четверг, 1 августа 2019 г.

South Stack Prehistoric Hut Circles and Settlement Telescopic Photoset 2, Holy Island,...

South Stack Prehistoric Hut Circles and Settlement Telescopic Photoset 2, Holy Island, Holyhead, 30.7.19.

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Penrhos Feilw Prehistoric Standing Stones, Anglesey, North Wales, 30.7.19.

Penrhos Feilw Prehistoric Standing Stones, Anglesey, North Wales, 30.7.19.

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Mission accomplished for the solar sail LightSail 2

The Planetary Society logo.

August 1, 2019

LightSail 2 has managed to raise its altitude thanks to the pressure of solar radiation in orbit around the Earth.

Image above: The solar sail is a small satellite with a square of 32 square meters of thin film, light and reflective polyester Mylar.

The American organization Planetary Society announced Wednesday the success of the operation of its solar sail: already in orbit around the Earth, LightSail 2 has managed to raise its altitude thanks to the pressure of solar radiation.

The team behind the $ 7 million project said it has demonstrated a new form of propulsion that could one day transform distant space exploration. Because this bread-sized satellite equipped with a huge glossy polyester sail is powered neither by a motor, nor with the help of fuel or solar panels, but only by the pressure of the elusive photons of the Sun.

«Over the past four days, the spacecraft has climaxed, or its highest point in orbit, about 1.7 kilometers through its solar sail,» said Bruce Betts, LightSail 2 project manager.

Planetary Society post on Twitter

It becomes the first ship to use a solar sail to propel itself into Earth orbit and the second solar sail to fly successfully after the Japanese Ikaros in 2010.

«We officially declared the success of the mission,» said Bill Nye, director of the Planetary Society, on Twitter. «This technology allows us to take objects to extraordinary destinations in the solar system, and perhaps beyond, in a way that was never possible because we do not need fuel or fuel control systems, «he said.

He added that he would like to see technology applied to missions such as the search for life on the planet Mars, on the icy moon of Jupiter, Europe, and Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. According to him, solar sails could «lower the cost of these missions».

Related article:

The solar sail LightSail 2 opened in space

Related link:

The Planetary Society: http://www.planetary.org/

Images, Text, Credits: AFP/The Planetary Society/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

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Combining Forces Like Batman and Robin or Holmes and Watson,…

Combining Forces

Like Batman and Robin or Holmes and Watson, combining complementary skills can make the ultimate team. A new approach to treating leukaemia puts this principle into action by harnessing the powers of two different types of cell. Leukaemia, cancer of white blood cells, is hard to treat. It often returns in people even after treatment, because rogue cells can hide in the bone marrow, evading detection. Researchers might have found a way to clear out even these crafty cancer cells, by joining blood platelets (green) onto stem cells (purple). The platelets can carry the cancer-fighting drugs, and the stem cells are expert navigators, able to home into the bone marrow and hunt out cancer cells. In experiments in mice, this combination treatment halted disease progression, and reduced disease recurrence, raising hope that it may one day help improve treatments for cancer patients.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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Plancheite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Tantara…

Plancheite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Katanga, Katanga (Shaba), DR Congo (Zaire), Africa

Dimensions: 13.5 × 8.2 × 2.8 cm

Photo Copyright © Crystal Classics

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Malachite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Shilu…

Malachite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Shilu Mine, Yangchun County, Yangjiang Prefecture, Guangdong Province, China (Peoples Republic)

Size: 19.7 × 15.3 × 5 cm

Photo Copyright © Viamineralia /e-rocks. com

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Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is Questioned But Still Stands ‘For Now’

An artist visualization of the star S0-2 as it passes by the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center. 

Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation 

Maunakea, Hawaii – More than 100 years after Albert Einstein published his iconic general theory of relativity, it is beginning to fray at the edges, said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. Now, in the most comprehensive test of general relativity near the monstrous black hole at the center of our galaxy, Ghez and her research team report July 25 in the journal Science that Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds up.

“Einstein’s right, at least for now,” said Ghez, a co-lead author of the research. “We can absolutely rule out Newton’s law of gravity. Our observations are consistent with Einstein’s general theory of relativity. However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability. It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein’s theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.”

Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity holds that what we perceive as the force of gravity arises from the curvature of space and time. The scientist proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry. Einstein’s theory is the best description of how gravity works, said Ghez, whose UCLA-led team of astronomers has made direct measurements of the phenomenon near a supermassive black hole — research Ghez describes as “extreme astrophysics.”

The laws of physics, including gravity, should be valid everywhere in the universe, said Ghez, who added that her research team is one of only two groups in the world to watch a star known as S0-2 make a complete orbit in three dimensions around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The full orbit takes 16 years, and the black hole’s mass is about four million times that of the sun.

The researchers say their work is the most detailed study ever conducted into the supermassive black hole and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

The key data in the research were spectra that Ghez’s team analyzed this April, May, and September as her “favorite star” made its closest approach to the enormous black hole. Spectra, which Ghez described as the “rainbow of light” from stars, show the intensity of light and offer important information about the star from which the light travels. Spectra also show the composition of the star.

These data were combined with measurements Ghez and her team have made over the last 24 years.

Spectra — collected at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii using a spectrograph built at UCLA by a team led by colleague James Larkin — provide the third dimension, revealing the star’s motion at a level of precision not previously attained (images of the star the researchers took at the Keck Observatory provide the two other dimensions). Larkin’s instrument takes light from a star and disperses it, similar to the way raindrops disperse light from the sun to create a rainbow, Ghez said.

“What’s so special about S0-2 is we have its complete orbit in three dimensions,” said Ghez, who holds the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics. “That’s what gives us the entry ticket into the tests of general relativity. We asked how gravity behaves near a supermassive black hole and whether Einstein’s theory is telling us the full story. Seeing stars go through their complete orbit provides the first opportunity to test fundamental physics using the motions of these stars.”

Ghez’s research team was able to see the co-mingling of space and time near the supermassive black hole. “In Newton’s version of gravity, space and time are separate, and do not co-mingle; under Einstein, they get completely co-mingled near a black hole,” she said.

“Making a measurement of such fundamental importance has required years of patient observing, enabled by state-of-the-art technology,” said Richard Green, director of the National Science Foundation’s division of astronomical sciences. For more than two decades, the division has supported Ghez, along with several of the technical elements critical to the research team’s discovery.

 “Through their rigorous efforts, Ghez and her collaborators have produced a high-significance validation of Einstein’s idea about strong gravity.”

Keck Observatory Director Hilton Lewis called Ghez “one of our most passionate and tenacious Keck users.” “Her latest groundbreaking research,” he said, “is the culmination of unwavering commitment over the past two decades to unlock the mysteries of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.”

The researchers studied photons — particles of light — as they traveled from S0-2 to Earth. S0-2 moves around the black hole at blistering speeds of more than 16 million miles per hour at its closest approach. Einstein had reported that in this region close to the black hole, photons have to do extra work. Their wavelength as they leave the star depends not only on how fast the star is moving, but also on how much energy the photons expend to escape the black hole’s powerful gravitational field. Near a black hole, gravity is much stronger than on Earth.

Ghez was given the opportunity to present partial data last summer, but chose not to so that her team could thoroughly analyze the data first. “We’re learning how gravity works. It’s one of four fundamental forces and the one we have tested the least,” she said. “There are many regions where we just haven’t asked, how does gravity work here? It’s easy to be overconfident and there are many ways to misinterpret the data, many ways that small errors can accumulate into significant mistakes, which is why we did not rush our analysis.”

An artist visualization of the star S0-2 getting closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way and causing a gravitational redshift that is predicted by Einstein’s General Relativity. By observing this redshift, we can test Einstein’s theory of gravity. Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation 

Ghez, a 2008 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, studies more than 3,000 stars that orbit the supermassive black hole. Hundreds of them are young, she said, in a region where astronomers did not expect to see them.

It takes 26,000 years for the photons from S0-2 to reach Earth. “We’re so excited, and have been preparing for years to make these measurements,” said Ghez, who directs the UCLA Galactic Center Group. “For us, it’s visceral, it’s now — but it actually happened 26,000 years ago!”

