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Andromeda Group Galaxies await you.
Welcome back, SkyWatchers! With the Moon out of the way during the early evening hours this week, we will take this opportunity to further study with binoculars and Telescopes the circumpolar constellation of Cassiopeia. Challenging double stars, splendid galactic clusters, nebula regions and two of the Andromeda Group Galaxies await you! As the weekend approaches, you're invited to play Comet hunter as several of our solar system "travelers" are within range of amateur equipment. For morning viewers, the planets and Moon continue to provide a fantastic display of the ecliptic plane and by Sunday both Venus and Mars will be approximately one degree apart. As always, you will find things here for all skill and interest levels. So go outside, tilt your head back, and open your eyes....
Because here's what's up!
When the NEAR spacecraft approached the asteroid Eros in 2000/2001, scientists found much less small impact craters than they were expecting. Either there are less small asteroids in the solar system than scientists were expecting, or something's happening on the surface of Eros to obscure the impact craters. Researchers from the University of Arizona think they have an answer: seismic shaking. Whenever Eros is struck by a small asteroid, it sets off shaking across the entire asteroid. Loose material creeps across the surface, down slopes, and can fill up older craters, obscuring them completely.
The crew of Expedition 10 completed maneuvers today to move their Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port of the International Space Station to another. They undocked the Russian-built spacecraft from the Pirs module at 0929 UTC (4:29 am EST), backed away about 100 feet (30 metres), and then moved it over to the Zarya docking point. The whole operation took about 20 minutes, and clears the way for the crew to use the Pirs compartment for two upcoming spacewalks, scheduled for early 2005.
Cassini took this amazing full colour picture of Saturn's Moon Mimas set against the giant planet's rings. The bright swath next to Mimas is created by sunlight passing through the Cassini division; a gap in the rings. The dark band that stretches across the bottom of the picture is actually the shadow of Saturn's B ring, which is the densest. Cassini took this image when it was 3.7 million km (2.3 million miles) from Saturn.
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