April 2018

The galaxy NGC 6240 (Image NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University))

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on the formations similar to the wings of a butterfly in the galaxy NGC 6240. A team of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder combined observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope, the VLT in Chile and the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico to study that galaxy by concluding that those particular formations are generated by different forces, in one case by a pair of supermassive black holes.

NASA's TESS space telescope blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Foto SpaceX)

A few hours ago NASA’s TESS space telescope blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. After almost 50 minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and reached a transfer orbit where it will start a number of maneuvers that in about two months will take it to the very elliptical final orbit where it will begin its scientific mission.

Almahata Sitta meteorite fragment

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a study of microscopic diamonds discovered inside the Almahata Sitta meteorite, a fragment of a larger meteorite exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere on October 7, 2008. A team of researchers analyzed those diamonds concluding that they contain compounds that can only form within a planet, so they must be the remnants of a lost planet with a size between that of Mercury and Mars.

The cosmic web in two moments

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the creation of a map of the network of filaments that connects matter all around the universe. A team of researchers analyzed the data collected during previous surveys to find the gravitational effects that reveal the shapes of those filaments. Those small gravitational distortions suggest that they’re hundreds of millions of light years long and that they’re made of dark matter.

An infrared 3-D image of Jupiter's North Pole (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM)

During the general assembly of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, scientists of NASA’s Juno mission showed a 3D map that reproduces cyclones and anticyclones in the planet Jupiter’s polar regions. In particular, they created an animation of a flight over the North Pole. Using data collected by the Juno space probe they were also able to create the first detailed view of the dynamo that powers the planet’s magnetic field.