11/4/2004:

Intermediate Word:  ralliform   (a) resembling a rail  (b) tapering  (c) bulbous mid-section  (d) ogival
Difficult Word: - tripoli  (a) lightweight cheesecloth-like fabric  (b) flag of the French Foreign Legion  (c) porous, siliceous rock  (d) spumoni on a stick

How To Build A Planet - SpaceDaily  Left:  "The young Earth seems to have experienced at least one hyper catastrophe, when a Mars-sized object ripped the planet apart and adorned it with a ring of dust and rock that eventually coalesced into the moon." Far from traditional views that Earth and its neighbors emerged from nothingness quickly and passively, planets tend to be built over millions and millions of years, in stages punctuated by massive collisions between rocky bodies. That is what just-released observations, based largely on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, have revealed. The primordial dust clouds that form around nascent solar systems are huge, turbulent and persistent.  
Keck Team To Make Stars Disappear - SpaceDaily  The technological magicians at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the W.M. Keck Observatory are a step closer to performing a vanishing act on a cosmic scale.  With an instrument recently installed as part of the Keck Interferometer, they can make stars disappear almost completely from a telescope's view and reveal the close-in regions where planets may have formed. This fall, astronomers will continue integration and test of the instrument, called the "Nuller," which will contribute to NASA's search for planets around other stars.  

ESA's Hipparcos Finds Rebels With A Cause - SpaceDaily  A team of European astronomers has discovered that many stars in the vicinity of the Sun have unusual motions caused by the spiral arms of our galaxy, the Milky Way. According to this research, based on data from ESA's Hipparcos observatory, our stellar neighbourhood is the crossroads of streams of stars coming from several directions. Some of the stars hosting planetary systems could be immigrants from more central regions of the Milky Way. These rebels account for about 20% of the stars within 1000 light-years of the Sun, itself located about 25 000 light-years away from the centre of the Milky Way.  





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