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Galaxies 160 million light-years from Earth.
Nov 4, 2005 The European Southern Observatory has released a beautiful high resolution image of Robert's Quartet; a group of 4 very different Galaxies located about 160 million light-years from Earth. Its member Galaxies are NGC 87, NGC 88, NGC 89 and NGC 92. Robert's Quartet is one of the best examples of a compact group of galaxies, which can contain anywhere from 4 to 8 galaxies, and interact with each other from time to time. One Galaxy in the group, NGC 87, has large regions of furious star formation because of its interactions with its neighbours.
Nov 4, 2005 The European Space Agency's upcoming Venus Express mission to our planet's "evil twin" should reveal a planet of extremes, and more than a few surprises. One question revolves around the identity of a mysterious "unknown ultraviolet absorber", which seems to limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the planet's surface. scientists are also hoping to find out if the planet still has active volcanoes. Venus Express is due to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on November 9th and arrive at Venus in April 2006.
Nov 4, 2005 After gathering data on Greenland for more than a decade, ESA scientists have reported that the island's ice sheet is actually growing at its interior. Data collection began in 1991 with the radar altimeter instrument on board ESA's ERS-1, followed by ERS-2, and most recently Envisat, which has 10 instruments to measure various properties of the Earth from orbit. Greenland's ice sheet seems to be thickening at a rate of 6.4 cm (2.6 inches) a year above altitudes of 1,500 metres (5000 feet). Below that altitude, the ice sheets are decreasing in thickness.
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