Ukraine Crowdfunded a $17M Reconnaissance SAR Satellite Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation signed a contract with ICEYE to provide the Government of Ukraine with the SAR reconnaissance data and full capabilities of one of ICEYE’s satellite already in orbit. The deal was closed with the money from the Foundation’s crowdfunding initiative. The Crowdfunding The story of this acquisition is rather interesting. Serhiy Prytula, who was a showman, comic and TV host before the war, has been doing a lot of volunteering to help Ukraine fight against Russia’s invasion. His charity foundation has been providing the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine with humanitarian aid,Read More →

What is the Maximum Number of Moons that Earth Could Have? In a recent study published in Earth and Planetary Astrophysics, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, Valdosta State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory estimated how many moons could theoretically orbit the Earth while maintaining present conditions such as orbital stability. This study opens the potential for better understanding planetary formation processes which could also be applied to identifying exomoons possibly orbiting Earth-like exoplanets, as well. “In an earlier work, I examined planet packing for the Alpha Centauri binary,” said Dr. Billy Quarles, anRead More →

Cyanobacteria Will be our Best Partner for Living on Mars Scientists, futurists, and fans of science fiction alike have all dreamed that someday, humans would set foot on Mars. With the dozens of robotic orbiters, landers, rovers, and aerial vehicles we have sent there since the turn of the century (and the crewed missions that will follow in the next decade), the prospect that humans might settle on the Red Planet is once again a popular idea. Granted, the challenges of getting people there are monumental, to say nothing of the challenges (and hazards) associated with living there. No matter how many people are willingRead More →

A New Image From Webb Shows Galaxy NGC 1365, Known to Have an Actively Feeding Supermassive Black Hole The James Webb Space Telescope continues to deliver stunning images of the Universe, demonstrating that the years of development and delays were well worth the wait! The latest comes from Judy Schmidt (aka. Geckzilla, SpaceGeck), an astrophotographer who processed an image taken by Webb of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365. Also known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, NGC 1365 is a double-barred spiral galaxy consisting of a long bar and a smaller barred structure located about 56 million light-years away in the southern constellation Fornax.Read More →

Would We Have Continents Without Asteroid Impacts? Early Earth was a wild and wooly place. In its first billion years, during a period called the Archean, our planet was still hot from its formation. Essentially, the surface was lava for millions of years. Asteroids bombarded the planet, and the place was still recovering from the impact that formed the Moon. Oceans were beginning to form as the surface solidified and water outgassed from the rock. The earliest atmosphere was actually rock vapor, followed quickly by the growth of a largely hot carbon dioxide and water vapor blanket. Earth was just starting land masses that laterRead More →

Spacewalk Cut Short, Cosmonaut Told to “Drop Everything” and Go Back Into the Space Station Russian and US flight controllers decided to cut short a spacewalk by two cosmonauts outside the International Space Station yesterday after voltage fluctuations in Oleg Artemyev’s Orlan spacesuit caused concern. About halfway into a scheduled seven-hour EVA, Artemeyev was repeatedly ordered to drop what he was working on and return to ISS’s airlock. “Drop everything and start going back right away,” was one of the translated messages heard during a NASA livestream of the spacewalk. “Oleg, you must return to the airlock as soon as possible because if you loseRead More →

Artemis 1 Goes Back to the Launch pad, Getting Ready for its August 29th Blastoff The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft now sits on the launchpad, ready for liftoff on a journey around the Moon. This is the first time since 1972 that NASA has a human-rated spacecraft is ready to go beyond Earth orbit. The launch for the uncrewed Artemis 1 test flight is currently scheduled for August 29, and it will be the first full integrated test of the super heavy-lift launch vehicle and the Orion capsule.  The flight will last several weeks, and go further into space than allRead More →

Here’s the Largest Image JWST Has Taken So Far A team of scientists using the James Webb Space Telescope have just released the largest image taken by the telescope so far. The image is a mosaic of 690 individual frames taken with the telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and it covers an area of sky about eight times as large as JWST’s First Deep Field Image released on July 12. And it is absolutely FULL of early galaxies, many never seen before. Additionally, the team may have photographed one of the most distant galaxies yet observed. This image is a mosaic of 690 individual framesRead More →

