A 13,000 year old meteorite from Mars, found in 1984 in Antarctica, is back in the news. The rock caused was the center of the news when NASA announced during an August 1996 press conference claiming that it may contained evidence of past life on Mars.
The first paper in Science described micrometer-sized carbonate deposits, shaped like pancakes, along tiny cracks and crevices in the meteorite, known as ALH84001. Researchers theorized that the carbonates were deposited from carbon dioxide-saturated fluids that were no more than 100 degrees -- the temperature around which microorganisms on Earth flourish.
They also found nanometer-sized iron sulfide and iron oxide grains (which they theorized were produced by bacteria) and organic compounds known at polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PHAs, which they suggested were the organic remains of Martian organisms.
The discovery of worm-shaped objects within the meteorites fractures, which scientists proposed were the fossilized remains of the organisms themselves are shown in the picture above.
The results were controversial from the start and were quickly followed by a flurry of papers that refuted every leg of the argument including the life-friendly temperature of the water; the biological origin of the iron grains; and the prospect that the organic PAHs actually came from Antarctica, not Mars.
A quiet consensus has emerged that the ALH84001 meteorite contains no evidence of past Martian life, wrote Georgia Techs John Bradley.
This month, NASA scientists responded with fresh research that used a new analysis technique, called ion beam milling, to study the iron grains. They conclude that there is considerable evidence that the nanocrystal iron grains were not the result of geology, which leaves biology as the only other alternative.
In advance of scientists deciding what this latest research means, some members of the (British) press have decided that life (once again) has been found on Mars, or at least inside this one Martian rock.
They may be right, of course. Or, quite possibly, given a couple of weeks or even days, scientists may trump the results once again. That is the nature of the scientific process.
The ominous introduction by Stelzner, an EDL Engineer for Mars Curiosity mission, for the incredible (and down right scary) NASA video that describes what the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) must endure when it reaches the Martian atmosphere in August.
It appears that Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist who was responsible for developing the special theory of relativity, is still right: Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
According to a press release from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the results of a September experiment, which found that neutrinos could breach the most well-known principle of Einstein's special theory of relativity, have not been confirmed in a retest by a new group of scientists operating out of the same laboratory.
The new experiment, called the ICARUS experiment, which was conducted at the Italian Gran Sasso laboratory, recorded a new time for the speed of neutrinos from CERN to Gran Sasso.
The scientists use the same short pulsed beam from September's experiment to conduct the ICARUS experiment. CERN's press release states that the new measurement "is at odds with the initial measurement reported by OPERA last September."
"The evidence is beginning to point towards the OPERA result being an artefact of the measurement," said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci, in a press release, adding that "it's important to be rigorous, and the Gran Sasso experiments, BOREXINO, ICARUS, LVD and OPERA will be making new measurements with pulsed beams from CERN in May to give us the final verdict."
The speed of light is tied to the fabric of space time and matter. It is part of what makes up space and time as we know it. We likely will not be able to discover anything that carries data faster than light in the near future. This is a discovery for a far more advanced civillzation. Maybe someday if humans survive the next 100 years, we will be on coarse for more advanced discoveries. - DeGirolamo
Assembled by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone over a span of 50 years, the Museum collection contains over 60 of the rarest and most significant racing sports cars ever built. The Simeone was chosen Museum of the Year by the International Historic Motoring Awards in London.
Computer Guy, a company now over 17 years old, and offering services that are hard for any company to duplicate had a meeting with the Mayor this week to discuss Tacony, and the needs of the local business community. The Mayor praised DeGirolamo for displaying "the imagination and ingenuity that will bring back American industry"
Scott DeGirolamo - The Kepler spacecraft has detected a planet in a far away solar system. Using the photometer on board the Kepler was able to measure the (dimming) of the star as the planet pasted in front. It is very difficult to determine what the planet might look like, its size, or where it is in relation to the star it orbits, but later we may be able use spectrum analysis to determine if the atmosphere of this world contains water. It is likely that we will find many worlds like this. Hundreds of thousands of worlds will likely be found as we launch more advanced spacecrafts.
