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Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope 167

esocid writes "WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others. Windows users (only) can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics. The application allows viewing from different wavelengths such as X-ray, visible light, and hydrogen-alpha radiation. Business Week has a review and some background on the project, which has been in development for years. Google Sky beat them to the punch but Business Week opines that WWT's interface is superior."

Lectures On the Frontiers of Physics Online 77

modernphysics writes "The Outreach Department at Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics offers a wide array of online lecture playbacks examining hot topics in modern physics and beyond. Presentations include Neil Turok's 'What Banged?,' John Ellis with 'The Large Hadron Collider,' Nima Arkani-Hamed with 'Fundamental Physics in 2010,' Paul Steinhardt with 'Impossible Crystals,' Edward Witten with 'The Quest for Supersymmetry,' Seth Lloyd with 'Programming the Universe,' Anton Zeilinger with 'From Einstein to Quantum Information,' Raymond Laflamme with 'Harnessing the Quantum World,' and many other talks. The presentations feature a split-screen presentation with the guest speaker in one frame and their full-frame graphics in the other."

Seeking Signs of Ancient Martian Life 106

StonyandCher writes in about a collaboration between NASA and a leading Australian exploration and mining scientist, Dr. Brent McInnes, to search for signs of ancient life on Mars. The plan is to develop and miniaturize the "Alphachron" — an exploration technology currently employed by the Australian minerals industry to determine the age of minerals. If the Alphachron can be miniaturized, it could fly with the next rover mission set for launch in 2010. "The highest priority is to understand when liquid water was present on Mars. 'The same minerals that can be found in [Western Australia]... can also be found on Mars,' McInnes said. Accordingly, by using the Alphachron to date minerals on Mars and thus tell when liquid water may have been present, it can be inferred when life may have been sustainable near the surface of the planet."

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