January 2008 Top Story Archives



Did Earthquakes Keep the Early Crust Habitable? »» Did Earthquakes Keep the Early Crust Habitable?

[Wednesday, January 2, 2008] The shallow habitable region of cratonal crust deforms with a strain rate on the order of 1019 s1. This is rapid enough that small seismic events are expected on one-kilometer spatial scales and one-million-year timescales.

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NASA Awards Contract for Microgravity Aircraft Services »» NASA Awards Contract for Microgravity Aircraft Services

[Wednesday, January 2, 2008] NASA has awarded a contract to Zero Gravity Corporation of Las Vegas to manage and operate an aircraft to perform reduced gravity parabolic flights while carrying NASA-operated experiments and personnel.

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NASA Announces Teleconference About Next Shuttle Mission »» NASA Announces Teleconference About Next Shuttle Mission

[Wednesday, January 2, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference with Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale at 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Jan. 3, to discuss the status of ongoing work to prepare shuttle Atlantis for its launch to the International Space Station.

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Astronomers from Heidelberg discover planet in a dusty disk around a newborn star »» Astronomers from Heidelberg discover planet in a dusty disk around a newborn star

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] Scientists have discovered the youngest known extrasolar planet. Its host star is still surrounded by the disk of gas and dust from which it was only recently born. This discovery allows important conclusions to be drawn about planet formation.

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SETI@home ramps up to analyze more data in search of extraterrestrial intelligence »» SETI@home ramps up to analyze more data in search of extraterrestrial intelligence

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] The longest-running search for radio signals from alien civilizations is getting a burst of new data from an upgraded Arecibo telescope, which means the SETI@home project needs more desktop computers to help crunch the data.

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White Dwarf Pulses Like a Pulsar »» White Dwarf Pulses Like a Pulsar

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] New observations from Suzaku, a joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA X-ray observatory, have challenged scientists conventional understanding of white dwarfs.

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A Wisp of Smoke »» A Wisp of Smoke

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] The Cassini spacecraft peers through the fine, smoke-sized ice particles of Saturn's F ring toward the cratered face of Mimas. The F ring's core, which contains significantly larger particles, is dense enough to completely block the light from Mimas.

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LSST Receives $30 Million From Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates »» LSST Receives $30 Million From Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project is pleased to announce receipt of two major gifts: $20M from the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and $10M from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. 

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H.R.4917 To formulate situation and decision analyses for deflecting and mitigating potentially hazardous near-Earth objects »» H.R.4917 To formulate situation and decision analyses for deflecting and mitigating potentially hazardous near-Earth objects

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] A Bill: To formulate situation and decision analyses, and to select procedures and systems, for deflecting and mitigating potentially hazardous near-Earth objects.

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H.R. 4916 Aeronautics and Space Prize Act »» H.R. 4916 Aeronautics and Space Prize Act

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] To create a National Endowment to advance private sector development of aeronautics and space technologies by way of the National Advanced Space and Aeronautical Technologies Prize Award Program.

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U of M physicist reads the history of the solar system in grains of comet dust »» U of M physicist reads the history of the solar system in grains of comet dust

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] Four years ago, NASA's Stardust spacecraft chased down a comet and collected grains of dust blowing off its nucleus. When the spacecraft Comet Wild-2 returned, comet dust was shipped to scientists all over the world.

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Hot Cyclones Churn at Both Ends of Saturn »» Hot Cyclones Churn at Both Ends of Saturn

[Thursday, January 3, 2008] Despite more than a decade of winter darkness, Saturn's north pole is home to an unexpected hot spot remarkably similar to one at the planet's sunny south pole.

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New Year's Message From Alan Stern Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate »» New Year's Message From Alan Stern Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate

[Friday, January 4, 2008] "Make no mistake, we understand that there is far more work in front of us than behind us to turn SMD around, but we have already made some very real progress."

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Stardust formed close to sun »» Stardust formed close to sun

[Friday, January 4, 2008] Samples of the material picked up during the NASA Stardust mission indicate that parts of the comet Wild 2 actually formed in an area close to the sun.

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Speech by NASA Adminstrator Grffin at Calvin College: American Competitiveness: NASA's Role & Everyone's Responsibility »» Speech by NASA Adminstrator Grffin at Calvin College: American Competitiveness: NASA's Role & Everyone's Responsibility

[Friday, January 4, 2008] Today, space capabilities are pervasive in our lives, critical to a range of activities that create and provide value to human beings, and America's annual investment in NASA is less than one penny out of every federal dollar spent.

