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BepiColombo mission to Mercury.
The European Space Agency announced this week that it has canceled Eddington, a space-based observatory designed to search for extrasolar planets. They're also going to be scaling back the BepiColombo mission to Mercury by removing the lander that was supposed to accompany the spacecraft. The agency blamed the cuts on budget overruns with other missions, such as Rosetta. One new mission was announced, however. The LISA Pathfinder will serve as a prototype to help search for gravity waves.
Astronomers have confirmed that this week's solar flare was a whopping X28 magnitude - definitely the largest flare ever recorded. The flare occurred on November 4, and quickly overwhelmed the X-ray detectors on several monitoring satellites. It was followed up by a coronal mass ejection that blasted out from the surface of the Sun at 2,300 kilometres per second. Fortunately the flare came off the side of the Sun, and seems to have had no effect on our Earth.
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