среда, 3 июля 2019 г.

Growing Gills Adult stem cells (ASCs) help keep our bodies…


Growing Gills


Adult stem cells (ASCs) help keep our bodies ticking. These dormant undifferentiated cells are ready at a moment’s notice to generate new specialised cells that can replace old or damaged ones. ASCs also multiply to enable some vertebrates like fish to continue growing, even in adulthood. How can ASCs carry out two separate functions in parallel? To answer this, scientists studied the gills of medaka fish. Gills (one from a genetically-manipulated fish shown here in blue and green) operate many vital functions and their exposure to the elements means their different specialised cells need regular replacing. The team found that ASC function was determined by their positioning in fish gills. However, if the part of the gill containing growth ASCs was lost, homeostatic ASCs could take over and generate new growth ones. In future, understanding how flexible ASCs are in different species could help us identify new ways to use these types of cells in regenerative medicine.


Written by Gaëlle Coullon



You can also follow BPoD on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


Archive link


2019 July 3 Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly Across Titan…


2019 July 3


Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly Across Titan
Video Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins U. Applied Physics Lab.


Explanation: If you could fly across Titan, what would you see? To find out and to better explore this exotic moon of Saturn, NASA recently green-lighted Dragonfly, a mission to Titan with plans to deploy a helicopter-like drone. Saturn’s moon Titan is one of the largest moons in the Solar System and the only moon known to have a thick atmosphere and changing hydrocarbon lakes. After development, building, testing, and launch, Dragonfly is currently scheduled to reach Titan in 2034. The featured animated video envisions Dragonfly arriving at Titan, beginning its airborne exploration, landing to establishing a radio link back to Earth, and then continuing on to another trans-Titanian flight. It is hoped that Dragonfly will not only help humanity better understanding Titan’s weather, chemistry, and changing landscape, but also bolster humanity’s understanding of how life first developed on our young Earth.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190703.html


Evidence of European ancestry in the Philistines

The abstract below has just appeared at the European Nucleotide Archive (see here), so I’m guessing that the relevant paper and accompanying ancient genome-wide data will be published within weeks if not days. Emphasis is mine:



The ancient Mediterranean port-city of Ashkelon, identified as “Philistine” during the Iron Age, underwent a dramatic cultural change between the Late Bronze- and the early Iron- Age. It has been long debated whether this change was driven by a substantial movement of people, possibly linked to a larger migration of the so-called “Sea Peoples”. Here, we report genome-wide data of ten Bronze- and Iron- Age individuals from Ashkelon. We find that the early Iron Age population was genetically distinct due to a European related admixture. Interestingly, this genetic signal is no longer detectible in the later Iron Age population. Our results support that a migration event occurred during the Bronze- to Iron- Age transition in Ashkelon but did not leave a long-lasting genetic signature.



See also…
Five foot Philistines

Source


Plains, Trains and Barges: How We’re Moving Our Artemis 1 Rocket to the Launchpad

Our Space Launch System rocket is on the move this summer — literally. With the help of big and small businesses in all 50 states, various pieces of hardware are making their way to Louisiana for manufacturing, to Alabama for testing, and to Florida for final assembly. All of that work brings us closer to the launch of Artemis 1, SLS and Orion’s first mission to the Moon.


image


By land and by sea and everywhere in between, here’s why our powerful SLS rocket is truly America’s rocket:


Rollin’ on the River


image

The SLS rocket will feature the largest core stage we have ever built before. It’s so large, in fact, that we had to modify and refurbish our barge Pegasus to accommodate the massive load. Pegasus was originally designed to transport the giant external tanks of the space shuttles on the 900-mile journey from our rocket factory, Michoud Assembly Facility, in New Orleans to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Now, our barge ferries test articles from Michoud along the river to Huntsville, Alabama, for testing at Marshall Space Flight Center. Just a week ago, the last of four structural test articles — the liquid oxygen tank — was loaded onto Pegasus to be delivered at Marshall for testing. Once testing is completed and the flight hardware is cleared for launch, Pegasus will again go to work — this time transporting the flight hardware along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Cape Canaveral.


Chuggin’ along


image

The massive, five-segment solid rocket boosters each weigh 1.6 million pounds. That’s the size of four blue whales! The only way to move the components for the powerful boosters on SLS from Promontory, Utah, to the Booster Fabrication Facility and Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy is by railway. That’s why you’ll find railway tracks leading from these assembly buildings and facilities to and from the launch pad, too. Altogether, we have about 38-mile industrial short track on Kennedy alone. Using a small fleet of specialized cars and hoppers and existing railways across the US, we can move the large, bulky equipment from the Southwest to Florida’s Space Coast. With all the motor segments complete in January, the last booster motor segment (pictured above) was moved to storage in Utah. Soon, trains will deliver all 10 segments to Kennedy to be stacked with the booster forward and aft skirts and prepared for flight.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s super Guppy!


image

A regular passenger airplane doesn’t have the capacity to carry the specialized hardware for SLS and our Orion spacecraft. Equipped with a unique hinged nose that can open more than 200 degrees, our Super Guppy airplane is specially designed to carry the hulking hardware, like the Orion stage adapter, to the Cape. That hinged nose means cargo is actually loaded from the front, not the back, of the airplane. The Orion stage adapter, delivered to Kennedy in 2018, joins to the rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage, which will give our spacecraft the push it needs to go to the Moon on Artemis 1. It fit perfectly inside the Guppy’s cargo compartment, which is 25 feet tall and 25 feet wide and 111 feet long.


All roads lead to Kennedy


image

In the end, all roads lead to Kennedy, and the star of the transportation show is really the “crawler.” Rolling along at a delicate 1 MPH when it’s loaded with the mobile launcher, our two crawler-transporters are vital in bringing the fully assembled rocket to the launchpad for each Artemis mission. Each the size of a baseball field and powered by locomotive and large power generator engines, one crawler-transporter is able to carry 18 million pounds on the nine-mile journey to the launchpad. As of June 27, 2019, the mobile launcher atop crawler-transporter 2 made a successful final test roll to the launchpad, clearing the transporter and mobile launcher ready to carry SLS and Orion to the launchpad for Artemis 1.


