Friday, 28 October 2011

10 Views of Earth from the Moon, Mars and Beyond

For more than 40 years, missions throughout the solar system ave sent back stunning images of our home planet In 1990 the NASA spacecraft Voyager 1, careening across the solar system on its way to becoming the most distant human-made object in space, took a glimpse back at the planet it had left 13 years earlier. 

Six billion kilometers away, Earth was barely distinguishable against the backdrop of space—a "pale blue dot," as astronomer Carl Sagan would famously dub it. 

 Earlier this month another interplanetary explorer caught a striking glimpse of Earth, this one captured as the spacecraft, a European probe called Rosetta, approached our planet from deep space. 

In a third and final flyby of Earth, Rosetta tapped the planet's gravity to adjust its own trajectory for a planned encounter with a comet in 2014. As the probe drew nearer to its home planet, just a sliver of Earth was visible, but the flyby nonetheless revealed striking detail—a swirl of clouds above Antarctica is discernible, as is highly reflective ice near the South Pole. 

 For decades, missions to the moon and beyond have revealed Earth in brand-new visual contexts, as a pale blue dot or a richly textured marble of many colors.


CRESCENT EART CRESCENT EARTH:

Rosetta, a European Space Agency mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, launched in 2004 on a 10-year voyage to its cometary rendezvous. Its route to the comet includes four planetary swing-bys—three of Earth and one of Mars—for gravitational trajectory assists. Rosetta's camera snapped this image of Earth from more than 600,000 kilometers away during its fourth and final planetary flyby in November. The sliver of Earth lit by the sun shows clouds over Antarctica, visible at the bottom of the photograph.
 
AT FIRST SIGH

AT FIRST SIGHT:

NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 took this photograph, the first of Earth as seen from the vicinity of the moon, in 1966. The five unmanned Lunar Orbiter missions mapped the vast majority of the moon's surface and scouted locations for the forthcoming Apollo missions. Forty-two years after this image was beamed back to Earth, NASA released a much higher-resolution version reprocessed from the original analog data tapes.

DWARFED BY A GIAN

DWARFED BY A GIANT:

The Cassini spacecraft, currently exploring the Saturnian system, caught a glimpse of Earth in 2006 at a distance of about 1.5 billion kilometers. The planet is visible as a bright dot above and to the left of Saturn's main rings. (In the detail above left, Earth's moon is just visible as a hazy mass to the planet's left.) Ordinarily the sun's glare would be too bright for Cassini to look back at its home world, but the spacecraft took advantage of a position in which Saturn stood between the probe and the sun to sneak a peek at Earth.
MAGNIFICO, GALILE


MAGNIFICO, GALILEO:

The Galileo spacecraft took this photograph of Earth and the moon in 1992, three years after its launch and just over a week after a near-Earth flyby. The portrait of the Earth-moon system is a composite of visible and near-infrared images. Galileo was about 6.2 million kilometers from Earth when the image above was captured; the probe was drawing away from Earth for the final time on its way to Jupiter.

SPIRIT IN THE SK

SPIRIT IN THE SKY:

One morning in 2004, just before sunrise on Mars, the Spirit rover caught sight of the planet where its human controllers live and work. According to NASA, this mosaic of images from Spirit's navigation camera is the first view of Earth, a white dot in the center of the panorama, from the surface of another planet. Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity, are still at work on Mars, although Spirit is currently stuck in a patch of soft soil from which it may never escape.

INDIA JOINS THE MOON CLU

INDIA JOINS THE MOON CLUB:

The Indian Space Research Organization scored a major coup in 2008 with the launch and successful insertion into lunar orbit of Chandrayaan 1, the nation's first moon mission. The unmanned mission ended prematurely in August of this year when controllers lost contact with the spacecraft, but not before Chandrayaan 1 had accomplished many of its scientific goals and provided a few surprises. In September a group of scientists announced that the spacecraft's Moon Mineralogy Mapper had detected low levels of water across the lunar surface. In the image above, taken on July 22 of this year, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper was trained on an illuminated Earth just over the lunar horizon.


