Terminator's SkyNet is real, but it's looking at the stars

Scared of our inevitable annihilation at the hands of a huge network of connected supercomputers? Seen the Terminator flicks? Then you may want to stop reading. A team of scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) is…

NASA presents first 3D images of the sun

For the first time NASA has taken 3D images of the sun, using its Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) satellites. The twin satellites, launched in 2006, were positioned on opposite sides of the sun to generate the images. Unlike…

Real-life Star Trek teleporter in the works!

Those crazy kids over at Imperial College are at it again. Famed for their pioneering research into invisible sheds, they say they have applied the undetectable garden sanctum theory of metamaterials to produce a type of "space-time cloak." Which…

Avatar director James Cameron aims to put 3D camera on Mars

Oscar winning Avatar director James Cameron is planning to turn his 3D camera away from the fantasy world of Pandora and take it to the surface of the planet Mars. After budget issues forced NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to scrap…

First orbital collision – US and Russian satellites get a little too close

In the first reported orbital collision ever, a US and a Russian communications satellite have accidentally collided 780km above Siberia. A “massive cloud of debris” has been produced, and NASA is tracking the hundreds of bits resulting from the crash, in the hope that they won’t interfere with the ISS and the shuttle, which is due to launch later this month.

It’s comprehensively answered the question of “how much stuff can we stick up there without it hitting each other?”, as 6,000 satellites have been sent into orbit since the first in 1957. Only about half are still in use, with the others having become defunct over the years.

The satellites in question belong to Communications firm Iridium, based in Bethesda, Maryland, and Russia’s civilian space agency, Roscosmos. The former was launched in 1997 and only weighed 560kg, so probably came off rather worse in the collision than its one-tonne Russian rival from 1993.

Place your bets in the comments below as to when the second collision will occur. The closest wins a bit of charred satellite, dug out of the tundra of Siberia.

(via BBC)

RAF told to shoot down UFOs – ex MoD employee spills the space beans

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A gentleman who used to work for the Ministry of Defence has said that the RAF has been trying, unsuccessfully, to shoot down UFOs for years.

Nick Pope, who worked on the MoD’s UFO desk for three years, told the Sun:

“We know of cases where the order has been given to shoot down – with little effect to the UFO.”

According to Pope, pilots only open fire if they consider the UFO to be a threat to UK airspace…

Watching the inauguration from space

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Watching the inauguration yesterday from the ground, it was almost impossible to get a proper sense of scale of the proceedings. It was clear it was massive, but how massive? Well, click the image above to get a bird’s eye view of the scene in Washington from 681km up in the atmosphere.

You see those brown blobs? Those are massive crowds of people. Millions, in fact. The image is courtesy of Google’s (well, it’s not really theirs) GeoEye-1 satellite. More awesome satellite images over the break.