Dream Team


image

It takes a lot of team work to launch Artemis 1. We are partnering with Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Aerojet Rocketdyne to produce the complex structures of the rocket. Every one of our centers and more than 1,200 companies across the United States support the development of the rocket that will launch Artemis 1 to the Moon and, ultimately, to Mars. From supplying key tools to accelerate the development of the core stage to aiding the transportation of the rocket closer to the launchpad, companies like Futuramic in Michigan and Major Tool & Machine in Indiana, are playing a vital role in returning American astronauts to the Moon. This time, to stay. To stay up to date with the latest SLS progress, click here.


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.


NASA’s ECOSTRESS Maps European Heat Wave From Space


ISS — ECOSTRESS Mission logo.


July 3, 2019



Images above: These maps of four European cities show ECOSTRESS surface temperature images acquired in the early mornings of June 27 and 28, 2019, during a heatwave. The images have been sharpened to delineate key features such as airports. Airports and city centers are hotter than surrounding regions because they have more surfaces that retain heat (asphalt, concrete, etc.). Images Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.


Europe’s massive heat wave is on its way out — and it’s leaving a slew of broken temperature records in its wake. Many countries were gripped by temperatures above 104 Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) between June 26 and June 30. According to the World Meteorological Organization, June 2019 is now the hottest month on record for the continent as a whole.


NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) measures Earth’s surface temperature from the International Space Station at different times of day. Although its primary objective is to monitor the health of plants, ECOSTRESS can also detect heat events such as the one much of Europe just experienced.


ECOSTRESS mapped the surface, or ground temperature, of four European cities — Rome, Paris, Madrid and Milan — during the mornings of June 27 and June 28.In the images, hotter temperatures appear in red and cooler temperatures appear in blue. They show how the central core of each city is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect — a result of urban surfaces storing and re-radiating heat throughout the day.


The fact that surface temperatures were as high as 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius) in the early morning indicates that much of the heat from previous days was stored by surfaces with high heat capacity (such as asphalt, concrete and water bodies) and unable to dissipate before the next day. The trapped heat resulted in even higher midday temperatures, in the high 40s (Celsius) in some places, as the heat wave continued.



International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

ECOSTRESS launched to the space station last summer and began collecting its first heat data just days after installation. The instrument measures variations of ground temperatures to within a few tenths of a degree, and it does so with unprecedented detail: It’s able to detect temperature changes at various times of day over areas the size of a football field. These measurements help scientists assess plant health and response to water shortages, which can be an indicator of future drought. They can also be used in observing heat trends, spotting wildfires and detecting volcanic activity.


ECOSTRESS provides a wide range of image products for studying the land surface and recently made all these products publicly available through the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC): https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/


JPL built and manages the ECOSTRESS mission for NASA’s Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ECOSTRESS is an Earth Venture Instrument mission; the program is managed by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.


Related articles:


New Earth Obs Study Installed Before Monday Russian Cargo Mission
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/07/new-earth-obs-study-installed-before.html


Space Station ‘Space Botanist’ Observes California, Nevada Wildfires
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/08/space-station-space-botanist-observes.html


For more information on ECOSTRESS visit: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov


For more information on Earth science activities aboard the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/issearthscience


International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html


Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/JPL/Esprit Smith.


Great Heating! Orbiter.chArchive link


Atmosphere of Midsize Planet Revealed by Hubble, Spitzer



NASA — Hubble Space Telescope patch / NASA — Spitzer Space Telescope patch.


July 3, 2019


Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical «fingerprint» of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars.



Image above: This artist’s illustration shows the theoretical internal structure of the exoplanet GJ 3470 b. It is unlike any planet found in the Solar System. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses the planet is more massive than Earth but less massive than Neptune. Unlike Neptune, which is 3 billion miles from the Sun, GJ 3470 b may have formed very close to its red dwarf star as a dry, rocky object. It then gravitationally pulled in hydrogen and helium gas from a circumstellar disk to build up a thick atmosphere. The disk dissipated many billions of years ago, and the planet stopped growing. The bottom illustration shows the disk as the system may have looked long ago. Observation by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have chemically analyzed the composition of GJ 3470 b’s very clear and deep atmosphere, yielding clues to the planet’s origin. Many planets of this mass exist in our galaxy. Image Credits: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI).


The planet, Gliese 3470 b (also known as GJ 3470 b), may be a cross between Earth and Neptune, with a large rocky core buried under a deep, crushing hydrogen-and-helium atmosphere. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses, the planet is more massive than Earth but less massive than Neptune (which is more than 17 Earth masses).


Many similar worlds have been discovered by NASA’s Kepler space observatory, whose mission ended in 2018. In fact, 80% of the planets in our galaxy may fall into this mass range. However, astronomers have never been able to understand the chemical nature of such a planet until now, researchers say.


By inventorying the contents of GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere, astronomers are able to uncover clues about the planet’s nature and origin.


«This is a big discovery from the planet-formation perspective. The planet orbits very close to the star and is far less massive than Jupiter — 318 times Earth’s mass — but has managed to accrete the primordial hydrogen/helium atmosphere that is largely ‘unpolluted’ by heavier elements,» said Björn Benneke of the University of Montreal in Canada. «We don’t have anything like this in the solar system, and that’s what makes it striking.»


Astronomers enlisted the combined multi-wavelength capabilities NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to do a first-of-a-kind study of GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere.


This was accomplished by measuring the absorption of starlight as the planet passed in front of its star (transit) and the loss of reflected light from the planet as it passed behind the star (eclipse). All told, the space telescopes observed 12 transits and 20 eclipses. The science of analyzing chemical fingerprints based on light is called «spectroscopy.»


«For the first time we have a spectroscopic signature of such a world,» said Benneke. But he is at a loss for classification: Should it be called a «super-Earth» or «sub-Neptune?» Or perhaps something else?