The habitable zone: This refers to an area that can support liquid water. This idea can be misleading. The Cassini probe flew right through liquid water in orbit around Saturn - spewed from a volcano - a water volcano on a moon of Saturn. As it turns out, we may not understand what habitable really means. Life may exist anywhere - on Mars, in deep space, under the ice on Europa, or maybe even on the planet shown above.
The picture above was snapped by the Huygens probe upon its descent. It is a picture of Titan - A moon of Saturn. What you see here in the picture are gullies, rivers, a large oily sea, some clouds, a shoreline, and other features that look like Earth. It does look like Earth, only the rocks are Ice, and the water is actually liquid methane, hydrocarbons. Organic molecules rain down on the surface, and dense clouds have the same patterns as Earth. It seems likely that these patterns exist in any temperature range (just with different substances), so maybe life can also exist in many ranges, just using different stuff.
CARL SAGAN speaks here about the Voyager probe, which is currently entering a void area right before deep space. He mentioned the Huygens probe in this video. He did not live to see it land on Titan, but if he had - it would have been a very happy day for him, because what we see her - in real pictures, is truly an Earth like world. This world is like earth, and able to be explored by us humans right now - if we want, or we can just do what we are doing now.
Please also hear Carl Sagan talk about this Pale Blue Dot which we all ride on
DeGirolamo: The Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) inherited many design elements from the earlier Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, including six-wheel drive, a rocker-bogie suspension system and cameras mounted on a mast to help the mission's team on Earth select exploration targets and driving routes. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity carries equipment to gather samples of rocks and soil, process them and distribute them to onboard test chambers inside analytical instruments, and has a friggin laser that can vaporize rock from 30 feet. The 10 pounds of Plutonium can keep this car size rover going for a good long time.
The actual launch period will go from November 25 to December 18. Launch within that period will result in a Mars landing between August 6 and August 20, 2012. This is a relatively short cruise period, and it will result in a landing geometry such that Curiosity will not have direct-to-Earth communication capability during landing.
Evidence from the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera for a frozen sea close to Mars' equator by John B. Murray, Jan-Peter Muller, Gerhard Neukum, Stephanie C. Werner, Stephan van Gasselt, Ernst Hauber, Wojciech J. Markiewicz, James W. Head III, Bernard H. Foing, David Page, Karl L. Mitchell, Ganna Portyankina & the HRSC Co-Investigator Team. DeGirolamo- This paper published in 2005 indicates the possibility that what we are seeing here is a vast froze ocean, perhaps covered by just a thin cover of dust. Maybe only a few inches thick notice please the tectonic plate structure as seen on Earth.
Here is a little bit of an interview with one of the authors:
SD: Could the cracking of the crust down to that level have been caused by volcanism rather than tectonics?
JM: It could have been volcanism. There is the big Elysium volcano to the north, but that is really quite old. It is possible the cracking is some late manifestation associated with that, though it is actually quite far from the foot of Elysium, and there are very few signs of volcanic vents along most of the cracks.
SD: So these deep caverns on Mars are places where water has burst out of underground aquifers. Do you think there are more such places that haven't yet cracked open?
JM: There are a lot of places where you don't see signs of tectonic cracking. So presumably, beneath those, we'll find untapped areas of water.
SD: You found this frozen sea at the equator, which is significant because so far there's been no evidence for water at the equator.
JM: That's right. There's been some recent models looking at the tilt of Mars's axis, which at the moment is very similar to the Earth's. But that appears to be a coincidence, because throughout most of Mars's history, the axis was at 45 degrees, a far greater tilt.
As soon as you have a tilt of 45 degrees, you get a whole different climate, with more water ice and frost deposition at the equator. It's possible when this flood event occurred, it was during this period of frost deposition.
Gerhard Neukum dated this particular feature by counting the number of impact craters, and discovered it was only about 5 million years old. 5 million years sounds ancient to you and me, but in geological terms it's yesterday.
Now, as soon as you start to think about that, and that the kinds of things you require for life to form are water and carbon and an energy source and unlimited amounts of time - you have all those things here.
