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The Register - Science

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2016, Situation Publishing

DARPA hands space junk spotting scope to US Air Force

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 21:25:49 GMT

Space Surveillance Telescope can spot specks of shiny 36,000km away

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is on track for its transfer to a site in Australia later this year.…

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:27:38 GMT

4KM plummet to surface shattered Euro spacecraft

Pic The European Space Agency has spotted what it assumes is what's left of its Schiaparelli lander that smashed into the Martian surface this week.…

Boffins twist beams of neutrons into pasta to cook up holograms

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:42:16 GMT

Fun but it's probably better for measuring really small things

Holograms created with neutron beams have been demonstrated for the first time by a team of scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.…

Two new dinosaurs walked from South America to Australia, via Antarctica

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 04:56:06 GMT

Skeleton suggests beast as long as a London bus

Australian paleo-boffins have revealed two new dinosaurs, Savannasaurus elliottorum and Diamantinasaurus matildae.…

Uni students float into Hyperloop finals with levitating prototype

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:57:59 GMT

Magnetic tech gives 14-foot-long tube a tiny lift

A team of students from the University of Cincinnati has passed through to the final round of Elon Musk's Hyperloop challenge by demonstrating the magnetic levitation of hover engines.…

ExoMars update: Schiaparelli probe's parachute malfunctioned

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:47:08 GMT

Craft feared lost as scientists scramble to recover data

The status of the Schiaparelli probe remains uncertain, leaving scientists at the European Space Agency baffled after the lander’s signal cut out unexpectedly.…

Just what Europe needs – another bungled exit: Mars lander goes AWOL

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:55:48 GMT

Martian probe goes silent mid-descent, Juno also goes dark

It's not a great day for space watchers. The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli Mars lander may have failed during its descent to the Red Planet.…

Three new 'nauts launched to the International Space Station

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:11:07 GMT

Floating space lab will back up to full capacity

Three new astronauts are due to board the International Space Station, after blasting off to space this morning.…

Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:02:08 GMT

Government-sponsored sweat analyzer gets speedy

Drunk driving costs thousands of lives every year and, as El Reg tests have shown, personal breathalyzers aren't that reliable. But now government-funded boffins think they've cracked a way of stopping people driving when they've had a skinful.…

Probe boffins: Two balls deep in Uranus's ring

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:03:08 GMT

Voyager data raises possibility of pair of new moons

Data from the first and only time mankind probed Uranus appears to show two new moons hiding in the dark rings that encircle the gas giant.…

China's Shenzhou-11 capsule docks with Tiangong-2 station

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 04:29:05 GMT

A month in space is the plan as China's ambitions escalate

The Chinese capsule launched yesterday atop a Long March-2F rocket has successfully docked with the country's space station.…

How do you make a qubit 10 times as stable? Dress it up for work

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:03:10 GMT

No joke. Electromagnetic fields could help achieve dream of quantum computing

Dressing qubits in an electromagnetic field can make them 10 times more stable and able to perform more calculations over time in future quantum computers, according to new research in Nature Nanotechnology.…

NHS patients must be taught to share their data, says EU lobby group

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:26:13 GMT

Combining public funding and public data for whose benefit?

Bemoaning the results of a survey showing that more than a third of people don't trust the NHS with their personal information, a new EU-funded lobby group has stressed the need for a “new culture of openness” in allowing patient data to be shared between studies.…

Phew: ISS re-supply mission launches without destroying Wallops launch-pad

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 03:02:07 GMT

5,000 pounds of astronaut-fodder fly without flame-outs

It ran five minutes late, but NASA's ISS resupply launch atop an Orbital ATK Antares rocket has gone off without a hitch.…

US reactor breaks fusion record – then runs out of cash and shuts down

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:10:25 GMT

MIT hardware under pressure

Video In a tale that tells you all you need to know about the parlous state of American science, a fusion reactor has broken plasma-handling records in the last few days before losing its funding.…

RRS Sir David Attenborough construction goes full-steam ahead

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:25:11 GMT

Baby bro McBoatface will probe under ice sheets...

