Observations of 'Jellyfish galaxies' with ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly. The results appeared today in the journal Nature.
Using seven spacecraft, along with computer models, scientists have pieced together the journey of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun outward to Mars, Comet 67P, Jupiter and even the New Horizons spacecraft now beyond Pluto.
Ten spacecraft, from ESA's Venus Express to NASA's Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event.
Hall thrusters are used in earth-orbiting satellites and show promise to propel robotic spacecraft long distances, and the plasma ejected from the exhaust end of the thruster can deliver great speeds. Cylindrical Hall thrusters lend themselves to miniaturization and have a smaller surface-to-volume ratio that prevents erosion of the thruster channel. Investigators in China have developed a new design for CHTs that significantly increases thrust; they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.
On Sept. 30, 2014, multiple NASA observatories watched a failed solar eruption. Because scientists had so many eyes on the event, they were able to explain how the Sun's magnetic landscape shredded its own eruption.
The ongoing fires that have been plaguing British Columbia for most of the summer are causing air hazards across the province and even parts of the US.
Three NASA-funded studies will use the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse as a ready-made experiment, courtesy of nature, to improve our understanding of the ionosphere and its relationship to the Sun.
The Ohio Supercomputer Center played a critical role in helping researchers reach a milestone mapping the growth of the universe from its infancy to present day.
A new type of micropropulsion system for miniature satellites called CubeSats uses an innovative design of tiny nozzles that release precise bursts of water vapor to maneuver the spacecraft.
Researchers have determined that the sun's core makes a complete rotation once per week. Using the GOLF instrument, orbiting around the sun on board the SOHO space observatory, to measure solar oscillations, they developed a novel approach that enabled them to unambiguously detect gravity oscillation modes within our star. This work, which will certainly stimulate a new era of research into the physics of the solar core, is published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.