Astronomers have revealed fascinating details of a "heavy metal" planet shaped like a football with an upper atmosphere that reaches a scorching 4,600 F, located around 900 light-years from Earth.
According to observations conducted by the Hubble Space Telescope, heavy metals such as iron and magnesium are escaping the planet's upper atmosphere as gases—the first time this phenomenon has been detected in an exoplanet.
The fact that these heavy metals can escape as gases can be explained by the incredibly high temperature of the atmosphere—a result of the planet, dubbed WASP-121b, being so close to its host star.
Extreme black hole vindicates Einstein (again)
A detailed look at the supermassive black hole in our galaxy’s core is the latest attempt to push our knowledge of gravity to the limit.
File Video: NASA discovers potentially habitable planet (CNN)
In fact, WASP-121b's upper atmosphere is around 10 times hotter than that of any other known planet, scientists say.
This proximity to its star also has another intriguing effect on the planet. The star's powerful gravitational forces have warped WASP-121b into an "oblique football shape," according to a study published in the Astronomical Journal.
The planet belongs to a class known as "hot Jupiters"—gas giant exoplanets that orbit extremely close to their host star.
Gallery: Spectacular photos from space (Photo Services)
A “city-killing” asteroid just zipped by Earth. Why didn’t we see it coming?
NASA tracks big asteroids. Small ones — which can still do damage — are harder to spot.
The 8.2 meter VLT Unit Telescopes at Paranal Observatory use some of the strongest lasers ever created for a laser guide star system. The Laser Guide Star is part of the VLT’s Adaptive Optics system. In the middle of the image, we see a nice edge side view of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The moon appears more red/orange as it first begins to rise due to scattering of light by Earth's atmosphere. When we view the moon on the horizon, the moonlight has to pass through a greater distance of the atmosphere to our eyes. By this time light on the blue end of the visible spectrum has been scattered away thus we only see the longer wavelengths of visible light, yellow, orange or red. When themMoon is directly overhead (as is pictured here in the last frame), the moonlight has to pass through less of the atmosphere and thus appears as usual.
A drone moves high above downtown Reno, Nevada, on the afternoon of June 23, 2019 as part of NASA’s TCL-4 (Technology Capability Level) operation. TCL-4 involves flight testing multiple UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) in higher-density urban areas for tasks such as newsgathering, package delivery and large-scale contingency mitigation.
NASA is planning to spice up space, literally
US astronauts headed to the International Space Station in 2020 will be accompanied by pepper plants.
An illustration of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) in the Block 1 configuration, which will carry an Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon, on the mobile launcher. SLS is the only rocket that can send the Orion spacecraft, astronauts and supplies to the moon on a single mission.
Every now and then, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope glimpses a common object — say, a spiral galaxy — in an interesting or unusual way. A sharply angled perspective, such as the one shown in this Picture of the Week, can make it seem as if we, the viewers, are craning our necks to see over a barrier into the galaxy's bright centre.
In the case of NGC 3169, this barrier is the thick dust embedded within the galaxy's spiral arms. Cosmic dust comprises a potpourri of particles, including water ice, hydrocarbons, silicates, and other solid material. It has many origins and sources, from the leftovers of star and planet formation to molecules modified over millions of years by interactions with starlight.
How astronomers missed the huge asteroid that just whizzed past Earth
The sneaky space rock came "uncomfortably close" to our planet.
The first picture of Soyuz MS-13 approaching the International Space Station, captured by NASA astronaut Christina Koch. Inside, Russian Soyuz commander Alexander Skvortsov, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano are busy preparing to dock to their new home and workplace – the International Space Station.
This image, based on observations from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, shows the largest mountain on the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn was the first mission to orbit an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and spent time at both large asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Ceres is one of just five recognized dwarf planets in the Solar System (Pluto being another). Dawn entered orbit around this rocky world on 6 March 2015, and studied its icy, cratered, uneven surface until it ran out of fuel in October of 2018. One of the features spotted by the mission is shown here in this reconstructed perspective view: a mountain named Ahuna Mons.
Hundreds of wildfires have broken out in Siberia, some of which can be seen in this image captured from space on July 28, 2019. Almost three million hectares of land are estimated to have been affected, according to Russia’s Federal Forestry Agency. This Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows a number of fires, producing plumes of smoke. The smoke has carried air pollution into the Kemerovo, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, and Altai regions.
