Black Hole-Powered Jets Plow Into Galaxy
NASA – This composite image of a galaxy illustrates how the intense gravity of a supermassive black hole can be tapped to generate immense power. The image contains X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), optical light obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (gold) and radio waves from the NSF’s Very Large Array (pink).
This multi-wavelength view shows 4C+29.30, a galaxy located some 850 million light years from Earth. The radio emission comes from two jets of particles that are speeding at millions of miles per hour away from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The estimated mass of the black hole is about 100 million times the mass of our Sun. The ends of the jets show larger areas of radio emission located outside the galaxy.
The X-ray data show a different aspect of this galaxy, tracing the location of hot gas. The bright X-rays in the center of the image mark a pool of million-degree gas around the black hole. Some of this material may eventually be consumed by the black hole, and the magnetized, whirlpool of gas near the black hole could in turn, trigger more output to the radio jet.
Most of the low-energy X-rays from the vicinity of the black hole are absorbed by dust and gas, probably in the shape of a giant doughnut around the black hole. This doughnut, or torus blocks all the optical light produced near the black hole, so astronomers refer to this type of source as a hidden or buried black hole. The optical light seen in the image is from the stars in the galaxy.
Posted in Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Black hole, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Galaxy, Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, NSF Very Large Array, Space, Technology
Orion Crew Module at Kennedy Space Center
NASA – Astronaut Don Pettit watches as a technician works on the Orion crew module inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at Kennedy Space Center on March 21, 2013.
The last of eight reaction control system (RCS) pods for the first flight test of Orion has arrived at Kennedy Space Center‘s Operations and Checkout Building from the manufacturer, Aerojet, in Redmond, Wash. The pods will provide the critical maneuvers necessary for Orion’s re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), scheduled to launch in 2014.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry humans farther into space than ever before. The spacecraft will provide emergency abort capability, sustain crews during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep-space return velocities.
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Image Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Posted in Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Aerojet, Earth, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Orion, Service module, Space, Space exploration, Space Launch System
Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color
NASA – Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory’s launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.
Looking like an apparition rising from whitecaps of interstellar foam, the iconic Horsehead Nebula has graced astronomy books ever since its discovery more than a century ago. The nebula is a favorite target for amateur and professional astronomers. It is shadowy in optical light. It appears transparent and ethereal when seen at infrared wavelengths. The rich tapestry of the Horsehead Nebula pops out against the backdrop of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies that easily are visible in infrared light.
Hubble has been producing ground-breaking science for two decades. During that time, it has benefited from a slew of upgrades from space shuttle missions, including the 2009 addition of a new imaging workhorse, the high-resolution Wide Field Camera 3 that took the new portrait of the Horsehead. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team
R&D – The freeze-dried blends are in aluminum pouches. Astronauts rehydrate their java with 70-C water from a dispenser on the ISS and drink it through a leak-proof straw that keeps stray drops from floating around the station, where they could do serious damage.
“That syrupy coffee tastes pretty terrible,” Colin Shaw says. “So we developed this system that allows astronauts to customize their coffee. If they know what they like on Earth, they know what they like in orbit.” more> http://tinyurl.com/bov769n
Artist’s Concept of a Solar Electric Propulsion System
NASA – Using advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technologies is an essential part of future missions into deep space with larger payloads. The use of robotics and advanced SEP technologies like this concept of an SEP-based spacecraft during NASA mission to find, rendezvous, capture and relocate an asteroid to a stable point in the lunar vicinity offers more mission flexibility than would be possible if a crewed mission went all the way to the asteroid.
NASA’s asteroid initiative, announced as part of the President’s FY2014 budget request, integrates the best of NASA’s science, technology, and human exploration capabilities and draws on the innovation of America’s brightest scientists and engineers. It uses current and developing capabilities to find both large asteroids that pose a hazard to Earth and small asteroids that could be candidates for the initiative, accelerates our technology development activities in high-powered SEP and takes advantage of our hard work on the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, helping to keep NASA on target to reach the President’s goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s Image Credit: Analytical Mechanics Associates
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, SPACE WATCH, Technology, Transportation
Tagged NASA, Solar Electric Propulsion, Solar energy, Space, Technology, United States