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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: July 2001
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The shapes of Mars Jul 15, 2001
Super Kuiper Belt object may be first of many Jul 4, 2001


Strange scenery on Mars
The Shapes of Mars
(Jul. 15, 2001)


People have been seeing mysterious shapes and colors on Mars for well over century, since the time of Schiaparelli, Lowell, and others. The latest controversy concerns a whole plethora of patterns and objects that amateur investigators and even some professional astronomers claim to have made out in images returned over the past year from Mars Global Surveyor. One who has thrown his weight behind such claims is none other than Sir Arthur C. Clarke. The image shown here is of a structure tagged the "glass tube". Other features are described as being like a jungle of banyan trees or even a giant computer chip. The implication is that they are evidence of life – either shifting patterns of vegetation or artifacts left behind by an intelligent civilization.

Go to the space.com article here for excellent coverage of this story.

2001 KX76
Super Kuiper Belt object may be first of many
(Jul. 4, 2001)


Astronomers at the Lowell Observatory have found the biggest object yet in the Kuiper Belt which extends out for a large distance beyond the orbit of Neptune. The new world, known as 2001 KX76, is at least 1,000 km across and could be even bigger than Ceres, the largest asteroid, with a diameter of 1,270 km. Typical of icy worlds in this region, it has a reddish hue – probably due to organic-rich ices. Over the past decade, more than 400 Kuiper Belt objects have been discovered. Pluto and its moon Charon are believed to belong to the same class. The next few years will almost certainly see more big KBO's come to light – some possibly larger than Pluto.

For more, go here.

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