Science Fiction Symposium at Gresham College

15 December, 2007

Gresham College in London has announced a afternoon symposium to discuss science fiction as a literary genre.  It takes place on 8th May 2008 and features the keynote speaker Neal Stephenson.  See you there!

 

Further details can be found here.


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Planetary scientists close in on Saturn’s elusive rotation

12 December, 2007

Somewhere deep below Saturn’s cloud tops, the planet rotates at a constant speed. Determining this interior period of rotation has proven extremely complicated. Now, with new Cassini results, a team of European scientists have taken an important step forward.

 

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Tags: Saturn
 

Mars Express watches a dust storm engulf Mars

11 December, 2007

This summer, Mars suffered a titanic dust storm that engulfed the entire planet. The dust storm contributed to a temporary warming effect around Mars, which raised the temperature of the atmosphere by around 20-30°C.

 

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UK pulls out of key physics and astronomy projects

08 December, 2007

The UK is pulling out of a number of physics and astronomy projects as a result of the cost of running large new physics facilities. Researchers in the UK say the cuts will discourage students from pursuing careers in the physical sciences.

 

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An X-Ray Santa Claus in Orion

30 November, 2007

Right in time for the festive season, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has discovered a huge cloud of high-temperature gas resting in a spectacular nearby star-forming region and shaped somewhat like the silhouette of Santa Claus.

 

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Venus Express

28 November, 2007

Venus Express Mission Results
Venus Express has been making the most detailed study of the planet’s thick and complex atmosphere to date. The latest findings highlight the features that make Venus unique in the Solar System and provide fresh clues as to how the planet is - despite everything - a more Earth-like planetary neighbour than one could have imagined.

 

Venus: Earth’s twin planet?
ESA’s Venus Express has revealed Venus as never before. For the first time, scientists are able to investigate from the top of its atmosphere, down nearly to the surface. They have shown it to be a planet of surprises that may once have been more Earth-like, and still is, to a certain extent.

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The unexpected temperature profile of Venus’s atmosphere
Venus has a rich and complicated atmosphere - the densest of all the rocky planets – that is the key to understanding the planet itself. Venus Express, designed to perform an extensive investigation of the atmosphere, has revealed surprising details about its temperature structure.

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Caught in the wind from the Sun
Venus Express has exposed the true extent to which the Sun strips away the atmosphere of Venus. This process could be an important contribution to the way the planet has evolved to become so different from the Earth.

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Climate and Evolution
Today, Venus is a hellish place of high temperatures and crushing air pressure. Venus Express is showing that this was not always the case. Instead, some time in the past, Venus was probably much more Earth-like and contained large quantities of water.

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