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Spitzer space telescope planets forming.
NASA's Spitzer space telescope has spotted what could be the early stages of planets forming around a failed star. The Infrared telescope detected clumps of microscopic dust grains and tiny crystals orbiting five brown dwarfs. Similar material has been seen around other newly forming stars and in our own Solar System. Despite being colder and smaller than stars like our Sun, it appears that brown dwarfs still undergo many of the same stages, including the construction of planets.
For the most part, Titan is an alien world with methane rain, lakes of hydrocarbons, and very little that reminds us of Earth. But Saturn's Moon has strangely familiar clouds that hover above its middle latitudes. scientists from the University of Arizona studied Cassini images of some clouds, and watched how they evolved over the course of 3 hours. The clouds rise quickly like thunderstorms here on Earth and then seem to dissipate, as if they're turning into rain.
A Titan 4B rocket carrying a classified cargo for the National Reconnaissance Office blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base today. It's believed that the rocket was carrying a next generation reconnaissance satellite. This was the last launch of the Titan 4 class of vehicles. Future launches will use Atlas 5 and Boeing Delta 4 EELVs.
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