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Jupiter's stormy surface could be settling down.
Jupiter's stormy surface could be settling down, according to calculations by UC Berkeley physicist Philip Marcus. According to Marcus, Jupiter's temperature and the number of storms on its surface are directly connected. As the number of vortices decrease, its temperature should go up by about 10-degrees Celsius - warmer near the equator and cooler near the poles. This cycle seems to repeat itself about every 70 years. But don't worry; the Great Red Spot isn't going anywhere.
NASA satellites have been used to create an 18-year record of temperatures on the Earth's surface, and not surprisingly, they're going up. So far, the data shows that global average temperatures are going up approximately 0.43 Celsius/decade; by comparison, ground station data only shows a rise of 0.34 C. This is an average, though, so different regions of the Earth are seeing greater or lesser temperature increases. These new readings should help scientists make better predictions about the future of the Earth's environment.
A special NASA spacecraft designed to test two aspects of Einstein's General theory of Relativity, gravity Probe B, lifted off Tuesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base on board a Boeing Delta II rocket. The spacecraft was inserted into a perfectly circular polar orbit, and operators will begin calibrating its instruments over the next 60-days. If everything checks out, the spacecraft will begin making precise measurements about the effect of the Earth's gravity for 12 months - analysis of the data will take a further year.
After two days of catching up in orbit, the Soyuz TMA-4 carrying the crew of Expedition 9 and ESA Astronaut André Kuipers has docked with the International Space Station. The hatch between the spacecraft and the station was opened, and for the next nine days there will be five people on board the station. Kuipers has a busy schedule; he'll be working on a variety of experiments: growing seeds, bacterial fuel cells, and tests of a new heating pipe designed for space.
The latest image released from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows the monstrous power of a supernova. The image is of SNR 0540-69.3, a remnant of a supernova that blew up 160,000 light-years away. The centre of the image is the rapidly rotating Neutron star, which spins 20 times/second, and generates the same amount of energy as 30,000 Suns. The supernova is believed to have exploded within a cloud of gas, so this created a super hot shell of material that surrounds the object, which blazes in the X-ray spectrum.
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