Click the link below to see the very interesting footage.
Click the link below to see the very interesting footage.
A Briton who hacked into NASA’s computers has asked the House of Lords to overturn his extradition to the US.
The US wants to deport Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon from the UK and it has gained the approval of former home secretary John Reid on its extradition request.
McKinnon, a former sys admin, says he spent two years hacking into a number of US government systems looking for evidence of extra-terrestrial life. He is accused of illegally accessing computers belonging to the US army, navy, air force, NASA and the Department of Defense.
McKinnon is asking the Lords to overturn the proposed extradition on the grounds of an abuse of legal processes by US officials engaging in plea bargaining.
Representing McKinnon in the House of Lords on Monday, lawyer David Pannick told Law Lords that prosecutors said McKinnon faced 8-10 years in jail if he contested the charges, but only 37-46 months if he co-operated.
McKinnon claims that, as part of the offer if he co-operated, he was told that he could serve part of his sentence in the UK.
He claims that the US was not prepared to guarantee the offer in writing, and he declined to co-operate.
Pannick argued on Monday that it was not disputed that the courts could refuse to extradite people if they considered there had been an abuse of process.
He said: “If the United States wish to use the processes of English courts to secure the extradition of an alleged offender then they must play by our rules.”
Clare Montgomery, a lawyer representing the Home Office, said no threats were issued by the US authorities and the extradition should be allowed to proceed.
The Law Lords have the right to block the extradition, in which case McKinnon could still face charges in the UK.
McKinnon’s case has already been through multiple legal stages. Last year, his lawyers told London’s High Court that he had been subject to improper threats and that extradition would breach his human rights.
McKinnon says that if he loses the Lords appeal, he will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
If the extradition goes ahead, McKinnon faces a sentence of up to 60 years under terrorism charges.
If he wins the case, McKinnon says he will “spend a lot of time” trying to get the Extradition Treaty changed. US Congress has not ratified the Treaty, which was created in 2003.
The law lords will present their verdict in around three weeks.
What you need to know about Global Warming with Tom Brokaw is an interactive site where end users can choose key areas they wish to know more about.
This mosaic of four side-by-side microscope images shows a 3 millimeter (0.12 inch) diameter silicone target after it has been exposed to dust kicked up by the landing. It is the highest resolution image of dust and sand ever acquired on Mars.
This mosaic of four side-by-side microscope images (one a color composite) was acquired by the Optical Microscope, a part of the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) instrument suite on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander.
Taken on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008), the image shows a 3 millimeter (0.12 inch) diameter silicone target after it has been exposed to dust kicked up by the landing. It is the highest resolution image of dust and sand ever acquired on Mars. The silicone substrate provides a sticky surface for holding the particles to be examined by the microscope.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Idiocy raises its ugly head again. There is a new bill on the docket and it is known as the Lieberman Bill. This bill is a move toward saving our planet. Which in my opinion; is the most important goal on our planet. I can tell by using my immediate surroundings as an example that the most idiotic people will oppose this bill. I say this with all due respect but you know your local surrounding better than anywhere else and if you listen to the debaters you will find that the people you have least respect for their knowledge automatically think about their wallet. they believe it is better to have man made money in their pockets than having a life supporting biosphere so they can LIVE. If you can not breathe and your planet turns into an autoclave, then what is money worth. Are these people victims of social programming or are they a direct result of our failing educational system? Either way it is common sense and I hope it passes.
Astronomers have discovered an extrasolar planet only three times more massive than our own, the smallest yet observed orbiting a normal star. The star itself is not large, perhaps as little as one twentieth the mass of our Sun, suggesting to the research team that relatively common low-mass stars may present good candidates for hosting Earth-like planets.
Led by David Bennett of the University of Notre Dame, the international research team presents its findings in a press conference Monday, June 2, 2008 at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in St. Louis, Mo.
“Our discovery indicates that that even the lowest mass stars can host planets,” says Bennett. “No planets have previously been found to orbit stars with masses less than about 20 percent that of the Sun, but this finding indicates that even the smallest stars can host planets.”
The astronomers used a technique called gravitational microlensing to find the planet, a method that can potentially find planets one-tenth the mass of our own.
The gravitational microlensing technique, which came from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, relies upon observations of stars that brighten when an object such as another star passes directly in front of them (relative to an observer, in this case on Earth). The gravity of the passing star acts as a lens, much like a giant magnifying glass. If a planet is orbiting the passing star, its presence is revealed in the way the background star brightens. A full explanation of the technique follows this release.
“This discovery demonstrates the sensitivity of the microlensing method for finding low-mass planets, and we are hoping to discover the first Earth-mass planet in the near future,” said Bennett.
Using standard nomenclature, the star hosting the newly discovered planet is dubbed MOA-2007-BLG-192L with MOA indicating the observatory, 2007 designating the year the microlensing event occurred, BLG standing for bulge, 192 indicating the 192nd microlensing observation by MOA in that year and the L indicating the lens star as opposed to the background star further in the distance. The planet maintains the name but adds a letter designating it as an additional object in the star’s solar system, so it is called MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb.
MOA-2007-BLG-192L resides 3,000 light years away and is classified as either a low-mass hydrogen burning star, one that sustains nuclear reactions in its core as our Sun does, or a brown dwarf, an object like a star yet without the mass to sustain nuclear reactions in its core. The researchers were unable to confirm which category the star fits into due to the nature of the observations and the margin of error.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Bennett has been one of the pioneers in using gravitational microlensing for detecting low mass planets. He has been working with collaborators around the world to find a number of planets that are ever closer in size to our own.
For the most recent discovery, the research collaborators took advantage of two international telescope collaborations: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA), which includes Bennett, and the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE).
Researchers in New Zealand made the initial measurements of the new planet and its star using the new MOA-II telescope at the Mt. John Observatory. The observatory’s MOA-cam3 camera, in one observation, can capture an image of the sky 13 times larger than the area of the full moon. Researchers in Chile made follow-up observations using high angular resolution adaptive optics images at the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory. Data from the observations was analyzed by scientists around the world hailing from five continents.
“This discovery is very exciting because it implies Earth-mass planets can form around low-mass stars, which are very common,” said Michael Briley, NSF astronomer and the officer who oversees Bennett’s grant. “It is another important step in the search for terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of other stars, and it would not have been possible without the international collaboration of professional and amateur astronomers devoted to measuring these signals.”
A paper describing this result has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal and is scheduled for publication in the Sept. 1 edition.
Take a look at this image sent back from the Phoenix lander. On Friday, Phoenix scientist Ray Arvidson said there may be ice directly under the Phoenix lander, exposed in the blast zone by the retrorockets used for Phoenix’s soft landing. Friday’s image showed a small portion of the exposed area that looks brighter and smoother than the surrounding soil. On Saturday, Sol 5 for Phoenix on Mars, a new image shows a greater portion of the area under the lander. Scientists say the abundance of excavated smooth and level surfaces adds evidence to a hypothesis that the underlying material is an ice table covered by a thin blanket of soil. This is just what the Phoenix mission was hoping to find, and how incredible to land directly over your goal.
The bright-looking surface material in the center, where the image is partly overexposed, may not be inherently brighter than the foreground material in shadow. But the scientists are calling this area “Holy Cow.” Reportedly (via Emily at the Planetary Society) that’s exactly the phrase exclaimed when this image was returned. More pictures of this feature will be imaged using different exposures in an effort to determine if this really is ice.
The other interesting aspect of this image is that the retrorocket nozzles are visible right at the top of the image.