Universe Today - April 2, 2001
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet
Updated Every Weekday.
April 2, 2001 - Issue #413
An HTML version including pictures is available at:
A note from Fraser...
Well, we had yuck weather here in Vancouver for Friday and Saturday
(aka Raincouver), so there was no way to see the auroral light
show. NASA's Space Weather site has a great set of photos from
around the world, though, so if you want to see what it looked
like, check this link out.
But, we've got a second chance. Another storm will be hitting
Tuesday, so if live in the North (although, people could see
aurorae as south as New Mexico on Friday), keep your eyes pointed
up. In fact, bundle up the family and get away from the city lights
to really see a light show - or, see nothing but the lovely night
sky, which you ought to do anyway. If you've never seen an aurora
with your own eyes, it's something you really have to get out and
do... hurry! come on! get going! no excuses!
If you took photos over the weekend, or catch them on Tuesday, send
'em in and I'll post them on Universe Today.
Good luck. Rant = off.
-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Water Might Not be Responsible for Gullies on Mars
* Sun Hurls Another Solar Storm Towards the Earth
* Space Station Crew Welcomes Tito
WATER MIGHT NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR GULLIES ON MARS
One of the biggest stories of 2000 was the discovery of past water
on Mars. But a group of scientists from the University of Arizona
have an alternative theory about what could have caused the gullies
found by the Mars Global Surveyor - liquid carbon dioxide. Because
the gullies were only found in the coldest areas of the planet, the
scientists believe that low temperature causes carbon dioxide to
liquify inside the ground. As the temperature rises in the Martian
spring, the CO2 turns back into a gas and violently churns
downhill, emulating a liquid.
SUN HURLS ANOTHER SOLAR STORM TOWARDS THE EARTH
Although it's now starting to shrink, the largest sunspot group in
over a decade is still firing giant coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
towards the Earth. The last storm came by Friday and Saturday, and
gave skywatchers a spectacular aurora show as south as New Mexico.
If you missed the first show, you'll get another chance on Tuesday,
when the next storm hits.
SPACE STATION CREW WELCOMES TITO
Although NASA isn't so crazy about the idea, Expedition 2 will put
out the welcome mat if Dennis Tito makes it to space station Alpha
- "We will welcome anyone who brings a new Soyuz spacecraft," they
said. Tito has paid the Russian Space Agency a reported $20 million
US for the chance to join a team of cosmonauts who will link up
with the station at the end of April, but NASA is refusing training
on US-built components of the station. Officials from NASA and
Russia are currently negotiating to see if there's any way Tito can
still get the training he needs.
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