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The Universe expands and cools forever.
Hello fellow stargazers and welcome to this week's edition of what's new and fun to do under the skies. For all of you who took the time to view last week's total lunar eclipse? Congratulations! This week's planetary actions will blow you away. On the 3rd, the real "Lord of the Rings" - Saturn - will accompany the Moon across the night. The solar system excitement continues as before local dawn on November 4th and 5th will be a superb visual pairing of Venus and Jupiter at less than one degree apart. The Southern Taurid meteor stream will be active and it has produced fantastic fireballs seen around the world! For those of you craving a bit of deep sky work? The time is right to do a little "Wild Duck" hunting. Here's what's up!
Physicists have puzzled for more than a century about the nature of time. Why does it go in one direction? time could go backwards, and physics formulas would still work properly. Researchers from the University of Chicago think they might have an answer: we live in a universe of ever increasing entropy. Instead of one Big Bang going off, and then the universe expands and cools forever, small fluctuations in nearly empty space could set off new Big Bangs - the universe would never reach equilibrium.
Grounded since the Columbia disaster, the space shuttles are tentatively expected to return to flight as early as May 2005, according to NASA officials. The agency updated their launch schedule on Friday, targeted Discovery's launch window to be open from May 12 to June 3, 2005. The shuttles have a lot of work to do; current plans are calling for 28 more flights until 2010 to complete the construction of the International Space Station, after which the shuttles will be retired.
This relatively boring picture of Spirit's calibration target, with a bit of rocky ground in the background is the 50,000th photograph sent back by NASA's twin rovers since they arrived on Mars in January, 2004. There are now more than twice as many images returned by the rovers as all three previous landers combined: Viking 1, Viking 2, and Mars Pathfinder. Both rovers have completed their three-month primary missions, and first extensions; they started their second extensions on Oct. 1.
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