This is the first of many tests of general relativity Ghez’s research team will conduct on stars near the supermassive black hole. Among the stars that most interest her is S0-102, which has the shortest orbit, taking 11 1/2 years to complete a full orbit around the black hole. Most of the stars Ghez studies have orbits of much longer than a human lifespan.

Ghez’s team took measurements about every four nights during crucial periods in 2018 using the Keck Observatory — which sits atop Hawaii’s dormant Mauna Kea volcano and houses one of the world’s largest and premier optical and infrared telescopes. Measurements are also taken with an optical-infrared telescope at Gemini Observatory and Subaru Telescope, also in Hawaii. She and her team have used these telescopes both on site in Hawaii and remotely from an observation room in UCLA’s department of physics and astronomy.

Black holes have such high density that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, not even light. (They cannot be seen directly, but their influence on nearby stars is visible and provides a signature. Once something crosses the “event horizon” of a black hole, it will not be able to escape. However, the star S0-2 is still rather far from the event horizon, even at its closest approach, so its photons do not get pulled in.)

Ghez’s co-authors include Tuan Do, lead author of the Science paper, a UCLA research scientist and deputy director of the UCLA Galactic Center Group; Aurelien Hees, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar, now a researcher at the Paris Observatory; Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy; Eric Becklin, UCLA professor emeritus of physics and astronomy; Smadar Naoz, UCLA assistant professor of physics and astronomy; Jessica Lu, a former UCLA graduate student who is now a UC Berkeley assistant professor of astronomy; UCLA graduate student Devin Chu; Greg Martinez, UCLA project scientist; Shoko Sakai, a UCLA research scientist; Shogo Nishiyama, associate professor with Japan’s Miyagi University of Education; and Rainer Schoedel, a researcher with Spain’s Instituto de Astrofısica de Andalucıa.

The National Science Foundation has funded Ghez’s research for the last 25 years. More recently, her research has also been supported by the W. M. Keck Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

In 1998, Ghez answered one of astronomy’s most important questions, helping to show that a supermassive black hole resides at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The question had been a subject of much debate among astronomers for more than a quarter of a century.

A powerful technology that Ghez helped to pioneer, called adaptive optics, corrects the distorting effects of the Earth’s atmosphere in real time. With adaptive optics at Keck Observatory, Ghez and her colleagues have revealed many surprises about the environments surrounding supermassive black holes. For example, they discovered young stars where none was expected to be seen and a lack of old stars where many were anticipated. It’s unclear whether S0-2 is young or just masquerading as a young star, Ghez said.

In 2000, she and colleagues reported that for the first time, astronomers had seen stars accelerate around the supermassive black hole. In 2003, Ghez reported that the case for the Milky Way’s black hole had been strengthened substantially and that all of the proposed alternatives could be excluded.

In 2005, Ghez and her colleagues took the first clear picture of the center of the Milky Way, including the area surrounding the black hole, at Keck Observatory. And in 2017, Ghez’s research team reported that S0-2 does not have a companion star, solving another mystery.

About Adaptive Optics

W. M. Keck Observatory is a distinguished leader in the field of adaptive optics (AO), a breakthrough technology that removes the distortions caused by the turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. Keck Observatory pioneered the astronomical use of both natural guide star (NGS) and laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) on large telescopes and current systems now deliver images three to four times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. Keck AO has imaged the four massive planets orbiting the star HR8799, measured the mass of the giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, discovered new supernovae in distant galaxies, and identified the specific stars that were their progenitors. Support for this technology was generously provided by the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, Change Happens Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, NASA, NSF, and W. M. Keck Foundation.

About W.M. Keck Observatory

The W. M. Keck Observatory telescopes are the most scientifically productive on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes atop Maunakea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometers, and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the Native Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.