Construction for RRS Sir David Attenborough has formally begun after Sir David Attenborough kickstarted the opening ceremony by laying the ship’s keel in Merseyside today.…

Chinese 'nauts blast off for month-long space station scouting mission

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:03:03 GMT

China to 'deeply and broadly' go where some have gone before

China has successfully sent two astronauts into space today to conduct a series of experiments to prepare for the launch of its own space station in 2023.…

Juno probe has tech trouble, cancels orbital re-adjustment

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:58:04 GMT

Another 53-day loop needed while NASA sorts out helium check valve delay problem

The Juno probe orbiting Juipter has some trouble with its propulsion feed system and plans for the craft's stay at the gas giant are therefore being revisited.…

Radio glitch as Schiaparelli lander probe splits from ExoMars mothership

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:54:38 GMT

Signals are flowing again, but for a while there all we had was a Ping!

The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lander has parted from the Trace Gas Orbiter that was its companion on the ExoMars mission and is on track for its planned Wednesday landing on the red planet. But the European Space Agency is yet to explain a radio glitch that took place along the way.…

New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 03:58:13 GMT

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is

Douglas Adams was right. Space is really big. New analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories suggests there are ten times more galaxies out there than previously thought.…

Student software finds new Minor Planet found way out beyond Pluto

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 05:30:13 GMT

'2014 UZ224' has diameter of about 530km and takes 1,100 years to go around the Sun

Deep space real estate speculators, meet your next target: the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center has posted news of 2014 UZ224, a newly-verified minor planet.…

Nicole forces NASA resupply into Sunday launch: Crew must wait for their packet soup

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:01:04 GMT

Orbital ATK only has 5-minute gap for launch this weekend

Tropical storm Nicole has ruined NASA and Orbital ATK’s plans to send off a resupply package to the waiting astronauts on the International Space Station.…

NASA opens ISS to private sector modules

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 05:01:09 GMT

The plan is to to build wider experience useful for Izzy's successor

NASA has opened the door to allow private sector companies to add modules to the International Space Station (ISS).…

ExoMars arrives at the Red Planet on Sunday

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 07:31:11 GMT

Grab some popcorn: the fun starts on the 16th and will climax as Schiaparelli lander touches down next Wednesday

Grab some popcorn, space enthusiasts, because this coming weekend the joint European Space Agency/Roscosmos “ExoMars” mission will arrive at Mars.…

Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:09:56 GMT

*Insert Trump joke here*

Astronauts flying to Mars are in danger of long-term brain damage and dementia from the onslaught of radiation in galactic cosmic rays, according to a new study.…

Boffins eschew silicon to build tiniest-ever transistor, just 1nm long

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 07:24:09 GMT

'Molybdenum disulphide' valley has a nice ring to it, no?

Boffins from the United States Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and beyond say they've cracked a new way to make very, very, small transistors.…

Hubble telescope spies massive 'cannonballs' of fire from dying star

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:07:30 GMT

Scientists aren't completely sure where they are coming from

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected massive, super-hot "cannonballs" shooting from a dying star, which has left scientists puzzled over the source of these giant globs of gas.…

Killer Hurricane Matthew threatens to wreck Kennedy Space Center

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 23:12:33 GMT

Launch site shuts down as mega-storm looks set to hit it head on

Hurricane Matthew, the category four storm that has already claimed more than 100 lives in the Caribbean, is bearing down on the coast of Florida – and NASA's Kennedy Space Center looks likely to take an absolute hammering.…

Stripped of its galaxy, this black hole is wandering naked in the cosmos

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:03:09 GMT

Chandra spies orphan X-ray source

Boffins analysing old Chandra x-ray telescope data have spotted a rarity indeed: an X-ray source that seems to be a black hole, but without a galaxy to surround it.…

Amazon supremo Bezos' Blue Origin blows its top over Texas desert

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 23:59:07 GMT

Successful escape capsule test and dual landing

Vid + pic The fifth flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket saw a successful blast-off for the crew capsule, as the company simulated an emergency escape for future crews.…

Intel-backed boffins demo long-lived silicon qubit

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 04:29:10 GMT

0.4 milliseconds? An eternity in quantum dog-years

Bit by bit, the world gets closer to creating the quantum equivalent of a storage gate – a silicon-based qubit that can last long enough for general-purpose computing.…

After baffling Falcon 9 rocket explosion, SpaceX screams: Hands off our probe!