Fortuitously, the atmosphere of GJ 3470 b turned out to be mostly clear, with only thin hazes, enabling the scientists to probe deep into the atmosphere.


«We expected an atmosphere strongly enriched in heavier elements like oxygen and carbon which are forming abundant water vapor and methane gas, similar to what we see on Neptune,» said Benneke. «Instead, we found an atmosphere that is so poor in heavy elements that its composition resembles the hydrogen/helium-rich composition of the Sun.»


Other exoplanets, called «hot Jupiters,» are thought to form far from their stars and over time migrate much closer. But this planet seems to have formed just where it is today, said Benneke.



Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Animation Credits: NASA/ESA

The most plausible explanation, according to Benneke, is that GJ 3470 b was born precariously close to its red dwarf star, which is about half the mass of our Sun. He hypothesizes that essentially it started out as a dry rock and rapidly accreted hydrogen from a primordial disk of gas when its star was very young. The disk is called a «protoplanetary disk.»


«We’re seeing an object that was able to accrete hydrogen from the protoplanetary disk but didn’t run away to become a hot Jupiter,» said Benneke. «This is an intriguing regime.»


One explanation is that the disk dissipated before the planet could bulk up further. «The planet got stuck being a sub-Neptune,» said Benneke.


NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be able to probe even deeper into GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere, thanks to Webb’s unprecedented sensitivity in the infrared. The new results have already spawned great interest from American and Canadian teams developing the instruments on Webb. They will observe the transits and eclipses of GJ 3470 b at light wavelengths where the atmospheric hazes become increasingly transparent.



Spitzer Space Telescope. Animation Credit: NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena. Space operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at IPAC at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.


For more information on Hubble, visit:


Hubble Space Telescope (HST): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html and https://www.spacetelescope.org/


For more information on Spitzer, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer and http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/


Image (mentioned), Animations (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/JPL/Calla Cofield.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Atmosphere of Mid-Size Planet Revealed by Hubble and Spitzer



This artist’s illustration shows the theoretical internal structure of the exoplanet GJ 3470 b. It is unlike any planet found in the Solar System. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses the planet is more massive than Earth but less massive than Neptune. Unlike Neptune, which is 3 billion miles from the Sun, GJ 3470 b may have formed very close to its red dwarf star as a dry, rocky object. It then gravitationally pulled in hydrogen and helium gas from a circumstellar disk to build up a thick atmosphere. The disk dissipated many billions of years ago, and the planet stopped growing. The bottom illustration shows the disk as the system may have looked long ago. Observation by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have chemically analyzed the composition of GJ 3470 b’s very clear and deep atmosphere, yielding clues to the planet’s origin. Many planets of this mass exist in our galaxy.  Credits: Artist’s Illustration: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI); Science: NASA, ESA, and B. Benneke (University of Montreal).  Hi-res image


Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical «fingerprint» of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars.


The planet, Gliese 3470 b (also known as GJ 3470 b), may be a cross between Earth and Neptune, with a large rocky core buried under a deep crushing hydrogen and helium atmosphere. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses, the planet is more massive than Earth, but less massive than Neptune (which is more than 17 Earth masses).


Many similar worlds have been discovered by NASA’s Kepler space observatory, whose mission ended in 2018. In fact, 80% of the planets in our galaxy may fall into this mass range. However, astronomers have never been able to understand the chemical nature of such a planet until now, researchers say.


By inventorying the contents of GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere, astronomers are able to uncover clues about the planet’s nature and origin.


«This is a big discovery from the planet formation perspective. The planet orbits very close to the star and is far less massive than Jupiter—318 times Earth’s mass—but has managed to accrete the primordial hydrogen/helium atmosphere that is largely «unpolluted» by heavier elements,» said Björn Benneke of the University of Montreal, Canada. «We don’t have anything like this in the solar system, and that’s what makes it striking.»



Astronomers enlisted the combined multi-wavelength capabilities NASA’s Hubble snd Spitzer space telescopes to do a first-of-a-kind study of GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere.


This was accomplished by measuring the absorption of starlight as the planet passed in front of its star (transit) and the loss of reflected light from the planet as it passed behind the star (eclipse). All totaled, the space telescopes observed 12 transits and 20 eclipses. The science of analyzing chemical fingerprints based on light is called «spectroscopy.»


«For the first time we have a spectroscopic signature of such a world,» said Benneke. But he is at a loss for classification: Should it be called a «super-Earth» or «sub-Neptune?» Or perhaps something else?


Fortuitously, the atmosphere of GJ 3470 b turned out to be mostly clear, with only thin hazes, enabling the scientists to probe deep into the atmosphere.


«We expected an atmosphere strongly enriched in heavier elements like oxygen and carbon which are forming abundant water vapor and methane gas, similar to what we see on Neptune», said Benneke. «Instead, we found an atmosphere that is so poor in heavy elements that its composition resembles the hydrogen/helium rich composition of the Sun.»


Other exoplanets called «hot Jupiters» are thought to form far from their stars, and over time migrate much closer. But this planet seems to have formed just where it is today, says Benneke.


The most plausible explanation, according to Benneke, is that GJ 3470 b was born precariously close to its red dwarf star, which is about half the mass of our Sun. He hypothesizes that essentially it started out as a dry rock, and rapidly accreted hydrogen from a primordial disk of gas when its star was very young. The disk is called a «protoplanetary disk.»


«We’re seeing an object that was able to accrete hydrogen from the protoplanetary disk, but didn’t runaway to become a hot Jupiter,» said Benneke. «This is an intriguing regime.»


One explanation is that the disk dissipated before the planet could bulk up further. «The planet got stuck being a sub-Neptune,» said Benneke.


NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be able to probe even deeper into GJ 3470 b’s atmosphere thanks to the Webb’s unprecedented sensitivity in the infrared. The new results have already spawned large interest by American and Canadian teams developing the instruments on Webb. They will observe the transits and eclipses of GJ 3470 b at light wavelengths where the atmospheric hazes become increasingly transparent.