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NOAA: Sunspot is Harbinger of New Solar Cycle, Increasing Risk for Electrical Systems »» NOAA: Sunspot is Harbinger of New Solar Cycle, Increasing Risk for Electrical Systems

[Friday, January 4, 2008] A new 11-year cycle of heightened solar activity showed signs it was on its way late yesterday when the cycle's first sunspot appeared in the sun's Northern Hemisphere, NOAA scientists said.

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NASA Scientific Balloons Achieve Antarctic Flight Record »» NASA Scientific Balloons Achieve Antarctic Flight Record

[Saturday, January 5, 2008] NASA and the National Science Foundation have achieved a new milestone in conducting scientific observations from balloons, by launching and operating three long-duration flights within a single Antarctic summer.

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Saturn on 4 January 2008 »» Saturn on 4 January 2008

[Sunday, January 6, 2008] This image was taken on January 02, 2008 and received on Earth January 03, 2008. The camera was pointing toward Saturn at approximately 871,447 kilometers away.

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Bumper Christmas for galaxy hunters »» Bumper Christmas for galaxy hunters

[Monday, January 7, 2008] Armchair astronomers using the galaxyzoo.org website have identified over 500 overlapping galaxies in the local Universe when astronomers had previously only known of 20 such systems.

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Exoplanet reflected light detected for the first time »» Exoplanet reflected light detected for the first time

[Monday, January 7, 2008] The ability to explore remote worlds in space has been enhanced through a polarization technique that allows the first ever detection of light reflected by extrasolar planets. The study has been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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International Agreement Will Advance Radio Astronomy »» International Agreement Will Advance Radio Astronomy

[Tuesday, January 8, 2008] Two of the world's leading astronomical institutions have formalized an agreement to cooperate on joint efforts for the technical and scientific advancement of radio astronomy.

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NASA MESSENGER Spacecraft Is Only One Week From Mercury »» NASA MESSENGER Spacecraft Is Only One Week From Mercury

[Tuesday, January 8, 2008] MESSENGER's mid-December trajectory correction maneuver (TCM-19) went so well that the mission design and navigation teams have decided that a TCM scheduled for January 10 will not be needed.

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Address By Mike Griffin Before the American Astronomical Society »» Address By Mike Griffin Before the American Astronomical Society

[Tuesday, January 8, 2008] "I would like to take some time this morning to discuss a few things which I hope you will find meaningful: the intersection of science and engineering and the revolution which has occurred in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as a result."

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Aeronautics Associate Administrator Lisa Porter Is Leaving NASA »» Aeronautics Associate Administrator Lisa Porter Is Leaving NASA

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Lisa Porter is leaving NASA to be the Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

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NASA Cassini Image: Radar Images Titan's South Pole »» NASA Cassini Image: Radar Images Titan's South Pole

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] This synthetic aperture radar image was obtained by the Cassini spacecraft on its recent pass by Titan's south pole on Dec. 20, 2007.

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Scientists Detect Lowest Frequency Radar Echo From the Moon »» Scientists Detect Lowest Frequency Radar Echo From the Moon

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] A team of scientists has detected the lowest frequency radar echo from the moon ever seen with earth-based receivers.

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Favorite Cassini Image Contest Draws Space Enthusiasts, And Winners, From Across The Globe »» Favorite Cassini Image Contest Draws Space Enthusiasts, And Winners, From Across The Globe

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] Thousands of enthusiastic fans of Cassini have chosen a color picture of a tiny, dot-like planet Earth, cradled by Saturn's rings during a total solar eclipse, as the most popular image of all those so far returned by the Cassini mission.

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NASA Announces Details of Hubble Servicing Mission »» NASA Announces Details of Hubble Servicing Mission

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] NASA scientists and a space shuttle astronaut today outlined details of a challenging mission that will repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008.

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NASA and Gemini Probe Mysterious Explosion in the Distant Past »» NASA and Gemini Probe Mysterious Explosion in the Distant Past

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] Using the powerful one-two combo of NASA's Swift satellite and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion farther back in time than ever before.

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MESSENGER Team Receives First Optical Navigation Images of Mercury »» MESSENGER Team Receives First Optical Navigation Images of Mercury

[Wednesday, January 9, 2008] MESSENGER mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., have received the first eight optical navigation images from the spacecraft.

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UA Astronomers on Team Describing New Evidence of 'Inconvenient' Galaxy »» UA Astronomers on Team Describing New Evidence of 'Inconvenient' Galaxy

[Thursday, January 10, 2008] Discovery of two new components within a puzzling spiral galaxy confirm it must have a pair of arms winding in the opposite direction from most galaxies, according to results being presented today to the American Astronomical Society meeting.

