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Solar system formed differently from other star systems.
NASA's Terra satellite took this true-colour photograph of Hurricane Alex, the first Atlantic storm of the season, as it grazed the side of North America. At Noon on Tuesday, August 3, the Category 2 Hurricane had wind speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph), and was disrupting North Carolina's Outer Banks; thousands are without power, and Hatteras Island's only link to the mainland has been flooded. It's currently moving east-northeast out to sea, and so far there haven't been any injuries reported.
Researchers from the UK believe that our solar system could have formed differently from many other star systems, making places like our home much more rare in the Universe. After examining the 100 or so known extrasolar planetary systems, they found that they probably formed in a manner different from our own solar system - in a way that's hostile to the formation of life. planets could form in several different ways, and how the Earth formed is actually quite rare. It will still be 5 more years or so before Astronomers have equipment with the resolution to confirm this.
This photo of Saturn's southern pole was taken by Cassini on July 13, when the spacecraft was 5 million km (3.1 million miles) away. It was taken with the spacecraft's narrow angle camera using a filter sensitive to Infrared light, and shows the concentric rings of clouds which circle a dark spot at the planet's south pole. As you move north, the clouds have wavy edges of turbulence as the edges of the bands interact with each other.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft took this picture of the Earth and Moon from a distance of 70 million km (43 million miles); the furthest distance for a spacecraft this year. But this distance is just a fraction of the 800 million km (500 million mile) journey that Rosetta will make by the time it reaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 10 years time. The image was taken using the spacecraft's Navigation Camera System (NAVCAM).
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