Heavens

Our sun does not radiate evenly. The best known example of radiation fluctuations is the famous 11-year cycle of sun spots. Nobody denies its influence on the natural climate variability, but climate models have, to-date, not been able to satisfactorily reconstruct its impact on climate activity.

An international team of researchers has debunked one of astronomy's long held beliefs about how stars are formed, using a set of galaxies found with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope.

When a cloud of interstellar gas collapses to form stars, the stars range from massive to minute.

Since the 1950s astronomers have thought that in a family of new-born stars the ratio of massive stars to lighter ones was always pretty much the same — for instance, that for every star 20 times more massive than the Sun or larger, you'd get 500 stars the mass of the Sun or less.

A new publication that recommends best practices for the next generation of portable biometric acquisition devices—Mobile ID—has been published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

NRL's Spacecraft Engineering Department and Remote Sensing Division announced it has successfully completed the System Requirements and Design Review (SRDR) for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Microwave Imager/Sounder (MIS) program. The MIS SRDR was the first major development milestone and was held in May 2009. The program sponsor, the NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO), has certified the SRDR to be a success.

Smouldering several thousand light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the Trifid Nebula presents a compelling portrait of the early stages of a star's life, from gestation to first light. The heat and "winds" of newly ignited, volatile stars stir the Trifid's gas and dust-filled cauldron; in time, the dark tendrils of matter strewn throughout the area will themselves collapse and form new stars.

A new paper published in Nature Geoscience by LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology Chair Patrick Hesp and United States Geological Survey scientist David Rubin is titled "Multiple origins of linear dunes on Earth and Titan," and examines a possible new mechanism for the development of very large linear dunes formed on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

Scientists at Texas A&M University explore the possibility of recreating Einstein's general relativity in a paper appearing in Physical Review Letters and highlighted with a Viewpoint in Physics (http://physics.aps.org).

Hurricane Bill was raining on Bermuda on Friday, August 21, 2009, and NASA satellites were providing forecasters with information about Bill's rainfall, clouds and winds.

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the center of Hurricane Bill on August 21, 2009 at 0225 UTC (August 17 at 10:25 p.m. EDT) capturing rainfall data.

Black holes, the mysterious regions in space once thought to be absent of light, are constantly under investigation. In a paper published in the Physical Review Letters, the journal of the American Physical Society, Dartmouth researchers propose a new way of creating a reproduction black hole in the laboratory on a much-tinier scale than their celestial counterparts.

We all know that influenza vaccination helps prevent disease, but a new study from Canada suggests it may also prevent another public health problem: inappropriate antibiotic use. The findings come from a new study in the September 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Disease, which is now available online.

NASA satellites continue to capture important wind speed and cloud data that forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are using to help their forecasts. QuikScat has been particularly helpful in determining the extent of hurricane and tropical storm-force winds, and they go a great distance.

Durham, N.C. – Researchers at Duke University Medical Center may have a new way to stop and even prevent the urinary tract infections (UTIs) that plague more than a third of all adults, some of them repeatedly.

The researchers have discovered how cells within the bladder are able to sense the presence of E. coli bacteria hiding within compartments in the bladder's own cells. This starts a process that then kicks them out.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Hospitals that treat more black cancer patients have worse survival rates on average for patients with breast and colon cancer, regardless of race, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The research helps explain why African-Americans with breast or colon cancer are less likely than white patients to survive the disease.

A team of scientists associated with the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration has completed new research on the origin of the universe and the results will appear in the journal Nature.

Pasadena, Calif.—An investigation by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration has significantly advanced our understanding the early evolution of the universe.