November 2007

Exoplanets: Where Will We Be by 2020?

November 19, 2007

Where will we be in the exoplanet hunt by the year 2020? A few of my own guesses would take this form: We should, within even the next year or two, have detected a terrestrial world in a truly unambiguous position within the habitable zone of a star. That star will doubtless be a red […]

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Planet Formation in the Pleiades

November 17, 2007

I’ve always enjoyed Lynette Cook’s work. As you can see in the image below, this space artist captures the drama of celestial events by drawing on recent findings. Like Chesley Bonestell, Cook can take you to an exotic place and leave you staring, but her focus is tighter, homing in on exoplanets as filtered through […]

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A Technological Civilization by Night

November 16, 2007

Rosetta makes its reappearance at just the right time for me. The spacecraft, making its second Earth swing-by on November 13, will use its gravity assists past Earth and Mars to reach Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, deploying a lander onto the nucleus and spending two years orbiting the comet. The close approach produced the memorable […]

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Reflections on Space Policy in Washington

November 15, 2007

About the only thing that went wrong on my Washington DC trip (noted earlier here) was having to fight a persistent head cold and trying to avoid shaking hands with our eminent panelists so as not to contaminate them (I want these guys healthy, and working!). But the fates smiled Wednesday morning when I moderated […]

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The Milky Way as a Garden

November 14, 2007

By Larry Klaes Tau Zero journalist Larry Klaes looks at Jon Lomberg’s stunning Galaxy Garden in Hawaii. Lomberg told Larry that working on the garden had made him appreciate on a primal level just how many objects there are in even a ‘small’ section of the Milky Way. So there’s one answer to the Fermi […]

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On the Road: Space Policy in DC

November 13, 2007

“The Future of the Vision for Space Exploration” is the title of a panel I’ll be moderating tomorrow in Washington DC. In fact, by the time you read this, I should be in transit and looking forward to renewing several good friendships. It’s the first session of the Seed/Schering-Plough Science + Society breakfast series, taking […]

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The Origin of High-Energy Cosmic Rays?

November 12, 2007

We have much to learn about cosmic rays but the basics seem established. They are protons and subatomic particles including the nuclei of atoms like hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen or iron. Low-energy cosmic rays are known to come from the Sun and presumably other stars, while medium-energy cosmic rays can be explained through stellar explosions. […]

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Notes & Queries 11/10/07

November 10, 2007

When we think interstellar, the possibility of a sudden breakthrough offering quick travel — Epsilon Eridani in an afternoon — often dominates the debate. But the second path to the stars is the more gradual migration approach that Gregory Matloff, Les Johnson and the artist C Bangs talk about in their Living Off the Land […]

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The Sun and its Stellar Twins

November 9, 2007

If you’re looking for an analog to the Sun, you have to do more than find a solitary G-class star. Three stars markedly like the Sun — 18 Scorpius, HD 98618, and HIP 100963 — still differ in having several times more lithium than our star. Figuring out whether the low amount of lithium is […]

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28th Carnival of Space Online

November 9, 2007

Emily Lakdawalla is hosting the 28th Carnival of Space at her Planetary Society weblog, a compilation including plenty of coverage on Comet Holmes, the unusually active object that, New Scientist opines, may have suffered a collision with an asteroid. Intriguing speculation, though Centauri Dreams readers will probably find Music of the Spheres‘ entry on 55 […]

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