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Study of 'GEMS' from Hubble, Spitzer Space Telescopes Reveals Cosmic Fireworks Fizzled Out at Universe Reached Mid-Life »» Study of 'GEMS' from Hubble, Spitzer Space Telescopes Reveals Cosmic Fireworks Fizzled Out at Universe Reached Mid-Life

[Thursday, January 10, 2008] New research is showing that all changed when the universe hit middle age. "Our study finds that over the last 7 billion years, after the universe hit its mid-forties, so to speak, it transitioned from a violent merger-driven mode into a quieter mode".

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Astronomers are First to Successfully Predict Extra-Solar Planet »» Astronomers are First to Successfully Predict Extra-Solar Planet

[Thursday, January 10, 2008] Astronomers have successfully predicted the existence of an unknown planet, the first since Neptune was predicted in the 1840s. This planet, however, is outside our own solar system, circling a star a little more than 200 light years from Earth.

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MESSENGER Set for Historic Mercury Flyby »» MESSENGER Set for Historic Mercury Flyby

[Thursday, January 10, 2008] NASA will return to Mercury for the first time in almost 33 years on January 14, 2008, when the MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of the Sun's closest neighbor, capturing images of large portions of the planet never before seen.

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Barack Obama's Plan For American Leadership in Space »» Barack Obama's Plan For American Leadership in Space

[Thursday, January 10, 2008] "Barack Obama believes that the United States needs a strong space program to help maintain its superiority not only in space, but also here on earth in the realms of education, technology, and national security."

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Dark energy, the Milky Way galaxy and giant planets: Sloan Digital Sky Survey continues »» Dark energy, the Milky Way galaxy and giant planets: Sloan Digital Sky Survey continues

[Friday, January 11, 2008] Building on eight years of extraordinary discoveries by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a new program of four coordinated surveys will revolutionize the study of the distant universe, the Milky Way galaxy, and giant planets orbiting other stars.

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Earth: A Borderline Planet for Life? »» Earth: A Borderline Planet for Life?

[Friday, January 11, 2008] New work shows that if Earth had been slightly smaller and less massive, it would not have plate tectonics -- the forces that move continents and build mountains. And without plate tectonics, life might never have gained a foothold on our world.

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When Worlds Collide: Have Astronomers Observed the Aftermath of a Distant Planetary Collision? »» When Worlds Collide: Have Astronomers Observed the Aftermath of a Distant Planetary Collision?

[Friday, January 11, 2008] Astronomers announced today that a mystery object orbiting a star 170 light-years from Earth might have formed from the collision and merger of two protoplanets.

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SDSS reveals hidden population of powerful black holes »» SDSS reveals hidden population of powerful black holes

[Friday, January 11, 2008] Powered by glowing, super-heated gas as it swirls into black holes a billion times more massive than the sun, quasars are the most brilliantly luminous objects in the universe.

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NASA Astronauts Offer Fitness Tips, Inspiration for New Year »» NASA Astronauts Offer Fitness Tips, Inspiration for New Year

[Friday, January 11, 2008] After a five-month stay on the station, astronaut Clay Anderson returned to Earth in November and is in the midst of a strict exercise regimen to regain top physical shape.

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Hubble Reveals Massive Disk Galaxies in the Early Universe »» Hubble Reveals Massive Disk Galaxies in the Early Universe

[Friday, January 11, 2008] Some of the first massive galaxies in the Universe formed when huge gas clouds rapidly collapsed. This discovery challenges the commonly held idea that all of the earliest massive galaxies formed when smaller galaxies merged.

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NASA Announces Space Shuttle Launch Targets »» NASA Announces Space Shuttle Launch Targets

[Friday, January 11, 2008] HOUSTON - NASA Friday announced Feb. 7 as the target launch date for shuttle Atlantis' STS-122 mission to the International Space Station and mid-March for the launch of Endeavour on STS-123.

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NASA Sets Briefing With Next Station Crew, Spaceflight Participant »» NASA Sets Briefing With Next Station Crew, Spaceflight Participant

[Friday, January 11, 2008] NASA will hold a media briefing at 1 p.m. CST Tuesday, Jan. 15, with the next resident crew of the International Space Station and a South Korean spaceflight participant.

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NASA Updates International Space Station Crew Assignments »» NASA Updates International Space Station Crew Assignments

[Friday, January 11, 2008] NASA has updated assignments for International Space Station expedition crews. The updates reflect changes in the launch schedule for space shuttle missions that will transport rotating crew members.

