Thursday, 31 January 2013

Astronomical Calendar: 2013 February

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (Source: Wikipedia.org )

Astronomical Calendar for 2013 February:

Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2013.html#feb

The current month's Astronomical Calendar can also be found on the cover page of the History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh web site at this link:

Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrocal

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Space Shuttle Columbia Teaches After 2003 Tragedy

Space shuttle Columbia's second life - as a cautionary tale

The space shuttle Columbia lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, reflected in salt marsh swamps surrounding the pad in this file photo from January 16, 2003. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary since the orbiter broke apart in the skies over Texas, killing the crew of seven astronauts. Columbia broke up as it re-entered the atmosphere because of damage to the leading edge of the left wing. REUTERS-Pierre DuCharme-Files

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida | Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:55pm EST
 
(Reuters) - Space shuttle Columbia's flying days came to an abrupt and tragic end on February 1, 2003, when a broken wing gave way, dooming the seven astronauts aboard.
Although Columbia now lies in pieces, its mission is not over.

The recovered wreckage, painstakingly retrieved from Texas and Louisiana for months after the accident, was preserved for a unique archive and education program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

More - Link >>> http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/31/us-space-shuttle-memorial-idUSBRE90U14F20130131

Source: Reuters Wire Service.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Nuclear Advisory Panel: Shutdown Last U.S. Collider

Decelerating American Physics: Panel Advises Shutdown of Last U.S. Collider

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is first in line for possible budget cutbacks
RHIC STAR detector 

LAST SMASH? A computer rendering shows the aftermath of a collision of gold ions inside the STAR detector at the RHIC collider, now threatened by tightening budgets.Image: BNL

In a narrowly decided vote, an advisory panel to federal nuclear science agencies has recommended closing a particle collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., rather than eliminating other costly facilities. The reason: federal budget woes are hitting all types of government funding from classroom education to highway repair.

At a meeting this week of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, physicist Robert Tribble of Texas A&M University in College Station unveiled the findings of an effort he led to identify priorities for an increasingly frugal U.S. nuclear science program. From the outset of the Tribble panel’s investigation, it appeared that one of three major projects would face elimination, and on January 28 Tribble announced that Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider, or RHIC, had drawn the short straw.

More - Link >>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=tribble-panel-rhic-closure&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20130131

Source: Scientific American Magazine.

Related Blog Post --

Historic Westinghouse Van de Graaff 'Atom Smasher' At Risk (2013 Jan. 30):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/historic-westinghouse-van-de-graaff.html


gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

South Korea Launches First Civilian Rocket

Wed, Jan 30 2013

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) or Naro, South Korea's space rocket is launched on the launch pad at Naro Space Centre in Goheung, about 485 km (301 miles) south of Seoul January 30, 2013 in this picture taken by Yonhap. REUTERS-Seo Myong-gon-Yonhap 

SEOUL | Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:38pm EST
 
(Reuters) - South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday amid heightened regional tensions, caused in part, by North Korea's successful launch of its own rocket last month.

It was South Korea's third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite in orbit in the past four years and came after two previous launches were aborted at the eleventh hour last year due to technical glitches.


More - Link >>> http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/us-korea-rocket-idUSBRE90T0A320130130

Source: Reuters Wire Service.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Historic Westinghouse Van de Graaff 'Atom Smasher' At Risk

A smash in the old days, nuclear relic seeks savior

File:WestinghouseAtomSmasher.jpg 

Historic 1937, 5-million-volt Westinghouse Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator and Particle Accelerator "Atom Smasher," located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills. (Photo Sources: Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Wikipedia.org )

 

January 20, 2013 12:07 am
Anybody want a used atom smasher?

The old Westinghouse smasher has stood at the edge of Forest Hills since 1937. It's five stories tall, looks a bit like a silver light bulb with a big W on two sides, and you can glimpse the top of it from Ardmore Boulevard below if you know where to look. (Look up to the east when you're near Vincent's Pizza, but be quick about it. You're supposed to be looking at the road.)

