That's what NASA's New Horizons spacecraft found when it passed beyond Pluto deep into the Kuiper Belt to perform a flyby of an object nicknamed Ultima Thule.Kuiper Belt Objects orbit the sun so far out they may wander in the frigid void for billions of years undisturbed and therefore unchanged since the solar system formed.To visit one is to see our corner of the cosmos as it looked over 4 billion years ago.New Horizons performed its flyby of Ultima Thule, officially known as 2014 MU69, on New Year's Day.Researchers have just published the initial results from the spacecraft's observations of the distant object.The paper, published in Friday's edition of Science, describes a space rock shaped like a flattened snowman drifting alone in the cold.
Making that migration to Azure Database for PostgreSQL that little bit easierAs it continued to wipe the residue of Build from the streets of Seattle, Microsoft made good on Azure database promises with a slew of updates for its cloudy database stack.Cosmos DB gets SQL tweaks and ARM (no, not that one) supportCosmos DB – Microsoft's take on a globally distributed, multi-model database – received enhanced query functionality in its SQL API as support for Distinct, Skip & Take, Correlated Subquery, and Composite Indexes became generally available.All grist to the mill of querying JSON with SQL.The Cosmos DB gang also reckoned performance of aggregates in queries is also improved, claiming "in most cases" consumption of those potentially pricey Request Units (RU) will "decrease significantly."
Spacecraft that launched from Earth in the 1970s are still traveling on trajectories that led them out of our solar system and beyond.In a new study, scientists have predicted the future of these spacecraft, determining which stars the vehicles will pass, and how close they will get to these stars, within the next few million years.These spacecraft, in addition to NASA's New Horizons probe, are the only spacecraft ever launched that are capable of reaching interstellar space.Though these craft can no longer transmit signals to Earth, researchers have figured out which stars the vehicles will pass long after they cease to be operational.Related: How the Voyager Space Probes Work (Infographic)These calculations are tricky, because as these spacecraft travel away from Earth, the cosmos around them move, too.
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By staring at the sky for over 200 hours, the Spitzer Space Telescope collected light that finally reached Earth after a 13-billion-year voyage through space.This light left its origin so long ago that researchers studying this imagery are essentially peering back — way back — in time, to the ancient cosmic past.Using Spitzer data, a research team observed 135 distant galaxies and found that these celestial bodies, which formed over 13 billion years ago and just 1 billion years after the Big Bang, were brighter than expected.Researchers coupled their Spitzer findings with archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope in a recent paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.Related: This 13.5-Billion-Year-Old Star Is a Tiny Relic from Just After the Big BangThese 135 galaxies were particularly bright in two wavelengths of infrared light, which was created by radiation mingling with galactic gases like hydrogen and oxygen, according to a statement released May 9 — showing that the galaxies were releasing a high level of so-called ionizing radiation.
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It's become clear that something in the cosmos just doesn't add up.In fact, it's expanding at a much faster rate than it should.For some time now there's been a mismatch in observations of the early universe done with the European Space Agency's Planck Telescope and what astronomers see when they measure the more nearby, modern parts of space with NASA's Hubble Telescope.(Keep in mind that looking at distant parts of the universe with powerful telescopes is the same as looking back in time).When scientists look at what was going on 13 billion years ago, via Planck, and then extrapolate that into the present, the results don't match what Hubble sees today.For several years, there's been an assumption that the disagreement is due to a lack of precision in the measurements.
Twenty years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed a giant crab in the sky.Now, just before its 29th birthday (Hubble was launched into space April 24, 1990), the telescope again trains its lenses on the Southern Crab Nebula to provide the world with a stunning reminder that, a) the cosmos is mysterious and beautiful, and, b) launching giant cameras into space is a really neat idea.Every year, Hubble spends a small portion of its time snapping a gorgeous anniversary picture like this one, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA), the agency that manages the telescope in cooperation with NASA.The decision to image the Southern Crab Nebula for this year's birthday photo recalls the first encounter between the photographer and its subject in 1998, when Hubble imaged the complete hourglass structure of the nebula for the first time.101 Astronomy Images That Will Blow Your Mind]The Southern Crab Nebula sits in the constellation Centaurus, about 7,000 light-years away from Earth.
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Astronomers working across a world-wide network of cosmic observatories are set to make a "groundbreaking" announcement on April 10, according to the European Southern Observatory.Considering that the Event Horizon Telescope is on a mission to capture the very first image of a black hole, this could be one of the biggest science discoveries of the year -- humans, for the first time, may be able to "see" the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy or the one of our close cosmic neighbor, Messier 87.Of course, black holes are space-vampires.Their immense gravity sucks in any surrounding matter -- including light -- that falls within their grasp.That makes it entirely impossible to actually a black hole right now.However, at the very edge of a black hole's powerful gravity lies the "event horizon".
