2/2/2005:

Intermediate Word:  peccary -  (a) wild pig  (b) den of iniquity  (c) stiff-bristled hair brush  (d) slaughterhouse
Difficult Word: - yarrow  (a) fermented mare's milk   (b) arboreal marsupial  (c) wavy-edged sword  (d) yellow flower
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Opportunity Marks One Year On Mars - SpaceDaily  Left:  NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on the red planet a year ago. This enhanced-resolution image from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter is the only picture obtained thus far (by Jan. 24, 2005) that shows the tracks made by Opportunity. Full size image and detailed caption.  Opportunity discovered rocks containing hematite, an iron-rich compound that forms almost always only in the presence of water. The rover also found other salty compounds on the Martian surface that indicated a once-wet environment. After a year of operations, its solar panels are still putting out nearly 90 percent of their peak-level power. The dreaded Martian dust has failed to degrade them as much as expected. 
Tiny Star's Unexpected Weight Raises Big Astronomical Questions  - NY Times  Left:   AB Doradus C, the faint companion star to the much larger AB Doradus A, can be seen as a small dot at about 8 o'clock in this infrared image.  The smallest star ever to be reliably weighed has tipped the scales at more than twice its expected mass, astronomers say. As a result, much of what they thought they knew about the low-mass bits of cosmic litter, which hover on the edge of stardom, may be in doubt. The work, released last week, suggests that astronomers may have systematically underestimated the masses of these objects and thus misidentified the smallest members of their realm. This is our first real glimpse at a calibration of the low-mass universe."

Lunar robots, solar panels

Lunar colony to run on moon dust and robots - New Scientist  The rover - solar-powered, of course - would leave a trail of solar panels in its wake (see graphic). Now Freundlich and his team have shown that a key part of this plan should work. They melted a powder with the composition of the lunar regolith, and then deposited a solar cell on this substrate and showed that it would work. The substrate makes up the majority of a solar cell's mass. (The simulated lunar panels were only 1% efficient.)




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