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PLANET 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
Astronomers have found convincing evidence for the existence of a ninth planet in the dark outer reaches of the solar system far beyond Neptune. The newly inferred planet – which is simply being called Planet Nine for now – has about ten times the mass of Earth and circles the Sun some 600 times further out than Earth’s orbit.
NEW MOON GIANT IMPACT THEORY
A new study claims the Earth’s Moon was formed out of a violent head on collision rather than a 45 degree angle side swipe between the early proto-Earth and a planetary embryo called Theia 4.6 billion years ago. The new study is based on a re-evaluation of oxygen isotopes in rock samples from both the Earth and the lunar surface.
PLUTO THE WATER PLANET
New data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft indicates the surface of Pluto has far more water than previously estimated. The new images have detected abundant signatures for water ice across the dwarf planet’s surface.
FIRST ARIANE 5 LAUNCH FOR 2016
Arianespace has carried out its first launch of the year with an Ariane 5 blasting into orbit from the European Space Agency’s Kourou Space Port in French Guiana carrying the Intelsat 29e communications satellite into orbit. The 6552 kilogram satellite will provide C, Ku and Ka-band services for North and South America as well as the North Atlantic.
INDIA LAUNCHES NAVIGATION SATELLITE
India has successfully launched a PSLV rocket carrying the nation’s new IRNSS-1E navigation satellite into orbit. The spa cecraft is the fifth of the seven satellites constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.