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Latest by G. Torbet

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How to watch SpaceX launch its second batch of satellites in 24 hours

SpaceX will be launching a batch of 53 Starlink satellites today, Saturday May 14, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
This is the first image of Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A* for short), the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. It’s the first direct visual evidence of the presence of this black hole. It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an array which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope. The telescope is named after the “event horizon”, the boundary of the black hole beyond which no light can escape.

See first-ever image of monstrous black hole at the heart of the Milky Way

The Event Horizon Telescope project, which captured the first-ever image of a black hole, has captured an image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Monday, April 4, 2022.

NASA won’t try testing its Space Launch System rocket again until June

NASA will attempt another test of its new Space Launch System rocket next month, officials from the agency confirmed this week.
The magnificent spiral galaxy M99 fills the frame in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M99 – which lies roughly 42 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices – is a “grand design” spiral galaxy, so-called because of the well-defined, prominent spiral arms visible in this image. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured M99 on two separate occasions, helping astronomers study two entirely different astronomical phenomena. The image above includes data from both sets of observations.

See the ‘grand design’ of spiral galaxy M99 in this Hubble image

The swirling spiral of the elegant galaxy M99 is on display in this week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope.
An artist's rendering of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite.

This is how NASA measures rising sea levels from space

NASA has been monitoring Earth's sea levels from orbit for over 30 years. Here's why measuring from space is actually easier than doing it terrestrially.
The International Space Station captured from the Crew Dragon.

Time spent in space changes the structure of astronauts’ brains

Researchers have found changes to the brains of astronauts who visited the ISS, with parts of the brain called perivascular spaces expanding.
NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast.

Dust threatens the future of Mars helicopter Ingenuity

The helicopter has re-established a link with the rover after communications were lost this week. But for how long can the plucky helicopter keep going?
This image shows the warped view of a larger supermassive black hole (red) when it passes almost directly behind a companion black hole (blue) with half its mass. The gravity of the foreground black hole transforms its partner into a surreal collection of arcs.

See NASA’s visualizations of black holes for Black Hole Week

NASA has shared a selection of some of the best visualizations of black holes, so you can get an idea of what these mind-bending phenomena are like.
The interacting galaxy pair NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 take center stage in this image from the Dark Energy Camera, a state-of-the art wide-field imager on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. NGC 1512 has been in the process of merging with its smaller galactic neighbor for 400 million years, and this drawn-out interaction has ignited waves of star formation and warped both galaxies.

See two galaxies in the process of merging in this Dark Energy Camera image

A beautiful image showing two interacting galaxies has been captured by a camera originally designed to study dark energy.
The Psyche spacecraft sits in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft almost ready for launch to weird metal asteroid

To learn more about an unusual metal asteroid, NASA will be launching the Psyche mission to visit it later this summer.
James Webb Space Telescope illustration.

How engineers will calibrate James Webb’s 4 instruments

With its mirrors and instruments all fully aligned, Webb is undertaking the next big step in getting ready for science: Commissioning the instruments.
From left to right, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthais Maurer, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft onboard the SpaceX Shannon recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, Friday, May 6, 2022. Maurer, Marshburn, Chari, and Barron are returning after 177 days in space as part of Expeditions 66 and 67 aboard the International Space Station.

Crew-3 astronauts splash down safely following 6-month ISS mission

The four astronauts of the Crew-3 mission have returned safely to Earth from the International Space Station, splashing down in their SpaceX Crew Dragon.
These three mosaics of Titan were composed with data from Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer taken during the last three Titan flybys, on Oct. 28, 2005 (left), Dec. 26, 2005 (middle), and Jan. 15, 2006 (right). In a new study, researchers have shown how Titan’s distinct dunes, plains, and labyrinth terrains could be formed.

Saturn’s moon Titan may be more Earth-like than we thought

New research suggests that Titan's seasonal cycle could be responsible for forming features like sand dunes and plains.
The ultra-diffuse galaxy GAMA 526784 appears as a tenuous patch of light in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This wispy object resides in the constellation Hydra, roughly four billion light-years from Earth. Ultra-diffuse galaxies such as GAMA 526784 have a number of peculiarities. For example, they can have either very low or high amounts of dark matter, the invisible substance thought to make up the majority of matter in the universe. Observations of ultra-diffuse galaxies found some with an almost complete lack of dark matter, whereas others consist of almost nothing but dark matter. Another oddity of this class of galaxies is their unusual abundance of bright globular clusters, something not observed in other types of galaxies.

Hubble Space Telescope images exceptionally fluffy galaxy

In this week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope, you can see an unusual type of galaxy called an ultra-diffuse galaxy.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

NASA’s observatory on a plane, SOFIA, will fly no more

NASA has announced it will end operations of its observatory on a plane, SOFIA or the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.
Perseverance looks towards the Delta on Sol 419, capturing this image with its Right Navigation Camera.

