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Thursday 26 August 2010

Note: All the links here are numbered, and a complete list is supplied at the end.

A quick note:
The next chapter in the story of how our solar system formed will be up tonight, or at worst early as I can manage tomorrow, its been a long wait I know, but I hope you enjoy it.

[Update: the next post is up, or the penultimate draft at least, but because I started it earlier than this one it will appear below this post]

For the moment though, I'd like to direct your attention to the [1]Dawn mission, which is [2]gearing up for the first of its two encounters with suspected protoplanets left over from our solar systems construction. In July 2011 Dawn will reach [3]Vesta, a world that just missed out on being a dwarf planet because an asteroid impact has turned its south pole into a gigantic crater, ruining its spherical shape. Its an object apparently covered in frozen basaltic lava, which suggests a story that could help us understand how these embryonic planets came about.

Then in 2015 Dawn will reach [4]Ceres, a dwarf planet, and largest denizen if the asteroid belt. Ceres is [5]thought to be mainly composed of water ice, and could have hosted an ocean of liquid water beneath its crust for billions of years- its even just possible that, way down deep inside, [6]remnants of that ocean survive to this day.

[7]Click here for a rundown on Dawns science objectives.

In other news, [8]our solar system got slightly older last week (you know what I mean, or you will if you follow the link), more details merge on [9]how supernovas supplied the heavier elements that went into making our solar system, and a star system that [10]looks a lot like our own has been identified.

Catch you all tonight!

List of links:

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