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Hot star is carving out a cavity in a region of space.


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star region of space.
Hot star is carving out a cavity in a region of space.

Genesis spacecraft Heads for Home.

NASA's Genesis spacecraft made an important flight correction maneuver on Monday, which put it on course to return to the Earth after more than three years in space. Genesis has spent this time collecting particles of the solar wind on ultra pure wafers of gold, sapphire, silicon and diamond. On September 8, it will send a sample return capsule into the Earth's atmosphere, which will be caught by specially trained helicopter pilots. The particles will then be analyzed by scientists in laboratories around the Earth.

Hubble Space Telescope Sees a Gas Cavity in Space.

The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed an unusual situation where a young, hot star is carving out a cavity in a region of space that was once filled with cold, dense material. The massive star is known as N44F, and its stellar wind is moving nearly 5 times as fast as our Sun's solar wind. It's also ejecting 100 million times more material than the Sun. The fast moving torrent of particles collides with the colder surrounding material, pushes it away, and heats it up. N44F is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, located 130,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the southern constellation Dorado.

Little Ghost Nebula.

Known to amateur Astronomers as the 'Little Ghost Nebula', because it appears as a small, ghostly cloud surrounding a faint dying star, NGC 6369 lies in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has took this image of the planetary nebula NGC 6369, at a distance estimated to be between about 2000 and 5000 light-years from Earth.

When a star with a mass similar to that of our own Sun nears the end of its lifetime, it expands in size to become a 'red giant'. The red-giant stage ends when the star expels its outer layers into space, producing a faintly glowing nebula.

Astronomers call such an object a planetary nebula, because its round shape resembles that of a planet when viewed with a small telescope.

How the solar wind Gets Past the Earth's Shield.

The European Space Agency's Cluster spacecraft have helped answer a 17-year mystery about how the magnetosphere, a magnetic bubble that surrounds the Earth, keeps filling up with electrified gases, when it should be acting as a barrier to keep them out. The four Cluster spacecraft found huge swirling vortices of gas at the outer edges of the magnetosphere caused by interacting flows of solar wind. As they collapse, they force material into the magnetosphere, filling it up.

Cassini's View of Tiny Hyperion.

This is the best picture that Cassini's taken so far of Hyperion, one of Saturn's smaller moons (266 kilometers, 165 miles across ). The picture was taken on July 15, when Cassini was about 6.7 million km (4.1 million miles) away. Hyperion has an irregular shape, and it's known to tumble erratically as it orbits around Saturn. Cassini will get a much closer view when it does a flyby on September 26, 2005.

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