The ghosts of ancient hurricanes live in Caribbean blue holes
Core samples pulled from submarine sinkholes reveal a 1,500-year record of powerful hurricanes that passed through the Bahamas on the way to the U.S. East Coast.A special message from MSN: Now is the time to take urgent action to protect our planet. We’re committed to stopping the devastating effects of the climate crisis on people and nature by supporting Friends of the Earth. Join us here.
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Two violent explosions in galaxies billions of light -years away recently produced the brightest light in the universe . Scientists caught it in action for Telescopes caught the first burst in July 2018. The second burst, captured in January, produced light containing about 100 billion times as much energy
Scientists saw that light for the first time . The Hubble Space Telescope imaged the fading afterglow of the gamma-ray burst, officially called Voyager 2 found a mysterious extra layer outside our solar system. The probe entered interstellar space in December 2018, six years after its sister spacecraft
Two violent explosions in galaxies billions of light-years away recently produced the brightest light in the universe. Scientists caught it in action for the first time.
The explosions were gamma-ray bursts: short eruptions of the most energetic form of light in the universe.
Telescopes caught the first burst in July 2018. The second burst, captured in January, produced light containing about 100 billion times as much energy as the light that's visible to our human eyes.
Gamma-ray bursts appear without warning and only last a few seconds, so astronomers had to move quickly. Just 50 seconds after satellites spotted the January explosion, telescopes on Earth swiveled to catch a flood of thousands of particles of light.
Venice Flooding Brings City to ‘Its Knees’
ROME — The mayor of Venice, who said that the city “was on its knees,” has called for a state of emergency and the closing of all schools after the Italian city was submerged under “acqua alta,” an exceptionally high tide — the highest in 50 years. ROME — The mayor of Venice, who said that the city “was on its knees,” has called for a state of emergency and the closing of all schools after the Italian city was submerged under “acqua alta,” an exceptionally high tide — the highest in 50 years.
Superluminous supernovae are the brightest explosions in the universe . SN 2006gy is one of the most studied, and has become fascinating to researchers Now scientists think they have found the cause of the blazing brightness coming out of SN 2006gy. And they hope that it could shed light on
Evidence for the biggest explosion seen in the universe comes from a combination of X-ray data Researchers estimate this explosion released five times more energy than the previous record The explosion occurred in the Ophiuchus cluster, which lies about 390 million light -years from Earth.
Related: Spectacular images from space (Photos)
A Rival to the Milky Way
This is a spiral galaxy named NGC 772. It actually has much in common with our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Each boasts a few satellite galaxies, small galaxies that closely orbit and are gravitationally bound to their parent galaxies. One of NGC 772’s spiral arms has been distorted and disrupted by one of these satellites (NGC 770 — not visible in the image here), leaving it elongated and asymmetrical. However, the two are also different in a few key ways. For one, NGC 772 is both a peculiar and an unbarred spiral galaxy; respectively, this means that it is somewhat odd in size, shape, or composition, and that it lacks a central feature known as a bar, which we see in many galaxies throughout the cosmos — including the Milky Way. These bars are built of gas and stars, and are thought to funnel and transport material through the galactic core, possibly fueling and igniting various processes such as star formation.
A Very Good Start
Lead spacewalker ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is seen here hitching a ride on the International Space Station’s 16-meter long robotic arm to kick off the first of four ventures to service the particle physics detector.
Mysterious oxygen spike seen on Mars puzzles scientists
The discovery showcases some of the chemical enigmas we need to untangle for future Mars missions to properly search for life.After more than six years sniffing the red planet’s thin, frigid air, a NASA rover has made a startling discovery: There’s more oxygen gas in the Martian atmosphere than scientists expected, and what’s there is behaving strangely.
The detection caps off decades of study of the sun’s neutrinos by the Borexino project, and reveals for the first time the main nuclear reaction that most stars Scientists calculate that the CNO cycle is the primary type of fusion in the universe . But it’s hard to spot inside our relatively cool sun, where it
Scientists have detected traces of the earliest light in the universe thought to emanate from the first stars formed after the Big Bang Following the Big Bang, physicists believe there was only darkness in the universe for about 180 million years, a period known by scientists as Cosmic "Dark Ages."
This image shows a ground-based wide-field view of the region around GRB 190114C from the Digitized Sky Survey 2.
