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Tech & Science Scientists just launched a balloon in Antarctica that will study distant stars

10:55  03 january  2019
10:55  03 january  2019 Source:   bgr.com

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This allows the telescope to study distant stars more efficiently than would be possible with similar telescope technology based on the ground. There are lots of benefits to using a balloon to send a telescope to incredible heights as opposed to firing a space-based telescope into orbit with a rocket.

A huge lake buried thousands of feet underneath Antarctica ’s ice is about to yield its secrets, after scientists drilled through the ice to reach it. Scientists just launched a balloon in Antarctica that will study distant stars .

Scientists just launched a balloon in Antarctica that will study distant stars© Provided by Penske Media Corporation balloon

We’re all pretty familiar with spacecraft like the Hubble telescope giving us lovely glimpses of distant stars, but you don’t have to strap a telescope to a rocket in order to put it in the right position to capture far-off objects in space.

In a new project from Washington University, researchers have sent a helium balloon high above Antarctica that is equipped with a powerful telescope. The telescope, called X-Calibur, slowly traveled up to an incredible height of 130,000 feet, which just happens to be a great place to peer deep into the heavens.

At 130,000 feet the balloon sits far above where any commercial aircraft would dare travel, and because it will have bypassed 99 percent of Earth’s atmosphere it’ll get a clear view of space. This allows the telescope to study distant stars more efficiently than would be possible with similar telescope technology based on the ground.

American Adventurer Colin O'Brady Becomes First Person to Cross Antarctica Alone

American Adventurer Colin O'Brady Becomes First Person to Cross Antarctica Alone American adventurer Colin O'Brady finished his crossing of Antartica on Wednesday, becoming the first person to accomplish the feat alone and unaided. O'Brady reached his destination, the Ross Ice Shelf, 32 hours after leaving his camp on Christmas Day. He did not sleep while covering the final 80 miles of his journey, which he called a continuous "Antarctica Ultramarathon" in an Instagram post. "While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced," O'Brady wrote on Instagram.

Washington University in St. Louis announced that its X-Calibur instrument, a telescope that measures the polarization of X-rays arriving from distant neutron stars , black holes and other exotic Panels are loaded onto X-Calibur in preparation for launch from McMurdo Station, Antarctica . Credit: Dana Braun.

Launch of a BARREL balloon at Halley Research Station on Jan. Once launched , each balloon travels in a wide circle around the South Pole for up to three weeks, so that a A NASA spacecraft is hurtling toward a historic New Year's Day flyby of the most distant planetary object ever studied , a

“Our prime observation target will be Vela X-1, a neutron star in binary orbit with a supergiant star,” Professor Henric Krawczynski said in a statement. “The results from these different observatories will be combined to constrain the physical conditions close to the neutron star, and thus to use Vela X-1 as a laboratory to test the behavior of matter and magnetic fields in truly extreme conditions.”

There are lots of benefits to using a balloon to send a telescope to incredible heights as opposed to firing a space-based telescope into orbit with a rocket. The cost savings is obviously huge but, compared to an orbiting telescope, the X-Calibur won’t have nearly as long to study its target. In fact, The balloon will only keep the observatory aloft for a little over a week, so time is of the essence.

Scientists Just Melted A Hole Through 3,500 Feet Of Ice To Reach A Mysterious Antarctic Lake

Scientists Just Melted A Hole Through 3,500 Feet Of Ice To Reach A Mysterious Antarctic Lake About 50 scientists, drillers, and support staff have punched through through nearly 1,219.20m of ice to access an Antarctic subglacial lake for just the second time in human history. 

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle

It allows scientists to launch balloons from a site and recover them from very nearly the same spot Although NASA currently has the predominant effort with large heavy lift balloons in Antarctica At right can be seen a distant shot of it while the image at left shows the structure opened (click to

The research should tell us a lot about what makes neutron stars tick, potentially breaking new ground in the study of the volatile stars.

Light from dawn of time discovered.
An extremely distant quasar has been discovered, one that astronomers say emits light from the dawn of time, a new study suggests. Quasars are huge, incredibly bright celestial objects located in the center of galaxies. This newly discovered quasar is located extremely far back in time and space, when the very first light emerged from the Big Bang. “This is one of the first sources to shine as the universe emerged from the cosmic dark ages,” said Jinyi Yang of the University of Arizona, a member of the discovery team.

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