The Pluto system (Image NASA/STScI/Showalter)

An article just published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on Pluto and its moons showing how two of them, Nix and Hydra, spin in an uncontrolled and unpredictable way. This study is based on an analysis of the observations made using the Hubble Space Telescope but because of the considerable distance they’re far from complete. For this reason, it’s possible that the two other small moons of Pluto, Styx and Kerberos, are in the same situation.

Picture of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by the Rosetta space probe on May 20, 2015 that shows gas jets coming from its nucleus (Photo ESA/Rosetta/NavCam)

The journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics” will publish an article that illustrates a discovery about the atmosphere of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko generated by the sublimation of the ice it contains. Water, but also carbon dioxide, are turned into steam but thanks to the instrument Alice of the space probe Rosetta it was possible to discover that these molecules get broken and that this happens in two stages.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced the results of the investigation on the failure of the mission of the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft. The problem was found to be in the separation system between the spacecraft and the third stage of the Soyuz 2-1a rocket used to launch it. A new Progress mission to bringh supplies to the International Space Station could be scheduled for early July, probably using a Soyuz-U rocket, the version used until recently.

Artistic concept of a galaxy generatic relativistic jets with radio waves coming from its supermassive black hole (Image ESA/Hubble, L. Calçada (ESO))

An article published in the journal “Astrophysical Journal” describes a study that established a link between the presence of supermassive black holes that emit jets of materials to nearly the speed of light but also radio waves and galaxy mergers. An international team of astronomers led by Italian INAF researcher Marco Chiaberge used the Hubble Space Telescope in the most extensive survey of the kind ever conducted.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced the results of the investigation on the problem that caused the failure of the mission of the Proton-M rocket on May 16, 2015. The fault was detected in the turbopump rotor of the rocket’s third stage engine which resulted in an instability in the engine that caused the emergency shutdown. According to the investigation, it’s a design flaw and recommendations were issued to correct it.