Stars in the Depths of a Black Hole
Located about 5.8 billion light years from Earth in the Phoenix Constellation, astronomers have confirmed the first example of a galaxy cluster where large numbers of stars are being born at its core. Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the cosmos that are held together by gravity, consisting of hundreds or thousands of galaxies embedded in hot gas, as well as invisible dark matter. The largest supermassive black holes known are in galaxies at the centers of these clusters. For decades, astronomers have looked for galaxy clusters containing rich nurseries of stars in their central galaxies. Instead, they found powerful, giant black holes pumping out energy through jets of high-energy particles and keeping the gas too warm to form many stars. Now, scientists have compelling evidence for a galaxy cluster where stars are forming at a furious rate, apparently linked to a less effective black hole in its center. In this unique cluster, the jets from the central black hole instead appear to be aiding in the formation of stars. Researchers used new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, and the NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to build on previous observations of this cluster.
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ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano takes an out-of-this-world "space-selfie" with his spacesuit's helmet visor down during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the International Space Station's cosmic particle detector.
Orion A in Infrared
Stars form within giant clouds of gas and dust that pervade galaxies like our own Milky Way. This image depicts one such cloud, known as Orion A, as seen by ESA’s Herschel and Planck space observatories. At 1,350 light years away, Orion A is the nearest heavyweight stellar nursery to us. The cloud is packed full of gas – it contains so much material, in fact, that it would be capable of producing tens of thousands of Suns. The different colours visible here indicate the light emitted by interstellar dust grains mixed within the gas, as observed by Herschel at far-infrared and sub-millimetre wavelengths, while the texture of faint grey bands stretching across the frame, based on Planck’s measurements of the direction of the polarised light emitted by the dust, show the orientation of the magnetic field.
A Debris Shield Drifts Away
A debris shield that was removed from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), the International Space Station's cosmic particle detector, is pictured drifting away from the orbiting lab after spacewalkers Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano jettisoned it. The debris shield was detached by the spacewalkers so they could access and begin the repairs of the AMS thermal control system.
Lake Tai, China
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Lake Tai, the third largest freshwater lake in China. Over the past decades, rapid urbanization, population growth and excessive fish farming have resulted in eutrophication – where the lake becomes enriched with minerals and nutrients. The increase of nutrients deteriorate the water quality of the lake causing toxic algae blooms to form on the lake’s surface – threatening the quality for millions of people who depend on the lake as a source of drinking water. Many attempts have been made to salvage the water quality of the lake including removal of the algae, closing chemical and manufacturing plants near Tai and stricter water treatment regulations. However, the lake remains to be highly polluted. Agriculture, sewage and manufacturing still affect the lake’s waters – overloading it with nutrients.
Greens Grow in Space
Mizuna mustard greens are growing aboard the International Space Station to demonstrate the feasibility of space agriculture to provide fresh food for crews on deep space missions.
Apollo 12 Sees a Solar Eclipse
Fifty years ago on Nov. 14, 1969, Apollo 12 launched at 11:22 a.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to land on the Moon's Ocean of Storms. When the Earth moved directly between the Sun and the Apollo 12 spacecraft on the journey home from the Moon, the crew captured this image of a solar eclipse a 16mm motion picture camera. Aboard the craft were Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad; command module pilot Richard F. Gordon Jr. and lunar module pilot Alan Bean. While Conrad and Bean descended in the Lunar Module "Intrepid" to explore the Ocean of Storms, Gordon remained with the command and service modules "Yankee Clipper" in lunar orbit.
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Mercury Solar Transit
Mercury transits across the face of the Sun on Nov. 11, 2019.
Fires From Above
Bush fires in Australia's Northern Territory are seen from the International Space Station.
Jovian Vortex View
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this stunningly detailed look at a cyclonic storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere during its 23rd close flyby of the planet (also referred to as “perijove 23”).
Mercury in Transit
Proba-2 monitors the Sun from Earth orbit and was able to spot Mercury’s transit across the Sun. Solar transits – where a celestial body is seen to pass across the solar disc from the perspective of Earth – are relatively rare events. Mercury undergoes around 13 transits a century; it will not occur again until 2032.
The Sunburst Arc
This image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a massive galaxy cluster, about 4.6 billion light years away. Along its borders four bright arcs are visible; these are copies of the same distant galaxy, nicknamed the Sunburst Arc. The Sunburst Arc galaxy is almost 11 billion light-years away and the light from it is being lensed into multiple images by gravitational lensing.
