Dust ground off icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt, the cold-storage zone that includes Pluto and millions of other objects, creates a faint infrared disk potentially visible to alien astronomers looking for planets around the sun. Neptune’s gravitational imprint on the dust is always detectable in new simulations of how this dust moves through the solar system. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history.
NASA, which used Twitter to send updates about the Mars Phoenix Lander programme, is turning to the micro-blogging service again.
The US space agency announced on Monday that astronaut Mike Massimino would be using Twitter to provide a behind-the-scenes look at his training for an upcoming space shuttle mission.
Massimino will be firing off 140-character-or-less messages at @Astro_Mike.
Massimino is to be a mission specialist and spacewalker during the space shuttle Atlantis mission due to launch on May 12 to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
Nasa did not say whether the astronaut would be “tweeting” from space.
Nasa’s Twitter feed on the Phoenix Lander program earned it praise and more than 38 000 people had signed up to receive “tweets” from Mars by the time the mission ended in November.