For the first time ever, astronomers at The University of New Mexico say they’ve been able to observe and measure the orbital motion between two supermassive black holes hundreds of millions of light years from Earth – a discovery more than a decade in the making.
NASA’s orbiter Cassini will make a series of decreasing orbits that will end in a fiery death dive into Saturn’s atmosphere in September. This deliberate termination of a still serviceable spacecraft is to comply with “planetary protection” protocols, designed to minimise the risk of depositing stowaway Earth microbes into an environment where they might be able to reproduce.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have completed the first “science raft” for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a massive telescope designed to capture images of the universe like never before. The raft is part of the sensor array that will make up the crucial camera segment of the telescope, and its completion is the first major milestone for Brookhaven’s role in the project.
(Phys.org)—A new study recently published on arXiv.org reveals that the fossil group galaxy NGC 1132 (also known as UGC 2359) has a disturbed and asymmetrical hot halo. The findings provide new insights into the formation and evolution of this galaxy and could improve our understanding of fossil groups in the universe.
A team of three Dutch astronomers from the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University found a new way to form two black holes that orbit each other for quite a while and then merge. Their publication with computer simulations has been accepted by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers, one with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel the other with Princeton University in the U.S. has come up with a possible explanation for the inability of space scientists to find any intermediate-sized black holes. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, Tal Alexander and Ben Bar-Or offer an outline of current theories regarding how black holes in general are believed to develop, theories about the early universe, and finally, their ideas on how current theories may lead to an explanation for the dearth of intermediate sized black holes.
NASA has achieved a significant milestone in its effort to make supersonic passenger jet travel over land a real possibility by completing the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.