The Invisible Galaxy

A new form of diffuse galaxy has been discovered inside the Coma Cluster. This place is made 99.99% of dark matter, totally invisible as it doesn’t interact with light.

The galaxy is known as Dragonfly 44 and was discovered by astronomers Pieter van Dokkum and his colleagues.

The way star systems orbit around the center of a galaxy is inexplicable with “normal” physics. To account for the velocity variations and patterns we need to add a new ingredient to the gravitational pot: dark matter.

Dragonfly 44 in particular has so few stars that were the dark matter to be taken away, the galaxy would fly apart the same way you’d go flying if the cord holding the swing to a swing set were severed.

(Image credit: NASA, JPL-CalTech and L. Jenkins

Dragon CRS-9 on the deck of its recovery ship earlier today. At 11:47am EDT, the capsule splashed down more than 300 miles off the coast of Baja California, bringing more than 3,100 pounds of experiments and equipment back to Earth from the International Space Station.

Once the capsule is back in port, SpaceX will remove time-sensitive experiments for NASA. The capsule will then travel to the company’s facility at McGregor, where it will undergo further cargo unloading and further safing.

P/c: SpaceX

What’s happening to that meteor? Some time ago, a bright fireball was photographed from the Alps mountain range in Switzerland as it blazed across the sky. The fireball, likely from the Taurids meteor shower, was notable not only for how bright it was, but for the rare orange light it created that lingered for several minutes. Initially, the orange glow made it seem like the meteor trail was on fire. However, the orange glow, known as a persistent train, originated neither from fire nor sunlight-reflecting smoke. Rather, the persistent train’s glow emanated from atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere in the path of the meteor – atoms that had an electron knocked away and emit light during reacquisition. Persistent trains often drift, so that the long 3-minute exposure actually captured the initial wind-blown displacement of these bright former ions. The featured image was acquired when trying to image the famous Orion Nebula, visible on the upper left. The bright blue star Rigel, part of the constellation of Orion, is visible to the right.

Object Names: Object from the Taurid Meteor Shower

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: Ivo Scheggia

Time And Spce

Also, Happy Women’s Equality Day!! Chillin with a few fellow STEM ladies as we train to join Mission Control at NASA Johnson Space Center!

There’s still much to be done for equality, and we’re beyond fortunate to have had women before us fight to help us get where we are today. Let’s continue the push for equality worldwide!

Dream big everyone ;)

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Hermes A-1 Test Rocket von NASA on The Commons  
The first Hermes A-1 test rocket was fired at White Sand Proving Ground (WSPG). Hermes was a modified V-2 German rocket, utilizing the German aerodynamic configuration; however, internally it was newly designed. Although it did not result in an operational vehicle, the information that was gathered in the process contributed directly to the development of the Redstone rocket. Image #: SPD-GRIN-GPN-2000-00 0063 Date: May 1, 1950