Astronauts plan on baking cookies on the ISS
What happens when cookies are baked in space? Will they puff into fluffballs, or be dense fudgy spheres? Will they have crispy caramelized edges, or gooey middles? Will a lack of gravity allow us to one day make a space souffle that never collapses? Some enterprising bakers are sending cookie dough into orbit to answer these questions and many more. In a truly interstellar marketing ploy, the recipe—and funding—is coming from Hilton DoubleTree.
An unprecedented amount of wildfires have been raging in various regions of the Arctic, including Greenland and Alaska in the US. They have been caused by record-breaking temperatures and lightning, fuelled by strong winds. Wildfires release harmful pollutants and toxic gases into the atmosphere. According to the World Meteorological Organization, fires in the Arctic released around 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in June alone – equivalent to Sweden’s total annual emissions.
A rocket carrying two satellites lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gansu province on July 25. A Chinese startup successfully launched the country's first commercial rocket capable of carrying satellites into orbit as the space race between China and the US heats up.
It may not look like it, but this giant dish in Australia spends its time in in-depth conversation with a number of European deep space missions. The huge antenna is part of ESA’s New Norcia ground station, located north of Perth. The impressive structure is one of three such stations in the Agency’s ESTRACK network, designed for communicating with spacecraft exploring the far reaches of the Solar System.
This photo released by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) shows its Geosynchronous Satellite launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII carrying Chandrayaan-2 lift off from Satish Dhawan Space center in Sriharikota, India on July 22. India successfully launched an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon, a week after aborting the mission due to a technical problem.
There is no asking for a better launch date. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and fellow Expedition 60/61 crew NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov lifted off to the International Space Station on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing.
Astronomers find that Milky Way is a warped and twisted galaxy
Astronomers find that Milky Way is a warped and twisted galaxy
While others were attending anniversary events or pouring through memorabilia, Luca was strapped in the most reliable spacecraft to ferry humans back and forth to space.
The Soyuz MS-13 lifted off from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 18:28 CEST.
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over palm oil plantations in East Kalimantan - the Indonesian part of the island Borneo.
In this image, captured on Feb. 15, 2019, the various stages of the deforestation process are clearly visible – the green patches in the plantations are the well-established palm oil farms, while the light brown patches show the newly-harvested land. The surrounding lush rainforest is visible in dark green.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission, used mostly to track changes in the way land is being used, as well as monitoring the health of vegetation. Each satellite carries a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface in 13 spectral bands.
In the Integration Building at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 60 crew members Drew Morgan of NASA (left), Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos (center) and Luca Parmitano of ESA (right) pose for pictures in front of the first stage engines of their Soyuz booster as part of pre-launch preparations.
Galaxies come in many shapes and sizes. One of the key galaxy types we see in the Universe is the spiral galaxy, as demonstrated in an especially beautiful way by the subject of this Hubble Picture of the Week, NGC 2985. NGC 2985 lies roughly over 70 million light years from the Solar System in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear).
The intricate, near-perfect symmetry on display here reveals the incredible complexity of NGC 2985. Multiple tightly-wound spiral arms widen as they whorl outward from the galaxy’s bright core, slowly fading and dissipating until these majestic structures disappear into the emptiness of intergalactic space, bringing a beautiful end to their starry splendor.
Astronomers find ‘time machine’ star which offers glimpse of dawn of universe
Astronomers have found a ‘ghost’ of an incredibly ancient star - the remnants of a supernova at the dawn of the universe itself.
The Panguna copper ore deposit was discovered in 1969 in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. It has one of the largest reserves in the world, with 1 billion tons of copper and 12 million ounces of gold. The image was acquired November 12, 2013, covers an area of 24 by 39 kilometers, and is located at 6.3 degrees south, 155.5 degrees east.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet, ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.
When observed with the unaided eye, Omega Centauri, the object in this image, appears as a fuzzy, faint star. But the blue orb we see here is, in fact, a collection of stars – 10 million of them. You cannot count them all, but in this sharp, beautiful image you can see a few of the numerous pinpoints of bright light that make up this unique cluster.
