Feeds

Crossing final frontiers in space

What did we learn in 2006, then?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

2006 in review When the powers that be here at Vulture Central asked for a round up of the events in space exploration and discovery over the last year, frankly we were overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.

Put a narrative thread behind the comings and goings at NASA? Detail the discoveries beaming back to Earth from myriad satellites? Explain how dark energy matters? In the run up to Christmas?

So, to help us concentrate, we turned to the comedic skills of one Eric Idle who, with a little help from John Du Prez, wrote The Galaxy Song. It will guide our path through the various scientific discoveries and magnificent journeys of 2006....behold:

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour...That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned, A sun that is the source of all our power.

And thanks to an agreement between The European Space Agency and Google Earth, you can see more of it than you previously could. ESA provided 130 beautiful satellite snaps of our little world doing its thang for Google to illustrate Google Earth.

Not too far from home, you'll find the moon. Lots of things about the moon made the news this year. For a start, Europe crash landed on it. Deliberately. Not to be outdone, NASA outlined its plans for building a lunar base. Show-offs.

There is general agreement about the second line of the song: we do indeed orbit the sun (we're sure there are some people who disagree, but really, who cares about them, right?) and thanks to a bunch of satellite launches this year, we should be getting a better understanding of it pretty soon.

This will mostly be thanks to NASA's twin solar observatory STEREO,which made its way into space this October. But Japan also launched a solar observatory - Solar-B - which will track the surface of our local star for the patterns in the magnetic field lines that foreshadow solar flares.

The twin solar observatories of STEREO, meanwhile, will send back images and data that will allow researchers to build the first ever truly three dimensional images of the sun. It'll also provide early warnings of scary solar weather, giving satellites time to switch into safe mode before floods of solar particles wipe out all their circuits.

And while all this launching of observatories was going on, the data coming back to Earth from the existing sun-watchers shed new light on space weather. SoHo (the SOlar Heliospheric Observatory) provided the data, and some boffins simulated the behaviour of the sun's atmosphere.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.