ESA has published some new pictures taken by its Mars Express space probe that show a curious crater in the Terra Sirenum region on Mars. It’s a crater with an elongated shape having a length of about 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) and a width of approximately 24 kilometers (about 15 miles). It’s probably the result of an asteroid impact that broke up into three parts when it was still above the surface causing the triple impact of fragments that were still very close. The sedimentary deposits on the bottom of the crater suggest that in ancient times water existed in that region of Mars.
An article published in “Astrophysical Journal” describes a research about the birth of a group of massive stars in the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC-1). A team of astronomers led by John Bally of the University of Colorado used the ALMA radio telescope to see inside the cloud and detect the debris scattered by that really chaotic event.
A little while ago the astronaut Shane Kimbrough and the cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft, that landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent more than five months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on October 21, 2016 as part of Expedition 49.
An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” describes a research about the exoplanet GJ 1132b. A team led by Dr. John Southworth of Keele University and by Italian INAF associate Luigi Mancini used the 2.2-meter ESO/MPG telescope in Chile to directly study this super-Earth during its transit in front of its star and detect its atmosphere. This is the first direct evidence of the existence of an atmosphere for a planet similar in size to Earth, although it could look more like Venus.
In recent days, NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Obersavatory) space probe detected and documented 3 M-class solar flares, the class that includes the most powerful ones after the X-class, where X means “eXtreme”. The first one had its peak on April 2 at 8.02 UTC, the second one at 20.33 UTC and the third one on April 3 at 14:29 UTC.