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Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
Linux Business

Submission + - Centos Lead is back (

epedersen writes: The CentOS Development team had a normal meeting today and Lance Davis was in attendance. In the meeting a majority of issues were resolved right away and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for any unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users moving forward. The CentOS project is now in control of the CentOS,org and domains and owns all trademarks, materials and in the CentOS distributions. We look forward to working with Lance quickly to complete all the agreed upon issues. More information should follow very early next week.

Comment Re:Old computers boot from USB? (Score 1) 146

They have a solutions for that: "If you have an older machine or you just want things to immediately work without fussing with the BIOS, you can burn a "Boot Helper" CD using the .iso below. This will start the boot from the CD, then read files from the USB stick:"

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