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Archive for July 20, 2011

Hubble Telescope Finds Adorably Tiny Fourth Moon Orbiting Pluto

July 20, 2011 Comments off

popsci

Pluto’s New Moon NASA

Peering at Pluto in preparations for a satellite visit in 2015, the Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a fourth moon orbiting the dwarf planet. The wee moon doesn’t even have a name yet — it’s called P4 for now — and its estimated diameter is between 8 and 21 miles.

That’s right, Hubble spotted something the size of a city from a distance of more than 3 billion miles away.

Pluto’s new moon is smaller than the dwarf planet’s other companions; the big one, Charon, is 648 miles across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter, according to NASA. Hubble discovered those moons back in 2005.

P4 is located between the orbits of Nix and Hydra. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 ultraviolet visible instrument, which was installed on the telescope’s final servicing missiontwo years ago, first picked it up on June 28, and then confirmed it in follow-up pictures taken July 3 and July 18. It may appear as a faint smudge in images from 2006, NASA reports, but no one noticed because it was too obscured. This recent set of Read more…

CERN ‘gags’ physicists about role of cosmic rays in climate change

July 20, 2011 Comments off

theextinctionprotocol.wordpress

July 20, 2011 – DENMARK – The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation. CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment. “I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to Read more…

US Spy Drone Shot Down by Iran

July 20, 2011 Comments off

farsnews

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian legislator confirmed earlier reports saying that a US drone has been shot down by Iran over Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in the Central Qom province.
Member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari said on Tuesday that the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Air Defense units brought it down.

The official stated that the US drone was on a mission to identify the location of the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant and gather information about the nuclear facility for the CIA, Dafsari stated.

Earlier this year, a senior Iranian military official had Read more…

Rapid Greenland Glacial Melt Shown By ESA Satellite

July 20, 2011 Comments off

nanopatentsandinnovations

Some of the last images from ESA’s ERS-2 satellite have revealed rapidly changing glacial features in Greenland. In its final days, the veteran satellite gave us frequent views of the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier and its advancing ice stream.

Kangerdlugssuaq ice stream
Kangerdlugssuaq ice stream
Credit: ESA

Before it retired on 6 July, ESA’s ERS-2 Earth observation satellite entered an orbit to capture radar images of the same area on the ground every three days, rather than its previous 35-day cycle.

Images of the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier in eastern Greenland taken from March to May 2011 show that the ice stream was Read more…

Mount Etna Volcano Erupts

July 20, 2011 1 comment

irishweatheronline

Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, erupted on Tuesday night resulting in the closure of the island’s main airport at Catania.

This is the sixth time that Mount Etna, which is popular among tourists, has erupted in 2011.

The last eruption occurred on Saturday. Italian officials had since said the 11,000-foot-tall volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, had calmed down after a week of activity.

Residents in surrounding areas had been warned however, that the Sicilian volcano might have fallen back into a short-lived slumber and Read more…

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Iran’s acceleration of its nuclear programme angers the west

July 20, 2011 Comments off

guardian

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspecting the Natanz nuclear plant

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, inspects the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran. Photograph: Iran’s Presidency Office Handout/EPA

Western capitals have reacted angrily to an announcement by Iran that it is installing more advanced centrifuges in a uranium enrichment plant with the aim of accelerating its nuclear programme.

“The installation of new centrifuges with better quality and speed is ongoing,” Ramin Mehmanparast, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters at his weekly press briefing.

“We have announced it and the agency [the International Atomic Energy Agency] has full supervision of them. They are fully aware that Iran’s peaceful nuclear activity continues to progress. This is another Read more…

NSA Is Building An Artificial Intelligence System That Can Read Minds

July 20, 2011 Comments off

businessinsider

The NSA is working on a computer system that can predict what people are thinking.

“Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL. The system can answer the question, ‘What does X think about Y?'”

These are the words of an unnamed researcher who discussed an amazing artificial intelligence system she was building at the NSA.

It sounds like something right out of science fiction — a system that can literally read thoughts like a magician.

It’s called “Aquaint” (Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence), and PBS’s James Bamford takes a stab at explaining how it works:

“As more and more data is collected — through phone calls, credit card receipts, Read more…