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Solar wind blows against interstellar gas.


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The solar wind blows against interstellar gas.
The solar wind blows against interstellar gas.

Voyager 1 spacecraft Nearing Edge of Solar system.

Nov 5, 2003 NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has nearly reached the outer limits of the solar system to a region of space, called the heliosheath, where the solar wind blows against interstellar gas. In order to pass into this area; however, Voyager will first pass through a turbulent region called the termination shock. This is the first time scientists have ever gathered data about these distant areas of the solar system. Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager 1 is now 13 billion km away from the Sun.

Leonid Meteors on November 17.

Nov 5, 2003 The Leonid meteor shower will be making an appearance on November 17, 2003, and it might be an impressive show. These meteors are the minute dust trails of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle which flash in the sky as they strike the Earth's atmosphere. In past years, the Leonids have been very impressive, sometimes thousands of meteors have been seen. Astronomers aren't sure how many will strike the Earth this year - it could be anywhere from a couple an hour to several hundred per hour. The best views will be in Europe, but the rest of the world will still get a show if they watch the skies after midnight.

Mars Rover Should Work Fine.

Nov 5, 2003 NASA engineers have been working through a problem with one of the Mars rovers currently travelling to the Red Planet, and they think they've got a solution. Back in August, engineers detected that Spirit's Mössbauer spectrometer - a device for identifying iron-bearing rocks - was sending back incorrect readings. They've been able to compensate for the readings, so long as Spirit continues to behave on Mars as it's working right now. The rovers will land on Mars in January 2004.

NASA Marks the Third Year of People on the International Space Station.

Nov 5, 2003 As of Sunday, November 2, the International Space Station has had humans on board for three years. The current crew, Expedition 8, arrived on board only a few weeks ago to replace Expedition 7 who had been on board for six months. With the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia earlier this year, construction on the station has come to a halt. 76,000 kg of new equipment is currently being readied for launch, including scientific laboratories and new solar panels.

Largest Solar Flare Ever Seen.

Nov 5, 2003 A massive flare erupted on the surface of the Sun yesterday that was so bright that it temporarily blinded the instruments on solar observation satellites. Astronomers believe this was the brightest flare that has ever been seen in modern times. Fortunately, this flare, and the following coronal mass ejection fired off to the side of the Sun, so very little material is expected to reach the Earth. The most powerful flares are the X-class; the most powerful flare ever seen before now was an X-20, but this could be an X-30, or even higher.

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