OK, this is just too much.
First, NASA’s Dawn probe spotted curiously sparkly bright spots on the surface of Ceres, the dwarf planet that lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Beats us, the scientists said.
Now, cameras on the tractor-trailer-size spacecraft have captured a baffling structure rising 3 miles above the planet’s cratered surface.
Conveniently, the thing looks an awful lot like a pyramid.”Intriguing,” the NASA scientists said.
Another Image of Ceres showing Strange mysterious lights. Image taken by NASA’s DAWN spacecraft.
To be fair, the agency offered no suggestion that the towering structure is an offering to some long-lost space emperor or home to our new alien overlords.
And, to be even more fair, it’s probably just a really tall mountain in a solar system filled with wondrous and strange natural phenomena.
But the Dawn mission has done nothing but stoke imaginations since the discovery of mysterious bright spots on the surface of the dwarf planet in February and the beginning of the probe’s orbit in March.
Folks have claimed to have spotted giant alien motherships hovering over the planet, bat-winged spaceships parked on its surface and even evidence of alien cities.
But the mystery only deepened with the most recent batch of images showing even more bright spots alongside the largest one, which NASA said looks to stretch some 6 miles.
Many, of course, insist that the spots look for all the world like brightly lit cities twinkling on the shadowed surface of the distant dwarf planet.
I knew it! There’s gambling going on on Ceres! #aliens pic.twitter.com/QP6PB6JFho
— Chris Reher (@Chris_Reher) June 13, 2015
Of course, NASA hasn’t traveled down that road. Scientists, they say, still don’t know what the spots are. Maybe ice. Maybe salt.
“But scientists are considering other options, too,” NASA said coyly.
But #itsaliens, right?
Source : FirstPost
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Dark Matter Space Blogger
Artistic Depiction of Pluto
The National Space Society put together an incredible video preview of the history-making moment. It has the vibe of a movie trailer, complete with epic narration and stunning visuals, and it perfectly captures why space enthusiasts are so psyched about the New Horizons mission.
The video sweeps you through a timeline of the last half century of space exploration using beautiful images of each planet we’ve explored, starting with Venus in 1962 and ending with Neptune in 1989.
New Horizons will reach Pluto and its moons on July 14, and they will be “the farthest worlds ever to be explored by humankind,” the video says.
So far that the sun appears as a faint dot.
Here is the Video,
Source : businessinsider
Our sun is nearly 4.5 billion years — which means it missed the charming initial years of the Milky Way galaxy. If you were standing on a planet nearly about 10 billion years ago, when the Milky Way was pretty young, the night sky would have appeared very different. The image below is an artist’s impression of the night sky on a planet in a relatively young Milky Way-type galaxy, the way our galaxy was 10 billion years ago. You can see “the sky are ablaze with star birth. Pink clouds of gas harbor newborn stars, and bluish-white, young star clusters litter the landscape,” as NASA explains.
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Z. Levay (STScI)
A recent study of young galaxies like our own demonstrates that as these galaxies slow down creating stars, they also stop developing as quickly in general. Which is quite logical. NASA explains:
“Astronomers don’t have baby pictures of our Milky Way’s formative years to trace the history of stellar growth so they studied galaxies similar in mass to our Milky Way, found in deep surveys of the universe. The farther into the universe astronomers look, the further back in time they are seeing, because starlight from long ago is just arriving at Earth now. From those surveys, stretching back in time more than 10 billion years, researchers assembled an album of images containing nearly 2,000 snapshots of Milky Way-like galaxies. The new census provides the most complete picture yet of how galaxies like the Milky Way grew over the past 10 billion years into today’s majestic spiral galaxies. The multi-wavelength study spans ultraviolet to far-infrared light, combining observations from NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, and ground-based telescopes, including the Magellan Baade Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.”
Above is a selection of Hubble Space Telescope photos, displaying how galaxies similar to our own developed over time.
Source : Physics-astronomy
Here are the 10 Most Biggest Explosions and Impacts Ever Known in Space.
Enjoy the video…
Source : Hybrid Librarian (Video Uploader)
Here’s the full quote, as delivered by NASA Chief scientist Ellen Stofan at Tuesday’s panel discussion on the Agency’s search for habitable worlds and alien life:
“I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.
We know where to look. We know how to look,” Stofan added. “In most cases we have the technology, and we’re on a path to implementing it. And so I think we’re definitely on the road.”
