Monday, August 27, 2007

From Agency Spy Blog:

Work Time Waster: Google Sky. Forget blogging about advertising. Forget your client meeting. Go play with Google Sky. It’s so addictive. The new Sky Mode feature in Google Earth allows you to view the cosmos from your current location. There’s more than just browsing the sky aimlessly - there’s guide to the galaxies, time lapsed movements of the planets, and images from hubble. Google’s pulled this off with the help NASA/Space Telescope Institute, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and Digital Sky Survey Consortium.


Comet-like star streaks through Milky Way

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A large star in its death throes is leaving a huge, turbulent tail of oxygen, carbon and nitrogen in its wake that makes it look like an immense comet hurtling through space, astronomers said on Wednesday.

This dying star is shedding material that will be recycled into new stars, planets and possibly even life.

Nothing like this has ever previously been witnessed in a star, according to scientists who detected it using NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, an orbiting space telescope that observes the cosmos in ultraviolet light.

This tail, spanning a stunning distance of 13 light-years, was detected behind the star Mira, located 350 light-years from Earth in the "whale" constellation Cetus.

"There's a star with a tail in the tail of the whale," said one of the researchers.


- Rocketing through our Milky Way galaxy at 80 miles per second -- literally faster than a speeding bullet -- the star is spewing material that scientists believe may be recycled into new stars, planets and maybe even life.
- Nothing like this has ever previously been witnessed in a star.
- The tail spans a distance of 13 light-years.
- The tail is made up of oxygen, carbon and nitrogen.


Galactic Suite - first hotel planned in space.

BARCELONA (Reuters) -- "Galactic Suite", the first hotel planned in space, expects to open for business in 2012 and would allow guests to travel around the world in 80 minutes.

An artist's impression of the Galactic Suite, where guests would enjoy views of the Earth during their three-day stay

Its Barcelona-based architects say the space hotel will be the most expensive in the galaxy, costing $4 million for a three-day stay.

During that time guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and use Velcro suits to crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

(Hopefully that's $4 million dollars in 2012 money!)

Read more.

The universe's largest known planet.

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- Scientists have discovered the universe's largest known planet, a giant ball made of mostly hydrogen that circles a star 1,400 light-years away.

An illustration of the new planet, called TrES-4, with its host star.

Scientists believe the planet is about twice the size of Jupiter, and has a temperature of 2,300-degrees.