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New Evidence for Cold Dark Matter.

Ten Years Since The Revolution at Amazon.

SAS Black Ops at Amazon.
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Image credit: NASA
Where's Spirit Now?
Jun 12, 2003 - Just a few extra notes for today:

NASA has made a Mars Explorer tracking page available on its website. Every few minutes or so, a series of images are updated that show how far along the spacecraft has gotten on its journey; the view of Mars; view of Earth, etc. Pretty cool. Check it out here.. I guess they'll do another for "Opportunity" when it launches.

A big congratulations to Abbotsford and Calgary for winning Canada's light pollution abatement awards. Both cities have made huge advances towards reducing obnoxious glare in the night sky (and reduced their pollution and energy use). Nice going.

Finally, there's a free lecture at 7:00 pm PDT tonight at NASA/JPL about the Space Infrared telescope Facility. If you're interested in the "last of the great observatories", you can stop by and listen in. Here's more information. They'll also be webcasting the presentation live on the Internet.

Image credit: NASA
Investigators Find Another Potential Shuttle Problem

Jun 12, 2003 - Shuttle investigators have found another potential problem that could damage future space shuttles during launch. When searching through radar data of the Columbia, the investigation board discovered that an 18 kilogram bolt connecting the shuttles boosters to its fuel tank flew off. There's no evidence that it actually hit the shuttle, but its potential damage to future missions could be catastrophic. Fragments of the bolt are supposed to be caught in a special cylinder to prevent exactly this kind of problem, but it appears that the capture device needs improvements.

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Image credit: Arianespace
Ariane 5 Launches Two Satellites

Jun 12, 2003 - An Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched two geostationary communications satellites Wednesday evening after an hour's delays because of poor weather. The Ariane 5G lifted off at 2238 GMT (6:38 pm EDT) and the two satellites separated 35 minutes later. The first satellite is the Australian commercial/military Optus and Defence C1 communications satellite which will provide coverage for the Asia Pacific region. The other is the Japanese BSAT-2c which will provide satellite television services throughout Japan.

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Image credit: Chandra
New Evidence for Cold Dark Matter

Jun 12, 2003 - A new image taken by the Chandra X-ray observatory is helping Astronomers to understand the composition of Dark matter in the Universe. Abell 2029 is composed of thousands of Galaxies enveloped in a cloud of hot gas - and a mass of Dark matter equal to a hundred trillion Suns. The X-ray data shows that the density of the Dark matter increases smoothly all the way to the centre of the galaxy, which matches predictions of the "cold dark matter" model. This model gets its name from the assumption that the Dark matter particles were moving slowly when Galaxies first formed, and interact with normal matter only through gravity.

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