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A Glimpse at the Sun's Future.
August 16, 2000
northern lights Join Meteor Showers
A Glimpse at the Sun's Future
Twin Rovers Planned for Mars
Survivor Producer Working on Mir Television Show
NORTHERN LIGHTS JOIN METEOR SHOWERS
A tremendous aurora borealis (aka the Northern Lights) lit up the skies over much of North America last weekend. Reports from those who saw the light show described incredible curtains of blue, green and red light that danced in the night sky. The aurora occurred at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, with 100 meteors/hour visible at optimal viewing times. If you missed this light show, don't worry, the meteor shower lasts until August 22nd, and we'll probably also see more aurorae too before the year is out.
A GLIMPSE AT THE SUN'S FUTURE
Radio Astronomers have developed a time-lapse movie of gas being ejected from the surface of a distant, violent star. The Astronomers built the movie of the dying star - 1,000 light years away - using images taken by the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, and it shows the star going through a phase in its life cycle that our own Sun will also go through, approximately a billion years from now.
TWIN ROVERS PLANNED FOR MARS
NASA announced that it will send an additional, and identical, rover to Mars in 2003. Similar in design to the highly successful Mars Pathfinder mission, which reached the Red planet in 1997, the rovers will weigh 150 kilograms, and be capable of travelling 100 metres a day. The first mission is scheduled to launch on a Delta 2 rocket on May 22, 2003, followed two weeks later by the second on an identical rocket. The total budget for the two missions will be $600 million.
SURVIVOR PRODUCER WORKING ON MIR TELEVISION SHOW
MirCorp announced that it has signed an agreement with the creators of Survivor to produce a new show based on the Mir space station. Civilian "guest cosmonauts" will undergo intense training in preparation for an actual mission on Mir. As the weeks go by, Russian space officials will remove participants until one person will be selected for a 10-day visit on the station. Businessman Dennis Tito recently paid a reported $22 million for his upcoming visit to Mir.
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