It was afternoon in California when the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-8 (Cargo Resupply Service 8) mission for NASA splashing down without problems in the Pacific Ocean about 420 km (about 260 miles) off the coast of California. The Dragon left the International Space Station a few hours before, when in California it was morning.
Yesterday, NASA held a press conference to announce that 1,284 exoplanets have been verified among the candidates discovered using its Kepler space telescope. It’s by far the largest number of planets added to the already long list of the known ones. An article on this discovery has just been published in “The Astrophysical Journal”.
NASA’s MESSENGER mission has published the first complete topographical map of the planet Mercury. To be precise, it’s a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), a representation of the elevation distribution of territory, or of another surface, in digital format. It’s the product of the processing of data collected by the MESSENGER space probe during its mission ended just over a year ago.
An article published in the journal “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes the most precise measurement so far carried out of the mass of a supermassive black hole. A team led by astronomer Aaron Barth of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) used the ALMA radio telescope to examine the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy NGC 1332.
The German space agency DLR published photos of a curious crater marked by a deep rift that splits it in two in the area of Mars called Memnonia Fossae. These are photos taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), one of the instruments of ESA’s Mars Express space probe.