PALE BLUE DO


PALE BLUE DOT:

As the Voyager 1 spacecraft roamed ever deeper into the solar system, astronomer Carl Sagan thought it would be worthwhile to have the NASA probe take a look back at Earth before the planet receded completely from view. "Our planet would be just a point of light, a lonely pixel, hardly distinguishable from the many other points of light Voyager could see, nearby planets and far-off suns," Sagan recalled in his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot. "But precisely because of the obscurity of our world thus revealed, such a picture might be worth having." In 1990 he got his wish: Voyager 1 turned to see the lonely pixel (0.12 pixel, actually), photographing Earth from six billion kilometers away. The planet is visible as a dot in the rightmost diagonal ray of light—Sagan attributes the rays to sunlight reflected off the body of the Voyager spacecraft.






SPYING ON THE NEIGHBORS:

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, perhaps best known for its high-resolution.


JUST PASSING THROUG


JUST PASSING THROUGH:

For sheer, high-detailed beauty, nothing beats an up-close view. NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, bound for Mercury, took this snapshot at a distance of 100,000 kilometers from Earth during a 2005 flyby of our planet. MESSENGER made its third flyby of Mercury in September of this year and should be the first spacecraft to enter orbit around the small, dense planet in 2011.

 
EARTHRIS

EARTHRISE:

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon in July 1969, they became the first humans to view Earth from the surface of another celestial body. This image, taken during the Apollo 11 mission, shows what Armstrong and Aldrin's home planet, some 400,000 kilometers away, must have looked like.

Source www.scientificamerican.com
 


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

NASA | Space Shuttle Time Lapse




Segment 1: NASA's Shuttle Discovery (STS131), while docked to the ISS, captured these images on April 12, 2010 as it moved from the night side of the Earth to the daytime. In the process the Aurora Borealis can be seen on the Earth's limb. A solar panel from the ISS and a docked Soyuz module can be seen in the foreground.

Segment 2: NASA's Shuttle Discovery (STS131), while docked to the ISS, captured these images on April 16, 2010. The sequence begins as the Shuttle emerges from darkness over the Canadian Rockies, traversing the United States southeast towards Florida. The Bahamas and Hispaniola are seen as the Shuttle continues over Venzuela, Brazil and finally the southern Atlantic ocean before returning to darkness.

Images courtesy of the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photographyhttp://eol.jsc.nasa.gov

Segment 3: The Sun rises behind space shuttle Atlantis in this time-lapse sequence from July 19, 2011, one of the last days of the historic final mission of the shuttle program.



Monday, 17 October 2011

Are UFOs real? Famous people who believed




The former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell has claimed that aliens exist and their visits are being covered up by the United States government. Mitchell is in good company in his beliefs. Here we highlight 12 other public figures who believe that extraterrestrials may have been visiting our planet over the last 100 years.


Jimmy Carter, US President from 1976 to 1980, promised while on the campaign trail that he would make public all documents on UFOs if elected. He said: "I don't laugh at people any more when they say they've seen UFOs. I've seen one myself."

General Douglas MacArthur, the Korean and Second World War soldier, said in 1955 that "the next war will be an interplanetary war. The nations of the earth must someday make a common front against attack by people from other planets. The politics of the future will be cosmic, or interplanetary".

J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI from its inception in 1935 to 1972, said of a famous incident when flying saucers were allegedly fired at over Los Angeles in 1942: "We must insist upon full access to disks recovered. For instance, in the LA case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination."

Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a Vatican theologian, said: "Extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon. The Vatican is receiving much information about extraterrestrials and their contacts with humans from its embassies in various countries, such as Mexico, Chile and Venezuela."

Professor Stephen Hawking: "Of course it is possible that UFO's really do contain aliens as many people believe, and the Government is hushing it up."

Dr. Herman Oberth, a Nazi rocket engineer who was taken to the US after the war and became one of the fathers of modern spaceflight, said: "It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are spaceships from another solar system.There is no doubt in my mind that these objects are interplanetary craft of some sort. I and my colleagues are confident that they do not originate in our solar system."


