Astronews Daily (2455539)

December 8, 2010 12:50 by scibuff

Top Stories

Japanese spacecraft fails to enter orbit around Venus – Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft missed its chance Monday to enter orbit around Venus, and the next opportunity will not come for another six years, according to statements by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. -Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

Arsenic and old Universe – Two news updates, both of which are pretty interesting. 1) The arsenic-utilizing bacterium is still in the news… Last week, a paper made the rounds on various sites that Roger Penrose and a collaborator had found circular patterns in the cosmic background radiation that might point to clues about what happened before the Big Bang. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

SpaceX Dragon capsule set for launch – A US capsule that could soon be hauling cargo and even astronauts to the space station is set to make its first demonstration flight on Wednesday. –Jonathan Amos / BBC

One Hundred Days until Mercury Orbit Insertion – One hundred days from now, MESSENGER will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place the spacecraft into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. – MESSENGER Mission News

Sneak Attacks from the Sun – Our Sun can be a menace when it sends out powerful solar blasts of radiation towards the Earth. Astronomers keenly watch the Sun to learn more about what powers these solar eruptions, in hopes of being able to predict them. New research shows that one-third of the Sun’s blasts are “sneak attacks” that may occur without warning. –Center for Astrophysics

[more stories]

Videos

A team of NASA-funded researchers find there may be different criteria by which we search for life elsewhere in the universe. Also, shuttle Discovery gets a new target launch date; SOFIA flies its first science mission; NASA's Small Business Awards, and an alternative fuels pilot program. Plus, Scott Kelly's geography trivia from space, and the anniversary of Gemini 7.

  

Photos

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Discovery at the Pad

Discovery at the Pad

Cape Cod, MA

Cape Cod, MA

Sun in 3D

Sun in 3D

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) outburst development

P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) outburst development

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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