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By Daniel Fischer, Germany
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The Sky in October 2010
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Deep Impact delivers amazing close-up views of comet Hartley 2

A lot of links to pro and am observations and analysis in C4U of Nov. 11, Nov. 1 and Oct. 15. Mission blog, 72 MRI images, approach video (until Oct. 24), 5 Things, Encounter timeline, CN discovery, more groundbased stuff, STEREO view, UMD Releases of Nov. 10 and Nov. 4, JPL & UMD & NASA Releases of Nov. 5 [alt.], Nov. 4 (later [JPL]; more, more), Nov. 3, Nov. 2 (more [NASA]), Nov. 1 (more [JPL], more), Oct. 28, Oct. 27, Oct. 26 (telecon audio, pics, vids), Oct. 21, Oct. 19, Oct. 5, Oct. 4 and Sep. 29, NASA Blog of Nov. 4 and Nov. 3, Obs. Paris Release of Nov. 4, HST Release of Oct. 5, Ball Releases of Nov. 4, Oct. 5, S@N of Nov. 2, Oct. 27 and Oct. 15, fly-by 5 pic animation and morphed version, a full video, presser pics of activity, all 5 nuclei to scale and night side, CO2 evidence, observations with Herschel, pre-encounter radar images Nov. 12: NPR (audio). Nov. 11: CD. Nov. 9: PSB. Nov. 8: C&N, SC, CD. Nov. 7: ARD (bizarre comedy). Nov. 6: FB, UT. and coverage of Nov. 5: SpW, SN, AB, ABC, PSB, NGB, CL, QSp, SwB (dubious details), ST, WDR 5. Nov. 4: SW (earlier), PSB (earlier, still earlier, even earlier), BMM, SC (earlier, still earlier), T., SN (pics), S&T, BBC, NYT, BlS, LAT, CSM, P*N, CNN, ABC, NaB, Wir., HP, ScAm, NaB, UT, CbS, TMJ, CD, TrS, BAB, ABC, BlS, IrT, AP, KSJ, TwP (other motive), FB, KL, Eur. Nov. 3: PSB, Rem., LAT, SN, SC (more, more), CSM, P*N, CD, DLF, Tw. Nov. 2: SpO. Nov. 1: PSB (more). Oct. 31: G, Tw. Oct. 29: SC, PSB, Tw. Oct. 26: Nat., PSB. Oct. 21: Bal. Sun, CL. Oct. 20: AB. Oct. 18: PSB. Oct. 6: Tw. Oct. 5: SC. Rosetta planning & operations strategy: ESA Release of Sep. 23, EPSC Release of Sep. 23, CD. Lutetia analysis: SwRI, ESO and Keck Releases, BBC, ScAm, SC, UT, Tw. (earlier). Hayabusa (dust) analysis: Yom. Earlier: SN [AN], NaB, TMJ, MDN (earlier), PoS, UT, KSJ.
Update # 338 of Sunday, November 14, 2010
Habitable exoplanet controversy (Grown since September 20)

Controversial detection of first super-Earth in a habitable zone

Currently it's totally unclear whether there is a (somewhat, perhaps) Earth-like planet with 3 to 4 Earth masses in orbit around the star Gliese 581 in its "habitable zone" or whether its celebrated detection is a mathematical artefact. The claim to the existence of Gliese 581g comes from a joint analysis of 241 radial velocity measurements over 11 years taken with the HIRES instrument at Keck and the HARPS instrument at ESO, though its signal apparently shows up in the HIRES data alone as well. However it is not present in the totality of HARPS data (only part of which was used in the HIRES analysis) and actually excluded to some degree. As the complete HARPS analysis hasn't been published in detail yet, the HIRES community sticks with its positive result for the time being, though careful collectors of exoplanets have already put Gliese 581g (as well as 581f also claimed from the HIRES/partial HARPS study) in the 'unconfirmed' bin ...
Muted response to the doubts: SC, ScAm, ScN, USAT, G, PrA, ST, KSJ. The serious doubts: SB, AB, SD, NwS, Wir., UT, SAs, G, Dsc. (with two mistakes), IO9, SB, C&E, Eur. The original claim & aftermath: paper by Vogt et al., NASA, U HI, Carnegie and NSF Releases, T, WP, PS, SFG, Wir., S&T, SC (earlier), IO9, ST, TAZ, KL, BdW, SB, Eur.; MSNBC-V.
Fomalhaut planet trouble, too? SB. Beta Pic planet imaging: paper by Quanz & al., UA News, LFW. Ups And b hotspot: JPL PR, UT. How many "Earths"? Keck, JPL and Berkeley Releases, BBC, S&T, PS, NaB, CD, UT, ST, KSJ, BdW. Countdown to 500: SC. Double star (NN Ser) planets: paper by Beuermann & al., McDonald and Warwick Releases, Uni Tueb. PM, SB. Interactions planet/planet: UT. Planet death spirals: S&T, NwS. Dusty shapes: NASA PR.

