Random Linkage 03/10/09
'Dawn is celebrating the second anniversary of leaving its home planet by engaging in the same function it has performed most of its time in space: with the utmost patience, it is using its ion propulsion system to gradually modify its orbit around the Sun.'
MESSENGER Gains Critical Gravity Assist for Mercury Orbital Observations
‘MESSENGER successfully flew by Mercury yesterday, gaining a critical gravity assist that will enable it to enter orbit about Mercury in 2011 and capturing images of five percent of the planet never before seen. With more than 90 percent of the planet’s surface already imaged, MESSENGER’s science team had drafted an ambitious observation campaign designed to tease out additional details from features uncovered during the first two flybys. But an unexpected signal loss prior to closest approach hampered those plans.’
(Nice images, despite the glitch.)
Cosmic Rays Hit 50-Year High. Galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high, new data from a NASA spacecraft indicates.
'"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19 percent beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," said Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."'
Increase in sea levels due to global warming could lead to 'ghost states'
'Global warming could create "ghost states" with governments in exile ruling over scattered citizens and land that has been abandoned to rising seas, an expert said yesterday.'
Clues To Reversing Aging Of Human Muscle Discovered
'A study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has identified critical biochemical pathways linked to the aging of human muscle. By manipulating these pathways, the researchers were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself.'
Swedish parents win right to name sprog 'Q'
'The parents of a Jämtland boy have emerged triumphant from the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court, aka Regeringsrätten, and may henceforth legally refer to the sprog as "Q".'