Former astronaut John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, echoed Stofan’s assessment. “I think we’re one generation away in our solar system, whether it’s on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star.”
Maybe it’s time to start placing bets. Personally, my money’s on Europa – but each of the following “ocean worlds” listed in this infographic from NASA a solid candidate:
This newly released Hubble image shows Messier 22, the brightest globular cluster visible from the northern hemisphere.
A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbits a galactic core as a satellite. Globular clusters are very tightly bound by gravity, which gives them their spherical shapes and relatively high stellar densities toward their centers.
Messier 22 is located in the constellation Sagittarius, approximately 10,400 light-years away.
It was the first globular cluster to be discovered. German astronomer Johann Abraham Ihle found it on August 26, 1665, while observing Saturn.
The cluster, also known as M22 or NGC 6656, has a diameter of about 70 light-years and half a million solar masses.
According to astronomers, Messier 22 orbits the galactic center once every 200 million years.
The cluster is an easy object for the naked eye to see. Despite its relative proximity to us, the light from the cluster’s stars is not as bright as it should be as it is dimmed by dust and gas located between us and Messier 22.
As they are leftovers from the early Universe, globular clusters are popular study objects for astronomers.
Messier 22 has fascinating additional features: six planet-sized objects that are not orbiting a star have been detected in the cluster; it seems to host two black holes.
The cluster is one of only three ever found to host a planetary nebula – a short-lived gaseous shells ejected by massive stars at the ends of their lives.
Source : Sci-news
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has imaged a set of enigmatic quasar ghosts — ethereal green objects which mark the graves of these objects that flickered to life and then faded. The eight unusual looped structures orbit their host galaxies and glow in a bright and eerie goblin-green hue. They offer new insights into the turbulent pasts of these galaxies.
Hubble Space Telescope has discovered manifestations from the remote past, bright streams of gas, which look like immense looped objects glowing green, once ionized by quasars that no longer exist.
The telescope, which will turn 25 in 20 days, has taken photos of eight unusual space objects glowing emerald in the depths of space. Light emitting space areas dubbed ‘Hanny’s Voorwerp’ are tens of thousands of light years across.
The first object of this kind was spotted by Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel in 2007.
The ethereal wisps in these images were illuminated, perhaps briefly, by a blast of radiation from a quasar — a very luminous and compact region that surrounds a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Galactic material falls inwards towards the central black hole, growing hotter and hotter, forming a bright and brilliant quasar with powerful jets of particles and energy beaming above and below the disc of infalling matter.
In each of these eight images a quasar beam has caused once-invisible filaments in deep space to glow through a process called photoionisation. Oxygen, helium, nitrogen, sulphur and neon in the filaments absorb light from the quasar and slowly re-emit it over many thousands of years. Their unmistakable emerald hue is caused by ionised oxygen, which glows green.
hese objects were found in a spin-off of the Galaxy Zoo project, in which about 200 volunteers examined over 16 000 galaxy images in the SDSS to identify the best candidates for clouds similar to Hanny’s Voorwerp. A team of researchers analysed these and found a total of twenty galaxies that had gas ionised by quasars. Their results appear in a paper in the Astronomical Journal.
Source : RT , Spacetelescope.org
Maysak, a category 4 Super Typhoon, as photographed by astronaut Terry Virts on board the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts.
From his perch on the International Space Station, astronaut Terry Virts has been taking some beautiful photos of Earth and space and sharing them on social media.
“Looking down into the eye – by far the widest one I’ve seen,” he tweeted. “It seemed like a black hole from a Sci-Fi movie.”
According to AccuWeather.com, Super Typhoon Maysak is one of the strongest cyclones in history during the months of January, February and March. It has slammed several Micronesian islands, killing 5 people, and is now on its way to the Philippines. As of early on April 1, Maysak had sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph), equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. Gusts as high as 390 kph (180 mph) are possible with this storm.
The typhoon is expected to weaken, but still poses a threat to the islands in its path:
Source : Universe Today
One thing all solid bodies in the Solar System share in common is craters. Some worlds, like Mercury or the Moon, are covered in them, having no atmosphere to erode them away. Earth has relatively few; our dynamic atmosphere and water circulation wipes them out after a few millennia. And some icy bodies like Saturn’s moon Enceladus or Jupiter’s Europa only have a few because their surfaces are also constantly changing… on a geologic timescale.
Source : Sen Blog