вторник, 22 января 2019 г.

A Fleeting Moment in Time

ESO – European Southern Observatory logo.

22 January 2019

European Southern Observatory’s Cosmic Gems Programme captures last breath of a dying star

A Fleeting Moment in Time

The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short time — around 10,000 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms. ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured this shell of glowing ionised gas — the last breath of the dying star whose simmering remains are visible at the heart of this image. As the gaseous shell of this planetary nebula expands and grows dimmer, it will slowly disappear from sight.

Digitized Sky Survey image around the planetary nebula ESO 577-24

An evanescent shell of glowing gas spreading into space — the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 —  dominates this image [1]. This planetary nebula is the remains of a dead giant star that has thrown off its outer layers, leaving behind a small, intensely hot dwarf star. This diminished remnant will gradually cool and fade, living out its days as the mere ghost of a once-vast red giant star.

The planetary nebula ESO 577-24 in the constellation Virgo

Red giants are stars at the end of their lives that have exhausted the hydrogen fuel in their cores and begun to contract under the crushing grip of gravity. As a red giant shrinks, the immense pressure reignites the core of the star, causing it to throw its outer layers into the void as a powerful stellar wind. The dying star’s incandescent core emits ultraviolet radiation intense enough to ionise these ejected layers and cause them to shine. The result is what we see as a planetary nebula — a final, fleeting testament to an ancient star at the end of its life [2].

Panning across the evanescent planetary nebula ESO 577-24

This dazzling planetary nebula was discovered as part of the National Geographic Society  — Palomar Observatory Sky Survey in the 1950s, and was recorded in the Abell Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae in 1966 [3]. At around 1400 light years from Earth, the ghostly glow of ESO 577-24 is only visible through a powerful telescope. As the dwarf star cools, the nebula will continue to expand into space, slowly fading from view.

Zooming in on ESO 577-24

This image of ESO 577-24 was created as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, an initiative that produces images of interesting, intriguing, or visually attractive objects using ESO telescopes for the purposes of education and public outreach. The programme makes use of telescope time that cannot be used for scientific observations; nevertheless, the data collected are made available to astronomers through the ESO Science Archive.


[1] Planetary nebulae were first observed by astronomers in the 18th century — to them, their dim glow and crisp outlines resembled planets of the Solar System.

[2] By the time our Sun evolves into a red giant, it will have reached the venerable age of 10 billion years. There is no immediate need to panic, however — the Sun is currently only 5 billion years old.

[3] Astronomical objects often have a variety of official names, with different catalogues providing different designations. The formal name of this object in the Abell Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae is PN A66 36.

More information:

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 16 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.


ESOcast 191 Light: A Fleeting Moment in Time: https://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1902a/

Cosmic Gems Programme: https://www.eso.org/public/outreach/gems/

More information on the VLT: http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/paranal-observatory/vlt/

More information on FORS: https://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/paranal-observatory/vlt/vlt-instr/fors/

Images of the VLT: https://www.eso.org/public/images/archive/search/?adv=&subject_name=Very%20Large%20Telescope

ESO Science Archive: http://archive.eso.org/cms.html

Images, Text, Credits: ESO/Calum Turner/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin/IAU and Sky & Telescope/Videos: ESO. Music: Thomas Edward Rice — Phantasm Retro/Digitized Sky Survey 2, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org). Music: Astral Electronic.

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link

Roman and medieval finds uncovered alongside River Soar in Leicester

A major excavation in north-west Leicester continues at the Waterside project. In advance of redevelopment, a series of archaeological investigations have revealed fresh discoveries into the city’s Roman and medieval past on land to the west of the city centre bordering the River Soar.

Roman and medieval finds uncovered alongside River Soar in Leicester
Roman buildings being excavated at Waterside, Leicester. Trenches denote where the walls stood before being robbed
 for stone in the medieval period. Also note the patch of mosaic floor in middle foreground [Credit: ULAS]

Project Director Stephen Baker said the area investigated covers a large part of the north-west corner of the Roman town.

Roman and medieval finds uncovered alongside River Soar in Leicester
Deep archaeological excavations underway at Waterside, Leicester [Credit: ULAS]

“This is one of many jigsaw pieces and is giving us a better understanding of the city’s (Roman and medieval) defences – which would have been a rampart, walls and ditches – and of what was within the walls. In the past we knew about the public baths and forum, but here there would have been quite high status buildings in what would have been quite a nice place to live. They would have been built of stone with mosaics and fine pottery and we have even found a building with underfloor heating”.

Dr Richard Buckley (director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services) said: “Not knowing what’s out there is what makes it so exciting – and each site ends up throwing out new questions. In the past we were dealing with very small sites – what’s been brilliant over the last 10-15 years is the high number of sites being redeveloped in this part of town where we can look at the whole landscape. What has been interesting about these excavations is that we now know Leicester would have had lots of big buildings – not just the public baths and forum. It’s all being carefully mapped so that we can build the masterplan of Roman and medieval Leicester”

Source: University of Leicester Archaeological Services [January 16, 2019]



Researchers dig through layers of time in Jordan’s Eastern Badia

Caches of gazelle skulls and bones laid at the base of a standing stone as well as excavations revealing ever older layers of construction are some of the discoveries in Eastern Badia.

Researchers dig through layers of time in Jordan's Eastern Badia
Researchers work around the Wisad Pools in the Eastern Badia 
[Credit: Eastern Badia Project]

A research team took to Eastern Badia between May 25 and June 22 of last year, at the Wisad Pools with two goals in mind. One of these included investigations into an architectural complex consisting of a house and an animal pen; the second was to complete the excavations of a building that had mostly been dug out in 2013 and 2014.

The complex consists of a small building — probably a small house that was attached to a large oval animal pen, said veteran scholar Gary Rollefson, adding that there were several small rectilinear enclosures with low walls that may have served as activity areas whose functions are still uncertain.

