Astronews Daily (2455499)

October 29, 2010 13:19 by scibuff

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In which I predict the eventual downfall of mankind – A couple of days ago I recorded a video interview with the Fourcast podcast, where four people sit around and predict the future. It was a lot of fun — we talked about beaming energy, world governments, Firefly, colonizing the Moon, and BBQs. Seriously. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Kepler Spacecraft Can “Hear” a Red Giant Concerto in Space – Not only is the Kepler spacecraft hunting down extrasolar planets, but it also provides the ability to study stars in unprecedented detail. “We knew that if Kepler had the sensitivity of detecting Earth-size planets, that it would have capability to transform our knowledge of stars themselves,” said Natalie Batalha of San Jose State University in California, a co-investigator on the Kepler Astroseismic Science Consortium. This international partnership of over 400 astronomers uses the Kepler spacecraft to “listen” to tiny oscillations, or “star quakes,” in red giant stars, allowing scientists to do groundbreaking work in deducing the fundamental properties of stars. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Space Radar Provides a Taste of Comet Hartley 2 – Exactly one week before the world gets a new look at comet Hartley 2 via NASA’s EPOXI mission, observations of the comet by the Arecibo Planetary Radar in Puerto Rico have offered scientists a tantalizing preview. –NASA/JPL

ISS Particle Detector Ready to Unveil Wonders of the Universe – The Principal Investigator (P.I.) for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS-02) experiment, Professor Samuel Ting, says that the experiment is already accruing data as it awaits its February 2011 launch date. Scheduled to fly aboard the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, AMS-02 will search through cosmic rays for exotic particles, antimatter and dark matter. The experiment will be mounted to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) and will require no spacewalks to attach. -Jason Rhian / Universe Today

Chasing comets! – Secondary school pupils at the Collège Monteil (Monistrol sur Loire, France) have been busy observing Comet 103P/Hartley using the Faulkes Telescopes. –Faulkes Telescopes

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Gallery Pick of the Day

STS-133 Crew Arrives for Discovery's Final Planned Launch.

STS-133 Crew Arrives for Discovery's Final Planned Launch.

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.-

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