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March 30, 2010

LHC : La chasse est ouverte...

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Genève, le 30 mars 2010. À 13h06, des faisceaux sont entrés en collision à une énergie de 7 TeV, donnant ainsi le coup d’envoi au programme de recherche du LHC. Dans le monde entier, des physiciens des particules se préparent à une moisson potentiellement riche de données de nouvelle physique ; le LHC entame en effet sa première longue période d'exploitation à une énergie trois fois et demie supérieure aux énergies atteintes précédemment dans un accélérateur de particules.

Source : CERN Press Release

Collision à 7 TeV au coeur du détecteur ATLAS, le 30 mars 2010. ©CERN


A la moitié de sa réelle capacité (14 TeV), suite à l’incident survenu le 19 septembre 2009, le LHC a commencé un cycle d'expériences qui devrait durer entre 18 et 24 mois. A l'ordre du jour :

  • avec ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) : Le LHC fera entrer en collision des ions plomb afin de recréer en laboratoire les conditions qui régnaient juste après le Big Bang. Les données obtenues permettront d’étudier l’évolution de la matière de la naissance de l’Univers à nos jours.
  • avec ATLAS et CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid (Solénoïde compact pour muons)) : Il s'agit des deux détecteurs polyvalents du LHC. La recherche du boson de Higgs, la recherche d'autres dimensions et la recherche de la matière noire sont ses objectifs.
  • avec LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) : Cette expérience explorera les différences entre matière et antimatière en étudiant un type de particule appelée « quark beauté » ou « quark b ». Le LHC recréera les instants juste après le Big Bang, pendant lesquels les paires de quarks b et d’antiquarks b auraient été produites. 

Bonne chasse !



Prochain chapitre à venir dans 2 ou 3 ans : La création de micro trous noirs... Espérons qu'ils seront assez micro pour ne pas engloutir la planète :-)


More info @ LHC-France

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March 24, 2010

Breakthrough Propulsion Physics is alive !

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Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons. First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.
Stephen Hawking
About his zero-gravity flight in a "Vomit Comet"
26 April 2007


Hyperdrive Ring concept from Star Wars. The Einstein field equation, based on general relativity, theoretically allows the travel of an object at a greater velocity than that of light, provided that space-time is curved.

Even if the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) Program doesn't exist anymore since 2002 (BPP program ran from 1996 and was cancelled by NASA in 2002), even if Marc G. Millis (pioneering propulsion physicist and former head of the BPP Program) retired from NASA on Feb 3 of this year, emerging ideas for the future of the interstellar travel are not dead. Just go watch the Tao Zero Foundation website to realize that the legacy of the BPP program is intact (well, I agree, with much less money, but with the same if not more enthusiasm and relevance). Hereafter I reproduce the "Welcome" page of the Tao Zero Foundation website that describes perfectly the "leitmotiv" and the goals of the Practitioners of Tau.

Imagine the historic moment when the first Earth-like planet is detected deep across interstellar space. Like an inaccessible jewel it will beckon us. Is this a future home for humanity? What forms of life are already there? How do we get there? What happens when we arrive?

Based on today's technology, traveling to the stars is a long-term proposition. While existing space agencies grapple with sending astronauts beyond Earth orbit, and entrepreneurial firms bring the thrill of spaceflight to the people, no one has taken on the challenge of reaching other habitable worlds; until now.

The Tau Zero Foundation is a volunteer group of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and writers who have agreed to work together toward practical interstellar flight and to use this quest to teach you about science, technology, and our place in the universe. By posting the latest developments and unfinished advancements here, we give students the starting materials to begin their own discoveries. By showing both how daunting and incredible this challenge is, we hope to increase attention on protecting the habitability of Earth while planning journeys into the galaxy. By reaching for the stars we will create benefits every step of the way.

