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Space News Archive - November 08, 2005

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Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, recently gave a public lecture, sponsored by the Planetary Society, about what scientists have learned about Titan from the Huygens probe. In this, the final part of a four-part series, McKay talks about the unsolved mystery of Titan's ice rocks.

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In an upcoming issue, the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics will publish the most complete picture of a "triggered" star-forming region. Induced (or "triggered") star formation is one of the processes that are supposed to lead to the formation of massive stars. Massive stars play a key role in the chemical and dynamical evolution of galaxies.

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If a human with perfect vision donned a spacesuit and stepped onto the martian surface, the view would be as clear as this sweeping panorama taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. That's because the rover's panoramic camera has the equivalent of 20-20 vision.

Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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