3/3/2004:

Intermediate Word:  pontificate  (a) to humbly perform ecclesiastical functions  (b) to prognosticate  (c) to behave with pompous authority  (d) to cheat
Difficult Word: - myology  study of (a) mussels  (b) mold  (c) muscles  (d) tropical diseases


Explosive Appetite: Star Caught Devouring Companion - Space.com  Scientists have obtained a rare glimpse of the chaotic environment just miles from the surface of an explosive corpse of a star that is slowly consuming its companion. An eruption from the neutron star illuminated material flowing onto it, providing lucky astronomers with an unprecedented peek at the activity near the surface of the ultra-dense object. The eruption poured out more energy in three hours than the Sun does in a century.  
Is Europa Corrosive? - SpaceDaily  Far from being a haven of ice and water and an ideal spot for the search for alien life, Jupiter's moon Europa may be a corrosive hotbed of acid and peroxide. That is the conclusion of researchers who met last week to prepare for NASA's proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, an ambitious mission to study Jupiter's moons. Although the general perception of Europa is of a frozen crust of water ice harbouring a salty subterranean ocean kilometres below, researchers studying the most recent measurements say light reflected from the moon's icy surface bears the spectral fingerprints of hydrogen peroxide and strong acids, perhaps close to pH 0, if liquid.

Seeking New Earths? Look For Dust - SpaceDaily.  If alien astronomers around a distant star had studied the young Sun four-and-a-half billion years ago, could they have seen signs of a newly-formed Earth orbiting this innocuous yellow star? The answer is yes, according to Scott Kenyon (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) and Benjamin Bromley (University of Utah). The key to locating newborn Earths, say Kenyon and Bromley, is to look not for the planet itself, but for a ring of dust orbiting the star that is a fingerprint of terrestrial (rocky) planet formation. "Chances are, if there's a ring of dust, there's a planet," says Kenyon.





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