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Transit of Venus across the surface of the Sun.


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Transit of Venus.
Transit of Venus across the surface of the Sun.

Watch the Venus Transit on the Internet.

We're only a few days away from an event that no person alive has ever seen: a transit of Venus across the surface of the Sun. On June 8, 2004, approximately 75% of people on Earth will be able to watch as the tiny black dot marches across the Sun over the course of about six hours. NASA and several observatories around the world have joined forces to broadcast the event live on the Internet for the benefit of those on the wrong side of the planet, or without the right equipment to watch it. If you don't see it this time, don't worry, it'll happen again on June 6, 2012 and then again in another 105 years.

Speakers Announced for Centennial Challenges Workshop.

NASA has announced the guest speakers who will help set the tone for the upcoming Centennial Challenges workshop on June 15/16. The purpose of this workshop will be to define space-related goals which individuals and groups could complete to win prizes - similar to the Ansari X-Prize, which awards $10 million for the first private suborbital spacecraft. The featured speakers are Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Chairman, Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, Dr. John H. Marburger III, Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Chairman, President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond and Elon Musk, CEO and CTO, Space exploration Technologies Corporation.

Trifid Nebula.

A new photo released from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a new close-up view of the heart of the Trifid Nebula, also known as M20 and NGC 6514. One part features a region of the nebula that contains a group of young, hot stars which are blasting the surrounding area with ultraviolet radiation, and clearing out gas and dust. Another part of the nebula contains a low mass star which is ejecting a long jet of material. Previous images of the jet taken in 1997 show small but noticeable changes in its shape.

Saturn - colour image.

The latest full colour image of Saturn was taken on May 21, when NASA's Cassini spacecraft was only 15.7 million kilometres (9.8 million miles) from the Ringed Planet. Cassini took images through its blue, green, and red filters using its narrow angle camera, which were combined to create this natural colour view. The photo shows subtle, multi-hued atmospheric bands across the face of the planet, and the rings show slight colour differences. The chemicals the cause these colour differences are still unknown to scientists - that's part of the mystery Cassini is here to solve.

Super-Clusters of Galaxies Give Clues to the Big Bang.

Astronomers with the European Southern Observatory have embarked on a decade-long study of some of the largest structures, Galaxy clusters, to try and understand the nature of the earliest Universe. According to the widely accepted "inflationary theory" of the cosmos, tiny fluctuations in the initial state of the universe were magnified by the Big Bang. Microscopic differences at the beginning have become super-clusters of galaxies. A previous survey used X-ray observatories to identify 447 of the brightest clusters of galaxies, which will now be studied further to map out their shape.

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