The image was taken by Wouter van Reeven, a software engineer at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre near Madrid, Spain, during his recent visit to Chile to observe the July total solar eclipse. From his home base in Spain the cluster only grazes the horizon, making it near-impossible to image, but from the La Silla Observatory in Chile it was high in the sky, presenting the ideal opportunity to photograph it.
At a time when ESA is looking forward to future lunar exploration, it turns out there is already some small but crucial ESA-developed hardware in operation on the far side of the Moon.
China’s Chang’e-4 lander is running on a LEON2-FT microprocessor core, especially designed for space missions by ESA and sold commercially by the Microchip company – marketed as the AT697.
The ordinary computer chips you use every day in your phone or laptop would be rapidly degraded by the radiation and environmental extremes of space. Specialized chips are therefore essential for spacecraft
Chang’e-4 touched down inside the Von Kármán crater on the Moon’s far side near the south pole on 3 January 2019. The lander and the rover it delivered are currently hibernating during the lunar night, having survived seven month-long lunar days so far.
“Most ESA missions launched after about 2010 include at least one LEON chip, and hundreds of these radiation-hardened off-the-shelf chips have also been sold to space missions both in Europe and around the globe,” explains ESA microelectronics engineer Agustin Fernandez-Leon.
“This number increases to the thousands if we additionally count customisable fully programmable gate arrays using LEON cores,” adds ESA microelectronics engineer Roland Weigand. “The overall scale of usage is such that it is impractical to keep track of all the missions making use of our microprocessor technology, but it is always nice to find out.”
Celebrating 50 years since Apollo 11 blasted off with the first humans that would walk on the Moon, Copernicus Sentinel-2 captures the historic launch site at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
On July 16, 1969, the Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 began its momentous voyage to the Moon. It lifted off from launch pad 39A – which can be seen in this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image from 29 January 2019. Launch pad 39A is the second pad down from the top (the launch pad at the far top is 39B).
The crew – Neil Armstrong, mission commander, Michael Collins, command module pilot and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, lunar module pilot – were embarking on a milestone in human history.
Just four days later, the lunar module, the Eagle, touched down. Watched on television by millions around the world, Neil Armstrong was the first to set foot on the Moon, famously saying, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
A full-size mockup of the Apollo lunar module, which carried astronauts from orbit to the Moon's surface, is seen mounted on the ceiling as people visit the "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission" exhibit at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington on July 16, 2019.
The Canadarm2 robotic arm is positioned for upcoming training activities ahead of the arrival and capture of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft. The International Space Station was orbiting 257 miles over Mongolia when an Expedition 60 crew member took this photograph.
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this map depicting areas that are likely damaged as a result of the recent major earthquakes in Southern California. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant surface change, or damage. The map covers an area of 155 by 186 miles (250 by 300 kilometers), shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards (30 meters) across.
To make the map, the team used synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites from before and after the sequence of quakes — July 4, 2019 and July 10, 2019 respectively. The map may be less reliable over vegetated areas but can provide useful guidance in identifying damaged areas.
Scientists are exploring how aerogel, a translucent, Styrofoam-like material, could be used as a building material on Mars. Aerogel retains heat; structures built with it could raise temperatures enough to melt water ice on the Martian surface.
OCO-3's First Solar-Induced Fluorescence Measurements
Image shows OCO-3's first preliminary solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) measurements over western Asia. Solar-induced fluorescence is the glow plants emit from photosynthesis — the process of plant growth that includes the capture of carbon from the atmosphere. Areas with lower photosynthesis activity are in shown in light green; areas with higher photosynthesis activity are shown in dark green.
The galaxy NGC 1156 resembles a delicate cherry blossom tree flowering in springtime in this Hubble Picture of the Week. The many bright "blooms" within the galaxy are in fact stellar nurseries — regions where new stars are springing to life. Energetic light emitted by newborn stars in these regions streams outwards and encounters nearby pockets of hydrogen gas, causing it to glow with a characteristic pink hue.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover can be seen in this image taken from space on May 31, 2019, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). In the image, Curiosity appears as a bluish speck.
The image shows Curiosity at a location called "Woodland Bay." It's just one of many stops the rover has made in an area referred to as the "clay-bearing unit" on the side of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain inside of Gale Crater.