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The telescope has imaged the Messier 11 cluster, a group of stars in the southern constellation of Scutum (the Shield), and it has produced this wonderful image of stars sparkling in the night sky.Messier 11 is somewhat unusual as it is one of the few open clusters ever imaged by Hubble.Hubble usually images globular clusters, which are densely packed groups of stars which are drawn close together by gravity.An open cluster, by contrast, is only loosely held together by gravity.While globular clusters can be very old, with the same group of thousands of stars moving together for millions of years, open clusters have a shorter lifespan.When stars in an open cluster pass by another strong source of gravity like a larger cluster or a black hole, they are easily drawn away from their cluster.
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If the Hubble Space Telescope has a favorite NES game, it's probably Duck Hunt.NASA and the European Space Agency shared a Hubble view this week of a star-studded gathering spot nicknamed the Wild Duck Cluster, and it's very glittery.The cluster's more official name is Messier 11, but it gets its waterfowl moniker from a roughly V-shaped series of bright stars that resemble a group of migratory birds flying overhead.Messier 11 formed about 220 million years ago and is classified as an open cluster."Open clusters tend to contain fewer and younger stars than their more compact globular cousins," ESA explains.That also means the stars in an open cluster can more easily be pulled apart, which puts a damper on the future for the Wild Duck Cluster.
Check out for the basics of changes in web development in the current scenario:Web development industry is huge, trending and is growing faster than any of the Cosmos sprouts or Nasturtiums.Responsiveness is one of the virtues of modern websites.Top web application developers are constantly devising new ways to collaborate with business operations to ensure alignment of data, business rules, and processes along with emerging customer experiences.As an obvious rule, the applications have to be proofread for application logic according to the UI – a model-driven and low-code platform have to be brought on a similar level.Devops has given a new way to optimize resources and scale out applications architecture through iterative delivery practices.
If life can find a way to thrive in the deepest depths of Earth's oceans, what's stopping it from existing elsewhere in the cosmos?That's a question that astrobiologists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are trying to answer -- and to grapple with the idea they've emulated the conditions of the deep ocean in the lab, finding the building blocks of life do indeed form at the ocean floor some 4 billion years ago.Sunlight can't penetrate miles of water to reach the oceanbed, which makes it both a remarkably cold and completely dark place.But around hydrothermal vents, openings in the ocean floor that spew heated water and material from within the Earth's crust, scientists continue to find bustling metropolises, full of extreme deep-sea organisms.The astrobiologists at JPL, led by Laurie Barge, emulated these conditions in standard laboratory beakers, helping understand how life might have slowly cobbled itself together in the early days of the Earth.The team produced their own Young-Earth-Ocean-In-A-Glass, containing water, minerals and the molecules ammonia and pyruvate which are usually found near hydrothermal vents and are seen as precursors to the building blocks of life.
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Conventional DNA is comprised of the familiar A, C, G, and T base pairs, but a newly created genetic system is packed with eight, thus doubling the number of letters normally found in self-replicating molecules.In addition to the conventional four base pairs, this genetic system has an extra four building blocks, dramatically increasingly the information density compared to regular DNA.The scientists behind the work, led by Steven Benner from the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida, said the new system may be robust enough to support life, that is, to support the processes required for Darwinian self-replication.Rather, it’s a model of an alternative genetic structure required to sustain self-replicating life.On Earth, RNA and DNA perform this function exclusively, but that’s not to say other variations don’t exist elsewhere in the cosmos.Indeed, astrobiologists will undoubtedly be interested in this research because it demonstrates another possible mechanism from which life could emerge, evolve, and complexify.
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Cosmologists need gravitational wave measurements from 50 binary neutron star mergers to work out just how fast our universe is really expanding, according to new research.The cosmos has been ballooning ever since it was birthed from the Big Bang some 13.8 billion years ago.Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, discovered that galaxies further away from our own Milky Way were moving away at a faster rate, a sign that the universe was expanding.The rate of expansion, known as Hubble’s constant, is seemingly anything but constant.When scientists try to calculate it by analyzing the cosmic background radiation or by studying stars and supernovae, they get different answers.Now, an international team of physicists believe the conflict can be solved by probing a new data source: gravitational waves from neutron stars smashing into one another.