The complex is one of “several similar complexes concentrated in a small area, although specific details differed from complex to complex”, he added.

Rollefson said it was also interesting to note that these clusters are far away from the water that would have accumulated seasonally in the pools at Wisad.

According to the professor of anthropology from Whitman College in the US, one of the main reasons to focus on the complex was first to test the hypothesis that this kind of complex dated to the closing centuries of the Late Neolithic period, 6,900-5,000 BC.

“Additionally, the arrangement of three or four house-and-pen complexes in each cluster suggested that together they made up an extended family economic unit,” which, if confirmed, could differ from earlier groups of people to the area.

Excavations on the second site began in 2014 and, through a probe, uncovered 20-25cm of sediment that was thought to be culturally sterile before construction of the site’s walls. The building’s original floor was finally reached in 2018.

The building is “one of the largest ever excavated in Eastern Badia, measuring 6.5m in interior diameter; the internal features [a concentration of very large grinding slabs, one door leading to a small walled ‘porch’ and a central standing stone] showed that the structure was uniquely complex as well”, Rollefson underlined.

Moreover, a radiocarbon date from the lowest point reached in 2014 yielded a date of around 6515 BC, and the lower sediment should provide an even earlier date for the construction of the building, Rollefson claimed.

He added that it now appears that the structure “may have been more communal in character, a place where related families gathered to process food, tan animal hides and produce stone tools and personal ornaments”.

During the 2018 excavation season, researchers discovered that the building had been remodelled multiple times. They also discovered a central pillar that “probably served some ritual purpose for visitors to the structure, indicated by caches of gazelle skulls and bones placed at the base of the standing stone”, Rollefson said.

The building at one point in time had doors added to it, as well as windows which for some reason were later taken out, he added.

According to the anthropologist, the most surprising aspect of the season’s work was the determination that the red, gritty soil on which the walls were constructed was not culturally sterile. They were able to determine that there had been visits by even earlier Late Neolithic hunter-herders, who left behind shallow fire pits that were rich in charcoal.

In the last few days of excavation, researchers discovered yet another floor, made of greenish basalt and not the standard dark gray-black slabs that cover the ground.

Adding to the mystery of the site, pavement was found under the building’s earliest walls, “indicating that an earlier structure of even larger size had been built considerably earlier… Results of radiocarbon dating are eagerly anticipated,” the scholar concluded.

Author: Saeb Rawashdeh | Source: The Jordan Times [January 16, 2019]



New paper indicates potential for primitive life on icy Barnard b super-earth planet if...

Barnard b (or GJ 699 b) is a recently discovered Super-Earth planet orbiting Barnard’s Star, making it the second nearest star system to the Earth. Although likely cold (-170 degrees centigrade), it could still have the potential to harbor primitive life if it has a large, hot iron/nickel core and enhanced geothermal activity. That was a conclusion announced by Villanova University Astrophysicists Edward Guinan and Scott Engle at a January 10 press conference held at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomy Society (AAS) in Seattle, WA.

New paper indicates potential for primitive life on icy Barnard b super-earth planet if geothermal activity exists
Credit: Villanova University

The announcement was based on findings from a paper titled, “X-Ray, UV, Optical Irradiances and Age of Barnard’s Star’s New Super Earth Planet – ‘Can Life Find a Way’ on such a Cold Planet?”, co-authored by Guinan, Scott Engle and Ignasi Ribas, Director of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), and Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC).

“Geothermal heating could support “life zones” under its surface, akin to subsurface lakes found in Antarctica,” Guinan said. “We note that the surface temperature on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is similar to Barnard b but, because of tidal heating, Europa probably has liquid oceans under its icy surface.”

The discovery of Barnard’s Star b was announced in November 2018 in the academic journal Nature. An international team of researchers led by Ribas of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), and Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), which included Guinan and Engle, based its analysis on 18 years of observations combined with newly acquired data.

Barnard’s Star b, with a mass just over three times that of the Earth, orbits Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf star, every 233 days and at roughly the same distance that Mercury orbits the Sun. It passes near the dim star’s snow line.

Guinan and Engle have obtained high-precision photometry of Barnard’s Star (as well as dozens of other stars) for the past 15 years. This data, along with that of other observers, was included in a recent comprehensive study led by Borja Toledo-Padrón, a doctoral student at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, University of La Laguna. Although very faint, it may be possible for Barnard b to be imaged by future very large telescopes, according to Guinan. “Such observations will shed light on the nature of the planet’s atmosphere, surface, and potential habitability,” he added.

“Barnard’s Star has been on our radar for a long time,” Guinan said. “In 2003 it became a founding star member of the Villanova ‘Living with a Red Dwarf’ program that has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation/National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA).

“The most significant aspect of the discovery of Barnard’s star b is that the two nearest star systems to the Sun are now known to host planets. This supports previous studies based on Kepler Mission data, inferring that planets can be very common throughout the galaxy, even numbering in the tens of billions,” Engle noted. “Also, Barnard’s Star is about twice as old as the Sun – about 9 billion years old compared to 4.6 billion years for the Sun. The universe has been producing Earth-size planets far longer than we, or even the Sun itself, have existed.”

Source: Villanova University [January 17, 2019]



The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia

Nearly a thousand ornamented steles dot the Mongolian steppes. These “deer stones” were erected between 1200 and 800 BC, and are part of large funerary complexes built by nomads from the Karasuk culture or Deer stone civilisation.