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2019 August 1 Elements in the Aftermath Image Credit: …

2019 August 1

Elements in the Aftermath
Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO

Explanation: Massive stars spend their brief lives furiously burning nuclear fuel. Through fusion at extreme temperatures and densities surrounding the stellar core, nuclei of light elements ike Hydrogen and Helium are combined to heavier elements like Carbon, Oxygen, etc. in a progression which ends with Iron. So a supernova explosion, a massive star’s inevitable and spectacular demise, blasts back into space debris enriched in heavier elements to be incorporated into other stars and planets and people). This detailed false-color x-ray image from the orbiting Chandra Observatory shows such a hot, expanding stellar debris cloud about 36 light-years across. Cataloged as G292.0+1.8, this young supernova remnant is about 20,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Centaurus. Light from the inital supernova explosion reached Earth an estimated 1,600 years ago. Bluish colors highlight filaments of the mulitmillion degree gas which are exceptionally rich in Oxygen, Neon, and Magnesium. This enriching supernova also produced a pulsar in its aftermath, a rotating neutron star remnant of the collapsed stellar core. The stunning image was released as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190801.html

Chysauster Iron Age Settlement Fogou, Penzance, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

Chysauster Iron Age Settlement Fogou, Penzance, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

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Variety of Life We all respond to different situations in our…

Variety of Life

We all respond to different situations in our own way. And different groups of people respond to diseases uniquely, too. Investigating this quirk of natural variation in the 1950s, Baruch Blumberg – born on this day (28.7) in 1925 – began studying blood samples from around the world. In the 1960s he discovered a protein in the blood of one group that transpired to be part of hepatitis B’s outer layer. This was the first step in a series of revelations that earned Blumberg a share of the 1976 Nobel Prize and led to a blood test and vaccine that has prevented millions of cases of hepatitis B, and by extension avoided countless liver cancers, which are often caused by the virus. Blumberg continued to expand the frontiers of human health knowledge for decades more, and, not satisfied with transforming life on this planet, even led NASA’s research operations pondering biology beyond Earth.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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Chysauster Iron Age Settlement, Penzance, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

Chysauster Iron Age Settlement, Penzance, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

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Hedgehog vs. Cancer Named after the eponymous video game and…

Hedgehog vs. Cancer

Named after the eponymous video game and comic book series, the Sonic Hedgehog gene (SHH) plays a role in adult stem cell division. In the bladder, SHH helps block cancer cells from growing, which prompts aggressive cancer cells to turn off the gene. A study looked at how they manage to do this and what happens when SHH is switched back on. Looking at cell DNA from bladder cancer patients, the team found that the SHH gene didn’t have any obvious flaws but found signs of DNA methylation, a process that can switch genes off. When human cancer cells were transplanted into mice, tumours developed (left two columns). However, mice treated with a drug that blocks methylation had less tumour growth and their cancers were less aggressive (right columns). In future, applying these insights about SHH and methylation to the clinic could help develop new treatments to manage more aggressive cancers.

Written by Gaëlle Coullon

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Confirmation of Toasty TESS Planet Leads to Surprising Find of Promising World

NASA — TESS Mission logo.

July 31, 2019

A piping hot planet discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has pointed the way to additional worlds orbiting the same star, one of which is located in the star’s habitable zone. If made of rock, this planet may be around twice Earth’s size.

The new worlds orbit a star named GJ 357, an M-type dwarf about one-third the Sun’s mass and size and about 40% cooler that our star. The system is located 31 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. In February, TESS cameras caught the star dimming slightly every 3.9 days, revealing the presence of a transiting exoplanet — a world beyond our solar system — that passes across the face of its star during every orbit and briefly dims the star’s light.

TESS Helps Reveal Multiple Planets, Including Promising Worl

Video above: Tour the GJ 357 system, located 31 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Astronomers confirming a planet candidate identified by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite subsequently found two additional worlds orbiting the star. The outermost planet, GJ 357 d, is especially intriguing to scientists because it receives as much energy from its star as Mars does from the Sun. Video Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“In a way, these planets were hiding in measurements made at numerous observatories over many years,” said Rafael Luque, a doctoral student at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) on Tenerife who led the discovery team. “It took TESS to point us to an interesting star where we could uncover them.”

