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Sep 5, 2003 As potentially killer asteroids are announced on an almost yearly basis, the public is started to get a little jaded about the risks humanity faces. How can governments and space agencies confront a threat that can only be a "maybe" until it's too late to do anything about it? Here's my opinion.
Sep 5, 2003 On the heels of the release of the Columbia Accident Investigation report, the United Stats Senate Appropriations Committee approved NASA's $15.3 billion budget for 2004. There were only a few differences from this budget and the $15.5 billion requested by President Bush earlier this year. $200 million was cut in from the International Space Station because of the smaller crew and use of Soyuz spacecraft. $20 million was cut from the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission; although, the explained that this amount had been added last year and not used. There were no other major cuts or changes to NASA's budget.
Sep 5, 2003 A team of Astronomers have used the 10-metre Keck II telescope to create a series of images that show asteroid (511) Davida from every angle. The images of the 320 km asteroid were taken in late December, 2002 using the Keck's adaptive optics system - a special technology that allows the telescope to compensate for distortion caused by the Earth's atmosphere. The observations are so precise that features as small as 46 km can be seen on the surface of the asteroid.
Sep 5, 2003 The latest image released from the Hubble Space Telescope is of the spiral Galaxy NGC 3370, located in the constellation Leo. The Galaxy was imaged because Astronomers wanted to observe Cepheid variable stars - special stars which brighten and dim at a known rate and are used to calculate distances to objects. The team had to make a long exposure of the Galaxy (about a full day), so Hubble had a chance to gather a lot of light; that's why there are many fainter Galaxies visible in the background of the picture.
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