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Monthly Archives: December 2011

 
09
Dec 2011

(Belated) countdown to 12/9/2011

POSTED BY: S. DOMAGAL-GOLDMAN
 
Due to my hectic AGU/Kepler schedule I’ve been unable to post until now… so I’m going to avoid news stories and instead focus on the things I learned at AGU this week. 3. Like hollywood, planetary atmospheric modeling is all about 3-D these days. We held a session on planetary atmospheres, and it was filled with 3-D models for Mars, Venus, the Archean Earth, snowball planets, exoplanets… and even Titan and Pluto! This is exciting because it means we can....
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06
Dec 2011

Kepler 22b: Super-Earth, Super-Venus, Warm Neptune, or Maybe Something Unimaginable

POSTED BY: S. DOMAGAL-GOLDMAN
 
In the middle of a crazy week at AGU, I finally had a “free” hour with which to watch the Kepler press conference on Kepler 22b. I have to say, the they really did an *outstanding* job. This goes both for the science contained in the announcement, and the announcement itself. The one wish I have is that they’d stop using equilibrium temperature as the metric they use to bound the habitable zone, but I totally understand why they’re doing....
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05
Dec 2011

Exoplanets, supermassive blackholes and Higgs…Countdown to 12/6/11

POSTED BY: DIMITRA ATRI
 
4. Exoplanet detected in the habitable zone! Kepler mission recently found an exoplanet, Kepler-22b right in the middle of the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. For some reason, I am unable to access the Kepler mission’s website at this moment, but here is a description. I must mention that at present there is not enough information to call it an Earth-like planet, contrary to what several media outlets are reporting. Video of the press release can be found here.....
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02
Dec 2011

Countdown to 12/3/11

POSTED BY: ARIELANBAR
 
5. Silent for too many moments. Hope fades for Phobos-Grunt (but check out these remarkable photos by an amateur astronomer). 4. Are you ready for a closeup? Nifty new radar images of the south polar regions of Enceladus, source of water geysers. 3. Calling Carl Sagan fans. A brilliant and loving parody. The long lost episode of Cosmos: The Meat Planet (embedded below). 2. Arsenic update. Today, Dec. 2, is the one-year anniversary of the online publication of the “arsenic....
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01
Dec 2011

Countdown to 12/2/2011…

POSTED BY: S. DOMAGAL-GOLDMAN
 
3… MSL is on course! How “on course” is it? Ask Louis D’Amario (MSL’s mission design and navigation manager): This was among the most accurate interplanetary injections ever. Sounds good to me! 2… MSL is having some issues, or at least had some pre-launch that are now becoming public. Specifically, some planetary protection protocols were not followed. While this may not affect MSL’s mission because of the choice of landing locations (likely lifeless) and the other protocols that *were* followed,....
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