- A cooling mechanism has malfunctioned aboard the International Space Station, forcing a shutdown of several systems. The astronauts are in no immediate danger, but normal function will not be restored to the station until two emergency spacewalks fix the problem.
- A new paper from Wun-Yi Shu at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan suggests that the Big Bang model of the universe may be erroneous. According to his cosmology, there is no beginning or end to the universe, and the accelerated expansion of the universe can be explained without dark energy. The theory is not flawless, though... it appears there is no explanation (yet) for the existence of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which is thought to be a left over from the fires of the Big Bang. It also relies on the speed of light being variable, instead of constant as we typically think of it.
- Another big surpise: The new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the 2000s was the hottest decade on record:
The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.
- The killer asteroid story that splashed across the internet last week apparently came out in a report last year. No one seemed to take much notice back then, but the groupthink of the interwebs has a funny way of turning an old report into breaking news. (In case you missed it, don't worry... the possible impact would not occur until the late 2100s).
- Two satellites from the THEMIS mission are getting a new lease on life, with orders to go study the Moon.
Pictured above, the THEMIS satellites in orbit around Earth.