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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: September 2006
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'Disappearing' lakes may dot Titan Sep 29, 2006
Branson unveils Virgin spaceship Sep 28, 2006
Mars rover reaches mouth of gaping crater Sep 28, 2006
NASA's Hubble finds hundreds of young galaxies in early universe Sep 27, 2006
US private space rocket crashes Sep 26, 2006
New Mexico set to launch first commercial rocket Sep 25, 2006
Exploding star 'breaks the rules' Sep 24, 2006
Conspiracy theorists must face the truth of Mars hill Sep 22, 2006
Atlantis shuttle returns to Earth Sep 21, 2006
Faint new ring discovered around Saturn Sep 21, 2006
Oldest recorded supernova dated using X-rays Sep 20, 2006
Scientists snap images of first brown dwarf in planetary system Sep 20, 2006
'Mystery object' delays shuttle Sep 20, 2006
Mars probe obtains first radar images Sep 20, 2006
Toxic spill on the International Space Station Sep 19, 2006
Lift off for woman space tourist Sep 18, 2006
Alien "ID chart" to aid search for extraterrestrial life Sep 17, 2006
Shuttle astronauts complete final spacewalk Sep 17, 2006
Puffed-up planet puzzles astronomers Sep 15, 2006
Huge ethane cloud discovered on Titan Sep 15, 2006
Astronomers peer at distant epoch Sep 14, 2006
Astronomers name 'world of chaos' Sep 14, 2006
Puny black holes can eject Milky Way's stars Sep 14, 2006
First spacewalk for Atlantis crew Sep 13, 2006
Shuttle astronauts camp out at space station Sep 12, 2006
Probe to study mighty explosions Sep 11, 2006
Shuttle Atlantis blasts off successfully at last Sep 10, 2006
Rover nears crater science trove Sep 9, 2006
Newfound object further blurs planet definition Sep 9, 2006
Earth-like planets may be common Sep 8, 2006
Mysterious bright patches on asteroids explained Sep 7, 2006
Shuttle Atlantis launch delayed Sep 6, 2006
New attempts to crack Saturn's 'walnut' moon Sep 5, 2006
I'd buy you the Moon Sep 4, 2006
NASA hopes to catch an elevator to space Sep 3, 2006
Moon probe set for impact finale Sep 2, 2006
Astronomers plot to overturn planet definition Sep 1, 2006

Titan possible methane lakes
'Disappearing' lakes may dot Titan
(Sep 29, 2006)

A dozen more lakes have been discovered near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, according to images from the Cassini spacecraft's latest flyby of the moon. The lakes may be a seasonal phenomenon, filling with methane rain in the winter, then evaporating in the summer. Titan's atmosphere has relatively high amounts of methane, which had led scientists to suspect before Cassini's arrival that the moon would be covered with methane oceans.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Virgin spaceship
Branson unveils Virgin spaceship
(Sep 28, 2006)

Sir Richard Branson has unveiled a mock-up of the rocket-powered vehicle that will carry clients into space through his Virgin Galactic business. The Virgin "spaceships" are designed to carry six passengers and two pilots to an altitude of about 140km on a sub-orbital space flight. Tickets on a Virgin Galactic flight are expected to cost 100,000 ($190,000).

Read more. Source: BBC

rim of Victoria crater
Mars rover reaches mouth of gaping crater
(Sep 28, 2006)

After trundling across the Martian surface for 21 months, NASA's Opportunity rover has finally reached its target – the 800-metre-wide Victoria Crater. The crater is wider and deeper than any other studied by a rover on Mars, which should allow scientists to study further back in time than ever before by looking at older rock layers at the bottom of the crater. Preliminary images reveal these layers on the crater walls and dunes on the crater's floor.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

distant galaxies captured by Hubble
NASA's Hubble finds hundreds of young galaxies in early universe
(Sep 27, 2006)

Astronomers analyzing two of the deepest views of the cosmos made with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered a gold mine of galaxies, more than 500 that existed less than a billion years after the Big Bang. These galaxies thrived when the cosmos was less than 7 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years. This sample represents the most comprehensive compilation of galaxies in the early universe, researchers said.

Read more. Source: NASA

SpaceLoft XL launch
US private space rocket crashes
(Sep 26, 2006)

A private US space rocket which blasted off from a site in New Mexico malfunctioned before it reached space, organisers have said. SpaceLoft XL launched at 1414 local time (2014 GMT) from Spaceport America, a desert launch site. But it veered off course at an altitude of about 12,190m (40,000ft) and crash-landed in the desert.

Read more. Source: BBC

SpaceLoft XL
New Mexico set to launch first commercial rocket
(Sep 25, 2006)

New Mexico's first commercial rocket launch could come as soon as Monday, potentially paving the way for the US state to become a major centre of the space tourism industry. Colorado-based UP Aerospace is set to launch a SpaceLoft XL suborbital rocket on its maiden voyage at 0730 MDT (1330 GMT). "That's what Monday is all about – showing people that this is not some fantasy, this is real," says Rick Homans, secretary of New Mexico's Office of Economic Development.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

supernova SNLS-03D3bb
Exploding star 'breaks the rules'
(Sep 24, 2006)

An exploding star that seems to contravene the laws of physics is puzzling astronomers. The supernova is twice the brightness expected, suggesting it arose from a star much too massive to exist. Past observations of supernovae led to the discovery that the Universe's expansion is speeding up. The findings could affect their use as probes of dark energy, the mysterious entity behind the expansion, scientists report in the journal Nature.

Read more. Source: BBC

3D reconstruction of Mars 'face' from Mars Express and Mars Global Surveyot data
Conspiracy theorists must face the truth of Mars hill
(Sep 22, 2006)

New images of the "face" on Mars have been obtained by Europe's Mars Express spacecraft. They reinforce what scientists thought from the beginning – that the face is just a naturally sculpted hill. The "face" appeared in a photo of Mars's Cydonia region taken in 1976 by NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft. NASA scientists believed from the beginning that the feature was simply a hill that happened to look like a face because of the way the Sun cast shadows across it at the time the photo was taken.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Space Shuttle Atlantis
Atlantis shuttle returns to Earth
(Sep 21, 2006)
The space shuttle Atlantis has touched down safely in Florida, ending a 12-day mission to re-start construction of the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle made a perfect landing on runway 33 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center just after 0621 EDT (1021 GMT). "Nice to be back. It was a great team effort. Assembly is off to a good start," said Atlantis' commander Brent Jett after the landing.

Read more. Source: BBC

new ring around Saturn
Faint new ring discovered around Saturn
(Sep 21, 2006)

The Cassini spacecraft has revealed a previously unknown ring around Saturn. It appears to be the result of meteoroids blasting material off the surface of two of Saturn's moons. The new ring [marked "+" in the photo]is very faint, and it took a unique event in Cassini's tour around Saturn to reveal it. On Sunday, Cassini spent a record 12 hours in Saturn's shadow, which allowed it to scrutinise the rings as they were being strongly backlit by the Sun.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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