Veterans Day in Space
On Nov. 11, 2019, astronaut Andrew Morgan shared this photograph and Veterans Day message from the International Space Station. Morgan wrote, "It’s a privilege to honor our nation's veterans today. My own family’s military service extends through multiple generations, representing every branch. I honor all vets by bringing reminders of my family's military legacy to space with me. Your service inspires me!" Dr. Morgan is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army with sub-specialty certification in primary care sports medicine. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Prior to his selection to NASA’s 21st group of astronauts, Dr. Morgan served in elite special operations units worldwide.
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The Beauty of 22 Degrees
The telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile are on a mission to observe and understand the vast Universe — but there are plenty of interesting natural phenomena far closer to home. One such example is this angelic 22-degree halo. This photo was taken high up in the remote Atacama Desert, but such a sight is visible year-round all over the world. These haloes are formed when light from the Sun or Moon passes through cirrus clouds high up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds act as miniature prisms, changing the direction of the light that passes through them (something known as refraction). For the particular shape of ice crystal lurking within the cirrus clouds, this minimum deviation angle happens to be around 22 degrees, which is why we see this concentrated halo of light at a distance corresponding to 22 degrees from the moon.
The six-member Expedition 61 crew, wearing shirts printed with their crew insignia, gathers for a playful portrait inside the International Space Station's Zvezda service module. From left are, Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan, Oleg Skripochka, Jessica Meir, Christina Koch and Alexander Skvortsov and Commander Luca Parmitano.
Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8) slowly approaches the International Space Station.
Ten Suns for 10 Years
Last week marked a milestone for ESA’s Proba-2 satellite: 10 years of operation in orbit around the Earth. Since its launch on November 2, 2009, Proba-2 (PRoject for OnBoard Autonomy) has probed the intricacies of the Sun and its connection to our planet, imaging and observing our star and investigating how it drives all manner of complex cosmic phenomena: from solar eruptions and flares to closer-to-home space weather effects. This image shows 10 different views of the Sun captured throughout Proba-2’s lifetime, processed to highlight the extended solar atmosphere – the part of the atmosphere that is visible around the main circular disc of the star.
Holbox Island, Mexico
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Holbox Island, off the Quintana Roo coast of Mexico. This false-color image has been processed in a way that highlights vegetation in bright red.
Aircraft Nose Job
ESA test facilities can test more than just space hardware: here, the 2.0m-diameter nose of an Airbus A340 aircraft is seen in ESA’s Hertz chamber, undergoing radio-frequency testing.
Lonely Hearts Club
NGC 1706 is a spiral galaxy, about 230 million light-years away, in the constellation of Dorado (The Swordfish). NGC 1706 is known to belong to something known as a galaxy group, which is just as the name suggests — a group of up to 50 galaxies which are gravitationally bound and hence relatively close to each other.
Within a galaxy hosting around 300 billion stars, here the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a mere handful or two — just about enough to form a single football team. These stellar “teammates” play under the banner of NGC 1333, the cloud of gas and dust which formed them and that they continue to call home. NGC 1333 is located about 1000 light-years away in the constellation of Perseus (The Hero). The cool gas and dust concentrated in this region is generating new stars whose light is then reflecting off the surrounding material, lighting it up and making this object’s lingering presence known to us. NGC 1333 is accordingly classified as a reflection nebula. This image shows just a single region of NGC 1333. Hubble has imaged NGC 1333 more widely before, revealing that the smattering of stars seen here has ample company.
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir dines on fresh Mizuna mustard greens she harvested earlier that day aboard the International Space Station.
Panorama of Southern Sky
This mosaic of the southern sky was assembled from 208 images taken by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) during its first year of science operations, completed in July 2019.
Five people killed in explosion at fireworks factory
Five people have been killed and two others injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory in Sicily. Pic: Rep TV Five people have been killed and two others injured in an explosion at Italian police said the 71-year-old wife of the owner of the family-run business was among the victims.Her son - who tried to save his mother - was seriously hurt and was taken to hospital for treatment for severe burns, La Repubblica reported.