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NASA Scientists Predict Black Hole Light Echo Show »» NASA Scientists Predict Black Hole Light Echo Show

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] According to new theoretical research from two NASA astrophysicists, the wrenching gravity just outside the outer boundary of a black hole can produce yet another bizarre effect: light echoes.

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Jet Power and Black Hole Assortment Revealed in New Chandra Image »» Jet Power and Black Hole Assortment Revealed in New Chandra Image

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] A dramatic new Chandra image of the nearby galaxy Centaurus A provides one of the best views to date of the effects of an active supermassive black hole.

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Even Thin Galaxies Can Grow Fat Black Holes »» Even Thin Galaxies Can Grow Fat Black Holes

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected plump black holes where least expected -- skinny galaxies.

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Astronomers find record-old cosmic explosion »» Astronomers find record-old cosmic explosion

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] Using the powerful one-two combo of NASAs Swift satellite and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers from a number of institutions, including Johns Hopkins, have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion farther back in time than ever before.

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Supernova Remnants Dance in the LMC »» Supernova Remnants Dance in the LMC

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] The Gemini South Multi-Object Spectograph (GMOS) recently captured a dramatic image of a vast cloud complex named DEM L316 located in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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Hubble finds double Einstein ring »» Hubble finds double Einstein ring

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a never-before-seen optical alignment in space: a pair of glowing rings, one nestled inside the other like a bull's-eye pattern.

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MESSENGER Nears Mercury »» MESSENGER Nears Mercury

[Saturday, January 12, 2008] With just two days until MESSENGER's closest pass by Mercury, the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) is acquiring sets of images twice a day.

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NASA MESSENGER Has Mercury in Its Sights »» NASA MESSENGER Has Mercury in Its Sights

[Sunday, January 13, 2008] With just one day until MESSENGER's historic flyby of Mercury, MESSENGER has Mercury clearly in its sights. The Narrow Angle Camera, part of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), took this image on January 12, 2008

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Today MESSENGER Flies by Mercury! »» Today MESSENGER Flies by Mercury!

[Monday, January 14, 2008] Today, at 19:04:39 UTC (2:04:39 pm EST), MESSENGER will fly 200 kilometers (124 miles) above Mercury’s surface.

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Sir Ed passes away - Legendary explorer and mountaineer left mark on Antarctic history »» Sir Ed passes away - Legendary explorer and mountaineer left mark on Antarctic history

[Monday, January 14, 2008] Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand's favorite and most famous son, died Jan. 11 (local time) at the age of 88 in an Auckland hospital.

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Epimetheus Revealed »» Epimetheus Revealed

[Monday, January 14, 2008] The Cassini spacecraft's close flyby of Epimetheus in December 2007 returned detailed images of the moon's south polar region.

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Message from the NASA Administrator: 2008 National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) »» Message from the NASA Administrator: 2008 National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS)

[Monday, January 14, 2008] Many of you have seen the media reports concerning the controversy over our National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) project.

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SOHO: the new solar cycle starts with a »» SOHO: the new solar cycle starts with a "bang"

[Monday, January 14, 2008] The appearance of a very special solar spot on the sun surface a few days ago, signalled to scientists around the world that a new solar cycle had begun. This solar spot also produced two solar blasts.

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NASA's Quest to Find Water on the Moon Moves Closer to Launch »» NASA's Quest to Find Water on the Moon Moves Closer to Launch

[Monday, January 14, 2008] Cameras and sensors that will look for the presence of water on the moon have completed validation tests and been shipped to the manufacturer of NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

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Russian fuel flows in Jules Verne's veins »» Russian fuel flows in Jules Verne's veins

[Monday, January 14, 2008] Fuelling of the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle has started at Europe's Spaceport. ATV is being loaded with Russian refuelling propellant destined for the International Space Station.

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Detecting the Glint of Starlight on the Oceans of Distant Planets »» Detecting the Glint of Starlight on the Oceans of Distant Planets

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] We propose that astronomers will be eventually be able to discriminate between extrasolar Earth-like planets with surface oceans and those without using the shape of phase light curves in the visible and near-IR spectrum.

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Ulysses Spacecraft Flies Over Sun's North Pole »» Ulysses Spacecraft Flies Over Sun's North Pole

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] The Ulysses spacecraft today is making a rare flyby of the sun's north pole. Unlike any other spacecraft, Ulysses is able to sample winds at the sun's poles, which are difficult to study from Earth.

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NASA Announces Study Proposal on Design of Human Lunar Lander »» NASA Announces Study Proposal on Design of Human Lunar Lander

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] NASA's Constellation Program has released a broad agency announcement for study proposals to evaluate human landing craft concepts for exploring the moon.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: More on The Budget »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: More on The Budget

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] "I know that many are interested in reading more details about the budget and how it all works. We are working on three budget years right now, all in different stages."

