September 2017

The last pictures of Saturn's rings taken by the Cassini space probe (Image NASA/JPL)

NASA has confirmed that it has lost contact with the Cassini space probe, which until the last moment was sending information as it descended into the atmosphere of the planet Saturn and went to its destruction. It’s the end of the Cassini-Huygens mission, a collaboration between NASA, ESA and ASI (Italian Space Agency), one of the most extraordinary space missions in history.

The pulsar SXP 1062

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the first observation of an irregularity in the rotation period of a pulsar, a phenomenon called glitch, in a binary system. A team of scientists from the Middle East Technical University and Baskent University, both in Ankara, Turkey, used data collected from observations of the Swift, XMM-Newton and Chandra space telescopes conducted over two years to identify glitches in the pulsar SXP 1062.

Jupiter's southern aurora (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on the auroras on the planet Jupiter and on the differences with those on Earth. A team of researchers led by Barry Mauk of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory investigated data collected in particular by two instruments aboard NASA’s Juno space probe finding traces of remarkable electrical potentials. They’re aligned with Jupiter’s magnetic field, which accelerates the electrons towards the atmosphere at energies even tenths times higher than those of the Earth’s auroras.