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Chandra Sees Horseshoe Nebula.

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Image credit: Science
These Microbes Can Take the Heat

Aug 18, 2003 - Microbes taken from a deep sea vent at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean can survive in an environment that would kill anything else on Earth - they live, and thrive, in water that is 130 degrees Celsius. The scientists who discovered the microbes, called Strain 121, put the creature in an autoclave, which is designed to kill all bacteria; not only did it survive, but it kept on multiplying in the high heat. The discovery helps scientists develop new theories of how life could have originated on an early Earth that was much hotter than it is today.

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Image credit: Chandra
Chandra Sees Horseshoe Nebula

Aug 18, 2003 - The latest image released from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows the centre of M17, (a.k.a. the Horseshoe Nebula) in the constellation of Orion. The resolution of Chandra is so high that it can pick out the group of massive young stars which are heating the surrounding gas from 1.5 million to 7 million degrees Celsius. The stars in the nebula are only a million years old, so the nebula is too young for one of its stars to have exploded as a supernova and heated the gas.

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Image credit: NOAA
Northeast Blackout Seen From Space

Aug 18, 2003 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted satellite images online that showed the extent of the power blackout that affected more than 50 million people late last week. The photos show the areas both before and after the lights went out and demonstrate the dramatic change in power. The images were acquired by the agency's Defense Meteorological satellite Program (DMSP) on August 14 at 9:03 pm EDT.

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Image credit: NASA
Three Fates for Hubble

Aug 17, 2003 - A NASA panel released three options for the future of the Hubble Space Telescope after its last servicing mission in 2004 or 2005 which will extend its life to 2010. The first idea is to do another servicing mission in 2010 and keep Hubble operating as long as possible. The second option is to just do the single servicing mission around 2006 and install a propulsion device which would allow NASA to de-orbit the telescope by remote control. And the third possibility is to launch a robotic mission that will attach a propulsion device so Hubble can be de-orbited later.

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