August 21, 2000
New Evidence that Galaxies Formed Early On
Deep Space 1's Engine Sets Record
A Plea for Darker Skies
NEW EVIDENCE THAT Galaxies FORMED EARLY ON
Astronomers at Durham University (UK) have found new evidence that large numbers of Galaxies were earlier than previously believed. The team used the Herschel telescope in the Canary Islands to produce images of Galaxies that they calculated were formed 10 billion years ago - when the universe was six times smaller than its current size.
DEEP SPACE 1'S ENGINE SETS RECORD
The engine on Deep Space 1 has spent more time continuously firing than any previous propulsion system. The spacecraft uses an ion engine, which unlike a chemical rocket, only emits a continuous stream of ions (electrically charged atoms). Although the thrust is minute - about the same amount of pressure as a piece of paper held in your hand - it builds up tremendously over time, and is ten times more efficient than conventional chemical rockets.
A PLEA FOR DARKER SKIES
Thanks to light pollution, it's getting harder and harder to find dark places to watch the skies. A frustrated group of Astronomers sounded a wakeup call when they recently met at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Manchester (UK). A large amount of light pollution happens because people don't think about where the light goes when they install outside fixtures.
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