astronomy

Curiosity drill site reveals Mars isn’t red - it’s greyish-blue

NASA’s Curiosity rover has drilled down into Mars to collect samples, and it’s revealed that just under the dusty red surface, the Red Planet is actually a greyish blue.

The drilling happened at a site called Telegraph Peak, right up in a region called Pahrump Hills, where Curiosity has been working for the past five months. It’s been drilling into the rocky surface to get some idea of how and when Mars evolved from a wet environment to the dry and dusty one we see today, and in the process has discovered that the dusty red top layer is made up of completely different stuff than the actual planet itself.

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The search for gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, a discovery that would serve as proof of the universe’s earliest moments of supposed hyperinflation, has been full of upsdowns, and even death, but that’s just part of the circle of science.

Let A Capella Science wow you with this Lion King-inspired tune that tells the story of "The Surface of Light."

I would say more, but I’m just blown away by how awesome this is.

Star on a Hubble diet

The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 that extends one degree on the sky in the direction of the Scorpius constellation. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars in Pismis 24. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The presence of these surrounding gas clouds makes probing into the region even harder.

One of the top candidates for the title of “Milky Way stellar heavyweight champion” was, until now, Pismis 24-1, a bright young star that lies in the core of the small open star cluster Pismis 24 (the bright stars in the Hubble image) about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. Pismis 24-1 was thought to have an incredibly large mass of 200 to 300 solar masses. New NASA/ESA Hubble measurements of the star, have, however, resolved Pismis 24-1 into two separate stars, and, in doing so, have “halved” its mass to around 100 solar masses.

Credit: NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain). Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)
Source: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0619a/

anonymous asked:

is the moon considered a planet? sorry if youre asked this a lot, i just cant find the right answer anywhere online.

So only our own solar system has been strictly defined thus far.

A moon is a natural satellite that orbits a planet.

A planet has three criteria:

- It must orbit the Sun

- It must have enough gravity to have molded itself into a spherical shape

- It must have cleared its orbit (this is why Pluto got ousted a decade or so ago)

So many planets have moons (all but Venus and Mercury). In my opinion being a moon doesn’t mean you’re any less awesome than a planet. Some of the most bizarre and incredible places in the solar system are moons:

- Titan, which has a thick atmosphere and lakes of liquid methane

- Europa and Enceladus which are giant snowballs that have entire liquid oceans underneath their surface… and potentially life

- Phobos is likely an asteroid that was captured by Mars and is doomed

- Triton a moon of Neptune is possibly captured as well. It could’ve been a planet once (some suggest it may be a captured exoplanet); also doomed, however it will first form an incredibly beautiful, bright ring around Neptune before final total destruction

- Io, moon of Jupiter, is the most volcanic place in the solar system. The gravitational stress of nearby Jupiter stretches and crushes this moon so much that the interior is superheated

- Our moon, the Moon, was created out of the remains of Earth and an alien planet that crashed into a young Earth, long ago.