One year ago, on Feb. 6, SpaceX blasted a Falcon Heavy rocket into space and sent Elon Musk's personal Tesla roadster off on a journey through the cosmos to the tune of David Bowie's Space Oddity, with a spacesuit-wearing Starman dummy at the wheel.There's a lot about that last sentence that sounds insane, but it happened.Programmer Ben Pearson runs the Where is Roadster?website, dedicated to tracking the Tesla's trip around the sun.Let's check in to see the latest stats.According to Pearson's calculations as of Wednesday morning, the electric car is 226,423,581 miles (364,393,544 km) from Earth and 163,525,522 miles (263,168,899 km) from Mars.
(R. White (STScI) and the PS1 Science Consortium)At first, it looks like a planet: dark, snow-speckled and slashed down the center by a deep red scar.But zoom in a little closer, and you realize you're looking at something much larger than a planet — larger even than 100 billion planets.This is a new map of the cosmos , compiled from four years of observations by the Pan-STARRS observatory in Maui, Hawaii.Hidden within this mosaic image of the Milky Way (that's the big, red smear in the middle) and its near cosmic neighborhood are more than 800 million stars, galaxies and roving interstellar objects visible from the observatory's mountaintop vantage point.[11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy]
The reopening of the federal government means that launch companies can once again file for launch licenses with various agencies, and it seems that SpaceX took full advantage of this fact on Monday.The company sought three permits from the Federal Communications Commission (which can be searched here).One of the permits concerns the next International Space Station cargo supply mission for the Dragon spacecraft, CRS-17, which had been scheduled for March.This may be the moment SpaceX opened the cosmos to the massesOf potentially more interest are applications for two permits related to the launch of the next Falcon Heavy mission, Arabsat 6A, and the landing of two side boosters and the central core.This is consistent with existing estimates for the current launch date.
Out past Neptune, something weird is happening to the orbits of a bunch of space rocks circling the sun.Something, scientists believed, could only be described by the presence of a giant planet -- the so-called "Planet Nine".It's baffled astronomers for years and now there's yet another another candidate for the cosmic wobbliness that's not a planet at all.Planet Nine's existence is largely inferred from the unusual orbits of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) which exist in the gaping space between Neptune and the rest of the cosmos.The suggestion has been a planet up to four times wider than Earth is spinning lonely out at the edges of space in the dark, influencing the TNOs.New research published on Jan. 21, set to be published in Astronomical Journal, has put forth an alternate explanation of this strange phenomenon and suggests the clustered orbits might not be the result of a Planet Nine at all.
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Canadian scientists have detected 13 new fast radio bursts, those mysterious, split-second, high-energy pulses that reach us from unknown origins billions of light-years away.Intriguingly, one of these newly documented bursts is a repeater, becoming just the second-known repeating fast radio burst among the 60 documented so far.FRBs last for just a few milliseconds, and their unpredictable displays make observations notoriously difficult.Popular explanations for FRBs include rapidly spinning neutron stars with strong magnetic fields (known as magnetars), mergers of highly dense objects, collapsed stars, supermassive black holes, and – much more speculatively – extraterrestrial civilizations.The discovery of a repeater was a huge deal because it meant that the source of this particular FRB, and possibly others, wasn’t the result of a cataclysmic explosion, but rather something that persists through time.Indeed, it’s still early days in our understanding of FRBs, but a pair of papers published today in Nature are offering tantalizing new clues about this enigmatic feature of the cosmos.
Canadian scientists have detected 13 new fast radio bursts, those mysterious, split-second, high-energy pulses that reach us from unknown origins billions of light-years away.Intriguingly, one of these newly documented bursts is a repeater, becoming just the second-known repeating fast radio burst among the 60 documented so far.FRBs last for just a few milliseconds, and their unpredictable displays make observations notoriously difficult.Popular explanations for FRBs include rapidly spinning neutron stars with strong magnetic fields (known as magnetars), mergers of highly dense objects, collapsed stars, supermassive black holes, and – much more speculatively – extraterrestrial civilizations.The discovery of a repeater was a huge deal because it meant that the source of this particular FRB, and possibly others, wasn’t the result of a cataclysmic explosion, but rather something that persists through time.Indeed, it’s still early days in our understanding of FRBs, but a pair of papers published today in Nature are offering tantalizing new clues about this enigmatic feature of the cosmos.
This week’s showcase of the cosmos has something for everyone, young and old, along with a factoid you might have missed in high school science: Jupiter’s rings.(Granted, they don’t measure up to Saturn’s, but still!)When the Voyager spacecraft flew past this solar system behemoth in 1979, the long hypothesized rings were discovered, and just last year Juno flew inside the rings during one of its orbits.Departing Jupiter, we’ll regard what’s left of a supernova some 20,000 light years away.The death of stars can be quiet; they can eventually cool down and turn into red giants.(That’s the fate that will befall our Sun someday.)
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