Mars Update

MER JPL Releases of Nov. 2, Oct. 25, Oct. 5 and Sep. 21, visited craters in comparision and coverage of Nov. 14: R2E. Nov. 12: SI. Nov. 10: PSB. Nov. 3: SpW. Oct. 31: PS, TMJ. Oct. 29: KSJ. Oct. 28: UT. Oct. 26: RFN. Oct. 24: R2E. Oct. 14: PSB, Tw. Oct. 5: Dsc., MaP (andere Story). Sep. 30: PS. Sep. 27: SC. Sep. 23: R2E. Sep. 22: Dsc., PSB. Sep. 21: SC, R2E. MRO JPL & HiRISE Releases of Oct. 31 [APL], Oct. 29 [UA], Oct. 6, Sep. 29 and Sep. 20, Brown Release of Oct. 31 and coverage of Nov. 14: AD*. Nov. 8: PSB. Nov. 2: NwSB. Nov. 1: AT, UT. Oct. 31: SC. Oct. 14: UT. Oct. 12: SC. Oct. 1: SC. Sep. 29: PSB. MEX ESA PR of Nov. 12, Oct. 8 and Sep. 27, DLR PR of Oct. 8, EPSC PR of Sep. 23 and Sep. 20 and coverage of Sep. 27: SC. Sep. 22: KSJ, BdW, WdP, SB. Sep. 21: S&T, NwS. Sep. 20: UT. MSL JPL Releases of Oct. 21, Oct. 8 and Sep. 21, LANL Release of Sep. 21, Curiosity JPL Livecan and coverage of Nov. 14: Azo. Nov. 7: AGUB. Oct. 2: TMC, PSB. Sep. 30: TMC. Sep. 29: TMC (more and more). Sep. 28: TMC. Sep. 27: PSB. Sep. 24: TMC. Sep. 20: PSB. Fobos-Grunt / Yinghuo-1 coverage of Oct. 31: SD. Oct. 28: Eur. Oct. 27: PSB. Oct. 22: PD, Oct. 14: PSB. MAVEN NASA PR of Oct. 21, JPL PR of Oct. 5 (more), CU Boulder PR of Oct. 5, Berkeley PR of Oct. 7, SN, ST. ExoMars DLR Release of Oct. 21, ESA interview of Oct. 8 and coverage of Nov. 11: AW&ST. Nov. 2: AW&ST. Oct. 19: Eur. Herschel & Mars: EPSC PR. Mars dead? ScAm. Mars methane mystery: EPSC PR, Dsc., NaB, UT, Sp. MGS MOLA for all: KL. Why so small? ScN.

Saturn Update

JPL & CICLOPS Releases of Nov. 11 (30 years of Vgr 1 @ Saturn!), Nov. 10, Nov. 9, Nov. 4, Nov. 1 [JPL] (more), Oct. 20, Oct. 19, Oct. 7 [alt.], Oct. 6 (more), Sep. 27, Sep. 24 and Sep. 23 (another one [alt.]), UA News of Oct. 7, EPSC Releases of Sep. 24 (more) and Sep. 22, Titan Rev. 138 raw pics, raw pic 164201, paper on amateurs & Saturn storms and coverage of Nov. 8: SpR. Nov. 6: SC. Oct. 28: PSB. Oct. 27: PSB. Oct. 20: PSB. Oct. 18: PSB. Oct. 12: PSB. Oct. 10: Dsc. Oct. 9: PSB. Oct. 8: NaB, S&T, ScN, PSB, BdW. Oct. 7: ScAm, SC. Oct. 6: BBC, PSB, TMJ, NaB, Tw. Oct. 5: Nat., SC. Oct. 4: Wir. Sep. 30: NaB. Sep. 29: SC, UT. Sep. 24: UT. Sep. 23: ScN. Sep. 22: CD. Sep. 21: UT. Jupiter ring waves: NGB. Europa's chemistry: JPL Release. Juno progress: NASA PR. Triton's craters: PSB.

