British Petroleum (BP) wants the public to think of them as their new slogan says, “Beyond Petroleum”. BP is far more than a simple oil company. What is revealed below regarding BP and their ‘beyond petroleum’ activities, both prior to and including their Gulf of Mexico catastrophe, will create a picture for the reader one pixel dot at a time. It is more than obvious that BP has tried to fool Mother Nature… and she’s retaliating with a vengeance that is affecting the entire world. This is a perilous game that has now gotten out of control. What began in the Gulf of Mexico, in February 2010, has now escalated into a man-made biological nightmare of unknown proportions. Crying Wolf? Or true?

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Image of the Day: Saturn's Moon, Rhea -1st Alien World Discovered to Have an Oxygen Atmosphere Oxygen

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In March 2010, The NASA Cassini spacecraft flew only 97 kilometers (60 miles) above the surface of Saturn’s moon Rhea and found that it has an atmosphere composed of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is the first time a moon of Saturn has been discovered to have an atmosphere. The spacecraft actually flew through the "tenuous" atmosphere held together by high-energy particles from Saturn that constantly hit the surface of Rhea.

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This Week's Debate: "Interest in UFOs derives, perhaps, not so much from scientific curiosity as from unfulfilled religious needs.” -Carl Sagan

Top10_exoplanets_oldest_planet_2_2 Is the world’s fascination with the possibility of UFOs and  more a religion or a natural intuitive sense that life is “out there” based on current scientific research and recent planet-search discoveries?

One of the world’s preeminent astrophysicists, Carl Sagan, believed that “the interest in unidentified flying objects derives, perhaps, not so much from scientific curiosity as from unfulfilled religious needs.”

What do you think?


Music's Power to Trigger Your Memory (A Galaxy Classic)

Images Remember that great Stones' ballad you heard on your first date with your first love? Well, despite music's importance to our lives, very little is known about the memories and emotions that are often evoked when hearing a piece of music from our past. Does music have a more powerful effect on memory than other influences, like images, words, or smells?

A research team  led by Petr Janata of UC Davis took  an important first step in understanding how music can affect memory by examining the content of music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) using a novel approach for selecting stimuli from a large corpus of popular music, in both laboratory and online settings.

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CERN's "Big Bang Machine": Yields New Insights Into Birth of the Universe

6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e54f8890c08834-800wi “It is truly amazing to be looking, albeit on a microscopic scale, at the conditions and state of matter that existed at the dawn of time.”

Guido Tonelli -CMS Experiment

With less than a month of heavy-ion running, three experiments studying lead ion collisions at the LHC have already brought new insight into matter as it would have existed in the very first instants of the Universe’s life. The ALICE experiment, which is optimised for the study of heavy ions. The first direct observation of a phenomenon known as jet quenching has been made by both the ATLAS and CMS collaborations.

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment uses a general-purpose detector to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the ATLAS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and design of its detector magnet system to achieve these.

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"Our Universe Was Created By a Cyclical Trillion-Year Collision of Two Universes" (Today's Most Popular)

Cyclic.grid-6x2 String theorists Neil Turok of Cambridge University and Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton believe that the cosmos we see as the Big Bang was actually created by the cyclical trillion-year collision of two universes (which they define as three-dimensional branes plus time) that were attracted toward each other by the leaking of gravity out of one of the universes.

In their view of the universe the complexities of an inflating universe after a Big Bang are replaced by a universe that was already large. flat, and uniform with dark energy as the effect of the other universe constantly leaking gravity into our own and driving its acceleration. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets.

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Image of the Day: Supernova Fireball! A Never-Before-Seen Event

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Studies of two supernova remnants using the Japan-U.S. Suzaku observatory revealed never-before-seen embers of the high-temperature fireballs that immediately followed the explosions. Even after thousands of years, gas within these stellar wrecks retain the imprint of temperatures 10,000 times hotter than the sun's surface.

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