cn: space

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The Hubble Telescope just took pictures of a galaxy twice as massive as the Milky Way

  • NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made an new discovery: it found a giant galaxy located 10 billion light-years from Earth.
  • The disk-shaped galaxy, named MACS2129-1, is categorized as a “dead” galaxy since it no longer creates stars — scientists believe star formation stopped for the fast-spinning galaxy a few billion years after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
  • The new galaxy is compact. For reference, it is three times heavier than the Milk Way but only half the size, according to study leader Sune Toft, an astrophysicist at Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. It also rotates a lot faster than the Milky Way. Read more (6/26/17)

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The Apollo 11 command module, which took the first moonwalkers to lunar orbit and back in 1969, is undergoing a painstaking restoration, in preparation for an unusual national tour later this year.

Until recently, the capsule sat in the main lobby of the National Air and Space Museum, where it had been since the museum opened in 1976. Conservator Lisa Young says that occasionally workers would open up its Plexiglas case to look it over or put in new lighting.

“But it never really went under a full examination or investigative analysis as to all of the certain materials on there, how stable they are,” says Young, who is working on the spacecraft now in a restoration hangar at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., outside of Washington, D.C.

“Our big job as conservators right now is to figure out, if we are going to put it back on display permanently, what could be happening to it in 50 years,” says Young, who wants to prevent future deterioration.

Moonwalkers’ Apollo 11 Capsule Gets Needed Primping For Its Star Turn On Earth

Photos: Shelby Knowles/NPR and NASA/Getty Images

What created this gigantic hole?

The emission nebula N44 in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud has a large, 250 light-year hole and astronomers are trying to figure out why.

One possibility is particle winds expelled by massive stars in the bubble’s interior that are pushing out the glowing gas. This answer was found to be inconsistent with measured wind velocities. Another possibility is that the expanding shells of old supernovas have sculpted the unusual space cavern. An unexpected clue of hot X-ray emitting gas was recently been detected escaping the N44 superbubble. The featured image was taken in three very specific colors by the huge 8-meter Gemini South Telescope.

Image Credit & Copyright: Gemini Obs., AURA, NSF

Long exposure from ISS

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is spending six months on the International Space Station for the Proxima mission. In his free time, like many astronauts, he enjoys looking out of the Cupola windows at Earth and
taking photos that are shared on his social media channels.

This is a 30 second exposure shot of Earth captured by Thomas in honour of NASA astronaut Don Pettit, who perfected the technique in his many photos taken from on board the Station. 

Credit: ESA/NASA