This thing hasn't smashed an atom since 1958, but a Washington developer says he just paid CBS six figures for it and the 11 surrounding acres, the heart of it fenced off with barbed wire. Gary Silversmith, who'd like to see apartments at the site, hasn't any particular use for the nation's first Van de Graaff nuclear generator. So, gentle reader, do you know anyone who does?

"I'd love to save the atom smasher,'' Mr. Silversmith said, "to find either a user who'd use it at the site or find somebody to move it. I haven't had any luck yet.''

This was the maiden testing ground for the industrial application of nuclear physics, the go-to place for bombarding target atoms with a beam of high-energy particles -- but all fame is fleeting.

More - Link >>> http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/brian-oneill/a-smash-in-the-old-days-nuclear-relic-seeks-savior-671160/

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Special Thanks: Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University.

Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator Demonstration at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#vandegraaff

Related Blog Post --

Nuclear Advisory Panel: Shutdown Last U.S. Collider (2013 Jan. 31):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/nuclear-advisory-panel-shutdown-last-us.html


gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

2nd International Space Apps Challenge Launched by NASA






WASHINGTON -- NASA and government agencies worldwide will host the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20-21, with events across all seven continents and in space.

Participants are encouraged to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

The two-day event will provide an opportunity for government to harness the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of citizen explorers to help address global challenges. During the event, representatives of NASA and other international space agencies will gather with scientists and participants to use publicly released open data to create solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. Challenges selected to be worked on during the event will be published online prior to the event.

More - Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jan/HQ_13-034_Space_Apps_Challenge.html

Source: NASA.

More Citizen Science Projects:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/citizenscience.html

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Amateur Astronomers Use Microlensing to Find Exo-Planets

Amateurs Help Discover Multiple-Planet System

Amateur astronomers perform a crucial role in detecting exoplanets by a technique called microlensing, including the most recent discovery of a multiple-planet system.

Microlensing planet
Microlensing is ideal for finding planets orbiting outside the snow line. This artist's concept shows the first planet discovered via microlensing, a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting a red dwarf star at least 10,000 light-years away from the Sun.
NASA / JPL-Caltech.
Earlier this month the Kepler mission announced yet another bevy of new exoplanet candidates, their list now stretching 2,740 candidates long. But Kepler’s not the only planet-hunter on the scene. A less splashy study reported in January 10th’s Astrophysical Journal heralded the second multiple-planet system discovered by microlensing, a technique that makes good use of amateur astronomers’ skills and dedicated telescope time.

To find a planet by microlensing, planet-hunters closely monitor millions of stars in the Milky Way’s busy bulge. When a foreground object, usually a star, passes between, it acts as a lens, momentarily magnifying the light from the background star. If the lens is a simple foreground star, the background star brightens and fades in a characteristic pattern, but a planet orbiting the foreground star will add a secondary spike. Only amateurs can dedicate near-continuous coverage to capture the light curve’s details.

More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Amateurs-Help-Discover-Second-Multiple-Planet-System-188844821.html

Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tue. Night: NASA Rocket Light Show over U.S. East Coast

NASA Rocket to Spark Light Show Over US East Coast Tonight

Date: 29 January 2013 Time: 10:58 AM ET
ATREX Trimethyl Aluminum Clouds
Two of the clouds left in the wake of the ATREX experiment shine on March 27, 2012. The rockets released trimethyl aluminum, a substance that burns spontaneously in the presence of oxygen.
CREDIT: NASA/Wallops Flight Facility
NASA will launch a rocket tonight (Jan. 29) on a mission that promises to put on a spectacular, albeit brief, light show over the U.S. East Coast that may be visible to stargazers along the Atlantic Seaboard, weather permitting.

Unsuspecting observers of the artificial night sky display may be puzzled and amazed, so before you make that phone call to your local media outlet or police station, here is why this is happening and when you might see it.

The bright phenomenon will be caused by an experiment aboard a NASA sounding rocket. As part the mission, the rocket will release a chemical tracer that should create two bright, red-colored lithium vapor trails in space that may be seen by observers across the mid-Atlantic region, and possibly from even further away.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/19521-nasa-rocket-night-sky-lights-launch.html

Source: Space.com .

