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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: November 2006
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Integral catches a new erupting black hole Nov 30, 2006
New Horizons makes first Pluto sighting Nov 29, 2006
Did snowball Earth's melting let oxygen fuel life? Nov 28, 2006
Boulders dash hopes for Mars landing site Nov 27, 2006
Bigelow orbital modules: Accelerated space plans Nov 25, 2006
Giant Mexican telescope launched Nov 24, 2006
Astronauts whack golf ball and outfit station in spacewalk Nov 23, 2006
NASA fears worst for spacecraft Nov 22, 2006
Spinning black hole pushes the limit Nov 22, 2006
Cosmonaut prepares for golf stunt Nov 22, 2006
US Air Force to build unmanned space planes Nov 21, 2006
Supernovae explode in rare double-whammy Nov 21, 2006
In the beginning: scientists get ready to hunt for God particle Nov 20, 2006
Mars rover snaps panorama of yawning crater Nov 19, 2006
Wanted: man to land on killer asteroid and gently nudge it from path to Earth Nov 17, 2006
Dark energy's presence felt in the early universe Nov 17, 2006
Twenty new stars in the neighborhood Nov 16, 2006
Unruly star may be swallowing embryonic planets Nov 16, 2006
Space mirrors could create Earth-like haven on Mars Nov 15, 2006
Fleet of probes enlisted to contact silent Mars orbiter Nov 14, 2006
Space elevators: 'First floor, deadly radiation!' Nov 14, 2006
Listening for ET’s television Nov 12, 2006
Mars rover may get one-way ticket Nov 11, 2006
Huge 'hurricane' rages on Saturn Nov 10, 2006
NASA struggles to contact lost Mars probe Nov 10, 2006
How the Moon sheds its skin Nov 9, 2006
Missing helium mystery solved: Big stars ate it Nov 8, 2006
Monster stellar flare seen by NASA scientists dwarfs all others Nov 7, 2006
World-class radio telescopes face closure Nov 6, 2006
Solar sail mission to rise again? Nov 4, 2006
Shocked big bang gas a cosmic particle accelerator? Nov 3, 2006
Venus's surface may be much older than thought Nov 2, 2006
New Hubble instruments would illuminate early universe Nov 1, 2006
Deep Impact's blurry camera may study exoplanets Nov 1, 2006

IGR J17497-2821 animation
Integral catches a new erupting black hole
(Nov 30, 2006)

ESA's gamma-ray observatory, Integral, has spotted a rare kind of gamma-ray outburst. The vast explosion of energy allowed astronomers to pinpoint a possible black hole in our Galaxy. The outburst was discovered on 17 September 2006 by staff at the Integral Science Data Centre (ISDC), Versoix, Switzerland.

Read more. Source: ESA

New Horizons first Pluto sighting
New Horizons makes first Pluto sighting
(Nov 29, 2006)

The New Horizons team got a faint glimpse of the mission's distant, main target when one of the spacecraft's telescopic cameras spotted Pluto for the first time. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager took the pictures during an optical navigation test on Sep. 21-24, and stored them on the spacecraft's data recorder until their recent transmission back to Earth. Seen at a distance of about 4.2 billion km (2.6 billion miles) from the spacecraft, Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars.

Read more. Source: New Horizons website

snowball Earth
Did snowball Earth's melting let oxygen fuel life?
(Nov 28, 2006)

We may owe our green Earth to a big freeze that covered the entire planet in thick sheets of ice 2.3 billion years ago, researchers say. As this “snowball” Earth thawed, the new theory goes, it released strong oxidants into the oceans and atmosphere for the first time, setting off the chain of events that led to oxygen-tolerant marine organisms and photosynthesis as we know it today.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Phoenix possible landing site Region B landing site
Boulders dash hopes for Mars landing site
(Nov 27, 2006)

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has started scanning the arctic plains of Mars for possible landing sites for the next spacecraft, the Phoenix Mars Lander. Some of the first pictures returned to Earth have already dashed the hopes of scientists who wanted to land Phoenix at a place they call Region B. It turns out Region B is littered with boulders, which could make a landing very dangerous.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Bigelow orbital modules: Accelerated space plans
(Nov 25, 2006)

The success of Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis 1 module, which has been operating in orbit since July 12, has put the company well ahead in its plans for bigger and more capable modules that eventually will host visitors in orbit. “From a technological standpoint, we are years ahead of where we thought we would be at this time…due to the success of Genesis 1,” said Bigelow Aerospace Corporate Counsel, Mike Gold.

Read more. Source:

Large Millimeter Telescope inaugerated
Giant Mexican telescope launched
(Nov 24, 2006)

Mexican President Vicente Fox has inaugurated a giant telescope that could help scientists uncover clues about the origins of the Universe. The telescope, which resembles a gigantic satellite dish, sits high in the mountains of central Puebla state. It will pick up radio waves that have been travelling through space for some 13 billion years.

Read more. Source: BBC

Mikhail Tyurin
Astronauts whack golf ball and outfit station in spacewalk
(Nov 23, 2006)

A Russian cosmonaut set a new record for the longest golf drive in history today after hitting a lightweight ball while tethered to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). The golf shot was the first of several tasks performed by Expedition 14 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin as part of a busy spacewalk that got off to a late start. Fellow crewmate, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, provided support from inside the ISS.

Read more. Source:

Mars Global Surveyor
NASA fears worst for spacecraft
(Nov 22, 2006)

NASA says the veteran Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft is probably lost and unrecoverable. The orbiter entered a "safe mode" as it struggled to control a solar panel, and engineers have not been able to contact the probe since 2 November. NASA will use the Rover Opportunity on the surface of the Red Planet to try to speak to the 10-year-old spacecraft in the next couple of days.

Read more. Source: BBC

Black hole accretion disk
Spinning black hole pushes the limit
(Nov 22, 2006)

The existence of black holes is perhaps the most fascinating prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. When any mass, such as a star, becomes more compact than a certain limit, its own gravity becomes so strong that the object collapses to a singular point, a black hole. Now, a Center for Astrophysics-led team has measured a stellar-mass black hole spinning so rapidly – turning more than 950 times per second – that it pushes the predicted speed limit for rotation.

Read more. Source: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

International Space Station
Cosmonaut prepares for golf stunt
(Nov 22, 2006)

A Russian cosmonaut is preparing to hit a golf ball during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS). Flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin will knock a lightweight ball off a tee above the ISS's Russian docking port. A Canadian golf club maker is paying the Russian space agency an undisclosed sum for Tyurin's time.

Read more. Source: BBC

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