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1. Topic of the Moment � the Rosetta comet mission (Score: 1.0000)
In August, the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta made its final approach to Comet Churyumov'Gerasimenko, entering the last stage of a mission a decade in the making that aims to be the first to land a spacecraft on a comet. In 1969, Kiev-based astronomers Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko discovered the comet now being orbited by the Rosetta spacecraft. Currently circling the comet under its rocket power, Rosetta will enter a proper orbit during September and,...
2. Topic of the Moment � solar storms (Score: 1.0000)
Solar flares ' an observed increased in brightness across the Sun's surface ' occur when charged particles travelling at high speed interact with solar plasma. Solar flares release a burst of energy equivalent to about a sixth of the Sun's normal power output, and are often followed by coronal mass ejection '' in which huge amounts of charged particles and radiation are released from the Sun at very high speed. Sometimes the ejected material simply rises as an arc above the Sun's...
3. Topic of the Moment – Football (Score: 1.0000)
An education resource produced by IOP even uses football themes to provide insight into physics topics – passing the ball forms the basis of discussions of trajectories and friction, while how to stay on your feet is used to explain the idea of centre of gravity. Striking the ball off-centre gives it a spin, which changes the airflow around the ball and creates a turbulent wake. The airflow is deflected in the direction of spin, giving the ball a horizontal force and resultant motion.
4. Topic of the Moment � When a planet is not a planet (Score: 1.0000)
Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun from its discovery until 2006. Both are now considered dwarf planets rather than true planets. Because the distances of the planets from the Sun appeared to follow a regular pattern, apart from the large gap between Mars and Jupiter, a search for another planet in that region was made.
5. Cosmic inflation (Score: 1.0000)
The discovery, if confirmed, will also lend support to the inflation model in cosmology ' the hypothesis that the universe underwent a brief period of exponential expansion immediately after the big bang ' since only inflation can amplify gravitational waves from the beginning of the universe to a point at which they become detectable. Guth's model also explains the origins of the large-scale structure of the universe ' before inflation there are quantum fluctuations in the very early...
6. Topic of the Moment – the northern lights and the solar wind (Score: 1.0000)
The Earth’s magnetic field traps parts of the solar wind as it passes the planet, and the electrons and ions that make up that wind travel towards the Earth’s magnetic poles. Molecules and atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are left ionized or excited by collisions with the particles from the solar wind, and in either regaining an electron or returning to their ground state, they emit light – the glow of the aurora. he Voyager 1 space probe found in 2010 that ...
7. Topic of the Moment - Supernovae (Score: 1.0000)
A new supernova has been spotted in the galaxy M82. On 22 January, it was announced that astronomers had found a new supernova in the galaxy M82, about 12 million lightyears away. The discovery is exciting astronomers since the last supernova observed within our own galaxy was seen by Kepler in 1604, but what is a supernova, and why do they matter?
8. Topic of the Moment – cryptography (Score: 1.0000)
Decoding a message needs the encryption key – i.e., the way in which text is converted between plain text and ciphertext. It’s a key made up of a random string of text that converts the original message via modular addition. Subtracting the key again restores the plain text, which can then be read by the recipient of the message.
9. Recently elected Chartered Physicists (Score: 1.0000)
10. Topic of the Moment � From fiction to fact (Score: 1.0000)
The DNA of the late science-fiction writer Arthur C Clarke is set to be placed aboard a spacecraft named after one of his short stories, based on a race between craft driven by solar sails. A letter from Clarke to the editor Wireless World in 1945 described his idea of using satellites in geostationary orbit ' they remain above a particular location on the Earth's surface ' as communications relays. In Clarke's best-known work, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the spacecraft taking astronauts ...
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