The Guardian 26 Apr 2017, 08:00 UTC
Universe Today 25 Apr 2017, 23:16 UTC NASA is all about solving challenges, and the goal of having a prolonged presence in space, or a colony on Mars or some other world, is full of challenges, including the necessity of growing food. Scientists at Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research are working on the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse Project to try and meet that challenge. The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse Project (PLMGP) is all about growing vegetables for astronauts during extended stays on the Moon, on Mars, or anywhere they can’t be resupplied from Earth. Beyond growing food, the Project aims to understand how food-growing systems can also be a part of life-support systems. “The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide, while providing food and oxygen.” – Dr. Ray Wheeler “We’re working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system. The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide, while providing food and oxygen,” said Dr. Ray Wheeler, lead scientist in Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research. The prototype itself is an inflatable, deployable system that researchers call a bioregenerative life support system. As crops are grown, the system recycles, water, recycles waste, and revitalizes the air. The system is ...
Across the Universe 25 Apr 2017, 22:56 UTC Many details of Saturn appear clearly in infrared light. Bands of clouds show great structure, including long stretching storms. Also quite striking in infrared is the unusual hexagonal cloud pattern surrounding Saturn's North Pole. Each side of the dark hexagon spans roughly the width of our Earth. The hexagon's existence was not predicted, and its origin and likely stability remains a topic of research. Saturn's famous rings circle the planet and cast shadows below the equator. The featured image was taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2014 in several infrared colors -- but only processed recently. In September, Cassini's mission will be brought to a dramatic conclusion as the spacecraft will be directed to dive into ringed giant.
Across the Universe 25 Apr 2017, 22:51 UTC Seen edge-on, spiral galaxy NGC 4302 (left) lies about 55 million light-years away in the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. A member of the large Virgo Galaxy Cluster, it spans some 87,000 light-years, a little smaller than our own Milky Way. Like the Milky Way, NGC 4302's prominent dust lanes cut along the center of the galactic plane, obscuring and reddening the starlight from our perspective. Smaller companion galaxy NGC 4298 is also a dusty spiral. But tilted more nearly face-on to our view, NGC 4298 can show off dust lanes along spiral arms traced by the bluish light of young stars, as well as its bright yellowish core. In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990, astronomers used the legendary telescope to take this gorgeous visible light portrait of the contrasting galaxy pair.
Astro Watch 25 Apr 2017, 21:42 UTC The Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists published the results of a study of the unique ultra-slow pulsar XB091D. This neutron star is believed to have captured a companion only a million years ago and since then, has been slowly restoring its rapid rotation. The young pulsar is located in one of the oldest globular star clusters in the Andromeda galaxy, where the cluster may once have been a dwarf galaxy.Massive young stars die, exploding as bright supernovae. In this process, their outer layers of material are thrown off, and the core shrinks, usually becoming a compact and super-dense neutron star. Strongly magnetized, they rotate rapidly, making hundreds of revolutions per second, but they lose their rotational energy and slow down, emitting narrow beams of particles. They radiate a focused radio emission that periodically passes the Earth, creating the effect of a regularly pulsating source, often with a millisecond period.In order to "return youth" and again accelerate its rotation, the pulsar can encounter an ordinary star. After teaming up to form a pair or a binary system, the neutron star begins to pull matter from the star, forming a hot accretion disk around itself. Closer to the neutron star, the gaseous ...
The Daily Galaxy 25 Apr 2017, 20:11 UTC "This means we can't entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard model. But if that isn't the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Perhaps the most exciting of these is that the Cold Spot was caused by a collision between our universe and another bubble universe. If further, more detailed, analysis of CMB data proves this to be the case then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse - and billions of other universes may exist like our own."
SpaceFlight Insider 25 Apr 2017, 19:26 UTC A month after flying its first used Falcon 9 booster, SpaceX placed another rocket on historic Launch Complex 39A to perform a static fire test in advance of its upcoming flight for the National Reconnaissance Office: the classified NROL-76 mission.