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
The Tsatsyn Ereg necropolis, located in Arkhangai Province, is being studied by an international team
as partof a joint archaeological mission between Monaco and Mongolia, under the direction of the
Musée d’Anthropologie préhistorique de Monaco and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.
113 deer stones have been found on this site measuring 200 square kilometers
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
The “deer stones” of Mongolia are part of multi-hectare funerary complexes, and are surrounded by hundreds
of stone grave mounds. A horsehead was left beneath each mound. Here we see the remains of a skull
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
The anthropologist Jérôme Magail, who is leading the mission, used ground-based and drone
photogrammetry to accurately document the steles and associated archeological structures
 in order to create a 3D reconstruction. This was done by taking dozens of pictures of the
object from various angles, which are then assembled by specialized software
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
The “deer stones” of Mongolia are part of multi-hectare funerary complexes, and are surrounded by hundreds
of stone grave mounds. A horsehead was left beneath each mound. Here we see the remains of a skull
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
The representation of deer follows the same graphic codes from one site to another: elongated muzzle, disproportionate
 antlers, bodies stretched toward the sky. Deer were probably tasked with leading the souls of the dead toward
the afterlife [Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
Photogrammetry is complemented by a method called estampage: a white sheet is attached to the stele,
a sheet of carbon paper is placed on top, and gentle rubbing reveals the roughness of the surface
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

The Mysterious Steles of Mongolia
Three thousand years later, Mongol nomads continue to crisscross the plains of Tsatsyn Ereg
and breed horses. The scientific team is also exploring their ancient know-how
[Credit: Fabrice Monna/MAP-MC/Traces/ARTeHIS/CNRS Photothèque]

Author: Laure Cailloce | Source: CNRS News [January 17, 2019]



Greek archaeologists find three ancient quarries in South Euboea

The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports has announced that three ancient quarries mining Karystos shale marble were found while wind parks were being installed by the ENEL and Silsio companies, in the greater area of the Karystos Municipality and the sites of Anatoli in the Kafireas region and at Trikorfo, Marmari, under the supervision of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea.

Greek archaeologists find three ancient quarries in South Euboea
Ancient quarry of Anatoli [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]

During works on the new main road to the Anatoli wind park run by the ENEL Company, northwest of the village of Amygdalia, an ancient shale marble quarry was found, with two main mining fronts faced by small areas covered with soil.
The largest mining front is close to the second one that is smaller in size and situated at a higher spot to the north east of the first one, carved in tiers into the natural rock. In the greater area, south east of the smaller mining front there are massive carved rectangular blocks in situ, scattered about the natural rock.

While the greater quarry area was being archaeologically cleaned, two half finished columns were found in a clean layer of fine mining gravel.

Greek archaeologists find three ancient quarries in South Euboea
Ancient quarry of Trikorfos 2, with the partially carved columns in situ
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]

The ancient quarry is situated exactly above the main road of the works by the Silsio Company. High on the rock two small mining fronts were located and some long box-shaped carvings on their floor, while just a few metres to the east a low pile of mining gravel was found, the only evidence of mining activity.
The second ancient quarry of Trikorfo 2 was located to the north west of Trikorfo 1. The quarry’s main space is much bigger than that of the first quarry with three large, Π shaped, tall mining fronts.

Three large gravel piles dominate the surrounding space, two to the east and one to the west of the main mining and quarrying area, while in front of the quarry’s main area there is a place for depositing massive rectangular stone blocks, as well as other boulders partially worked on, bearing traces of carving and situated on a downward slope to the south of the main mining area, most probably for their removal and transportation.

Greek archaeologists find three ancient quarries in South Euboea
Ancient quarry of Trikorfos 1 [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]

On the ground of the quarry’s main area are three half finished columns, one next to the other, and most probably more stone blocks that are not particularly visible being covered by considerable backfill and vegetation. In front of the main fronts is a small circular construction for collecting water, covered with slate slabs for washing tools and for other uses.
As noted by the announcement, the discovery of these ancient quarries gives us more information on the location of new sites for the mining of Karystos stone, demonstrating the latter’s significance as a key factor in the region’s economic activity from antiquity to the present day.

Source: Archaeology & Arts [January 17, 2019]



‘Cube of Zoroaster’ unfazed by subsidence, new research finds

No threat of subsidence faces the “Cube of Zoroaster”, which is a famed ancient quadrangular structure in southern Iran, according to a new research.

'Cube of Zoroaster' unfazed by subsidence, new research finds
Credit: Tehran Times

Locally known as Ka’be-ye Zartosht, the ‘cube’ is one of monuments that stand in Naqsh-e Rostam, an archaeological cemetery near UNESCO-registered Persepolis.

“The preliminary results of a data analysis indicate that the splendid monument stands strong, and so far, no subsidence-related issues have been found,” ILNA quoted Hamid Fadaei, director of the World Heritage site, as saying on Tuesday.

A lengthened drought period in the region along with excessive use of groundwater are among reasons that ancient site may be threatened by subsidence, the report said.

The limestone structure distances 46 metres from the mountain side, situated exactly opposite Darius II’s mausoleum. It is rectangular shaped and has only one entrance door and is made of white limestone.

Naqsh-e Rostam, meaning “Picture of Rostam”, incorporates memorials of the Elamites, the Achaemenids and the Sassanians. It is where four Persian Achaemenid kings are laid to rest, those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right facing the cliff), although some historians are still debating this.

There are bas-relief carvings above the tomb chambers that are similar to those in Persepolis, with the kings standing on thrones supported by figures representing the subject nations below.

Beneath the funerary chambers are dotted with seven Sassanian era (224–651) bas-reliefs cut into the cliff depict vivid scenes of imperial conquests and royal ceremonies.

Source: Tehran Times [January 17, 2019]



Observations of a rare hypernova complete the picture of the death of the massive stars

The end of a star’s life can occur in a tranquil manner in the case of low mass stars, such as the Sun. This is not the case, however, for very massive stars, which suffer such extreme explosive events that they can outshine the brightness of the whole galaxy that hosts them. An international group of astronomers has published a detailed study of the death of a high-mass star that produced a gamma-ray burst (GRB) and a hypernova, in which they have detected a new component in this type of events. The study, published in Nature, provides a link that completes the scenario that relates hypernovae with GRBs.