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain standing at 3776 metres tall. In this spring image, the mountain can be seen coated in pure white snow.
This snow-capped mountain is often shrouded in cloud and fog, but this image was captured on a clear day, by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite - flying 800 km above. Mount Fuji is near the Pacific coast of central Honshu, straddling the prefectures of Yamanashi and Shizuoka. On a clear day, the mountain can be seen from Yokohama and Tokyo - both over 120 km drive away.
The majestic stratovolcano is a composite of three successive volcanoes. Generations of volcanic activity have turned it into the Mount Fuji as we know it today. This volcanic activity is a result of the geological process of plate tectonics. Mount Fuji is a product of the subduction zone that straddles Japan, with the Pacific Plate and the Philippine Plate being subducted under the Eurasian plate.
This satellite image provided by NASA taken by U.S. Astronaut Christina Koch on July 11 at the International Space Station shows Tropical Storm Barry bearing down on Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida as it makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico.
On September 28, 2018, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami that devastated the provincial capital of Palu, which lies at the head of a long narrow bay.
This map shows the ground motion during the six months following the event and was obtained by processing Copernicus Sentinel-1 images acquired between October 2018 and April 2019. Results overlay a true-color composite from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. ESA and the Asian Development Bank have joined forces to help Indonesian authorities to use and interpret maps such as this to guide redevelopment plans.
This red-hued cloud of gas is named Abell 24, and is located in the constellation of Canis Minor (The Lesser Dog). It is something known as a planetary nebula — a burst of gas and dust created when a star dies and throws its outer layers into space. Despite the name, planetary nebulae have nothing to do with planets. The term was coined by William Herschel, who also famously discovered Uranus; in a time of low-resolution astronomy, these nebulous objects appeared to resemble giant planets swimming in a dark cosmos.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this view of an area within a Jovian jet stream showing a vortex with an intensely dark center. Nearby, bright, high-altitude clouds puff up into the sunlight. The color-enhanced image was taken May 29, 2019, as the spacecraft performed its 20th science flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 9,200 miles from the planet's cloud tops.
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captures a swirl of sea ice off the east coast of Greenland in the Irminger Sea, which is just south of the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland. In this image captured on June 9, 2019, small pieces of sea ice, known as ice floes, trace out the ocean currents beneath, resulting in a large swirl-like feature.
The purple lines and blotches scattered across this image show something incredible: all of the X-ray sources that were serendipitously detected – that is, not intentionally targeted – by ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory from 2000 to 2017.
The International Space Station was orbiting 258 miles above the Bay of Bengal during an orbital nighttime when this photograph was taken of Earth's luminous atmospheric glow back-dropped by the tranquil Milky Way. In the foreground is the Progress 72 resupply ship docked to the Pirs module with a lit airlock window.
A total solar eclipse passed over ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile on July 2. The eclipse lasted roughly two and a half hours, with almost two minutes of totality at 20:39 UT, and was visible across a narrow band of Chile and Argentina.
A fully functional launch abort system (LAS) with a test version of the Orion crew spacecraft attached soars upward on NASA’s Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test atop a Northrop Grumman provided booster on July 2, 2019, after launching at 7 a.m. EDT, from Launch Pad 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a world between the sizes of Mars and Earth orbiting a bright, cool, nearby star. The planet, called L 98-59b, marks the tiniest discovered by TESS to date.
Imagine slow-motion fireworks that started exploding 170 years ago and are still continuing. This type of firework is not launched into Earth's atmosphere, but rather into space by a doomed super-massive star, called Eta Carinae, the largest member of a double-star system. A new view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, which includes ultraviolet light, shows the star's hot, expanding gases glowing in red, white and blue. Eta Carinae resides 7,500 light-years away.
This image from ESA’s Mars Express shows Aurorae Chaos, a large area of chaotic terrain located in the Margaritifer Terra region on Mars. This oblique perspective view was generated using a digital terrain model and Mars Express data gathered on October 31, 2018 during orbit 18765.
