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DrCaleb @ Thu Apr 28, 2022 10:18 am

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft To Visit Another Near-Earth Asteroid, Apophis

NASA has extended the University of Arizona-led mission, which will be renamed OSIRIS-APEX, to examine the near-Earth asteroid Apophis for 18 months. Apophis will make a close approach to Earth in 2029.

. . .

“Apophis is one of the most infamous asteroids,” DellaGiustina said. “When it was first discovered in 2004, there was concern that it would impact the Earth in 2029 during its close approach. That risk was retired after subsequent observations, but it will be the closest an asteroid of this size has gotten in the 50 or so years asteroids have been closely tracked, or for the next 100 years of asteroids we have discovered so far. It gets within one-tenth the distance between the Earth and moon during the 2029 encounter. People in Europe and Africa will be able to see it with the naked eye, that’s how close it will get. We were stoked to find out the mission was extended.”


bootlegga @ Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:01 pm

Sulfur from dino-killing asteroid caused way more global cooling than thought


Scape @ Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:51 am

Ingenuity helicopter takes photos of debris field on MarsImage


DrCaleb @ Mon May 02, 2022 6:01 am


Webb in full focus


DrCaleb @ Wed May 04, 2022 11:48 am

A space telescope could reveal a black hole's photon ring

Despite decades of study, black holes are still among the most powerful and mysterious celestial objects ever studied. Because of the extreme gravitational forces involved, nothing can escape the surface of a black hole (including light). As a result, the study of these objects has traditionally been confined to observing their influence on objects and spacetime in their vicinity. It was not until 2019 that the first image of a black hole was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

This feat was made possible thanks to a technique known as Very-Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), which allowed scientists to see the bright ring surrounding the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the M87 galaxy. A new study by an international team of astronomers has shown how a space-based interferometry mission could reveal even more secrets hiding within the veil of a black hole's event horizon.

The research was led by Leonid Gurvits, a researcher with the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry European Research Infrastructure Consortium (JIVE ERIC) and the Delft University of Technology. He was joined by researchers from the Institute of Radio Astronomy (INAF), the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), the Black Hole Initiative, and multiple universities and research institutes. ... -hole.html

May 12th is the likely day we will see the first image from James Webb, and it will likely be the supermassive black hole at Sagittarius A*, our own galactic center.


Scape @ Sun May 08, 2022 3:25 pm ... L&index=10


Strutz @ Mon May 09, 2022 6:34 pm

Scape Scape:
Ingenuity helicopter takes photos of debris field on MarsImage

Wow. We are actually littering on other planets.


DrCaleb @ Tue May 10, 2022 5:54 am

MIRI’s Sharper View Hints at New Possibilities for Science


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is aligned across all four of its science instruments, as seen in a previous engineering image showing the observatory’s full field of view. Now, we take a closer look at that same image, focusing on Webb’s coldest instrument: the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI.

The MIRI test image (at 7.7 microns) shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way provided a dense star field to test Webb’s performance.

Here, a close-up of the MIRI image is compared to a past image of the same target taken with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Array Camera (at 8.0 microns). The retired Spitzer telescope was one of NASA’s Great Observatories and the first to provide high-resolution images of the near- and mid-infrared universe. Webb, with its significantly larger primary mirror and improved detectors, will allow us to see the infrared sky with improved clarity, enabling even more discoveries.

Image ... telescope/


DrCaleb @ Thu May 12, 2022 6:38 am

Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy


Today, at simultaneous press conferences around the world, including at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) headquarters in Germany, astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.

The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very centre of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced "sadge-ay-star") — is a black hole, and today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.

Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a shadow) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun.

“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity," said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. "These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings." The EHT team's results are being published today in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Because the black hole is about 27 000 light-years away from Earth, it appears to us to have about the same size in the sky as a doughnut on the Moon. To image it, the team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope [1]. The EHT observed Sgr A* on multiple nights in 2017, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera.


DrCaleb @ Thu May 12, 2022 9:59 am

The difference in Supermassive Black holes.



Scape @ Thu May 12, 2022 2:26 pm ... WL&index=5


DrCaleb @ Sun May 15, 2022 9:51 am


DrCaleb @ Tue May 17, 2022 9:38 am

How to build a wormhole in just 3 (nearly impossible) steps


Scape @ Tue May 17, 2022 6:07 pm ... WL&index=2


Scape @ Thu May 19, 2022 8:59 pm

Russia ‘screws up’ space launch of ‘classified payload’ that will CRASH back to Earth



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