Observations of a rare hypernova complete the picture of the death of the massive stars
This is an artist representation of the hypernova. The interaction of the jet with the outer layers
of the star forms a cocoon that surrounds the head of the jet and begins to propagate laterally
 with respect to the direction of the jet. The jet is capable of completely perforating the
envelope of the parent star, emitting high energy gamma rays, responsible for GRB
[Credit: Anna Serena Esposito]

“The first hypernova was detected in 1998 as a very energetic type of supernova that followed a gamma-ray burst. This was the first evidence of the connection between both phenomena” says Luca Izzo, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), and leader the study.

The scenario that has been proposed to explain the phenomena involves a star over 25 times more massive than the Sun that, once it has exhausted its fuel, suffers the collapse of its core. During this collapse, the nucleus of the star transforms either into a neutron star or a black hole, and at the same time, two polar jets of matter are ejected. These jets drill through the external layers of the star and, once out of the star, produce detectable gamma-rays (the so-called GRB). Finally, the external layers of the star are ejected, generating a hypernova explosion, tens of times brighter than a typical supernova.

Although the connection between GRBs and hypernovae has been well established over the last 20 years, the opposite is not so clear, since there have been several hypernovae that do not have associated GRBs. “This work has allowed us to find the missing link between these two types of hypernova through the detection of an additional component: A sort of hot cocoon generated around the jet, as it propagates through the outer layers of the progenitor star – indicates Dr. Izzo (IAA-CSIC) -. The jet transfers a significant part of its energy to the cocoon and, if it manages to reach the surface of the star, will produce the gamma-ray emission that we know as a GRB”.

On the other hand, the jet can fail to pierce the external layers of the star and never emerge into the circumstellar medium if it lacks the necessary energy. In this case we would observe a hypernova but not a GRB. The cocoon detected in this study is the link between the two subtypes of hypernovae that had been studied until now, and the chocked jets would naturally explain the observed differences.

The story of the event

On December 5, 2017, GRB 171205A was detected in a galaxy located 500 million light years from Earth. However far this may seem, this makes it the fourth closest long GRB ever observed. “Such events occur on average every ten years, so we immediately started an intense observing campaign to observe the emerging hypernova from the very early phases on – says Christina Thöne, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) who participated in the discovery -. In fact, with our early observations we managed to obtain the earliest detection of a hypernova to date, less than one day after the collapse of the star”.

Observations of a rare hypernova complete the picture of the death of the massive stars
This is an image of the explosion obtained by the Gran Telescopio Canarias in the period
of maximum brightness of the event [Credit: Gran Telescopio Canarias]

And indeed, very early on the first features of a hypernova were detected with the Gran Telescopio Canarias, on the island of La Palma. “This was only possible because the luminosity of the jet was much weaker than usual, as typically the jets outshine the hypernova during the first week – says Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) who participated in the paper -. What we saw, however, was a very peculiar component, which showed unprecedented expansion velocities and chemical abundances that were different to the ones seen in similar events”.
This peculiar chemical composition and the high expansion velocities matched the expectations for the existence of a cocoon accompanying the jet at the surface of the star. This had been predicted but had been never observed before. The cocoon observed during the first days dragged material out from the interior of the star, and its chemical composition was determined in this study. After a few days, this component faded away, and the hypernova evolved in a similar way as the ones previously observed.

The total energy emitted by the cocoon during these first days was larger than that of the GRB, implying that the jet transferred a large part of its energy to the cocoon. However, it also indicates that the energy of the GRB depends to some degree on the interaction between the jet and the stellar material, and on this new component, the cocoon. This discovery also implies that the models must be revised: “While in the standard model of supernovae the collapse of the nucleus leads to quasi-spherical explosions, the evidence of such an energetic emission produced by the cocoon suggests that the jet plays an important role in core-collapse supernovae which means we will need to consider it in supernova explosion models”, concludes Izzo (IAA-CSIC).

Source: Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) [January 16, 2019]



Saturn hasn’t always had rings

One of the last acts of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn’s hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity probe.

Saturn hasn't always had rings
Artist’s concept of the Cassini spacecraft shown against a real photo of Saturn and its rings
as Cassini crossed the ring plane [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]

Precise measurements of Cassini’s final trajectory have now allowed scientists to make the first accurate estimate of the amount of material in the planet’s rings, weighing them based on the strength of their gravitational pull.

That estimate — about 40 percent of the mass of Saturn’s moon Mimas, which itself is 2,000 times smaller than Earth’s moon — tells them that the rings are relatively recent, having originated less than 100 million years ago and perhaps as recently as 10 million years ago.

Their young age puts to rest a long-running argument among planetary scientists. Some thought that the rings formed along with the planet 4.5 billion years ago from icy debris remaining in orbit after the formation of the solar system. Others thought the rings were very young and that Saturn had, at some point, captured an object from the Kuiper belt or a comet and gradually reduced it to orbiting rubble.

The new mass estimate is based on a measurement of how much the flight path of Cassini was deflected by the gravity of the rings when the spacecraft flew between the planet and the rings on its final set of orbits in September 2017. Initially, however, the deflection did not match predictions based on models of the planet and rings. Only when the team accounted for very deep flowing winds in atmosphere on Saturn — something impossible to observe from space — did the measurements make sense, allowing them to calculate the mass of the rings.

“The first time I looked at the data I didn’t believe it, because I trusted our models and it took a while to sink in that there was some effect that changed the gravity field that we had not considered,” said Burkhard Militzer, a professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, who models planetary interiors. “That turned out to be massive flows in the atmosphere at least 9,000 kilometers deep around the equatorial region. We thought preliminarily that these clouds were like clouds on Earth, which are confined to a thin layer and contain almost no mass. But on Saturn they are really massive.”

