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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: June 2008
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Specimen of the Ivuna meteorite
Meteorite could hold solar clues
(Jun 20, 2008)


A rare type of meteorite that could hold clues to the birth of our Solar System has been bought by London's Natural History Museum. The Ivuna meteorite, obtained from a US private collection, has the same chemical make-up from which the Solar System formed 4.5 billion years ago. It landed in Tanzania in 1938 as one 705g stone, since split into samples.

Read more. Source: BBC

Sublimation of ice in the trench informally called 'Dodo-Goldilocks'
Bright chunks at Phoenix Lander's Mars site must have been ice
(Jun 20, 2008)


Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it. The chunks were left at the bottom of a trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" when Phoenix's Robotic Arm enlarged that trench on June 15, during the 20th Martian day, or sol, since landing. Several were gone when Phoenix looked at the trench early on Thursday, on Sol 24.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Phoenix Robot Arm with soil sample
Mars Lander to dig; team probes flash memory
(Jun 19, 2008)


The Phoenix Mars Mission generated an unusually high volume of spacecraft housekeeping data on Tuesday causing the loss of some non-critical science data. Phoenix engineers are analyzing why this anomaly occurred. The science team is planning spacecraft activities for Thursday that will not rely on Phoenix storing science data overnight but will make use of multiple communication relays to gain extra data quantity.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

main auroras on Saturn
New type of aurora spotted on Saturn
(Jun 18, 2008)


A new type of aurora may exist on Saturn, creating a faint ring around one the planet's poles, a new study suggests. Debris from Saturn's moon Enceladus may be feeding the light shows.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

possible ice exposed by Phoenix Robot Arm
Mars lander may have found ice at polygon's edge
(Jun 17, 2008)


The Phoenix Lander has uncovered a patch of what may be ice on the border of a polygon-shaped section of soil in Mars's northern plains. The lander's robotic arm uncovered the white substance after further excavating sites called Dodo and Baby Bear to create one large trench.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's impression of trio of super-Earths
Trio of 'super-Earths' discovered
(Jun 16, 2008)


Astronomers have identified a trio of so-called "super-Earths" – rocky planets between two and 10 times the mass of Earth. The three new planets were detected using the HARPS instrument at the La Silla Observatory in central Chile. The star they circle is slightly smaller than our Sun, and is located 42 light-years away near the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations.

Read more. Source: BBC

Phoenix soil sample, microscopic view
Phoenix Mars Lander inspects delivered soil samples
(Jun 16, 2008)


New observations from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander provide the most magnified view ever seen of Martian soil, showing particles clumping together even at the smallest visible scale. Two instruments on the lander deck – a microscope and a bake-and-sniff analyzer – have begun inspecting soil samples delivered by the scoop on Phoenix's Robotic Arm.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

impact site in near Santa Fe
Roadside crater should have made more of an impact
(Jun 15, 2008)


How could evidence of a major asteroid impact have been missed when it was in plain sight all along? The telltale signs of a huge impact site were sitting alongside a busy road 8 kilometres north-east of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Discovery landing
Discovery glides home after successful mission
(Jun 14, 2008)


Space shuttle Discovery and its crew landed at 11:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., completing a 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space. The STS-124 mission was the second of three flights to launch components to the International Space Station to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory.

Read more. Source: NASA

Murchison meteorite
Genetic building blocks may have formed in space
(Jun 14, 2008)


Some fundamental building blocks of our genetic code might have come from outer space, according to a controversial new meteorite study. The study suggests that some organic compounds associated with genetic material might have formed in a meteorite called Murchison before it landed in Australia in 1969.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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