Thundering off the launch pad at Kourou in French Guiana, an Ariane 5 booster took to the skies on Wednesday, Aug 24, to deliver Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 commsats into orbit. The mission, designated VA232 in Arianespace’s numbering system, lifted off at 5:55 p.m. EDT (21:55 GMT) from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3).
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Extensive systems of fossilized riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about four billion years ago, according to UCL-led research. The study, published in Geology and funded by the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the UK Space Agency, identified over 17,000 km of former river channels on a northern plain called Arabia Terra, providing further evidence of water once flowing on Mars.
The international University of California, Riverside-led SpARCS collaboration has discovered four of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, as they appeared when the universe was only 4 billion years old. Clusters are rare regions of the universe consisting of hundreds of galaxies containing trillions of stars, as well as hot gas and mysterious dark matter. Spectroscopic observations from the ground using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Very Large Telescope in Chile confirmed the four candidates to be massive clusters. This sample is now providing the best measurement yet of when and how fast galaxy clusters stop forming stars in the early Universe.
Astrophysicists from Johns Hopkins University have proposed a clever new way of shedding light on the mysterious dark matter believed to make up most of the universe. The irony is they want to try to pin down the nature of this unexplained phenomenon by using another, an obscure cosmic emanation known as “fast radio bursts.”
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery, which was accomplished by comparing data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new blazar candidates.
Seasonal dark streaks on Mars that have become one of the hottest topics in interplanetary research don't hold much water, according to the latest findings from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. The new results from NASA's Mars Odyssey mission rely on ground temperature, measured by infrared imaging using the spacecraft's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS).
Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. A paper describing this milestone finding will be published in the journal Nature on 25 August 2016.