12/10/2004:

Intermediate Word:  impecunious - (a) impertinent  (b) underdeveloped pectoral muscles  (c) penniless  (d) guiltless
Difficult Word: - grisette   (a) "gray eminence"  (b) working class girl  (c) couturiére  (d) 18th-century woman's gray wig

Lunar Robotic Village, Moon Base Gains International Support - Space.com  The meeting was timely considering a new arrival on the lunar exploration scene: Europe’s SMART-1 spacecraft is now looping the Moon, prepared to survey the lunar landscape in earnest early next year and work is underway in India on its Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. Japan and China are also set to launch their respective spacecraft to the Moon in future years.      
Did Our Sun Capture Alien Worlds? - SpaceDaily  Left:  As the sun and passing star approach each other, gravity can yank small objects from one solar system to the other, as shown in this computer image. Credit: University of Utah and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.  Computer simulations show a close encounter with a passing star about 4 billion years ago may have given our solar system its abrupt edge and put small, alien worlds into distant orbits around our sun. Bromley and Kenyon simulated what would have happened if our sun and another star in our Milky Way galaxy had passed a relatively close 14 billion to 19 billion miles from each other a few hundred million years after our solar system formed.    

New Evidence Supports Terrestrial Cause Of End-Permian Mass Extinction - SpaceDaily   Two hundred and fifty million years ago, ninety percent of marine species disappeared and life on land suffered greatly during the world's largest mass extinction. "Our geochemical analyses of these two famous end-Permian sections in Austria and Italy reveal no tangible evidence of extraterrestrial impact," said Koeberl. "This suggests the mass extinction must have been home-grown." Layers of rocks contain a chemical testimony of environmental change though time. Asteroids and comets are chemically different from the Earth and when these objects arrive they leave a tell-tale chemical fingerprint in the rocks. 





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