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Latest Hal Weaver Stories

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2010-06-19 07:50:00

Zipping through space at nearly a million miles per day, NASA's New Horizons probe is halfway to Pluto and just woke up for the first time in months to look around. "Our spacecraft is way out in exotic territory, in the middle of nowhere," says Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist at Johns Hopkins University. "And we have a lot to do." It's the perfect opportunity to test New Horizon's instruments before the probe reaches Pluto in 2015. "We don't want to miss a single breathtaking...

2008-06-14 13:27:08

Updated 6:35 p.m. ET Pluto's years-long identity crisis just got more complex today. The International Astronomical Union has decided on the term "plutoid" as a name for Pluto and other objects that just two years ago were redefined as "dwarf planets." The surprise decision is unlikely to stem ongoing controversy and confusion, astronomers say. Sidestepping concerns of many astronomers worldwide, the IAU's decision, at a meeting of its Executive Committee in Oslo, comes almost two years...

2003-05-17 06:00:00

Hubble Space Telescope -- Astronomers analyzing debris from a comet that broke apart last summer spied pieces as small as smoke-sized particles and as large as football-field-sized fragments. But it's the material they didn't see that has aroused their curiosity. Tracking the doomed comet, named C/1999 S4 (LINEAR), NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 found tiny particles that made up the 62,000-mile-long (100,000-kilometer-long) dust tail and 16 large...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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