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Group Attempts to Save Pluto Express.
October 18, 2000
Group Attempts to Save Pluto Express
Gamma Ray Burst Detected
Gemini Spots our Galaxy's Core
GROUP ATTEMPTS TO SAVE Pluto EXPRESS
Representatives from the Planetary Society are travelling to Capitol Hill today to deliver 10,000 letters to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Sen. Bill Frist. The letters are from advocates of Space exploration asking Congress to provide additional funds to the stalled Pluto-Kuiper Express project, so the mission can launch on time to get a valuable gravity assist with Jupiter, as well see the planet's atmosphere before it freezes. The estimated budget for the project expanded to $500 million, from the original $150 million allocated.
GAMMA RAY BURST DETECTED
Four different spacecraft (Ulysses, NEAR, Wind, and Bepposax) detected the afterglow of a giant gamma ray burst called GRB 000131, which occurred 11 billion light years away. Astronomers theorize that the burst was caused by a giant exploding star, 30 times the mass of our own sun. At their peak, bursts like this are by far the brightest emissions of gamma ray radiation in the sky, and provide valuable insight into the size and formation of the universe.
GEMINI SPOTS OUR GALAXY'S CORE
Images taken by the recently constructed 8.1 metre Gemini telescope located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii show the core of our own Milky Way in unprecedented detail - providing an incredible view of the clouds of dust and gas surrounding the black hole at the centre of the galaxy. The images also contain an object which appears to be the bowshock created around a star as it plows through the dust and gas.
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