In June 2018, a bright light burst into the skies over the Northern Hemisphere. At a glance it looked like any other supernova, but on closer inspection this thing turned out to be far weirder. Officially known as AT2018cow (but quickly nicknamed “The Cow”), astronomers now believe the ATLAS survey’s twin telescopes in Hawaii captured an unprecedented look at the birth of a black hole or a neutron star.
from the Daily Mail:
A Chinese rover is making its tracks on the soft surface of the ‘dark’ side of the moon after touching down on our nearest celestial neighbour.
The Yutu-2 – or Jade Rabbit 2 – rover drove off its lander’s ramp and onto the exterior of the moon’s far side at 10:22pm Beijing time (2:22 pm GMT) on Thursday, about 12 hours after the Chinese spacecraft carrying it came to rest.
China’s space agency later posted a photos online, revealing lunar rover several yards away from the spacecraft.
When we think of celestial threats to our planet, we usually think of big asteroids and comets, and maybe the odd gamma ray burst or supernova. What we probably wouldn’t think of is an entire galaxy bearing down on us, but according to a new study, that’s exactly what’s happening right now. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby dwarf galaxy, is on a collision course with the Milky Way, but there’s no need to worry just yet – the starry smashup won’t begin for another two billion years or so.
NASA’s New Horizons probe is just days away from its historic flyby of Ultima Thule, a mysterious object on the fringe of the solar system. Since it awoke from hibernation back in June, the craft has been making observations of the object, and that has raised the first puzzle – Ultima seems to be an unexpectedly “dark” world, and while there are a number of possible explanations, none of them have any precedent in the solar system.
Gas surrounding a supermassive black hole spews out from above and below the disk like a three-dimensional fountain, new simulations have revealed.
While it’s long been assumed that the rings of gas around active black holes took on the shape of a donut, researchers say the reality is far more complex.
Simulations and observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) suggest the ‘donut’ is actually a more dynamic structure made if three gaseous components that circulate constantly.
NASA has revealed plans to take America back to the moon – but will rely on private firms to run the missions.
The space agency plans to work with nine private firms, ranging from small startups to giants like Lockheed Martin, to develop robotic landers and systems to mine the natural resources on the moon.
This will help develop the technology need for eventual manned missions, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine pledged to have a manned lunar base within a decade.
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Forget steel, forget diamond and even forget everyone’s favorite wonder material graphene – “nuclear pasta” may be the strongest material in the universe. This strange substance is formed in the intense pressures inside neutron stars, and researchers have now run computer simulations to test just how strong it is.