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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 9 Apr 2021, 13:00 UTC The luminous heart of the galaxy M61 dominates this image, framed by its winding spiral arms threaded with dark tendrils of dust. As well as the usual bright bands of stars, the spiral arms of M61 are studded with ruby-red patches of light. Tell-tale signs of recent star formation, these glowing regions lead to M61’s classification as a starburst galaxy.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 8 Apr 2021, 18:00 UTC A global science collaboration using data from NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope on the International Space Station has discovered X-ray surges accompanying radio bursts from the pulsar in the Crab Nebula. The finding shows that these bursts, called giant radio pulses, release far more energy than previously suspected.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 6 Apr 2021, 17:00 UTC NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of both solar panels, the final step in checking out these critical spacecraft components in preparation for launch this fall. Once the Lucy spacecraft’s solar panels are attached and fully extended, they could cover a five-story building.
NOIRLab Press Releases 6 Apr 2021, 15:00 UTC Astronomers have found two close pairs of quasars in the distant Universe. Follow-up observations with Gemini North spectroscopically resolved one of the distant quasar pairs, after their discovery with the Hubble Space Telescope and Gaia spacecraft. These quasars are closer together than any pair of quasars found so far away, providing strong evidence for the existence of supermassive black hole pairs as well as crucial insight into galaxy mergers in the early Universe.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 5 Apr 2021, 13:00 UTC The team of scientists and engineers behind NASA’s Curiosity rover named a hill along the rover’s path on Mars in honor of a recently deceased mission scientist. A craggy hump that stretches 450 feet (120 meters) tall, “Rafael Navarro mountain” is located on Mount Sharp in northwest Gale Crater.
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Centauri Dreams 9 Apr 2021, 17:26 UTC What governs the size of a newly forming star as it emerges from the molecular cloud around it? The answer depends upon the ability of gravity to overcome internal pressure within the cloud, and that in turn depends upon exceeding what is known as the Jeans Mass, whose value will vary with the density of the gas and its temperature. Exceed the Jeans mass and runaway contraction begins, forming a star whose own processes of fusion will arrest the contraction.
Nanowerk Space Exploration News 8 Apr 2021, 19:02 UTC Astronomers at Western University have discovered the most rapidly rotating brown dwarfs known. They found three brown dwarfs that each complete a full rotation roughly once every hour. That rate is so extreme that if these "failed stars" rotated any faster, they could come close to tearing themselves apart. Identified by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the brown dwarfs were then studied by ground-based telescopes including Gemini North, which confirmed their surprisingly speedy rotation.
SPACE.com 7 Apr 2021, 18:29 UTC Titanian methane droplets — and the sulfuric acid globules that fall on Venus and the liquid helium that makes up Jupiter's rain — are actually broadly similar to the raindrops that splash down here on Earth, a new study suggests.
SciTech Daily 7 Apr 2021, 14:23 UTC Inhabitants of our Milky Way galaxy living several billion years from now will have a markedly different-looking sky overhead. Two brilliant objects, each as bright as the full Moon or brighter, will drown out the stars with their radiance. These giant blazing light bulbs are a pair of quasars, brought to life by the collision of our Milky Way with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.