Physics and Astronomy News Archive: September 2003

Image: Gallery of Mars closeups from NASA Orbiter adds 10,232 views
Gallery of Mars closeups from NASA Orbiter adds 10,232 views
Source: NASA/JPL   Posted: 9/30/03
Thousands of newly released portraits of martian landscapes from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft testify to the diversity of ways geological processes have sculpted the surface of our neighboring planet.

Image: MIT team achieves coldest temperature ever
MIT team achieves coldest temperature ever
Source: MIT   Posted: 9/27/03
MIT scientists have cooled a sodium gas to the lowest temperature ever recorded -- only half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero. The work, to be reported in the Sept. 12 issue of Science, bests the previous record by a factor of six, and is the first time that a gas was cooled below 1 nanokelvin (one-billionth of a degree).

Image: Galileo End of Mission Status
Galileo End of Mission Status
Source: JPL/NASA   Posted: 9/24/03
The Galileo spacecraft's 14-year odyssey came to an end on Sunday, Sept. 21, when the spacecraft passed into Jupiter's shadow then disintegrated in the planet's dense atmosphere at 11:57 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Image: Hurricane Isabel From Space
Hurricane Isabel From Space
Source: NASA   Posted: 9/18/03
If you happened to be in North Carolina, the sight of advancing Hurricane Isabel was surely unwelcome. From space, though, it was a thing of beauty. NASA's Terra satellite took this picture at 11:50 a.m. EDT on Sept. 18th.

Image: Sick of Mars?
Sick of Mars?
Source: NASA   Posted: 9/18/03
If you've been listening to the news for the past two months you've undoubtedly heard a lot about Mars. Mars. Mars. Mars. And just maybe, you're getting sick of Mars. Good news: There are eight other planets in the solar system. And this week you can see the two biggest ones.

Image: Historic Galileo mission nears end
Historic Galileo mission nears end
Source: NASA   Posted: 9/15/03
Following eight years of capturing dramatic images and surprising science from Jupiter and its moons, NASA's Galileo mission draws to a close September 21 with a plunge into Jupiter's atmosphere.

Image: Silver nanowires used as explosives detector
Silver nanowires used as explosives detector
Source: Berkeley   Posted: 9/14/03
Minuscule wires a few nanometers across are proving to be versatile electronic components, as demonstrated recently by University of California, Berkeley, chemists who used silver nanowires as key elements of a sensitive explosives detector.

Image: Electrons surfing on solar wind?
Electrons surfing on solar wind?
Source: NASA/GSFC   Posted: 9/13/03
"Killer" electrons capable of wreaking havoc on orbiting spacecraft may "surf" magnetic waves driven by the solar wind, according to a team of space scientists.

Image: Chandra 'hears' a black hole
Chandra 'hears' a black hole
Source: NASA   Posted: 9/10/03
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory detected sound waves, for the first time, from a super-massive black hole. The "note" is the deepest ever detected from an object in the universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics.

Image: Matchbox-sized Atomic Clock
Matchbox-sized Atomic Clock
Source: ONR   Posted: 9/3/03
In October 2003 the Office of Naval Research will unveil the performance of the next-generation, super-accurate clock no bigger than a matchbox. The Ultra-miniature Rubidium (Rb) Atomic Clock, 40 cubic centimeters in volume and using a minuscule one watt of power, doesn’t weigh much more than a matchbox either.

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Science Quote

'A theory with mathematical beauty is more likely to be correct than an ugly one that fits some experimental data. God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.'

Paul Dirac

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