Science Be Praised…
Wed, 20 May 2009
Lots of tabs left open, better blog a few of them…
Flat universe may be the new flat Earth
When it comes to the universe, “flatness” refers to the fate of light beams travelling large distances parallel to each other. If the universe is “flat”, the beams will always remain parallel. Matter, energy and dark energy all produce curvature in space-time, however. If the universe’s space-time is positively curved, like the surface of a sphere, parallel beams would come together. In a negatively curved, saddle-shaped universe, parallel beams would diverge. [full article]
Telescopes poised to spot air-breathing aliens
The Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have both detected gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmospheres of a handful of gas-giant exoplanets as they pass in front of their parent stars. The gas molecules absorb light at characteristic wavelengths, and this shows up as dark lines in the spectrum of the starlight which has been filtered through the planet’s atmosphere. [full article]
Women’s menstruation genes found
A UK-led team located two genes on chromosomes six and nine that appear to strongly influence the age at which menstruation starts [full article]
Scientists hail stunning fossil
The fossil, nicknamed Ida, is claimed to be a “missing link” between today’s higher primates – monkeys, apes and humans – and more distant relatives.
In addition, Ida bears “a close resemblance to ourselves” he said, with nails instead of claws, a grasping hand and an opposable thumb – like humans and some other primates. But he said some aspects of the teeth indicate she is not a direct ancestor – more of an “aunt” than a “grandmother”. [full article]
The last article is pretty amazing stuff and there’s a few interesting videos to supplement it. Another recent surge in topic is the moon which BBC is doing a thematic cover over over the weeks. The lastest is on Lunar Orbital Rendezvous. Still have a soft spot for the moon and having recently reread the facinating book Moondust I’m still giddy all moon related stuff.