Universe Today #615 - June 6, 2003
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet
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-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Buried in Books
* Book Review: The Universe 365 Days
* Mars Environment Changes More than Previously Thought
* Earth Could Have Formed Quickly
* Mars Express Passes Another Crucial Stage
* Thunderstorms Delay Shuttle Test
BURIED IN BOOKS
Jun 6, 2003 - It happens every time. I do a book review, and the publishers realize they've got a live one and send me some more books. So, they're starting to pile up in my mailbox and desk. Expect a bunch more reviews in the next few weeks.
I dusted off my telescope for the first time this year to show my neighbours the Moon and Jupiter. It amazes me how few people have actually looked through a telescope - wait until I show them Saturn. Unfortunately, we've just got a little spotting telescope, which isn't great for pointing out much more than the bright planets and the Moon. I'm happy to review telescopes too. ;-)
Thanks for all the great names, keep 'em coming.
BOOK REVIEW: THE UNIVERSE 365 DAYS
Jun 6, 2003 - If you've spend some time on the Internet, you've come across the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD) website, run by astrophysicists Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell. Once a day they post up a space-related picture, provide a handy description. I've said to myself on several occasions, that these guys should write a book. Well, now they have.
<a href="http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/article_372.html">AOL Link</a>
MARS ENVIRONMENT CHANGES MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
Jun 5, 2003 - A year's worth of observations from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft is starting to overturn some older theories about how environmentally active the Red Planet is. Using Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), scientists were able to detect geological formations of lava and rock which were deposited under varying environmental condition. One example is kilometre wide sheets of bedrock which are being scoured bare by wind. If Mars were less active, they should be covered in sand and dust.
<a href="http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey/newsroom/pressreleases/20030605a.html">AOL Link</a>
EARTH COULD HAVE FORMED QUICKLY
Jun 5, 2003 - Our Earth might have formed a lot earlier that astronomers previously believed, maybe as quickly as 10 million years after the birth of the Sun. In fact, all of the inner planets might have started forming as soon as 10,000 years after the Sun ignited 4.5 billion years ago. Within 10 million years, the Earth had reached 64 percent of its mass, and later collided with a Mars-sized object to provide additional mass and create the Moon. Scientists originally believed that the Earth took 50 million years to form.
<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/922731.asp">AOL Link</a>
MARS EXPRESS PASSES ANOTHER CRUCIAL STAGE
Jun 5, 2003 - Europe's mission to Mars continues with the next crucial step of Mars Express' journey out of the way. The clamps holding Beagle 2 tightly during launch were released over the course of 30 minutes on Thursday morning. If this phase had malfunctioned, Mars Express wouldn't have been able to release Beagle 2 when they reached Mars, ending the mission before it had begun. The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Mars in late December.
<a href="http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEM6BSS1VED_index_0.html">AOL Link</a>
THUNDERSTORMS DELAY SHUTTLE TEST
Jun 5, 2003 - Thunderstorms in Texas have forced investigators to push back a crucial test to determine if foam could actually cause the damage that destroyed the space shuttle Columbia in February. On this next test, they will fire a chunk of foam at a real shuttle wing, donated by the space shuttle Discovery. Investigators didn't want to risk getting their camera equipment wet from the driving rain, so they decided it was best to push the test back.
<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&ncid=624&e=2&u=/ap/20030605/ap_on_sc/shuttle_investigation">AOL Link</a>
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