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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

NASA's Top Space Exploration Stories of the Year

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SPITZER DETECTS FIRST LIGHT FROM AN EXTRASOLAR WORLD

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the first light ever detected from two planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Spitzer picked up the infrared glow from the Jupiter-sized planets. The findings mark the beginning of a new age of planetary science, in which extrasolar planets can be directly measured and compared. (For images and information, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/newworlds/spitzer-032205.html)

NASA SWIFTLY SOLVES 35-YEAR-OLD MYSTERY

Through coordination of observations from several ground-based telescopes and NASA'S SWIFT and other satellites, scientists solved the 35-year-old mystery of the origin of powerful, split-second flashes of light called short gamma-ray bursts. The flashes are brighter than a billion suns, yet last only a few milliseconds. They had been too fast for earlier instruments to catch.(For images and information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/swift)

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home

SOURCE NASA


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