If you've got supplies of liquid water underground, then life may have been able to develop and sustain itself and reproduce. Underground life also would be protected from ultraviolet radiation and oxidation, things that will break up molecules at the surface.
Mars was warm and wet during its first billion years, and has probably had these vast underground water reserves ever since, from 3 or 4 billion years ago to at least 5 million years ago.
A million is an awful long time. There has not yet been a million days since the birth of Christ, for example. And we're not just talking about a million years, but thousands of millions of years of this water being there, under the surface.
That is plenty of time for life to develop, if it could. And so if life has developed, then I think it's highly likely it will be in this water, in this frozen sea. So we won't be looking for fossils, we'll be looking for the actual organisms themselves, frozen within the ice.
This month's group of security patches from Microsoft will be out November 8th! November's patch slate is significantly shorter than October's when Microsoft fixed a record 49 flaws.
Two Important security bulletins are being released. Your dedicated technician is waiting for your call to keep your system up to date, and check your backup.
Microsoft releases security patches the second Tuesday of every month. Adobe, JAVA, and other software vendors also prepare their corrective updates around this time. Your technician wants to assist with this regular maintenance necessary to keep your computer healthy, and virus free. While we are helping to maintain your system, it will be a good time to validate your backup too. Making sure your backup is there, and working is incredibly important!
NOVEMBER PATCH TUESDAY :
Update for Windows Mail Junk E-mail Filter [November 2011] (KB905866)
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - November 2011 (KB890830)/Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - November 2011 (KB890830) - Internet Explorer Version
Filming In Rittenhouse Square With Barry Lefkowitz.
Scott DeGirolamo is simultaneously directing two TV shows: Scott is directing "The Cooking Informant" which is a cooking show about a man being pursued by the mob for giving away Italian cooking secrets while making a TV show called "Cooking And Cocktails With Cuda...Some Wine Too". Scott is also coincidentally directing a TV show primarily about regional Italian cooking, and wine called "Cooking And Cocktails With Cuda...Some Wine Too" starring Barry Lefkowitz.
Dr. Sagan was the man, really he was; just watch the amazing video below which uses audio from the Carl Sagan audio book The Pale Blue Dot. This is a wonderful argument for a return to the moon. We as a species have benefitted from space exploration technology (spin-off technology) for a long time, both spiritually, and practically. Check out what Dr. Sagan said:
Shown above is a pod of Orca off the coast of Malibu. The killer whales, and white sharks that are common here are thought to be naturally peaceful animals by the surfers, and kayakers that frequent the area.
The radio telescope is the most expensive ground-based telescope ever built - and the highest-altitude, at 16,000ft. Chile's Atacama desert was chosen as its location for its dryness and clarity.
American projeect manager Mark McKinnon said, 'Alma's test views show us star-forming regions on a level of detail that no other telescope on Earth or in space has attained.' It operates at higher sensititivity and higher resolution than any previous 'sub-millimetre' radio telescope - and should allow us to see the formation of new solar systems.
ALMA, as it is known, can see through cold clouds of dust that 'block the view' of traditional infrared/visible light telescopes.
As more of ALMA's antennae come online, its images will get sharper.
PASADENA, Calif. -- Observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars.
NASA's Mars Exploration Program keeps bringing us closer to determining whether the Red Planet could harbor life in some form, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, and it reaffirms Mars as an important future destination for human exploration.
Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere.
"The best explanation for these observations so far is the flow of briny water," said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson. McEwen is the principal investigator for the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and lead author of a report about the recurring flows published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science.
Some aspects of the observations still puzzle researchers, but flows of liquid brine fit the features' characteristics better than alternate hypotheses. Saltiness lowers the freezing temperature of water. Sites with active flows get warm enough, even in the shallow subsurface, to sustain liquid water that is about as salty as Earth's oceans, while pure water would freeze at the observed temperatures.
