Universe Today #351, December 5, 2000
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every Weekday.
December 5, 2000 - Issue #351
An HTML version of this newsletter including pictures is available at:
A note from Fraser...
Penguin books contact me and asked if I would review their new book, the
Neptune File. Because I want to encourage book publishers to send me free
books, we went ahead and reviewed it. Here you go, and keep 'em coming...
The Neptune File, by Tom Standage
Tom Standage's The Neptune File is an account of the simultaneous discovery
of the planet Neptune in 1846 by two mathematicians, John Couch Adams
and Urbain Jean-Joseph Le Verrier, as well as the subsequent controversy
over their rival claims. Adams and LeVerrier used different mathematical
methods to predict the position of the planet based upon perturbations
in the orbit of Uranus, marking the first time the position of a planet
was deduced rather than fortuitously discovered. Unfortunately, when
the planet was actually sighted based on the predictions, this led to
a situation where both mathematicians had a simultaneous stake in the
discovery and a international uproar resulted as France and England pressed
their representative's rival claims. While the actual material on Neptune
itself is perhaps a little too lean to bear an entire book, Standage sets
his story carefully in context, taking us through the entire history of
planet hunting, from the chance discovery of Uranus to recent discoveries
of extra-solar planets, peppering the story with lively sketches of all
the important figures, as well as anecdotes, theories, and predictions.
The Neptune File is both accesible, intelligent popular science and an
interesting account of the personalities involved in the discoveries that
pushed back the frontiers of the universe from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
- review by Piers Brown.
-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* NASA Announces New Evidence of Ancient Lakes on Mars
* Astronauts Extend the Second Wing
* Atlas 2A Will Launch Later Today
STATION SPREADS ONE WING, WAITING FOR THE OTHER
NASA Announces New Evidence of Ancient Lakes on Mars
Scientists from NASA and Malin Space Science Systems announced yesterday
that the Mars Global Surveyor has revealed evidence of deep layers of
sedimentary rock on the surface of Mars - layers that could have been
formed by ancient lakes on the planet's surface. The photos taken by Surveyor
clearly show horizontal deposits, which is a common feature of sedimentary
rock created by water action. The scientists believe water had a series
of lakes 4.3 to 3.5 billion years ago.
Astronauts Extend the Second Wing
The crew of the space shuttle Endeavor successfully extended the second
wing of space station Alpha's solar panels this morning. Unlike the first
panel, which isn't completely taut, the second panel suffered no problems
as it extended, possibly because the crew used a technique of stopping
and starting the wing as it extended. Both wings are now generating electricity
properly. The astronauts are due to make another spacewalk later today.
Atlas 2A Will Launch Later Today
An Lockheed Martin Atlas 2A rocket carrying a secret National Reconnaissance
Office satellite is expected to launch tonight from Cape Canaveral between
1:14-3:12am GMT. Military space experts believe this satellite is a data
relay satellite designed to beam reconnaissance imagery from the fleet
of NRO satellites.
Moerser Astronomische Organisation e.V. - http://www.mao-moers.de
"Astronomy club in Germany with planetarium and public
Seven Hills Observatory - http://genie.esu10.k12.ne.us/~murwille/7hills.htm
The Helix Project - http://www.thehelixproject.com
Privat Astronomie HomePage, Michael Kunze - http://www.michaelkunze.de
Astropictures, Travel and much more.
SpaceColonyH© - http://www.spacecolony.com
a psychologically-based, problem-solving leadership game set in space
Stargazer Steve Telescopes - http://stargazer.isys.ca
Unique Telescopes and equipment designed by a fellow sky watcher and built
for you in North America
Brian's Space Hotlist - http://www.ssl.umd.edu/space
a collection of hundreds of links to quality space information. The site
is intelligently organized into a number of topics, and annotations make
it clear what each site listed is about.
"Encyclopedia ""Cosmonautica""" - http://www.ipclub.ru/space/
one of the most visited Russian language air-space site on the Internet.
Chronology of space exploration 1920-2000. Cosmonauts biographies.
Projects and space equipment. Weekly space news updates. Only in Russian.
Mid Kent Astronomical Society Official Home Page - http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/DouglasHull/mkas2tmp.htm
Mid Kents main Astronomical Society based in the Medway Towns
Celestron Compustar fanpage - http://home.online.no/~gibala/astro/cct/index.htm
A fanpage about the Celestron Compustar GOTO scopes. Tips, links, forum
and more information about these scopes.
Jody's 'ET Phone-Home' Page - http://www2.hawaii.edu/~boyne
Interdimensional technology and psychology.
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