NASA astronomers have detected one of the brightest explosions of X-ray energy ever seen, and The brief burst of X-ray light flickered for just 20 seconds, but released more energy in that time Following the first two spikes in X-ray energy, the pulsar released a third, slightly dimmer blast that
Follow CNN. Researchers compared the biggest explosion detected in the universe to the 1980 Mt. Mysterious radio signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time this year, researchers noticed a pattern in two separate series of bursts coming from distant sources in the
The Jack-o-Lantern Nebula
This carved-out cloud of gas and dust has been nicknamed the "Jack-o'-lantern Nebula" because it looks like a cosmic hollowed-out pumpkin. Powerful outflows of radiation and particles from a massive star — known as an O-type star and about 15 to 20 times heavier than the Sun — has likely swept the surrounding dust and gas outward, creating deep gouges in the cloud. The image shows infrared light (which is invisible to the human eye) captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, on Nov. 2, in Virginia. Northrop Grummans 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew.
Voyager in Deep Space
This artist's concept shows one of NASA's Voyager spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. This region is dominated by plasma ejected by the death of giant stars millions of years ago. Hotter, sparser plasma fills the environment inside our solar bubble.
China detention camps: Leaked documents reveal one million Muslims imprisoned in government 're-education camps'
They reveal Beijing is pioneering new forms of social control using data and artificial intelligence , using mass surveillance technology. In one week computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention. © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Experts said they provided “the most significant description yet of how the mass detention camps work” in the Chinese government’s own words.
Remnant of a Star
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed hundreds of thousands of X-ray sources across the Universe. This image "Supernova remnant N103B" is a part of composite images -- that is, those that consist of more than one type of light -- using X-ray data from Chandra and optical light from the Hubble Space Telescope.
When a thermonuclear explosion destroyed a white dwarf star (the dense final stage in the evolution of a Sun-like star) in a double star system and produced a supernova, it left behind this glowing debris field, called a supernova remnant. The Chandra X-ray data (most clearly visible on the left side of the remnant in red, green and blue) shows multimillion-degree gas that has been heated by a shock wave produced by the explosion that destroyed the star. An optical light image from the Hubble Space Telescope is brightest on the right side of the image, where the overlap with X-rays is mostly in pink and white.
This images showing LHA 120-N 44, a region of star formation features a giant bubble that is blowing out from the middle of this image due to winds flowing off young stars. Chandra data (purple and pink) show this superbubble of hot gas, while Hubble data (orange and light blue) reveals the gas and dust in the system.
Greenhouse gases accelerate to new peak in 2018, U.N. says
Greenhouse gases accelerate to new peak in 2018, U.N. saysGENEVA (Reuters) - Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2018, exceeding the average yearly increase of the last decade and reinforcing increasingly damaging weather patterns, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.
Dense Cloud of Gas
After a massive star exploded, it left behind this supernova remnant LMC N63A observed by Chandra and Hubble. The Chandra data (red, green and blue) show multimillion-degree gas and the blast wave from the supernova. The light brown region in the upper right of the remnant is a dense cloud of gas and dust that reflects optical light detected by Hubble.
Creation of a Blast Wave
The Chandra image of this supernova remnant DEM L71 (also known as SNR 0505.7-6752) reveals an inner cloud of glowing iron and silicon (green and blue) surrounded by an outer blast wave (red). The outer blast wave, created during the destruction of the white dwarf star, is also seen in optical data from Hubble (red and white).
Explosion of a White Dwarf
Another supernova remnant resulting from the explosion of a white dwarf star is revealed in this image of DEM L238, also known as SNR J0534.2-7033. The Chandra image (yellow, green and bright red) shows multimillion-degree gas and the Hubble image shows cooler gas in the system, near the outer border of the remnant in red.
Brightest Supernova Remnant
This is the brightest supernova remnant in either the LMC or its galactic cousin, the Small Magellanic Cloud. N132D also stands out because it belongs to a rare class of supernova remnants that have relatively high levels of oxygen. Scientists think most of the oxygen we breathe came from explosions similar to this one. Here, Chandra data are shown in purple and green and Hubble data are shown in red.
In bleak report, U.N. says drastic action is only way to avoid worst effects of climate change
In bleak report, U.N. says drastic action is only way to avoid worst effects of climate change . Already, 70 countries have told U.N. officials they plan to craft more ambitious national climate pledges in 2020 — even as some of the world’s largest emitters have yet to follow suit. Scores of private companies have set their own targets, vowing to investors to sharply cut their carbon footprints. A growing list of states and cities have pushed ahead with policies aimed at meeting the goals of the Paris accord, even as the U.S. government remains on the sidelines.
