SpaceX's Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Photo NASA/Kim Shiflett)

A few hours ago the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in its CRS-22 (Cargo Resupply Service 22) mission, also referred to as SPX-22. After almost exactly 12 minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 22nd mission for the Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes. It’s the second mission for this Dragon version.

The galaxy NGC 2276 (Image ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Sell. Acknowledgement: L. Shatz)

An image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 2276. It’s a spiral galaxy that shows some peculiarities, as its shape is a bit distorted and the colors that indicate the distribution of the stars inside it reveal a certain irregularity. The reason for that is the interaction with a neighbor, the galaxy NGC 2300, whose force of gravity distorted some of NGC 2276’s spiral arms. Another interaction also involves the intergalactic gas that is present in the cluster that includes these two galaxies, which crashed into NGC 2276 triggering a high rate of star formation on an outer side of this galaxy.

Structures at the center of the Milky Way seen by Chandra and MeerKAT

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” reports a study of the center of the Milky Way that reveals the presence of superheated gas threads and magnetic fields. Astronomer Q. Daniel Wang of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst combined the results of 370 observations of various parts of that area conducted with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory adding observations conducted using the MeerKAT radio telescope. The results suggest the possibility of ongoing processes that could be due to an unknown energy source in the galactic center.

The Chinese Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft blasting off (Photo courtesy Xinhua/Ju Zhenhua)

A few hours ago the Chinese Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft docked to the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station successfully completing an automated maneuver. Tianzhou-2 was launched a few hours earlier atop a Long March-7 Y3 rocket from the Wenchang site. This is the first space cargo spacecraft launched towards the new Chinese space station, carrying propellant and supplies for the taikonauts, as the Chinese call their astronauts, who will start working on the station starting in mid-June, according to plan.

Deep field image (Image Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA Acknowledgments: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab) & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab))

29 articles report various aspects of the results of a major cosmological research on the largest sample of galaxies – 226 million of them – ever observed to produce the most accurate measurements of the composition and growth of the universe. More than 400 scientists from the DES (Dark Energy Survey) Collaboration used images captured by the Dark Energy Camera in the first three years of the program, which started in 2013, to obtain results. The goal is to improve our knowledge of the universe, in particular, the nature of dark matter and dark energy.