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The StarrySkies Network Newsletter

Starry Skies Network
  • Explore Mars with Stargazing Live
  • Chile Inaugurates World’s Most Powerful Space Telescope
  • Is there life on Mars? Why the question still eludes us after years of discovery
  • Monarch Butterfly Population Falls To Record Low, Mexican Scientists Say
  • Cape Cod Storm Damage Seen From Space
  • With NASA Bake Sale, Planetary Fundraisers Go Old School
  • Boulder planetary scientists to shine shoes Saturday to highlight budget cuts
  • Einstein was right, neutrino researchers admit
  • Saturn moon spouts plasma unlike any seen before
  • You’re Invited to Attend the “Save Our Science” Event June 9
  • Editorial: NASA’s future is a future worth funding
  • Future Shock: M31 to Hit Milky Way Head-On
  • Craters serve as a Martian chronicle
  • Aliens calling? Send in the robots!
  • Mars crater shows evidence for climate evolution
  • Some newfound planets are something else
  • Set Phasers to Smash: Shuttle Enterprise Damaged In Transit
  • NASA kills X-ray telescope, blames project’s cost
  • The StarrySkies Network Newsletter

    Sorry about the earlier newsletter without links to the stories, Kathy was having some trouble with the webmail client loading properly. 

    Chuck and Kathy

    With NASA Bake Sale, Planetary Fundraisers Go Old School

    As someone who’s been known to enjoy her cupcakes with a side of science, I was excited to find out about the National Planetary Exploration Car Wash & Bake Sale, coming to a town near you on Saturday, June 9.

    Boulder planetary scientists to shine shoes Saturday to highlight budget cuts

    Some of Boulder’s biggest brains will be on the Pearl Street Mall this weekend — shining shoes.
    Local gurus of the cosmos will join their astro-brethren across the country on Saturday for the “Planetary Car Wash & Bake Sale,” an event organized by Alan Stern, associate vice president of the Southwest Research Institute’s Space Science and Engineering Division in Boulder, to call attention to the deep budget cuts being proposed for NASA’s planetary science program.

    Einstein was right, neutrino researchers admit

    A team of scientists who last year suggested neutrinos could travel faster than light have conceded that Einstein was right and the sub-atomic particles are – like everything else – bound by the universe’s speed limit.

    Saturn moon spouts plasma unlike any seen before

    A NEW form of matter surrounds Saturn – a plasma put there by Enceladus, the planet’s tiny moon.
    “It’s a type of charged particle that has never been observed before,” says Tom Hill of Rice University in Houston, Texas.


    The sardonic proverb “nothing is certain but death and taxes,” can now be recast for the cosmos.
    Last week’s announcement of the inevitable collision of the Andromeda galaxy with the Milky Way is one of only two apocalyptic astronomical predictions that we can be absolutely certain of. The other is the death of our sun. Purely deterministic processes drive both.

    You’re Invited to Attend the “Save Our Science” Event June 9

    You’re invited to attend the “Save Our Science” event for June 9th at the Red Rock Café in Mountain View. Dr. Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, Leader of the Planetary Lakes Lander Team, and other planetary scientists from the SETI Institute will speak about out against the devastating budget cuts proposed by the Obama administration, which threaten the future of solar system exploration and will hurt America’s intellectual talent pool.

    Editorial: NASA’s future is a future worth funding

    Call it giving hand-me-downs to a younger brother, or charity to the needy, but we’re glad to see NASA get some help from the Department of Defense, which donated two unused space telescopes to the cash-strapped space agency (“Defense agency’s junk now NASA jewel,” Page A1, Tuesday).

    Future Shock: M31 to Hit Milky Way Head-On

    Astronomers have long known that the Andromeda Galaxy is headed our way. Now they’ve concluded that it most likely will collide with the Milky Way head-on — with dramatic consequences.

    Craters serve as a Martian chronicle

    In honor of science-fiction legend Ray Bradbury’s passing, here’s a totally non-fictional Martian chronicle: a picture of two craters on the Red Planet that record how the climate has changed over the course of billions of years.

    Aliens calling? Send in the robots!

    If we ever come across traces of an advanced alien civilization like the one featured in “Prometheus,” the new semi-prequel to the “Alien” movie series, our first course of action should not be to send them a shipload of human meat. Instead, send in the robots.

    Mars crater shows evidence for climate evolution

    ESA’s Mars Express has provided images of a remarkable crater on Mars that may show evidence that the planet underwent significant periodic fluctuations in its climate due to changes in its rotation axis.


    Centaurus A, the nearest galaxy to Earth with an active core, has undergone much scrutiny since the discovery of its peculiar shape in 1826. So, it’s pretty amazing when a new telescope comes online and shows us a whole new view of the workings of this complicated galaxy mess.

    Some newfound planets are something else

    When the Kepler spacecraft finds a giant planet closely orbiting a star, there’s a one in three chance that it’s not really a planet at all.

