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Scents of Science

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Space & Universe

Hubble Spots Star-Hatching frEGGs!

This image shows knots of cold, dense interstellar gas where new stars are forming. These Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules (frEGGs) were first seen in Hubble’s famous 1995 image of the Eagle Nebula. Because these lumps of gas are dark, they are... Continue Reading →

With Webb’s Mid-Booms Extended, Sunshield Takes Shape

With the successful extension of Webb’s second sunshield mid-boom, the observatory has passed another critical deployment milestone. Webb’s sunshield now resembles its full, kite-shaped form in space. https://videopress.com/v/iAo2eYfg?resizeToParent=true&cover=true&autoPlay=true&preloadContent=metadata Engineers began to deploy the second (starboard) mid-boom at 6:31 p.m. EST... Continue Reading →

A spacecraft has ‘touched’ the sun for the first time

NASA's Parker Solar Probe reached the sun's extended solar atmosphere, known as the corona, and spent five hours there. The spacecraft is the first to enter the outer boundaries of our sun. "This marks the achievement of the primary objective... Continue Reading →

What is a light-year?

Light-year is the distance light travels in one year. Light zips through interstellar space at 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second and 5.88 trillion miles (9.46 trillion kilometers) per year. How far can light travel in one minute? 11,160,000 miles.... Continue Reading →

Space Station Silhouette on the Moon

What's that unusual spot on the Moon? It's the International Space Station. Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit gibbous Moon last month. The featured composite, taken from Payson, Arizona, USA last month, was intricately composed by combining, in part, many... Continue Reading →

Hubble Spies Newly Forming Star Incubating in IC 2631

Stars are born from clouds of gas and dust that collapse under their own gravitational attraction. As the cloud collapses, a dense, hot core forms and begins gathering dust and gas, creating an object called a “protostar.” This Hubble infrared... Continue Reading →

Near-earth asteroid might be a lost fragment of the moon

A near-Earth asteroid named Kamo`oalewa could be a fragment of our moon, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications Earth and Environment by a team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona. Kamo`oalewa is a quasi-satellite --... Continue Reading →

NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap

Why doesn't the nearby galaxy create a gravitational lensing effect on the background galaxy? It does, but since both galaxies are so nearby, the angular shift is much smaller than the angular sizes of the galaxies themselves. The featured Hubble image of NGC 3314 shows two large spiral galaxies... Continue Reading →

Hello Mercury

The joint European-Japanese BepiColombo mission captured this view of Mercury on 1 October 2021 as the spacecraft flew past the planet for a gravity assist manoeuvre. The image was taken at 23:44:12 UTC by the Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera... Continue Reading →

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