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7 new stories for 2012/03/10

ALPHA Closes in on Antimatter

What matter and antimatter might look like annihilating one another. Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

We live in a universe made of matter. But at the moment of the Big Bang, matter and antimatter existed in equal amounts. That antimatter has all but disappeared suggests that nature, for some reason, has a strong preference for matter. Physicists want to know why matter has replaced its antimatter twin, and this week the ALPHA collaboration at CERN got a step closer to unraveling the mystery. (...)
Read the rest of ALPHA Closes in on Antimatter (391 words)


© Amy Shira Teitel for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: Physics

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Still Concerned About 2012?

Don’t be.

Don Yeomans, senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, was kind enough to address some common questions regarding 2012, such as the much-misunderstood Mayan “long-count” calendar, Nibiru, pole-reversal and other such purported “doomsday” devices. Check it out.

Still set on the world ending come Dec. 21?

Back off, man. Don’s a scientist.


© Jason Major for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 2 comments | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: 2012, December 21, doomsday, JPL, Mayan, NASA, Nibitu, planet x, pole reversal, pole shift, solar flare

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Active Region Is Still Active!

Aurora over Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland on March 8, 2012. © Jónína Óskarsdóttir.

Even though the CME unleashed by active region 1429 initially hit Earth a bit softer than expected yesterday (read why here), it ended up gaining some extra “oomph” once the magnetic fields lined up right… enough to ignite some amazing displays of aurorae like the one shown above over Iceland, photographed by Jónína Óskarsdóttir!

And that wasn’t the last we’d hear from AR1429 either; at around 10:30 pm EST on March 8, the region lit up again with an M6.3 flare… although smaller than the previous X5.4-class flare, it produced a temporary radio blackout and released another Earth-directed CME, which is expected to arrive in the coming hours.

(...)
Read the rest of Active Region Is Still Active! (673 words)


© Jason Major for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: Alex Young, CME, flares, NASA, SDO, solar

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Incredible Digital Re-creations of the Mars Rovers

An incredibly detailed 3-D model of the Spirit rover. Credit: Nick Sotiriadis

Want to see the Mars Exploration Rovers in incredible, intricate detail – without having to travel to the Red Planet to inspect them in person? Design wizard Nick Sotiriadis from Greece has spent five years working on what he calls a once-in-a-lifetime project creating high resolution 3-D renders of the Mars rovers with attention to detail precise at the scale of millimeters. Even NASA doesn’t have anything this detailed for reference, so Sotiriadis basically built these visual representations of the rovers with 3-D computer graphics.

“After 3 computer upgrades, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of frustration and hundreds cups of coffee, the project is about to be finished,” Sotiriadis said.
(...)
Read the rest of Incredible Digital Re-creations of the Mars Rovers (576 words)


© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: Mars Exploration Rovers

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Most Accurate Clock Ever

An atomic clock; a relic of a bygone age? Image credit: NIST

An atomic clock; a relic of a bygone age? Image credit: NIST


Do you find that you’re always having to adjust the clocks in your house? Why can’t someone just make a clock that’s accurate? How about a clock that would never lose time in, say, the entire age of the Universe? Well, that’s just what researchers from the University of New South Wales are proposing.

According to their calculations, a neutron orbiting around the atomic nucleus of an atom would do the trick. In fact, this “atomic clock” would be so accurate, it wouldn’t gain or lose 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years – that’s the age of the Universe.
(...)
Read the rest of Most Accurate Clock Ever (224 words)


© Fraser for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 10 comments | Add to del.icio.us
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Astrophoto: Stunning Detailed Look at the Whirlpool Galaxy by John Chumack

A 17.5 hour exposure of M51, The Whirlpool Spiral Galaxy also known as NGC-5194. Credit: John Chumack

Wow! Astrophotographer John Chumack has done it again with a spectacular, long exposure view of the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51. “This is my best and most detailed image of M51 to date, and now my longest exposure on a single object,” John said. “Definitely a lot of work, but I now feel it was worth all the processing time, which actually exceeded the 17.5 hours of imaging time!”

Visible are faint tidal tail structure details. “I can see several dust lane structures running through the tidal tail as well as faint background galaxies behind the tidal tail!” John said.

This long exposure image was taken over seven separate nights in early 2010, 2011 with John’s homemade 16″ F4.5 Newtonian Scope. See more details below, or on Flickr. You should also check out John’s website, Galactic Images, where you can see all his beautiful handiwork.

(...)
Read the rest of Astrophoto: Stunning Detailed Look at the Whirlpool Galaxy by John Chumack (185 words)


© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 2 comments | Add to del.icio.us
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Weekly Space Hangout — March 8, 2012

In this episode of the Weekly Space Hangout, we talk about two different asteroid close passes, the solar storms buffeting the Earth, a recent space exploration conference, and a team of amateur astronomers flashing the space station. The regular team was there, with Phil Plait, Pamela Gay, Emily Lakdawalla, Alan Boyle, Nancy Atkinson and host Fraser Cain.

We were also joined by Ryan Kobrick – Executive Director of Yuri’s Night – to talk about the upcoming festivities on April 12.

Remember, we record this show live every Thursday at 10:00am PST / 1:00 pm EST / 1800 UTC. Join us at Cosmoquest Hangouts, or watch Fraser’s Google+ stream for the show to start.


© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | One comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: Live broadcasts, Videos, Weekly Space Hangout

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