Mir Will Finally Be Shut Down
Unable the find the additional funding they need, Russian officials have decided to scrap Mir. The current cosmonauts will leave the station for the last time in August, and it will remain unattended as its orbit decays into the atmosphere, finally burning up sometime in August.
Sun’s Orbit Around the Galaxy Calculated
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Using a precise radio telescope, astronomers have calculated exactly how long it takes for the sun to make one revolution around the Milky Way: 226 million years. Last time the sun was in this position, dinosaurs roamed the planet. To make their calculations, astronomers used Sagitarius A*, a star believed to be exactly at the center of the galaxy.
Hubble Captures Entire Star Lifecycle
Recent photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope show a region of space that displays all stages of star evolution. The image is of the nebula NCG 3603, and it contains a blue supergiant star called Sher 25 surrounded by rings of interstellar gas.
Earth Microbes Survive in Mars Conditions
A microbe discovered deep in the ocean near hot vents has been found to be able to thrive in Martian conditions – an environment hostile to almost every kind of life on Earth. The bacteria doesn’t require oxygen, but converts hydrogen and nitrogen into methane gas. Not only does this discovery raise hopes of finding life on Mars, but also of future techniques to make Mars more Earthlike, by introducing life to the planet.