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First Detection of Short Gamma Ray Burst Afterglow.

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Space Flight

Families Might Make the Best Spacefarers

According to John Moore, a University of Florida anthropologist, families might have the right social dynamic to take on long duration space voyages - such as the colonization of another star, which could take 200 years to reach. By organizing the crew along family lines, Moore believes a crew would be better protected from problems that could occur over a multigenerational journey. In fact, in order to have enough genetic diversity to seed a new plant, Moore believes you only need a starting population of 150-180 people.
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Feb 19, 2002, 3:45pm


First Detection of Short Gamma Ray Burst Afterglow

Image credit: NASA
scientists believe they have spotted the first evidence of a radiation afterglow from short gamma-ray bursts. The afterglow from the bursts was discovered by an international team of Astronomers while poring through data gathered by NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. It's believed longer gamma-ray bursts are caused by the collapse of massive stars, while shorter bursts might be from colliding neutron stars or black holes. By studying the afterglow, Astronomers might have another tool to uncover the size, distance, and cause of the bursts.
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Feb 19, 2002, 3:29pm


New Comet Could Wow Skywatchers

Image credit: drdale.com
A new Comet has been found that may put on a spectacular show this spring. Comet Ikeya-Zhang was found simultaneously on February 1st by Astronomers in Japan and China and given the combined name - it was then confirmed shortly after by many other Comet hunters. It's expected that it will flare up by early March, and be clearly visible in the night sky until some time in April. comets are unpredictable; it could be spectacular, and it could just disappear, so keep your eyes up.
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Feb 19, 2002, 3:19pm


Saturn Obscured by the Moon on Wednesday

Image credit: NASA
Astronomers will have a treat on Wednesday when the planet Saturn sneaks behind a quarter Moon and then return approximately an hour or so later. This planetary eclipse is called an occultation, and it will be best viewed from North-eastern part of North America. The exact time of the occultation depends on your location, so follow the links to find the various times in different cities.
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Feb 19, 2002, 2:52pm


Dust Disks Could Indicate Planets

Image credit: ESA A newly detected dust ring, just outside the orbit of Saturn could help Astronomers have come up with a new strategy to shortlist star systems that might contain planets. Astronomers from the European Space Agency believe that this dusty ring is being maintained and replenished through collisions of objects in the solar system, like comets and asteroids. These distant dust clouds should be detectible, as well as swaths cleared out by planets.

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