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, 28 January 2013

Space Station Research Ideas Wanted by NASA

NASA Solicits Ideas for International Space Station Research

 
 
WASHINGTON -- NASA wants to know how you can improve the International Space Station as a technology test bed.

NASA's International Space Station National Laboratory and Technology Demonstration offices are asking for proposals on how the space station may be used to develop advanced or improved exploration technologies. NASA also is seeking proposals about how new approaches, technologies and capabilities could improve the unique laboratory environment of the orbiting outpost.

The annoucement will provide successful proposers access to the space station's microgravity environment, crew support and robotic servicing. It closes Sept. 30. 

More - Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jan/HQ_13-033_ISS_Tech_NRA.html

Source: NASA.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

'Mission Impossible' Self-Destructing Devices Sought by DARPA

US Military Wants 'Mission Impossible' Self-Destructing Devices

Date: 28 January 2013 Time: 02:05 PM ET
Technews-daily
Ground Sensor Networks
An Army Evaluation Task Force Soldier at Fort Bliss conducts training with an unattended ground sensor. Future sensors could be smaller and vanish upon command.
CREDIT: U.S. Army

Self-destructing tapes from the "Mission Impossible" TV series and films served fictional spies well during the Cold War. Today, the U.S. military wants a modern version of vanishing electronics that are able to disappear upon command in the environment or a human body.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for such spy craft technology at a time when swarms of electronic sensors and communication devices already help U.S. troops hunt enemies, keep track of friendly forces and monitor threats from nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Futuristic electronics able to self-destruct upon command would help prevent devices from falling into enemy hands and littering the environment.

More - Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/26641-military-self-destructing-devices.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+%28LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed%29

Sources: TechNewsDaily.com , LiveScience.com .

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Science & Lifting of Ban on Women in Combat











(Photo Source: USNavySeals.com )

In World War II, the creation of the WAVES and WAC first allowed women to officially serve in non-medical roles in the United States Armed Forces. However, a decision this-past week will finally allow women to officially fight in combat zones, no later than New Year's Day of 2016.

On January 24,  U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that the 1994 rule that kept women from being assigned to ground combat units would be eliminated.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff modified the 1994 rule last February, opening up more than 14,000 military positions to women. "Subsequently, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reviewed the 1994 Direct Combat Definition and Assignment Rule and they now propose a way forward that will fully integrate women without compromising our readiness, morale, or war-fighting capacity," according to Secretary Panetta's official memorandum.

Public controversy has restricted the role of military women until now. However, scientists have stated that many women are just as capable as men in combat roles.

"US Military to Lift Ban on Women in Combat: Report  (Source: LiveScience.com ):
Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/26524-women-combat-military.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+%28LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed%29 

Defense Secretary Memorandum Regarding Elimination of 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule (Source: U.S  Department of Defense):
Link >>> http://www.defense.gov/news/WISRJointMemo.pdf

"Traditional 'Sexist' Beliefs Keep Women from Combat, Scientists Say" (Source: LiveScience.com ):
Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/18437-women-military-sexist.html

"Women in Combat As Resilient As Men, Study Finds" (Source: WBUR-FM 90.9, Boston University):
Link >>> http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/06/women-in-combat-as-resilient-as-men-study-finds

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Laser Weapon Funding from Science Fiction Book?

// by TechNewsDaily
A 'Dragon Empire' book depicting a future war between China and U.S. allies aims to help fund a laser-powered EMP weapon in real life.
Adam Weigold | Lightning Gun, Inc.

Can a science fiction book's sales fund development of a futuristic laser weapon? A physicist hopes to find out with his "Dragon Empire" book that envisions such a weapon helping to fend off a Chinese invasion during a future war.

The Dragon Empire book imagines how lasers, hypersonic missiles, stealth aircraft and satellite weapons might influence a huge war between China, the United States and U.S. allies in 2025. But the book's real purpose is to help fund Lightning Gun Inc., a startup aimed at making laser weapons capable of knocking out guided missiles with electronics-disabling electromagnetic pulses (EMPs).

