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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: November 2007
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supernova remnant
Ancient sea mud records supernova blast
(Nov 4, 2007)

It is the oldest telescope in the world – and it lies at the bottom of the ocean. Ancient sea floor sediments have revealed that a supernova exploded during the Pliocene era and may have caused a minor extinction event on Earth.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

torn solar panel
Astronaut fixes torn solar panel
(Nov 3, 2007)

A US astronaut has carried out a dangerous spacewalk to fix a damaged solar panel on the International Space Station (ISS). The energy-collecting wing developed a rip when it was being unfurled at the port end of the platform on Tuesday. Scott Parazynski rode on the end of an extension boom to install home-made "cufflinks" to the broken section.

Read more. Source: BBC

Gliese 581c artist conception
Earth-like planets get life assessment
(Nov 3, 2007)

The most Earth-like planet discovered so far is not quite in the right place to be habitable after all, researchers say. But its neighbour might be. Discovered in April, the planet Gliese 581c caused a lot of initial excitement.

Read more. Source: Nature

Mars Science laboratory
Prime landing sites chosen for biggest Martian rover
(Nov 3, 2007)

Half a dozen possible landing sites have been selected for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), due to launch late in 2009. The rover, the largest ever to travel to Mars, will try to find out whether the Red Planet was once conducive to life. The rover should touch down on Mars in October 2010.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Arrows point to top and bottom of an enigmatic layer of material at Mars's equator, as seen in this image that combines radar and topographic views. Credit: ESA/ASI/NASA/University of Rome/JPL/Smithsonian
Vast amount of water ice may lie on Martian equator
(Nov 2, 2007)

Some puzzling land formations on Mars's equator could be huge glacier-like deposits of frozen water, new radar observations suggest. The material's radar properties might be explained by unusually porous rocky material instead, but if it is water it would represent a huge amount – as much as a polar ice cap contains, providing a potential water source for future human explorers.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Large Binocular Telescope
Giant telescope's double vision
(Nov 1, 2007)

Almost 20 years after it was first conceived, what will become the world's most powerful optical telescope is about to open its eyes. Lying beneath the clear skies of Arizona, the $120m (55m) Large Binocular Telescope will allow astronomers to probe the Universe further back in time and in more detail than ever before.

Read more. Source: BBC

artist impression of exoplanets
Reaching for the stars and planets
(Nov 1, 2007)

Scientists from Queen's University in Belfast have found three new planets orbiting their own stars. The new discoveries have been named Wasp-1, 2 and 3 respectively. They are all gas giants similar to our Jupiter. Using equipment they built themselves, the scientists from the University's Astrophysics Research Centre have been observing hundreds of thousands of stars for several months.

Read more. Source: BBC

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