rlseaman writes "UTC ("Coordinated Universal Time") is very close to being redefined to no longer track Earth rotation. Clocks everywhere — on your wall, wrist, phone or computer — would stop keeping Solar time. See the article in the July-August 2011 "American Scientist" magazine: "Before atomic timekeeping, clocks were set to the skies. But starting in 1972, radio signals began broadcasting atomic seconds and leap seconds have occasionally been added to that stream of atomic seconds to keep the signals synchronized with the actual rotation of Earth. Such adjustments were considered necessary because Earth's rotation is less regular than atomic timekeeping. In January 2012, a United Nations-affiliated organization could permanently break this link by redefining Coordinated Universal Time." (Preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.3141)" Link to Original Source top
rlseaman writes "A Slashdot-ready question of the week in NASA Tech Briefs:
'Should the military restrict space debris information gathered by its classified satellites?'
'This week's question concerns the U.S. military's right to restrict information gathered by its classified satellites. Until recently, data collected by U.S. classified satellites on asteroids and meteoroids that enter the Earth's atmosphere was routinely made available to the scientific community. A new U.S. military policy, however, now regards all data collected by classified satellites, including information on space debris entering our atmosphere, to be secret and, therefore, not for public distribution. Scientists studying the risks posed by space debris claim that such information is vital and that restricting access to it makes no sense whatsoever. What do you think? Should the military restrict space debris information gathered by its classified satellites?'
rlseaman writes "'The AP reports (via Salon): "Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds and posing a slight risk to the international space station. NASA said it will take weeks to determine the full magnitude of the crash, which occurred nearly 500 miles over Siberia on Tuesday.'" top
rlseaman writes "NIST Tech Beat describes a new method, VERDICT (Viscosity Enhancers to Reduce Diffusion In Concrete Technology), to increase the service life of concrete. Nanomaterials slow penetration of salt and sulfur ions that damage the concrete. In the millennia since the Romans, previous research to improve service life has focused on reducing porosity, but denser concrete itself leads to cracking. The engineers were inspired by food processing additives like xanthum gum: '"Swimming through a pool of honey takes longer than making it through a pool of water," engineer Dale Bentz says.' But viscosity isn't enough — the key is high concentrations of small molecules." Link to Original Source