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Jupiter's X-Ray Hotspot Puzzles Astronomers.


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Jupiter's X-Ray Hotspot Puzzles Astronomers

Image credit: Chandra
A new image taken by the Chandra X-Ray telescope shows puzzling, pulsating hotspots at Jupiter's north and south poles. So far, scientists have no explanation for what could be causing these X-rays; although, they do coincide with other phenomena seen on the planet, including auroras; like those at the Earth's poles.

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Feb 28, 2002, 5:03pm

NASA Tries to Contact Pioneer 10

Image credit: NASA
Later this week, NASA scientists will attempt to contact the distant Pioneer 10 spacecraft, which was launched 30 years ago. The team will try to reach the spacecraft by focussing a radio telescope at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Deep Space Network (DSN) in Madrid, Spain. Launched on March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 is now 11.9 billion kilometres away from the Earth and hasn't been heard from since April 2001.

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Feb 28, 2002, 4:52pm

Jupiter is Buffeted by Solar Wind

Image credit: NASA
Scientists have uncovered the workings of an invisible bubble of charged particles that surround Jupiter and interact with the solar wind. This bubble is called the magnetosphere and extends to a distance of 100 times the diameter of Jupiter itself. 14 months ago, two spacecraft: Galileo and Cassini took simultaneous readings of the giant planet's magnetosphere from different vantage points. Detailed results of their findings will be published in scientific journals in the next few days.

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Feb 28, 2002, 4:42pm

Ariane 5 Rolled out to Launch Pad

Image credit: Arianespace
An Ariane 5 rocket carrying the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite, Europe's largest and most expensive satellite was rolled out to the launch pad yesterday. If all goes well, the rocket will launch Friday morning at 0107 GMT (8:07 EST Thursday night) from Kourou, the European spaceport in French Guiana and carry the 8,000 kg satellite into orbit. Envisat will spend the next 5 years monitoring the health of the Earth's oceans, ice caps, land and environment.

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Feb 28, 2002, 7:42am

Brightest full moon this Year

Image credit: NASA
The full moon on February 27 is going to be the brightest one of 2002. The moon's orbit isn't a perfect circle; over the course of its 28-day trip around the Earth, its distance varies from 406,700 km to 356,400. And today's full moon happens to coincide with the closest point of that orbit, making it 20% brighter than an average full moon.

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Feb 27, 2002, 7:26am

Cold Weather Delays Shuttle Launch

Image credit: NASA
Unusually cold weather in Florida has forced NASA to push back Thursday's launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia for its service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Officials are predicting temperatures only a few degrees above freezing, but significantly warmer on Friday (cold weather was a contributing factor to the Challenger disaster). During the 11-day flight, astronauts will add $172 million in upgrades to Hubble. (AP article)

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Feb 27, 2002, 7:03am



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