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strong-star-crust There’s water, water everywhere in National Geographic News’s most popular space coverage of 2009: A probe proved there’s water on the moon, a Mars lander’s leg got all wet, fishlike life may swim a Jupiter moon’s seas, and more.

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10. Star Crust Is Ten Billion Times Stronger Than Steel
Move over, Superman. The Man of Steel has nothing on the collapsed cores of massive snuffed-out stars, which constitute the strongest known material in the universe, a May study said.

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9. Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?
“I’d be shocked if no life existed on Europa,” one scientist said—and provocative research described in November suggested the moon’s seas have enough oxygen for fishlike animals.

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8. 32 New Planets Found Outside Our Solar System
The massive haul of new worlds brings the number of known extrasolar planets to more than 400, astronomers announced in October.

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7. Liquid Water Recently Seen on Mars?
Mars pictures taken in Summer 2008 showed strange globs on the leg of the Phoenix Mars lander that seemed to behave like liquid water, a February paper reported.

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6. Most Earthlike Planet Yet Found May Have Liquid Oceans
Measurements announced in April suggested that the planet known as Gliese 581d has a lot more in common with Earth than first thought—and it has a previously unknown sister planet that is the lightest yet found.

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5. Particles Larger Than Galaxies Fill the Universe?
The oldest of the subatomic particles called neutrinos might each encompass a space larger than thousands of galaxies, according to new simulations described in June.

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4. First Proof of Ancient Mars Lakeshores Found
High-resolution pictures of a Martian valley revealed three-billion-year-old shorelines along what was once a body of water about the size of Lake Champlain, researchers said in June.

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3. Water on the Moon Confirmed by NASA Crashes
It’s official: There’s water on the moon—and a “significant amount” of it too, members of NASA’s moon-crash mission, LCROSS, announced in November.

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2. Green “Two-Tailed” Comet Buzzed Earth on One-Time Visit
When it swung through our solar system in late February, the recently discovered comet Lulin seemed to have a second tail and a green glow—and the sight will probably never again grace our nighttime skies.

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1. Sun Oddly Quiet—Hints at Next “Little Ice Age”?
In May the sun was still the most sluggish it had been in decades, prompting concerns about a cooling effect on climate—but the dip in solar activity wouldn’t be likely to fight global warming, researchers cautioned.

Source: HERE



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