A Key to the Search for Alien Life? --"Earth's Atmosphere has a Nitrogen Signature That's Unique to Our Planet"
A team of scientists reports the discovery of a planetary-scale "tug-of-war" of life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. Compared with other key elements of life -- such as oxygen, hydrogen and carbon -- molecular nitrogen is very stable. Two nitrogen atoms combine to form N2 molecules that stay in the atmosphere for millions of years.
The Alien Observatory -- Planet Only a Billion Years Younger Than Big Bang Found in Milky Way's M4 Globular Cluster
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope precisely measured the mass of the oldest known planet in our Milky Way galaxy near the core of the ancient globular star cluster M4, located 5,600 light-years away in the summer constellation Scorpius. At an estimated age of 13 billion years, the planet is more than twice as old as Earth's 4.5 billion years. It's about as old as a planet can be. It formed around a young, sun-like star barely 1 billion years after our universe's birth in the Big Bang. The ancient planet has had a remarkable history because it resides in an unlikely, rough neighborhood. It orbits a peculiar pair of burned-out stars in the crowded core of a cluster of more than 100,000 stars.
CERN's Large Hadron Collider --"Has Awakened from 'Hibernation' To Renew Search for New Dimensions, Gravitons, and Tiny Black Holes"
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has awoken from 'hibernation' – and it's ready to flip the switch and hunt for new dimensions, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of particle physics. During the past winter, the LHC took a break from smashing particles together at velocities approaching the speed of light and is now gearing up to get back to work.
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.
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.
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.
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.