ISS etc. Update

NASA PR of Nov. 8, Nov. 5, Oct. 25 (also on AMS and China), Oct. 19, Oct. 11, Oct. 1, Sep. 29 and Sep. 22, JAXA PR of Oct. 22 and Sep. 29, PSU PR of Oct. 23, ESA PR of Oct. 22, Oct. 19, Oct. 8 and Oct. 1 [German], DLR PM vom 27.10., DLR Blog of Nov. 2, PS rant of Sep. 29, paper on the status of AMS, Earth pics from the ISS, hi-res pics of the Soyuz TMA-18 landing and coverage of Nov. 14: WHB. Nov. 13: SpP. Nov. 12: CBS, SC, SpP. Nov. 11: SpP, SpO, ST. Nov. 10: NwSB, LS, PS. Nov. 8: NYT, OlI. Nov. 6: SC. Nov. 5: NaB, IO9, ScAm, SpP, ST. Nov. 4: ScAm, SN, ST. Nov. 3: SC, SpN (more), ST. Nov. 2: SC, UT, Tw. Nov. 1: HC, SC, Rtr, ST. Oct. 31: ST. Oct. 30: ST. Oct. 29: SN (more), ST, AwF. Oct. 28: ST, FR. Oct. 26: ST. Oct. 25: SN, AW&ST, UT, BR. Oct. 22: SpP. Oct. 21: SpP. Oct. 20: SpP, DLF. Oct. 19: ST. Oct. 18: SpR, SD, Eur. Oct. 17: TMC. Oct. 15: Tw. Oct. 14: Dsc., PSB, CL. Oct. 12: SN, TW. Oct. 11: CBS [SN], SN, SpN, BBC (other story), Dsc., UT, AFP, Sp. Oct. 10: ST. Oct. 8: ST, AI (weitere Story). Oct. 7: SN, SpN, SC. Oct. 5: SpN. Oct. 2: TP. Oct. 1: SpP (more), SC, AwF, BR. Sep. 30: SC (more and more), SpN, UT, BBCB, NaB, ST. Sep. 29: WP, SC, SpN (other story), Dsc., AC, AI. Sep. 28: ST. Sep. 25: AFP, ST, Sp., TS. Sep. 24: SN, SpN, SC, SpP, SpO (earlier), Dsc., ST (other story), Z, Eur. Sep. 23: CNET, SpP, SpO, PbA. Sep. 22: SpP, Sep. 21: SN, ST, TwP. Sep. 20: UT, KSJ.

New record for highest spectroscopically measured redshift: 8.555

It's a galaxy in the HUDF for which the photometric redshift estimate had been 7.75 to 8.85, with 8.45 as the best value; the spectroscopic result relies on only a single emmission line, though: the data, paper by Lehnert & al., ESO, Obs. Paris, U. Bristol, ASTRON, STFC and ROG Releases, Nat., S&T, SC, NwS, BBC, ScN, ScAm, Dsc., AP, Rtr, CL, S20, UT, BAB, KSJ, TP, KL, BdW.

Yet another standard candle? Type II supernovae may be useful: Nat. Cosmic 'climate change': RAS PR. DM signal from GC? Paper by Hooper & Goodenough, PW, NwS, SyB, KSJ.

Most massive galaxy cluster found

with the South Pole Telescope - SPT-CL J0546-5345 weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns and holds hundreds of galaxies: CfA and Smiths. Releases, SC. 10 big galaxy clusters: Rutgers PR. Galaxy cluster with cooling core: Chandra PR. Colliding galaxy clusters: Jacobs University Bremen PM, BdW.

11 Gyr ago the entire universe underwent universal warming, HST-COS measurements imply: HST, U CO and NASA Releases. DM map of Abell 1689: HST and JPL Releases, PoS, CV.

Gentle galaxy growth by pulling in cold gas

Young galaxies can grow by sucking in the cool gas around them and using it as fuel for the formation of many new stars: ESO Release. Role of turbulence: SC. Bars kill spiral galaxies: R.A.S. PR, Wir. Do giant spiral galaxies thwart clusters of young stars? PW.

Formation of the Magellanic Stream in 'Galactic Tug of War': CfA Release. Another Magellanic Clouds idea: paper by Yang & Hammer, UT. Understanding the Voorwerp: paper by Schawinski & al., Yale PR, Wir. Bucky balls in another galaxy: NOAO, JPL, Spitzer Releases (more).

Yet another attempt on the spiral structure of the Milky Way

which is famously hard to figure out - now a map of the spiral structure of the Galaxy, as traced by molecular CS emission associated with IRAS sources which are believed to be compact HII regions: paper by Lepine & al., aXb, UT. Giant gamma-ray bubble: paper by Su & al., NASA Release, Feature, visuals, CfA Release, NYT, LAT, ScN, S&T, SC, NaB, KSJ, WdP, ST. Interstellar "coreshine": JPL Release, MPA PR.