    Set Phasers to Smash: Shuttle Enterprise Damaged In Transit

    It’s often said that when traveling, how you get where you’re going is more important more than where you end up. For the space shuttle Enterprise, its journey to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City is one no one will soon forget as much as they might want to. During its maritime transit, NASA’s first shuttle had its wing clipped.

    NASA kills X-ray telescope, blames project’s cost

    NASA killed a new X-ray telescope mission on Thursday, two years before its planned launch.
    The Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer mission, or GEMS for short, was supposed to blast off in 2014 to study black holes and neutron stars. But external reviews found the project would likely come in considerably over budget.

    Milky Way Cupcakes: A Savior for NASA’s Non-manned Missions?

    Can Milky Way cupcakes, Saturn cake and chocolate chip Opportunity cookies prevent potentially deep cuts to NASA’s space exploration budget?

    U.S. pushes for more global cooperation in space

    The United States wants more global cooperation in space including joint war games and combined operations with allies, and is pushing for data-sharing deals with France, Japan and other countries, a U.S. defense official said in an interview.

    NASA’S Spitzer Finds First Objects Burned Furiously

    The faint, lumpy glow from the very first objects in the universe may have been detected with the best precision yet using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The objects could be wildly massive stars or voracious black holes. They are too far away to be seen individually, but Spitzer has captured new, convincing evidence of what appears to be the collective pattern of their infrared light.

    SpaceX value soars after successful mission to dock at ISS

    Elon Musk has added another $1.4bn to his fortune after backing the first private company to successfully dock a spacecraft with the International Space Station.

    European Re-entry Capsule Grounded after Russia Withdraws Launch Offer

    A European atmospheric-re-entry capsule that was 10 years in development and whose construction has been completed for months may never get off the ground following cancellation of a low-cost launch aboard a converted Russian missile, the capsule’s builders said June 6.

    Asteroid Warning System Would Alert and Educate Public Worldwide

    The nations of the world need to work together to develop a warning and communication system that could mitigate the worst effects of a catastrophic asteroid strike, a new report stresses.

    EU going to outer space to ensure a better place

    The EU officially started on 5 June the multilateral diplomatic process aimed at drafting an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. With the rising level of space activities, the EU took the leading role in ensuring greater security and legal certainty in outer space.

    US warns debris genuine threat to orbital space

    On the agenda of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space meeting currently being held in Vienna is the increasingly urgent problem of space debris.


    The biggest problem with photographing any astronomical object from the ground is that you have to look through the Earth’s atmosphere. Turbulence in the atmospheric gases can cause wobble and blurriness in your observations — it is this turbulence that causes stars to twinkle, after all.

    1,200-Year-Old Cosmic Blast Captured in Japanese Trees

    A surplus of radioactive atoms in Japanese trees may point to an unrecorded astronomical event that showered Earth with cosmic rays about 1,200 years ago.

    WikiLoot aims to use crowdsourcing to track down stolen ancient artefacts

    Campaigns to combat archaeological tomb raiders have notched up some big successes, notably a deal under which the J Paul Getty museum in Los Angeles agreed to hand back 40 precious artefacts after it was shown they had been looted from digs in Italy.

    Learning more about the Middle Kingdom

    The discovery of a Middle Kingdom burial of a member of the family of the Deir Al-Barsha governor has given Egyptologists some unique information on the scenario in which the ancient Egyptians conducted their funerary rituals, writes Nevine El-Aref

    Scientists excited about US mammoth discovery

    An unusual discovery of mammoth bones on a rural Oskaloosa farm has experts studying prehistoric life excited about scientific discoveries that may lie with the massive beast.

    19th-Century “Time Capsule” Warship Emerging Near D.C.

    A warship submerged for two centuries in a river near Washington, D.C., could provide new insight into the relatively obscure War of 1812, say archaeologists who are preparing to excavate the wreck.

    Ancient Statue Reveals Prince Who Would Become Buddha

    In the ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, archaeologists have uncovered a stone statue that seems to depict the prince Siddhartha before he founded Buddhism.

    Attempt to steal Pharaonic artifact in Aswan foiled

    Security guards foiled an attempt to steal an antique panel depicting King Merenptah, the fourth ruler of the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, in the Selsela mountain quarries 20 kilometers north of Kom Ombo, Aswan.

    Ship’s exotic cargo may be pirates’ haul

    A LEADING marine archaeologist has described as “absolutely incredible” some of the initial exotic findings on a shipwreck recently discovered off the west Cork coast.

    Archaeologists Stumble Upon ‘Vampire’ Skeleton in Bulgaria

    Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a buried man with an iron stick in his chest in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.

    Stolen Pharaonic statue pieces seized in Giza

    Security forces seized 40 pieces that make up the top parts of Pharaonic Shawabti figurines, an Egyptian security source said on Thursday. The artifacts were stolen from the Cairo University excavation warehouses located in the archeological Saqqara region in Giza.

    New secrets from ‘Bay of the Pirates’ warship that sunk 2,300 years ago

    A new study puts some finishing touches on the 2,300-year history of the beak-like weapon that an ancient warship used to ram enemy ships in the First Punic War, the conflict between ancient Rome and Carthage.
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