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News briefs: August 1
Posted: Fri, Aug 2, 2002, 10:28 AM ET (1428 GMT)
  • Satellite data has revealed that the Earth's equator has been bulging for the last several years, for uncertain reasons. The bulge in the Earth's gravity field at the equator had been shrinking prior to 1998, as polar regions continued to rebound from the load of ice removed from them at the end of the last ice age. However, since 1998 the equatorial bulge has grown again, possibly because of shifts in ocean currents that are transporting more water towards the equator.
  • Canada officially unveiled its first space telescope on Thursday. MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars) is a small telescope the size of a suitcase that will measure minute variations in the brightness of stars in an effort to determine their ages. Astronomers also believe the telescope may be able to detect extrasolar planets. The C$10 million (US$6.3 million) MOST is scheduled for launch on a Rockot booster in April 2003.
  • Astronomers have found evidence that two black holes are merging. In research published in the current issue of Science, astronomers said that two supermassive black holes in the cores of two galaxies are merging as the galaxies collide. Evidence for the merger comes from a shift in the direction of jets of particles emanating from the core of the combined galaxy.
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news links
Monday, October 15
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Entertainment Weekly — 6:11 am ET (1011 GMT)


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