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Hundreds of Galaxies.
Sep 24, 2003 Astronomers from the European Space Agency are tracking hundreds of Galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope, hoping that one or more stars will eventually explode as a supernova. They can then look back through the data and find the individual star that exploded - this would mean it was in the final stages of its life. So far, supernova have only been tracked back to two "mother stars" so far, so Astronomers really need more of this data to help understand the conditions that cause a star to go supernova.
Sep 24, 2003 All nine members of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel handed in their resignations on Tuesday in the wake of criticism from the Columbia accident investigation report and Congress. The panel was originally formed after the Apollo 1 accident killed three astronauts in a fire in 1967, and included space engineers, scientists, and aerospace industry experts. NASA is now in the process of evaluating the structure of the safety panel to make it more effective in the future.
Sep 24, 2003 The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft has been mated to the top of its Ariane 5 rocket, and everything is ready to go for its September 27th launch. Smart-1's primary mission will be to test out new technologies, including solar electric (ion) propulsion and autonomous navigation. Even though it's launching in just a few days, it will arrive at the Moon in January 2005, where it will begin analyzing the chemical composition of the Moon's surface. It will also search for evidence of water ice at the Moon's southern pole.
Sep 24, 2003 A new survey of the stars surrounding the Milky Way has produced a detailed map of how streams of stars and debris are being added to our galaxy. Researchers from the University of Virginia used data from the 2MASS sky survey to map out the Sagittarius Galaxy which wraps around the Milky Way in a long stream of stars. They were able to distinguish between Galaxies because a certain class of stars, called M giants, are much more common in Sagittarius - when they tuned their search to just look for these stars, Sagittarius "popped into view".
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