The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena. Space operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at IPAC at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Editor: Lynn Jenner





Archive link


Pyritized eldredgeops Trilobite | #Geology #GeologyPage…


Pyritized eldredgeops Trilobite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Fossil


Locality: Hamilton group , Ontario Canada.


Photo Copyright © Tony Petropoulos / IG: Geology.life


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzbjDRSA11T/?igshid=n4v69t85q8rn


Old at heart: Solution to red giants’ age paradox

Four years ago, several red giant stars were discovered to pose a paradox: even though they are built from very old stellar material, their large masses indicate a clearly younger age. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Germany), Aarhus University (Denmark), and The Ohio State University (U.S.) have now solved the apparent contradiction. For the first time, they investigated the abundances of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen swirled from the nuclei of these stars to their surfaces. This allows for an indirect look at processes deep within. Several of the investigated red giants must have merged with others during an advanced stage of stellar evolution, the researchers conclude. In these cases, mass is not a suitable criterion for age determination; the stars are indeed old.











Old at heart: Solution to red giants' age paradox
Toward the end of their lifetime, main sequence stars, such as the Sun, turn into red giants. The layer in which
massive plasma flows transport hot material to surface then expands to the core. In this way, nuclear material
can reach the surface of the star—and allows for an indirect view into the interior. Toward the end of their lifetime,
main sequence stars, such as the Sun, turn into red giants. The layer in which massive plasma flows transport
hot material to surface then expands to the core. In this way, nuclear material can reach the surface
of the star—and allows for an indirect view into the interior [Credit: SAGE-group/MPS]

Main sequence star, red giant, white dwarf — in the course of their lifespan covering millions or even billions of years, stars pass through different stages of stellar evolution — all differing greatly in appearance. Yet, stars do not reveal their ages easily, at least not at first glance. The duration of each phase differs too greatly from star to star. With deeper look, however, researchers can reconstruct the star’s life story. Various methods now make it possible to reliably determine the age of a star.


But there are tricky cases: Four years ago, two groups of researchers led by the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy discovered confusing red giant stars. The results of different age measurements diverged by a full four billion years. «The stars seemed to be old and young at the same time,» Dr. Saskia Hekker from MPS and the University of Aarhus in Denmark, who was part of both discovery teams at the time and is now the first author of the new study, recalls. «This apparent paradox has intrigued me ever since», she adds. Together with her colleague Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson from Ohio State University, she has now solved the mystery of some of these stars. Both researchers are convinced that the strange stars only feign youthfulness.


The red giants’ building material points to an ancient age of more than 10 billion years. The stars contain comparatively little iron, an element that in the course of galactic evolution was produced only slowly. Old stars therefore contain little iron compared to other substances such as magnesium, silicon, and calcium, while young stars contain more. In order to determine these elements’ ratios scientists split the light from the respective star into its individual wavelengths. In this so-called spectrum, each element found within the star leaves a characteristic fingerprint. Another method of age determination looks at the oscillations of a star. With methods of asteroseismology it is possible to then deduce the star’s mass.


Since particularly high temperatures prevail inside heavy stars, their fuel burns comparatively quickly. Heavy stars therefore have a much shorter life expectancy than low-mass ones. The red giants in question proved to be true heavyweights. The asteroseismic method therefore yields ages of less than 6 billion years.


The new investigation now solves this contradiction. The researchers were able to show that some of the stars look back on an extremely eventful past. «Some of the mysterious stars must have merged with others during or after their transformation into red giants,» Dr. Saskia Hekker summarizes the results. «Their large mass is not an original property and therefore not suitable for age determination,» she adds. «The stars are indeed old.»


Key to these results were the amounts of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen found at the surface of the stars. These elements allow for an indirect look into the stellar interior. When so-called main sequence stars, i.e. those in the same stage of development as the Sun, turn into red giants towards the end of their life, their inner workings change: carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, which are formed in the nucleus, can be dredged up to the surface in huge plasma currents and can then be detected. Depending on how hot — and thus massive — the star in question is, the elements can be found in different ratios.


In some of their measurements, the researchers found values typical for low-mass stars. «Before they became red giants, these stars must have been comparatively light,» concludes Dr. Jennifer Johnson from the Ohio State University. «Their current high mass can be explained by the fact that as red giants they have merged with other stars,» she argues.


The explanation does not apply to all the stars studied. For some, the high mass determined years ago by means of asteroseismology coincides well with the presence of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen at their surface. «These stars could have merged with others at an earlier stage of development before nuclear material was swirled to the surface,» says Hekker. A final explanation is still pending.


The new MNRAS study also offers a new approach to the question of how often stars collide and merge as a result. Red giants with such a turbulent past could now be tracked down via the detour of age determination.


Author: Birgit Krummheuer | Source: Max Planck Society [June 27, 2019]



TANN



Archive


Cosmic cat and mouse: Astronomers capture and tag a fleeting radio burst

An Australian-led team of astronomers using the Gemini South telescope in Chile have successfully confirmed the distance to a galaxy hosting an intense radio burst that flashed only once and lasted but a thousandth of a second. The team made the initial discovery of the fast radio burst (FRB) using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope. The critical Gemini observations were key to verifying that the burst left its host galaxy some 4 billion years ago.











Cosmic cat and mouse: Astronomers capture and tag a fleeting radio burst
Artist’s impression of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope finding a fast radio burst and
determining its precise location. The KECK, VLT and Gemini South optical telescopes joined ASKAP
with follow-up observations to image the host galaxy [Credit: CSIRO/Dr Andrew Howells]

Since the first FRB discovery in 2007, these mysterious objects have played a game of cosmic cat-and-mouse with astronomers — with astronomers as the sharp-eyed cats! Fleeting radio outbursts, lasting about a millisecond (one-thousandth of one second), are difficult to detect, and even more difficult to locate precisely. In this case, the FRB, known as FRB 180924, was a single burst, unlike others that can flash multiple times over an extended period.


