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 IndexHot NewsNews 05.01.05
One (Earth) Year On The Red Planet
As the rovers begin their second terrestrial year on Mars, Spirit finds an odd rock with a strange chemistry in the Columbia Hills, and Opportunity prepares for a long drive south - Astronomy
Parachuting To Titan
Get ready for two of the strangest hours in the history of space exploration. That's how long it will take the Huygens probe to parachute to the surface of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan - Science @ NASA
Earth Safe From Asteroid 2004 MN4
Throughout the Christmas holiday weekend, the astronomical community was abuzz over the most significant impact threat to Earth yet found. As late as Monday morning, the near-Earth asteroid 2004 MN4 was given a 1-in-38 chance (2.7 percent) of hitting us 25 years from now — on April 13, 2029, to be exact. But thanks to prediscovery observations, astronomers can now say with total confidence that the asteroid will miss our home planet - Sky and Telescope
Magnetic Fields May Warp Planetary Nebulae
At the end of their lives, stars like our sun eject expanding gas shells known as planetary nebulae. Despite being spewed out by spherical stars, some 80 percent of these impressive displays are not spherical themselves, instead exhibiting complex morphologies. Astronomers have now, for the first time, detected magnetic fields in the central stars of four planetary nebulae, suggesting a cause of the irregular structures - Scientific American
Amateurs Detect Possible Exoplanet Ringlike Structure
Amateur astronomers may have discovered a ringlike structure around an extrasolar planet. The Hubble Space Telescope will reveal whether the observations and analysis represent a landmark discovery or an as-yet unexplained systematic error. But regardless of the outcome, the collaboration showcases the growing capabilities of amateurs to acquire and analyze high-quality data, form networks, and engage in cutting-edge research - Sky and Telescope
Cassini Looks At The Dark Side
On December 31, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest pass yet to one of Saturn's smaller icy satellites when it flew by Iapetus. This flyby was Cassini's closest of a small saturnian moon since its arrival around the ringed planet June 30 - Astronomy, NASA/JPL
Beta Ceti: Giant Star's Corona Brightens With Age
Beta Ceti is a bright, giant star with a hot corona that radiates about 2,000 times more X-ray power than the Sun. Scientists suspect that this X-ray activity is somehow related to its advanced stage of evolution called core helium burning - Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Gemini Observatory Welcomes 2005 With Release Of Galactic Fireworks Image
Like the annual New Year’s fireworks display, astronomers at Gemini Observatory are ushering in 2005 with a striking image that dazzles the eye with stellar pyrotechnics - Gemini Observatory
Satellite Imagery Helping Tsunami Relief Effort
Satellite images are helping to target relief efforts in regions devastated by the Asian tsunamis of 26 December. The images may also yield clues about the shape and strength of the deadly tidal waves - New Scientist
NASA's Improved Shuttle External Tank Begins Journey To Launch
The huge, orange External Tank (ET) that will help launch Space Shuttle Discovery on its next mission isn't glitzy like the crystal New Year's ball in Times Square. But its journey from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility marks something special for 2005: the Year of Return to Flight - NASA
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