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valleygeocacher

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Posted with permission of Sky & Telescope Magazine.

There are some advertisements in this post, left in to comply with S&T's requirement for re-posting.

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? * * * SKY & TELESCOPE's WEEKLY NEWS BULLETIN - January 23, 2006 * * *

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Welcome to S&T's Weekly News Bulletin. Images, the full stories abridged
here, and other enhancements are on our Web site, SkyandTelescope.com, at
the URLs provided. (If the links don't work directly, just paste them into
your Web browser.) Clear skies!

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ASTEROID SMASHUP BROUGHT DUST SHOWER TO EARTH

The asteroid belt teems with perhaps a million bodies at least 1 kilometer
across, so every so often two of them are bound to run into one another.
According to David Nesvorny (Southwest Research Institute, Colorado), a
particularly powerful smashup took place about 8.3 million years ago. That
event turned a 140-km-wide target body into a "family" of asteroidal
fragments with similar orbits, the largest being 490 Veritas (115 km in
diameter)....

> http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1664_1.asp

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PLUTO BOUND

After two days of delays, NASA's New Horizons probe launched on Thursday
to the ninth planet, Pluto. The spacecraft carries three cameras: an
8-centimeter aperture (3-inch) instrument for visible and infrared
imaging, an ultraviolet spectrometer, and a 20.8-cm (8-inch) telescope for
higher-resolution pictures....

> http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1663_1.asp

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STARDUST COMES HOME; SCIENCE BEGINS

The Stardust probe landed successfully in Utah on January 15th after the
highest-velocity spacecraft reentry ever. Its safe landing marked the end
of the probe's 7-year trek around the inner solar system....

On the 17th the capsule was taken to its new home in Houston, Texas. At
first look it appears the mission was a triumphant success. According to
Stardust lead scientist Donald Brownlee (University of Washington), the
spacecraft's aerogel collectors may have captured more than one million
microscopic specks of interplanetary, interstellar, and cometary dust....

> http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1661_1.asp
> http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1662_1.asp

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS WEEK'S SKY

* Last-quarter Moon on Sunday, January 22nd.
* Jupiter (magnitude -1.9, in Libra) is the very bright "star" in the
southeast to south before and during dawn.

> http://SkyandTelescope.com/observing/ataglance/article_110_1.asp

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Check out our sale page at:
> http://SkyandTelescope.com/Sale

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Copyright 2006 Sky Publishing Corp. S&T's Weekly News Bulletin is provided
as a free service to the astronomical community by the editors of SKY &
TELESCOPE magazine. Widespread distribution is encouraged as long as our
copyright notice is included, with the words "used by permission." This
bulletin may not be published in any other form without written permission
from Sky Publishing; send e-mail to [email protected] or
call +1 617-864-7360. More astronomy news is available on our Web site at
http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/.

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