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Chandra Takes a Look at the Cat's Eye Nebula.
January 10, 2001
Astronomers Find New Supercluster of Galaxies
Chandra Takes a Look at the Cat's Eye Nebula
New planetary systems Discovered
China Makes Another Test Flight of Its Unmanned Capsule
ASTRONOMERS FIND NEW SUPERCLUSTER OF GALAXIES
An international team of Astronomers believe they have identified a supercluster of Galaxies that could be one of the largest structures in the observable Universe. Located 6.5 billion light years away, in the constellation of Leo, the grouping is thought to be 500 million light years across. Because of its distance, the supercluster looks as it did when the universe was one third of its current age - this gives Astronomers additional insights into the formation of the early Universe.
CHANDRA TAKES A LOOK AT THE CAT'S EYE NEBULA
Astronomers recently pointed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory at NGC 6543, also known as the Cat's Eye Nebula, and found a bubble of hot gas and an unexpectedly bright source of X-ray radiation. The star in the centre of the nebula is going through the final stages of its life as a normal star, as material is being shed off into space at over 6 million kilometres/hour. The Cat's Eye Nebula is located only 3,000 light years away, and gives Astronomers insights into the future of our own Sun.
NEW planetary systems DISCOVERED
Planet hunters announced yesterday that they have located two new extrasolar planetary systems - neither like our own solar system. One system has two planets locked in harmonic orbits, while the second system has giant planets; planets so large they challenge the definition of "planet" (17-40 times the mass of Jupiter). Although many single planets have been discovered orbiting other stars, only one system of multiple planets has been discovered previously.
CHINA MAKES ANOTHER TEST FLIGHT OF ITS UNMANNED CAPSULE
An Chinese Long March rocket launched from the Gobi desert launch center yesterday, carrying an unmanned Shenzhou II space capsule. The launch was the second test of the Chinese manned spaceflight program. The Shenzhou II will orbit the Earth for "a few days", perform a series of experiments, and then land safely. With the success of this second mission, experts believe China is 18-24 months away from launching humans into space; however, the Chinese government is extremely secretive about the schedule of its manned spaceflight program.
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