Rare Explosion Created Galaxy’s Youngest Black Hole
New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest a highly distorted supernova remnant may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The remnant appears to be the product of a rare explosion in which matter is ejected at high speeds along the poles of a rotating star.
The remnant, called W49B, is about a thousand years old as seen from Earth and located about 26,000 light-years away.
Russia’s Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first views ever of the far side of the Moon. The first image was taken at 03:30 UT on 7 October at a distance of 63,500 km after Luna 3 had passed the Moon and looked back at the sunlit far side. The last image was taken 40 minutes later from 66,700 km. A total of 29 photographs were taken, covering 70% of the far side. The photographs were very noisy and of low resolution, but many features could be recognized. This is the first image returned by Luna 3.
A James Cameron and Google-backed asteroid mining company has a bevy of them on retainer to help divy up all that unobtanium. Plus they help craft liability laws for space tourists and consult with governments on extraterrestrial visits.
Need to send a package beyond Earth? This “concierge to the stars” and others will handle the logistics. Stamps start at $30,000.
NanoRacks, one of the first companies to enter the field, operates the first commercial laboratory in space aboard the ISS and a panel laboratory that’s attached to the space station. For the price of $30,000 for educational institutions or $60,000 for commercial entities, NanoRacks handles all the logistics related to sending experiments into space. The small, for-profit company will handle the paperwork, find transportation among the many vehicles headed to the ISS, install the experiment, and take care of all governmental relations for would-be space experimenters. The standard NanoRack experiment stays in space for 30 days.
These NASA concept drawings are a big part of why I’m a sci-fi geek today.
The concepts look like America’s post-WWII suburban settlements popped LSD, as if every manicured bush is humming the national anthem while it soars through the galaxy on a psychedelic rainbow. Today, we’re convincing millionaires to book a glorified bus trip into the closest edge of space. In the 1970s, the same efforts could have leased them a two-bed, two-bath condo in the stars, complete with integrated Hi-Fi.
Photographer Vincent Fournier’s crisp, detached pictures of space facilities gives us a rare, stunning glimpse inside the World’s space programs, and straddle the divide between documentary and fantasy. See more.
NERD ALERT! Okay, admittedly I shouldn’t be so excited about this, but just watch this video of a new iPad app that displays your iTunes music library as a 3D galaxy! This blows any previously created iTunes visualizer out of the water, ocean, and planet— literally. If you were to project this at a party, your friends might even stop dancing just to look at it. It’s Friday. Get your geek on!
Planetary, a free iPad app from the data-artists at Bloom, is jaw-droppingly, eye-poppingly gorgeous. It analyzes your iTunes music library and visualizes it as a 3D galaxy, where artists become stars that form constellations, albums are planets orbiting those stars, and individual tracks are moons that spin around the planets. It’s “music of the spheres” made stunningly literal. But according to Bloom, it’s so much more than that.
Could the solution to our growing space junk problem be to add more space junk? Gurudas Ganguli and his colleagues at the US Naval Research Laboratory have conjured up an ingenious and radical idea that involves releasing a giant cloud of tungsten dust, which would then cover the earth and act as a kind of vacuum for space junk. More details of the inventive idea can be found here: How Heavy Metal Dust Could End Our Space Junk Odyssey