Saturn hasn't always had rings
Saturn’s interior is mainly composed of three layers: a deep inner core made mostly of heavy elements, with a liquid
metallic hydrogen envelope, surrounded by a molecular hydrogen layer. Cassini measurements are telling
scientists about the size of the core, the flow of winds in the atmosphere, and the mass of the rings
[Credit: Background image from NASA/JPL-Caltech]

They also calculated that the surface clouds at Saturn’s equator rotate 4 percent faster than the layer 9,000 kilometers (about 6,000 miles) deep. That deeper layer takes 9 minutes longer to rotate than do the cloud tops at the equator, which go around the planet once every 10 hours, 33 minutes.

“The discovery of deeply rotating layers is a surprising revelation about the internal structure of the planet,” said Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The question is what causes the more rapidly rotating part of the atmosphere to go so deep and what does that tell us about Saturn’s interior.”

Militzer also was able to calculate that the rocky core of the planet must be between 15 and 18 times the mass of Earth, which is similar to earlier estimates.

The team, led by Luciano Iess at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, reported their results in the journal Science.

Did rings come from icy comet?

Earlier estimates of the mass of Saturn’s rings — between one-half and one-third the mass of Mimas — came from studying the density waves that travel around the rocky, icy rings. These waves are caused by the planet’s 62 satellites, including Mimas, which creates the so-called Cassini division between the two largest rings, A and B. Mimas is smooth and round, 246 kilometers in diameter. It has a big impact crater that makes it resemble the Death Star from the Star Wars movies.

“People didn’t trust the wave measurements because there might be particles in the rings that are massive but are not participating in the waves,” Militzer said. “We always suspected there was some hidden mass that we could not see in the waves.”

Luckily, as Cassini approached the end of its life, NASA programmed it to perform 22 dives between the planet and the rings to probe Saturn’s gravity field. Earth-based radio telescopes measured the spacecraft’s velocity to within a fraction of a millimeter per second.

The new ring mass value is in the range of earlier estimates and allows the researchers to determine their age.

These age calculations, led by Philip Nicholson of Cornell University and Iess, built on a connection that scientists had previously made between the mass of the rings and their age. Lower mass points to a younger age, because the rings are initially made of ice and are bright but over time become contaminated and darkened by interplanetary debris.

“These measurements were only possible because Cassini flew so close to the surface in its final hours,” Militzer said. “It was a classic, spectacular way to end the mission.”

Author: Robert Sanders | Source: University of California – Berkeley [January 17, 2019]



Earth and Moon pummelled by more asteroids since the age of the dinosaurs began

The number of asteroids colliding with the Earth and Moon has increased by up to three times over the past 290 million years, according to a major new study involving the University of Southampton. These findings, published in Science, challenge our previous understanding of Earth’s history.

Earth and Moon pummelled by more asteroids since the age of the dinosaurs began
SwRI was part of a team that used Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data to study the moon’s craters, scaled by size and
colour-coded by age here, to understand the impact history of the Earth. The lunar surface is dominated by blue
craters younger than 290 million years old, which is consistent with those on Earth, indicating that bombardments
on both bodies has increased since that time [Credit: NASA/LRO/USGS/University of Toronto]

Scientists have tried to understand the rate that asteroids hit the Earth for decades, usually by studying the craters and dating the rocks around them. The problem with doing this is that many experts assumed that the earliest craters have worn away over time due to erosion and other geological processes.
However, researchers have now found that we can learn a lot about the Earth’s impact history by studying the Moon, because both bodies are hit in the same proportions over time. Further, the Moon is immune to many of the processes, like plate tectonics, that gradually destroy Earth’s craters. “The only obstacle to doing this has been finding an accurate way to date large craters on the Moon”, said William Bottke, an asteroid expert at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado and a co-author of the paper.

The team studied the surface of the Moon using thermal data and images collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), to determine the ages of the lunar craters. The NASA spacecraft’s thermal radiometer, known as Diviner, showed the scientists how heat is radiating off the Moon’s surface – with larger rocks giving off more heat than finer, lunar soil. Paper co-author Rebecca Ghent, a planetary scientist at the University of Toronto and the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, calculated the rate at which Moon rocks break down into soil, and revealed a relationship between the amount of large rocks near a crater and the crater’s age. Using Ghent’s technique, the team compiled the ages of all lunar craters younger than about a billion years.

Earth and Moon pummelled by more asteroids since the age of the dinosaurs began
Dating the moon’s impact craters [Credit: NASA/LRO/University of Southampton/University of Toronto]

Younger craters tend to be covered by more boulders and rocks than older craters. This happens because the boulders ejected by an asteroid strike get ground down over hundreds of millions of years by a constant rain of tiny meteorites.
When the team compared the ages and numbers of craters on the Moon to those on Earth, they made the remarkable discovery that they are extremely similar, challenging the idea that Earth had lost so many craters. “This means that the Earth has fewer older craters on its most stable regions not because of erosion, but because the impact rate was lower prior to 290 million years ago,” said Bottke.

Dr Thomas Gernon, Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, and co-author on the study, said: “Proving that fewer craters on Earth meant fewer impacts–rather than loss through erosion–posed a formidable challenge”.

Scientists produced this video showing the rate of asteroid impacts on the Moon

over the last 1.3 billion years [Credit: SystemSounds]

However, Gernon exploited an unlikely line of evidence to piece together the story–long-extinct diamond volcanoes called kimberlite pipes that stretch, in a carrot shape, a couple of kilometres below the surface. His research showed that kimberlite pipes formed over the past 650 million years in stable terrains are largely intact; indicating that large impact craters formed over the same period and in the same terrains should also be preserved. This explained the similarity of the Earth and Moon’s impact crater records, and helped the team establish that the sparsity of craters formed before 290 million years ago is because there were fewer asteroid strikes before then.
“It was a painstaking task, at first, to look through all of these data and map the craters out without knowing whether we would get anywhere or not,” said Sara Mazrouei, the lead author of the paper who collected and analysed all the data for this project at the University of Toronto.

The team’s work led to the discovery that the rate of crater formation over the last 290 million years has been two to three times higher than in the previous 700 million years.