«It is especially challenging to pinpoint FRBs that only flash once and are gone,» said Keith Bannister of Australia’s Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who led the Australian team in the search effort. However, Bannister and his team did just that, which is a first. The result is published in the journal Science.


The momentary pulse was first spotted in September 2018 during a dedicated search for FRBs using ASKAP — a 36-antenna array of radio telescopes working together as a single instrument in Western Australia — which also pinpointed the signal’s location in the sky.


The researchers used the miniscule differences in the amount of time it takes for the light to reach different antennas in the array to zoom in on the host galaxy’s location. «From these tiny time differences — just a fraction of a billionth of a second — we identified the burst’s home galaxy,» said team member Adam Deller, of Swinburne University of Technology.







In a world first, an Australian-led international team of astronomers has determined the precise location of a powerful one-off 


burst of cosmic radio waves. The discovery was made with CSIRO’s new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder 


(ASKAP) radio telescope in Western Australia. The galaxy from which the burst originated was then imaged by three 


of the world’s largest optical telescopes – Keck, Gemini South and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large 


Telescope. The cause of fast radio bursts remains unknown but the ability to determine their exact location 


is a big leap towards solving this mystery [Credit: CSIRO/Sam Moorfield]


Once pinpointed, the team enlisted the Gemini South telescope, along with the W.M. Keck Observatory and European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to determine the FRB’s distance and other characteristics by carefully observing the galaxy that hosted the outburst. «The Gemini South data absolutely confirmed that the light left the galaxy about 4 billion years ago,» said Nicolas Tejos of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, who led the Gemini observations.


«ASKAP gave us the two-dimensional position in the sky, but the Gemini, Keck, and VLT observations locked down the distance, which completes the three-dimensional picture,» said Tejos.


«When we managed to get a position for FRB 180924 that was good to 0.1 arcsecond, we knew that it would tell us not just which object was the host galaxy, but also where within the host galaxy it occurred,» said Deller. «We found that the FRB was located away from the galaxy’s core, out in the ‘galactic suburbs.'»


«The Gemini telescopes were designed with observations like this in mind,» said Ralph Gaume, Deputy Division Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Astronomical Sciences, which provides funding for the US portion of the Gemini Observatory international partnership. Knowing where an FRB occurs in a galaxy of this type is important because it enables astronomers to get some hint of what the FRB progenitor might have been. «And for that,» Gaume continues, «we need images and spectroscopy with superior image quality and depth, which is why Gemini and the optical and infrared observatory observations in this study were so important.»



Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are intense flashes of radio waves that represent a great astrophysical mystery: what causes 


them, and where do they come from? Now, researchers have been able to pinpoint the precise location of a burst


 using CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia, bringing us closer to solving the mystery 


[Credit: Australian Academy of Science]


Localizing FRBs is critical to understanding what causes the flashes, which is still uncertain: to explain the high energies and short timescales, most theories invoke the presence of a massive yet very compact object such as a black hole or a highly magnetic neutron star. Finding where the bursts occur would tell us whether it is the formation, evolution, or collision and destruction of these objects that is generating the radio bursts.»


«Much like gamma-ray bursts two decades ago, or the more recent detection of gravitational wave events, we stand on the cusp of an exciting new era where we are about to learn where fast radio bursts take place,» said team member Stuart Ryder of Macquarie University, Australia. Ryder also noted that by knowing where within a galaxy FRBs occur, astronomers hope to learn more about what causes them, or at least rule out some of the many models. «Ultimately though,» Ryder continued, «our goal is to use FRBs as cosmological probes, in much the same way that we use gamma ray bursts, quasars, and supernovae.» According to Ryder, such a map could pinpoint the location of the ‘missing baryons,’ (baryons are the subatomic building blocks of matter) which standard models predict must be out there, but which don’t show up using other probes.


By pinpointing the bursts and how far their light has traveled, astronomers can also obtain «core samples» of the intervening material between us and the flashes. With a large sample of FRB host galaxies, astronomers could conduct «cosmic tomography,»‘ to build the first 3D map of where baryons are located between galaxies. On that note Tejos added, «once we have a large sample of FRBs with known distances, we will also have a revolutionary new method for measuring the amount of matter in the cosmic web!»


To date, only one other fast radio burst (FRB 121102) has been localized, and it had a repeating signal that flashed more than 150 times, While both single and multiple flash FRBs are relatively rare, single FRBs are more common than repeating ones. The discovery of FRB 180924, then, could lead the way for future methods of localization.


«Fast turnaround follow-up contributions from Gemini Observatory will be especially significant in the future of time-domain astronomy,» Tejos said, «as it promises not only to help astronomers perfect the study of transient phenomena, but perhaps alter our perceptions of the Universe.»


Source: Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) [June 27, 2019]




TANN



Archive


The far-future ocean: Warm yet oxygen-rich

The oceans are losing oxygen. Numerous studies based on direct measurements in recent years have shown this. Since water can dissolve less gas as temperatures rise, these results were not surprising. In addition to global warming, factors such as eutrophication of the coastal seas also contribute to the ongoing deoxygenation. Will the oceans become completely oxygen-depleted at some point in the future if global warming continues? Such anoxic phases have actually occurred several times in the Earth’s history, combined with major mass extinction events. They were also accompanied by high carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and high global temperatures.











The far-future ocean: Warm yet oxygen-rich
Model study identifies an oxygen-saving mechanism from sloppy nitrogen-cycle interactions
[Credit: Penn State University]

Today, scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel published model simulations in the international journal Nature Communications on the development of the oxygen content of the oceans up to the year 8000. In their scenario, they assume that a large part of the fossil resources will be burnt, that emissions will continue to rise until the end of the century and then decrease to zero by the year 2300. In the model, the planet heats up by a further 6 degrees, and temperatures remain at this high level until the end of the simulation.
The surprising result concerns the oxygen content of the ocean: After a further decrease over several hundred years, the oxygen inventory of the ocean rises again and even reaches a higher level than before industrialization in just under 4000 years. At first glance, it seems paradoxical that despite the expected further expansion of the already existing oxygen minimum zones in the world’s oceans, the model yields an unexpected increase in oxygen as global temperatures rise.


