2/10/2005:

Intermediate Word:  denouement (a) revetment  (b) clarification of the plot  (c) coming-of-age ceremony  (d) coda for a musical piece
Difficult Word:
  hearth money -  (a) rent money  (b) money for the expenses of the Vatican  (c) money kept on the hearth for household emergencies  (d) money saved to give to the poor

Neutron Stars Lead To Short Gamma-Ray Bursts - SpaceDaily  Left:  The photograph at left (See larger image)shows the galactic globular cluster M15, which contains a double neutron star system that will eventually collide to create a gamma-ray burst, as shown in the inset images at right. The right-hand images are taken from a computer animation and shows several snapshots covering just a fraction of a second in total time, with time advancing from top to bottom. Recent research shows that such collisions may be the source of up to 30 percent of all short gamma-ray bursts observed from Earth.  New research suggests that short gamma-ray bursts can be caused by the rematching of pairs of neutron stars. Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe, emitting huge amounts of high-energy radiation. Though the phenomena have mystified scientists for a long time, recent studies have shown they seem to originate from two causes: from hypernovas-the explosions of giant stars-or from the collision of neutron stars, either with each other or with a black hole.    
Diagram of a coal gasification plant Road to recovery Can President Bush's energy plans break the US's oil addiction?  - BBC  The US is literally sitting on a massive energy source. One quarter of the world's coal reserves are located within the nation's borders. The US generated 3,940 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2004, with more than half coming from coal-fired power stations. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that this figure will exceed 5,840TWh by 2030, with coal still being the dominant player. The current administration's flagship clean coal project, FutureGen, will receive $54m (30m) of the $281m (158m) of this funding.   

Distant world tops Pluto for size  - BBC  Left:  The Iram 30m telescope sited in the south of Spain.  At 3,000 km. (1,860 miles), the object (Xena) is significantly (700 km.) larger than Pluto. Xena has a 550 year, highly elliptical orbit around the sun. It is located about 14.5 billion kms. (8.7 billion miles) from the sun. Xena has a surface temperature of -250 C or 23 K, and may have an atmosphere at perihelion. This planetoid also has a moon code-named Gabrielle. 




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