Earth and Moon pummelled by more asteroids since the age of the dinosaurs began
Moon’s young craters (larger than 10 kms, younger than one billion years old)
[Credit: Dr. A. Parker, Southwest Research Institute]

The reason for this jump in the impact rate is unknown but it could be related to large collisions taking place more than 290 million years ago in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the researchers noted. Such events can create debris that can reach the inner solar system.
The team’s findings related to Earth, meanwhile, have implications for the history of life–which is punctuated by major extinction events and rapid evolution of new species. Although extinction events could have many causes, the team points out that asteroid impacts are very likely to have played a major role. In particular, the dinosaurs proliferated about 250 million years ago, and “as a species were particularly vulnerable to large impacts from the get-go, more so than earlier animal groups”, says Gernon.

“It’s perhaps fair to say it was a date with destiny for the dinosaurs–their downfall was somewhat inevitable given the surge of large space rocks colliding with Earth”, Gernon concluded.

Source: University of Southampton [January 17, 2019]



Hungarian Yamnaya predictions

About ten thousand burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age still stand in the Carpathian Basin and surrounds. Many of these kurgans or tumuli show direct archeological links with the highly mobile Yamnaya culture of the Pontic-Caspian steppe to the east, and may have been built by Yamnaya migrants.
The testing of ancient DNA from the remains in these burials is important, because the results are likely to be informative about the profound genetic, cultural and linguistic changes that took place in what is now Hungary and the Balkans during the Copper and Bronze Ages.
But, alas, probably to the disappointment of some readers, my great prediction is that they’re not going to be overly relevant to what happened at this time in Northern and Western Europe, and won’t upend the current consensus that the Corded Ware culture (CWC) was the main vector for the spread of steppe ancestry and Indo-European languages into these parts of the continent.
The important thing to understand about the Yamnaya expansion into the Carpathian Basin is that it mostly stopped at the Tisza River. It’s true that some archeological cultures west of the Tisza, such as Mako and Vucedol, do show fairly strong Yamnaya influences, but they can’t be regarded as part of the Yamnaya colonization of Central Europe. Below is a slightly modified map from Heyd 2011 to illustrate my point.

In fact, four early Yamnaya period samples from one of the few kurgans west of the Tisza have already been published along with the Olalde et al. 2018 paper on the Bell Beaker culture (BBC). And one of these samples, labeled I5117, even represents a male buried in a Yamnaya-like pose. But this is how three of these individuals cluster in my Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of ancient West Eurasian genetic variation.

They sit firmly among other Copper Age and Neolithic samples from west of the Pontic-Caspian steppe. In other words, they show practically zero Yamnaya-related or steppe ancestry. Moreover, both of the males belong to Y-haplogroup G2a-L91, which is yet to be found in any samples from the Copper and Bronze Age steppe.
That’s not to suggest, however, that the spread of the Yamnaya culture into the Carpathian Basin was a cultural process with little or no genetic impact. It probably wasn’t, because five samples labeled “Yamnaya Hungary” were featured in the Wang et al. 2018 preprint on the genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus, and judging by their PCA and ADMIXTURE results (in the figure below from the said preprint) they’re not very different from most Yamnaya samples, such as those from far to the east in Kalmykia or Samara.

But the point I’m making is that not every one of the ten thousand kurgans and tumuli in the Carpathian Basin and surrounds was built by newcomers from the steppe, and, thus, my other prediction is that a fair proportion of the Yamnaya-related burial mounds, especially west of the Tisza, might contain remains without any steppe ancestry.
As far as I know, the Y-haplogroups of the aforementioned Yamnaya Hungary samples haven’t yet been reported anywhere. But there are three ancients in the Mathieson et al. 2018 paper on the genetic prehistory of southeastern Europe that are probably highly informative about what we can expect in this context, because based on their archeology and ancestry, they’re likely to be closely related to the Hungarian Yamnaya population. They are:

Balkans_BronzeAge I2165: Y-hg I2a-L699 3020-2895 calBCE
Vucedol_Croatia I3499: Y-hg R1b-Z2103 2884-2666 calBCE
Yamnaya_Bulgaria Bul4: Y-hg I2a-L699 3012-2900 calBCE

That’s not much to work with, you might say. Perhaps, but keep in mind that R1b-Z2103 has now been reported in Yamnaya samples from Ciscaucasia, Kalmykia, and Samara, while I2a-L699 in a Yamnaya singleton from Kalmykia. Thus, a lot of outcomes are still possible, but some are much more likely than others. So I’m expecting most Hungarian Yamnaya males to belong to R1b-Z2103 and I2a-L699, or perhaps even the other way around!
However, in line with my aforementioned great prediction, I don’t expect any instances of R1a-M417 or R1b-L51, the two most common Y-halogroups among present-day Europeans living north and west of the Balkans. And I reckon that if these markers do actually show up, then they’ll be represented by nowadays rare or even extinct lineages that aren’t very important to the peopling of Europe. Any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments.
See also…
Hungarian Yamnaya > Bell Beakers?
Single Grave > Bell Beakers
Dutch Beakers: like no other Beakers


2019 January 22 Lunar Eclipse over Cologne Cathedral Image…

2019 January 22

Lunar Eclipse over Cologne Cathedral
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Junius

Explanation: Why would a bright full Moon suddenly become dark? Because it entered the shadow of the Earth. That’s what happened Sunday night as the Moon underwent a total lunar eclipse. Dubbed by some as a Super (because the Moon was angularly larger than usual, at least slightly) Blood (because the scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere makes an eclipsed Moon appeared unusually red) Wolf (because January full moons are sometimes called Wolf Moons from the legend that wolves like to howl at the moon) Moon Eclipse, the shadowy spectacle was visible from the half of the Earth then facing the Moon, and was captured in numerous spectacular photographs. Featured, a notable image sequence was captured over the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Cologne, Germany. The lunar eclipse sequence was composed from 68 different exposures captured over three hours during freezing temperatures – and later digitally combined and edited to remove a cyclist and a pedestrian. The next total lunar eclipse will occur in 2021.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190122.html

Locations on the surface of Ryugu have been named!

