NASA Budget News: NASA fought and won $13.8 billion in the Senate Appropriations bill. This is $127 million more than the House and $462 million less than President Clinton requested. Recommendations in the bill include an increase in the space science budget and a decrease of $97 million from the space shuttle budget. Any differences between the Senate Bill and the House version will be worked out in committee. Stay tuned for further info.

Pioneer 11: After 22 years, NASA will cease daily communications with the Pioneer 11 spacecraft. The reason? Power levels have dropped to a level far below what is required to power the instruments and return data. Pioneer 11 was the second spacecraft to fly by Jupiter in 1974. It became the first spacecraft to fly past Saturn in 1979. In 1990, it became the fourth spacecraft to leave the known solar system, after Pioneer 10 and Voyagers 1 and 2.

Hubble Discoveries: The Hubble Space Telescope discovered trace quantities of ozone on Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede. The amount is 1-10% less than the amount of ozone destroyed over Antartica each winter. Unlike Earth, Ganymede's ozone appears to be produced by interaction with Jupiter's powerful magnetic field. Mounting evidence appears to suggest that Ganymede may have a thin atmosphere of oxygen, similar to the one Hubble discovered around Jupiter's moon Europa.

Galileo Glitch: A problem with a tape recorder on Galileo caused some to fear the worst, but after investigation and testing, the problem was remedied. -See article on front page

Saturn Moon Mystery: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected orbiting clumbs of icy rubble that may be the remains of shattered moonlets orbiting near the outer edge of Saturn's ring system. The latest HST pictures confirmed the discovery of two new satellites first detected during the ring plane crossing on May 22. Researchers plan to further observe Saturn's moons and rings during the third ring plane crossing on November 21. -For further information, go to the site listed as this month's URL of the Month

Hale-Bopp Update: Recent pictures from NASA's HST show material that may have been ejected from the comet due to ice evaporation and the comet's rotation. Ground-based observations have demonstrated similar findings over the past two months. Late this month more detailed Hubble images will be taken with the Planetary Camera for further study of the comet. -See article on Page 6

Interplanetary Magnetic Field: The first "snapshot" of the shape of the interplanetary magnetic field was taken using an instrument aboard ESA's Ulysses spacecraft. The image was obtained by tracking the path of the bright spot of radio waves excited by moving electrons ejected from the Sun at speeds of over 62 100 miles per second. The spot was caused by solar flares or other explosive events on the Sun. The image is available at

-Compiled by Michael Koller