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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: June 2006
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Exploded star flung out of galaxy Jun 30, 2006
Date of first launch set for New Mexico spaceport Jun 30, 2006
Asteroid defense: NASA to formulate planetary protection plan Jun 29, 2006
Star's second dusty disc hints at giant planet Jun 29, 2006
Massive neutron star rules out exotic matter Jun 29, 2006
Venus's double vortex raises new mystery Jun 28, 2006
Huge asteroid to fly past Earth July 3 Jun 27, 2006
Lab tuned to gravity's 'ripples' Jun 26, 2006
Water found in foam on shuttle Atlantis's fuel tank Jun 26, 2006
Mysterious X-ray sources may be lone neutron stars Jun 24, 2006
Underwater volcano found by Italy Jun 23, 2006
Giant hot bubbles may help protect Earth Jun 22, 2006
Hawking rewrites history... backwards Jun 22, 2006
Pluto's newest moons named Hydra and Nix Jun 22, 2006
Magnetic fields snare black holes' food Jun 22, 2006
Crunch time for Planet Pluto Jun 21, 2006
Global warming claimed to increase asteroid risk Jun 20, 2006
Enigmatic object baffles supernova team Jun 19, 2006
First Kazakh satellite into orbit Jun 19, 2006
Safety fears as Shuttle date set Jun 18, 2006
New Trojan asteroid hints at huge Neptunian cloud Jun 16, 2006
Supercomputer takes on a cosmic threat Jun 15, 2006
Upper size limit for moons explained Jun 15, 2006
Shuttle crew arrives in Florida Jun 15, 2006
Report fuels spy plane theories Jun 14, 2006
Extreme star birth captured by Hubble Jun 14, 2006
Mars rover Spirit finds metallic meteorites Jun 14, 2006
Mars chip to test for life signs Jun 13, 2006
Gas blob resembles gigantic comet Jun 13, 2006
Wisps of dust hint at hidden stars Jun 13, 2006
Corkscrewing asteroid departs Earth's vicinity Jun 12, 2006
Astronomers say star fuel may be caught in cosmic web Jun 12, 2006
New shark discovered in US waters Jun 11, 2006
Maturity of farthest galaxy cluster surprises astronomers Jun 10, 2006
Robot device mimics human touch Jun 9, 2006
Study: 'Planemos' may spawn planets and moons Jun 7, 2006
Andromeda adrift in sea of dust in new NASA image Jun 6, 2006
Native Americans recorded supernova explosion Jun 5, 2006
The case of the neutron star with a wayward wake Jun 5, 2006
Big crater seen beneath ice sheet Jun 4, 2006
Rubbly Itokawa revealed as 'impossible' asteroid Jun 2, 2006
Arctic's tropical past uncovered Jun 1, 2006
Did Saturn's volcanic moon roll with it? Jun 1, 2006


supernova SN 2005cf (Image: F Patat/ESO)
Exploded star flung out of galaxy
(Jun 30, 2006)


A supernova has been spotted near a pair of wrestling galaxies in a new image from the Very Large Telescope. The star appears to have detonated in deep space, after being flung out of one of the violently interacting galaxies. The supernova was found in the vicinity of two galaxies that lie 87 million light years away in the constellation Libra. One, called MCG-01-39-003 (lower right), has a mangled appearance, with a long stream of matter trailing away from it.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

SpaceLoft XL
Date of first launch set for New Mexico spaceport
(Jun 30, 2006)


A launch date has been set for the inaugural flight from the New Mexico Spaceport, a site officials hope will become a new hub for space tourism and other commercial launches. UP Aerospace, Inc. today set Aug. 14 as the official date for its SpaceLoft XL rocket, which will carry dozens of private and educational experiments and payloads.

Read more. Source: space.com

asteroid colliding with Earth
Asteroid defense: NASA to formulate planetary protection plan
(Jun 29, 2006)


NASA has begun a fact-finding appraisal of how best to detect, track, catalogue and characterize near-Earth asteroids and comets – and what can be done to deflect an object found on course to strike our planet. The need to prepare is highlighted this week as astronomers watch a large asteroid that will pass close to Earth on July 3.

Read more. Source: space.com

A faint second disc is seen tilted with respect to the main disc around Beta Pictoris (Image: NASA/ESA/D Golimowski/D Ardila/J Krist/M Clampin/H Ford/G Illingworth/IPAC/JHU/ UCO/Lick/ACS Science Team)
Star's second dusty disc hints at giant planet
(Jun 29, 2006)


A nearby star, Beta Pictoris, is surrounded by two dusty discs – not one – a newly released image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals. The tilt of the second disc with respect to the first suggests it was formed by a giant planet.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

The neutron star EXO 0748-676 siphons matter from an ordinary companion star, as in this illustration (Image: NASA)
Massive neutron star rules out exotic matter
(Jun 29, 2006)


Exotic states of matter such as free quarks do not arise inside neutron stars, according to a new analysis of one of the super-dense stellar corpses. The result contradicts previous theories and offers an unprecedented view into the behaviour of matter under extreme pressure.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Double vortex pattern above Venus's south pole changes over time, false-colour infrared images reveal (Image: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA)
Venus's double vortex raises new mystery
(Jun 28, 2006)


A bizarre double vortex whirls in the atmosphere above Venus's south pole, images from Europe's Venus Express spacecraft reveal. But it is not clear what causes the "double eye" pattern. Previous missions to Venus have spotted a similar structure over its north pole and glimpsed stormy atmospheric behaviour at the south pole. But the double vortex has never before been seen at the south pole.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

2004 XP14 orbit
Huge asteroid to fly past Earth July 3
(Jun 27, 2006)


An asteroid possibly as large as a half-mile or more in diameter is rapidly approaching the Earth. There is no need for concern, for no collision is in the offing, but the space rock will make an exceptionally close approach to our planet early on Monday, July 3, passing just beyond the Moon’s average distance from Earth.

Read more. Source: space.com

gravitational waves
Lab tuned to gravity's 'ripples'
(Jun 26, 2006)


One of the great scientific experiments of our age is now fully underway. A German/UK team has put the giant GEO 600 gravitational wave detector in a continuous observational mode. The Hanover lab is trying to detect the ripples created in the fabric of space-time that sweep out from merging black holes or exploding stars.

Read more. Source: BBC

external tank
Water found in foam on shuttle Atlantis's fuel tank
(Jun 26, 2006)


The external fuel tank for the shuttle Atlantis – which would launch on a rescue mission if the next shuttle experienced a major mishap – suffered two problems of its own this week. While repairing a small nick in the foam on the side of the tank that faces away from the crew-carrying orbiter, technicians noticed small beads of water inside the foam itself.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

X-rays sources in the Milky Way
Mysterious X-ray sources may be lone neutron stars
(Jun 24, 2006)


Dense stellar corpses doomed to roam through space alone can get a second "lease on life" by passing through clouds of gas in stellar nurseries, a controversial new analysis proposes. The research suggests the corpses – called neutron stars – begin to glow at X-ray wavelengths when gas falls onto them. These solitary stars may account for hundreds of mysterious X-ray sources near our galaxy's centre that had previously been attributed to pairs of stars.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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