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Dinosaurs incinerated on the planet in just a few hours.
It seems that when an asteroid struck the Earth 65 million years ago, the resulting heat pulse incinerated every Dinosaur on the planet in just a few hours; only those that were in burrows or underwater likely survived. When the 10 km (6 mile) asteroid hit Chicxulub in the Yucatan, it struck with the force of 100 million megatons of TNT. A new paper published by several US university researchers calculates how ejected material would have heated the atmosphere to the equivalent of a global oven set on broil.
Researchers from Penn State University have developed a computer model that describes the interaction of a binary black hole system; where two black holes orbit one another. Previous models have fallen apart because the gravity of the black holes distorts the surrounding space so dramatically, it's almost impossible to calculate. This unusual situation could generate gravity waves detectable from Earth, which so far have only been theorized by mathematicians.
It's been a month since NASA launched the gravity Probe B; an experiment designed to test Einstein's predictions about gravity and relativity, and so far, the spacecraft is working well. It's in the correct orbit and will begin the science phase of its mission next month. It will continue taking precise measurements of the Earth's gravity over the next 13 months to test two predictions: how space and time are warped by our planet, and how the Earth drags space-time around with it as it rotates.
The European Space Agency released its official inquiry into the loss of the Beagle 2 lander, and made 19 recommendations for future missions to the surface of the Red Planet. No one has been able to get to the root cause for the loss of Beagle 2's, but it could have been because of a thinner than expected Martian atmosphere, a problem with its airbag system, or a failure to deploy its solar panels, which cover up the lander's main antenna.
The newest photo released by NASA's Cassini spacecraft was taken on May 10, 2004 at a distance of only 27.2 million kilometres (16.9 million miles) using the spacecraft's narrow angle camera. The image shows the translucent C ring and the thin, outermost F ring, which cast a shadow across the clouded atmosphere. Cassini will arrive at Saturn in July, 2004 and begin a long term study of the ringed planet and its moons.
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