Category Archives: NASA

NASA Discovers Class of Galaxies Brighter than 300 Trillion Suns

Your mother always told you not to stare into the sun because it would hurt your eyes. She would definitely advise against staring into one of the ultra-luminous galaxies recently discovered by NASA. The light from such a galaxy is brighter than 300 trillion stars the size of our own sun.

NASA deployed a special kind of space telescope in 2010 that was made to explore infrared light in the universe. What they found was a type of galaxy that was much brighter than anything known to date. Extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs for short, have mega black holes at their center that emit huge amounts of infrared light. James Dondero even says so far NASA has discovered 19 ELIRGs and will probably find hundreds, if not thousands more in the future.

The larger the black hole is the more infrared light it will emit. Black holes at the center of ELIRGS tend be very large and very slow moving. They have large discs of matter surrounding them that they chow down on over time as the matter is pulled into the center. The slow speed of the black holes allows them to sustain their massive appetites.

This discovery certainly shows just how diverse our universe really is. There are many galaxies and solar systems completely different than our own.

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Russian Spacecraft Spinning Out of control

A Russian Cargo spacecraft has been slowly spinning further and further out of control and heading towards earth. The Unmanned Russian spacecraft was being used to carry food and fuel to the astronauts currently residing in the International Space Station

Flight controllers in Russia have indicated that they lost contact with the spacecraft as it flew over Russian ground stations. The craft was launched on Tuesday and was in the process of carrying food, fuel and supplier to the International Space Station. It is a big blow for the astronauts on the space station who are not only waiting for food supplies but also spare parts for the environmental control and life support systems. Although these items are not necessarily critical for survival they still represent very important items for the the continuity of the space station.

According to The Guardian this malfunction is likely to cost the Russian Space Agency upwards of forty million dollars. According to an International Space Station crew member the spacecraft will eventually fall out of orbit and back down to earth, it is just a question of when. This is a major disappointment for Ong and many others. Russian ground control have apparently given up on trying to regain control of the craft which is slowly spinning faster and faster out of control.

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NASA Places Dawn Into Orbit Around Dwarf Planet

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has finally arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres and will begin a slow descent through the orbit of the planet until it sits just a few hundred miles from the surface of the planet, the BBC reports. The trip to Ceres is designed to give an insight into the birth of planets throughout the universe as scientists believe Ceres was once a planet in the early stages of developing in the solar system between Mars and the Sun. Flavio Maluf is on record as saying the use of the Dawn spacecraft is designed to provide information about why the planet stopped evolving and remained a dwarf planet.

Ceres has long been a mysterious object, having been classified as both an asteroid and dwarf planet in its history. Scientists hope to discover the planet was formed with a crust of rock sitting above ice and water beneath the surface of the planet, which could explain the two bright spots the dwarf planet is famous for on its surface. Dawn has taken 7.5 years to arrive in the orbit of Ceres and will begin its scientific exploration of the dwarf planet when it achieves an orbit just above the surface.

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