Daily Roundup: From Pancake Stars to Suspended Animation for Astronauts

As I’m going to be away for a week, Astroengine is going to be quiet for seven days. I’m heading down to Cornwall, UK where I hope to go to Goonhilly Earth Station (on the Lizard) to try to get some more information on its shutdown. Last year I was shocked to hear that the station and its operations were being moved to the South East, so the majority of the satellite dishes will be dismantled. This is such a shame; those dishes are synonymous with the Cornish countryside. When they’re gone it will be like a good old English cream tea, but without the scone… but hey, everything changes, but I want some answers, so I intend to get some!

So, to keep you occupied, I’ll give a rundown of my picks of the stories I’ve done for the Universe Today in the past few days…

Stars Orbiting Close to Black Holes Flattened like Hot Pancakes – A really interesting bit of research about how a star will quite literally get stretched and flattened into an explosive pancake. Makes for an interesting read if you’re into torturing small stars…

Lightning Storm Generated by Chilean Volcano (Images) – Probably the most amazing image I’ve seen this month. A lightning storm generated by the erupting Chilean volcano (as pointed out by a reader, look for the angry elephant…).

Will Mars Astronauts be put in Suspended Animation for the Journey? – I was fed up with this research being entitled “Mars Missions Helped by Gas of Rotten Eggs”, so I cut to the chase and focused on why hydrogen sulphide could be used to put astronauts in a type of suspended animation…

Digging for Dark Matter: The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) Detector – This is my favourite bit of news in the last week, an inexpensive, tested way to try to detect Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS), thought to make up a large portion of dark matter (taking the lead from the underground neutrino detectors. Genius.)

Space Hotel Prototype Makes 10,000th Orbit – Tracking the progress of the Bigelow Aerospace efforts in space. The Genesis I inflatable spaceship has just completed its 10,000th orbit and still going strong. I can’t wait till 2011 when the company hopes to get man into space…

There’s lots more where that came from, so have a look over at the Universe Today. I’m going to spend the week researching new leads for astroengine; it’s about time for another bit of space research… but first, to Goonhilly!

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