June 02, 2009

congrats

Writing about web page http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_1-6-2009-10-59-30

hey guys and girls,

hopefully you are done with all your exams and now chilling out at home. enjoy yourselves and i leave you with:

meteorites might have helped our planet to develop the right conditions to support life. here is an article from ICL.

be cool,

Vlad.


May 20, 2009

cool, first British astronaut for many years

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8059846.stm

finally, a long awaited icon for the children of the UK. i surely hope that this is a long term media hit. great inspirational figure – pilot of Army Air Forces. good, just don’t forget about him in a few months.
EDIT: here is the video from Paris, where they reveal 6 new recruits


May 17, 2009

Dynamics Team at ESA: Herschel and Planck

Writing about web page http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Planck/SEMLQIWX3RF_0.html

Follow the link for a full story on ESA’s flight dynamics team. They are responsible for calculating orbits for both telescopes after separating from Ariane 5. It is a tense moment when both telescopes come online above Australia. It is of a crucial importance for scientists and engineers to get obrit-corrections right, so that Planck and Herschel don’t drift off into an orbit around the Sun or Earth. A lot was learnt during earlier deep-space missions (like Mars Express), but like any other space mission there is a certain degree of unpredictability.

Visit ESA’s website (follow the above link) to watch orbit sim. videos:

May 16, 2009

flying carpet and water pistol

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8053363.stm

click on the link to watch a short video of astronauts trying out some Earth-suggested experiments:
here


Hubble Service Mission 4. The last hurdle.

Sadly, this Service is the last one before Hubble reaches its end-of-life point. Here is a video (shot in a true Hollywood spirit) that describes what will be changed and how long will it last for. Most of the things mentioned in this video had been done yesterday (Fri 15th) by the astronauts, but it is still relevant. Actually, this movie is very professional.
VIDEO


May 14, 2009

Ariane is flying

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8050327.stm

click on the link to play a video of Ariane 5 lifting off the ground in French Guiana. With two telescopes on board, this day marks new era of great discoveries.
The ground control team were able to contact the telescopes 30 minutes after the take-off. at that point telescopes were ejected from the rocket, i believe it was over Indian Ocean. both telescopes will orbit L2 (Lagrangian point). let’s just hope they don’t hit anything on the way, otherwise £1.7bn worth of nothing thank you very much.
this was the most expensive scientific load launched from French Guiana.
Orbit correction

March 07, 2009

some videos

Launch of the Kepler telescope: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7929831.stm

and here is the disastrous launch of the CO2 mission: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7908724.stm
It reminds me of another mission in which the cover did not open up and the mission was dead….. i can’t remember, but if i do – i’ll post more details. hmmmm, i am pretty sure it was a telescope….

Vlad.

P.S. sorry for being a bit quiet at time, but final report is a matter of priority for now :)


February 23, 2009

Hidden order is solved

Writing about web page http://www.teknat.uu.se/cms/en//node427?typ=pm&dokid=501

it’s been around for 24 years, but it is only now scientists at Uppsala uni were able to give a comprehensive microscopic explanation to the problem of hidden order.

you can read the paper published in Nature Materials : http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmat2395.html (click “Full Text” button to your right)


February 21, 2009

some news

1. the most powerful gamma-ray burst had been recorded by Fermi telescope. gas trains supposedly moved at 99.9999% of c . there was also longest delay between highest and lowest energy emissions of about 5 sec. different mechanisms are thought to be responsible for these emissions. more here
GRB 080916C X-ray afterglow
2. astrophysicists from Leicester uni are following comet Lulin as it gets closer to our planet. the comet is of a green colour due to its atmosphere’s components – poisonous cyanogen and diatomic carbon. the comet will be visible to the naked eye, so watch out for it! more here
Grren comet
3. scientists from Gutenberg Universitat have measured one-neutron halo using laser techniques for the first time. More here
one-neutron halo
4. exploration. NASA and Chamber of Commerce (US) will hold a workshop concerned with current advancements in Lunar Surface Systems to support lifeforms and robots. we are going to watch out for the news from the workshop when it opens on the 25th this month. more here
LSS

February 18, 2009

Diamonds are forever

Writing about web page http://www.sandia.gov/news/resources/releases/2009/neptune.html

Researchers in New Mexico at Sandia Labs have achieved triple point at which solid diamond, liquid carbon and all illusive (until now) solid carbon ( bc8 ). the study of this phenomenon has implications in the astrophysics and first in the queue is Neptune. Its atmospheric pressure essentially creates conditions in which methane (CH4) decomposes into its components, leaving liquid carbon to conduct electricity. therefore, this affects the way in which magnetic field of the planet is generated and transformed with subsequent creation and growth of new areas of liquid carbon.

