A Russian spacecraft carrying 3 astronauts has launched successfully from Baikonur at 08.14 (04:14 GMT) on November 14, 2011. This was the first manned launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket since a similar cargo rocket crashed shortly after launch on  August 24, 2001. More about this story at BBC News….

Two types of Type II supernovae – the iron-core-collapse and the electron-capture supernovae – are thought to produce the majority of neutron stars in the Universe. However, it was not possible until now to identify  which neutron star was formed by which process. Christian Knigge, Malcolm J. Coe, & Philipp Podsiadlowski in their Letter to Nature report that they found that X-ray pulsars can be distinguished into two separate subpopulations which bear different properties such as spin periods, orbital periods and orbital eccentricities. And these properties can possibly tell us how pulsars were actually born. More of this  story at Nature…