News: 23 June – 06 July 2013

Kepler Mission Update
Even though plucky spacecraft Kepler looked like it had suffered a fatal malfunction NASA is working hard to recover control of the reaction wheel.

A look at the flanks of Olympus Mons
Images taken on 21 January 2013, by ESA’s Mars Express show the southeast segment of Olympus Mons, a staggering 22km above the surrounding plains. Hundreds of individual lava flows are seen frozen in time on the flanks of the largest volcano in the Solar System.

Deep space explosions baffle scientists
A new study suggests Powerful and puzzling radio blasts in other galaxies constantly explode across the night sky.

The feeding habits of galaxies
A new method is allowing scientists to shine a light on how galaxies keep running. Using the illumination from the bright center of another background galaxy, scientists have revealed the best observations to date of a galaxy refueling itself.

Star that flips magnetic polarity yearly
Astronomers have discovered a star that flips its magnetic poles ten times more often than the Sun. Dr Rim Fares of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and colleagues, made the surprising discovery, while studying the star Tau Boötis, located 51 light years away. They found the star, which is about one and a third times more massive than the Sun, reverses its magnetic polarity every year.

Jill Tarter talks about the search for extraterrestrial life
Jill was in Sydney this week – and spent her time talking about the search for extraterrestrial life. She was in town with a SETI delegation for World UFO Day. Yep. World UFO Day. How did I miss that?!

Evidence for the Higgs boson continues to mount
A year since the discovery of a new subatomic particle, evidence is mounting it may be the elusive Higgs boson even as researchers warn the suspense is far from over.

Voyager 1 – Somewhere between the heliosheath and interstellar space….
Reports that Voyager 1 has left the influence of the sun, and is out of the solar system have turned out to be a little premature. The spacecraft, which was launched in 1977 has found itself in a previously unknown region between the outermost part of the solar system and interstellar space.

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