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Submission + - Cassini and MESSENGER to be Shutdown? (nasaspaceflight.com) 1

iONiUM writes: "There's been a lot of rumours today (including twitter) that Cassini and MESSENGER projects will be shutdown due to the new budget, even though they are still functional. Since they are still operating, maybe someone else can start communicating with them, to at least continue to get data? Maybe even a private company could buy the rights?"

Submission + - Mars Curiosity Found Nothing After All? (nasa.gov) 1

iONiUM writes: "In Slashdot's / NASA's original post, it was implied that Curiosity had found something interesting: "Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something remarkable. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says.". However, during NASA's live AGU12 conference, NASA has now said "the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics", and "Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect.". Is this another NASA flop?"

Space Telescope Catches Monster Flare 158

gollum123 writes, "NASA's Swift satellite has seen a giant flare explode from a nearby star. Our sun also flares when twisted magnetic field lines in the solar atmosphere suddenly snap — but this was on a far larger scale, perhaps 100 million times as strong. The energy released by the explosion on II Pegasi was equivalent to about 50 quintillion atomic bombs. If the Sun were ever to produce such an outburst, it would almost certainly cause a mass extinction on Earth. II Pegasi is a binary system 135 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. Its two stars are close, only a few stellar radii apart; as a result, tidal forces cause both stars to spin quickly, rotating in lockstep once in seven days compared to the Sun's 28-day rotation period. Fast rotation is thought to be conducive to strong stellar flares."

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