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A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt? 114

astroengine writes "Astronomers have spotted something rather odd in the asteroid belt. It looks like a comet, but it's got a circular orbit, similar to an asteroid. Whether it's an asteroid or a comet, it has a long, comet-like tail, suggesting something is being vented into space. Some experts think it could be a very rare comet/asteroid hybrid being heated by the sun, but there's an even more exciting possibility: It could be the first ever observation of two asteroids colliding in the asteroid belt."

Antarctic's First Plane, Found In Ice 110

Arvisp writes "In 1912 Australian explorer Douglas Mawson planned to fly over the southern pole. His lost plane has now been found. The plane – the first off the Vickers production line in Britain – was built in 1911, only eight years after the Wright brothers executed the first powered flight. For the past three years, a team of Australian explorers has been engaged in a fruitless search for the aircraft, last seen in 1975. Then on Friday, a carpenter with the team, Mark Farrell, struck gold: wandering along the icy shore near the team's camp, he noticed large fragments of metal sitting among the rocks, just a few inches beneath the water."

Comment Re:Nice outdated explanation (Score 2, Interesting) 56

When the dark matter/dark energy theories first started coming around, my first thought was, "That sounds like a fudge." The universe was not behaving the way theory predicts - the rotation rates of the galaxies did not go the way that gravity predicted. So, dark matter was proposed to create more mass where none could be seen, to restore balance to the universe. The add-ons continued, to the point where astrophysics now suggests that an overwhelming percentage of the physical universe is invisible and indetectable. Which sounded strange, but I let it pass having other things to occupy my mind, and three kids to boot.

I ran across the plasma cosmology through sf author James Hogan, and I read a little more, and it does explain some things that conventional theories do not, and often, it does so much more simply. In the case of the rotation of spiral arms, it suggests that electrical currents are affecting the rotation speed - without recourse to invisible matter. Electromagnetism is 40 or so orders of magnitude stronger than gravity, so, hey, that might make a difference, seeing as 99% of the visible universe is plasma. In the case of the sun, if these electrical currents are out there in the galaxy, then it suggests that we are in the middle of them too, and like the above post suggests, the solar wind does pretty much meet the definition of an electrical current.

The anonymous coward's tone is a little abrasive, but modding him down for espousing a non-mainstream viewpoint is not cool, imho. There's some interesting thinking going on. And won't we all be embarrassed if, a hundred years from now, the hip people look on our astrophysics with dark matter and dark energy as a more recent version of epicycles?

Internet Explorer

Reports of IE Hijacking NXDOMAINs, Routing To Bing 230

Jaeden Stormes writes "We just started getting word of a new browser hijack from our sales force. 'Some site called Bing?' they said. Sure enough, since the patches last night, their IE6 and IE7 installations are now routing all NXDOMAINs to Bing. Try it out — put in something like" We've had mixed results here confirming this: one report that up-to-date IE8 behaves as described. Others tried installing all offered updates to systems running IE6 and IE7 and got no hijacking.
Update: 08/11 23:24 GMT by KD : Readers are reporting that it's not Bing that comes up for a nonexistent domain, it's the user's default search engine (noting that at least one Microsoft update in the past changed the default to Bing). There may be nothing new here.

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