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NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2008: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding: Highlights »» NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2008: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding: Highlights

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] "More Americans select television as their primary source of S&T information than any other medium.... The Internet ranks second among sources of S&T information, and its margin over other sources is large and growing."

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National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 »» National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2008

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] Science and Engineering Indicators, published by the National Science Board, provides a broad base of quantitative information on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise.

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MESSENGER's First Look at Mercury's Previously Unseen Side »» MESSENGER's First Look at Mercury's Previously Unseen Side

[Tuesday, January 15, 2008] Like the previously mapped portion of Mercury, this hemisphere appears heavily cratered. It also reveals some unique and distinctive features. On the upper right is the giant Caloris basin, including its western portions never before seen by spacecraft.

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2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second Warmest Year »» 2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second Warmest Year

[Wednesday, January 16, 2008] Climatologists have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth's second warmest year in a century. They used temperature data from weather stations on land, satellite measurements of sea ice temperature since 1982 and data from ships for earlier years.

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Ice clouds put Mars in the shade »» Ice clouds put Mars in the shade

[Wednesday, January 16, 2008] Mars has been regarded as a desert world, where an astronaut would be surprised to see clouds in the orange sky. However, new results show that the arid planet possesses high-level clouds that are sufficiently dense to cast a shadow on the surface.

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Space Exploration and Presidential Debates: Stand And Be Counted »» Space Exploration and Presidential Debates: Stand And Be Counted

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] Space exploration supporters have descended upon a presidential primary debate website and posted hundreds of questions on space policy. More activity is needed to sustain this visibility such that this issue appears in the questions asked of candidates.

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Jonathan's Space Report No. 590  2008 Jan 16 »» Jonathan's Space Report No. 590 2008 Jan 16

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] "Occasionally I throw out a historical mystery in the hope that some reader will have the answer. ..."

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The International Year of Astronomy 2009 welcomes the 100th participating state »» The International Year of Astronomy 2009 welcomes the 100th participating state

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] The latest state to join the International Year of Astronomy 2009 initiative is the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

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DEPTHX Robot Dives Deep for Sinkhole Slime »» DEPTHX Robot Dives Deep for Sinkhole Slime

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] In May, researchers successfully conducted the third and final field test of the autonomous underwater robot, DEPTHX. Their objective was to explore Cenote Zacaton, the world's deepest water-filled sinkhole.

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NSF Dedicates New South Pole Station »» NSF Dedicates New South Pole Station

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] The U.S. has dedicated a new scientific station at the geographic South Pole officially ushering in a new support system for sophisticated large-scale experiments in disciplines ranging from astrophysics to environmental chemistry and seismology.

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Two New Images from MESSENGER »» Two New Images from MESSENGER

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] Just 21 minutes after MESSENGERs closest approach to Mercury on January 14, 2008, the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) took images showing a variety of intriguing surface features.

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SOFIA Completes Closed-Door Test Flights »» SOFIA Completes Closed-Door Test Flights

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] SOFIA has passed a significant mission milestone. It has completed the first phase of experimental flight tests, which confirmed the structural integrity and performance of the modified 747SP SOFIA aircraft that carries a huge infrared telescope.

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NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Responds to Ares 1 and Orion Questions »» NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Responds to Ares 1 and Orion Questions

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] Earlier this month I submitted a series of questions to NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) regarding the Ares 1 and Orion projects. The following was provided to me by ESMD PAO today:

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New Images Shed Light on Mercury's Geological History, Surface Textures »» New Images Shed Light on Mercury's Geological History, Surface Textures

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] Shortly following MESSENGER's closest approach to Mercury on January 14, 2008, the spacecraft's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) on the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) instrument acquired these images.

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Public Invited to Celebrate Anniversary of Explorer 1 »» Public Invited to Celebrate Anniversary of Explorer 1

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] A half-century ago, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Explorer 1 spacecraft became America's first Earth-orbiting satellite when it sailed into space on Jan. 31, 1958.

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NASA and X PRIZE Foundation to Recognize Conrad Award Winners »» NASA and X PRIZE Foundation to Recognize Conrad Award Winners

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] On Friday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m. EST NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale will recognize the first winners of the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award during the unveiling of a traveling exhibit titled "Spirit of Innovation."

