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August 2012
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October 2012

Hubble's Extreme "XDF Universe" --The Deepest View Ever!




Called the extreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon. "The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen. XDF allows us to explore further back in time than ever before", said Garth Illingworth of the University of California at Santa Cruz, principal investigator of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009 program.

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Image of the Day: Exploring Einstein's Brain




Now you can zoom in and explore the brain of the greates genius of the 20th century via a new cloud-based virtual microscope system for iPad app developed by the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago that lets users examine digitised versions of nearly 350 slides made from slices of Albert Einstein's brain after his death in 1955. A study of the slides published in 1999 showed that Einstein's parietal lobe, the area of the brain associated with mathematics and spatial reasoning, was 15 per cent wider than in a normal brain.

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Milky Way Discovered Embedded in a Colossal Halo of Gas --Equal to the Mass of All the Stars in the Galaxy




The Chandra X-ray Telescope has provided evidence that our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years, and is estimated to be comparable to the mass of all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. If the size and mass of this gas halo is confirmed, it could be the solution to the "missing-baryon" problem for the Galaxy.

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BioAlert --Scientists Unlock Secrets of the Vampire Squid




Biologists reported this week that they had unlocked secrets about the vampire squid, a mysterious creature known as a "phylogenetic relic," that combines features of octopuses and squids in a unique evolutionary formula that has survived for millions of years.

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Mars' Robotic 'Curiosity' Makes a "Close Encounter of the Second Kind"




NASA's rover Curiosity touched a Martian rock with its robotic arm for the first time on Sept. 22, assessing what chemical elements are in the rock called "Jake Matijevic." After a short drive the preceding day to get within arm's reach of the football-size rock, Curiosity put its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument in contact with the rock during the rover's 46th Martian day, or sol. The APXS is on a turret at the end of the rover's 7-foot (2.1-meter) arm. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), on the same turret, was used for close-up inspection of the rock. Both instruments were also used on Jake Matijevic on Sol 47 (Sept. 23).

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Astronomers Create First "AI" Map of the Universe



Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented accuracy.The image above shows a slice through the local universe, 370 million light years on each side. The red circles mark the positions of over 45,000 galaxies. The blue circles are random points (galaxies) inserted to smooth the map across the 'zone of avoidance' where nearby gas and dust in our Galaxy blocks the view of more distant objects. These data are superimposed on the light and dark background of the cosmic web of galaxies modeled using an artificial intelligence algorithm.

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Messenger Mission to Mercury Finds Mysterious Pole Deposits



Since moving into orbit about Mercury a little over one year ago, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has captured nearly 100,000 images and returned data that have revealed new information about the planet, including areas of permanent shadow at the poles that host the mysterious polar deposits.  

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"Space-Time Crystal" --A 4-D Clock That Will Survive the Heat Death of the Universe




Imagine a four-dimensional crystal that has periodic structure in time as well as space. The crystal could be used as a clock that will keep perfect time forever, even after the heat-death of the universe. This is one of the “wow” factors behind a device known as a “space-time crystal.” Scientists would also have a new and more effective means by which to study how complex physical properties and behaviors emerge from the collective interactions of large numbers of individual particles, the so-called many-body problem of physics. A space-time crystal could also be used to study phenomena in the quantum world, such as entanglement, in which an action on one particle impacts another particle even if the two particles are separated by vast distances.

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Image of the Day: A Spectacular 'Dark Nebula' of the Milky Way




The silhouette of a Lynd's dark nebula appears against a faint background of glowing hydrogen gas only easily seen in long telescopic exposures of the region. LDN 1622 lies near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, close on the sky to Barnard's Loop - a large cloud surrounding the rich complex of emission nebulae found in the Belt and Sword of Orion. But the obscuring dust of LDN 1622 is thought to be much closer than Orion's more famous nebulae, perhaps only 500 light-years away.

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