Take this new shared image of UGC 2369, a designation that actually applies to two different galaxies that slowly and inexorably merge into one. This phenomenon of interacting galaxies you eat in play when their gravitational fields overlap and attract.
You can see the link between the two galaxies that make up UGC 2369 in what way NASA describes like a "gas bridge, dust and stars" put between them. It is hard to miss this region of sinuous, orange-tinted space, which looks like a tenuous connection over this great distance.
This is not really tenuous, though. These brightly colored celestial bodies, each representing millions of stars, are fusing into one. The so-called "bridge" that connects them is a physical representation of the tug of gravity that brings the two galaxies closer together (and all that is inside).
NASA notes that this is a fairly common phenomenon overall, although it usually involves a large galaxy absorbing a smaller one. However, larger collisions are possible and it turns out that we are heading ourselves towards one of them now.
In the future, our galaxy of the Milky Way will collide with our largest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. Eventually (probably), the two will merge into a galaxy that already has a celebrity celebrity pair nickname baller: Milkomeda. (I would have preferred Milkdromeda.)
Do not bother to adjust your clocks or mark your calendars, though. This heavenly event should not occur before four billion years ago.
. (tagsToTranslate) nasa (t) telescope hubble-space (t) science (t) space</pre></pre>
The NASA Curiosity rover has seen a lot of rocks. In fact, it's almost everything he sees on the surface of March. Recently, the rover spotted a rock so strange that the team decided to settle there more closely. The so-called "Strathdon" has dozens of sedimentary layers crushed together, a weird genius that scientists did not expect to see on Mars. This indicates a potentially complicated and watery past in the area explored by Curiosity.
Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, settling in Gale Crater. His goal was to go up to nearby Mount Sharp and to roll over the slope looking at the geology on the way. He reached the foot of the mountain in 2014. The team made numerous pit stops to take a closer look at the most interesting areas. Right now, the rover is walking in an area called "clay-containing unit". In the distant past, it probably harbored streams and lakes, the only remnants of which are deposits of clay minerals.
During exploration of the unit containing clay, Curiosity fell on a strange rock partially buried in the ground – the Strathdon. The rock is formed from numerous layers of compressed sediments that have hardened to form a fragile and wavy mass. This is a stark contrast to the flat layers of lake sediments that Curiosity has seen elsewhere on Mars.
Curiosity approached the Strathdon, taking a mosaic image for the scientists to return to Earth to examine. The team hypothesized that the structure of this rock means that the unit containing clay has a much more complex and dynamic geological history than anyone expected. A combination of white water and wind could be responsible for the existence of this training. This area may have been welcoming enough for life a long time ago, but Curiosity can not say for sure – it's the next rover to discover.
NASA's March 2020 rover is being assembled at JPL as we speak. He has a robotic arm, wheels and some of his many cameras. The still-nameless mobile uses the same chassis as Curiosity, but it will carry instruments more likely to look for signs of old life on the red planet. The launch is scheduled for next summer, when Earth and Mars will line up for an easy trip. March 2020 will join Curiosity on the surface in February 2021.
The Kepler Space Telescope ended its extremely successful planetary hunting mission last year, but continues to make discoveries in the grave. NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has since taken over the planetary hunter's banner, but it still has a long way to go before it is at the same level as Kepler. The gap between the probes has also just widened. A new analysis of Kepler's data revealed hundreds of potential new exoplanets.
Kepler launched a three-and-a-half year mission in 2009 to find distant worlds. NASA is used to missions operating long after their expected lifespan, but Kepler began to experience problems in 2012. The probe used the transit method to detect exoplanets. This meant that Kepler had to stay focused on the same area for long periods, but two of his four-wheelers were down by mid-2013.
NASA was able to restore Kepler's partial functionality in 2014 by stabilizing it with photons reflected from its solar panels. This "K2" mission produced more data and exoplanets, but much of this data is "confusing" and difficult to interpret. Enter, Ethan Kruse, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Kruse and his team have developed a new method for processing K2 data using QATS (Quasiperiodic Automated Transit Search) and extracting and removing EPIC variability for exoplanet science targets (EVEREST ). The processing reduces arcs and noisy curves in the K2 data. The result is many, many new exoplanet signals.
This is not the first analysis of K2 data, so all 818 planets detected in the study are not new. However, an impressive 374 signals have not yet been detected. Of these, 154 are so-called transiting planets. This means that they transform their stars from our point of view on the Earth, and that the Earth does the same with these planets. So there could be extraterrestrial astronomers doing a similar experiment, wondering if Earth supports life. The data points to worlds of varying sizes, from super-Earth to gaseous giants, and there are 87 multi-planet systems.