The Pavonis Mons volcano contains a 115-foot-wide "skylight" opening to a cavern below, as seen in this August 17 picture from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Caves often form in volcanic regions when lava solidifies on the surface but keeps flowing underneath. The underground rivers of lava drain away, leaving an empty tube. The skylight forms when a section of crust falls into the tube below. Based on the shadow cast on the floor of the pit, scientists estimate that the cavern is about 55 feet deep. These caverns could shelter astronauts during future missions to Mars.
DeGirolamo: Possibly the future winner of the Loebner prize? Chatbots are arguably at the rubbish end of AI where good theory meets what ever tricks, sorry heuristics, can be found to fool a user into thinking that there is more intelligence behind the machine that there really is. Every year chatbots meet to compete in the Loebner Prize Competition to see if they are good enough to pass the Turing test and win $100,000 and a gold medal. This years Loebner prize is on the 19th of October and as a sort of curious run up activity Cornell's Creative Machines Lab pointed two chatbots, Cleverbots, at each other and let them talk. You can see and hear the result in the video and it is both hilarious and some how very disturbing. It this the future of AI?
PTF 11kly in M101 which is about 21 million light years away. One of the closest supernovas seen in decades. This is a typeIa event (white dwarf) discovered by the Samuel Oschin Telescope in California
Gravity Probe reveals: Rotational frame-dragging (the Lense–Thirring effect) appears in the general principle of relativity and similar theories in the vicinity of rotating massive objects. Under the Lense–Thirring effect, the frame of reference in which a clock ticks the fastest is one which is revolving around the object as viewed by a distant observer. This also means that light traveling in the direction of rotation of the object will move past the massive object faster than light moving against the rotation, as seen by a distant observer. It is now the best-known effect, partly thanks to the Gravity Probe B experiment. Qualitatively, frame-dragging can be viewed as the gravitational analog of electromagnetic induction. Also, an inner region is dragged more than an outer region. This produces interesting locally-rotating frames. For example, imagine that an "ice skater", in orbit over the equator of a black hole and rotationally at rest with respect to the stars, extends her arms. The arm extended toward the black hole will be torqued spinward. The arm extended away from the black hole will be torqued anti-spinward. She will therefore be rotationally sped up, in a counter-rotating sense to the black hole. This is the opposite of what happens in everyday experience. If she is already rotating at some speed when she extends her arms, inertial effects and frame-dragging effects will balance and her spin will not change. Due to the Principle of Equivalence gravitational effects are locally indistinguishable from inertial effects, so the rotation rate at which, when she extends her arms, nothing happens is her local reference for non-rotation. This frame is rotating with respect to the fixed stars and counter-rotating with respect to the black hole. A useful metaphor is a planetary gear system with the black hole being the sun gear, the ice skater being a planetary gear and the outside universe being the ring gear. See Mach's principle. Linear frame dragging is the similarly inevitable result of the general principle of relativity, applied to linear momentum. Although it arguably has equal theoretical legitimacy to the "rotational" effect, the difficulty of obtaining an experimental verification of the effect means that it receives much less discussion and is often omitted from articles on frame-dragging (but see Einstein, 1921). Static mass increase is a third effect noted by Einstein in the same paper.effect is an increase in inertia of a body when other masses are placed nearby. While not strictly a frame dragging effect (the term frame dragging is not used by Einstein), it is demonstrated by Einstein that it derives from the same equation of general relativity. It is also a tiny effect that is difficult to confirm experimentally.
The first frame-dragging effect was derived in 1918, in the framework of general relativity.
The Constellation program has been finished off. President Obama is calling on NASA to cancel the program that was to return humans to the Moon by 2020, and focus instead on radically new space technologies.To pay for the new technology development, the budget calls for a complete stop in NASA's Constellation program, the rockets and spacecraft that NASA has been working on for the past four years to replace the space shuttles. The proposal would officially end aspirations to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020 - President George W. Bush's "vision for space exploration" developed in the aftermath of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003.
In place of the Moon mission, Mr. Obama's vision offers, at least initially, nothing in terms of human exploration of the solar system. What the administration calls a "bold new initiative" does not spell out a next destination or timetable for getting there.