The transits TESS observed belong to GJ 357 b, a planet about 22% larger than Earth. It orbits 11 times closer to its star than Mercury does our Sun. This gives it an equilibrium temperature — calculated without accounting for the additional warming effects of a possible atmosphere — of around 490 degrees Fahrenheit (254 degrees Celsius).

“We describe GJ 357 b as a ‘hot Earth,’” explains co-author Enric Pallé, an astrophysicist at the IAC and Luque’s doctoral supervisor. “Although it cannot host life, it is noteworthy as the third-nearest transiting exoplanet known to date and one of the best rocky planets we have for measuring the composition of any atmosphere it may possess.”

But while researchers were looking at ground-based data to confirm the existence of the hot Earth, they uncovered two additional worlds. The farthest-known planet, named GJ 357 d, is especially intriguing.

Image above: This diagram shows the layout of the GJ 357 system. Planet d orbits within the star’s so-called habitable zone, the orbital region where liquid water can exist on a rocky planet’s surface. If it has a dense atmosphere, which will take future studies to determine, GJ 357 d could be warm enough to permit the presence of liquid water. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith.

“GJ 357 d is located within the outer edge of its star’s habitable zone, where it receives about the same amount of stellar energy from its star as Mars does from the Sun,” said co-author Diana Kossakowski at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. “If the planet has a dense atmosphere, which will take future studies to determine, it could trap enough heat to warm the planet and allow liquid water on its surface.”

Without an atmosphere, it has an equilibrium temperature of -64 F (-53 C), which would make the planet seem more glacial than habitable. The planet weighs at least 6.1 times Earth’s mass, and orbits the star every 55.7 days at a range about 20% of Earth’s distance from the Sun. The planet’s size and composition are unknown, but a rocky world with this mass would range from about one to two times Earth’s size.

Image above: This illustration shows one interpretation of what GJ 357 d may be like. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith.

Even through TESS monitored the star for about a month, Luque’s team predicts any transit would have occurred outside the TESS observing window.

GJ 357 c, the middle planet, has a mass at least 3.4 times Earth’s, orbits the star every 9.1 days at a distance a bit more than twice that of the transiting planet, and has an equilibrium temperature around 260 F (127 C). TESS did not observe transits from this planet, which suggests its orbit is slightly tilted — perhaps by less than 1 degree — relative to the hot Earth’s orbit, so it never passes across the star from our perspective.

To confirm the presence of GJ 357 b and discover its neighbors, Luque and his colleagues turned to existing ground-based measurements of the star’s radial velocity, or the speed of its motion along our line of sight. An orbiting planet produces a gravitational tug on its star, which results in a small reflex motion that astronomers can detect through tiny color changes in the starlight. Astronomers have searched for planets around bright stars using radial velocity data for decades, and they often make these lengthy, precise observations publicly available for use by other astronomers.

Luque’s team examined ground-based data stretching back to 1998 from the European Southern Observatory and the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, among many others.

A paper describing the findings was published on Wednesday, July 31, in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and is available online.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Additional partners include Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia; NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts; MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory; and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission.

Related article:

NASA’s TESS Mission Scores ‘Hat Trick’ With 3 New Worlds

Related links:

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS): https://www.nasa.gov/tess-transiting-exoplanet-survey-satellite

Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC): http://www.iac.es/index.php?lang=en

Astronomy & Astrophysics: https://www.aanda.org/component/article?access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361/201935801

Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Goddard Space Flight Center, by Francis Reddy.

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Russia’s Progress Cargo Craft Racing Toward Space Station & Progress Cargo Ship...

ROSCOSMOS — Russian Vehicles patch.

July 31, 2019

Image above: Russsia’s Progress 73 cargo craft launches on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. Image Credit: Roscosmos.

