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News briefs: February 16-17
Posted: Mon, Feb 18, 2002, 9:15 AM ET (1415 GMT)
  • A newly-discovered comet could become visible to the naked eye for northern hemisphere observers next month according to Astronomy magazine. Comet 2002 C1 Ikeya-Zhang was discovered early this month by two astronomers in Japan and China. Currently at magnitude 7.5, it could brighten to magnitude 4 around perihelion in early March. It could remain visible to the naked eye through April.
  • The discovery of a ring of dust around the outer solar system could be a useful tool for searching for other solar systems, European astronomers reported. The dust disk, starting outside the orbit of Saturn, is believed to be created by collisions of objects in the Kuiper Belt. Astronomers believe that spotting similar dust disks around other stars may mean those stars also have planetary systems, putting those stars on a "short list" for followup observations by future planet-hunting missions like Kepler and Eddington.
  • Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien visited the Russian space facilities at Star City, outside Moscow, during a state visit Saturday. According to an Interfax article, Chretien said that Canada "is interested in cooperation with Russia in the space exploration sphere."
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news in brief

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news links
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Next-generation weather satellite in orbit, gets new name
Huntsville Times — 1:56 am ET (0656 GMT)
Successful First International Moon Village Workshop at ISU
International Space University — 1:53 am ET (0653 GMT)
The Short Life and Death of a Space Tourism Company
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Building for a Future in Space
University College Dublin Observer — 1:47 am ET (0647 GMT)

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