Pictures 31 oct

scuba diver.jpg


Fish swim past Italian scuba divers Debora Vissani, right, and Alessandro Brandetti as they

sit on a platform anchored 50 feet (15 meters) underwater on the sea floor.


Vissani and Brandetti are two of six "aquanauts" who will spend 14 days submerged as part

of an experiment to study the effects of living underwater for prolonged periods.

The divers have three diving bells for living space and a fourth bell for cooking, eating, and

maintaining equipment.







Fawnskin, California,—Firefighters stand at the ready as the Butler 2 fire
spreads through mountainous terrain near Big Bear Lake.

The wildfire, which ravaged more than 15,000 acres (6,100 hectares), prompted a mandatory
evacuation of Fawnskin earlier this week.

Two days of high humidity and low temperatures enabled firefighters to contain most of the blaze.
Already this year, 70,546 wildfires have raged throughout the United States,

charring more than eight million acres (three million hectares), according to the National Interagency Fire Center.





The Queen Elizabeth 2 enters the mouth of the River Tyne as she sails to Newcastle on her 40th anniversary cruise around Britain.

The world's most traveled liner, the QE2 was launched from the John Brown shipyard in Clydebank on September 20, 1967. In 800 transatlantic crossings and 25 world cruises, the ship has carried some 2.5 million passengers.

That long career is almost at an end, though. The QE2 is slated to end its travels in November 2008 in Dubai, where it will be refurbished as a floating hotel.




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September 20, 2007—A rare celestial body known as a magnetar shimmers in an explosion of x-rays in this artist's depiction.

The unusual object, about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, is a small, fast-spinning neutron star that periodically shoots out huge cataclysms of x-ray emissions.

A new study has found that an outburst of radiation detected from the star in 2003 came from a spot below the star's surface only 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) across.

The magnetar is only about 9 miles (15 kilometers) across in total but contains about as much mass as the sun.

The study, conducted with the European Space Agency's XXM-Newton orbiting telescope, also found that the star has one of the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe—600 trillion times that of Earth's.





A curator prepares a mummy preserved in marshland at the Archaeological Museum of Castle Gottorf.





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