Ancient star poses galactic puzzle - the halo star harbours isotopes of barium that shouldn't be there: PW. Brown dwarf story revised so much it was withdrawn from Nature: paper by Lucas & al., Gemini Release.

Strange behavior of a normal(?) neutron star

A slowly rotating neutron star with a weak surface magnetic field is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma-rays: Chandra and ESA Releases. Heaviest neutron star measures 2 Suns: NRAO and ASTRON Releases, PW, BdW, WdP. GRB mechanisms: Nat., NwS.

Dust-shrouded supernova - this was probably more common early in the universe: OSU News. M33 X7: papers by Valsecchi & al. (another one), NWU PR, SC. Usings pulsars for Earth motion detection: paper by Ruggiero & al., aXb.

The WMAP mission has ended

after 9 years of CMB data taking: NASA PR, SN, CV, AiG, Nat., ST. LISA Pathfinder testing: ESA and UKSA Releases.

WISE warms up to new mission phase - the IR satellite is now in the process of heating up to a relatively Mediterranean 69 K but can carry on a bit: JPL Release [NASA], SpN, SC, AN, PSB. WISE's 1st cool Brown Dwarf: Gallery, JPL Release, PSB, CD, IO9.

Kepler delivers a lot of asteroseismology

in addition to planet transits: Aarhus Univ., ISU and NASA Releases, UT. Kepler success metrics: Oct. 29 Mission Mgr. Update. Herschel ATLAS results: News (more, more), PhotoJ, Herschel Blog, ESA, U. Nott., JPL, UCI and UKSA Releases, NwS, AIG, KL.

JWST crisis deeper than ever: cost now at $6.5b, launch in 5+ years ...

Independent report (exec. summary), letter with it [alt.], reax by Bolden and Mikulski and coverage by SpN (earlier [SC]), SI (earlier), Rtr, BBC, NaB, SN, NYT, OS (OS), ScAm, BaS, PW, CBS, SC, SD, NwS, ScN, CSM, KSJ, ST, SW, Sp. Earlier: Nat.; NASA, STFC, GSFC (more) and ESA Releases, PoS. Euclid/WFIRST discussion: SpO.

2nd Chinese spacecraft in lunar orbit

And Chang'e 2 has enough fuel to return to Earth or for other maneuvers. First pictures, ESA Release of Sep. 30, launch video and coverage of Nov. 14: PSB (!) Nov. 12: PSB. Nov. 11: UT. Nov. 10: Wir., NaB, ASB. Nov. 9: PD, PlS, SC. Nov. 8: X, AFP, Eur. Nov. 1: NW. Oct. 26: X. Oct. 25: PD. Oct. 18: BjR (earlier). Oct. 14: ANI. Oct. 13: X. Oct. 12: SD. Oct. 8: PSB. Oct. 7: ST. Oct. 6: X, CD, SN, SC, SD, LNW Oct. 5: Eur. Oct. 4: SI, Dsc., LNW. Oct. 1: X (earlier), CNTV, SN, ScAm, BBC, NaB, NwSB, PSB (more), ST. Sep. 30: PSB. Sep. 28: SD, PSB. Sep. 20: MSN-I. Chang'e 3 water trouble: EPSC PR, SC, AFP. Chang'e 1 results: EPSC PR, LSI, Sp.

LCROSS papers finally out; confirm what was reported before, but Moon even a bit wetter: NASA [ARC] (earlier), U of A, JPL [NASA], Brown and SwRI Releases (commentary), Diviner Blog, S@N of Oct. 21, visuals, WP, NYT, Nat., SFG, T., NwS, A&SB, Wir., PrJ, PSB, APOD, SN, AT, ScAm, NG, SC (more), Tel., BBlb, Rtr, AP [NPR], IO9, UT (more), Dsc., KSJ, ST, Tw., BdW. LRO results: LROC pics of hightest point, PW, UT. StS, NwSB. Chandrayan 1 results: EPSC PR, AN, ScN, FrL; CHACE's story (more; now, earlier, PlS, earlier). Ch. 2 lander payload: PlS (earlier), SC, Eur. Russian plans: VoR. SMART 1 legacy: ESA PR. Lunochod 1 recovery: paper by Murphy & al., aXb. ARTEMIS progress: Berkeley and UCLA Releases, S@N, SN. Lunar farside: UCSC Release, SC, UT, BdW.

Venus Express insights: ESA Release of Oct. 7 (more), EPSC Releases of Sep. 23 (another one) and Sep. 21, PSB, UT (earlier).


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