This picture shows the spiral galaxy Messier 98, which is located about 45 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair). It was discovered in 1781 by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain, a colleague of Charles Messier, and is one of the faintest objects in Messier’s astronomical catalogue. Messier 98 is estimated to contain about a trillion of stars, and is full of cosmic dust — visible here as a web of red-brown stretching across the frame — and hydrogen gas. This abundance of star-forming material means that Messier 98 is producing stellar newborns at a high rate; the galaxy shows the characteristic signs of stars springing to life throughout its bright centre and whirling arms.
One of the largest wildfires recorded in Arizona, US, has been burning since June 8, destroying vast swathes of vegetation across the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. Efforts to contain the fire include spraying flame retardant from aircraft. Coloured red so that firefighters can see it, the retardant is dropped ahead of the path of the fire to act as a break – and remarkably these red lines can be seen from space. This Copernicus Sentinel-2 image from June 24 not only captures the extent of the fire and burn scars, but also the red lines of the retardant.
These four panels show the Whirlpool galaxy -- which is actually a pair of galaxies also known as Messier 51 and NGC 5194/5195 -- and how different wavelengths of light can reveal different features of a cosmic object. Located approximately 23 million light-years away, it resides in the constellation Canes Venatici.
The left image (a) shows the galaxy in visible light, from the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1-meter (6.8-foot) telescope and shows light at 0.4 microns (blue) and 0.7 microns (green). The next image (b) combines two visible-light wavelengths (in blue and green) and infrared light (in red). The infrared was captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and emphasizes how the dark dust veins that block our view in visible light begin to light up at these longer, infrared wavelengths.
The right two panels are composed entirely of Spitzer data. In the middle-right panel (c), we see three wavelengths of infrared light: 3.6 microns (shown in blue), 4.5 microns (green) and 8 microns (red). The blended light from the billions of stars in the Whirlpool is brightest at the shorter infrared wavelengths and appear as as a blue haze. The individual blue dots across the image are mostly nearby stars and a few distant galaxies. Red features (at 8 microns) show us dust composed mostly of carbon that is illuminated by the stars in the galaxy.
The far-right panel (d) expands our infrared view to include light at a wavelength of 24 microns (in red), which is particularly good for highlighting areas where the dust is especially hot. The bright reddish-white spots trace regions where new stars are forming and, in the process, heating their surroundings.
The Soyuz MS-11 capsule carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, lands in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, on June 25.
The atmospheric glow and a wispy aurora australis, also known as the "southern lights," frame a cloud-covered Earth as the International Space Station orbited 254 miles above the Indian Ocean due east of the territory of French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
A large volcanic ash and gas plume is seen from the International Space Station rising above the Kuril Islands in the North Pacific Ocean after an unexpected series of blasts from the Raikoke Volcano erupts, in this image taken on June 22.
ExTrA is a planet-hunter focused on finding Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby M dwarfs. The small size of these stars makes it easier to discover them using the transit method, because a planet covers a great proportion of the star's face than it would the face of a larger star. It's three .6m telescopes search the sky in infrared wavelengths of light—longer than our eyes can see, but where M dwarfs shine brightest.
This stunning compilation image of Jupiter's stormy northern hemisphere was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet. Some bright-white clouds can be seen popping up to high altitudes on the right side of Jupiter's disk.
A set of three CubeSats are pictured shortly after being ejected from the Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer attached to a robotic arm outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory module. The tiny satellites from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Japan were released into Earth orbit for technology demonstrations.
The International Space Station was orbiting 269 miles above the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia when this nighttime photograph was taken of the aurora australis, or "southern lights." Russia's Soyuz MS-12 crew ship (foreground) and Progress 72 resupply ship are seen in this mesmerizing view.
The Swedish-ESO-Submillimetre Telescope (SEST) sits under the breathtaking sky at its home at the La Silla Observatory. Now decommissioned, SEST was the only sub-millimetre telescope in the southern hemisphere at the time of its first light, and is superseded by the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
The pilot of NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology, or QueSST, aircraft will navigate the skies in a cockpit unlike any other. There won’t be a forward-facing window. That’s right; it’s actually a 4K monitor that serves as the central window and allows the pilot to safely see traffic in his or her flight path, and provides additional visual aids for airport approaches, landings and takeoffs. The 4K monitor, which is part of the aircraft’s eXternal Visibility System, or XVS, displays stitched images from two cameras outside the aircraft combined with terrain data from an advanced computing system.
