Dust Devils, Saturn’s Secrets And The Mystery Of An Ancient Eclipse
The October issue of the Royal Astronomical Society’s journal, “Astronomy and Geophysics”, contains the following feature articles.
Ptolemy, Babylon and the Rotation of the Earth
Many authors have questioned Ptolemy’s account of a lunar eclipse that was supposedly observed by the Babylonians. John Steele finds that Ptolemy was right to believe that Babylonian observers saw the eclipse of 23 December 383 BC - which poses a problem that can be solved by invoking a large clock error or unusual atmospheric conditions.
Inside Dust Devils
Dust devils are rotating columns of dust-laden air that are common on both Earth and Mars. T J Ringrose presents a new way to produce convective vortices in the lab, comparing the results with dust devils on these planets.
Cassini at Titan: The Story So Far
The Cassini spacecrafts first year examining Saturn and its moons has uncovered many surprises, not least the atmosphere and surface of the enigmatic moon Titan. Nick Teanby reviews the progress made and discusses prospects for the future.
Sounding The Dark Cosmos
Recent observations suggest that the universe has been accelerating rather than slowing down in the past few billion years. Bruce Bassett, Bob Nichol and Daniel J Eisenstein explain why the Wide Field Multi-Object Spectrograph, a proposed new instrument for the Gemini and Subaru telescopes, will need to look far into the universe, over a wide area, in order to map sound waves from the dawn of time and unravel the mystery of dark energy.
Promoting Planetary Science
Mike Hapgood summarizes the RASs position on planetary sciences in the UK, a subject that delivers world-class results, but needs focused support in order to continue to thrive.
(A summary of the RAS position was also issued in RAS press notice PN 05/39. The full statement is available on the RAS Web site.)
Dr. Sue Bowler | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...