Exploration of the solar system has made great strides with the arrival of the BepiColombo spacecraft to Mercury and confirmation of the presence of water vapor on Europa, the frozen moon of Jupiter. Not only that, but the best images were recorded for a group of 42 large asteroids from the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.
On the other hand, there are still some mysteries, such as the origin of the high-energy neutrino discovered in 2019, which did not come from where scientists thought. Check out these and more stories in this week’s hottest space news digest!
You’re looking at the Mars Noachis Terra, where the exposed minerals were recently imaged by the HiRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. This exposure is due to valleys formed by erosion along the side of a huge crater called the Kaiser.
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This erosion occurs in the steepest parts of the box dunes each year, when sunlight evaporates carbon dioxide ice. Seasonal changes in the Noachis region have long altered the landscape and provided incredible images since MRO reached Mars orbit.
This is the largest set of accurate images of objects in the asteroid belt, taken with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). There are 42 images of the largest bodies in the region, which are located between Jupiter and Mars, with some “celebrities” from the solar system, such as Ceres, Vista and Sishi.
What most caught the attention of researchers in these images is the diversity of asteroids, which are divided into two groups – globular and elongated. Finding such diversity in the same region is unusual, so astronomers believe that the least dense formed in the outer orbits of the Solar System and later migrated closer to the Sun.
The BepiColombo spacecraft has arrived at Mercury and has already recorded some important regions of the planet, including much of the southern hemisphere, while the sun was shining in the region of the Rubis astrolabe. This structure is 250 km long and indicates where the contractions due to the cooling of mercury occur.
Hayden crater, with a diameter of 251 km, was also photographed, where it is likely that lava has already flooded. Another recorded area is the Pampu Facula, which formed from volcanic eruptions, giving evidence that the planet did indeed have very intense volcanic activity, for more than 3 billion years.
The planet WASP-76b gained a certain fame when it was discovered in 2016 because it is so hot that it rains iron on its night side. Now, a new study shows it’s “hotter” than imagined.
This was discovered when scientists discovered the presence of ionized calcium in its atmosphere, which indicates a high daytime temperature above 2246 degrees Celsius. Another possibility is that very strong winds are occurring in the upper atmosphere of this exoplanet.
William Shatner, Immortal Captain Kirk, from the classic series Star TrekHe was bold as no other man of his age. That’s right, at the age of 90, he became the oldest person to go into space. The flight took place on Wednesday (13th), on Blue Origin’s NS-18 mission, with three other passengers also on board.
The craft reached sub-orbital space at an altitude of 106 km, and provided a unique experience of enjoying microgravity while observing planet Earth from afar. Everything lasted about 11 minutes, and at the end of the adventure, New Shepard landed on the surface with the help of parachutes. The crew left the capsule and was greeted by friends and family, as well as the Blue Origin team and its founder. Jeff Bezos.
The high-energy neutrino discovered in 2019 did not come from Black hole Which researchers have referred to as the origin of the “ghost particle”. The IceCube neutrino detector team determined it was created when a spaghetti black hole devoured a star in a distant galaxy, but a new study shows that’s not the case.
According to the paper’s authors, the stellar spaghetti event in the galaxy 2MASX J20570298 + 1412165 did not produce enough energy to release a neutrino of this type. This brings the IceCube team back to its starting point, in search of the origin of this highly mysterious particle. Neutrinos can be produced by the Sun and even in the Earth’s core, but high-energy neutrinos, known as cosmic neutrinos, remain a mystery to science.
Six galaxies discovered by a team of scientists through gravitational lensing (a phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s general relativity that creates a magnifying glass through the gravity of a nearby galaxy that distorts the light of a distant galaxy) can no longer produce stars. Now astronomers wonder why.
These galaxies are very old and “dim”, that is, they are less bright because their stars are old and there is no new star formation. The problem, in fact, is that the cold gas, the raw material for “making” stars, has disappeared from these galaxies, and it is not yet known how. Solving this mystery will help astronomers understand the evolution and “death” of galaxies in the universe.
The New Horizons spacecraft, the same spacecraft that visited and recorded images of Pluto in 2015, discovered that two asteroids already known to astronomers are actually binary systems. This means that each of them is a system in which two asteroids orbit each other. It is located in the Kuiper belt, after the orbit of Pluto.
Binary systems like this could explain how exotic asteroids like Arrokoth take on the shape of a “snowman”. Because when two bodies orbit each other at a critical distance, it is fate that they both meet in a collision that results in a merger, forming a new body. The probe will investigate the Kuiper Belt, including things that have changed little or no throughout the history of the solar system.
Constant water vapor has been detected in the atmosphere of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Previously, data suggested these vapors, but scientists only found an ice eruption. Now, for the first time, the irregular distribution of vapor in this frozen world was confirmed.
The prolonged presence of water vapor appears to occur only in the later hemisphere of Europe, and there is no explanation for this. In any case, the discovery will be useful for missions that will explore the lunar system of Jupiter, such as the Europa Clipper, from NASA.
Starliner capsule, from Boeing, is not yet ready to fly, due to valve problems in the ship’s propulsion system. The next test, which should show that the car is able to dock with the International Space Station, should take place only in 2022. NASA representatives had already mentioned that this could happen, and now, the postponement is official.
This capsule, next to the Crew Dragon, is from SpaceXIt was designed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which partnered with agencies until the United States returned to send astronauts in their own vehicles. After the demise of the space shuttles, NASA had to pay Russia for seats in Soyuz vehicles. Crew Dragon sent NASA’s first crew to the International Space Station in 2020.
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