Perseverance rover begins exploration of ancient river delta on Mars

The Perseverance rover has begun exploring one of the most exciting areas of Mars: The delta in the Jezero crater.
Archival observations of 25 hot Jupiters by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble spies on 25 hot Jupiters to learn about their atmospheres

The Hubble Space Telescope have investigated 25 exoplanets to find out about how the composition of their atmospheres.
SpaceX's Starship spacecraft atop the Super Heavy booster.

FAA review of SpaceX Starship launch delayed by another month

SpaceX won't be able to test its Starship rocket for some time, as the company will have to wait for clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Conceptual image of meteoroids delivering nucleobases to ancient Earth. The nucleobases are represented by structural diagrams with hydrogen atoms as white spheres, carbon as black, nitrogen as blue and oxygen as red.

Could the earliest building blocks of life have come from space?

Recent research has shown that all five of the basic building blocks of DNA have been found in meteorites.
Mars Sample Return drop test.

Watch NASA drop capsule from 1,200 feet to test Mars Sample Return system

NASA has an ambitious plan to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth for study. And that requires new hardware -- which requires serious testing.
Engineering images of sharply focused stars in the field of view of each instrument demonstrate that the telescope is fully aligned and in focus.

James Webb Space Telescope fully aligned and capturing crisp images

NASA has shared an image showing the sharpness check of all of Webb's instruments, showing that they are all crisp and properly focused.
This illustration shows NASA's InSight spacecraft with its instruments deployed on the Martian surface.

Largest marsquakes yet detected using InSight data

Researchers have identified two of the largest marsquakes seen to date using data from NASA's InSight lander.
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features two merging galaxies in the VV-689 system, nicknamed the Angel Wing.

Hubble captures an angelic merging of galaxies

This week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope show two galaxies which are in the process of merging together, in the system VV-689.
An artist's concept of the Lucy Mission.

NASA has a plan to fix Lucy spacecraft’s solar array problem

NASA's Lucy spacecraft has a problem with one of its solar arrays, which has not locked into place properly. Now there's a plan to fix it.
The James Webb Space Telescope.

James Webb’s mirrors are almost, but not quite, cooled

With James Webb's MIRI instrument now cooled to its operating temperature, the telescope is approaching its final temperature as it mirrors cool as well.
The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module's space-facing international docking adapter.

Axiom-1 to depart from ISS today after extra days in space

Four crew members of the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom-1, are set to head home today.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 32nd birthday with a stunning look at an unusual close-knit collection of five galaxies, called the Hickson Compact Group 40. This snapshot reflects a special moment in their lifetimes as they fall together before they merge.

Hubble turns 32, continues to reveal the wonders of space

Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has helped uncovered secrets of the universe as well as producing some absolutely stunning images of space.
The Large Hadron Collider tunnel at point 1.

World’s largest particle collider is now even more powerful

The Large Hadron Collider, the world-famous particle accelerator, has restarted after a three year break to perform maintenance and upgrades.
Space Debris

Scientists call for environmental protections for space

Scientists are calling for environmental protections of space to be put in place to account for the increasing number of satellite launches.
Wildflowers frame a view of the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s huge moon rocket is heading off launchpad next week

NASA is getting ready to rehouse its Space Launch System rocket following three attempts to complete wet dress rehearsal testing.
The spiral galaxy M91 fills the frame of this Wide Field Camera 3 observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M91 lies approximately 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices and – as is evident in this image – is a barred spiral galaxy. While M91’s prominent bar makes for a spectacular galactic portrait, it also hides an astronomical monstrosity. Like our own galaxy, M91 contains a supermassive black hole at its center. A 2009 study using archival Hubble data found that this central black hole weighs somewhere between 9.6 and 38 million times as much as the Sun.

Hubble captures a serene-looking galaxy with a monster at its heart

This week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy M91, a barred spiral galaxy in constellation of Coma Berenices.
The 11-person crew aboard the ISS.

How to watch Axiom-1 space tourists return from the ISS on Saturday

With the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station drawing to a close, the Axiom-1 crew will soon be heading back to Earth.
Artwork of the binary star system RS Ophiuchi: Matter flows from the red giant onto the white dwarf.

Hungry white dwarf feeding on red giant creates epic nova explosion

Astronomers using a pair of ground-based MAGIC telescopes have observed a huge nova explosion created by a pair of stars called RS Ophiuchi.
Mars Perseverance Sol 388 - Right Mastcam-Z Camera: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Right Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast. This image was acquired on March 24, 2022 (Sol 388) at the local mean solar time of 08:08:28.

What the Perseverance rover is hoping to find in the Jezero delta

A NASA scientist has explained how studying Jezero delta could help understand the history of Mars or find evidence if there was ever life on the planet.