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News briefs: March 16-17
Posted: Mon, Mar 18, 2002, 8:17 AM ET (1317 GMT)
  • Radar observations of the planet Mercury have revealed a large crater on its surface, Sky and Telescope reported. The crater, about 85 km across, looks similar in appearance to the lunar crater Tycho; planetary scientists reporting the discovery say it could be younger than the 109-million-year old Tycho. Almost half of the planet was never observed by Mariner 10, the only spacecraft to date to visit the planet, making radar observations the only way to map the planet until spacecraft visit the planet again later this decade.
  • Astronomers are finding their estimates of the age of pulsars in question after recent discoveries. Astronomers studying the motion of one pulsar from the center of the supernova remnant that formed it measured it to be 64,000 years old, compared to the 107,000-year "characteristic age" derived from its rotation rate. The previous discovery of a pulsar older than its characteristic age is leading astronomers to question the assumptions they make when generating those age estimates.
  • Planetary scientists have encountered difficulty selecting landing sites for two Mars rovers scheduled for launch next year, reported Friday. Four sites are under consideration, but all have problems ranging from cold temperatures to rocky terrain to dust devils. The final selection of two landing zones is planned for this May.
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news in brief

"Monster" planet puzzles astronomers
Posted: Sun, Nov 5 10:14 AM ET (1514 GMT)

Chairman of House Science Committee to retire
Posted: Sun, Nov 5 10:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)

news links
Monday, November 20
Tucson Tech: Small-sat launcher Vector lining up launch sites
Arizona Daily Star — 1:51 am ET (0651 GMT)
Poroshenko said that Ukraine is a space power
The Stopru — 1:49 am ET (0649 GMT)
UK to clear the way for US space rocket launches in Britain
The Daily Telegraph — 1:47 am ET (0647 GMT)
‘PSLV built by domestic industry by 2020’
The Hindu — 1:43 am ET (0643 GMT)

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