The two portals and traditional canopy are real windows however, and help the pilot see the horizon. The displays below the XVS will provide a variety of aircraft systems and trajectory data for the pilot to safely fly. The XVS is one of several innovative solutions to help ensure the X-59’s design shape reduces a sonic boom to a gentle thump heard by people on the ground. Though not intended to ever carry passengers, the X-59 boom-suppressing technology and community response data could help lift current bans on supersonic flight over land and enable a new generation of quiet supersonic commercial aircraft.
China's spacecraft tracking ship Yuanwang-3 sails in the waters near the equator on June 19. Yuanwang-3 has crossed the equator at 23:09 Tuesday Beijing Time 1509 GMT Tuesday and continued its sail for the southern Pacific Ocean for upcoming satellite maritime monitoring missions.
This image from video released by the U.S. Air Force shows the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Canada's Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) from Space Launch Complex-4 in Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Wednesday, June 12.
From the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Christina Koch (@AstroChristina) snapped and posted this image of the planet Venus at sunrise. The blue glow of Earth's atmosphere shimmers as the station orbits our planet.
An image of Cerro Paranal and the Paranal Residencia beneath a sky filled with star trails. Each line is the path a star traced across the sky as the Earth rotated through the night, revealing the motion humans are often unaware of.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet works on the Fluidics experiment inside the Space Station's European Columbus laboratory. Posting on social media, Thomas wrote: "The spheres for the Fluidics experiment. One liquid is to help get every drop of fuel out of satellite fuel-tanks, the other liquid is to understand surface turbulence in liquids. By looking at surface turbulence without gravity interfering researchers can single out what influences behavior that forms ripples. This could help us better understand ocean currents and wave formation on Earth."
This rugged, wrinkled landscape may resemble Mars, but it is in fact much closer to home — this patch of rippled terrain is a northern region of the Chilean Atacama Desert, home to many of ESO’s world-leading telescopes and observatories. The distinctly otherworldly appearance of the desert has not gone unnoticed; this part of the world is actually used as an “analogue site” for Mars!
ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this photo from the International Space Station during his Horizons mission and commented: "We need this project for sustainable peace on our home continent and beyond. So we better not take it for granted."
This artist's concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. NASA's Mars 2020 rover will carry a number of technologies that could make Mars safer and easier to explore for humans. JPL is building and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 rover for the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
This artist's illustration depicts a coronal mass ejection, or CME, which involves a large-scale expulsion of material, and has frequently been observed on our Sun. A new study using the Chandra X-ray Observatory detected a CME from a star other than our own for the first time, providing a novel insight into these powerful phenomena.
"Heavy metals have been seen in other hot Jupiters before, but only in the lower atmosphere," David Sing, lead author of the study from Johns Hopkins University, said in a statement. "So you don't know if they are escaping or not. With WASP-121b, we see magnesium and iron gas so far away from the planet that they're not gravitationally bound."
"We picked this planet because it is so extreme," Sing said. "We thought we had a chance of seeing heavier elements escaping. It's so hot and so favorable to observe, it's the best shot at finding the presence of heavy metals. We were mainly looking for magnesium, but there have been hints of iron in the atmospheres of other exoplanets. It was a surprise, though, to see it so clearly in the data and at such great altitudes so far away from the planet. The heavy metals are escaping partly because the planet is so big and puffy that its gravity is relatively weak. This is a planet being actively stripped of its atmosphere."
The latest findings come after astronomers conducted observations of the planet using Hubble's Spectrograph, which detects ultraviolet light. This instrument can help to identify the presence of magnesium and iron gases escaping the upper atmosphere.
According to the researchers, the results of the study will cast new light on our understanding of planetary formation.
"The hot Jupiters are mostly made of hydrogen, and Hubble is very sensitive to hydrogen, so we know these planets can lose the gas relatively easily," Sing said. "But in the case of WASP-121b, the hydrogen and helium gas is outflowing, almost like a river, and is dragging these metals with them. It's a very efficient mechanism for mass loss."
New planet Approached the Earth, Elements of this image furnished by NASA
Astronomers find ‘time machine’ star which offers glimpse of dawn of universe.
Astronomers have found a ‘ghost’ of an incredibly ancient star - the remnants of a supernova at the dawn of the universe itself.
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