NASA's Hubble Space Telescope --Star-Casted Shadows Reveal Alien Planets


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Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They're so small and faint that it's hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a unique way: by a shadow that is sweeping across the face of a vast pancake-shaped gas-and-dust disk surrounding a young star.

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Hubble Reveals Ghostly Core of the Supernova Seen by Chinese Astronomers in 1054




Though it's only 10 miles across, the amount of energy the pulsar at its core releases is enormous, lighting up the Crab Nebula until it shines 75,000 times more brightly than the sun. The nebula, one of our best-known and most stable neighbors in the winter sky, is shocking scientists with a propensity for fireworks—gamma-ray flares set off by the most energetic particles ever traced to a specific astronomical object. The discovery  is leading researchers to rethink their ideas of how cosmic particles are accelerated.

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"Blipverts" Go Mainstream

Poster_dark_knight_joker_2 The line between the online world and broadcast television continues to blur. Sunday night's telecast of The Office on Canada's Global Television Network featured a series of three interstitial ads that flashed briefly between other commercials and showed static, a test pattern and a close-up on a mysterious face in clown makeup.

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Daily Video Classic: Ridley Scott's 1984 Apple Ad

1984big34_1 In 1984, back when the Macintosh was considered a subversive, counter-culture tool (which of course it was), Apple Computer launched the Mac with a single broadcast of the now famous $1.5 million commercial based on George Orwell's 1984, and directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven).

The commercial was broadcast during the 1984 Super Bowl XVIII. Steve Jobs' intention with the ad was to equate Big Brother with the IBM PCand a nameless female action hero, portrayed by Anya Major, with the Macintosh. The 1984 Apple ad was a subset of Ridley's direction of Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford.

Today Blade Runner is considered one of the most important science fiction films of the 20th century and is usually discussed along with William Gibson's novel Neuromancer as initiating the cyberpunk genre.

Scott personally supervised a digitally restored Blade Runner and approved the Final Cut, which is to be finally released in 2007.

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