In other related news, carbon films are used in detection of particles as the result of interaction between solar winds and interstellar space. more here


February 17, 2009

More problems for LHC

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7893689.stm

All of the £5bn spent on the LHC may go down the drain as the FermiLab reports its intention to discover God’s particle first, following delay to fire-up LHC in mid-summer this year.
Everything was put on halt two weeks after initial warm up runs due to this:
Damaged magnet
Tevatron (FermiLab) has up to 96% chance of finding Higg’s boson first, in which case those behind £5bn spend at CERN may get into trouble. We hope that European mission comes on top despite all recent drawbacks.
Tevatron

Although, to me it all looks suspicious! A forgotten spanner between electrical connections? Helium leaks? Maybe, just maybe certain moles are responsible for it??!! Let’s wait and see if FermiLab accelerator will
experience “some” problems of its own.

V.


February 12, 2009

life on Mars

Writing about web page http://www.liebertpub.com/prdetails.aspx?pr_id=693

how cool would that be if we came from one of the hot springs on Mars????
spiders are said to travel through inter-stellar space and a few years ago virii were supposedly traveling towards Earth from … Mars. Is there (however tiny) chance of a hot spring sending a couple of cells over to Earth?
it may all be just a theory, but scientists in charge of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are saying that some life forms might have evolved around these hot springs just as it does on Earth. next missions to Mars are likely to look for and study such places of interest.

for those who like to discuss climate change, here is something to think about: blogspot

EDITED:
ha, here is another one :)
Illegal Martians


UCD galaxies

Writing about web page http://www.ras.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1556&Itemid=2

astrophysicists from Germany have concluded that in the early universe stars which made up UCDs (Ultra Compact Dwarf galaxies) were 1000 times closer to each other than the relative distances to nearest stars from our solar system.
it does not come as a surprise though that the UCDs have greater mass than spectroscopy might suggest, i.e. massive black holes might be the key to this problem. it is quite an accurate suggestion as the stars were packed so close that they would form more massive stars that would burn out of hydrogen much quicker, ending their lives as supernovae. the remnants of these great explosions are the neutron stars or black holes yet closely packed inside of the space which is 1/1000th of the size of our Milky Way.

follow the link for more details,

Vlad.


space crash

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7885051.stm

quick release:- two communication satellites that of US and Russia have recently collided and completely destroyed each other. it is said to be the first incident of this kind in the history of mankind.
the impact created space-debris and is yet to be fully evaluated by scientists in the US. why are the Russians not bothered? – simply because their spacecraft had gone past its life-cycle limit and was out of operation on the day of collision.

Vlad.


1,000 movies on my USB pen–drive????

Writing about web page http://live.psu.edu/story/37562

Plasmonics is set to give superhigh speeds and comparatively small-sized circuits that will drive our computers 1000’s times faster than today. it is an optimistic call following spintronics’ recent achievements creating faster and more reliable drives.
will it be under-funded spintronics of the UK or an over-enthusiastic plasmonics of the US that will pave the way to a new world of high-end computing?

Plasmonics vs Spintronics

Vlad.


February 10, 2009

The end of days has been postponed again

LHC should resume its work in November this year. this day has been moved once again since the faulty electric soldering had caused £14m worth of repairs.
it’s been said that all of the super-conducting magnets will be removed, some for cleaning and other for repairs.
here is an educated guess – there should be another commotion in the newspapers regarding the end of days . Last time newspapers got it wrong because the thing (LHC) had broken down :)

Vlad.


February 07, 2009

phase transition of the glass

Writing about web page http://research.nottingham.ac.uk/NewsReviews/newsDisplay.aspx?id=545

physicists at the university of Nottingham made another step toward explaining the new kind of transition between molten glass and its solid state.
the difficulty arises from the fact that the atomic structure is similar in both states. scientists run some computer simulations to determine differences in properties of the flowing glass and its hard counterpart.
Glass blowing
the art and industry of glass blowing had been known for many centuries but it is only now we make first steps in understanding the phenomenon.

Vlad.


February 05, 2009

There are 361 species of intelligent aliens

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7870562.stm

Wow, that’s been a long time since anyone wrote anything here, so i am going to kick off this year with a bit of alien news.

“why during the last million years no one got in touch with the Blue planet since there are so many of them?” – Ben S.
and that’s a good question. What exactly do you call an intelligible alien? Some argue that if we meet these aliens then we should not be having any difficulties in communicating with them (here). Or whether intelligence is to do with the choices we make related to our survival = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens_(film)
Scottish scientist had determined this by simulating various scenarios that would affect the way we “quantify our ignorance

Whatever the answer to this question is, one thing remains true – we have to sit and wait.

Vlad.


December 18, 2008

When Communicating Science goes wrong

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7788638.stm

Beeeeagles can't fly.... or can they?feeling bad for miscalculation is one thing, but explaining to the board of advisers why your experiment went under is quite another…

At the end of 2003 Beagle 2 had been released by the Mars Express ship into Martian atmosphere. Contact was lost and the probe was never recovered. A number of reasons were suggested but the most prominent of all was the misjudged atmosphere. New study (those of simulated nature) re-assessed possible fates of the Beagle. Calculations are to be compared to the new report and therefore nothing can be drawn out of it at the moment. a lot of explaining has to be done.

perhaps the miscalculation was in the fact that beagles can’t fly ;)

cheerio,

Vlad.

more of Beagle mission: here


December 17, 2008

NASA's shuttle

perhaps the best picture of the shuttle this year!?

Flying home


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