Stellar chameleon, space sleep study and biologically useful nitrogen on Mars

studentdisco.pngStudent discovers stellar chameleon that had the astronomers fooled for years

It is the brightest infrared star in the Northern sky, but a University of Sydney student has found that astronomers have been mistakenly interpreting the dust in the environment of a famous star that lies 450 light years from Earth.

The star CW Leo also going by the moniker IRC+10216, would be the second brightest star in the sky if our eyes could see infrared light. Images of its circumstellar environment released today reveal substantial evolution occurring over a span of more than eight years, with none of the previously identified bright spots in fact containing the star, which is now believed to be buried in its own dust.

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Space sleep study to shed light on aging

University of Surrey and European Space Agency launch sleep study to tackle health problems shared by astronauts and the elderly

Ground-breaking study will use simulated micro-gravity to replicate the conditions faced by astronauts in space

Wearable technology, melatonin levels and blood samples will provide key to how sleep patterns impact health

The University of Surrey is participating in a project organised by the European Space Agency during which teams of European scientists will look at the effect of bed rest on the human body using a continuous bed rest protocol to simulate the effects of micro gravity in space.

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Curiosity rover finds biologically useful nitrogen on Mars

pia16937-16A team using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover has made the first detection of nitrogen on the surface of Mars from release during heating of Martian sediments.

The nitrogen was detected in the form of nitric oxide, and could be released from the breakdown of nitrates during heating. Nitrates are a class of molecules that contain nitrogen in a form that can be used by living organisms. The discovery adds to the evidence that ancient Mars was habitable for life.

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Job opening for a Manufacturing Engineer – Electrical, Embraer (USA). The Manufacturing Engineer creates and administers the overall planning for the facility activities from components receiving to the delivery of finished aircraft including productive activities and its support processes. More information

Build up your space resume by participating in the project Astro Pi: devise computer science experiments to be run on board the ISS. There will be opportunities to examine the results of the winning competition experiments, and there will also be a data analysis activity where you can obtain a CSV file full of time-stamped sensor readings directly from Tim Peake. More information


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