It is known from investigations of the Kiel Collaborative Research Centre 754 that such oxygen-poor areas are death zones for larger organisms such as fish or cephalopods. However, certain bacteria that breathe nitrate instead of oxygen thrive there very well. «They draw their energy from a chemical process we call denitrification. It is an important component of the nitrogen cycle, that results in less oxygen being consumed during respiration of organic material than that produced during photosynthesis» explains Professor Oschlies.











The far-future ocean: Warm yet oxygen-rich
Currently, organic material in the ocean is mainly degraded with oxygen (left). Together with a warming
of the ocean this leads to deoxygenation. In a future, warmer ocean (right), more organic material
is respirated by denitrification with nitrate. The associated oxygen saving would even exceed
 the oxygen loss due to warming [Credit: Rita Erven/GEOMAR]

In the new model simulation, the researchers have for the first time consistently coupled the oxygen cycle with the nitrogen cycle in such long-term global simulations. The researchers found that due to the extended oxygen minimum zones, more and more organic material is no longer respired with oxygen but with nitrate through denitrification. After several thousand years, the associated oxygen savings exceed the oxygen loss of the oceans caused by warming.
«However, we cannot speak of a recovery, since the extensive oxygen minimum zones near the sea surface would stay. A large part of the additional oxygen goes into the deep ocean,» says Angela Landolfi, co-author of the study.


However, there is a new problem: the anoxic phases that have occurred in Earth’s history during warm climatic conditions are even more difficult to explain with the new findings. There are obviously factors and feedback processes in the complex interactions of biological, physical and chemical processes in the ocean that are not yet fully understood. «This is why the study is also important for the present. It points to knowledge gaps, such as the interaction of denitrification and nitrogen fixation, that can also be relevant for ongoing ocean changes,» says Andreas Oschlies, summarising the significance of the study.


Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [June 27, 2019]



TANN



Archive


Some extinct crocs were vegetarians

Based on careful study of fossilized teeth, scientists Keegan Melstom and Randall Irmis at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah have found that multiple ancient groups of crocodyliforms—the group including living and extinct relatives of crocodiles and alligators—were not the carnivores we know today, as reported in the journal Current Biology. In fact, the evidence suggests that a veggie diet arose in the distant cousins of modern crocodylians at least three times.











Some extinct crocs were vegetarians
Life reconstructions of extinct crocodyliforms. Differences in tooth shape
are related to differences in diets [Credit: Jorge Gonzalez]

«The most interesting thing we discovered was how frequently it seems extinct crocodyliforms ate plants,» said Keegan Melstrom, a doctoral student at the University of Utah. «Our study indicates that complexly-shaped teeth, which we infer to indicate herbivory, appear in the extinct relatives of crocodiles at least three times and maybe as many as six.»


All living crocodylians possess a similar general body shape and ecology to match their lifestyle as semiaquatic generalist carnivores, which includes relatively simple, conical teeth. It was clear from the start of the study that extinct species showed a different pattern, including species with many specializations not seen today. One such specialization is a feature known as heterodonty: regionalized differences in tooth size or shape.


«Carnivores possess simple teeth whereas herbivores have much more complex teeth,» Melstrom explained. «Omnivores, organisms that eat both plant and animal material, fall somewhere in between. Part of my earlier research showed that this pattern holds in living reptiles that have teeth, such as crocodylians and lizards. So these results told us that the basic pattern between diet and teeth is found in both mammals and reptiles, despite very different tooth shapes, and is applicable to extinct reptiles.»


To infer what those extinct crocodyliforms most likely ate, Melstrom and his graduate advisor, chief curator Randall Irmis, compared the tooth complexity of extinct crocodyliforms to those of living animals using a method originally developed for use in living mammals. Overall, they measured 146 teeth from 16 different species of extinct crocodyliforms.











Some extinct crocs were vegetarians
False colour 3D images showing the range in shape of crocodyliform teeth. Carnivores (left), such as
the living Caiman, have simple teeth, whereas herbivores (right) have much more complex teeth
[Credit: Keegan Melstrom/NHMU]

Using a combination of quantitative dental measurements and other morphological features, the researchers reconstructed the diets of those extinct crocodyliforms. The results show that those animals had a wider range of dental complexities and presumed dietary ecologies than had been appreciated previously.


Plant-eating crocodyliforms appeared early in the evolutionary history of the group, the researchers conclude, shortly after the end-Triassic mass extinction, and persisted until the end-Cretaceous mass extinction that killed off all dinosaurs except birds. Their analysis suggests that herbivory arose independently a minimum of three times, and possibly six times, in Mesozoic crocodyliforms.


«Our work demonstrates that extinct crocodyliforms had an incredibly varied diet,» Melstrom said. «Some were similar to living crocodylians and were primarily carnivorous, others were omnivores and still others likely specialized in plants. The herbivores lived on different continents at different times, some alongside mammals and mammal relatives, and others did not. This suggests that an herbivorous crocodyliform was successful in a variety of environments!»


Melstrom says they are continuing to reconstruct the diets of extinct crocodyliforms, including in fossilized species that are missing teeth. He also wants to understand why the extinct relatives of crocodiles diversified so radically after one mass extinction but not another, and whether dietary ecology could have played a role.


Source: University of Utah [June 27, 2019]




TANN



Archive


A primate’s response to death

According to archaeological records, early humans began doing what no other primate had done before; intentionally covering their dead with earth. From these simple beginnings, we developed our funerary practices making humanity’s attitude toward death a defining part of our species.