Here is how you can help with this ambition. With enough support we can competitively award grants and scholarships. Help us create a future worth striving for, where humanity can survive and thrive into the heavens. Let's make this dream a reality together.
- The Practitioners of Tau Zero

So if you've never heard of BPP and the quest for interstellar flight or if you want to really understand the place of humanity, this website will give you some answers but it also will present other questions (how to make ? why to make?) and interesting points of view about possible destinations and the necessary global state of mind to pursue the final objective : conquer other earth-like planets.
If you're an student or a professional and you know all this gobbledygook, you should check the On Edge (The Edge of Knowledge) page where you will find very interesting references that fixed the foundations for further research. About this point I would hold your attention on the Centauri Dreams blog (The News Forum of the Tau Zero Foundation) where you will find a very large source of recent discoveries on astrophysical and cosmological models, emerging technologies, theoretical speculations,...

The Tau Zero Foundation Logo by A. Szames

A few last but important points: Tau Zero Foundation is a private nonprofit corporation and is not affiliated with NASA. The organization was founded principally by Marc G. Millis (now retired from NASA and devoting almost 100% of his time to Tau Zero Foundation).

Tau Zero Foundation
Centauri Dreams

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March 21, 2010

Le troisième pastis

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Une histoire courte de 6 pages avec une petite touche d'humour que je trouve plus que sympathique (normal, c'est moi qui l'a rédigée en 2004 pour un concours de nouvelles organisé par l'Academie de Bretagne).


Le Troisieme Pastis

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March 19, 2010

NASA Missions

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This is a hilarious joke about NASA missions and a well done parody about Geeks/Nerds and their intentions of approaching a girl. How long does it take to arrive? What kind of matter we going to find? What kind of gravity pull? Is it a dangerous trip?

And the aswers, here:



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Toy Story on LEGO

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Another Toy Story LEGO set has been revealed yesterday by Toys'R'US (in USA): the "7599 Garbage Truck"(*) inspired by the Toy Story 3 movie (comming soon on June 18).

Hereafter the list of other available Toy Story LEGO sets :

  • 7590. Toy Story: Woody and Buzz Lightyear Rescue
  • 7591. Toy Story. Construct a Zurg
  • 7592. Toy Story: Construct a Buzz Lightyear
  • 7593. Toy Story: Buzz Lightyear's Star Command Ship
  • 7594. Toy Story: Woody's Round Up
  • 7595. Toy Story: Army Men on Patrol
(*) Only available in USA at this moment.

More info @ From Bricks To Bothans
Posted via web from Sotreta's Box

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March 18, 2010

Soma - Jewel And The Orchestra

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It's not about the Smashing Pumpking's song, not even the song of The Strokes, it's just about good rock made in France...


This quartet has scoured the French scenes for ten years and self-produced an EP in 2009. This year their efforts are rewarded by the release of the first album "Jewel And The Orchestra", a pop-rock gem inspired by the Anglo-Saxon musical culture. In "Jewel And The Orchestra", Soma capture the savage sound and the "yeah-yeah" rock energy on both sides of the Atlantic, from the Killers to Supergrass, from Oasis to The Strokes, with the arrogance of Hives and the character of Smashing Pumpkins. "Get Down" is without doubt the best song of "Jewel And The Orchestra" but it's a shame that "Milk" (one of the songs of the EP) is not present here. Anyway, it's good to see that a french band can sing in Voltaire's language as well as in Shakespeare's language.

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March 17, 2010

TRON

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Here we have an example of how science fiction movies technology can change along 28 years. And it is an honor to present this sequel of a film first appeared back in 1982...


Tron is an American action science fiction film starring Jeff Bridges. It was written and directed by Steven Lisberger, and has a distinctive visual style, as it was one of the first films to use extensive computer graphics. But 28 years later Tron: The Legacy came out off the darkness and the film premiere will be presented in IMAX-3D and it will appear in theaters on December 17th, 2010!!

Trailers:

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Looking for very rares movies...

