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Space News Archive - August 04, 2006

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According to folklore, every full Moon has a special name. August has the Sturgeon Moon, named after a slimy, primeval fish. Nothing against sturgeon, mind you, but it might be time for a change. How about the X-Moon?

Saturn has a date to keep with Earth and the Sun. Since the Cassini spacecraft is orbiting Saturn, it's tagging along.

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SMART-1, the successful first European spacecraft to the Moon, is now about to end its exploration adventure, after almost sixteen months of lunar science investigations

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The cast of exoplanets has an extraordinary new member. Using ESO's telescopes, astronomers have discovered an approximately seven-Jupiter-mass companion to an object that is itself only twice as hefty.

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Known as Destiny, the Dark Energy Space Telescope, the small spacecraft would detect and observe more than 3,000 supernovae over its two-year primary mission to measure the expansion history of the Universe.

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An Ohio State University astronomer and his colleagues have determined that the Triangulum Galaxy, otherwise known as M33, is actually about 15 percent farther away from our galaxy than previously measured.

On a quiet wing of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, healthy people spend weeks at a time just lying around. And without taking a small step – or even lifting a foot – they're making future giant leaps for mankind possible.

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Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a rather unusual system, in which two planet-size stars, of different colours, orbit each other. One is a rather hot white dwarf, weighing a little bit less than half as much as the Sun. The other is a much cooler, 55 Jupiter-masses brown dwarf.

Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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