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NASAs 'Curiosity' Search for Life Targets Water-Altered Rock This rock's composition is unlike any other Opportunity has investigated during nine years on Mars -- higher in aluminum and silica, lower in calcium and iron. "Based on our current solar-array dust models, we intend to reach an area of 15 degrees northerly tilt before Opportunity's sixth Martian winter," said JPL's Scott Lever, mission manager. "Solander Point gives us that tilt and may allow us to move around quite a bit for winter science observations." Northerly tilt increases output from the rover's solar panels during southern-hemisphere winter. Daily sunshine for Opportunity will reach winter minimum in February 2014. The first drive away from Esperance covered 81.7 feet (24.9 meters) on May 14. "There appears to have been extensive, but weak, alteration of Whitewater Lake, but intense alteration of Esperance along fractures that provided conduits for fluid flow," Squyres said. The Daily Galaxy via NASA/JPL Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Current Night Sky The Sky At A Glance There is a total lunar eclipse on April 15. The entire total phase will be visible from most of North America and western South America. There is an annular solar eclipse on April 29. The Moon & Planets On April 6, the First Quarter Moon passes about 6° below Jupiter. Evening Planets (after sunset) Jupiter, WMars, SE Visible at Midnight Jupiter, WMars, SSaturn, SE Morning Planets (before sunrise) Mars, WSaturn, SWVenus, EMercury, E (early April)Neptune, E Comets There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8.0 visible in April. Meteors The Lyrid meteors peak on April 22.

Photos - Camilla, un poulet en caoutchouc devenu vedette de la NASA Avez-vous déjà partagé cet article? Partager sur Facebook Partager sur Twitter Pour sensibiliser le public à sa mission d’étude, l’Observatoire des dynamiques solaires (SDO) de la NASA a mis en scène un personnage quelque peu particulier : un poulet en caoutchouc qui rêve de s’envoler dans l’espace. Camilla Corona aurait pu rester une simple et anonyme cocotte de caoutchouc destinée à divertir les animaux de compagnie, toutefois le destin en a voulu autrement. Aujourd’hui, le poulet est devenu la mascotte du département en charge de l’Observatoire des dynamiques solaires (SDO), un satellite développé par la NASA et lancé en 2010 pour étudier le soleil. Sa mission quotidienne consiste à partager ses expériences à travers les différents réseaux sociaux sur lesquels la suivent plus de 20.000 internautes. Dans un entretien téléphonique, il confie à Wired : "J’espère pouvoir emmener Camilla à la Station Spatiale Internationale et lui apporter une bonne visibilité". Un succès inattendu

Origins Origins: Back to the Beginning September 29, 2004 NEIL deGRASSE TYSON (Astrophysicist): A hellish, fiery wasteland, a molten planet hostile to life, yet somehow, amazingly, this is where we got our start. How? How did the universe, our planet, how did we ourselves come to be? How did the first sparks of life take hold here? Right now, we're all eavesdropping on the birth pangs of the cosmos. DAVID SPERGEL (Princeton University): big it is, how old it is, what's it made of, and what were the processes that made galaxies, that made us. NEIL deGRASSE TYSON: So a furious race is on to solve the ultimate mystery. ANTHONY READHEAD (California Institute of Technology): The spirit of competition is one of the things, of course, that drives scientists. Keep our fingers crossed. NEIL deGRASSE TYSON: And as our new vision of the universe emerges, strange ideas reveal themselves. STAN WOOSLEY (University of California, Santa Cruz): Stars are the ultimate alchemist. Hello. ARNO PENZIAS: Oh, yeah.

Kepler Mission To Find Earth-like Planets By Studying Planetary Transits Earlier this week we spoke about finding Earth-like planets, and how hard it is to find them. We would like to see other planets similar to Earth, and we have a few absolutely necessary conditions: the planet must be rocky, solid, dense like Earth, a source of power like a Sun, chemicals resulted from volcanic activity, and liquid water. The most important thing however, is that the planet must be located in the Goldilocks zone, the area where the planet is not too far and not too close from a star. In order to find such planets NASA has begun the Kepler Mission which will last four year. The Kepler Mission consists of observing 100,000 Sun-like stars, and to be more accurate: scientists will study the so-called planetary transits. In the search of alien life scientists will have to be pay a lot of attention to the planetary transits because the changes of the brightness are very, very small. via Physorg

The Astronomy Center Hubble 25 Anniversary Instead of Suns, the Earth Another kind of science fiction by Christopher Cokinos IN HIS ACERBIC COLLECTION of essays, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World, writer and critic Thomas Disch says that “there can be no question that the rocket ship is the genre’s primary icon. . . . It is an identifier, like the cross or the hammer and sickle, with a single all-encompassing meaning, one that transcends all distinctions of class, taste, or even logic.” Most people who dismiss science fiction or read it only years ago tend to think the genre begins and ends with such rockets and warp drives, star cruisers and space battles, little green men and bug-eyed monsters—with the implication that the impulse to sally forth and leave the Earth behind is essentially a childish one. Even during the 1940s and 1950s when pulp science fiction ruled—especially John W. This care with beautiful language, once the concern of only a handful of SF writers, continues to grow within the genre.