Link roundup for 18 October 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Most of these are about space:

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The most notable news this week in space is certainly this, the launching of Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic flights will launch from. Test flights are still ongoing, but soon the tickets to space (for a few minutes) at $200,000 a piece will become a reality.

This article on Russian and European interest in underground caverns on the moon is a good reminder that nobody besides the US is actually looking at sending a manned mission to Mars, and even the US doesn't plan to do anything manned and Mars-related until the mid-2030s with a flyby mission to the planet. Meanwhile the moon could begin to be colonized by other countries by even the next decade.

This article is just on a police campaign in Toronto to increase community awareness, but the location is interesting: the Centro de Língua Portuguesa –Instituto Camões in Toronto. Looks like this is one way that the centre makes a bit of money.

According to this, Good Housekeeping in South Africa now publishes in Afrikaans. The cover of the next issue looks like this:



Dawn and Vesta: now we know a little bit more about the fascinating south pole. It turns out that there are actually two impact basins, one perhaps a billion years older than the other. This image shows their location:


Also a nice reminder of how much we can see of Vesta compared to before arrival:




And finally this short interview (6 minutes long) on what we have learned about brown dwarf stars over the past few weeks - it seems that they can actually form at masses below 13 times Jupiter's mass, which was thought to be the lower limit for the deuterium-burning reaction they exhibit.

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