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NASA IPP Solicitation: Development of a NASA-Based Massively Multiplayer Online Learning Game »» NASA IPP Solicitation: Development of a NASA-Based Massively Multiplayer Online Learning Game

[Thursday, January 17, 2008] The NASA Learning Technologies (LT) Project Office supports projects that deliver NASA relevant content through innovative applications of technologies to enhance education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

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Moon Stuck »» Moon Stuck

[Friday, January 18, 2008] Some of the most influential leaders of the space community are quietly working to offer the next U.S. president an alternative to President Bush's "vision for space exploration"

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NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective - Two Years on the Road to the Ninth Planet »» NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective - Two Years on the Road to the Ninth Planet

[Friday, January 18, 2008] Our spacecraft will be in quiet cruise or hibernation for most of 2008. Short wakeups will occur in May and December to re-point our high-gain antenna toward Earth and conduct other maintenance activities.

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Recovering from a mass extinction »» Recovering from a mass extinction

[Friday, January 18, 2008] The full recovery of ecological systems, following the most devastating extinction event of all time, took at least 30 million years, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

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NASA MESSENGER: New Images Reveal Views after Closest Approach, First Mercury Laser Altimeter Results »» NASA MESSENGER: New Images Reveal Views after Closest Approach, First Mercury Laser Altimeter Results

[Saturday, January 19, 2008] This image shows Mercury's surface as seen from a low viewing angle, looking over the surface and off the limb of the planet on the right side of the image.

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Americans in Orbit-50 Years Inc. Announces Its Plan to Re-Create The Flight of the First American to Orbit »» Americans in Orbit-50 Years Inc. Announces Its Plan to Re-Create The Flight of the First American to Orbit

[Saturday, January 19, 2008] Today Americans in Orbit-50 Years has announced plans to re-create the NASA mission in which John Glenn became the first American to Orbit the Earth.

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NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley: Update to Constellation Program (CxP) Internal Launch Dates »» NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley: Update to Constellation Program (CxP) Internal Launch Dates

[Sunday, January 20, 2008] "Pursuant to recent analysis of program resource execution plans, the Program is adjusting the internal launch dates for the CxP Flight Manifest as follows: ..."

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Latest MESSENGER Images Show Fascinating Views of Mercury's Surface »» Latest MESSENGER Images Show Fascinating Views of Mercury's Surface

[Sunday, January 20, 2008] MESSENGER team members are examining closely the more than 1,200 images returned from this flyby for other surface features that can provide clues to the geological history of the innermost planet.

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PSLV Successfully Launches Israeli Satellite »» PSLV Successfully Launches Israeli Satellite

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Antrix Corporation is happy to announce that its second full-fledged commercial launch has been successfully completed today.

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Space Adventures' Orbital Spaceflight Client, Richard Garriott, Begins Cosmonaut Training for October Spaceflight Launch »» Space Adventures' Orbital Spaceflight Client, Richard Garriott, Begins Cosmonaut Training for October Spaceflight Launch

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Space Adventures, Ltd., announced today that famed game developer Richard Garriott, son of former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, has begun training at the Yuri Gagarin Training Center in Star City, Russia.

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NASA Technicians Move Ahead with Launch Preparations for Space Shuttle Atlantis »» NASA Technicians Move Ahead with Launch Preparations for Space Shuttle Atlantis

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Teams of technicians will spend the weekend working on foam insulation applied to small sections of space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank and making standard launch preparations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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NOAA Satellites Help Rescue 353 People in 2007 »» NOAA Satellites Help Rescue 353 People in 2007

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Armed with personal locator beacons to send a distress signal, 353 people were rescued in the United States and its surrounding waters in 2007 from potentially life-threatening emergencies.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Human System Risk Management »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Human System Risk Management

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Last week at the NASA Strategic Management Council, Dr. Jeff Davis, Director, Space Life Sciences Directorate at Johnson Space Center, led a presentation on human system risk management.

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Arecibo telescope finds critical ingredients for the soup of life in a galaxy far, far away »» Arecibo telescope finds critical ingredients for the soup of life in a galaxy far, far away

[Monday, January 21, 2008] Astronomers from Arecibo Observatory radio telescope have detected for the first time the molecules methanimine and hydrogen cyanide  two ingredients that build life-forming amino acids  in a galaxy some 250 million light years away.

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NASA Administrator Mike Griffin's Remarks to the Space Transportation Association (with audio) »» NASA Administrator Mike Griffin's Remarks to the Space Transportation Association (with audio)

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] "Today's topic is motivated by the inquiries I've had lately, in one forum or another, concerning various aspects of NASA's post-Shuttle spaceflight architecture."

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Virgin Galactic Unveils Spaceship Designs »» Virgin Galactic Unveils Spaceship Designs

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] Virgin Galactic today unveiled the design of its new, environmentally benign, space launch system based on the X Prize winning technology of SpaceShipOne, which won the $10m Ansari X Prize.

