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Hubble Reveals the Pencil Nebula.

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Image credit: Hubble
Hubble Reveals the Pencil Nebula

Jun 5, 2003 - The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a new image of the Pencil Nebula, officially known as NGC 2736, which is part of the huge Vela supernova remnant located 815 light-years away. The nebula's luminous appearance comes from dense gas regions which have been struck by the supernova's shock wave and heated up. Astronomers estimate that the supernova went off 11,000 years ago; although, no historical records of the explosion have ever been found.

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Image credit: NASA
NASA Ready for Twin Rover Launch

Jun 4, 2003 - The invasion of Mars continues. Next up: NASA's Mars Explorer Rover-A which has been cleared to launch Sunday, June 8 at 1805 GMT (2:05pm EDT). Rover-A and its twin carry a suite of geological instruments to examine rocks and soil searching for evidence of past water on Mars. scientists back on Earth will guide the rovers to various target rocks for closer examination. The second rover is due to launch June 25 and will aim towards a different landing site on the Red Planet.

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Image credit: NASA
Saturn's Winds are Slowing Down

Jun 4, 2003 - When the Voyager spacecraft zipped past Saturn in 1980/81, they clocked the ringed planets equatorial winds at 1700 km/h. But a team of Spanish and American Astronomers recently measured the motions of clouds and storms on Saturn using the Hubble Space Telescope and found they were only going 990 km/h. Although the equatorial winds have slowed down, other jets further away from the equator are still moving the same speed. This has led the Astronomers to believe that the slow-down has something to do with the change of seasons on Saturn.

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Image credit: NASA
Force of Foam Surprised Shuttle Investigators

Jun 4, 2003 - The accident investigator searching for the cause of the Columbia disaster said he was surprised by the force that foam tearing off of the shuttle's fuel tank could cause to its wing. In a recent experiment, investigators fired a 760 gram chunk of foam at a fiberglass replica of the shuttle's wing and tore open an important seal. Even more damage is expected when the next round of tests are performed with real shuttle wing parts, removed from Discovery, which are composed of reinforced carbon.

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