Space News for June 3, 1999

Roton Tests Delayed

Although ground tests of the Roton Atmospheric Test Vehicle have been carried out, a full air test flight of the rocket is behind schedule. Originally planned for only a few weeks after its announcement ceremony on March 1st, it’s already been 3 months of delays – there’ll likely be more.

Space Daily

Eta Carinae Grows Unusually Bright

Once one of the brightest stars in the night sky of the Southern hemisphere, Eta Carinae has been releasing an increasing amount of energy – now twice as much as it did 20 years ago. The star is over 100 times the size of our sun, and relatively close to our solar system – only 7,500 light years. Strangely, astronomers have no explanation why this energy increase is happening.

ABC News
CNN Space

Elongated Asteroids Could Be Weaker

Nothing more that a loose collection of rocks held together by gravity, elongated asteroids are believed to be much weaker than spherical asteroids. Light impacts or gravitational effects can pull these asteroids apart. This theory also helps explain how asteroids can have moons.

Astronomy Now
Space Daily

Io May Contain High Concentrations of Salt

Astronomers have discovered large concentrations of chlorine in the atmosphere of Io – higher concentrations than anywhere else in the solar system. It’s believed this chlorine, spewed into the atmosphere by huge volcanoes, forms into common table salt on the surface of the planet.

Space Daily