News

(Space Fellowship) ILS Proton Successfully Launches Inmarsat-5 F3 Satellite

The Final Global Xpress Satellite Launch in 3-constellation Series. BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan – An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M successfully placed the Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3) satellite into a super-synchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) today. The spacecraft was launched for Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. I-5 F3 is the third of Inmarsat’s next-generation Global Xpress satellites, which launched on an ILS Proton. T [...]

(Space Fellowship) The Seagull Nebula

A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the [...]

(Discovery News) Black Holes Slug it Out in Quasar Deathmatch

In a galaxy, 600 million light-years away, a black hole deathmatch is ripping up spacetime, exposing some fascinating dynamics at the heart of a powerful quasar.

(Discovery News) Beyond Sunday's 'Supermoon': Lunar Perigee Science

You'll probably hear a lot about a 'supermoon' over the next few months. This is not a term that astronomers use, but here are some facts about what will actually happen.

(Space Fellowship) Completed Soyuz Relocation Sets Stage for New Station Crew

International Space Station Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos docked their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory’s Zvezda service module at 3:30 a.m. EDT. The crew members undocked from the Poisk module at 3:12 a.m. The move of the Soyuz spacecraft clears the Poisk module for the arrival of Expedition 45 crew member Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos, and v [...]

(Discovery News) Hubble Sees Galaxies Undergo Dramatic Metamorphosis

From round disks to oval clusters; many galaxies in the Universe have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past eight billion years or so.

(Space Fellowship) Puppis A Supernova Remnant

Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues. Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, [...]

(Space Fellowship) NASA Concludes Series of Engine Tests for Next-Gen Rocket

NASA has completed the first developmental test series on the RS-25 engines that will power the agency’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on missions deeper into space than ever before. The test series wrapped up Thursday with a seventh hot fire test of a developmental RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The test ran for a full-duration 535 seconds. “The completion of this test series is an important step in getting  [...]

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Finds That the Nearest Quasar Is Powered by a Double Black Hole

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that Markarian 231 (Mrk 231), the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, is powered by two central black holes furiously whirling about each other. The finding suggests that quasars — the brilliant cores of active galaxies — may commonly host two central supermassive black holes that fall into orbit about one another as a result of the merger between two galaxies. Like a pair of whirling skaters, the black-hole duo generates [...]

(ScienceDaily) Astrophysicist find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

Astrophysicists have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth. The discovery of two supermassive black holes -- one larger one and a second, smaller one -- are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent mergers.