AmericaSpace 5 Jan 2021, 12:00 UTC NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are only months away from the launch of the long-awaited Landsat 9 mission, following the recent completion of Design Status Review 3. This third and final design review of the combined Landsat 9 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Flight System (EFS) allows a critical element of this important Earth resources mission to move forward into the final stages of integration.
astrobites 4 Jan 2021, 20:34 UTC The first few hundreds of millions of years (Myrs) of the universe include some of the most dramatic changes it has undergone, transforming from a near uniform distribution of gas into a diverse landscape of the first stars and galaxies. The early universe, characterized by an enormous abundance of pristine gas and by a dearth of massive structures looks quite unlike the universe today. If you were an observer peering into the young cosmos, you would be able to see very little around yourself, as the abundant neutral gas blocked most light from passing through and reaching you. However, the young stars in these early galaxies sent out high-energy photons throughout the expanse of gas, which ionized abundant hydrogen, eventually making the intergalactic medium transparent. The formation of the first galaxies, as well as their important role in reionizing the universe, is poorly understood because these galaxies appear faint owing to their distance, and are only visible in infrared wavelengths and beyond, altogether making them difficult to observe, especially from the ground.
SPACE.com 3 Jan 2021, 13:12 UTC In space, nobody can hear you scream — or explode, or collapse, or slowly collide with a neighboring galaxy. But now, thanks to a new "data sonification" program at NASA, you can at least get a sense of what some of the most extreme phenomena in the universe might sound like when converted to sound played by Earthly instruments.
Bad Astronomy 30 Dec 2020, 14:00 UTC It's possible that dark matter is made of tiny black holes created at the very beginning of time by nucleation from bubbles of false vacuum that created baby universes containing sub-lunar masses of matter during an infinitesimally brief period of cosmic hyperinflation. If so, a team of scientists think, this could solve several nagging puzzles about the Universe, including dark matter, gravitational wave sources, and an odd observation made of the Andromeda Galaxy.
Universe Today 30 Dec 2020, 06:09 UTC The field of exoplanet photography is just getting underway, with astronomers around the world striving to capture clear images of the more than 4000 exoplanets discovered to date. Some of these exoplanets are more interesting to image and research than others. That is certainly the case for a type of exoplanet called a brown dwarf. And now scientists have captured the first ever image of exactly that type of exoplanet.