Tag Archives: Space

Karzai to Answer Fraud Allegations

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will respond to accusations of fraud impacting the recent presidential election. A UN-backed report claims Karzai did not win the race and should face a runoff with former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. Karzai has previously refused to take part in a runoff election, BBC News.

Senior White House officials appeared on Sunday morning political shows yesterday to discredit right-wing news channel Fox News. Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said Fox News “is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective,” New York Times.

American scientist Stewart David Nozette was arrested by the FBI today and charged with spying for Israel. The former Defense Department and NASA worker faces life in prison if convicted, BBC News.

A Chilean telescope has discovered 32 new planets outside of our solar system. The planets were found using the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS. There are about 400 known exoplanets, and the group who found the 32 exoplanets say they will present more after further study, CNN.


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Science Saturday: Shuttle Returns to Earth

The Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Andrews Air Force base in California today after bad weather canceled the planned landing in Florida. The shuttle, with seven astronauts on board, had hooked up with the International Space Shuttle for a supply mission. You can see video of the shuttle landing at BBC News.

New computer scans show a giant eagle may have hunted humans before it went extinct 500 years ago. The Haast’s eagle lived in New Zealand and weighed around 40 pounds. The main evidence shows that the birds were not scavengers but predators who may have been able to target small humans. Scientists also say the findings support stories told in Maori lore about huge birds that could pick up small children, AP.

Discovery News: Top 5 Volcano Videos.

If there is one thing to see this week, look at the first photos from the Hubble Telescope since it was grounded for repairs. View them here.

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3 UK Men Guilty in Liquid Terror Plot

3 men have been found guilty in Britain of plotting to bomb airplanes headed to North America. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, Tanvir Hussain, 28, and Assad Sarwar, 29, were found guilty of conspiring to activate liquid bombs while four others also on trial were found not guilty. The arrest of the men in 2006 sparked the liquids ban that still remains in place in many airports. The men had made liquid bombs and planned to carry them aboard planes in drink bottles, BBC News.

More information on fraud in last month’s elections in Afghanistan. Supporters of incumbent president Hamid Karzi made up hundreds of fake polling sites that added fradulent votes for Karzai. Karzai supporters are also said to have taken over about 800 physical sites to influence the vote, New York Times.

957 people were rescued after a ferry capsized in the Philippines yesterday. 9 people were killed, CNN.

A female journalist from Sudan who was on trial for wearing pants in public has been convicted of violating the country’s decency laws. Lubna Hussein will have to pay a fine of $200 but was not sentenced to be lashed. Hussein says she will not pay the fine. A group of women wearing pants gathered in solidarity outside the courthouse in Khartourm. Witnesses said the crowd was dispersed by police using tear gas. Sudanese residents in the north which is mainly Muslim are expected to follow Islamic laws about dressing modestly while in the country’s mainly Christian southern areas the law is not usually enforced, New York Times.

Skywatchers in the U.S. and southern Canada should be able to see the space shuttle as it docks with the space station tomorrow night, Space.com.

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Science Saturday: Baby Pandas, Exploding Stars, and Dinos

The San Diego Zoo welcomed the birth of a panda cub last month and the zoo has just stated that the cub is a boy and currently weighs 2.8 pounds. To see the panda live, visit the zoo’s panda cam (only broadcasted live during the day).

A fossil of a dinosaur dubbed the “giraffe of the prehistoric” has been found in China and is the first ever Early Cretaceous brachiosaur discovered in the country. The dinosaur’s official name is Qiaowanlong kangxii and it is believed the animal was close to 40 feet long and 10 feet tall, Discovery News.

New studies show that current Arctic air temperatures are the highest they have been in 2,000 years. The higher temps are a result of the increasing amount of greenhouse gas levels. Temperatures now are 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in 1900, LiveScience.

Science Daily: Celestial Rosetta Stone: White Dwarf Star, Circling Companion Star, Could Explode In A Few Million Years.

LiveScience: Dangers in the Deep – 10 Scariest Sea Creatures.

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Violence and Election Controversy in Afghanistan

According to current election returns, current President Hamid Karzai and main opponent Abdullah Abdullah are about even in the Afghan presidential race. Only 10 percent of votes are in, and there are already 50 complaints of election fraud, but many believe a runoff election will be needed, AP.

More than 4o people have been killed in a car bomb blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The city is a stronghold of the Taliban, though no one has yet claimed responsibility. 60 people were injured. Four U.S. soldiers were also killed in the country while patrolling, but a NATO spokesman would not reveal where in the country the troops were located, BBC News.

The White House is predicting that over the next decade, America will rack up a $9 trillion debt – more than the history of American debt combined. The economy is also predicted to shrink 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year. However, President Obama pointed out that there are signs that the U.S. will come out of the recession soon, such as the success of the cash for clunkers program, which ended yesterday, AP.

NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery early Wednesday morning at 1:10 am. The shuttle attempted to take off today, but thunderstorms prevented the launch. Discovery will take a 13-day journey to link up with the International Space Station, SPACE. You can follow @Astro_Jose, crew member Jose Hernandez, on Twitter for updates.

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Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

The Perseids meteor show will peak tonight and tomorrow night and should put on quite a show for sky watchers. Astronomers say the best time to watch is between 12 and 5am. The Newbury Astronomical Society is hosting #Meteorwatch on Twitter tonight where participants will be posting what they see, NewburyAS.

The Hubble Telescope has found evidence of a collision between two planets, a collision that is similar to how the Moon was formed four billion years ago. The collision occurred at a very high speed and one planet was near the size of the Moon while the other’s size resembled Mercury, BBC News.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has contracted the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. Arias has won a Nobel Peace Prize and last month he was chosen to mediate a sit-down between Honduras’ ousted President Zelaya and the group that overthrew him. He will not give up power, but will have to be kept in isolation for seven days, National Post.

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55 Inmates Seriously Injured in California Prison Riot

250 inmates have been injured in a prison riot in California. The riot took place overnight at the California Institution for Men in Chino, and it is believed the fight was over race issues between African-Americans and Hispanics in the prison. 55 other inmates were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries, CNN.

NASA is considering orbital gas stations, which would allow for longer and farther out space missions. The plan is even more possible considering the current space shuttles are being retired next year and there is talk of using heavy-lift rockets in their place, Discovery News.

Almost one million people have fled China’s eastern coast because of  the typhoon pounding the country. Dozens are missing and feared dead so far. The typhoon earlier hit the Philippines and claimed the lives of 21 people, AP.

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U.K. Debating Ultra Fast Rail Travel

33 people are missing after a boat sunk off the coast of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. The first ship to reach the scene saved 42 people, BBC News.

William Jefferson, a former congressmen from Louisiana, was convicted today of 11 counts of bribery. Jefferson is accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes and was found with $90,000 in his freezer in March 2005. His lawyer says he will appeal the decision, AP.

The U.K. has introduced rail plans that would create ultra fast passenger trains, with speeds reaching 250/mph. Transport analysts say, if built, the new system could substantially cut into air travel, Guardian Unlimited.

New scientific studies show that far away stars move at speeds greater than one million mph. The stars are part of a galaxy 11 billion light-years away and prove that the galaxy is oddly massive, but compact, SPACE.

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