Neutron Star Merger
A team of European researchers, using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has found signatures of strontium formed in a neutron-star merger. This artist’s impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars at the point at which they merge and explode as a kilonova. In the foreground, we see a representation of freshly created strontium.
Death of a Star
In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia. Adding fuel to the intellectual fire that Copernicus started, Tycho showed this “new star” was far beyond the Moon, and that it was possible for the universe beyond the Sun and planets to change.
Astronomers now know that Tycho’s new star was not new at all. Rather it signaled the death of a star in a supernova, an explosion so bright that it can outshine the light from an entire galaxy. This particular supernova was a Type Ia, which occurs when a white dwarf star pulls material from, or merges with, a nearby companion star until a violent explosion is triggered. The white dwarf star is obliterated, sending its debris hurtling into space.
This latest image of Tycho from Chandra is providing clues. To emphasize the clumps in the image and the three-dimensional nature of Tycho, scientists selected two narrow ranges of X-ray energies to isolate material (silicon, colored red) moving away from Earth, and moving towards us (also silicon, colored blue). The other colors in the image (yellow, green, blue-green, orange and purple) show a broad range of different energies and elements, and a mixture of directions of motion. In this new composite image, Chandra’s X-ray data have been combined with an optical image of the stars in the same field of view from the Digitized Sky Survey.
An alien comet from another star is soaring through our solar system
The interstellar traveler makes its closest pass to Earth in December.This is an interstellar comet — an ancient ball of ice and gas and dust, formed on the frozen outskirts of a distant star, which some lucky quirk of gravity has tossed into our path.
Jupiter's Cloud Tops
This view from NASA's Juno spacecraft captures colorful, intricate patterns in a jet stream region of Jupiter's northern hemisphere known as "Jet N3."
Curiosity, the Mars Chemist
A new selfie taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is breathtaking, but it's especially meaningful for the mission's team: Stitched together from 57 individual images taken by a camera on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm, the panorama also commemorates only the second time the rover has performed a special chemistry experiment.
The selfie was taken on Oct. 11, 2019 (Sol 2,553) in a location named "Glen Etive" (pronounced "glen EH-tiv"), which is part of the "clay-bearing unit," a region the team has eagerly awaited reaching since before Curiosity launched. Visible in the left foreground are two holes Curiosity drilled named "Glen Etive 1" (right) and "Glen Etive 2" (left) by the science team. The rover can analyze the chemical composition of rock samples by powderizing them with the drill, then dropping the samples into a portable lab in its belly called Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM).
The Triangulum galaxy, also known as Messier 33 or M33, as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.
A Trail of Night Lights
This image of star trails was compiled from time-lapse photography taken by NASA astronaut Christina Koch from aboard the International Space Station, taken in July 2019. This composite image was made from more than 400 individual photos taken over a span of about 11 minutes as the station traveled from Namibia toward the Red Sea.
A Martian Game Board
This image shows an area near the sand sea (called an "erg") that is surrounding the water ice-rich layered deposits. The many bumps are sand dunes less than 100 meters across that are mostly covered by seasonal frost, appearing in a manner that looks artificial but is a natural consequence of the wind patterns in this region. The smaller, darker spots are places where the seasonal frost has sublimed away, exposing the dark surface below. The combination of these features makes for an unearthly scene!
Ring of Stellar Fire
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, taken in infrared light, shows where the action is taking place in galaxy NGC 1291. The outer ring, colored red in this view, is filled with new stars that are igniting and heating up dust that glows with infrared light. The stars in the central area produce shorter-wavelength infrared light than that seen in the ring, and are colored blue. This central area is where older stars live, having long ago gobbled up the available gas supply, or fuel, for making new stars.
Falling in Fornax
This strikingly simple and serene view of NGC 1404 — a giant elliptical galaxy located 62 million light-years away in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace) — hides the galaxy’s cruel reality. NGC 1404 is one of the galaxies comprising the massive Fornax Cluster — and it is slowly falling inwards towards the cluster’s core. As it moves towards the cluster’s large centremost galaxy, NGC 1399, the galaxy’s reserves of hot gas are being forcibly ripped and stripped away, leaving an elongated tell-tale trail of gas in its wake. While not visible in this image, this gas stream can be seen clearly in X-ray images of the galaxy; in time, NGC 1404 will lose most of its hot gas, and therefore its ability to form new stars.
