Universe Today #748 - December 30, 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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MARTIAN CRATER COULD HAVE SWALLOWED BEAGLE 2
Dec 29, 2003 - Lord Sainsbury, the UK Minister of Science and Technology reinforced today that they haven't given up hope on Beagle 2, and continue to be optimistic that the lander will be found. A "tiger team" of engineers and scientists are working through all the scenarios that could help to explain what's wrong with Beagle 2 (other than it's all smashed up on the Martian surface). One theory is that the lander might have fallen into a kilometre-sized crater which was in the landing zone; although, the chances of this happening are pretty remote.
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YOUNG GAS GIANTS HAVE TO FIGHT TO SURVIVE
Dec 29, 2003 - Planet hunters have found more than 30 stars with gas giants in a tight orbit. This orbit seems to be caused by a race between a young gas giant and the star's planetary disk during early formation of the star system. It's too hot for them to form in their tight orbit; instead it's believed they're formed further out and then slowly pushed into the star by material in the new star system. In some cases the planet is gobbled up by the star, while sometimes the planet consumes the early planetary disk of material and survives.
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FIRST DOUBLE STAR LAUNCHED
Dec 29, 2003 - The first of two Double Star satellites was successfully launched Monday on board a Chinese Long March 2C rocket. The satellite, called TC-1, was launched from the Chinese space port at Xichang into an equatorial orbit, and the second satellite, TC-2 will launch next into a polar orbit. The two satellites will work with the previously-launched Cluster satellites to study the effect of the Sun on the Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere. The European Space Agency supplied 8 scientific instruments for the satellite.
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