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If you're looking for very rare (or ridiculous) movies maybe you must take a ride on AntimatterMultiverse.com

AntimatterMultiverse.com is a site dedicated to very rare (and sometimes lost and ridiculous) movies. Their inventory is very limited (there are principally super-heroes movies) but you can find some "gems" like "Star Wars Holiday Special 1978 (DVD)" (the 1978 TV show that any Star Wars fan would forget) or the 1997 TV pilot of "Justice League of America". About the quality of DVD copies you may be a little disappointed, do not expect HD miracles... However, given the rarity and the age of the films, quality is quite correct. The DVD price is 11,99 USD and the shipping/handling price (progressive depending on the number of DVDs purchased) is very affordable. Two years ago I bought 2 DVDs and the feedback was very positive (fast shipping and proper packaging). I hope soon they will expand the catalog with more films.

Another site with a catalog very more important is http://www.raremoviesworldwide.com but I have not yet tested it (I am a little bit apprehensive due to the fact that this site does not have a real shop, the order must be made by mail).

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March 13, 2010

The VASIMR propulsion: a serious potential candidate for future human interplanetary exploration

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But while Obama would forego a headline destination in favour of having NASA develop exotic technologies to enable human exploration of deep space while the private sector takes on the low- Earth orbit transport challenge, Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, one former NASA astronaut, thinks he can achieve both goals - and before any crew is carried aloft in a private rocket.

Source: FlightGlobal

The technological brick necessary to do this is the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket). Thirty years ago the very first VASIMR experiment was conducted at MIT, today the VASIMR technology is almost ready to take-off. Indeed, Ad Astra Rocket (the company fouded by Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz) is actually making test campaigns to build the first flight unit of the VASIMR engine, the VF-200, based on VX-200 thruster (thrust = ~1 lbf, specific impulse = 5000 sec, lifetime = > years). It will mounted externally on ISS probably in late 2013 or early 2014 and it will be used for drag compensation missions. This project will serve as a "pathfinder" for the ISS National Laboratory by demonstrating a new class of larger, more complex science and technology payloads.
Reboosting ISS is just one of the missions planned by Ad Astra Rocket. The VF-200 should be able to thrust a "robotic freeflyer space tug" to perform satellite repositioning, refurbishing and disposal missions.
NASA is contracting Ad Astra Rocket also for a lunar tug concept study, to take cargo from LEO orbits to the Moon and back, and deliver equipment in preparation for a human landing.



Movie of the VASIMR lunar tug concept. Credit: Ad Astra Rocket Company


This is only the beginning. Once the moon re-conquered the next step will be Mars... we just need 200 MegaWatt of electrical power (the VF-200 is a 200 kW thruster).

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March 12, 2010

So why are people afraid of technology?

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Is it the time you need to put in to learn it? Is it the money you have to put into it? Or maybe is it the fear you won’t find it useful or will not be able to manage it?

Why are people scared of technology? Are they? It struck me some time ago that the problem is quite simple: most of us don’t like experimenting. We need some kind of authority – a friend, a newspaper article a review found on a website. We listen to the advice, we believe it and only then we act. We buy a new phone, a new gadget or invest in some more sophisticated technology. This is as true as it comes to the food we eat, the religion we believe, the politicians we vote for, the cars we buy.

We come to the edge, but if nobody pushes us we will never jump.


Posted by Jon Scirocco on "Into Technology" wordpress blog on December 4, 2006.


More info @ IntoTechnology.wordpress.com
Posted via web from Sotreta's Box

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March 11, 2010

Star Wars weapons are not so far... USAF Airborne Laser YAL-1A

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On photo (US Air Force photo by Kellie Masters) : USAF Airborne Laser YAL-1A, a modified 747-400F, takes off from Edwards AFB. The aircraft's target illuminator laser fired for the first time.


