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Showing posts from July 1, 2010

Birth of the Milky Way: Astronomers Glimpse at Earliest Phases of Our Home Galaxy

Birth of the Milky Way: Astronomers Glimpse at Earliest Phases of Our Home Galaxy
ScienceDaily — For the first time, a team of astronomers has succeeded in investigating the earliest phases of the evolutionary history of our home Galaxy, the Milky Way. The scientists, from the Argelander Institute for Astronomy at Bonn University and the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, deduce that the early Galaxy went from smooth to clumpy in just a few hundred million years.
The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Led by Professor Dr. Pavel Kroupa, the researchers looked at the spherical groups of stars (globular clusters) that lie in the halo of the Milky Way, outside the more familiar spiral arms where the Sun is found. They each contain hundreds of thousands of stars and are thought to have formed at the same time as the 'proto-Galaxy' that eventually evolved into the Galaxy we see today.
Globular star clusters can be t…

Introducing Robofish: Leading the Crowd in Studying Group Dynamics

Introducing Robofish: Leading the Crowd in Studying Group DynamicsScienceDaily — University of Leeds scientists have created the first convincing robotic fish that shoals will accept as one of their own. The innovation opens up new possibilities for studying fish behaviour and group dynamics, which provides useful information to support freshwater and marine environmental management, to predict fish migration routes and assess the likely impact of human intervention on fish populations.
"We've proven it's possible to use robotic fish to study relationships between individuals and shoal dynamics as well as the behaviour of individual fish," says PhD student Jolyon Faria who led the experiments. "In the past, we had to watch a shoal and change environmental conditions to see how that affected behaviour. Because the robotic fish is accepted by the shoal, we can use it to control one or several individuals, which allows us to study quite complex situations such as ag…

NASA's FASTSAT Satellite Readies for Shipment to Alaska

NASA's FASTSAT Satellite Readies for Shipment to Alaska
ScienceDaily — NASA has successfully completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review of the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, a small, microsatellite class spacecraft bus that will carry six experiment payloads to low-Earth orbit.
The pre-shipment review was completed in May, demonstrating the flight hardware has successfully passed all environmental and performance tests and is authorized for shipment to the launch site for final integration on the Minotaur IV launch vehicle, built and operated by Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va.
Engineers will pack the satellite into a shipping container for delivery in early July to the launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska. FASTSAT is scheduled to launch no earlier than Sept. 1, 2010.

Mission operations for FASTSAT and all six experiments will be managed from the newly configured small satellite control room at the Huntsville Operations and Science Control Center a…

Hunting Weapon 10,000 Years Old Found in Melting Ice Patch

Hunting Weapon 10,000 Years Old Found in Melting Ice Patch
ScienceDaily - To the untrained eye, University of Colorado at Boulder Research Associate Craig Lee's recent discovery of a 10,000-year-old wooden hunting weapon might look like a small branch that blew off a tree in a windstorm.
Nothing could be further from the truth, according to Lee, a research associate with CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research who found the atlatl dart, a spear-like hunting weapon, melting out of an ice patch high in the Rocky Mountains close to Yellowstone National Park.
Lee, a specialist in the emerging field of ice patch archaeology, said the dart had been frozen in the ice patch for 10 millennia and that climate change has increased global temperatures and accelerated melting of permanent ice fields, exposing organic materials that have long been entombed in the ice.
"We didn't realize until the early 2000s that there was a potential to find archaeological materials in as…