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Finding Salt on Io.

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Finding Salt on Io

Image credit: NASA
A team of French and American Astronomers have discovered the presence of salt (NaCl) in Io's atmosphere. They think that the salt was ejected into the Jovian moon's atmosphere by the many volcanos that ceaselessly bubble across its surface. The atmosphere of Io has been studied for several years now, first observed closely by the Voyager spacecraft, but this is the first time it's been found to contain good old "table salt".

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Jan 5, 2003, 4:51pm

Another Solar Mystery Solved

Image credit: NASA
Astronomers from NASA think they know why large features on the surface of the Sun called supergranules rotate faster than the Sun itself. Thanks to data gathered by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the researchers believe it's actually just an optical illusion. In fact, activity is moving across the surface of the Sun similar to what happens in a stadium when everybody does "the wave". Their next mystery, though, is to determine what causes this pattern of activity.

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Jan 5, 2003, 4:33pm

Space Flight

Shenzhou 4 Lands

Image credit: Xinhua
China's fourth unmanned space capsule, Shenzhou IV, returned to Earth on Sunday landing on the central grasslands of Inner Mongolia. According to several Chinese news sources, the capsule functioned properly, and several experiments were carried out successfully. The spacecraft was built to match the actual operations of a manned capsule, so it's expected this will be China's final test before actually putting humans in space - some time in 2003.

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Jan 5, 2003, 4:01pm

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