Detection of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of a Hot Jupiter
Pasadena CA (SPX) Feb 26, 2014 – Although liquid water covers a majority of Earth’s surface, scientists are still searching for planets outside of our solar system that contain water. Researchers at Caltech and several other institutions have used a new technique to analyze the gaseous atmospheres of such extrasolar planets and have made the first detection of water in the atmosphere of the Jupiter-mass planet orbiting the near … more

USAF reveals ‘neighborhood watch’ satellite program
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Feb 26, 2014 – The United States plans to send into orbit a pair of satellites to monitor spacecraft from other countries, as well as to track space debris, the head of Air Force Space Command said. The US Air Force lifted the veil of secrecy on its previously classified Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), which will operate in conjunction with ground-based radars and telescopes t … more

Bullying black holes force galaxies to stay red and dead
Paris (ESA) Feb 26, 2014 – Herschel has discovered massive elliptical galaxies in the nearby Universe containing plenty of cold gas, even though the galaxies fail to produce new stars. Comparison with other data suggests that, while hot gas cools down in these galaxies, stars do not form because jets from the central supermassive black hole heat or stir up the gas and prevent it from turning into stars. Giant ellipt … more

Pinwheel ‘living’ crystals and the origin of life
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Feb 26, 2014 – Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what University of Michigan researchers call ‘living rotating crystals’ that could serve as a nanopump. They may also, incidentally, shed light on the origin of life itself. The researchers refer to the crystals as ‘living’ because they, in a sense, take on a life of their own from very simple rules. Sharon Glotz … more

NASA cries planetary ‘bonanza’ with 715 new worlds
Washington (AFP) Feb 26, 2014 – NASA on Wednesday announced a torrent of new planet discoveries, hailing a “bonanza” of 715 worlds now known outside the solar system thanks to the Kepler space telescope’s planet-hunting mission. A new method for verifying potential planets led to the volume of new discoveries from Kepler, which aims to help humans search for other worlds that may be like Earth. “What we have been able … more