In the meantime. instead of using the Constellation's Ares I rocket and Orion crew capsule to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, $6 billion would instead go to financing space taxi services from commercial companies.
The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity - only expected to last for 90 days has reached a 13 mile-wide impact site; the Endeavour crater, 7 years after landing. In pursuit of the water story on Mars, the team eagerly anticipates a scientific harvest at this deep new site. Look at this cool picture (that is the little rover sitting at the Santa Maria crater which is near the big Endeavour crater)
We at Computer Guy would like to thank Mike Jablonowski for his heroic efforts while attempting to put out the fire inadvertently started while filming the Computer Guy In-A-Box line of products commercial last week. Thanks Mike ! I think the commercial came off very well despite the "problems" that day. Well Done !
The nonprofit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, which was forced earlier this year to shutter its Allen Telescope Array, used to listen for alien signals, due to budget issues, has raised enough money to resume the search for life beyond planet Earth. The institute reached its goal last week of raising $200,000 to operate the telescope through the end of this year.
Scott DeGirolamo: The funds came from over 2,000 private donors, including the actress Jodie Foster. Foster wrote in a note accompanying her donation. "The Allen Telescope Array could turn science fiction into science fact, but only if it is actively searching the skies." The instrument, named after Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who funded its construction, is the first to be dedicated almost entirely to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Bulletin/Advisory Details MS11-053Vulnerability in Bluetooth Stack Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2566220)Microsoft Rating: CriticaleEye Rating: Important
AnalysisThis bulletin addresses a privately reported remote code execution vulnerability in the Windows Bluetooth 2.1 driver. The patch fixes a stack vulnerability that occurs when memory, which has not been initialized correctly or has been deleted, is accessed. An attacker that successfully exploited this vulnerability would gain system-level access to the target machine.
RecommendationsDeploy patches as soon as possible. Until the patch can be applied, open the Bluetooth Settings dialog box. Uncheck the box next to the "Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer" setting. This will prevent all Bluetooth devices from connecting to affected systems, which will mean Bluetooth mice and keyboards will be affected, as well.
MS11-054Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2555917)Microsoft Rating: Important eEye Rating: Important
CVE List: CVE-2011-1874, CVE-2011-1875, CVE-2011-1876, CVE-2011-1877, CVE-2011-1878, CVE-2011-1879, CVE-2011-1880, CVE-2011-1881, CVE-2011-1882, CVE-2011-1873, CVE-2011-1884, CVE-2011-1885, CVE-2011-1886, CVE-2011-1887, & CVE-2011-1888
AnalysisThis bulletin addresses 15 privately reported locally exploitable vulnerabilities in the Win32 Kernel: 14 elevation of privilege vulnerabilities and 1 information disclosure vulnerability. The patch fixes 9 use- after-free-vulnerabilities and 6 null pointer de-reference vulnerabilities. In the worst case scenario, an attacker that successfully exploited the elevation of privilege vulnerabilities would gain kernel-level access to the target machine.
RecommendationsDeploy patches as soon as possible since no mitigation is available.
MS11-055Vulnerability in Microsoft Visio Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2560847)Microsoft Rating: ImportanteEye Rating: Important
AnalysisThis bulletin addresses a publicly reported remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Visio. The patch fixes an insecure library loading vulnerability. An attacker that successfully exploited this vulnerability would gain user-level access to the target machine and would be able to execute remote code within the context of that user.
RecommendationsDeploy patches as soon as possible. Until the patch can be applied, block ports 139 and 445 using a firewall, prevent the WebClient service from running, and prevent DLL's loaded from WebDAV and remote shares.
MS11-056Vulnerabilities in Windows Client/Server Run-time Subsystem Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2507938)Microsoft Rating: ImportanteEye Rating: Important
CVE List: CVE-2011-1281, CVE-2011-1282, CVE-2011-1283, CVE-2011-1284, & CVE-2011-1870
AnalysisThis bulletin addresses 5 privately reported local elevation of privilege vulnerabilities in the Windows Client/Server Run-time Subsystem (CSRSS). The patch fixes all 5 vulnerabilities that occur when an attacker locally runs a malicious program on the target system. An attacker that successfully exploited this vulnerability would gain kernel-level access to the target machine.