Cluster of Galaxies in the Making
Astronomers using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes have put together a detailed map of a rare collision between four galaxy clusters. Eventually, all four clusters – each with a mass of at least several hundred trillion times that of the Sun – will merge to form one of the most massive objects in the universe.
Titanic Smashup of Galaxies
In this new Hubble Space Telescope image, glowing eyes glare menacingly in our direction. The piercing "eyes" are the most prominent feature of what resembles the face of an otherworldly creature. But this is no ghostly apparition. Hubble is looking at a titanic head-on collision between two galaxies.
Each "eye" is the bright core of a galaxy, one of which slammed into another. The outline of the face is a ring of young blue stars. Other clumps of new stars form a nose and mouth. The entire system is catalogued as Arp-Madore 2026-424 (AM 2026-424), from the Arp-Madore "Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations."
Eclipse over La Silla Observatory
On July 2, 2019, a total solar eclipse was visible over ESO’s La Silla Observatory, located in the Chilean Atacama Desert.
Storms moving through Texas
A satellite view shows storms moving through Texas, on Oct. 20.
Mars 2020 Unfoiled Again
Engineers working on NASA's Mars 2020 mission remove the inner layer of protective antistatic foil from the rover after a move from JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility to the Simulator Building for testing. Mars 2020 must meet extraordinary cleanliness standards before its launch next summer.
The galaxy NGC 4380 looks like a special effect straight out of a science fiction or fantasy film in this Hubble Picture of the Week, swirling like a gaping portal to another dimension.
First All-Female spacewalk
NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch make the first all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station.
Communication technology experiment satellite is launched
A new communication technology experiment satellite is launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, China on Oct. 18. The satellite will be mainly used for multi-band and high-speed communication technology experiments.
Citizen scientist spots main-belt asteroid 2001 SE101 passing in front of the Crab Nebula (M1). Colour composition using HST ACS/WFC F550M and F606W filters.
Artemis Generation Spacesuit Event
Amy Ross, a spacesuit engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, left, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, second from left, watch as Kristine Davis, a spacesuit engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, wearing a ground prototype of NASA’s new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and Dustin Gohmert, Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit, right, wave after being introduced by the administrator, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The xEMU suit improves on the suits previous worn on the Moon during the Apollo era and those currently in use for spacewalks outside the International Space Station and will be worn by first woman and next man as they explore the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program. The Orion suit is designed for a custom fit and incorporates safety technology and mobility features that will help protect astronauts on launch day, in emergency situations, high-risk parts of missions near the Moon, and during the high-speed return to Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
A Spiral in Profile
The spiral galaxy featured in this Picture of the Week is called NGC 3717, and it is located about 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent). Seeing a spiral almost in profile, as Hubble has here, can provide a vivid sense of its three-dimensional shape. Through most of their expanse, spiral galaxies are shaped like a thin pancake. At their cores, though, they have bright, spherical, star-filled bulges that extend above and below this disc, giving these galaxies a shape somewhat like that of a flying saucer when they are seen edgeon. NGC 3717 is not captured perfectly edge-on in this image; the nearer part of the galaxy is tilted ever so slightly down, and the far side tilted up. This angle affords a view across the disc and the central bulge (of which only one side is visible).
Typhoon Hagibis is headed towards Japan’s main island of Honshu, where it is expected to make landfall over the weekend. Japan is bracing for potential damage from strong winds and torrential rain. This enormous typhoon, which is being compared to a Category 5 hurricane, can be seen in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission on 10 October at 01:00 GMT (10:00 Japan Standard Time). The eye of the storm has a diameter of approximately 60 km.
Colors on the Wind
In this view of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captures swirling clouds in the region of the giant planet’s northern hemisphere known as “Jet N4.” Jupiter spins once every 10 hours, and this fast rotation creates strong jet streams, separating its clouds into dark belts and bright zones that stretch across the face of the planet. More than a dozen prevailing winds sweep over Jupiter, some reaching more than 300 miles per hour (480 kilometers per hour) at the equator.
A first quarter Moon is pictured from the International Space Station
A first quarter Moon is pictured from the International Space Station just above the Earth's limb.
