Science & Technology


Ghosts Of Galaxies: Lingering Star Streams Skirt Two Nearby Spiral Galaxies

An international team of astronomers has identified huge star streams in the outskirts of two nearby spiral galaxies. For the first time, they have obtained a panoramic overview of an example of galactic cannibalism similar to that involving the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy in the vicinity of the Milky Way.

The detection of these immense stellar fossils confirms the predictions of the cold dark matter model of cosmology, which proposes that present-day grand design spiral galaxies were formed from the merging of less massive stellar systems.

galaxy NGC 5907
©R. Jay Gabany
Image of the stellar tidal stream surrounding the spiral galaxy NGC 5907 obtained with an amateur robotic telescope in the mountains of New Mexico.


Samsung water-powered cell phone

Samsung has announced the actual development of a micro fuel cell and hydrogen generator, which can charge cell phones for 10 hours.


Plants 'thrive' on Moon rock diet

Scientists with the European Space Agency (Esa) say the day when flowers bloom on the Moon has come closer.

An Esa-linked team has shown that marigolds can grow in crushed rock very like the lunar surface, with no need for plant food.

Evil Rays

Earth's Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever

Earth gives off a relentless hum of countless notes completely imperceptible to the human ear, like a giant, exceptionally quiet symphony, but the origin of this sound remains a mystery.

Now unexpected powerful tunes have been discovered in this hum. These new findings could shed light on the source of this enigma.

The planet emanates a constant rumble far below the limits of human hearing, even when the ground isn't shaking from an earthquake. (It does not cause the ringing in the ear linked with tinnitus.) This sound, first discovered a decade ago, is one that only scientific instruments - seismometers - can detect. Researchers call it Earth's hum.


43% of women surrender passwords for chocolate

Infosecurity Europe has discovered that women are four times more likely to give their computer passwords to a complete stranger than men - if they are promised a free chocolate bar.

In a faux-market research campaign that probably can't claim to be the most scientific, people were offered a chocolate bar and entry into a free-prize draw in exchange for a frank disclosure of their dates of birth, names, telephone numbers and, worryingly, passwords.


Chocolate bar is price for password

British workers are not good at keeping their computer passwords secret, with two-thirds ready to reveal them to a stranger in exchange for a chocolate bar and a smile, a study has found.

The report, by Infosecurity Europe, the organisers of the annual IT security trade show, involved stopping commuters at London's train and underground stations and asking them to take part in a survey in exchange for a chocolate bar.

Researchers asked commuters if they knew what the most common password was and then asked them to reveal their own. About 40 per cent of commuters revealed their computer password straight away, with a further 22 per cent giving up details with a little further probing from the female researchers.


Falling stars: the swan song of space junk

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's ... a paper glider?

Cygnus, the swan, has flown solo in the Milky Way for eons, but soon he'll be joined by a gaggle of companions. The Japanese team on the International Space Station will release a constellation of high-flying paper airplanes to research reentry without traditional spacecraft.

Fortunately, a major event like this is unlikely to happen within our lifetime, so there's no need to borrow Chicken Little's umbrella.
A "swarm" of evidence show that this statement could not be further from the truth.


Largest Satellite Ever Uses Innovative Technology

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (Nasdaq:LORL), and the world's leading provider of high-power commercial satellites, today announced that the satellite that it built for ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited (Nasdaq:ICOG) was successfully launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite is the first to use Ground Based Beam Forming (GBBF) technology and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched. It successfully deployed its solar arrays several hours after separation and will begin firing its thrusters later today in order to maneuver into geosynchronous orbit.


Telecommunication Satellite Launches With Heavy Payload

A rocket carrying telecommunications equipment has launched into space.

An Atlas 5 rocket carrying the equipment lifted off at 4:12 p.m. Monday and was the heaviest payload ever launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.

Comment: Doesn't it seem odd that, with the improvements in materials and electronics in this day and age, such a heavy satellite would be required for cell phone and handheld device communications support? Either there is more to the payload or more to the satellite capabilities than reported.


Gartner warns of Windows collapse

Microsoft needs to make radical changes to its Windows operating system, as Gartner warns that it is "collapsing".