A primate's response to death
‘Monkey in Front of Skeleton’ by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max, c.1900
[Credit: Kyoto University]

And as our understanding of other living creatures grows, we realize that humans are not the only ones whose behaviour changes in the presence of death. Known today as ‘Comparative Thanatology’, researchers extensively study the cognitive, psychological, and physiological aspects of death among non-human animals.


In the first in-depth review on comparative thanatology in primates, André Gonçalves of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute and Susana Carvalho of Oxford University analyzed over 200 years of documentation on non-human primates interacting with their dead. Bringing together the diverse field of comparative thanatology, the findings include an evolutionary timeline of mortuary practices, and covers fields from archaeology to psychology.


Observations and anecdotal evidence both in the wild and in captivity go as far back as the 19th century. Gonçalves reports that while certain responses differ between primate species, common behaviors are observed: primates defended dead companions against threats, carried their dead, and even exhibited emotional responses that can be described as ‘grief’.


«Although these earlier anecdotes are anthropomorphic, the behavioural patterns are consistent to what is observed today,» he says.


The team compiled and reviewed an extensive record of 240 reports to fulfill three primary goals: documenting history, collecting and interpreting the current data, and developing an evolutionary frame-work of death responses in primates.


«Non-human primates exhibit all sorts of behaviour related to death, one of the most prevalent are mothers carrying their dead offspring. Many factors contribute to this behavior, but we find that they do it because they have the ability to grasp objects,» continues Gonçalves. «Interestingly, primates such as lemurs or tamarins do not engage in this behavior despite continued attempts. We find that this is because they lack that same grasping ability.»


When an adult member dies, a different set of patterns are observed, such as holding vigils, and guarding or visiting the body. The team reports that these interactions likely come as a by-product of attachment relationships. They also infer that this allows the primates to learn vital information from the corpses, serving as a way to re-categorize the individual from living to dead — an essential part of the grieving process — and informing on potential shifts in the group’s hierarchy.


Moreover, the team proposes that non-human primates are capable of an implicit awareness of death.


«It’s not an all-or-nothing ability. Awareness of death includes things such as animate/inanimate distinction, or the sensory and contextual discrimination of living/dead,» Gonçalves explains. «The concept of death is something we humans acquire between ages 3 to 10. We can infer that non-human primates have some aspects of death awareness but, thus far, only humans conceptualize it at a higher order.»


While a few anecdotes suggest great apes may indeed have a concept of death like humans, Gonçalves and Carvalho state the need to formulate and test hypotheses in experimental settings.


The team intends to apply this comprehensive review to further their research in comparative thanatology, and hopes other scientists will explore different avenues of research to uncover our unique perspective of death.


The report was published in Biological Reviews.


Source: Kyoto University [June 28, 2019]



TANN



Archive


Roman road and possible mine discovered during Cornish dig

Archaeologists have discovered a Roman road and possible ancient mine during excavations in Cornwall as they work to discover more about the history of the county.











Roman road and possible mine discovered during Cornish dig
View of the possible mining pits looking north [Credit: University of Exeter]

Experts will carry out further analysis of the previously-unknown series of deep pits, which are connected by arched tunnels. It is likely to be yet another mine worked many hundreds of years ago when this area of South East Cornwall and West Devon was famed for having some of the richest mineral deposits in the world.
Archaeologists from the University of Exeter and local volunteers have been digging for the past month near to the site of a previously-found Roman fort at Calstock, in the Tamar Valley. This year’s excavation has focused on an area outside the fort’s west gate, which was at the front of the fort, originally facing hostile territory.


As well as the possible mine they have discovered a Roman road, which would have served regular military traffic in and out of the fort. The excavation has revealed a rare glimpse of timber-built Roman military buildings constructed outside of the fort, as well as a series of rubbish and cess pits, indicating that the Roman army was also active outside of the fort’s defences.











Roman road and possible mine discovered during Cornish dig
Excavation work in progress [Credit: University of Exeter]

The archaeologists have also found the remains of a medieval timber longhouse, suggesting the site was later occupied between the 8th and early 13th century but was then deserted. This explains why the parish church, originally built to be at the heart of a hamlet or village, is now isolated.
The team, led by Dr Chris Smart of the University of Exeter’s Department of Archaeology, have been joined by over 20 local volunteers during each day of the dig, including refugees and asylum-seekers from Plymouth. More than 100 children from four local primary schools have attended workshops on site.


Dr Smart said: “It has been wonderful working with so many of the local community to better understand the area’s Roman and medieval past. We are very pleased to have found such a well-made Roman road and the possible mine workings have proved a real unexpected bonus. Whilst we still do not know their age, it is possible that they are from the medieval period”.











Roman road and possible mine discovered during Cornish dig
Roman pottery discovered during the dig [Credit: University of Exeter]

No objects were found in the possible mine, making it hard to date when it was used. One of the deep pits cuts into the Roman road, so it is likely that they are later than the Roman military occupation of the area.


The work, which also includes two more excavations in 2020 and 2021, is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the wider Understanding Landscapes project.


Calstock Roman fort was discovered in 2007 as part of an earlier University of Exeter project to investigate medieval silver mining in Bere Ferrers, on the opposite side of the River Tamar, in Devon. Excavations between 2008 and 2011 provided evidence that it was constructed in around AD 50, and remained in use with a garrison of about 500 men for 30 years. At some point in the life of the fort a second defensive circuit was added to enclose and protect buildings outside of the fort, and this may point to a period of heightened threat.


For more information visit the project’s website.


Source: University of Exeter [June 28, 2019]



TANN



Archive


Successful Orion Test Brings NASA Closer to Moon, Mars Missions



NASA — Space Launch System (SLS) logo / NASA — Orion Crew Vehicle patch.


July 2, 2019



Image above: Ascent Abort-2 successfully launched at 7 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Image Credit: NASA.


NASA successfully demonstrated Tuesday the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system can outrun a speeding rocket and pull astronauts to safety during an emergency during launch. The test is another milestone in the agency’s preparation for Artemis missions to the Moon that will lead to astronaut missions to Mars.


