From: Craig Tupper (dtupper@hq.nasa.gov)

Hello cosmic citizens,

Here’s what’s new lately in space science at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/ :

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Two more stories from the frontiers of cosmology, where major advances are
being made in the study of everything:

Astrophysicists Detect Cosmic Shear, Evidence of Dark Matter – this study
used ground-based telescopes to measure the gravitational effects of unseen
dark matter. http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/press/00/pr0029.htm

Confirming the recent results from the BOOMERanG experiment, another
balloon-borne experiment we support has obtained even higher resolution of
the cosmic microwave background. The results provide strong evidence that
the universe is flat, and that only about 5 percent of its mass and energy
is comprised of ordinary matter – the stuff of which the Earth, the stars
and humans are made. The remainder is either cold dark matter – the unseen
mass that holds galaxies together – or dark energy, a mystifying pressure
or repulsive force that seems to be accelerating the expansion of the
universe. A really good story at
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/05/09_maxima.html

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Galileo has taken its best images yet of Jupiter’s cratered inner moons
Thebe, Amalthea and Metis.

news and pics at
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/April00/Simonelli.moons.deb.html
Galileo at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/

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A simulated Mars soil and some potatoes have been joined in an experiment
that will fly aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis later this month. The
experiment, designed by Native American science students, will test how
well the soil supports plant growth.
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-079.txt

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The HESSI Mishap Board has released its final report, saying that our High
Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft was damaged March 21
during pre-flight vibration tests because of a malfunction in the vibration
test system ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-080.txt

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Our 2003 Mars mission may include either a scientific orbiter mission or a
large scientific rover which will land using an airbag cocoon. The two
concepts were selected from dozens of options that had been under study. We
will make a decision on the options, including whether or not to proceed to
launch, in early July. More at
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2000/mars2003.html

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Brown dwarfs are intriguing objects, intermediate between stars and
planets. Astronomers have identified three brown dwarfs of a type never
before observed, filling in what has been an elusive ‘missing link’ in the
range of properties of known brown dwarfs.
http://www.ras.org.uk/press/pn00-09.htm

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Chandra Images a Young Supernova Blast Wave – back in 1987 we were treated
to the closest supernova in a long time, and astronomers have been studying
the evolving aftermath of the star’s death ever since. Now Chandra has
started to see x-rays generated as the blast wave runs into a ring of
matter that the star had ejected thousands of years ago. Go out with a
bang at http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/00_releases/press_051100sn1987a.html

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Cheers!

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