Black Hole Milky Way

A newly released video today has further confirmed that there’s actually a supermassive black hole, named Sagittarius A* by scientists, at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In this 1.5-minute clip, you get a wide view of the night sky into the area where the latest telescopic observations were just made. The research team observed three bright flares orbiting around Sagittarius A*, which completed 150-million-mile circuits in 45-minutes, or approximately 30% the speed of light. continue reading for another video and more information.

NASA InSight

NASA already has plenty of vehicles on around Mars, and soon, it will have the InSight rover. This lander is set touch down on the Red Planet on November 26, and is designed to listen to the rumblings going on inside the planet, and transmit data that will help scientists understand what’s going on deep under the Martian soil. “InSight will teach us about the interior of planets like our own. The mission team hopes that by studying the deep interior of Mars, we can learn how other rocky worlds, including Earth and the Moon, formed,” said NASA. Continue reading for another video and more information.

China Artificial Moon

A private aerospace institute in China has announced that it plans to launch an artificial moon into stationary orbit above the city of Chengdu in the Sichuan province city to serve as a sunlight reflector and provide a backup light source for residents. Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., said the artificial moon has been under development for a few years and ‘is now nearly ready to launch.’ Continue reading for another video and more information.

Mars Volcano Smoke

Photo credit: The Daily Mail

Researchers are puzzled by a bizarre 900-mile-long ‘plume’ cloud on the surface of Mars, but what’s even more surprising is they believe it isn’t caused by volcanic activity. That’s right, the proposed theory is a water ice cloud ‘driven by the influence of the volcano’s leeward slope on the air flow’. “The cloud’s appearance varies throughout the martian day, growing in length during local morning downwind of the volcano, almost parallel to the equator, and reaching such an impressive size that could make it visible even to telescopes on Earth,’ said the European Space Agency. Continue reading for another video and more information.

Parker Solar Probe Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will soon pass within 15 million miles of the solar surface, making it the only spacecraft to ever get so close to the sun, ever. The probe is set to make 24 close approaches to the sun over the next seven years, with the closest pass being 3.8 million miles. “It’s been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history,’ said Project Manager Andy Driesman, from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. Continue reading for two more videos and information.

10-Trillion FPS Camera

Researchers at Caltech have developed a camera that is capable of capturing light at 10 trillion frames per second, making it the world’s fastest. This technology makes it possible to freeze time and capture video in slow motion. This new imaging technique, called T-CUP (Compressed Ultrafast Photography) can power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications. Continue reading for another video and more information.

Rectangular Iceberg NASA

This perfectly rectangular-shaped iceberg was spotted on October 16 by NASA’s IceBridge program, which flies planes over the poles to capture photos, near the Larsen-C ice shelf. “It’s not uncommon to see that in Antarctica – although that [the tabular iceberg spotted by NASA] is a fresh and sharp looking one,” said Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Continue reading for another video and more information.

Earth Spinning Backwards

Ever wonder what would happen if the earth’s rotation suddenly reversed? For starters, the deserts would cover North America, arid sand dunes would replace expanses of the Amazon rainforest in South America, and lush, green landscapes would flourish from central Africa to the Middle East. Freezing winters would plague western Europe, while cyanobacteria, a group of bacteria that produce oxygen through photosynthesis, might bloom where they never had before. Continue reading for another video and more information.

Hornet Venom

Photo credit: Nikon via Peta Pixel

It’s that time again, time for the winners of this year’s Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, which showcases “excellence in photography through the light microscope” and has been running for 44-years thus far. This incredible award-winning shot comes from Pierre Anquet of La Tour-du-Crieu, Ariege, France, who managed to capture a Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) with venom on its stinger. Continue reading for more.

Z-Man Climbing System

Geckos, spiders and other small animals are the inspiration behind DARPA’s Z-Man Climbing System. These creatures scale vertical surfaces using unique systems that exhibit strong reversible adhesion via van der Waals forces or hook-into-surface asperities. Z-Man seeks to create synthetic versions of these biological systems, optimize them for efficient human climbing and use them as novel climbing aids. A proof-of-concept demonstration showed that a 16-square-inch sheet of Geckskin adhering to a vertical glass wall could support a static load of up to 660 pounds. Continue reading for more interesting images from around the web.