Currently, all objects listed in the new analysis are mere "candidate" exoplanets. Another team will have to go check each signal to confirm. In the future, astronomers may be able to use the long-delayed James Webb Space Telescope to take a closer look at some of these planetary systems. For the moment, most of the verification will take place in large ground observatories.
NASA has been working on the Space Launch System (SLS), replacing the space shuttle for a decade, and the project has already mobilized $ 14 billion in funding. It is no secret that pure political will has allowed the SLS to continue, but there may have been losses along the way. A former United Launch Alliance (ULA) engineer spoke on Twitter to tell an anecdote about how the SLS smothered the development of orbital refueling.
Ars Technica's reporter, Eric Berger, had just posted a series of tweets about the opposition to refueling fuel depots in Congress when the SLS program took on scale. Then the former director of the ULA, George Sowers, responded with his point of view. According to Sowers, its group of advanced ULA programs had published several articles on the use of orbital refueling depots. He says his team has demonstrated that pre-existing commercial rockets could do the job of something like the SLS. The key was a platform developed by ULA and called ACES (Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage).
A lot of it was for my group of advanced programs at ULA and myself. We had published a series of documents showing how a repository / refueling architecture would allow a human exploration program using existing commercial rockets (at the time).
– George Sowers (@george_sowers) July 31, 2019
In 2011, ULA wanted to test ACES in the space to show that it could serve as a supply depot for carrying rockets to more distant locations. Sowers said Boeing (who operates ULA with Lockheed Martin) was furious about his team's pressure for refueling depots. Boeing was and still is the main contractor for the SLS launcher. An evolution towards cheaper fueling technology could cost him a lucrative contract with the government.
According to Sowers, Boeing's executives tried to get him fired, but his direct supervisors held the line. However, ACES was discreetly put aside. Around the same time, Berger reports that Alabama Senator Richard Shelby told NASA: "More storage depots." His home country is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center and would greatly benefit from the development of SLS.
ULA says that ACES is still on its road map, but that could mean a lot of things. We know that NASA is looking again at orbit refueling. As part of its new lunar surge, the agency has in partnership with several companies on new technologies. Among them is SpaceX and its refueling ambitions in orbit. SpaceX needs to develop state-of-the-art technology to move the fuel into orbit for future spacecraft missions, and NASA wants a piece of it.
Meanwhile, the SLS could embark on an unprepared test mission next year. The launch has already been postponed a few times. It is therefore quite likely that the rocket does not fly until 2021.
The Kepler planet search satellite has long since disappeared, but NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TES) is just beginning. This satellite has spotted a few exoplanets at the beginning of his mission, and the last batch includes some extremely strange worlds with yet another super-Earth. The super-Earth is hot and the others are colder. However, they are not ice worlds like Neptune.
The three planets revolve around a star called TOI-270, located about 73 light-years away. The TOI-270 is about 40% smaller than the sun and a third cooler. Yet the smallest of the three planets (TOI 270b) orbits close enough to the star (every 3.4 terrestrial days) to be inhospitable to life as we know it. It has a surface temperature of 254 degrees Celsius (490 degrees Fahrenheit). It is only 25% larger than the Earth and has a mass 1.9 times higher. Scientists think it is a rocky object.
The other two planets are cold and they do not seem to have any analogues in our solar system. TOI 270 c and TOI 270 d are respectively 2.4 and 2.1 times larger than the Earth. They probably have a mass between five and seven times that of the Earth. These planets are in orbit closer to their star than the Earth does with the sun: 5.7 days for YOU 270 c and 11.4 days for YOU 270 d. However, the lower temperature of the TOI-270 means that they are much less extreme.
Most gaseous giants we detect in other solar systems are either hot Jupiters or ice giants like Neptune. TOI 270 c and TOI 270 c and TOI 270 d are fascinating because it's a happy medium between the two. The TOI 270 is hot, but not as hot as a hot Jupiter at 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit). The TOI 270 d is not really comfortable at 67 ° C, but it is potentially habitable for very robust life forms. Again, these are equilibrium temperatures, which are based only on the energy received from the star. The actual temperature could be higher or lower.
Astronomers consider the TOI-270 system as an ideal place to learn about the evolution of the planet. We do not have planets like YOU 270 c and YOU 270 d in our solar system, so they could have a lot to teach us. The most exciting thing about the TOI-270 is perhaps its position in the sky. He will be in the field of view of the James Webb Space Telescope for more than six months after its launch. Astronomers will be able to gather a huge amount of data on this distinct solar system, which could change the way we understand global development.