Florida Space Research and Information

April 2, 2008

Cosmic Log: Under the neutron microscope

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Vessel to dock with space station

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ISS016-E-034191 (31 March 2008) --- Backdropped by the airglow of Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) approaches the International Space Station on Monday, March 31, 2008, for its "Demo Day 2" practice maneuvers. It moved to within 36 feet of the Zvezda Service Module in a rehearsal for docking on Thursday.A European supply vessel carrying over five tons of freight is scheduled to dock with the international space station on Thursday in a major advance for Europe's space program.


Mid-size black hole answers question

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The core of the globular cluster Omega Centauri glitters with the combined light of 2 million stars. Researchers have detected a possible intermediate-mass black hole in the cluster's core.A new discovery of a middleweight black hole suggests black holes come in all sizes.


New planet tally nears 300

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During only the past 13 years, observers have tracked down nearly 300 distant bodies beyond our system thanks to rapid advances in ground-based telescope technology and methods.

April 1, 2008

Cosmic Log: The origin of fools

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Solar tsunamis move lightning fast

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A solar tsunami racing across the sun at millions of kilometers per second.Images of a tsunami blasting its way through the sun's lower atmosphere have been taken for the first time.


Smallest, lightest black hole identified

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The lowest-mass known black hole belongs to a binary system named XTE J1650-500. The black hole has about 3.8 times the mass of our sun, and is orbited by a companion star, as depicted in this illustration.NASA scientists have identified the smallest, lightest black hole yet found. The new lightweight record-holder weighs in at about 3.8 times the mass of our sun and is only 15 miles  in diameter.


Shuttle shutdown may kill 8,000 jobs

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02/08/2008) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- During a crew equipment interface test in the Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, STS-124 Commander Mark Kelly checks the area around the window in the cockpit of space shuttle Discovery. The shuttle will transport the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module - Pressurized Module (JEM-PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System (JEM-RMS) to the International Space Station to complete the Kibo laboratory. Photo credit: NASA/Kim ShiflettMore than 8,000 NASA contractor jobs in the nation’s manned space program could be eliminated after the space shuttle program is shut down in 2010, the agency said Tuesday.


NASA’s air-safety project criticized

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NASA shut down a massive air-safety survey project without ever properly evaluating, explaining or publicizing its purpose and results, and thus lost a chance for valuable insight into safety issues, the space agency's inspector general said Monday.


Astronomers peer back at early universe

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The white arrows point to a few of the old, massive galaxies found by Hartley and his team at a distance of 10 billion light years, discovered in the UKIDSS Ultra-Deep survey. This cut-out image represents just 1/150th of the full survey.When scientists peer at distant galaxies, it's like looking back in time because their light has taken so long to reach us. Recently, two groups of astronomers were able to see two classes of unique galaxies from the early universe.


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