A supernova is, by definition, a huge event. We are talking about stars that explodeafter all. Nevertheless, some supernovae are larger than others, and astronomers have recently identified what appears to be the largest supernova we have ever seen. The event, dubbed SN2016iet, included a long duration, unusual chemical signatures and more puzzles. The researchers think that this supernova could challenge our death star models.
Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) made the first observation of SN2016iand in 2016 using Gaia satellite. Astronomers from several institutions have used the last three years to study the data and make additional observations. In a new article, scientists consider SN2016iet as the largest supernova ever seen, but it was not easy to get there. SN2016iet was so devoid for a supernova that astronomers first thought that there might be a problem with the data.
SN2016iet exploded a long time ago in a very distant galaxy. The team estimates its distance at about a billion light-years away from a previously uncatalogued dwarf galaxy. It formed about 54,000 light-years from the center of this galaxy. It was one of the biggest stars with a mass of at least 200 suns. As a supergiant star, his life was short, barely a few million years old. He lost about 85% of his body mass during the final phase of his life.
Using the MMT Observatory and Magellan Telescopes at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, the team confirmed that the SN2016iet looked so unusual largely because of the ejected material before the supernova. The star formed a cocoon of matter around itself and the supernova's breath collided with this matter.
The team says it's an example of a pair-instability supernova, something that has long been theorized but has never been observed. In a pairwise unstable supernova, the production of electrons and positrons within the star temporarily reduces the internal pressure, resulting in partial collapse and acceleration of nuclear reactions. The resulting blast completely erases the star without leaving a black hole or other solar debris. This can only happen with very large stars in metal-poor galaxies.
Scientists will continue to observe the SN2016iet for many years. Most supernovas disappear within a few months, but this should be visible much longer, providing an unprecedented opportunity to better understand solar processes.
Jupiter may have been hit by a huge protoplanet a long time ago, spreading this heavy material inside the planet's core over a much larger area than we normally expected. This is the current theory of researchers that examines data returned by NASA's Juno probe, designed to take measurements of Jupiter's gravitational field to understand the structure and distribution of materials inside the gas giant.
Jupiter's measurements in 2017 revealed that the planet's core is vast and ill-defined. What we generally expected – and this is true for both rocky planets and gaseous giants – is layers of increasing density, with the densest material packed at the center of the planet, where temperatures are the highest. higher. Instead, the core of Jupiter is irregular and potentially diluted, which means that the heavy elements it contains have expanded and are now spread in a much larger proportion of the planet.
Scientists have worked for explain this conclusion In recent years, they have developed a model that takes into account both data and what we know about the beginnings of the solar system. The Nice and Grand Tack model hypothesis suggests that Jupiter essentially "swept" the solar system in its infancy. Interactions with Jupiter and Saturn have obliterated the asteroid belt of most remaining planetesimals, especially Jupiter. These changes in orbit and orbital eccentricity can be the cause of late heavy bombardment, or even the creation of the Earth's moon.
What the research team is proposing is that Jupiter was hit by a massive protoplanet during this hasty period – about eight times the mass of the Earth, surrounded by about two massive masses. Hydrogen and helium. Jupiter weighs about 318 times the weight of the Earth. Therefore, being hit by this type of mass brings a remarkably reduced amount of total energy. What is the impact made However, it is scrambling the core of Jupiter – by spreading the elements that compose it and extending them over a much larger area.
Interestingly, this research suggests that the impact would be to have to be frontal and with a rather large object (although small compared to Jupiter himself). Impactors of one or more land masses will disintegrate in Jupiter's atmosphere even before reaching the core. Visible impacts do not have enough energy to disrupt or dilute the core as observed. The only way to create sufficient conditions to achieve the gravitational distribution of the material we see is to crush the Jupiter core with an almost equivalent mass impactor (at the core, not at the totality planet), with a lot of energy mix afterwards.
The researchers are still exploring other methods that would have led to this unusual result, but the idea that Jupiter would be hit by huge rocks at the beginning of the solar system was not crazy. Scientists believe that the protoplanetary disk of our own star originally contained much more material than is present today. If the model of planetary formation of Nice is precise, a considerable number of planetesimals, protoplanets and even dwarf planets were thrown into the void by the gravitational interactions of the first planets and their moons. We know that the Kuiper Belt was once a reservoir for these objects – Triton (a moon of Neptune) and Pluto are virtually identical. The fact that Triton is now a moon of Neptune, acquired through unknown processes, shows how things were bouncing back a few billion years ago.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to launch a new ExoMars mission on the Red Planet next year, but the future of this mission is uncertain after a second parachute failure. The ESA confirms that a recent parachute test performed on Earth failed, making it the second failure of recent months.
Landing missions on Mars are particularly difficult because of the finesse of its atmosphere. There is enough atmosphere to heat the landing gear, but not enough to make the parachutes very efficient. That's why ESA has designed a massive 35-meter chute for the new ExoMars mission. The NSA, meanwhile, plans to use a rocket sled for the March 2020 rover very similar to that used for Curiosity.
The test took place well above the ESA Esrange test site in northern Sweden. A lander model was dropped from a high altitude balloon with the same parachute system intended to be used on the ExoMars lander, consisting of a smaller 15-meter drop and a main chute. 35 meters. According to ESA, the team found that the parachute had been damaged, preventing it from inflating completely. As a result, the undercarriage descended under a small pilot chute supposed to deploy the larger ones. This is not the first decline of the ExoMars program. In 2016, a lander crashed on Mars because of a malfunction sensor.
The ExoMars mission, which is a collaboration between ESA and Russian Roscosmos, will deliver to Mars an ESA rover named after the pioneer of DNA Rosalind Franklin. Russia will be in charge of the launch operations and will provide some of the scientific payload and surface platform.
After a second parachute failure, ESA stated that she would spend some time studying what she had learned. It is planned to organize a parachute experts workshop on Mars in September to assess the current state of the mission. The clock is turning, however. Mars and Earth will be lined up for a quick trip next summer. This is the same launch window that NASA plans to use for the March 2020 rover, and the Chinese space agency is also planning to send a small rover at about the same time.
The future of the ExoMars mission will be questioned if ESA and Roscosmos can not repair the landing gear parachutes. The next advantageous alignment of the planets will only happen at the end of 2022 and it's a long time for such a complex mission.
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.
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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.