Dr J Allen Hynek, director of the US Air Force's Project Blue Book investigation into UFOs, said: "When the long-awaited solution to the UFO problem comes, I believe that it will prove to be not merely the next small step in the march of science, but a mighty and totally unexpected quantum leap... we had a job to do, whether right or wrong, to keep the public from getting excited."


Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain: "I am convinced that these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured by any nations on earth."


Ronald Reagan, US President from 1980 to 1988, "I looked out the window and saw this white light.It was zigzagging around. I went up to the pilot and said, 'Have you ever seen anything like that?' He was shocked and he said, 'nope.' And I said to him: 'Let's follow it!' We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light.We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens. When I got off the plane I told Nancy all about it."


Mikhail Gorbachev, the USSR's last head of state: "The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously."


Richard Nixon, US President from 1969 to 1974: "I'm not at liberty to discuss the government's knowledge of extraterrestrial UFO's at this time. I am still personally being briefed on the subject."


Dr. Walther Riedel, research director at the Nazi rocket research establishement at Peenemunde: "I am completely convinced that UFOs have an out-of-world basis."


Source: Telegraph





Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Size Of Earth In Perspective HD (VIDEO)





Next time you imagine your world, put it in perspective, with these images comparing us to everything else.

Seems like we are so small here it would not matter what happened here, the rest of the universe would not notice anything we did.

But just like the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov, we were hidden away while we did the hard work, so it will be a big surprise in the future, about a 1000 years from now, that we will begin to be known across the universe as THE EXPLORER RACE.







How did we do that?

Every time someone got something really good going here, some selfish person found a way to restrict it, counter it, ruin it, control it, reverse it, distort it, or pervert it. Life without challenges has no growth. The best representatives of what is wrong in the rest of the universe volunteered to be born here to battle it out while others creatively tried to resolve the differences in the best way. Things have been accomplished here that would not and could not be done anywhere else.

The best of mankind has overcome every possible problem and with that has come an unlimited ability to battle and conquer every problem, or like an alchemist, mystically transform it to the highest levels of achievement. Not today, but in the future, with the science of other ET races, we will set out to open up each part of the universe to contact with every other part.





The separation, not only on earth, but across galaxies must come to an end, not tomorrow, but eventually, and we are uniquely equipped to be the ones to open the door and show the way.Some of the people walking around today on earth are not going to be part of that. They don't get it and will have to take some instruction over again in special needs schools known as prison planets.

As they visualize life selfishly, they will have the wonderful opportunity to be born on planets where everyone is more selfish than they are. It is not immediately obvious, but you materialize your thoughts continuously and as a creator in training, you then live your thoughts.



You see, the first time you come to a fork in the road and get a choice of which way to go, it is easy to make the right choice. When you make a wrong choice, you end up taking a road with many detours and it gets harder and harder to get back to that choice point. In fact, those who make the wrong choices find that choices are not free anymore, they have to be earned. Their soul wants to make sure that person understands why there are choices and what the correct one would be.

So there is a choice going on right now on our physically small world with a big future ahead of it. Are you going down with the system as it crashes all around you, the economy, money, jobs, careers, or are you going to prepare for a future with lots of great things in it that money can't buy?

Why don't you think about all the things that money can't buy, like compassion, empathy, caring, and love and see if, in the coming days, there will be opportunities to use it. There is no one way to demonstrate those qualities, so try to fit it to the circumstances, and, remember those selfish people are still around looking for trouble. Even without them, there will be big challenges. In order to fix things that are wrong and have gone on for too long, there will be a big broom sweeping clean.

The earth is about to graduate to a new level of consciousness, and nothing can hold it back, although there are those who would wish to hold it back for their own benefit. You don't have to service them, just take your attention off of their games and webs of deceit and put it where your heart tells you to put it. Without the attention, these energy vampires will wither. When you stop granting the selfish the right to influence and control you, do you think they will roll up their sleeves and help themselves like you have to? That is their problem, not yours.




It all looks better with the right perspective.



