astronomy round-up: 14 june 2013

Comet ISON, The Brightest Comet That We Will See In Our Lifetime, Will Be Here On December 18, 2013

And here it is, a list of astronomy and science stories that piqued my curiosity this week. What’s been on your radar?

  • Nasa’s Opportunity rover finds Martian water appropriate for the origin of life
    The Guardian
    “Opportunity has made one of its greatest scientific discoveries so far. Clay minerals in a rock called Esperance clearly indicate that neutral water flowed across the rock some time in the first billion years of its existence.”
  • 5 things to know about Comet ISON
    CNN
    “Comet ISON may put on a show when it skims through the sun’s atmosphere later this year. Right now, it’s still far away, but we’re keeping track and will give you regular updates. Here are five key facts about ISON as we await its arrival . . .”
  • Heat-seeking, alien-hunting telescope could be ready in five years
    Space.com
    “We might find aliens through the heat their civilizations give off, astronomers say, but it will take a megatelescope to do the job. Such a telescope, in fact, is planned.”
  • Forensic astronomy: The gorgeous corpse of a dead star
    Bad Astronomy / Slate
    “Astronomers have a lot in common with medical examiners. We study events after they have happened, looking for clues that tell us what occurred, when, and why. While MEs can examine a body in their autopsy rooms, astronomers are generally stuck observing stellar corpses from afar. Of course, an advantage we have over MEs is that, almost every time, our crime scenes (and the corpus) are beautiful to look at . . .”
  • Astrobiologists find martian clay contains chemical implicated in the origin of life
    Astronomy Magazine
    “Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute (UHNAI) have discovered high concentrations of boron in a martian meteorite. When present in its oxidized form (borate), boron may have played a key role in the formation of RNA, one of the building blocks for life.”
  • Astronomers discover new class of variable stars
    Sci-News
    “Although the cause of the variability remains unknown, there is a tantalizing clue: some of the stars seem to be fast rotators. They spin at speeds that are more than half of their critical velocity, which is the threshold where stars become unstable and throw off material into space.”
  • Time is right for Arab astronomy renaissance
    Space.com
    “Building a new generation of observatories would spark interest in fundamental research across the region, which in recent years has taken a much more utilitarian approach to science.”

Creative Commons photo: Comet ISON, The Brightest Comet That We Will See In Our Lifetime, Will Be Here On December 18, 2013 by Dr Valentin Pashtenko.


Posted in astronomy & science.

One Comment

  1. Nice summary. We took grandson Joaquin (6 yrs) to the OMSI planetarium yesterday and saw “The Secrets of the Sun”. He is completely fascinated with astronomy…

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