With eight years of delay and billions of dollars over budget, finally the highly modified Boeing 747-400, designated YAL-1A, performed the feat on February 11at 8:44 PM Pacific time at the Point Mugu naval air warfare center sea range off California, shooting down a liquid-fueled, Scud-like target. The intercept sequence took place within two minutes of the target being fired.
In the same day, ABL also engaged a solid fuel missile, fired from San Nicolas Island. The target was engaged, but ABL stopped the lasing sequence before it was destroyed. None knows if there was a failure in the lasing sequence or if the interruption has been voluntary.

Technological keys :
  • ABL uses a high-power chemical laser to project energy on the target. One of the key features is a deformable mirror, which modifies the laser wavefront when it exits the 747’s distinctive nose to assure the laser energy is deposited on the target most effectively.
  • Target is detected using an infrared sensor.
  • A lower-power laser tracking illuminator laser (TILL) and beacon illuminator laser (BILL) are used to create the firing solution for the high-power chemical oxygen iodine laser to engage.
More info @ AviationWeek.com
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March 10, 2010

My Outerspace

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MyOuterSpace.com is a Sci Fi Social Network for those with a passion for the arts. Whether you are a fan of Sci Fi, Horror or Fantasy or seeking a career in the Science fiction industry MyOuterSpace.com has much to offer. Register on the planet that host your talent, fill out a profile and connect with others in your field. Submit your resume for a Starship project that needs your talents. Whether you are an actor, writer, animator or gamer MyOuterSpace.com has a home for you. Creative Talent, be sure to register on the planet that hosts your specialty, and you may be selected by a Captain to join his/her Starship Crew. Visitors won't be able to participate on a Starship Project unless they become a citizen of a United Planet. I will be monitoring all Starship projects, and reviewing each Captain's Log, where progress will be recorded each step of the way. The Captains will seek out new talent on the various Planets to build a winning team. There are six Starships ready to crew-up and develop a dynamic entertainment production, so register now, participate and keep your eyes to the stars,

William Shatner


Check it out Sci-fi fans !! MYOUTERSPACE

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The end of Star Wars Miniatures game

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There have been several questions lately regarding the future of the Star Wars Miniatures and Roleplaying Game and until now I haven't had definitive answers to give you. After a lengthy evaluation, Wizards of the Coast has decided not to renew the Star Wars license with Lucasfilm. We've had a long and fantastic run, but with the economic downturn, we have made the tough decision to discontinue our Star Wars lines.



The license officially ends in May this year, with WotC product available through August. In the meantime, we have awesome new products still coming your way. This week, we released The Dark Times minis and Galaxy of Intrigue RPG. We'll have more coming with Masters of the Force minis in April, which will have some of your most favorite characters along with rare creatures from the Dejarik Holochess game that have never appeared in our game. We'll also release The Unknown Regions RPG in April, which includes entirely new planets and mini-adventures for each world.



We are finishing the line with a bang so look for special programs at your local game store to stock up on favorite sets before they go into the vault. We will continue to support our Star Wars forums on the Wizards Community site so you can reach out and chat with us and other fans.



While I know the news is disappointing, we wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible and thank you for being such great fans. It's been a fantastic ride with the Star Wars community and working with Lucasfilm. We hope you enjoy the next several months of great products. You never know when we may circle back again!