Saturday, 15 October 2011

The two most important Alien Messages! [Decoded]



1. The Chilbolton 'Arecibo message' Formation


(Paul Vigay article - additions and correlations by Alexander Light)


On Tuesday 21st August 2001 two new crop formations were reported near Chilbolton radio telescope in Hampshire, UK. Both were very impressive looking and consisted of a large number of small 'pixels', which when viewed from the air formed a recognisable shape - unlike many other crop formations.


One represented a 'human face' and the other resembled a radio transmission that SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) sent from the Arecibo radio telescope in 1974. This latter formation will be examined in this article, in which I hope to not only describe and explain the original transmission, but also to examine and decode a number of significant changes occurring in the crop formation.

After speaking to witnesses, it would appear that the 'Arecibo' formation was created on August 20th. Although I could roughly make out the binary pattern of the formation from aerial photographs, some aspects were not quite clear enough to discern individual 'digits'. Therefore I visited both formations myself (they are about 200m apart in the same field) on Saturday 25th August 2001.

After speaking to witnesses, it would appear that the 'Arecibo' formation was created on August 20th. Although I could roughly make out the binary pattern of the formation from aerial photographs, some aspects were not quite clear enough to discern individual 'digits'. Therefore I visited both formations myself (they are about 200m apart in the same field) on Saturday 25th August 2001."

An interesting interpretation of the 'human face' crop formation comes from researcher and writerWayne Herschel. In his vision, the face resembles that of the Egyptian Sphinx and Viracocha, a prea-Inca god. But the most thought-provoking resemblance is to the famous Mars Face. - See more at: http://humansarefree.com/2011/02/two-most-important-alien-messages.html#sthash.sl88gmxy.dpuf

Source http://humansarefree.com

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Investor: "The Governments do not rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world"




And this guy, along with other traders, have been dreaming of this severe economic crisis. It's how they make money.

Here's one thing he said:
Our job is to make money from it . . . Goldman Sachs rules the world . . . Personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years…I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession. When the market crashes… if you know what to do, if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this.


Oh, he also said things are only going to get worse.

The now infamous claim from Alessio Rastani that "Goldman Sachs rule the world" may have been embellished to earn the 'independent trader' his 15 minutes of fame, but did the obnoxious interviewee raise any credible issues in his controversial economic assessment?

Independent trader Alessio Rastani caused a stir on BBC News on sunday with his claim that “Goldman Sachs rules the world, not governments”. Leaving aside the questionable credibility of someone who shares a job title with Del Boy (of Trotter’s Independent Traders – T.I.T. – fame) and Rastani’s obvious exaggerations in his bid for media celebrity as the bastard offspring of Gordon Gekko, is there any truth in his claim?

Well, Rastani is certainly correct in asserting that the major financial companies currently wield a lot of power. The financiers’ ability to make life difficult for governments and ordinary people by manipulating the global financial markets is perhaps unprecedented in world history, as illustrated by their ongoing malign influence over some Eurozone countries.

But this influence does not equate to Goldman Sachs ruling the world instead of governments. The most durable definition of what constitutes a state is the German theorist Max Weber’s explanation that it “has a monopoly on the use of legitimate force within a given territory”. In its most literal sense, this means governments have the tanks and guns and are the only ones entitled to use them. It also means, though, that governments set the rules by which every individual, organization and business in the society concerned must abide, including banks and financial institutions. If governments do not like something that Goldman Sachs and its ilk are doing, then they can legislate against it and enforce that law, right up to the point of prosecuting individual managers or forcing the errant company out of business. The primacy of government power is why the financial industry spends so much time and money on lobbying governments to make the decisions that suit them, and not vice-versa (as shown, for example, by the City’s strenuous recent efforts to influence the Vickers Report on banking reform and the UK government’s decisions on implementing it).
The primacy of government power is why the financial industry spends so much time and money on lobbying governments to make the decisions that suit them, and not vice-versa…

As well as having the sole right to set the legal framework within which financial institutions must operate, governments have the power to decide the economic system. Since the end of the Cold War in 1990, a particular form of globalised capitalism has become so dominant across the world that it appears to be the natural state of affairs. It is not; in fact, it is the product of government policy choices. A brief glance at history shows that very different economic systems can be adopted and even enduring ones such as the current version of capitalism can come and go. Radical changes to the economic structure are often produced by crises which demonstrate that the prevailing system has failed. An increasing number of influential voices are questioning whether the present financial crisis is one such moment. Astonishingly, for those of us who remember Michael Portillo in his previous incarnation as a right-wing Tory politician, it was argued this morning on his BBC Radio 4 programmer, “Capitalism on Trial”, that the present form of capitalism perverts true capitalism’s own driving principles by providing huge rewards to people (namely, those who work in the financial markets) who take almost no personal financial risks and produce nothing of economic value. By following different policies and making different laws, governments can change this. Goldman Sachs cannot.

