Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Solar Flares: Comprehensive Model Captures Entire Life Cycle

Solar flare modeled in the new study. The violet color represents plasma with temperature less than 1 million Kelvin. Red represents temperatures between 1 million and 10 million Kelvin, and green represents temperatures above 10 million Kelvin. (Image: Courtesy Mark Cheung, Lockheed Martin, and Matthias Rempel, NCAR)

A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash.

Secrets of Our Universe Live in a Big Blue Cylinder

Credit: Lukasz Geratowski/Aalto University

It doesn’t look like much. It’s about two meters tall, the width of an old tree, and the shade of a blue Lego block. But inside the metal cylinder, under intense pressure at bone-chilling conditions, a special form of helium is providing clues to the oldest question: how did the universe come to be?

Spektr-R Telescope Still Not Responding to Earth’s Command, While Its Onboard Systems Operate in Normal Mode

Artist's rendering of Spektr-R in space. Credit: Roscosmos

Another attempt to restore control over Russia’s radio telescope Spektr-R has failed, Alexander Bloshenko, adviser on science to the chief of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, told TASS on Monday.

Iran Launches Satellite into Space, Fails to Put It into Orbit

Launch of Payam satellite. Credit: Mizan news agency

Iran has launched a domestically-built satellite into space with an aim to collect environmental information to boost the country's forecasting system; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to Resume Operations

Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/ESA

NASA has moved closer to conducting science operations again with the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument, which suspended operations on Tuesday, Jan. 8. On Jan. 15, the instrument was brought back to its operations mode.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

China Unveils Follow-Up Lunar Exploration Missions

China's Yutu-2 rover on the moon. Credit: Xinhua

China will launch the Chang'e-5 probe by the end of this year to bring moon samples back to Earth, a senior official of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Monday.

Universe: The Orderly Chaos of Black Holes

The dedicated Gamma-ray Burst Polarimetry experiment POLAR on top of China’s TiangGong-2 spacelab launched on September 15, 2016. The glowing green light mimics the scintillating light when a gamma-ray photon hits one of the 1600 specially made scintillation bars. The artwork is based on a picture taken by a camera located several meters behind POLAR. © UNIGE

Researchers at UNIGE have discovered that photons emitted during the creation of a black hole appear to be disordered. Within a single time slice they however appear to be highly ordered.

Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Earth, Splashes Down in the Pacific

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule departs the International Space Station on Sunday. Credit: David Saint-Jacques/NASA/CSA

Packed with about two tons of cargo and science, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft departed the International Space Station on Sunday, January 13. A parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean occurred at about 9:10 p.m. PST, just west of Baja California. That same evening, a recovery team secured Dragon on a boat for the return trip to the Port of Los Angeles, wrapping up SpaceX’s 16th resupply mission to the space station.