JAXA – Hayabusa-2 Mission patch.

Jan. 21, 2019

Place names for locations on the surface of Ryugu were discussed by Division F (Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (hereafter IAU WG) and approved in December 2018. We will introduce the place names in this article and the background to their selection.

As the appearance of Ryugu gradually became clear during the approach phase in June 2018, we used nicknames amongst the Hayabsua2 Project team to distinguish regions of the terrain. (For example, the crater now named “Urashima” was referred to as the Death Star crater in Star Wars!) However, in order to introduce Ryugu to the world, it is necessary to have names that are intentionally recognized rather than nicknames, which can be referred to in scientific papers and other articles. Therefore, the discussion regarding naming the Ryugu surface topology began within the team.

Image above: Figure 1: Map of Ryugu showing the place names. Trinitas and Alice’s Wonderland are nicknames of the MINERVA-II1 and MASCOT landing sites, respectively, and not place names recognized by the IAU. Image credit:JAXA ※2.

To name a place on a celestial body in the Solar System, you must first decide on a theme. For example, the theme for places on Venus is the “names of goddesses”. During discussions between the domestic and overseas project members, suggestions such as “names of castles around the world”, “word for ‘dragon’ in different languages” and the “names of deep-sea creatures” were proposed for the place name theme on Ryugu. After an intense debate, the theme was selected to be “names that appear in stories for children” and a theme proposal was put to the IAU WG. The proposal was accepted on September 25, after which the discussion moved to selecting the topographical features to be named and the choice of name.

Names cannot be attributed to any location. Instead, there are restrictions on the places that can be assigned an official name involving considerations such as scientific importance or size on the celestial body. With this in mind, volunteers from the project members as well as planetary geology experts (hereinafter referred to as the Place Name Core Members ※1) discussed the place selection and completed the application forms for naming based on the exploration data. On October 12, we proposed 13 place names to the IAU WG. After additional discussion with the WG, 9 were accepted as proposed by the team and the remaining 4 names were approved after an amendment suggested by the IAU.

Image above: Figure 2: The location of place names on Ryugu. Trinitas and Alice’s Wonderland are nicknames of the MINERVA-II1 and MASCOT landing sites, respectively, and not place names recognized by the IAU. Image credit:JAXA ※2.

The surface of celestial bodies has a range of different topologies. We applied to give names to four different topology types on the Ryugu surface. The first type is “dorsum” which originates from the Latin for peak or ridge. The second type is “crater” which are familiar structures on the Moon and asteroids. Then “fossa” meaning grooves or trenches and finally the Latin word “saxum” for the rocks and boulders that are a main characteristic of the Ryugu terrain. Saxum is actually a new classification of terrain type that we applied to introduce due to the nature of Ryugu.

Numerous boulders are distributed on the surface of Ryugu. Regardless of where you look, there are rocks, rocks and more rocks. This is a major characteristic of Ryugu and continues to make plans for the touchdown operation of the spacecraft difficult. Additionally, spectroscopic observations revealed that the giant boulder (Otohime saxum) at the south pole has not only a substantial size, but also a distinct visible light spectrum that reveals materials and surface conditions that are different from the surrounding areas. Since this boulder is the most important topographical feature for understanding the formation history of Ryugu, the Project strongly hoped to name it. However, there was no precedent for boulder nomenclature and even the name type did not exist (during the exploration of the first Hayabusa mission, naming the huge boulder protruding from asteroid Itokawa was not allowed). We therefore proposed the type name for boulders at the same time as applying for the place names. Since terrain type names are usually Latin, we proposed “saxum” (meaning rocks and stones in Latin) as the type name for boulders. The IAU accepted this nomenclature for boulders with a few conditions (such as the boulder must be 1% or more of the diameter of the celestial body) and the type name that we suggested was adopted (!). This is how the new terrain type “saxum” was born.

Figure 1 shows a map of Ryugu with the place names labelled. Additionally, Figure 2 shows the location of the places on images of Ryugu taken from four different directions. In these figures, the north pole of Ryugu is at the image top. Please keep in mind that the north pole of Ryugu is in the same direction as the south pole on Earth, as Ryugu rotates in the opposite direction. Table 1 shows a list of the place names.

Image above: (Note 1) While “Cinderella” was proposed, the WG modified the name to the original French. (Note 2) “Peter Pan” was proposed but changed by the WG due to copyright issues. (Note 3) “Sleeping Beauty” was proposed but it was suggested that the character number was too long, so “Brabo” was proposed and accepted. (Note 4) “Oz” was proposed but this is used for Charon (moon of Pluto) so was changed by the WG. Image Credit: JAXA.

As it is difficult to get a feel for how the place names were chosen from just a list, we will introduce the story behind the main choices below.

The asteroid name “Ryugu” comes from the Japanese fairy tale of Taro Urashima. In the story, Urashima is a fisherman who rescues a sea turtle from the cruelty of a group of children. The turtle takes Urashima to the underwater palace of Ryugo-jo (Dragon Palace), where he meets the princess, Otohime. After 3 years, Urashima wishes to return home and is given a treasure box (tamatebako) by Otohime with instructions never to open it. But when Urashima returns to the surface, he discovers everything he knew has changed as 300 years has actually past. In confusion, Urashima opens the treasure box and is engulfed in white fog. When it clears, he has become an old man, as the box contained his age.

With the name of the asteroid being Ryugu, there was a strong desire from the Project to use other names that appear in Urashima’s story for major asteroid topography. However, place names cannot be common nouns so words such as “sea bream”, “flounder” and “turtle” do not work and we were limited to names such as Taro Urashima, Otohime etc.

