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Telescope has shed new light on how stars like our own Sun.
When President Bush announced his new Space exploration plan earlier this year, he tasked a special committee to figure out the best way to implement. After several months of research, including public forums and feedback from a wide range of space experts, the committee has released its findings in a 64-page document. The report contains eight findings and fourteen recommendations on how to implement the vision, which emphasizes the importance of a vibrant Space exploration industry.
The Canadian-built MOST space telescope has shed new light on how stars like our own Sun can actually be quite turbulent, vibrating and flaring up unexpectedly. MOST tracked a star called eta Bootis for 28 straight days without interruption, and measured its brightness more than 250,000 times - 10 times more accurately than any previous instrument could reach. MOST should also assist planet hunters by watching how a star brightens and dims as planets pass in front of it, similar to Venus' recent transit across the face of the Sun.
After a long journey across rough terrain, NASA's Spirit rover has finally reached the base of the Columbia Hills. It didn't wait long, though, and began climbing up the 90-metre (300 foot) high hills late last week. scientists have identified several interesting rocks they'd like to study, including ones which look like they're disintegrating from the inside out, leaving a remnant "shell". Spirit is starting to show signs of wear; its right front wheel is slightly malfunctioning, and drawing much more power than the other wheels.
Where did the world's oceans come from? Some scientists believe all that water was originally locked into rocks, and slowly leaked out over millions of years. Others believe it was delivered from space by comets crashing into our planet. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft might help find the answer. When it reaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta will send down a small lander, Ptolemy, that will measure the chemical signature of the comet's water, and see if that matches our water.
Cassini hasn't just been focused on Phoebe; it's also turned its camera on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. This image of the mysterious, cloud covered Moon was taken on May 22, when the spacecraft was 21.7 million km (13.5 million miles) away. The northern hemisphere is much brighter than the southern hemisphere, which is the exact opposite situation that the Voyager spacecraft saw when they flew by 23 years ago, and it indicates the Moon in the opposite season.
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