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Rosetta on Final Approach to Comet Landing

Posted: August 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Astrophysical, Favorite New Thought, From The Web | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Rosetta on Final Approach to Comet Landing

In the most complex space mission since the moon landing, an attempt to land a spacecraft on a comet. Launched by the European Space Agency, Rosetta has become the first ever spacecraft to catch up with a comet, a landmark stage in a decade-long space mission that scientists hope will help unlock some of the secrets of the solar system.

The Rosetta spacecraft has travelled six billion kilometres using the gravitational forces of Earth and Mars to slingshot towards the five-kilometre-wide comet. The craft is now within 100 kilometres and considered to be on its final approach :: Read the full article »»»»


ESA Planck 50 Million Pixel All-sky Snapshot Maps Oldest Light

Posted: March 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cosmology | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on ESA Planck 50 Million Pixel All-sky Snapshot Maps Oldest Light

ESA PLANCKA new, super detailed map of the most ancient light-radiation in the cosmos has revealed our universe to be almost 90 million years older than previously thought, providing a more accurate view of the universes standard model.

The 50-million pixel, all-sky snapshot of radiation left over from the Big Bang was compiled from data gathered by the European Space Agency – ESAPlanck satellite, launched four years ago. Planck was created as part of ESA’s  Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme.

The snapshot depicts Cosmic Microwave Background – CMB – or relic radiation at a point 380,000 years after the Big Bang, as the newly-formed universe started cooling down.

Planck was launched in May 2009, reaching the Earth/Sun’s L2 point in July, and by February 2010 had successfully started a second all-sky survey. according to the ESA team the universe is 13.798 billion years old, it contains nearly 5 percent ordinary matter, 27 per cent dark matter and a whopping 68 per cent dark energy :: Read the full article »»»»


Astronomers Hear Last Cry From Dying Star

Posted: August 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Astronomy, Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Astronomers Hear Last Cry From Dying Star

Astronomers Hear Last Cry From Dying StarFor the first time astronomers have detected the last gasps of a star being torn apart by – a previously dormant – giant black hole. The signals, which came from a galaxy 3.9 billion light years away, were x-rays generated by matter heated to millions of degrees and torn apart as material from the star crosses the black hole’s event horizon.

Known as quasi-periodic oscillations, they are a characteristic feature of stellar black holes, which have about 10 times the mass of the Sun. Dr Rubens Reis from the University of Michigan is the lead author of the paper published today in the journal Science.

Dr Reis says the findings confirm the constancy of black hole physics. “This is telling us that the same physical phenomenon we observe in stellar mass black holes is also happening in black holes a million times the mass of the Sun, and in black holes that were previously asleep,” he said.

Dr Reis and colleagues first detected the event with NASA’s Swift Gamma Ray Burst Telescope last year, but did not pick up the oscillations at that time. The blips in the signals were detected in follow-up observations using the joint Japanese-NASA Suzaku and the European Space Agency ZMM-Newton orbiting X-ray observatories.

“You can think of it as hearing the star scream as it gets devoured,” said University of Michigan astronomy professor Jon Miller, who co-authored the paper.

The oscillating signal repeats at a characteristic frequency, which would sound like an ultra-low D sharp. The oscillations were occurring once every 200 seconds, meaning the stellar material was orbiting less than 9.3 million kilometres from the centre of the black hole. Professor Miller said that the discovery opens the possibility of studying orbits close to black holes, but that are extremely distant from earth.

 


European Space Agency Fishing on Jupiter’s Moons

Posted: May 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on European Space Agency Fishing on Jupiter’s Moons

European Space Agency Fishing on Jupiter's MoonsThe European Space Agency has approved a mission to Jupiter’s moons to discover whether fish live under their icy surfaces. The mission will send a five-tonne satellite to the solar system’s biggest planet to study three of its largest moons – Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.

These are of special interest because beneath their icy surface it is thought they might have vast oceans. Scientists believe this makes them one of the most likely places in the solar system to harbour alien life, possibly even fish.

The spacecraft would use the planet’s gravity to fly around the moons in the hope of discovering whether they host microbial life. The mission is due for launch in 2022 and would arrive in the Jupiter system around 2030.

LINKS:

Wikipedia

European Space Agency


NASA: OSIRIS-REx

Posted: December 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NASA, National Aeronautics Space Administration, SPACE | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NASA: OSIRIS-REx

NASA Stardust Rendering

In 2016 NASA will launch its Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, on a mission to collect samples from an asteroid using a robotic arm.

NASA is developing a high-tech harpoon that could one day pierce a comet and grab samples for scientists on Earth to study for hints about how the universe formed. The idea borrows on a concept developed by the European Space Agency but adds a sample chamber to the spear so it can capture dust from a fast-moving, ice-spewing comet by hovering near it and launching the space harpoon.

Read the full article »»»»