Archive for the ‘space’ category

Oct 6, 2022

China has discovered a brand new Moon mineral

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

Because the mineral changesite-(Y) contains the isotope helium-3, it could one day fuel nuclear fusion reactors.

Oct 6, 2022

Lava erupting on Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is over 1000°C

Posted by in category: space

Astronomers used radio telescopes to estimate the temperature of molten rock on Io, the most volcanically active world in the solar system.

Oct 6, 2022

The Universe Is Not Locally Real, and the Physics Nobel Prize Winners Proved It

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Elegant experiments with entangled light have laid bare a profound mystery at the heart of reality.

Oct 6, 2022

Astronomers discover two stars in a daring stellar dance

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, space

That’s because as a white dwarf draws material away from its hydrogen-burning partner, the stolen gas follows the star’s magnetic field lines in a big, curving arc toward its new home. And in the process, it drains energy from the stars’ whirling dance (so do the gravitational waves produced by their rotation). When that happens, both stars fall toward the shared center of gravity they’re orbiting. Closer orbits also mean shorter orbits, so it takes the stars less time to complete a single lap.

And the closer the stars get, the stronger the gravitational waves they produce, which drains away more energy, so they fall even closer together. By the time they’re close enough to complete an orbit in just a handful of minutes, the donor star has usually run out of hydrogen. That’s why the really close, fast-orbiting cataclysmic binaries tend to be a white dwarf and a helium-burning star.

Oct 6, 2022

It’s been three years, but SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy might finally launch again this month

Posted by in categories: military, space

The massive launch system will carry a mysterious U.S. Space Force payload to a high-altitude geosynchronous orbit.

It’s been a while since SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy to orbit. A string of payload delays has stopped the heavy-duty rocket from hitting the launch pad since the summer of 2019.

Continue reading “It’s been three years, but SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy might finally launch again this month” »

Oct 6, 2022

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission has ended after 8 years. It was designed to only have a 6-month lifespan

Posted by in category: space

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, known as MOM, has ended after eight years – even though it was designed for a six-month lifespan, the Indian Space Research Organization announced this week.

The Mars orbiter launched on Nov. 5, 2013 and made it into orbit about 10 months later. It was an enormous feat to have reached Mars’ orbit successfully in the first attempt, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, a member of India’s space commission, said during an address Monday.

In 2014, more than half of the world’s attempts at such a mission – 23 out of 41 – had failed, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. was successful with a Mars flyby in 1964, when a spacecraft called Mariner 4 returned with 21 images of the surface of the planet. Other successful missions include the Soviet Union’s in 1971 and the European Space Agency’s in 2003.

Continue reading “India’s Mars Orbiter Mission has ended after 8 years. It was designed to only have a 6-month lifespan” »

Oct 6, 2022

Scientists collaborate with astronomers around the world to understand distant galaxy

Posted by in category: space

A team of 86 scientists from 13 countries recently carried out extensive high-time resolution optical monitoring of a distant active galaxy, BL Lacertae (BL Lac). Mike Joner, BYU research professor of physics and astronomy, was one of the astronomers contributing to the project.

Dr. Joner and BYU undergraduate student Gilvan Apolonio secured over 200 observations of the galaxy using the 0.9-meter reflecting at the BYU West Mountain Observatory. Their measurements were combined with observations made by other scientists around the world in a collaboration known as the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT). The WEBT network makes it possible to monitor objects around the clock from different locations during times of high variability.

Using the WEBT observations made in the summer of 2020, astronomers discovered surprisingly rapid oscillations of brightness in the central jet of the galaxy BL Lac. The scientists attribute these cycles of brightness change to twists in the jet’s magnetic field. Their study was recently published in Nature.

Oct 6, 2022

‘Cataclysmic’ 50-minute orbit between two stars is the fastest ever recorded

Posted by in category: space

Astronomers have discovered a rare binary star system with an orbital period of just 51 minutes – a blazing new record.

Oct 5, 2022

Gamma rays from a dwarf galaxy solve an astronomical puzzle

Posted by in category: space

This article was originally published at The Conversation. (opens in new tab) The publication contributed the article to’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

A glowing blob known as “the cocoon,” which appears to be inside one of the enormous gamma-ray emanations from the center of our galaxy dubbed the “Fermi bubbles,” has puzzled astronomers since it was discovered in 2012.

Oct 5, 2022

Enhanced! NASA reveals turbulent hot spots within Webb’s famous images

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, space

A NASA X-ray spacecraft delivers new dimensions to the first images from the Webb telescope.

Images touch people in a way that words cannot. The unprecedented clarity of the Webb telescope’s first scientific images dazzled people across the world when they became public on July 12, 2022. Three months later, the team working on NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory released new images of the same target objects: Stephan’s Quintet, galaxy cluster SMACS 0723.3–7327, and the “Cosmic Cliffs” of the Carina Nebula. An image that Webb later took of the Cartwheel Galaxy also got an update. All these visuals add more “turbulent” information about these structures and give the originals a whole new dimension.

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