"I never had a good idea for an entire fiction book until I started to realize that if directed energy weapons did nullify the effect of guided missile technology, then all of warfare would be changed -- especially strategy and tactics," said Adam Weigold, founder and CEO of Lightning Gun Inc.

Weigold hopes to raise $20,000 on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter to get professional editing and marketing for the book's planned release in November. The book's sales would ideally represent one way for Lightning Gun to fund large-scale laser experiments by raising $2 million over the next few years.

More - Link >>> http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/science-fiction-fund-real-weapon-130115.htm

Sources: TechNewsDaily.com , Discovery Channel News.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Friday, 25 January 2013

Dark Matter & Dark Energy: New Theories & Research

Revolutionary Theory of Dark Matter

Jan. 24, 2013 — The universe abounds with dark matter. Nobody knows what it consists of. University of Oslo physicists have now come up with a mathematical explanation that could solve the mystery once and for all.

 
Looking for dark matter. Professor Are Raklev has launched a mathematical model that explains what dark matter may consist of. (Credit: Yngve Vogt)
Astrophysicists have known for the last 80 years that most of the universe consists of an unknown, dark matter. The solution to the mystery may now be just around the corner.

"We are looking for a new member of our particle zoo in order to explain dark matter. We know that it is a very exotic beast. And we have found a plausible explanation," reports Are Raklev, an associate professor in particle physics in the University of Oslo's Department of Physics to the research magazine Apollon.  He is the university's leading theorist in astroparticle physics and has launched a model that explains what dark matter may consist of and how one can discover the invisible particles experimentally.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124091545.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Sources: University of Oslo, ScienceDaily.com .

Dwarf planet Eris may reveal quantum gravity 

Eris eyes up its next victim <i>(Image: Nasa/SPL)</i>

Eris eyes up its next victim (Image: Nasa/SPL)
KILLING Pluto was only the beginning. The dwarf planet Eris, named for the Greek goddess of strife, could also bring down the most popular explanations for dark matter and dark energy.

Many galaxies appear to have stronger gravity - and thus more mass - than can be explained by their visible matter alone. Overly massive galaxies are most often attributed to dark matter, an invisible substance that interacts with matter through gravity. To date, though, no one has directly detected dark matter particles.

But a well-established notion in physics could hold another explanation for their size. This says that empty space is really a frothy, turbulent sea full of virtual particles - matter and antimatter that spring in and out of existence so fast that we can't see them.

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729014.500-dwarf-planet-eris-may-reveal-quantum-gravity.html

Source: New Scientist Magazine.


NASA Joins ESA's 'Dark Universe' Mission
WASHINGTON -- NASA has joined the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

Euclid will launch in 2020 and spend six years mapping the locations and measuring the shapes of as many as 2 billion galaxies spread over more than one-third of the sky. It will study the evolution of our universe, and the dark matter and dark energy that influence its evolution in ways that still are poorly understood.

More - Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jan/HQ_13-029_NASA_Joins_Euclid.html

Source: NASA.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Airborne Telescope Prepares for Takeoff

SOFIA
The SOFIA aircraft in NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California, being prepared for science flights to start in the next several months. (credit: J. Foust)

Air Force Plant 42 may be largely unknown by the general public, but it has a long and storied history in aerospace circles. Located in Palmdale, California, in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles and south of Edwards Air Force Base, Plant 42 is a government-owned airfield that hosts, or has adjacent to it, manufacturing facilities for several aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. During the Cold War, these facilities built a number of famous aircraft, from the SR-71 to the B-2. Plant 42’s Site 1 was where Rockwell (now part of Boeing) assembled all the Space Shuttle orbiters, from Enterprise to Endeavour.


On the opposite side of Plant 42 from Site 1 is Site 9, which also belonged originally to Rockwell. Here, from the early 1980s through the mid 1990s, the company built and maintained B-1B bombers. Today, Site 9 serves a very different purpose: it’s the home to NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility. The large hangar at Site 9 now houses several aircraft used by the space agency for earth and space science research, from a pair of ER-2 planes (the civilian version of the U-2) to a modified 747 known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.

