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Spinning Pulsar and a Neutron star.
Researchers located a binary system in 2003, believed to be a spinning pulsar and a Neutron star. But new evidence indicates that it's actually two pulsars orbiting each other; the first known example of a binary pulsar system. Pulsars fire out a concentrated beam of radio radiation like a lighthouse - when this beam falls on the Earth, the pulsar looks brighter. In this system, one pulsar's beam is illuminating the other pulsar, so it allows Astronomers to accurately measure the interactions between the objects.
The Bug Nebula, NGC 6302, is one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae known. At its centre lies a superhot dying star smothered in a blanket of 'hailstones’. A new Hubble image reveals fresh detail in the wings of this 'cosmic butterfly’.
This image of the Bug Nebula, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), shows impressive walls of compressed gas. A torus ('doughnut’) shaped mass of dust surrounds the inner nebula (seen at the upper right).
At the heart of the turmoil is one of the hottest stars known. Despite an extremely high temperature of at least 250 000 degrees Celsius, the star itself has never been seen, as it shines most brightly in the ultraviolet and is hidden by the blanket of dust, making it hard to observe.
Sometimes it takes a prize to really propel an industry forward, like with the historic Orteig Prize, which rewarded Charles Lindbergh $25,000 for crossing the Atlantic by airplane. In its most recent budget, NASA has set aside some budget to reward groups who accomplish certain milestones. The agency will be holding a workshop on June 15-16 in Washington D.C. to gather ideas and brainstorm on what kinds of goals will leverage this budget the furthest.
The team responsible for the MARSIS radar instrument on Mars Express has advised the ESA to put off the deployment of its radar booms. Currently, the booms are folded up like accordions against the side of the spacecraft, and they're designed to spring into 20-metre hollow cylinders. New and improved computer simulations show that they could swing more wildly when deployed than originally predicted, and potentially damage parts of the spacecraft. MARSIS will study the sub-surface of Mars to a depth of a few kilometres, and should reveal underground reservoirs of water or ice.
This latest true colour image of Saturn taken by Cassini completely fills the field of view of the spacecraft's narrow angle camera. The photo was taken on March 27, when the spacecraft was 47.7 million kilometres away from the Ringed Planet. Subtle colour variations are visible across the planet, from the atmospheric bands to the rings. Cassini will reach the planet in July 2004.
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