NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 7 Sep 2018, 19:21 UTC NASA's Dawn mission is drawing to a close after 11 years of breaking new ground in planetary science, gathering breathtaking imagery, and performing unprecedented feats of spacecraft engineering.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 7 Sep 2018, 13:00 UTC This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image showcases the galaxy NGC 4036, a lenticular galaxy some 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear). This galaxy is known for its irregular lanes of dust, which form a swirling spiral pattern around the center of the galaxy. This core is surrounded by an extended, hazy aura of gas and dust that stretches farther out into space and causes the warm, fuzzy glow that can be seen here. The center itself is also intriguing; it is something known as a LINER-type (Low-Ionization Nuclear Emission-line Region) galactic nucleus, meaning that it displays particular emission lines within its spectrum. The particularly bright star visible slightly to the right of the galactic center is not within the galaxy itself; it sits between us and NGC 4036, adding a burst of brightness to the scene.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 6 Sep 2018, 19:20 UTC Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a ring of black holes or neutron stars in a galaxy 300 million light years from Earth. This ring, while not wielding power over Middle Earth, may help scientists better understand what happens when galaxies smash into one another in catastrophic impacts.
ESA Top News 5 Sep 2018, 15:50 UTC Following the launch of Aeolus on 22 August, this extraordinary satellite’s instrument has been turned on and is now emitting pulses of ultraviolet light from its laser, which is fundamental to measuring Earth’s wind. And, this remarkable mission has also already returned a tantalising glimpse of the data it will provide.
NASA Breaking News 4 Sep 2018, 22:48 UTC NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will host a live-streamed Science Chat at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 7, during which experts will talk about the role of the agency’s Dawn spacecraft in studying the beginning of our solar system, and the approaching end of its 11-year mission.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 4 Sep 2018, 17:52 UTC Without special instrumentation, the Sun looks calm and inert. But beneath that placid façade are countless miniature explosions called nanoflares. These small but intense eruptions are born when magnetic field lines in the Sun’s atmosphere tangle up and stretch until they break like a rubber band. The energy they release accelerates particles to near lightspeed and according to some scientists, heats the solar atmosphere to its searing million-degree Fahrenheit temperature.
ESA Science & Technology 4 Sep 2018, 09:00 UTC The long-lived international Cassini mission has revealed a surprising feature emerging at Saturn's northern pole as it nears summertime: a warming, high-altitude vortex with a hexagonal shape, akin to the famous hexagon seen deeper down in Saturn's clouds. This suggests that the lower-altitude hexagon may influence what happens up above, and that it could be a towering structure spanning hundreds of kilometres in height.