Unmanned Cargo Ship Arrived at Space Station

Unmanned cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on March 28. After five days chasing down the space station in orbit, the European Space Agency’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) arrived at the complex at 6:31 p.m. EDT (2231 GMT). The vehicle is carrying about 7 tons of food, water, clothing, experiments and fuel for the space station in what is the heaviest load ever delivered to the outpost by a robotic spacecraft.

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Researchers Have Discoverd New Shark Species

Researchers have discovered a new, as of yet unnamed, species of shark. It looks just like the scalloped hammerhead shark, curtailing efforts to save that endangered species. As said researchers at Nova Southeastern University in Florida the new look-alike hammerhead species, first discovered off the eastern United States, has been found more than 4,300 miles away near the coast of southern Brazil proving the unnamed species is widespread.

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There May be Billions of Habitable Alien Planets in Our Galaxy

New study suggests that there should be billions of habitable, rocky planets around the faint red stars of our galaxy. The findings are based on a survey of 102 stars in a class called red dwarfs. Red dwarfs are fainter, cooler, less massive and longer-lived than the sun, and are thought to make up about 80 percent of the stars in our galaxy. Using the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, astronomers found nine planets slightly larger than Earth over a six-year period.

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Tiny Planet Mercury May Be Hiding Water Ice

New evidence from the first probe to orbit Mercury is building support for the idea that the tiny planet may be harboring water ice in some of its most extreme terrain. Certain areas of Mercury’s poles were previously found to be bright in radio waves detected by radar measurements from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Now, the Messenger spacecraft has found that those same bright radar spots appear to be in permanent shadow, according to camera views from the probe’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS).

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Cassini Images Show Saturn Stressing out Enceladus

For the first time, images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have enabled scientists to correlate the spraying of jets of water vapor from fissures on Saturn’s moon Enceladus with the way Saturn’s gravity stretches and stresses the fissures. As said Terry Hurford, a Cassini associate based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. this new work gives scientists insight into the mechanics of these picturesque jets at Enceladus and shows that Saturn really stresses Enceladus.

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Scientists Study 226 Ancient Lakes on Red Planet Surface

The mud and clays ideal for preserving fossil records are less common around Martian lakes than on Earth. A team of scientists from Brown University pored over surface images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft, and the Mars Express spacecraft in search of lakes that once boasted water rushing out as well as in. They then analyzed the reflected light from each lake to determine their chemical composition, hoping to identify the muds and clays found in such systems on Earth.

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Habitable Zone Of Red Dwarfs May Be Larger Than Thought

Red dwarfs, also known as M stars, are dim compared to stars like our sun and are just 10 to 20 percent as massive.Recently scientists found red dwarfs are far more common than before thought, making up at least 80 percent of the total number of stars. The fact that red dwarfs are so very common has made astrobiologists wonder if they might be the best chance for discovering planets habitable to life as we know it. The habitable zone of a star is defined by whether liquid water can survive on its surface. Since red dwarfs are so cold compared to our sun, planets would have to be very close in to be habitable to any life. However, being too close to a star can have its disadvantages. For instance, the gravitational pull of the star would cause tides that could wreak havoc on such a world.

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Researchers Discovered Microbial Oasis Beneath Atacama Desert

According to the journal Astrobiology a Spanish-Chilean team of scientists have found bacteria and archaea (primitive microorganisms) living two metres below the hypersaline substrates in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Researchers from the Center of Astrobiology (Spain) and the Catholic University of the North in Chile have found it in hypersaline substrates thanks to SOLID, a detector for signs of life which could be used in environments similar to subsoil on Mars. According to Victor Parro, researcher from the Center of Astrobiology (INTA-CSIC, Spain) and coordinator of the study they have named it a microbial oasis because they found microorganisms developing in a habitat that was rich in halite (rock salt) and other highly hygroscopic compounds (anhydrite and perchlorate) that absorb water.

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Asteroid Vesta

Vesta Likely Cold and Dark Enough for Ice

According to the first published models of Vesta’s average global temperatures and illumination by the sun though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years. According to Timothy Stubbs of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County near the north and south poles, the conditions appear to be favorable for water ice to exist beneath the surface. Vesta probably does not have any significant permanently shadowed craters where water ice could stay frozen on the surface all the time, not even in the roughly 300-mile-diameter (480-kilometer-diameter) crater near the south pole.

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