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Posted on Saturday, December 19 - 2009

With James Cameron"s science fiction epic Avatar hitting cinemas some astronomers have pointed out that a world similar to that of "Pandora" portrayed in the movie could potentiallyexist somewhere in the universe."As James Cameron"s animated sci-fi movie Avatar goes on general release, astronomers point out that the movie"s habitable moon called "Pandora" may exist in reality."

View: Full Article | Source: Discovery News

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Exploring the wisps in the night sky

Two hundred seventy thousand feet above the ground, higher than 99.9 percent of the earth’s air, clouds still float around — thin, iridescent wisps of electric blue. NASA is launching a small satellite to take a closer look at these clouds at the edge of outer space and to try to understand why, in recent years, they are appearing more often over more parts of the world. They are also becoming brighter.The clouds are called noctilucent or “night shining,” because from the ground they can be seen...

Signs of water found on extrasolar planet

Evidence of water has been detected for the first time in a planet outside our solar system, an astronomer said on Tuesday, a tantalizing find for scientists eager to know whether life exists beyond Earth. Travis Barman, an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, said water vapor has been found in the atmosphere of a large, Jupiter-like gaseous planet located 150 light years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. The planet is known as HD 209458b.Other scientists reported in Fe...

Space telescope spies dark matter

Astronomers have used telescopes on Earth and in space to nail the precise position of a mysterious, dark object at the outer edge of our Galaxy. The work could be an important step in understanding so-called dark matter — mysterious material that makes up about a quarter of our Universe.Most dark matter is believed to be in the form of subatomic particles that don't interact with regular atoms. But as much as 20% could also be in more traditional things that don't emit light, such as bl...

Star dies in monstrous explosion

A massive star about 150 times the size of the Sun exploded in what could be a long-sought new type of supernova, Nasa scientists have said. Supernovae occur when huge, mature stars effectively run out of fuel and collapse in on themselves. But scientists believe this one was obliterated in an explosion which blasted all its material into space. And astronomers say a star in our own Milky Way galaxy could be about to perform the same celestial fireworks. The supernovastar, called SN 2006gy, was ...

NASA makes Exoplanet weathermap

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have learned what the weather is like on two distant, exotic worlds. One team of astronomers used the infrared telescope to map temperature variations over the surface of a giant gas planet, HD 189733b, revealing it likely is whipped by roaring winds. Another team determined that the gas planet HD 149026b is the hottest yet discovered. Both findings appear May 9 in Nature. "We have mapped the temperature variations across the entire surfa...

Christmas trees show up with live ornaments

Colored balls and tinsel might be regular adornments for Christmas trees this festive season but residents in Anchorage are being asked to keep an eye out for live frogs that have beenturning up in trees sold in the area."Forget the plastic icicles, brightlycolored balls and tinsel. . Some Christmas trees for sale in the Anchorage area are adorned with something truly different this holiday season — live Pacific Chorusfrogs." V...

Engineers unveil China moon rover

Chinese scientists have shown off a prototype Moon rover that could lead to the country's first unmanned mission to the lunar surface in 2012. The 1.5m (5ft) high, 200kg (440lbs) rover should transmit video in real time, dig into and analyse soil, and produce 3D images of the lunar surface. Engineers have unveiled a prototype at the Shanghai institute where work on the six-wheeled vehicle is underway. Rival rovers are being developed at institutes in Beijing andelsewhere. It is not clear whe...

Brussels sprouts ice-cream, anyone?

Two mothers in Doncaster are doing their bit for the festive season by releasing a recipe book dedicated to providing new ways to cook and prepare everyone"s favourite flatulence-inducing Christmas vegetable - the brussel sprout."You may detest them steamed,boiled or even panfried with pancetta. . But perhaps you"ll take to sprouts if they are frozen and served in a cone. That is the plan cooked up by two mothers who are trying...

The "wow" mystery turns 30

Exactly 30 years ago today, astronomer Jerry Ehman was looking over a printout of radio data from Ohio State University's Big Ear Radio Observatory when he saw a string of code so remarkable that he had to circle it and scribble "Wow!" in the margin. The printout recorded an anomalous signal so strong that it had to come from an extraordinary source.Was it a burst of human-made interference? Or an alien broadcast from the stars? No one knows. The source of the "Wow" s...

Deer hunter photographs creature in woods

Speculation is rife over whether the peculiar image could actually be a viral advertisement.Allegedly photographed by a deer hunter and posted on the Wildgame Innovations web site the image has generated a large amount of interest around the web. Insomniac Games, the company behind the upcoming Playstation 3 game Resistance 3 hinted on their Twitteraccount that the image could be a "grim" from the game however there are also rumours that it could be a promotion for theupcoming J.J. . ...

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