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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: February 2007
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NASA probe set for Jupiter flyby Feb 28, 2007
Milestone for giant physics lab Feb 28, 2007
Pulsars may shed light on mysterious dark matter Feb 27, 2007
Space blast's huge debris field Feb 27, 2007
Comet-bound probe enjoys close encounter with Mars Feb 26, 2007
Rare crater may have been spotted on Titan Feb 24, 2007
NASA's Spitzer gets first sniffs of air from alien worlds Feb 23, 2007
Probe to look for Martian rings Feb 22, 2007
Astronauts should 'ski the Moon' Feb 20, 2007
Beagle 2 Mars lander still lost after all Feb 19, 2007
Antarctic water world uncovered Feb 17, 2007
Action plan for killer asteroids Feb 17, 2007
Gravitational wave observatories to join forces Feb 16, 2007
Underground pipes channelled water on Mars Feb 15, 2007
Light is shed on darkest galaxies Feb 15, 2007
Atom smasher may give birth to 'Black Saturns' Feb 14, 2007
Comet clash kicks up dusty haze Feb 13, 2007
Red Planet 'hiking maps' produced Feb 13, 2007
Milky Way's black hole the ultimate particle accelerator Feb 12, 2007
Saturn moon 'sandblasts' its neighbours white Feb 10, 2007
New universes will be born from ours Feb 9, 2007
Telescope mirror nears completion Feb 8, 2007
Three new types of object found in Milky Way Feb 7, 2007
Budget cuts may delay shuttle replacement Feb 6, 2007
Physicists find way to ‘see’ extra dimensions Feb 5, 2007
Moon too static for astronauts? Feb 4, 2007
Mars probe snaps dramatic new images of gullies Feb 2, 2007
Cassini images mammoth cloud engulfing Titan's north pole Feb 2, 2007
New particle accelerator could rule out string theory Feb 2, 2007
Hubble probes layer-cake structure of alien world's atmosphere Feb 1, 2007

New Horizons at Jupiter
NASA probe set for Jupiter flyby
(Feb 28, 2007)

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, launched from Earth just over a year ago, is heading for a close encounter with the giant planet Jupiter. The flyby should let the probe test its instruments before being hurled away by Jupiter's gravity towards the distant target of Pluto and its moons. The plutonium-powered spacecraft will make its closest approach to Jupiter at 0543 GMT (0043 EST) on Wednesday.

Read more. Source: BBC

YBO element of Compact Muon Solenoid
Milestone for giant physics lab
(Feb 28, 2007)

Construction on a giant underground laboratory that will help take physics into a new era reaches a major milestone on Wednesday. From 0500 GMT, a crane will lower 2,000 tonnes of machinery into a man-made cavern 100m below ground. The machinery is part of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), one of four big experiments belonging to the world's most powerful particle accelerator. This accelerator is being built at CERN, on the Franco-Swiss border.

Read more. Source: BBC

Pulsars may shed light on mysterious dark matter
(Feb 27, 2007)

Clumps of dark matter roving unseen through our galaxy could be revealed by careful observations of pulsars, a new study says. In fact, telltale signs of these clouds might already lurk unnoticed in archival data – potentially holding the key to understanding what the mysterious matter is made of.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Proton launch vehicle
Space blast's huge debris field
(Feb 27, 2007)

The explosion of a Russian rocket stage in space may have created over 1,000 pieces of orbiting debris which could threaten other spacecraft. The rocket section exploded on 19 February, generating as much debris as the destruction of a satellite by China last month, if not more. This space wreckage could remain in orbit for years, experts say.

Read more. Source: BBC

Mars snapped by the CIVA imaging instrument on Rosetta's Philae lander four minutes before closest approach at a distance of some 620 miles
Comet-bound probe enjoys close encounter with Mars
(Feb 26, 2007)

Europe's Rosetta comet probe shot past Mars early Sunday to line up for another swing by Earth later this year, putting the craft on course to reach its icy target in 2014. Launched three years ago, Rosetta zoomed just 150 miles above the Martian surface at about 22,500 miles per hour relative to the Red Planet.

Read more. Source: Spaceflight Now

possible crater on Titan, seen by Cassini on Jan. 13, 2007
Rare crater may have been spotted on Titan
(Feb 24, 2007)

The Cassini spacecraft may have spied another crater on Saturn's moon Titan, whose surface is mysteriously unblemished by the impact scars. So far, only three features have been unambiguously identified as craters on Titan, while about a dozen others are considered candidates. The dearth of craters is puzzling, since scientists had expected that meteroid impacts would have created hundreds that would still be visible today.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

HD 189733b, artist's impression
NASA's Spitzer gets first sniffs of air from alien worlds
(Feb 23, 2007)

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured for the first time enough light from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to identify molecules in their atmospheres. The landmark achievement is a significant step toward being able to detect possible life on rocky exoplanets and comes years before astronomers had anticipated. "This is an amazing surprise," said Spitzer project scientist Dr. Michael Werner of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "We had no idea when we designed Spitzer that it would make such a dramatic step in characterizing exoplanets."

Read more. Source: NASA/Caltech

Mars and Rosetta
Probe to look for Martian rings
(Feb 22, 2007)

A spacecraft that aims to land on a comet may also establish whether there is a thin ring of debris around the Red Planet this week. The Rosetta probe will use Mars' gravity to pick up speed on a mission that will reach its climax in 2014. But during a very close flyby, Rosetta will look for a scattering of dust from Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos.

Read more. Source: BBC

Harrison Schmitt on the Moon
Astronauts should 'ski the Moon'
(Feb 20, 2007)

Astronauts heading to the Moon should learn the art of cross-country skiing, a scientist who flew on the last lunar Apollo mission claims. Harrison Schmitt, part of the 1972 Apollo 17 crew, said it would allow them to explore faster and more easily. Addressing scientists in San Francisco, he said his knowledge of Nordic skiing had allowed him to glide effortlessly across the dusty lunar surface.

Read more. Source: BBC

The region where scientists thought Beagle 2 might have come down
Beagle 2 Mars lander still lost after all
(Feb 19, 2007)

The final resting place – and ultimate fate – of Europe's Beagle 2 Mars lander will have to remain a mystery for now: High-resolution images show no trace of it where it was thought to lie. The HiRISE camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – the best camera ever sent beyond Earth orbit – has previously spotted a number of other landers on the planet's surface, including the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity and possibly Sojourner.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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