Not astronomy but pretty nice just the same.
Volcain de Colima in Mexico erupts, video taken on 3 June 2015.by
A nice animation of a Type 1a Supernova. The Type 1a isn’t a giant star exploding, rather it is a smaller white dwarf star pulling matter off a larger companion until the smaller star accumulates enough matter, around 1.44 solar masses, so the star can no longer support its weight with electron degeneracy pressure – that’s when things go bad.
A white dwarf star is what our Sun will become in the distant future. Since it does not have a binary companion it will not become a supernova, just a super-dense remnant.by
ESA, France’s space agency CNES and the German aerospace centre DLR inaugurated the Airbus A310 ZERO-G refitted for altered gravity by running 12 scientific experiments this week.
The French company Novespace has conducted “parabolic flights” for more than 25 years. By flying the parabolic patterns at around 50 degrees up and down a brief period of weightlessness is created at the top of the curve. As the plane comes “over the top” forces on everything in the plane (people included) cancels out and weightlessness is achieved for a brief period.
We’ve all see the videos, what I seldom thought about is what happens at the bottom of the curve. When the plane “bottoms out” and starts climbing the forces on everything in the plane is about 2G.
This particular plane is new being acquired in 2014 replacing an Airbus A300. You won’t find many seats in the passenger area, you will find padded walls so people do not get hurt during the weight/weightless cycles, sick maybe, but not hurt.
The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite or CHEOPS set to launch in 2017 will measure the bulk density of exo-planets from the size of super-Earths to around Neptune already known to be in orbit around stars. The mission will accomplish this by using ultra-high precision photometry.
ESA is holding a fun contest open to kids ages 8 to 14 and the winners (around 3,000) will get their entries engraved on metal plaques that will fly on Cheops. Very cool.by
NuSTAR looked towards the center of the galaxy and the black hole at the galactic center and look what it found:
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has captured a new high-energy X-ray view (magenta) of the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy. The smaller circle shows the area where the NuSTAR image was taken — the very center of our galaxy, where a giant black hole resides. That region is enlarged to the right, in the larger circle, to show the NuSTAR data.
The NuSTAR picture is one of the most detailed ever taken of the center of our galaxy in high-energy X-rays. The X-ray light, normally invisible to our eyes, has been assigned the color magenta. The brightest point of light near the center of the X-ray picture is coming from a spinning dead star, known as a pulsar, which is near the giant black hole. While the pulsar’s X-ray emissions were known before, scientists were surprised to find more high-energy X-rays than predicted in the surrounding regions, seen here as the elliptical haze.
Astronomers aren’t sure what the sources of the extra X-rays are, but one possibility is a population of dead stars.
The background picture was captured in infrared light by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
The NuSTAR image has an X-ray energy range of 20 to 40 kiloelectron volts.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltechby
The International Space Station has been invaded by alien… artwork! ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been decorating the space station with mosaic artwork of aliens. Now Samantha is inviting you to show off your artistic skills by designing your very own space mosaic!
This contest is open to kids age 12 and younger. Too bad in a way this would make for a good second contest for ages 12 and up too perhaps by age group. it will be fun to see the results.by
The other day Space X launched the CRS-6 and then attempted to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket onto a barge floating in the ocean.
Space X has released the video of the “failed” landing. Thank you Space X! The attempt is amazing and I would not necessarily call this a failure, not a complete failure anyway, merely another step to success.by