We haven’t yet solved the mystery of dark matter, but this universe size comparison 3D animation by Global Data does show us how small Earth and our solar system really is. What really stands out is Keppler-22b, which is an exoplanet roughly twice the size of our planet, located within the habitable zone of the Sun-like star Kepler-22.
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has officially dropped off its final sample tube at the depot, which will eventually be recovered by the future NASA / ESA Mars Sample Return campaign. These samples consist of rocks the mission team deems scientifically significant in the ‘Three Forks’ region of the Jezero Crater.
NASA / ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured young variable stars in the Orion Nebula, located approximately 1,450 light-years from Earth. V 372 Orionis is the brightest young variable star in this image, classified as an Orion Variable, and experiences vast changes in luminosity due to growing pains.
You’ve heard an actual galaxy cluster, but astronomers have managed to capture an actual radio signal from a galaxy located nearly 9 billion light-years from Earth. That’s right, teams from Montreal and India captured this radio signal from the most distant galaxy so far at a specific wavelength known as the 21 cm line, providing insight to the secrets of the early universe.
It’s official, NASA has successfully tested the first full-scale rotating detonation rocket engine (RDRE), an advanced design that could be used for future deep space missions. Unlike traditional rocket engines that generate thrust using a supersonic combustion phenomenon known as a detonation, the RDRE design generates more power while using less fuel by incorporating a NASA-developed copper-alloy GRCop-42 with the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process. This enables the engine to operate under extreme conditions for longer durations without overheating.
NASA announced today that it has partnered with DARPA to develop DRACO (Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations), a nuclear-powered rocket that could be used for future manned missions to Mars. A nuclear thermal rocket makes sense because it allows for faster transit time and increased science payload capacity, all the while reducing risk for astronauts.
This isn’t a massive Martian dust storm, but rather the unusual Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud (AEMC) that returns to Mars each year. Why? Well, the 1,100-mile cloud returns every spring because 5% – 10% of the planet’s atmosphere has the perfect conditions to make recreate it, although a probe would need to study the water ice contain within to confirm this.
You’ve heard JWST images turned into sound, now check out an image of the Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, created with NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory data and an infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope. The X-rays appear as royal blue and purple, revealing gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by shock waves, similar to sonic booms, generated by the winds from massive stars.
Astronomers used NOIRLab’s Dark Energy Camera to capture a massive survey of the Milky Way galaxy’s galactic plane that contains a gargantuan 3.32 billion celestial objects. The original image from the US Department of Energy-fabricated Dark Energy Camera at the NSF’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile was reproduced in 4,000-pixels to fit on smaller devices.
Photo credit: Maria Valdes
An international team of researchers recently discovered a massive 16.7-pound meteorite during their expedition, but no sight of Husky UGV. In all, they collected five meteorites, with the 16.7-pound specimen being one of the largest ever retrieved from the continent, and plan to analyze them at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.