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Spaceflight can increase the risk of injury to astronauts.
New NASA-funded research has revealed how bone loss from long-duration spaceflight can increase the risk of injury to astronauts. A research team used three-dimensional X-ray scans to study the bones in 14 US and Russian crewmembers of the International Space Station. They found that the astronauts lost up to 2.7% of their bone mass every month, and additional exercise would be necessary to decrease the loss. This research will also help study the loss of bone density in the elderly.
When Opportunity sent back the first images from the surface of Mars, there was a strange object that puzzled amateurs and scientists alike - it looked like a bunny. After some analysis, scientists agreed that the object was probably about 4-5 cm long. Later images showed that the object had moved with the wind, ending up underneath the rover. This has led observers to believe that it's a piece of the rover's airbag that tore off and has been drifting around the crater, pushed by the wind.
NASA's Mars rovers stopped looking down for a bit to watch the Sun. Specifically, they were looking to see Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos, make transits across the face of the Sun. Opportunity watched the smaller Moon Deimos (14 km) pass in front of the Sun on March 4, and then larger Phobos (27 km long) make a transit on March 7 - in both cases, the transits lasted less than a minute. These images will help scientists better calculate the orbits and shape of the Martian moons.
Astronomers at the Space telescope Science Institute today unveiled the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), the million-second-long exposure reveals the first Galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages," the time shortly after the Big Bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe. The new image should offer new insights into what types of objects reheated the universe long ago.
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