February 2021

The SU Aurigae system (Image ESO/Ginski et al.)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” reports a research on the very young star SU Aurigae, or simply SU Aur, and on the protoplanetary disk around it. A team of researchers used new observations conducted with the SPHERE instrument on the VLT, combining them with old observations conducted with the NaCo instrument, also on the VLT, with the Hubble Space Telescope, and with the ALMA radio telescope to study the disk. It has a sort of tail of dust that comes from a nebula that is probably the result of a collision between the star and a cloud of gas and dust.

Comet P/2019 LD2 seen by Hubble (Image NASA, ESA, STScI, B. Bolin (IPAC/Caltech))

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” reports a description of the characteristics of comet P/2019 LD2. A team of researchers used observations conducted with various space and ground-based telescopes to examine P/2019 LD2 while it’s passing near the planet Jupiter in a trajectory that brought it close to the Trojan asteroids to the point that it was initially mistaken for one of them.

The remnants of the supernova SN 1987A seen by the NuSTAR space telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory together with an illustration of the pulsar powering a pulsar wind nebula

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” reports new evidence that a neutron star formed after the supernova SN 1987A. A team of researchers led by Emanuele Greco, Ph.D. student at the University of Palermo and associated with the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics used observations conducted with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NuSTAR space telescope to identify emissions that are compatible with a so-called pulsar wind nebula, an X-ray emitting nebula powered by a pulsar, which is a type of neutron star, inside it.

The Cygnus Katherine Johnson cargo spacecraft captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm (Image NASA TV)

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, launched last Saturday, February 20, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, assisted by his colleague Michael Hopkins, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Unity module after about two hours.

The Cygnus Katherine Johnson cargo spacecraft blasting off atop an Antares rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), part of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on Wallops Island. After about nine minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its 15th official mission, called NG-15 or CRS NG-15, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.