Four ALMA antennas on the Chajnantor plain
Four of the first ALMA antennas at the Array Operations Site (AOS), located at 5000 metres altitude on the Chajnantor plateau, in the II Region of Chile. Three of them — those which are pointing in the same direction — are being tested together as part of the ongoing Commissioning and Science Verification process. Across the image in the background is the impressive plane of the Milky Way, our own galaxy, here seen looking toward the centre. The centre of our galaxy is visible as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark lanes. The dark lanes are huge clouds of interstellar dust that lie in the disc of the galaxy. While opaque in visible light, they are transparent at longer wavelengths, such as the millimetre and submillimetre radiation detected by ALMA. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is the largest astronomical project in existence and is a truly global partnership between the scientific communities of East Asia, Europe and North America with Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) captured this unprecedented image of two circumstellar disks, in which baby stars are growing, feeding with material from their surrounding birth disk. The complex network of dust structures distributed in spiral shapes remind of the loops of a pretzel. These observations shed new light on the earliest phases of the lives of stars and help astronomers determine the conditions in which binary stars are born.
The Iberian Peninsula at night, showing Spain and Portugal. Madrid is the bright spot just above the center.
This artist's illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet's surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Snakes and Stones
The galaxy pictured in this Hubble Picture of the Week has an especially evocative name: the Medusa merger.
Often referred to by its somewhat drier New General Catalogue designation of NGC 4194, this was not always one entity, but two. An early galaxy consumed a smaller gas-rich system, throwing out streams of stars and dust out into space. These streams, seen rising from the top of the merger galaxy, resembles the writhing snakes that Medusa, a monster in ancient Greek mythology, famously had on her head in place of hair, lending the object its intriguing name. The legend of Medusa also held that anyone who saw her face would transform into stone.
In this case, you can feast your eyes without fear on the centre of the merging galaxies, a region known as Medusa's eye. All the cool gas pooling here has triggered a burst of star formation, causing it to stand out brightly against the dark cosmic backdrop. The Medusa merger is located about 130 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear).
The Center of the Milky Way
The center of the Milky Way galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras penetrate much of the dust, revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will offer a much-improved infrared view, teasing out fainter stars and sharper details.
Once in a Blue Comet
This image features a comet located in the outer reaches of the Solar System: comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS). As its name suggests, the comet was discovered in 2016 by the Pan-STARRS telescopes in Hawai’i. The new image seen here was captured by a project based at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile named the Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars — or SPECULOOS for short.
Out for a (Space) Walk
After completing the first of 10 spacewalks to upgrade the station, astronaut Christina Koch wrote: "The great @Space_Station battery swap series of spacewalks is underway! A joy & privilege working with @AstroDrewMorgan outside, @astro_luca as the lead for suits & airlock, @Astro_Jessica as robotic arm operator, & the incredible teams in Houston. 3 batteries complete, 9 to go!"
A launch from above
From aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 60 astronaut Christina Koch photographed the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft ascending into space after its launch from Kazakhstan on Sept. 25, 2019. After a four-orbit, six-hour journey, the Soyuz docked to the Space Station with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates joining the crew.
Spitzer spots bubbles
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a cloud of gas and dust full of bubbles, which are inflated by wind and radiation from young, massive stars. Each bubble is about 10 to 30 light-years across and filled with hundreds to thousands of stars. The region lies in the Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Aquila (aka the Eagle).
The lunar highlands
The Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, attempted a landing Sept. 7 (Sept. 6 in the United States), on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters.
A last look
As astronaut Nick Hague prepares to conclude his stay aboard the orbiting laboratory this week, he shared this photo saying: "Today is my last Monday living on this orbiting laboratory and I’m soaking up my final views. The @Space_Station is truly an engineering marvel. #MondayMotivation."
Hague will return to Earth after a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station. He and Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are completing a 203-day mission, spanning 3,248 orbits of Earth, and a journey of 80.8 million miles. Hague is completing his second flight in space totaling 203 days, while Ovchinin will have logged 375 days in space on his third flight at the time of landing.
Hunting black holes
In our vast universe, the heaviest black holes grew from seeds. Nourished by the gas and dust they consume, or by merging with other dense objects, these seeds grow in size and heft to form the centers of galaxies, such as our own Milky Way. But unlike in the realm of plants, the seeds of giant black holes must have been black holes, too. And no one has ever found these seeds — yet.
One idea is that supermassive black holes — the equivalent of hundreds of thousands to billions of Suns in mass — grew from a population of smaller black holes that has never been seen. This elusive group, the "intermediate-mass black holes," would weigh in somewhere between 100 and 100,000 Suns. Among the hundreds of black holes found so far, there have been plenty of relatively small ones, but none for sure in the intermediate mass-range "desert."
