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astronomy

Protoplanetary Disk Found Around a Star

Image credit: Hubble
The new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a clear disk of dust around a young, 5 million year old star. Astronomers believe these disks are the birthplaces of planets. The star, called HD 141569A is part of a triple star system located 320 light-years away in the constellation of Libra.

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:55pm

astronomy

Hubble Uses Galactic Lense to Look Further

Image credit: Hubble
The Hubble Space Telescope has used a natural 2-million-light-year wide "zoom lens" to look further into space than it normally could. By peering directly through the centre of one of the most massive galactic clusters known, it was able to take advantage of a technique called gravitational lensing to see objects beyond the cluster. Detailed analysis of the image may help shed some light on the mystery of dark matter.

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:44pm

astronomy

Gullies on Mars Not Formed by Water?

Image credit: NASA
Gullies on Mars were discovered in 2001 that seemed to show evidence that liquid water had been on the surface of the planet very recently. But a theory from a University of Melbourne geologist examines the possibility that the gullies were carved by an avalanche of carbon dioxide changing directly from a solid to a gas. This theory has been met with skepticism from other Mars researchers, who are hoping that liquid water might someday be found on Mars, increasing the possibility of finding life.

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:28pm

Space Flight

Ariane Inquiry Board Submits its Findings

Image credit: Arianespace
According to a commission of inquiry, the failure of the new Ariane 5-ESCA rocket appears to have been caused by a leakage in the cooling system. Approximately 456 seconds into the vehicle's flight, it veered off course and had to be destroyed. With it went two satellites worth 600 million euros. The results of this inquiry clear the way for the launch of the Rosetta Comet mission in the next few weeks.

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:17pm

astronomy

Furthest extrasolar planet Discovered

Image credit: NASA
Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced today that they have discovered a Jupiter-class planet orbiting a star 5,000 light years away - the most distant ever found. The planet, called Ogle-TR-56b is important because it's only the second planet ever discovered that passes directly in front of its star, dimming it slightly. More than 100 extrasolar planets have now been discovered. (BBC Article)

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:03pm




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