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Makemake newest plutoid

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	   Device to help moonwalkers get around

Ohio State University researchers will help the next generation 
of moonwalkers keep their bearings when they return to the lunar 
surface in about a dozen years. The navigation device developed 
by researchers is similar to a global positioning system, but 
will rely on signals from a set of sensors -- including lunar 
beacons, stereo cameras and orbital imaging sensors -- the 
Columbus, Ohio, university said Monday in a news release. The 
U.S. space agency awarded Ron Li, professor of civil and 
environmental engineering and geodetic science, $1.2 million 
for the next three years to design the navigation device, the 
university said. People rely on visual cues to judge distances, 
Li explained, but the moon provides no such hints. During previous 
lunar missions astronauts traveling to a target site had to turn 
back because they couldn't see it due to difficult terrain, he 
said. "We will help with navigation, but also with astronauts' 
health as well," Li said. "We want them to avoid the stress of 
getting lost, or getting frustrated with the equipment. Lunar 
navigation isn't just a technology problem, it's also 

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	 Lionfish danger to reef life, study says

Marine species show dismal survival rates when the predatory 
lionfish swim into their ecosystem, an Oregon State University 
study indicates. The study found when lionfish entered an area, 
survival rates other reef fishes fell by about 80 percent, 
ScienceDaily.com reported. The loss of some herbivorous fish 
permits seaweed potentially to overwhelm coral reefs and disrupt 
their ecological balance, scientists said. The study is the 
first to quantify the severity of the problems presented by the 
lionfish, native to the Pacific and Indian oceans and having few 
natural enemies in the Atlantic Ocean, scientists said. "This 
is a new and voracious predator on these coral reefs and (they're) 
undergoing a population explosion," said Mark Hixon, an Oregon 
State professor of zoology and expert on coral reef ecology. 
"The threats to coral reefs all over the world were already 
extreme, and they now have to deal with this alien predator 
in the Atlantic. These fish eat many other species and they 
seem to eat constantly." It is believed that the first 
lionfish -- known for dramatic coloring and large, spiny 
fins -- were introduced into waters off Florida in the early 
1990s by aquariums or fish hobbyists.


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	          Makemake newest plutoid

Makemake, a dwarf planet orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, is 
the fourth entity in the solar system's new class of plutoids, 
a astronomy group said. The International Astronomical Union 
said Makemake, named after a Polynesian god, is a small orb 
that is among the largest objects in the outer solar system, 
Space.com reported. But the fourth dwarf planet so far is 
smaller and dimmer than Pluto, which was reclassified as a 
plutoid in June, astronomers said. Astronomers discovered
Makemake in 2005 and believe frozen methane covers its surface. 
The plutoid is bright enough to be seen with a high-end
hobbyist's telescope, the IAU in Paris said. "The orbit is not 
particularly strange but the object itself is big," said 
astronomer Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology 
in Pasadena, who led the team that discovered Makemake. 
"Probably about two-thirds the size of Pluto." Pluto, Makemake 
and a third object -- Eris -- are classified as plutoids, as 
well as dwarf planets. The solar system's largest asteroid, 
Ceres, is a dwarf planet, but a plutoid because its orbit -- in 
an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- is smaller than 
that Neptune's trip around the sun.

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