In this image, a galaxy called ESO 243-49 is home to an extremely bright object called HLX-1. Circled in this image, HLX-1 is the most likely example of a black hole in the intermediate mass range that scientists have found.
Jupiter's volcanically active moon, "lo," casts its shadow on the planet in this dramatic image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. As with solar eclipses on the Earth, within the dark circle racing across Jupiter's cloud tops one would witness a full solar eclipse as "Io" passes in front of the Sun.
Using the detailed eyes of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have mapped the intense tails of a cosmic jellyfish: a number of knotty streams of gas spewing outwards from a spiral galaxy named ESO 137-001.
Beacon of light
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy Messier 86. Despite its being discovered over 235 years ago by astronomer Charles Messier, the morphological classification of Messier 86 remains unclear. Astronomers are still debating over whether it is either elliptical or lenticular (the latter being a cross between an elliptical and spiral galaxy).
Stuck on the rings
Like a drop of dew hanging on a leaf, Tethys appears to be stuck to the A and F rings from this perspective. Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across), like the ring particles, is composed primarily of ice. The gap in the A ring through which Tethys is visible is the Keeler gap, which is kept clear by the small moon Daphnis (not visible here). This view looks toward the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys. North on Tethys is up and rotated 43 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2014.
"These are by far the highest-energy photons ever discovered from a gamma-ray burst," Elisa Bernardini, a gamma-ray scientist, said in a press release.
Over 300 scientists around the world studied the results; their work was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. 50 seconds to capture the brightest, most mysterious light in the universe © NASA, ESA, and V. Acciari et al. 2019
Gamma-ray bursts happen almost every day, without warning, and they only last a few seconds. Yet the high-energy explosions remain something of a mystery to scientists. Astronomers think they come from colliding neutron stars or from supernovae - events in which stars run out of fuel, give in to their own gravity, and collapse into black holes.
"Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe and typically release more energy in just a few seconds than our sun during its entire lifetime," gamma-ray scientist David Berge said in the release. "They can shine through almost the entire visible universe."
After the brief, intense eruptions of gamma rays, hours or days of afterglow follow. © NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Telescopes have observed low-energy rays that come from the initial explosion and the afterglow.
"Much of what we've learned about GRBs [gamma-ray bursts] over the past couple of decades has come from observing their afterglows at lower energies," NASA scientist Elizabeth Hays said in a release.
But scientists had never caught the ultra-high-energy light until these two recent observations.
On January 14, two NASA satellites detected an explosions in a galaxy over 4 billion light-years away. Within 22 seconds, these space telescopes - the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope - beamed the coordinates of the burst to astronomers all over Earth.
Within 27 seconds of receiving the coordinates, astronomers in the Canary Islands turned two Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescopes toward that exact point in the sky. © NASA/Fermi and Aurore Simonnet, Sonoma State University
The photons flooded those telescopes for the next 20 minutes, leading to new revelations about some of the most elusive properties of gamma-ray bursts.
"It turns out we were missing approximately half of their energy budget until now," Konstancja Satalecka, a scientist who coordinates MAGIC's searches for gamma-ray bursts, said in the release. "Our measurements show that the energy released in very-high-energy gamma-rays is comparable to the amount radiated at all lower energies taken together. That is remarkable." Ultra-high-energy light came in the afterglow, not the explosion itself © MPIK / Christian Föhr
The photons detected from a gamma-ray burst six months earlier, in July 2018, weren't as energetic or as numerous as those from the January explosion.
But the earlier detection was still notable because the flow of high-energy light came 10 hours after the initial explosion. The light lasted for another two hours - deep into the afterglow phase.
In their paper, the researchers suggested that electrons may have scattered the photons, increasing the photons' energy. Another paper about the January observations suggested the same thing.
Scientists had long suspected that this scattering was one way gamma-ray bursts could produce so much ultra-high-energy light in the afterglow phase. The observations of these two bursts confirmed that for the first time.
Scientists expect to learn more as they turn telescopes toward more gamma-ray bursts like these in the future.
"Thanks to these new ground-based detections, we're seeing the gamma rays from gamma-ray bursts in a whole new way," Hays said.
An alien comet from another star is soaring through our solar system .
The interstellar traveler makes its closest pass to Earth in December.This is an interstellar comet — an ancient ball of ice and gas and dust, formed on the frozen outskirts of a distant star, which some lucky quirk of gravity has tossed into our path.