Greg Yahn
Director of Marketing, Wizards of the Coast


"At least, we will have revenge". Finally the Dark Side of the Star Wars license has win. The Star Wars Miniatures game will end after the release of the 16th extension set Masters of Force. In 2009 the departure of Rob Watkins, developer of Star Wars Miniatures, was already a bad omen.. In the community of players and collectors of SWM, the disappointment is greater. Since 2004, the 16 SWM sets, the additional 5 packs (including the magnificent huge AT-AT), the set of Star Wars ships (Starship Battles) and the (highly prized) collection of promotional miniatures, made the happiness of a very specific public: the unconditional fan of Star Wars and also player of the war-games type. But let us be clear, since 2 or 3 years the game had reached a point where even small innovations on the powers and special abilities of the characters could no longer keep the same enthusiasm as the game started. This lack of innovation becomes very annoying when, in addition, the company Wizards of the Coast makes no effort to keep its customers in countries other than the USA. I speak of France, for example, where since the beginning of the SWM game, the budget for SWM was still ridiculous compared to expenses related to the game Magic. Thus, lack of funds, the last two National Championships SWM must take place in rooms graciously loaned by AJFV (Association fantastic game at Versailles). And I will not mention the price... a replica of a laser sword... Finally it may be a good thing that the game stops. Let's see if another company wants to pay royalties to LucasFilm, takes the game and gives it a new life. One thing is for sure, my wife is very happy with this news. Well, coincidentally I had already anticipated this move there in early 2010 when I had emptied my shelves and put all the figures in boxes.


More info @ Community.Wizards.com
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Is Obama's space policy right?

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Buzz Aldrin, member of Apollo 11, the first U.S. manned walk on the Moon, supports the new space policy of President Obama. In the other hand, http://www.supportconstellation.com presents several facts and elements (see the FAQ) which justify the Project Constellation. As a result of bipartisan outcry against the proposed cancellation of Constellation, President Obama has called for a “space summit” to be held in Florida on April 15th, in hopes of building a consensus for space policy. Whatever space policy adopted, I hope we continue to look toward the stars, with ambition and courage... Mars is not so far away... but perhaps have to stop on the Moon passing is a necessary step.



Following article comes from The Wall Street Journal
(http://online.wsj.com):

February 25, 2010

Trading the Moon for Mars
Obama's NASA budget has our space priorities right.
By Buzz Aldrin 

In January, President Obama announced a new budget for NASA that would, newspaper headlines screamed, "Eliminate Funds for Manned Missions to the Moon." Instead, the budget proposes new missions in near-Earth orbit. It also directly challenges and empowers the private sector to push the envelope of human space travel, and implicitly puts America on track to perfect life support and other technologies that can be tested closer to home before embarking on more distant destinations in space.

Many said the president's decision was misguided, short-sighted and disappointing. Having the experience of walking on the moon's surface on the Apollo 11 mission, I think he made the right call.

If we follow the president's plan, our next destination in space, Mars, will be within our reach. Rich in potential resources—including water, an atmosphere, and oxygen in the soil—Mars invites human exploration and eventual habitation. But perfecting the technology necessary to succeed in our eventual journey is a wise first step. Empowering the private sector to carry crews and cargoes into orbit faster is a critical second step.

The new NASA budget makes sense for many important reasons. First, the president is signaling that this agency deserves the full support of this administration and Congress, even as priorities are sorted out and other budgets are cut. Second, getting long-range space flight right requires getting near-Earth orbit perfect. Third, forestalling the moon mission in favor of perfecting the technologies that will allow us to reach Mars within some defined period ahead is sound. We should not rush it and experience an avoidable tragedy.

Mars is the long-range objective for our space program. Just as deep sea exploration began with practice in our littoral waters, a successful Mars mission begins with near-Earth orbit testing. To get to the final stage, we must perfect all that we'll need for the journey. The president' budget and step-by-step approach helps do that, minimizing the risks and costs as we go.

The new direction that Mr. Obama has set in this budget is the kind of bold initiative we have needed for many years. Mankind must explore and America must lead—in all aspects of space exploration, not least manned space exploration. But we must be willing to embrace real vision and reach for Mars with the patience that leadership has always required.

As President John F. Kennedy said in his historic 1962 speech at Rice University, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills."

The same can now be said of missions for the permanent human settlement of Mars. Yes, there will be risks. But a great nation has always known the risks of exploration are far outweighed by the discoveries and better lives that exploration brings to our country. With this budget, the president is preparing us for a brighter American future in space. I believe he deserves our support.

