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The clouds on Jupiter and the other gas giant planets.
Scientists have discovered that the currents in the Earth's oceans bear a striking resemblance to the bands of clouds in Jupiter's atmosphere. The clouds on Jupiter and the other gas giant planets form into bands which move in alternating directions from top to bottom. The similarity is more than coincidental, as both phenomena seem to be based on similar physical forces. This discovery could have implications in both climate research here on Earth, and the design of new space missions to explore the outer planets.
Radio Astronomers have discovered two molecules never before seen in space in an interstellar cloud near the centre of the Milky Way. So far, about 130 different molecules have been found in space, but they usually contain only a few atoms each. These newly discovered molecules, propanal and propenal, have 8 and 10 atoms respectively. By finding complex molecules like this in space, scientists can get a better idea of the starting materials that Earth had to work with when it formed billions of years ago, and how life could have evolved.
History was made today when test pilot Mike Melvill became the first private citizen to get his Astronaut wings today when he flew Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne (SS1) into space, reaching an altitude of more than 100 km (62.5 miles).
Want to go to space? Well, you're not alone. More than 100 potential space tourists have put their money on the line, and have set aside a $10,000 deposit with Space Adventures so they can be one of the first to head up on a suborbital flight. The company recently did a survey with these clients to find out how much risk they'd be willing to take; 69% would be on the first flight of SpaceShipOne, regardless of the danger. The first flights on a suborbital spacecraft like SpaceShipOne are going to cost more than $100,000 initially, but prices should come down in the coming years.
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