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NASA Johnson Space Center Astronaut and Flight Surgeon Survey Report »» NASA Johnson Space Center Astronaut and Flight Surgeon Survey Report

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] In early 2007, an incident involving former astronaut, Lisa Nowak, led NASA to conduct several reviews including internal and external evaluations of astronaut behavioral health and medical care.

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Internal Heat Drives Jupiter's Giant Storm Eruption »» Internal Heat Drives Jupiter's Giant Storm Eruption

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] Detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter's atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter's internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances.

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Richard Branson's Remarks at the Unveiling of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo »» Richard Branson's Remarks at the Unveiling of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] "If our new system could carry only people into space, that would be enough for me, because of the transforming effect it will have on the thousands who will travel with us."

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Mercury in Color »» Mercury in Color

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] This color image was generated by combining three separate images taken through WAC filters sensitive to light in different wavelengths

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Seismic Images Show Dinosaur-Killing Meteor Made Bigger Splash »» Seismic Images Show Dinosaur-Killing Meteor Made Bigger Splash

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] The most detailed three-dimensional seismic images yet of the Chicxulub crater, a mostly submerged and buried impact crater on the Mexico coast, may modify a theory explaining the extinction of 70 percent of life on Earth 65 million years ago.

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Revising NASA's Vision for Space Exploration: Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize »» Revising NASA's Vision for Space Exploration: Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

[Wednesday, January 23, 2008] The legacy we all should be thinking about leaving behind as we dabble in alternate visions must be how vibrant the notion of a "vision" for space exploration is.

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Antarctic ice loss speeds up, nearly matches Greenland loss »» Antarctic ice loss speeds up, nearly matches Greenland loss

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland, according to a new, comprehensive study by UC Irvine and NASA scientists.

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Stardust comet dust resembles asteroid materials »» Stardust comet dust resembles asteroid materials

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] Contrary to expectations for a small icy body, much of the comet dust returned by the Stardust mission formed very close to the young sun and was altered from the solar system's early materials.

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Asteroid to Make Rare Close Flyby of Earth January 29 »» Asteroid to Make Rare Close Flyby of Earth January 29

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] Scientists are monitoring the orbit of asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid, believed to be between 150 meters (500 feet) and 610 meters (2,000 feet) in size, is expected to fly past Earth on Jan. 29

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Teams Face Off at NASA's Ames in Future City Competition »» Teams Face Off at NASA's Ames in Future City Competition

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] The bright and fertile minds of middle school students across the United States have cultivated their visions of what future cities must look like in order to support humankind's growing infrastructure needs.

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NASA Celebrates 50th Anniversary at Seattle Future Forum »» NASA Celebrates 50th Anniversary at Seattle Future Forum

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] Mayor Gregory J. Nickels has signed a proclamation recognizing NASA for its contribution to the space-related economy in the Seattle region, as well as its role in exploration, scientific discovery and research.

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Counting Mercury's Craters »» Counting Mercury's Craters

[Thursday, January 24, 2008] One of many investigations underway includes identifying and measuring the impact craters on these previously unseen regions.

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NASA Scientists Get First Images of Earth Flyby Asteroid »» NASA Scientists Get First Images of Earth Flyby Asteroid

[Saturday, January 26, 2008] Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.,  have obtained the first images of asteroid 2007 TU24 using high-resolution radar data.

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MESSENGER Looks to the North »» MESSENGER Looks to the North

[Saturday, January 26, 2008] As MESSENGER sped by Mercury on January 14, 2008, the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) captured this shot looking toward Mercury's north pole

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Action Update: Submit Space Questions to the U.S. Presidential Debates »» Action Update: Submit Space Questions to the U.S. Presidential Debates

[Saturday, January 26, 2008] The U.S. Presidential primaries season is now in full swing, and debates among the candidates are taking place regularly before millions of viewers. It is a unique opportunity to push space topics onto the national political agenda.

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Traces of the martian past in the Terby crater »» Traces of the martian past in the Terby crater

[Sunday, January 27, 2008] The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express has returned striking scenes of the Terby crater on Mars. The region is of great scientific interest as it holds information on the role of water in the history of the planet.

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Cosmic Suburbia is a Better Breeding Ground for Stars »» Cosmic Suburbia is a Better Breeding Ground for Stars

[Sunday, January 27, 2008] New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that galaxies prefer to raise stars in cosmic suburbia rather than in "big cities."