RecommendationsDeploy patches as soon as possible since no mitigation is available.
Released Tuesday - these important updates should be applied ASASAP. Please have your technician get these updates applied. Call (215) 338-7500, and your technician will arrange for these patch installs right away.
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Microsoft Patch DisclosureMay 10th, 2011 Overview This month, Microsoft released 2 patches which repair a total of 3 vulnerabilities. Both of these patches address Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities. MS11-036Vulnerabilities in Microsoft PowerPoint Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2545814)Microsoft Severity Rating: Important
Microsoft's patching is going from one extreme to the other. While March had just three bulletins fixing four vulnerabilities, next week 17 bulletins are being issued, fixing 64 different vulnerabilties. This ties with December 2010 as the most bulletins, and takes the clear lead for number of flaws fixed.
Nine bulletins are critical, with all carrying the risk of remote code execution. The remaining eight are ranked important; six of these enable remote code execution, one allows privilege escalation, and the last can lead to information disclosure. Seven of the bulletins have mandatory restarts; the remainder "may" do so.
As well as the typical patches for Windows, Internet Explorer, and Office, a couple of the bulletins include more unusual patches. Specifically, the Office Web Apps and Visual Studio are both receiving fixes this month. Not included in the list of patched software is Internet Explorer 9; this latest browser version is apparently immune to the flaws affecting versions 6, 7, and 8 that will be patched next week.
Microsoft has also confirmed that these patches include fixes for the MHTML flaw publicly disclosed in January, and an SMB flaw disclosed in February. In March, the company announced that it had learned of limited, targeted attacks using the MHTML flaw. The SMB flaw carried a theoretical possibility of remote code execution, but the company felt that denial of service was the more likely outcome. As ever, the full list of resolved flaws won't be announced until next week. Please have your technician apply these patches -all test good!
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Will fix next week, Adobe kicked out this security bulletin for users of it's flash player - your technician will stay on this issue it is now exploited in the wild via a .swf file embedded in an Excel spread sheet.
We constructed a simple class of compactified five-dimensional metrics which admits closed timelike curves (CTCs), and derive the resulting CTCs as analytic solutions to the geodesic equations of motion. The associated Einstein tensor satisfies the null, weak, strong and dominant energy conditions; in particular, no negative-energy "tachyonic" matter is required. In extra-dimensional models where gauge charges are bound to our brane, it is the KK modes of gauge-singlets that may travel through the CTCs. From our brane point of view, many of these KK modes would appear to travel backward in time. We give a simple model in which such time-traveling Higgs singlets can be produced by the LHC, either from decay of the Standard Model Higgses or through mixing with the SM Higgses. The signature of these time-traveling singlets is a secondary decay vertex pre-appearing before the primary vertex which produced them. The two vertices are correlated by momentum conservation. - DeGirolamo
The James Webb Space Telescope to be launched in 2014. Webb will find the first galaxies that ever formed. We will be looking back -just after the expansion of the fabric (space-time) that we exist in. The Webb will orbit about 1 million miles from Earth at the L2 Lagrange point. The Lagrange point refers to a 18th century three-body mathematical problem. The problem Lagrange was looking for involved finding a stable configuration in which three bodies could orbit each other yet stay in the same position relative to each other. He found five such solutions, and they are called the five Lagrange points in honor of their discoverer. - DeGirolamo
The Messenger spacecraft will enter into orbit around Mercury on March 17, 2011. The durable spacecraft is carrying seven science instruments and is fortified against the effects near the Sun. This will be the first spacecraft to orbit the innermost planet.
Microsoft just announced that the unpatched MHTML IE vulnerability is now being actively exploited in online attacks. Internet Explorer users (and even non-IE Windows users) should disable MHTML.http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2501696
Have your technician apply this fix right away
Feb 8th Patch Release from Microsoft - The latest (Patch Tuesday) release will have some important updates and security patches. Please have your technician address these security releases strait away.