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 21:42:59 GMT

Political foes and allies gear up for oversight fight

The quest to discover exactly why a SpaceX rocket exploded on the pad last month is getting complicated – with politicians fighting over who will control the investigation.…

British trio win Nobel prize for physics

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 11:46:08 GMT

'Opened door to unknown world where matter can assume strange states'

A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics.…

Swansong for Rosetta as it lands on the duck-shaped comet

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 09:07:37 GMT

Overview of comet-chaser's mission

It has been an epic journey, much more than 12 years in the making, but Rosetta has gone out in a blaze of glory. The final commands were uploaded to the spacecraft mid-morning on September 29 – and now there is no going back. Rosetta was programmed to touch down on comet 67P some time in the late morning of September 30.…

SpaceX searches for its 'grassy knoll' of possible Falcon rocket sabotage

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:56:13 GMT

Musk's chief competitor gets a visit from investigators

In its search for the reason behind last month's explosion that destroyed its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has vowed to leave no stone unturned. Now one of its staffers may be taking things a little too far.…

Simulation shows how space junk spreads after a satellite breaks up

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 23:59:10 GMT

US NRL does the arithmetic

Vid Whether it's a satellite breaking up or the detritus of a launch, the whole space community agrees that space junk is a huge problem.…

SETI's mega alien hunt shovels more data onto IBM's cloud

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:39:36 GMT

Citizen boffins: Help find the alien that ultimately kills us all

The SETI project, which hunts for alien life and has generated hundreds of terabytes of data every day, has poured its bits over IBM’s cloud for citizen scientists to pick over.…

Rosetta spacecraft set for smash landing

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:29:11 GMT

Slow drop finale

Update The European Space Agency was set to crash its Rosetta space probe into comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as the final stage of its 12-year research mission at 12.18pm BST today (7:18am EDT).…

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:01:09 GMT

From the Giant Magellan 'scope to science and what the nightlife is like in Chile

Pics + vids Construction has now started on the Giant Magellan Telescope – which will be the world's largest optical viewing device mankind has ever built – using record-breaking mirrors and advanced electronics.…

Curiosity sniffs Mars' odd atmosphere wafting out of its soil

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:42:12 GMT

Nuclear-powered laser space tank loves the smell of exotic xenon isotopes in the morning

Mars' atmosphere is wafting up from its cold, dead soil, according to new findings from the Curiosity Rover.…

DARPA does a podcast

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:48:09 GMT

2006 called, it wants its technology back

US military lunacy department DARPA has begun offering a podcast.…

Signs of recent tectonic activity found on cooling Mercury

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:58:12 GMT

Thought-to-be-lifeless hell-ball actually has a rich inner life

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) craft has found evidence that Sol's innermost planet is tectonically active.…

Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:01:39 GMT

Red Planet to be Elon-gated community-slash-graveyard

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has laid out an audacious multibillion-dollar plan to send colonists to probably die on Mars.…

Hubble spies on Europa shooting alien juice from its southern pole

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:58:01 GMT

What? It's what NASA said - what are you thinking of?

Pics and video Images from the Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter's most intriguing moon, Europa, appear to show plumes of water being ejected from the surface into space.…

Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:59:12 GMT

From Acorns to bedrooms

Geek's Guide to Britain King’s Parade in Cambridge looks like the last street on earth to have anything to do with computing. On one side is an absurdly ornate college gatehouse in yellow stone and King’s College Chapel, which combines the barn-like shape of a tiny chapel with the scale and detail of a cathedral.…

SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:12:20 GMT

Investigations team probed rocket debris and data from 1 September explosion

A large breach in the liquid oxygen tank of SpaceX’s Falcom 9 rocket likely caused the explosion during a test at the start of this month, investigators have said.…

Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:29:11 GMT

Whichever way you look it's all exactly the same, boffins confirm

Scientists have confirmed that the universe is very likely the same in every direction, showing that the assumption of the universe being isotropic can be safely used in cosmology.…

British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:57:08 GMT

Also told: ‘Don’t look at France... it’s a nightmare’

British universities are looking to deepen links with their continental counterparts or even open offshore campuses in order to maintain their EU ties.…

Pretending to be a badger wins Oxford Don 10 TRILLION DOLLARS

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 03:31:21 GMT

Volkswagen also scored one of last night's Ig Nobel Prizes, for software-defined chemistry

The annual Ig Nobel Prizes were handed out on Thursday night, as always “honoring achievements that make people laugh, then think”.…

Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:01:01 GMT

And yet WhatsApp cost $19bn?

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have promised at least $3bn in funding for a medical initiative to cure, prevent or manage all known diseases by the end of the century.…