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March 5, 2010

Marina & the Diamonds : Oh sweet british diamond !

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The British pop wakes up! Marina Diamondis (a.k.a. Marina and The Diamonds) delivers an impressive voice (almost authoritarian) but tinged with humorous texts and joyful melodies. Her debut full-length studio album, The Family Jewels, was released on 22 February 2010.

It must be said. Marina is not new. It began in 2007 with an extended EP called Mermaid Vs Sailor EP containing 6 songs. This was an EP CD-R made by hand by Marina and sold through her MySpace page. Only 70 copies were made.
In 2008 the Marina musical career began with a double-side single consisting of "Obsessions" and "Mowgli's Road". Her second extended EP "Crown Jewels EP" released on june 2009 introduces the awesome "I'm not a robot" and two other songs.
Her first album "The Family Jewels" released on 22 February 2010 has already sold 60,000 copies (source www.metrofrance.com).
Her voice, deep and powerful, her world shifted slightly, and her personality, unparalleled, complete this musical framework, sparkling, intelligent and highly addictive. Just pick one song and, trust me, you will not be disappointed.




http://www.marinaandthediamonds.com
http://www.marinaandthediamonds.net

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March 2, 2010

The end of KOTOR serie

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After 50 issues the "Knights of the Old Republic" serie of Dark Horse Comics is ending. History begins on January 2006 in the first issue when Padawan Zayne Carrick discovers at the Jedi Academy of Taris his corrupt Jedi Masters in murdering his friends . Since this first issue John Jackson Miller has done an awesome job on the story, helped mainly by the artists Brian Ching and Bong Dazo.

Hereafter the list of issues (Title, Artists, issue number):

Crossroads, by Brian Ching et Travel Foreman, 0
Commencement, by Brian Ching et Travel Foreman, 1-6
Flashpoint, by Dustin Weaver et Brian Ching, 7-10
Reunion, by Brian Ching et Harvey Tolibao, 11-12
Days of Fear, by Dustin Weaver et Brian Ching, 13-15
Nights of Anger, by Brian Ching et Harvey Tolibao, 16-18
Daze of Hate, by Bong Dazo, 19-21
Knights of Suffering, by Dustin Weaver, 22-24
Vector, by Scott Hepburn, 25-28
Exalted, by Bong Dazo, 29-30
Turnabout, by Alan Robinson, 31
Vindication, by Brian Ching et Bong Dazo, 32-35
Prophet Motive, by Bong Dazo, 36-37
Faithful Execution, by Dean Zachary, 38
Dueling Ambitions, by Brian Ching, 39-41
Masks, by Ron Chan, 42
The Reaping, by Bong Dazo, 43-44
Destroyer, by Brian Ching, 45-46
Demon, by Brian Ching, 47-50

Final issue of "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" on-sale since Feb. 17th.

More info @ DarkHorse.com
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March 1, 2010

De l'eau sur Encelade ?

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Ce que vous voyez comme de la lumière c'est en fait des jets avec des particules de glace, de la vapeur d'eau et de composés organiques. Ces jets ont lieu dans de nombreuses fissures le long des fameuses "rayures de tigre" près du pôle sud d'Encelade, lune de Saturne. Plus de 30 jets individuels de tailles différentes peuvent être observées dans l'image et plus de 20 d'entre eux n'avaient pas été identifiés auparavant.
Cette mosaïque a été créée à partir de deux images à haute résolution qui ont été capturés par la caméra de la sonde spatiale Cassini qui avait survolé ces jets le 21 novembre 2009. La vue a été obtenue à une distance d'environ 14000 kilomètres d'Encelade et à un angle de phase de 145 degrés. L' échelle de l'image est de 81 mètres par pixel.
Les scientifiques du projet Cassini continuent d'étudier la question de savoir si les réservoirs d'eau liquide existent sous la surface de cette lune.

More info @ nasa.gov

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