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Solar System to the very edges of the Universe...
Oct 8, 2003 The Canadian Space Agency announced today that it will be contributing to the development of Galileo, the space-based navigation system being created by the European Space Agency - similar to the US Global Positioning System. Canada will contribute $11 million which will open up the development stage of the project to accept bids from Canadian contractors. China announced a similar commitment last month. Galileo is expected to be fully operational by 2008.
Oct 8, 2003 The European Space Agency is working on a new mission that could be able to detect moons orbiting planets in other star systems. In 2008, the ESA will launch Eddington, which will detect the drop in light as planets as small as Mars pass in front of their parent stars. Astronomers should theoretically be able to detect moons going around those planets because of their gravity - if the planet dims the star a few minutes earlier or later than expected, it will have one or more moons.
Oct 8, 2003 The 10-metre Keck II observatory took an important step forward recently when it began observations with its new adaptive optics system. The system uses a laser to create a fake star about 90 kilometres up in the sky - a computer can then use this to calculate how to remove the effect of atmospheric disturbances. Adaptive optics have been used on smaller telescopes, but this is the first time it's been employed on a telescope as large as the mighty Keck II; it took nine years to adapt the observatory.
Oct 7, 2003 NASA satellite data has been used to analyze the biology of open area "hotspots" around the coast of Antarctica. The research has found that penguin populations are healthy when there are patches of open water nearby where plankton blooms can form in the sunlight. The plankton feeds shrimp-like krill which supports many other marine animals including penguins. The data was gathered by NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) and NOAA's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) which kept weekly records of ocean temperature and plankton levels.
Oct 7, 2003 "Hubble: The Mirror on the Universe" by Robin Kerrod is the newest coffee table book filled with beautiful pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. The 192-page hardcover contains hundreds of pictures, of objects as near as our solar system to the very edges of the Universe... read the full review.
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