During the approximately three-minute test, called Ascent Abort-2, a test version of the Orion crew module launched at 7 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a modified Peacekeeper missile procured through the U.S. Air Force and built by Northrop Grumman.


The Orion test spacecraft traveled to an altitude of about six miles, at which point it experienced high-stress aerodynamic conditions expected during ascent. The abort sequence triggered and, within milliseconds, the abort motor fired to pull the crew module away from the rocket. Its attitude control motor flipped the capsule end-over-end to properly orient it, and then the jettison motor fired, releasing the crew module for splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.


A team is collecting the 12 data recorders that were ejected during the test capsule’s descent. Analysis of the information will provide insight into the abort system’s performance.


“We’re building the most powerful rocket in the world to send astronauts to the Moon in the Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “With this exploration system designed to safely carry humans farther into space than ever before, we’ll also have an equally powerful launch abort system that will pull the crew away if there is a problem with the rocket during the early portion of ascent.”



NASA’s Ascent Abort-2 Flight Test Launches atop Northrop Grumman Provided Booster

Video above: Ascent Abort-2, a test version of the Orion crew module. Video Credit: NASA.


The tower-like abort structure consists of two parts: the fairing assembly, which is a shell composed of a lightweight composite material that protects the capsule from the heat, air flow and acoustics of the launch, ascent, and abort environments; and the launch abort tower, which includes the abort motor, attitude control motor, and jettison motor. The system is built specifically for deep space missions and to ride on NASA’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.


“Launching into space is one of the most difficult and dangerous parts of going to the Moon,” said Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager at Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This test mimicked some of the most challenging conditions Orion will ever face should an emergency develop during the ascent phase of flight. Today, the team demonstrated our abort capabilities under these demanding conditions and put us one huge step closer to the first Artemis flight carrying people to the Moon.”


NASA was able to accelerate the test schedule and lower costs by simplifying the test spacecraft and eliminating parachutes and related systems. NASA already qualified the parachute system for crewed flights through an extensive series of 17 developmental tests and eight qualification tests completed at the end of 2018.


Engineers are making progress building and testing the Orion spacecraft for Artemis 1, the first uncrewed mission with the SLS rocket – an integrated system traveling thousands of miles beyond the Moon – and for Artemis 2, the first mission with astronauts.


At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians are preparing to attach the Orion crew and service modules before testing at the agency’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, later this year. The crew module for Artemis 2 is being outfitted with thousands of elements – from bolts and strain gauges to parachutes and propulsion lines.


The agency recently reached major milestones for the SLS rocket, assembling four of the five parts that make up the massive core stage that will launch Artemis 1 and delivering the four engines that will be integrated into the core stage, along with the engine section, later this summer. When completed, the entire core stage will be the largest rocket stage NASA has built since manufacturing the Saturn V stages for NASA’s Apollo lunar missions in the 1960s.


Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the SLS and Gateway, that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. Through the Artemis program, the next American Moon walkers will depart Earth aboard Orion and begin a new era of exploration.


Related links:


Deep space missions: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/orion-launch-abort-system-designed-to-pull-its-weight-for-moon-missions


Space Launch System (SLS): http://www.nasa.gov/sls


Orion Spacecraft: https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/index.html


Artemis 1: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/around-the-moon-with-nasa-s-first-launch-of-sls-with-orion


Artemis 2: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-first-flight-with-crew-important-step-on-long-term-return-to-the-moon-missions-to


Gateway: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars/lunar-outpost


For more information about NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration plans, visit:


https://www.nasa.gov/moontomars


Image (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Katherine Brown/Kathryn Hambleton/KSC/Brittney Thorpe/JSC/Laura Rochon.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Life Support Work Aboard Lab as Next Crew Preps for Mission


ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.


July 2, 2019


The three Expedition 60 crewmembers aboard the International Space Station focused primarily on keeping the orbiting lab in tip-top shape today. At the end of the workday, the trio split up for some space gardening and Earth photography.


NASA Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Nick Hague teamed up on Tuesday replacing components in the station’s Water Recovery System (WRS). The time-consuming maintenance work requires the rotation of racks and a treadmill to access the WRS in the Tranquility module. The life support device processes water vapor and urine and converts it into drinkable water.



Image above: Earth’s atmospheric glow, highlighted by the Moon and a starry orbital nighttime background, are pictured as the International Space Station orbited 256 miles above the Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Hawaiian island chain. Image Credit: NASA.


Hague wrapped up his workday servicing a science freezer before watering plants growing for a space botany study. Koch worked out on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device then called down to Mission Control for a conference with flight surgeons.


On the Russian side of the station, Commander Alexey Ovchinin explored advanced photography techniques before an afternoon of lab cleaning work. In the evening, the veteran cosmonaut photographed Earth targets documenting the effects of human and natural catastrophes.



Image above: Flying over South Pacific Ocean (day), seen by EarthCam on ISS, speed: 27’561 Km/h, altitude: 423,81 Km, image captured by Roland Berga (on Earth in Switzerland) from International Space Station (ISS) using ISS-HD Live application with EarthCam’s from ISS on July 2, 2019 at 23:15 UTC. Image Credits: Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


The orbiting trio will take a day off on July 4 and relax aboard the station. Back on Earth, a new set of Expedition 60 crewmates will fly from Russia on the U.S. Independence Day to their launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Astronauts Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano are in final preparations with cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov for a July 20 liftoff to their new home in space. Their launch comes 50 years to the day NASA landed humans on the Moon for the first time.


Related links:


Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html


Space botany study: https://go.nasa.gov/2LwdoeG


Spot the Station: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/


Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html


International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html


Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


DYK the bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s…


DYK the bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects? 


Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302: The Butterfly Nebula is no exception! With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. The Hubble image data is reprocessed here, showing off the remarkable details of the complex planetary nebula.


Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Reprocessing & Copyright: Robert Eder


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.


Featured

Полет на параплане с обрыва на мысу Куяльницкого лимана, соленого озера. Экстремальный развлекательный полет проводится для любителей. ...

Popular