JAXA Hayabusa 2 probe

Therefore, “Urashima” was chosen for the biggest crater on Ryugu and “Otohime” for the largest boulder near the south pole. Both of these are very important features for deciphering the formation history of Ryugu. However, Otohime had already been used! Venus (whose place theme uses the names of goddesses) had already a location named Otohime Tholus. Otohime was therefore initially refused by the IAU when it was proposed. But Otohime is an extremely important person in the story of Taro Urashima and how can we collect the tamatebako if Otohime is not on Ryugu?! (That was a joke, but we did want to use such a relevant name.) Since the name was important to the Project, the place name core members refined the proposal to the IAU, explaining why Otohime should be one of the main topological features on Ryugu and this was accepted.

A defining feature of Ryugu is that the shape is similar to a spinning top or abacus bead. This shape is the combination of two cones which appear almost circular when seen from the north pole. The ridge where they join was named “Ryujin”, after the ruler of the Dragon Palace who is the father of princess Otohime. This name came from the Place Name Core Members who felt the ridge resembled a dragon coiling around the asteroid or an ouroboros (the image of the serpent or dragon that swallows its own tail). (There was actually a similar illustration in the “Imagining Ryugu” art contest!)

On either side of Otohime saxum there are large grooves extending in the equatorial direction. In the story of Taro Urashima, Otohime lives in this mysterious place at the bottom of the ocean which is sometimes depicted as a different world in the various retellings of the tale. This world is often called “Horai”, “Tokoyo” or “Niraikanai”. The grooves adjacent to Otohime saxum were therefore named Horai fossa and Tokoyo fossa.

There is a reasonably big boulder to the southeast of the Urashima crater. According to one version of the tale, the place where Taro Urashima helped the turtle and left to travel to Ryugu-jo is the place “Ejima”, which gave the boulder its name Ejima saxum.

Image above: Figure 3: Distribution of the gravitational acceleration on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Image credit: JAXA.

Figure 3:  The gravitational acceleration on the surface of Ryugu is approximately 0.11~0.15 mm/s2, which is about eighty thousandths (~ 1/80000th) the strength of the Earth’s gravity and a few times stronger than that of Itokawa. We can additionally see that the gravity near the poles of Ryugu is stronger than near the asteroid’s equator. This is due to the equatorial ridge protruding from the surface.

There are also large craters on both sides of Urashima crater. In particular, there are two craters stuck together along the north-south direction to the west. This state reminded us of the kibidango (Japanese dumplings) in another Japanese fairy tale called Momotaro. The northern crater of the pair was therefore named “Momotaro crater” and the southern crater became “Kibidango crater”. To the east of the Urashima crater, there is a crater with big black boulder inside. This reminded us of the Japanese tale of Kintaro, a boy with super strength who carried a broad-axe, and so was named “Kintaro crater”.

Ryugu also has topological names derived from children’s stories from outside Japan. For example, while you might not immediately recognize the name of the Cendrillion crater, the name is from the original French name for the familiar fairy tale, “Cinderella”. The name of the Brabo crater is derived from the name of the hero of a Netherlands tale, which was proposed by the overseas project members. The Kolobok crater and Catafo saxum were both names proposed by the IAU WG. They are taken from Russian and Cajun (famous for Cajun cuisine in the USA) folktales.

These are the place names formally recognized by the IAU WG. In addition, there are two nicknames shown in Figures 1 and 2; Trinitas (the MINERVA-II1 landing site and named for the goddess Minerva’s birth place) and Alice’s Wonderland (the MASCOT landing site). These were places named by the project to identify the points where MINERVA-II1 and MASCOT landed, but are not official names recognized by the IAU.

We are planning to review and propose place names from time to time as we continue to observe and research asteroid Ryugu. What kind of story should appear on Ryugu next?


※1. Place name core members (in no particular order): Rina Noguchi, Yuri Shimaki, Makoto Yoshikawa, Yuichi Tsuda (JAXA), Seiichio Watanabe (Nagoya University), Hideaki Miyamoto, Seiji Sugita (University of Tokyo), Goro Komatsu (Università d’Annunzio), Yoshiaki Ishihara (National Institute for Environmental Studies), Sho Sasaki (Osaka University), Naru Hirata, Chikatoshi Honda, Hirohide Demura (University of Aizu), Masatoshi Hirabayashi (Auburn University).

※2. The images of Ryugu are from the ONC team (JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST).

Hayabusa-2: http://www.hayabusa2.jaxa.jp/en/

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: JAXA/Rina Noguchi & Yuri Shimaki (Hayabusa2 Project).

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link

International Chronostratigraphic Chart “Version 2018/08”…

International Chronostratigraphic Chart “Version 2018/08” http://www.geologypage.com/2019/01/international-chronostratigraphic-chart-version-2018-08.html

Long March-11 launches two hyperspectral imaging satellites

CASC – China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

Jan. 21, 2019

A Long March-11 launch vehicle launched Jilin-1 Spectrum 01/02, Lingque-1A and Xiaoxiang-1 03 satellites from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China, on 21 January 2019, at 05:42 UTC (13:42 local time).

Long March-11 launches Jilin-1 Spectrum 01/02, Lingque-1A and Xiaoxiang-1 03 satellites

The Jilin-1 (吉林一号) payload includes Spectral 01 (光谱01) and Spectral 02 (光谱01), two multispectral imaging satellites, along with Lingque-1A (灵鹊-1A), the first verifying satellite for the Lingque Constellation planned by Beijing ZeroG Technology Co., Ltd, and Xiaoxiang-1 03 (潇湘一号03), a technology test satellite developed by Spacety Co., Ltd.

Jilin-1 (吉林一号)

A Chinese Long March 11 rocket launches two hyperspectral imaging satellites for Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd.

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html

Images, Video, Text, Credits: Credits: China Central Television (CCTV)/China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)/SciNews.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


    Солнечное затмение 14 декабря 2020 года  — полное  солнечное затмение  142  сароса , которое лучше всего будет видно в юго-восточной час...