Top 5 Space News (12th July)
These are the top stories from the Digg Space category for the week ending Saturday 12th of July 2008:
If you’re out watching the skies regularly you’ll often see a few “moving stars.” They are most likely artificial satellites. The brightest of all is the International Space Station, and this month provides some great opportunities to see it from just about anywhere. (For current UK-based sighting times, click the link on the right of the page)
Pluto is finally getting its day in the sun, after being stripped of planetary status by astronomers two years ago. From now on all similar distant bodies in the solar system will be called “plutoids.” That’s the decision by the International Astronomical Union, which met last week in Oslo, Norway, and announced the decision Wednesday.
Astronomers have known for years that something seems to be pulling our Milky Way and tens of thousands of other galaxies toward itself at a breakneck 14 million miles per hour. But for a long time they’ve been unable to pinpoint exactly what or where it is.
Astronomers have uncovered an extreme stellar machine — a galaxy in the very remote universe pumping out stars at a surprising rate of up to 4,000 per year. In comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy turns out an average of just 10 stars per year.
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the first discovery of asteroids with a spectrum similar to that of ordinary chondrites, the meteoritic material that most resembles the composition of our Sun. Most of the meteorites that we collect on Earth come from the main belt of asteroids located between Mars and Jupiter, and are a major tool for knowing the history of the solar system.
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