And there is more. Apart from controlling the guns, making the laws and setting the economic policy, governments print the money and issue the bonds that the financial markets trade in. Clearly, tools such as control of the money supply and deciding what bonds to issue or pay out on have to be used with caution because of their effect on national economies. But, again, the point is that governments decide what to do with these tools, not the financial companies that merely rely on trading in the end-products for their existence.

Perhaps the final handful of soil on the coffin containing Rastani’s outlandish claim is provided by the recent history of the financial companies themselves. Who did they come running to for handouts and protection when Lehman Brothers collapsed and numerous others of them were at risk of going under? Yep, governments – the people who apparently no longer run the world but still exercise the power of life and death over them.

Nonetheless, despite his bumptiousness, Comical Alessio did raise some useful issues in his TV appearance. Apart from sparking the who runs the world debate, his exultations about his prospects for making money from a recession (was I the only one who expected him to whip out a book, snake-oil salesman style, “explaining” how to do this, available to the gullible by mail order for only £19.99?), highlighted how traders and financial firms are amoral entities, concerned only with their own financial gain. This one track mind is the financiers’ greatest source of power.  But this need not be a problem because it is also their greatest weakness, in that it makes them subservient to the existence of a legal and economic framework that allows them to prosper. And these would-be “masters of the universe” do not have the power to put that in place, governments do.

Close encounters of the purred kind: Aliens spoke to us in a 'cat-likelanguage' claim Russian flight controllers




Air traffic controllers in Siberia claim they were buzzed by a high-speed UFO with a femalesounding alien who spoke in an unintelligible cat-like language.

The mystery object suddenly burst onto flight monitors over the remote Russian diamond capital of Yakutsk.

It was shown flying at a speed of slightly over 6000 mph, and rapidly changing direction in the early morning sky, it is claimed.


The UFO was logged at a height of 64, 895 feet above sea level and appeared to interfere with aviation frequencies.

On footage posted on You Tube, an air traffic controller made clear he sought to make contact with the UFO.



The Russian aviation workers are heard in the control tower trying to make contact with the ship.

Evidence: The Russian  video will be welcomed UFO enthusiasts who claim that civilisations from other planets have already landed on earth

A radar shows the UFO moving rapidly through the skies while surrounding planes in the air travel much slower.

'I kept hearing some female voice, as if a woman was saying mioaw-mioaw all the time,' he told the pilot of a passing Aeroflot flight.

His communication to the Russian plane were disrupted by interference from the UFO, it was claimed.

The air traffic control monitor automatically designated the UFO as '00000' because it did not have a flight number.

The footage was first posted last month but it is unclear when it was taken. A shot of the airport did not appear to show any snow which is normal for eight months a year in Yakutsk, where the temperature last night was minus 36C.

At one point the UFO is showing moving away from Yakutsk at great speed before turning and heading back towards the city.

There was no comment last night from airport officials on the alleged UFO. Some experts claim that it is widely known that UFOs have made contact and landed on earth but details have never been made public.


Source: Mail Online

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Scientists use brain imaging to reveal the movies in our mind





ERKELEY — Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one’s own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are bringing these futuristic scenarios within reach.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, UC Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences – in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.

As yet, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips people have already viewed. However, the breakthrough paves the way for reproducing the movies inside our heads that no one else sees, such as dreams and memories, according to researchers.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Professor Jack Gallant, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online today (Sept. 22) in the journal Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

Eventually, practical applications of the technology could include a better understanding of what goes on in the minds of people who cannot communicate verbally, such as stroke victims, coma patients and people with neurodegenerative diseases.