Betelgeuse, the red supergiant at the top of the constellation of Orion 600 light years away, will more likely nova in a cosmological time period -and we are less likely to see the super giant go nova next year (599 years ago) - DeGirolamo
Leapfrogging into the past with the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers says it has detected what may be the most distant and earliest galaxy yet found. It is a smudge of light only a tiny fraction of the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, and it existed when the universe was only 480 million years old. Its light has been on its way to us for 13.2 billion years, making it the long-distance champion in an expanding universe.
A photo from the Hubble Space Telescope that is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained in the near-infrared.
If confirmed, the discovery takes astronomers deep into an era when stars and galaxies were first lighting up the universe and burning their way out of a primordial fog known as the dark ages. The birth rate of stars, they concluded from their observations, increased tenfold in the 200 million years between the time of the newly discovered galaxy and the next earliest known galaxies, which date to 650 million years after the Big Bang — a rate even faster than astronomers had thought.
“This is clearly an era when galaxies were evolving rapidly,” the astronomers said in an article published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The team was led by Rychard J. Bouwens of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, and Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Shortly after the Hubble was refurbished in 2009, Dr. Bouwens and his colleagues observed a patch of sky known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field in the constellation Fornax with the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3, which is sensitive to the long-wave “heat” radiation known as infrared. That is important because as galaxies fly away from us in the expanding universe, the light they emit is shifted to longer wavelengths — “red-shifted,” in cosmological parlance — the way a receding siren sounds lower.
That data yielded a crop of galaxies dating from 600 million to 800 million years after the Big Bang and a hint of the even earlier galaxy, in which visible light appears to have been shifted all the way into the infrared by a factor of 10, corresponding to a time of only 480 million years after the universe began. After a year of testing and simulations, the team concluded that it was the most primordial galaxy yet found. Spectroscopic observations with the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, however, are needed to cement the identification of the smudge as a galaxy.
Meanwhile, the new result fits in well with a picture cosmologists have developed from a variety of sources. In it, the first stars formed around 200 million or 300 million years after the Big Bang, and then the universe continued building more and more stars, reaching a peak of fecundity when it was about two and a half billion years old. Its glory days behind it, the cosmos is now in a middle-age slump.
They leave unclear, however, a longstanding mystery as to how the universe became transparent. As the initial fires of the Big Bang cooled, cosmologists say, the universe was enveloped in a pea-soup fog of hydrogen gas. Over the next billion years, that fog lifted as the hydrogen atoms were stripped of their electrons — ionized — by high-energy radiation, presumably from the early stars, and became transparent. The problem is that astronomers disagree on whether they have been able to find enough stars or galaxies in the very early universe yet to account for the amount of light it would have taken to burn off all the fog.
As a result, some astronomers have suggested that massive black holes could have been partly or mostly responsible for clearing the dark ages. The black holes would have whipped the space around them with high-energy particles and radiation shed by matter in its death throes.
Dr. Bouwens said it was not quite time to resort to black holes as the explanation, however; he noted that many more galaxies could be lurking in the noise just below the limits of detection for the Hubble.
“We really are not probing faint enough with the current Hubble observations to see beyond the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Bouwens said.
The Webb telescope, which is expected to be launched later this decade once NASA figures out how to pay for it, has been designed to find these primordial galaxies and thus illuminate the dark ages.
A new worm is posting links on Twitter user accounts that lead to a fake antivirus site, online security firms Sophos and Kaspersky report.
The worm is using Google’s URL shortener goo.gl to spread the links; if you follow the link, you will land on a site that advertises a rouge antivirus solution called “Security Shield.” This “antivirus” is in fact malware, which should fortunately be detected (Sophos detects it as Troj/FakeAV-CMG) as such by popular antivirus solutions.
Twitter’s Safety account has reacted to this threat; an update on the account claims Twitter is “working to remove the malware links and reset passwords on compromised accounts.”
Astronomers have discovered that a huge, searing-hot planet orbiting another star is loaded with an unusual amount of carbon. The planet, a gas giant named WASP-12b, is the first carbon-rich world ever observed
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