NASA scientists study how to remove planetary ‘photobombers’ Imagine you go to a theme park with your family and you ask a park employee to take a group photo. A celebrity walks by in the background and waves at the camera, stealing the focus of the photo. Surprisingly, this concept of “photobombing” is relevant to astronomers looking for habitable planets, too. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

R136 is the Most Massive Star Astronomers Have Ever Found. We Just got Some new Images of it Meet R136a1, the most mass star known. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, it’s a hulking behemoth weighing somewhere between 150 and 200 times the mass of the Sun. Understanding the upper limit of stars helps astronomers peace together everything from the life cycles of stars to the histories of galaxies. A team of astronomers have studied in detail the star cluster known as R136. This star cluster is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud about 150,000 light-years from Earth. The star cluster itself is huge, featuringRead More →

New discovery may offer clues to ‘missing’ pulsars Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are evolved neutron stars with short spin periods that have gone through a long period of mass transfer in a low-mass X-ray binary phase. Globular clusters (GCs)—conglomerations of tens of thousands or millions of stars—are prolific environments for the formation of MSPs. However, in NGC 6397—one of two GCs closest to Earth—only one MSP had been identified until recently. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

Test chamber for NASA’s new cosmic mapmaker makes dramatic entrance After three years of design and construction, a monthlong boat ride across the Pacific Ocean, and a lift from a 30-ton crane, the customized test chamber for NASA’s upcoming SPHEREx mission has finally reached its destination at Caltech’s Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pasadena. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

NASA Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the First Indigenous Woman in Space! This Fall, the fifth crewed mission (Crew-5) of the NASA Commercial Crew Program will depart for the International Space Station (ISS). This mission will see four astronauts launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Flordia aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon (atop a Falcon 9 rocket). Once they reach the ISS, they will join the crew of Expedition 67 and conduct science experiments as part of Expedition 68. The mission commander of this flight, Nicole Aunapu Mann, is a naval aviator and test pilot with a distinguished military career. She will also beRead More →

Image: ESO telescope images a spectacular cosmic dance ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has imaged the result of a spectacular cosmic collision—the galaxy NGC 7727. This giant was born from the merger of two galaxies, an event that started around a billion years ago. At its center lies the closest pair of supermassive black holes ever found, two objects that are destined to coalesce into an even more massive black hole. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

One Exciting way to Find Planets: Detect the Signals From Their Magnetospheres We have discovered thousands of exoplanets in recent years. Most have them have been discovered by the transit method, where an optical telescope measures the brightness of a star over time. If the star dips very slightly in brightness, it could indicate that a planet has passed in front of it, blocking some of the light. The transit method is a powerful tool, but it has limitations. Not the least of which is that the planet must pass between us and its star for us to detect it. The transit method also reliesRead More →

The photon ring: A black hole ready for its close-up When scientists unveiled humanity’s historic first image of a black hole in 2019—depicting a dark core encircled by a fiery aura of material falling toward it—they believed even richer imagery and insights were waiting to be teased out of the data. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

Scientists take another theoretical step toward uncovering the mystery of dark matter, black holes Much of the matter in the universe remains unknown and undefined, yet theoretical physicists continue to gain clues to the properties of dark matter and black holes. A study by a team of scientists including three from Stony Brook University proposes a novel method to search for new particles not currently contained in the standard model of particle physics. Their method, published in Nature Communications, could shed light on the nature of dark matter. phys.org Go to SourceRead More →

ESO telescope images a spectacular cosmic dance ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has imaged the result of a spectacular cosmic collision — the galaxy NGC 7727. This giant was born from the merger of two galaxies, an event that started around a billion years ago. At its centre lies the closest pair of supermassive black holes ever found, two objects that are destined to coalesce into an even more massive black hole. ESO News Feed Go to SourceRead More →