September 2018

The Cerberus Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published photos taken by its Mars Express space probe of the Cerberus Fossae, fractures that run almost parallel for more than 1,000 kilometers in the area near the equator of the planet Mars. They’re part of a large volcanic complex called Elysium Planitia, where traces suggest that lava flows date back a few million years ago, recent in geological terms compared to the bulk of volcanic activity. The Cerberus Fossae were also formed relatively recently, less than 10 million years ago, probably originated from faults that stretched the upper layers of the surface apart.

The HTV-7 cargo spacecraft blasting off atop a H-IIB rocket (Image NASA TV / JAXA)

A little while ago the HTV-7 spacecraft blasted off atop a H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima space center in Japan for a resupply mission to the International Space Station. About fifteen minutes after the launch, the cargo spacecraft separated regularly from the rocket’s last stage, entered its preliminary orbit and deployed its solar panels and navigation antennas.

Two objects in the Epsilon Indi system at the limit between star and brown dwarf

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on the brown dwarfs in the Epsilon Indi system in connection with the mass limits for this type of objects. A team of researchers combined the data obtained from various observations to re-estimate the two brown dwarfs masses, which were found to be 75.0 ± 0.82 and 70.1 ± 0.68 times the mass of the planet Jupiter. These are much higher masses than previous estimates and at least the largest one has a mass that according to the theoretical models is that of a star offering new information to understand where are the limits between these objects.

The images captured by TESS (NASA/MIT/TESS)

NASA has published a series of images captured by its TESS space telescope’s cameras. These are the first scientific images, that in jargon are called the first light, obtained on August 7, 2018 after the instrument testing period and show the southern sky. The images portray an amount of stars and other objects among which systems where exoplanets were already found. However, the main goal is to discover new exoplanets.

Yusaku Maezawa on Elon Musk's shoulders (Image courtesy Elon Musk. All rights reserved)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first passenger of the spaceship that’s planned to make a trip around the Moon. This is an extension of the project announced last year given that, according to the new information, 6-8 people will participate but it’s scheduled to take place only in 2023. Another participant could be Elon Musk himself.