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Sun flares towards the Earth.
Nov 4, 2003 It looks like the Sun isn't done with us yet. Over the last 24-hours, the Sun has hurled three more giant flares towards the Earth. None of these were as large as the flares that struck the Earth last week, but they're still fairly strong. This should give people in the Northern and Southern latitudes another chance to see an aurora. The sunspots which have been generating all the storms are now rotating over to the side of the Sun and then they'll go behind it, but they could return again in a few weeks to batter the Earth again.
Nov 4, 2003 The construction of the world's most powerful optical telescope took a significant step forward this week when the first of its huge mirrors was delivered. The Mount Graham International Observatory's Large Binocular telescope will eventually have twin 8.4 metre mirrors linked together, giving it an effective size of 11.8 metres. But the observatory will be able to view extremely faint objects as if it was 22.8 metres across - that's 10 times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope. The observatory will be completed in 2005.
Nov 4, 2003 Astronomers from the University of Hawaii's Institute for astronomy released new images from their brand new 16-megapixel camera installed on the 2.2 metre telescope on Mauna Kea. This new camera provides a tremendous increase in resolution over the 1-megapixel camera the telescope was using before, and makes this telescope one of the most powerful on Earth for Infrared astronomy. The newly-released image is of Galaxy NGC 891, which is 10 million light-years away in the constellation of Andromeda.
Nov 4, 2003 The European Southern Observatory has released new images of nebula N44 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astronomers used the ESO's Wide-Field-Imager on the 2.2 metre La Silla Observatory to capture the area with unprecedented clarity. N44 is approximately 1,000 light-years across and contains about 40 bright luminous blue stars. The blue stars live for a very short time and then explode as supernovae - some have already exploded in the area, creating some of the nebula's visible material.
Nov 4, 2003 An international team of Astronomers have discovered a new Galaxy colliding with our own Milky Way. This new galaxy, Canis Major, is located only 42,000 light years away from the centre of the Milky Way - it's our new "closest galaxy". Canis Major was discovered during an Infrared survey of the sky, which allowed the Astronomers to peer through the obscuring dust and gas of the Milky Way. Canis Major is quite small (as Galaxies go); it only contains about a billion stars.
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