Arianespace is gearing up for its tenth mission of the year that will launch the Göktürk-1 Earth-observing spacecraft for the Turkish Armed Forces. The satellite will be launched by the company’s light-lift Vega booster on Dec. 5 at 13:51 GMT (8:51 a.m. EST) from the Vega Launch Complex (SLV) in Kourou, French Guiana.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
International research involving a Monash University scientist is using new computer models and evidence from meteorites to show that a low-mass supernova triggered the formation of our solar system. The research is published in the most recent issue of leading scientific journal Nature Communications.
Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular gas. "This is different from what we see in the nearby Universe, where galaxies in clusters grow by cannibalizing other galaxies. In this cluster, a giant galaxy is growing by feeding on the soup of cold gas in which it is submerged," said Bjorn Emonts of the Center for Astrobiology in Spain, who led an international research team.
Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team led by UCLA astronomers has used new data to show that stars are responsible for producing dust on galactic scales, a finding consistent with long-standing theory. Dust is important because it is a key component of rocky planets such as Earth. This research is published online in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core wrapped in system of dark, swirling, thread-like filaments.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Dramatic climate cycles on early Mars, triggered by buildup of greenhouse gases, may be the key to understanding how liquid water left its mark on the planet's surface, according to a team of planetary scientists. Scientists have long debated how deep canyons and extensive valley networks — like the kinds carved by running water over millions of years on Earth — could form on Mars some 3.8 billion years ago, a time many believe the planet was frozen.
Pluto’s “icy heart” is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015. Of particular interest is the heart’s western lobe, informally named Sputnik Planitia, a deep basin containing three kinds of ices—frozen nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide—and appearing opposite Charon, Pluto’s tidally locked moon. Sputnik Planitia’s unique attributes have spurred a number of scenarios for its formation, all of which identify the feature as an impact basin, a depression created by a smaller body striking Pluto at extremely high speed.