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New discovery on magnetic reconnection to impact future space missions »» New discovery on magnetic reconnection to impact future space missions

[Sunday, January 27, 2008] ESA's Cluster mission has, for the first time, observed the extent of the region that triggers magnetic reconnection, and it is much larger than previously thought. This gives future space missions a much better chance of studying it.

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Mercury's Long Cliffs »» Mercury's Long Cliffs

[Sunday, January 27, 2008] As the MESSENGER team continues to study the high-resolution images taken during the Mercury flyby encounter on January 14, 2008, scarps (cliffs) that extend for long distances are discovered.

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Space Supporters: Stand and Be Counted: Only A Few Days Left! »» Space Supporters: Stand and Be Counted: Only A Few Days Left!

[Sunday, January 27, 2008] Don't forget about the 30/31 January Democratic/Republican debates. They are now just days away. These are the last major televised debates before Super Tuesday. BE HEARD. MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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Hyperfast star proven to be alien »» Hyperfast star proven to be alien

[Monday, January 28, 2008] A young star is speeding away from the Milky Way so fast that astronomers have been puzzled by where it came from; based on its young age it has traveled too far to have come from our galaxy.

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SpaceX Conducts First Multi-engine Firing of Falcon 9 Rocket »» SpaceX Conducts First Multi-engine Firing of Falcon 9 Rocket

[Monday, January 28, 2008] On Jan. 18, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) conducted the first multi-engine firing of its Falcon 9 medium to heavy lift rocket at its Texas Test Facility outside McGregor.

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NASA Sets Briefings to Preview March Space Shuttle Mission, STS-123 »» NASA Sets Briefings to Preview March Space Shuttle Mission, STS-123

[Monday, January 28, 2008] NASA will discuss upcoming space shuttle mission STS-123 during a daylong series of media briefings from the Johnson Space Center beginning at 8 a.m. CST on Feb. 29.

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Message from the NASA Administrator: Day of Remembrance »» Message from the NASA Administrator: Day of Remembrance

[Tuesday, January 29, 2008] The last week of January brings, every year, a confluence of sobering anniversaries that we honor this Thursday with our Day of Remembrance.

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Planetary Society Takes Aim at Target Earth »» Planetary Society Takes Aim at Target Earth

[Tuesday, January 29, 2008] Earth dodged a bullet today, when asteroid TU24 passed within 540,000 kilometers of our planet, which is just down the street on a galactic scale. Tomorrow, another asteroid - 2007 WD5 - will zip past Mars at a distance of only 26,000 kilometers away.

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The Growing-up of a Star »» The Growing-up of a Star

[Tuesday, January 29, 2008] Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have probed the inner parts of the disc of material surrounding a young stellar object, witnessing how it gains its mass before becoming an adult.

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Unusual supernovae may reveal intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters »» Unusual supernovae may reveal intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters

[Tuesday, January 29, 2008] A strange and violent fate awaits a white dwarf star that wanders too close to a moderately massive black hole.

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NASA Announces FY 09 Budget Briefings for Press »» NASA Announces FY 09 Budget Briefings for Press

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale will brief the news media about the agency's Fiscal Year 2009 budget at 2:30 p.m. EST, Monday, Feb. 4.

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Surprises Stream back from Mercury's MESSENGER »» Surprises Stream back from Mercury's MESSENGER

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] "MESSENGER has shown that Mercury is even more different from the Moon than we'd thought," said Science Team Co-Investigator James Head, professor at Brown University and chair of the mission's Geology Discipline Group.

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NASA Gives 'Go' For Space Shuttle Launch »» NASA Gives 'Go' For Space Shuttle Launch

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] NASA senior managers completed a review Wednesday of space shuttle Atlantis' readiness for flight. Pending closure of an issue with a shuttle radiator hose, the STS-122 mission will launch Feb. 7 at 2:45 p.m. EST.

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Spacewalkers Install New Solar Array Motor, Finish Inspections »» Spacewalkers Install New Solar Array Motor, Finish Inspections

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani finished their spacewalk at 12:06 p.m. EST Wednesday. They spent 7 hours and 10 minutes outside the International Space Station on the starboard side of the truss structure.

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Explorer I Resolution Introduced to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Birth of the U.S. Space Program »» Explorer I Resolution Introduced to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Birth of the U.S. Space Program

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] January 31, 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first U.S. satellite - Explorer I - and the dawn of the U.S. space program.

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El Nino at play as source of more intense regional US wintertime storms »» El Nino at play as source of more intense regional US wintertime storms

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008] The next time you have to raise your umbrella against torrents of cold winter rain, you may have a remote weather phenomenon to thank that many may know by name as El Nino, but may not well understand.

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