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Giant Sunspots Could Fire Flares at the Earth.
September 22, 2000
Eros Reveals Secrets About the Early Solar System
Giant Sunspots Could Fire Flares at the Earth
Russian Astronaut Pioneer Dies
Team Gives Up on Japanese X-Ray Observatory
EROS REVEALS SECRETS ABOUT THE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM
Astronomers have released the results of the NEAR (Near Earth asteroid Rendezvous) survey of asteroid Eros. The findings confirm that Eros is a consolidated, primitive sample from the solar system's beginnings. The spacecraft has taken more than 100,000 images of the asteroid at distances ranging from 35 to 350 kilometres. And 8 million measurements by the laser rangefinder on board the spacecraft indicate that it is a single solid object, rather than a loosely collected "rubble pile".
GIANT SUNSPOTS COULD FIRE FLARES AT THE EARTH
The largest sunspots seen in 9 years are currently on the surface of the sun, and with each rotation of the sun, they spend a little time aimed directly at the Earth. Known as Sunspot Group 9169, the blotch on the surface of the Sun covers about 6 mil lon square kilometres (12 times larger than the surface of the Earth). The group appeared a few days ago, and so far, it has behaved itself, but it could generate a huge coronal mass ejection in our direction.
RUSSIAN Astronaut PIONEER DIES
Gherman Titov, the second man to orbit the Earth, has died at age 65. The Russian space age hero's body was found in the sauna of his Moscow apartment - apparently he had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Titov's historic flight in August 1961 aboard the Soviet Vostok-2 took him 17 times around the Earth in a 25-hour flight - at 25, Titov was the youngest man to fly in space.
TEAM GIVES UP ON JAPANESE X-RAY OBSERVATORY
Officials from the Japanese Space Agency officially threw in the towel Wednesday, after repeated attempts to bring the Advanced satellite for cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) spacecraft out of safe mode had failed. The spacecraft went into a spin on July 15 when it encountered an anomalous bulge in the Earth's atmosphere. It's expected to reenter the atmosphere next year.
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