Scheme of Hubble and Gaia at work (Image NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI))

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new measurement of the expansion of the universe. A team of astronomers led by Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess combined observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope and those made with ESA’s Gaia space probe, an observatory that specifically aims to map billions of objects in the sky including the variable stars called Cepheid variable used for those measurements. The new results increase the accuracy but also the discrepancy between the measures of the expansion of the near universe and those of the early universe.

Scheme of the detection of baryons in intergalactic gas

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of the missing ordinary matter in the universe. A team of researchers led by Fabrizio Nicastro of INAF, Rome, Italy, discovered what is technically called baryonic matter after having searched it for almost twenty years using ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope keeping under observation the quasar 1ES 1553+113 up to find the traces of the baryons hidden in the hot gas present among the galaxies.

The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft approaching the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which blasted off about two days ago from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, has reached the International Space Station carrying three new crew members. The astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA and the cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos now complete the Expedition 55 crew.

The Sentinel-3B satellite blasting off atop a Rockot rocket (Photo ESA - S. Corvaja)

A few hours ago the Sentinel-3B satellite, part of the GMES / Copernicus program, was launched from the Russian Plesetsk Cosmodrome on a Rockot launch vehicle. After about an hour and a half it separated from the rocket’s last stage, called Breeze KM, it started communicating with the control center and to deploy its solar panels. Its final orbit is Sun-synchronous, which means it will pass over a certain area of ​​the Earth at the same local time, with an altitude of about 815 kilometers (about 506 miles).