Sunday, January 29

Astronomy

China is Considering Where to Build a Lunar Research Station
Astronomy

China is Considering Where to Build a Lunar Research Station

The second Moon race is in full swing, with the world’s two big superpowers angling to score a new set of firsts on the lunar surface. NASA’s Artemis program recently clocked up its first success with the splashdown of Orion, but China is looking to take the lead when it comes to setting up a fully-fledged lunar research station. One of the first steps in that process – figuring out where to put it. That is what a new paper attempts to quantify, and it comes up with a practical solution – the south pole. There are plenty of advantages to the lunar south pole. It also checks many of the boxes that the Chinese scientists were looking for when they developed their criteria for potential landing sites. They broke those criteria into two categories- scientific and engineering constraints. Eng...
Observe NGC 2403; an M33 lookalike – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

Observe NGC 2403; an M33 lookalike – Astronomy Now

NGC 2403 is a fine galaxy to observe through a moderate-aperture telescope. Images show a likeness to mighty Messier 33, the Triangulum Galaxy. Image: Martin Pugh. NGC 2403 (Caldwell 7) is a large, bright galaxy that serves up good views for small telescopes but it’s position in the rather obscure northern constellation of Camelopardalis has stunted its popularity. It’s a very photogenic object, with deep amateur images revealing a strong likeness to Messier 33, the magnificent Local Group spiral, albeit on a less-grander scale. A small telescope can track it down, while a monster light-bucket Dobsonian telescope isn’t required to hint at its structure. NGC 2403 is an outlying member of the M81 group of galaxies, named for the magnificent spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, which is one of the n...
Io may have an underworld magma ocean or a hot metal heart
Astronomy

Io may have an underworld magma ocean or a hot metal heart

CHICAGO — An entire ocean of liquid magma, or maybe a hot heart of solid metal, may lurk in Io’s underworld. The surface of Jupiter’s innermost moon is covered in scorching lava lakes and gored by hundreds of active volcanoes, some spitting molten rock dozens of kilometers high (SN: 8/6/14). Over the years, the moon’s restless, mesmerizing hellscape has attracted the attention of many planetary scientists (SN: 5/3/22). Now, researchers are digging into the nature of Io’s infernal interior to explain what is driving the spectacular volcanism on the moon’s fiery surface. “It’s the most volcanically active place in the solar system,” says planetary scientist Samuel Howell of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “But it’s not really clear where that energy comes...
Astronomers may have uncovered how galaxies change their shape
Astronomy

Astronomers may have uncovered how galaxies change their shape

A representation of how the EAGLES program classifies galaxy as assessed by AI. Credit: ICRAR Researchers may have answered a decades-old question about galaxy evolution, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate their research. Ever since the Hubble Sequence, that classifies galaxy morphologies, was invented in 1926, astronomers have been refining our understanding of galaxy evolution and morphology as our technology advances. By the 1970s, researchers had confirmed that lone galaxies tend to be spiral-shaped, and those found in clusters of galaxies were likely to be smooth an...
A Black Hole has been Burping for 100 Million Years
Astronomy

A Black Hole has been Burping for 100 Million Years

Black holes are gluttonous behemoths that lurk in the center of galaxies. Almost everybody knows that nothing can escape them, not even light. So when anything made of simple matter gets too close, whether a planet, a star or a gas cloud, it’s doomed. But the black hole doesn’t eat it at once. It plays with its food like a fussy kid. Sometimes, it spews out light. When the black hole is not only at the center of a galaxy but the center of a cluster of galaxies, these burps and jets carve massive cavities out of the hot gas at the center of the cluster called radio bubbles. Remove All Ads on Universe Today Join our Patreon for as little as $3! Get the ad-free experience for life Astronomy and astrophysics are all about light. Almost everything we know about distant objects in ...