Carrying almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted Russian Progress 73 cargo spacecraft launched at 8:10 a.m. EDT (5:10 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. Following a 2-orbit rendezvous, the Russian cargo spacecraft will dock to the orbiting laboratory at 11:35 a.m. NASA Television coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Progress MS-12 launch

Progress 73 will remain docked at the station for five months before departing in December for its deorbit in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Progress is the second of two cargo resupply ships delivering supplies to the six crewmembers aboard the space station this month. SpaceX’s cargo Dragon spacecraft attached to station on Saturday, July 27, two days after launching on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Russian Progress Cargo Ship Reaches Station in Just Two Orbits

Traveling about 259 miles over northwest China, the unpiloted Russian Progress 73 cargo ship docked at 11:29 a.m. EDT to the Pirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the complex.

Image above: This image from an external high definition video camera shows Russia’s Progress 73 resupply ship nearing its docking port on the space station. Image Credit: NASA TV.

In addition to the arrival of Progress today, the six crewmembers aboard the space station welcomed SpaceX’s cargo Dragon spacecraft on July 27, two days after launching on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Progress MS-12 docking to the ISS

On July 20, the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft arrived to the space station carrying NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Their arrival restored the station’s crew complement to six. They joined NASA astronauts Nick Hague, Christina Koch and Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos.

Related links:

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

Pirs Docking Compartment: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/pirs-docking-compartment

Launch and docking activities: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-air-launch-docking-of-russian-space-station-cargo-ship

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), Videos, Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Roscosmos/NASA TV/SciNews.

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Say hello to the Antennae galaxies 👋Two galaxies are locked in a…

Say hello to the Antennae galaxies 👋

Two galaxies are locked in a deadly embrace in this Hubble Space Telescope image. Once normal, sedate spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, this galactic pair has spent the past few hundred million years sparring. The clash is so violent that stars have been ripped from their host galaxies to form a streaming arc between the two. 

The far-flung stars and streamers of gas stretch out into space, creating long tidal tails reminiscent of antennae (not visible in this close-up Hubble view). Clouds of gas blossom out in bright pink and red, surrounding the bright flashes of blue star-forming regions — some of which are partially obscured by dark patches of dust. 

Hubble’s observations have uncovered over 1,000 bright, young star clusters bursting to life as a result of the head-on wreck. The sweeping spiral-like patterns, traced by bright blue star clusters, shows the result of a firestorm of star-birth activity, which was triggered by the collision. The rate of star formation is so high that the Antennae galaxies are said to be in a state of starburst, a period in which all of the gas within the galaxies is being used to form stars. This cannot last forever, and neither can the separate galaxies; eventually the nuclei will coalesce and the galaxies will begin their retirement together as one large elliptical galaxy. 

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

Mass Medications Sometimes the prevalence of an infectious…

Mass Medications

Sometimes the prevalence of an infectious disease in a population can be so high that medicating everyone, whether infected or not, may be the most effective means to combat its spread. Such an approach has been adopted to prevent malaria outbreaks, and now researchers have applied the concept to tackle scabies on a remote Fijian island. Before the treatment trial, approximately one third of the island’s population had scabies – a condition wherein tiny mites burrowing into the skin cause intensely itchy bumps (as seen on the person’s feet pictured) and which, if untreated, can lead to severe bacterial infections. Two years after a single treatment (or two treatments a week apart for confirmed scabies cases) the prevalence remains at just 3.6 percent. While treating perfectly healthy people isn’t generally advisable, these results suggest that under certain circumstances mass medication of a population may benefit healthy members in the long run.

Written by Ruth Williams

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Roman Watch Tower Foundations, Holyhead Mountain, Holy Island, Anglesey, North Wales,...

Roman Watch Tower Foundations, Holyhead Mountain, Holy Island, Anglesey, North Wales, 30.7.19.

These foundations, although reworked and tidied, reveal a complex relationship between the Isle of Anglesey and the Roman occupation of Britain, in particular, Wales. Sat amidst an Iron Age Hill Fort, the watch tower was used to signal a warning of seafaring threats to a Roman fort.

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South Stack Prehistoric Hut Circles and Settlement Telescopic Photoset 1, South Stack,...

South Stack Prehistoric Hut Circles and Settlement Telescopic Photoset 1, South Stack, Anglesey, North Wales, 30.7.19.

I was able to photograph the prehistoric hut circles from a height for once to give a better outline of the sites.

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