“NASA got a sweet deal on the lease of this building” when it moved in late in 2007, said Eddie Zavala, SOFIA program manager, during a tour of the hangar earlier this month. (Prior to NASA moving in, he said, the hangar had been used as a soundstage for several films, including The Terminal and one of the installments in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.) “We’ll be in this building for the life of the program, and SOFIA’s lifecycle is estimated to be 20 years.” And that lifecycle, as measured by the beginning of regular science operations, is finally getting underway.

SOFIA is one example of a science project that is simple in concept but dauntingly complex in execution. Ground-based infrared astronomy is hampered by the presence of atmospheric constituents, particularly water vapor, that absorb infrared light. Putting the telescope in space avoids that problem, of course, but an alternative that is nearly as effective as, but less expensive and more flexible than, a spacecraft is to mount a telescope in an aircraft that flies in the stratosphere, above most atmospheric water vapor. NASA has demonstrated this approach with several aircraft, most notably the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), a converted C-141 cargo plane with a 91-centimeter (36-inch) telescope that operated from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s.

More - Link >>> http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2220/1

Source: The Space Review.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kickstarter: Future Space Exploration Film Planned

Newer Logo

The National Space Society (NSS) has just launched a campaign on the popular Kickstarter internet platform for the creation of a cutting-edge film about the ways in which all of humanity benefits from the expansion of space exploration and development. This ground-breaking education initiative, entitled "Our Future in Space" is designed to bring NSS's vision of human beings living and working in space to a broader audience.

"We're very excited to be undertaking this video project," noted Paul E. Damphousse, NSS Executive Director. "It's a chance to create media that accurately and compellingly conveys why the space industry is so important for the U.S. and the world."  

NSS has gathered a stellar team of creative experts to bring the video to life, including Oscar-nominated producer Jeffrey Marvin. Members of the team have worked with some of the biggest stars in film and TV in both the U.S. and Europe, and have a history of space-themed movie creation.

More - Link >>> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/351762534/our-future-in-space-a-national-space-society-video

Source: National Space Society.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Navigate by Stars & Milky Way: 1st for Insects

Joseph Castro, LiveScience Contributor

Date: 24 January 2013 Time: 12:00 PM ET
dung beetle with milky way glow in background
Dung beetles use the glow of the Milky Way galaxy to navigate.
CREDIT: Emily Baird

Despite having tiny brains, dung beetles are surprisingly decent navigators, able to follow straight paths as they roll poo balls they've collected away from a dung source. But it seems the insects' abilities are more remarkable than previously believed. Like ancient seafarers, dung beetles can navigate using the starry sky and the glow from the Milky Way, new research shows.

"This is the first time where we see animals using the Milky Way for orientation," said lead researcher Marie Dacke, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden. "It's also the first time we see that insects can use the stars."

More -
Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/26557-dung-beetles-navigate-stars.html

Source: LiveScience.com .

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

DARPA to Salvage Old Satellite Parts in Orbit

, Jan 23rd 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 10.16.26 AM

There are a ton of dead satellites currently still orbiting the Earth, but certain parts on these satellites often still work, such as antennas and solar panels. However, there’s no method to salvage and reuse these satellite parts once they’re launched into space, but DARPA is looking into it, and has launched a new program specifically for recycling old satellite parts.

DARPA calls its new initiative the Phoenix program, and they’re looking to spend around $180 million to test technologies that will retrieve working parts from dead satellites and use them elsewhere. Essentially, DARPA wants to save money overall, and increase the return on investment with all of its satellites.

More - Link >>> http://www.slashgear.com/darpa-to-breathe-new-life-into-dead-satellites-23266429/

Source: SlashGear.com .

Video: "Pentagon's Mad Scientists Trying to Harvest Dead Satellites" (Source: Newsy.com ):
Link >>> http://www.newsy.com/videos/pentagon-s-mad-scientists-trying-to-harvest-dead-satellites/

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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