The approximate reconstruction (right) of a movie clip (left) is achieved through brain imaging and computer simulation.

It may also lay the groundwork for brain-machine interface so that people with cerebral palsy or paralysis, for example, can guide computers with their minds.

However, researchers point out that the technology is decades from allowing users to read others’ thoughts and intentions, as portrayed in such sci-fi classics as “Brainstorm,” in which scientists recorded a person’s sensations so that others could experience them.

Previously, Gallant and fellow researchers recorded brain activity in the visual cortex while a subject viewed black-and-white photographs. They then built a computational model that enabled them to predict with overwhelming accuracy which picture the subject was looking at.




In their latest experiment, researchers say they have solved a much more difficult problem by actually decoding brain signals generated by moving pictures.

“Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie,” said Shinji Nishimoto, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral researcher in Gallant’s lab. “In order for this technology to have wide applicability, we must understand how the brain processes these dynamic visual experiences.” 

Nishimoto and two other research team members served as subjects for the experiment, because the procedure requires volunteers to remain still inside the MRI scanner for hours at a time.

They watched two separate sets of Hollywood movie trailers, while fMRI was used to measure blood flow through the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information. On the computer, the brain was divided into small, three-dimensional cubes known as volumetric pixels, or “voxels.”

“We built a model for each voxel that describes how shape and motion information in the movie is mapped into brain activity,” Nishimoto said.

The brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity.

Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject.

Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie.

Reconstructing movies using brain scans has been challenging because the blood flow signals measured using fMRI change much more slowly than the neural signals that encode dynamic information in movies, researchers said. For this reason, most previous attempts to decode brain activity have focused on static images.

“We addressed this problem by developing a two-stage model that separately describes the underlying neural population and blood flow signals,” Nishimoto said.

Ultimately, Nishimoto said, scientists need to understand how the brain processes dynamic visual events that we experience in everyday life.

“We need to know how the brain works in naturalistic conditions,” he said. “For that, we need to first understand how the brain works while we are watching movies.”

Other coauthors of the study are Thomas Naselaris with UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute; An T. Vu with UC Berkeley’s Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering; and Yuval Benjamini and Professor Bin Yu with the UC Berkeley Department of Statistics.

Source: newscenter.berkeley.edu

Monster Alma telescope array captures its first deep space image



This composite shot of ancient star-formation in the Antennae galaxies is the first public image to be released from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma) -- an enormous, international telescope being built in Chile.

Alma is an array of giant radio telescopes, placed on the highest plateau in the Atacama desert, near Chile's border with Bolivia. There are currently 20 telescope antennas on the plateau but by 2013 that total will reach 66.

By hooking this many high-powered telescopes up to a supercomputer, moving the antennas across the desert to zoom in on galaxies, and observing light at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths, Alma will be able to peer further into the cosmos than any telescope before it.

"Alma's test views of the Antennae show us star-forming regions on a level of detail that no other telescope on Earth or in space has attained," said Mark McKinnon, the North American Alma Project Manager from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). "This capability can only get much better as Alma nears completion."

Unlike most telescopes which have been trained on these interacting galaxies, Alma can unveil blossoming stars from deep within the core -- inside the stellar factory that is usually hidden inside the dusty, gas-rich arms of these violently colliding spiral galaxies.

"With Alma, we will focus on the heart of the collision, the interaction region where the two galaxies are crashing together" said Brad Whitmore of the Space Telescope Science Institute. "We can then study the formation of the Antennae's most impressive fireworks and look into the cores of the giant molecular clouds where the star clusters are born."

The billion-dollar construction project will continues into 2013, as international partners Europe, North America, East Asia and the Republic of Chile keep building new telescope antennas to ratchet up Alma's cosmic vision.

In other telescopic news, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) -- which lives up to its name with a of 39.3-metre optical and infrared lens -- has received a huge financial boost ahead of its construction commencement later this year. The Science Technology and Facilities Council (STFC) has confirmed plans to provide £3.5million in funding to develop the telescope's key instruments.

Source: wired.co.uk