Monsters in the sky, asteroids, molten ring and sample returns from Mars


With the charming name of SDSS J0146-0929, it is a cluster of galaxies – a monstrous collection of hundreds of galaxies all chained together in the unwavering grip of gravity. The mass of this galaxy cluster is large enough to seriously distort the spacetime around it, creating weird, looping curves that almost encircle the center of the cluster. Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, S. Jha, Acknowledgments: L. Shatz

Hubble snapshot of ‘Molten Ring’ galaxy prompts further research

Glamorous snapshots of the Hubble Space Telescope universe almost always have a discovery behind them.

In this image, a distant galaxy is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally distorted space. After its public release, astronomers used the image to measure the galaxy’s distance of 9.4 billion light years. This places the galaxy at the peak of star formation in cosmic evolution.

In this particular snapshot, a scientific discovery followed the publication of a Hubble observation of a vivid example of an optical phenomenon in deep space dubbed an “Einstein ring.” The photo was released in December 2020 as an example of one of the largest and nearly complete Einstein rings ever.

Dawn over the southern skies

“A brilliant aurora sinks above Earth as the International Space Station revolves 274 miles over the southern Indian Ocean. Credit: NASA

See a dawn in the southern sky

A bright aurora flies over Earth as the International Space Station orbits 274 miles over the southern Indian Ocean between Australia and Antarctica.

The station orbits the Earth in about 90 minutes. In 24 hours, the space station performs 16 orbits around the Earth, traversing 16 sunrises and sunsets.

Artist's concept of the Mars Sample Return Campaign

Concept of a set of future robots working together to transport samples from the surface of Mars collected by the Mars Perseverance rover. Credit: NASA / ESA / JPL-Caltech

Mars Sample Return Artist Concept

This illustration shows a concept for a set of future robots working together to transport samples from the surface of ">March collected by ">Nasathe Mars Perseverance rover.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) strengthen concepts for a sample return mission to Mars that would seek to take samples of Martian rocks and other materials collected and stored in tubes sealed by the Mars rover Perseverance from NASA and return the sealed tubes to Earth.

According to the current concept, NASA would deliver a Martian lander near the Jezero crater, where Perseverance (left) will have collected and cached samples. The Sample Retrieval Lander (right) would carry a NASA rocket (Mars Ascent Vehicle), as well as ESA’s Sample Fetch Rover (center) which is roughly the size of the Opportunity Mars rover. The recovery rover would collect the cached samples and return them to the lander for transfer to the ascent vehicle; additional samples could also be delivered directly by Perseverance. The ascension vehicle would then launch a special container containing the samples into Martian orbit. ESA would put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars before the launch of the ascension vehicle. This spacecraft would meet and capture the samples in orbit before returning them to Earth. NASA would provide the capture and containment payload module for the orbiter.

Atlas V Rocket Lucy United Launch Alliance

With the Lucy spacecraft on board, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is seen as it exits the vertical integration facility. Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls

Lucy Mission to set off to study Trojan asteroids

With the Lucy spacecraft on board, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is seen as it exits the vertical integration facility toward the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida. . Lucy will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. As the mission’s namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, “Lucy”, whose skeleton provided unique insight into the evolution of mankind – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. .

The Lucy mission was launched at 5:34 a.m. EDT on October 16, 2021 on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida.

Lucy mission asteroid targets

Illustration of the seven targets of the Lucy mission: the binary asteroid Patroclus / Menoetius, Eurybates, Orus, Leucus, Polymele and the main belt asteroid Donald Johanson. Credits: Conceptual Images Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Lucy: Inspiration and asteroids

NASA’s Lucy mission will explore a record number of asteroids, flying over one asteroid in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt and seven Trojan asteroids.

This illustration represents the seven targets of the Lucy mission: the binary asteroid Patroclus / Menoetius, Eurybates, Orus, Leucus, Polymele and the main belt asteroid Donald Johanson.

LMC N63A supernova remnant

A nearby supernova remnant, LMC N63A. Credit: NASA

Like monsters in the sky

A violent and chaotic mass of gas and dust is seen in this The Hubble Space Telescope image of nearby supernova remnant. Denoted N 63A, the object is the remnant of a massive star that has exploded, spewing its gaseous layers into an already turbulent region.

The rest of the supernova is part of a region of star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), an irregular galaxy 160,000 light years from us Milky Way.

Supernova remnants have long been thought to trigger episodes of star formation when their expanding shock encounters nearby gas. N 63A is still young, and his merciless shocks destroy the surrounding gas clouds, rather than forcing them to collapse and form stars.


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