Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kounotori 7 Cargo Resupply Mission on Its Way to ISS

The Kounotori 7 spacecraft is launched by Japan’s H-IIB rocket. Liftoff took place at 17:52 GMT Sept. 22, 2018. Photo Credit: JAXA

Japan’s seventh cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan to send more than six metric tons of cargo, including supplies to for the crew, new batteries and various experiments.

MAVEN Selfie Marks Four Years in Orbit at Mars

This image is a composite selfie taken by MAVEN's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument that normally looks at ultraviolet emissions from the Martian upper atmosphere. Lines are sketched in to show approximately where components of the spacecraft are that were not able to be imaged due to the limited motion of the instrument around its support boom. Thrusters can be seen at the lower left and right, the Electra communications antenna at the bottom toward the left, the magnetometer and sun sensor at the end of the solar-panels at the upper left, the tip of the communications antenna at the top middle. In addition, the shadow of the IUVS and of its support boom can be seen down the middle of the spacecraft body. Credits: University of Colorado/NASA

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft celebrates four years in orbit studying the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet and how it interacts with the Sun and the solar wind. To mark the occasion, the team has released a selfie image of the spacecraft at Mars.

Three Earth Explorer Ideas Selected by ESA

Offering new views of our dynamic Earth, ESA’s first four Earth Explorers – GOCE, SMOS, CryoSat and Swarm – have been hailed as remarkable successes. While they deliver on their promises, they have also surpassed expectations with a range of interesting and complementary results beyond their original goals. And their stories continue. Credit: ESA

As part of ESA’s continuing commitment to realize cutting-edge satellite missions to advance scientific understanding of our planet and to show how new technologies can be used in space, three new ideas have been chosen to compete as the tenth Earth Explorer mission.

Astrophysicists Measure Precise Rotation Pattern of Sun-Like Stars for the First Time

Sun-like stars rotate differentially, with the equator rotating faster than the higher latitudes. The blue arrows in the figure represent rotation speed. Differential rotation is thought to be an essential ingredient for generating magnetic activity and starspots. Credit: MPI for Solar System Research/

Sun-like stars rotate up to two and a half times faster at the equator than at higher latitudes, a finding by researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi that challenges current science on how stars rotate. Until now, little was known about the precise rotational patterns of Sun-like stars, only that the equator spins faster than at higher latitudes, similar to the Sun.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Minor Geomagnetic Storm May Hit Earth on Sunday

A G1-class (minor) geomagnetic storm may hit Earth on Sunday, September 23, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On that day a solar wind stream is expected to reach our planet’s magnetic field.

Matter Falling into a Black Hole at 30 Percent of the Speed of Light

Characteristic disc structure from the simulation of a misaligned disc around a spinning black hole. Credit: K. Pounds et al. / University of Leicester

A UK team of astronomers report the first detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30% of the speed of light, located in the center of the billion-light year distant galaxy PG211+143. The team, led by Professor Ken Pounds of the University of Leicester, used data from the European Space Agency’s X-ray observatory XMM-Newton to observe the black hole. Their results appear in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists Present New Observations to Understand the Phase Transition in Quantum Chromodynamics

ALICE detector at LHC. Credit: CERN/Saba, A.

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction.