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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: November 2004
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Scientists propose conservation parks on Mars Nov 29, 2004
Bees survived dino extinction Nov 27, 2004
Cassini captures Tethys in all her glory Nov 25, 2004
Homing pigeons reveal true magnetism Nov 25, 2004
Science taps into ocean secrets Nov 23, 2004
NASA launches cosmic blast hunter Nov 21, 2004
Following in Pioneer's footsteps Nov 20, 2004
Repelling cosmic rays with magnetic bubbles Nov 20, 2004
'Original' great ape discovered Nov 18, 2004
Superfast NASA jet pushes Mach 10 Nov 17, 2004
Europe probe arrives at the Moon Nov 16, 2004
New claim on location of Atlantis Nov 15, 2004
NASA 'scramjet' to launch on Mach 10 flight Monday Nov 15, 2004
New observations help Kuiper Belt lose weight Nov 14, 2004
SMART-1 arrives at the Moon Nov 13, 2004
Mars moon emerges from the dark Nov 12, 2004
Firms look to shuttle successor Nov 11, 2004
Solar sail craft gets launch date Nov 11, 2004
Cassini discovers music of the rings Nov 10, 2004
Cassini radar sees bright flow-like feature across Titan surface Nov 9, 2004
Cosmic doomsday delayed Nov 8, 2004
Rover gets mystery power boost Nov 6, 2004
Hunt for shadowy Kuiper belt objects all set Nov 5, 2004
Supernova debris found on Earth Nov 4, 2004
Prometheus caught stealing from Saturn's rings Nov 3, 2004
Spider webs untangle evolution Nov 2, 2004
China aims for five days in orbit Nov 2, 2004
In the stars: Titan's critical secret Nov 1, 2004

Mars
Scientists propose conservation parks on Mars
(Nov 29, 2004)


Next time you go for a stroll on Mars, be sure you don't leave any litter behind. A plan to keep parts of the red planet in their pristine state could see seven areas turned into 'planetary parks', regulated just like national parks here on Earth. The scheme has been proposed by Charles Cockell, a microbiologist for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, and Gerda Horneck, an astrobiologist from the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne, Germany.


Read more. Source: Nature

bee in amber
Bees survived dino extinction
(Nov 27, 2004)


New evidence shows tropical honeybees survived the post-impact winter 65 million years ago that is thought to have helped kill off the dinosaurs. An asteroid is thought to have hit our planet at the end of the Cretaceous Period, throwing up dust that blocked sunlight and dragged down temperatures. Honeybees trapped in amber before the asteroid strike are nearly identical to their modern relatives, data shows. Details were given at the Geological Society of America's 2004 meeting.


Read more. Source: BBC

Tethys
Cassini captures Tethys in all her glory
(Nov 25, 2004)


In a portrait of perfect composition, Saturn’s moon Tethys has been captured hanging suspended in space just below the planet’s horizon. This latest image in Saturn’s family album was captured on 18 October at a distance of 3.9 million kilometres from Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft. It clearly shows the Ithaca Chasma, a vast trench about 65 km wide, on the surface of Tethys.


Read more. Source: New Scientist


pigeon
Homing pigeons reveal true magnetism
(Nov 25, 2004)


It's official: homing pigeons really can sense Earth's magnetic field. An investigation of their ability to detect different magnetic fields shows that their impressive navigation skills almost certainly relies on tiny magnetic particles in their beaks. The discovery seems to settle the question of how pigeons (Columba livia) have such an impressive 'nose for north'. Some experts had previously suggested that the birds rely on different odour cues in the atmosphere to work out where they are. But the latest findings suggest that they are using magnetic cues.

Read more. Source: Nature

lobate ctenophore
Science taps into ocean secrets
(Nov 23, 2004)


Some 13,000 new marine species have been discovered in the past year, according to information released by an international alliance of scientists. The Census of Marine Life (COML) has also uncovered previously unknown migration routes used by fish such as tuna and shark. The $1bn 10-year project, which is building a huge database, involves researchers in more than 70 countries.

Read more. Source: BBC

Swift
NASA launches cosmic blast hunter
(Nov 21, 2004)


A new space observatory has been launched to hunt down and study the most powerful explosions seen in the Universe since the Big Bang itself. The Swift satellite will detect and analyse gamma-ray bursts – very intense but fleeting flashes of radiation. Scientists think they may signal the birth of black holes which are created when giant stars fall in on themselves. Swift – a combined US, UK and Italian mission – was launched on a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Read more. Source: BBC

Pioneer
Following in Pioneer's footsteps
(Nov 20, 2004)


Does the puzzling behaviour of the Pioneer spacecraft at the edge of the solar system reveal new laws of physics? Space scientists are calling for a deep-space mission to find out. Even if there is no revolutionary physics involved, they say that results could be vital for engineers designing future deep-space probes. Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 to explore Jupiter and Saturn. After their studies there were done, they continued on towards the edge of the Solar System. But since around 1980, when they passed beyond the orbit of Uranus, the radio signals that they send back to Earth have been shifted to progressively shorter wavelengths. This implies that the spacecraft are decelerating very slightly on their outward journey. But no one knows why this is happening.

Read more. Source: Nature

future spaceship
Repelling cosmic rays with magnetic bubbles
(Nov 20, 2004)


Astronauts could one day be protected from harmful cosmic rays during a long haul spaceflight by a powerful magnetic bubble generated by their own craft. A new project to investigate the possibility of fitting spacecraft with a “magnetosphere” of their own, underway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, recently received a cash boost from the NASA-funded Institute for Advanced Concepts. Jeffrey Hoffman, an ex-astronaut who leads the project, envisages generating a magnetic shield using a superconducting magnet installed aboard a ship.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

original great ape
'Original' great ape discovered
(Nov 18, 2004)


Scientists have unearthed remains of a primate that could have been ancestral not only to humans but to all great apes, including chimps and gorillas. The partial skeleton of this 13-million-year-old "missing link" was found by palaeontologists working at a dig site near Barcelona in Spain. Details of the sensational discovery appear in Science magazine.

Read more. Source: BBC

X43-A with booster
Superfast NASA jet pushes Mach 10
(Nov 17, 2004)


NASA has flown an unmanned experimental jet to a speed that preliminary data suggested was just short of 10 times the speed of sound – a record. The X-43A – a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) – made the run over a naval test range in the Pacific Ocean. The 3.7m-long vehicle had already set a world best for an "air breathing" jet of Mach 6.83 – nearly seven times the speed of sound – on a flight in March.

Read more. Source: BBC

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