The 1st Sun Details from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Are Out. And They’re Hot!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SPACE.COM)

 

The 1st Sun Details from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Are Out. And They’re Hot!

An artist's depiction of NASA's Parker Solar Probe gathering data about the sun.

An artist’s depiction of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe gathering data about the sun.
(Image: © Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)

Want to see the sun in a whole new way?

Now you can do just that by looking through a host of science data newly made available to the public. That information was gathered by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe during its first two close passes of the sun. The flybys brought the spacecraft closer to the sun than any previous vehicle had gone, offering scientists an incredible opportunity to learn more about our star.

“Parker Solar Probe is crossing new frontiers of space exploration, giving us so much new information about the sun,” Nour E. Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a statement. “Releasing this data to the public will allow them not only to contribute to the success of the mission along with the scientific community, but also to raise the opportunity for new discoveries to the next level.”

Related: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Mission to the Sun in Pictures

Parker Solar Probe launched in August 2018 for a seven-year mission that is targeting the constant stream of highly charged plasma leaving the sun, called the solar wind, and the star’s outer atmosphere, called the corona. Studying these phenomena requires getting incredibly close to the sun; the spacecraft primarily gathers data while within about 23 million miles (37 million kilometers) of our star.

Onboard are four science experiments: Fields Experiment, which studies electric and magnetic fields; Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun, which measures high-energy charged particles in the solar wind and corona; Wide-Field Imager for Solar Probe, which images the solar wind and other structures; and Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons Investigation, which measures different types of particles in the solar wind.

Data gathered by a Parker Solar Probe instrument, the Wide-Field Imager for Solar Probe, in November 2018, during the spacecraft’s first solar flyby.

(Image credit: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe)

And now, you too can pore through data gathered by those instruments during the first two flybys: Oct. 31-Nov. 12, 2018, and March 30-April 19, 2019. During the second flyby, mission engineers were able to increase the amount of data the spacecraft sent home, thanks to better data-return rates than expected. There is no central hub for the data, but NASA has provided a list of websites to explore.

According to the same NASA statement, the first full-fledged science results from the mission should be published later this year.

Parker Solar Probe has also already made its third flyby of the sun; the spacecraft’s next closest approach is on Jan. 29, 2020.

Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Earth was hit by the most powerful gamma ray photon blast ever recorded

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK’S METRO NEWS)

 

Earth hit by most powerful cosmic gamma ray photon blast ever recorded Jasper Hamill Wednesday 31 Jul 2019 10:11am Share this article via facebook Share this article via twitter Share this article via messenger 13 SHARES The Crab Nebula, which is located in an arm of the Milky Way 6,500 light-years from Earth Scientists have recorded the most powerful ‘gamma-ray’ blast to ever hit our planet. The cosmic beam was detected by the Tibet AS-gamma Experiment, a collaboration between Japanese and Chinese researchers. Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves with a very short wavelength which are produced during dramatic events in space such as the death of stars in massive supernova explosions. Other electromagnetic waves include radio waves and microwaves. If a strong gamma-ray hit a human, it could kill them or damage their cells and cause cancer. Luckily, Earthlings are protected from gamma rays, which tend to break apart into small particles when they crash into our atmosphere before showering down on Earth, where they can be detected by scientists. MORE: TECH Facebook can literally read your mind and ‘decode’ your thoughts Apple made $53,800,000,000 in the last three months You need to update your iPhone because Google says so To find the particles as they rained down on our planet, scientists placed 597 detectors across 65,700 square metre area in Tibet. They also placed 64 concrete barrels filled with water which can also detect the gamma-ray remnants. This experiment allowed to detect the power and source of the gamma-ray photons – the name of the tiny, basic particles in light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation including gamma-rays. They were measured at 100 tera-electron volts (TeV)l, which is one trillion electron volts or roughly 10 times the maximum energy recorded by the Large Hadron Collider when it is used to smash particles together. It was calculated that the photons emanated from the Crab Nebula – a cloud of dust and gas left behind when a star went kaboom in a supernova so bright it was observed by Chinese astronomers working in the 11th century AD. Scientists cannot fully explain why the nebula produces such powerful gamma rays, but it’s believed the system is home to a rapidly spinning star called a pulsar, which rotates at high speeds and emit powerful beams of electromagnetic radiation. Share this article via facebook Share this article via twitter Share this article via messenger MOREN asa First lucky star to ‘escape’ the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole discovered Here’s how to get the WHOLE family more active (and it’ll be fun, promise!) Three supermassive monster black holes ‘caught in the act’ of coming together The moon is covered in human poo Add comment » MUST READ Elderly pair giggle like children as they get chance to dip their toes in the sea The pair were overjoyed to feel the sea on their feet once more. Homeless man left to die in bus stop ‘like trash on the road’ His lifeless body was discovered in the bus stop this morning where he had been living for months. Seesaw at US-Mexican border lets children play together in defiance against Trump Friendships are being built over the border wall. Moment of relief as dad is reunited with son who vanished overnight People were being urged to check their gardens, garages and sheds in case he stayed there. Man who can’t stop masturbating in fields of horses is in prison again Malcolm Downes has a ‘long, long history’ of masturbating near horses and was first jailed in 2016 for the ‘totally disgusting’ behaviour. Animal lover, 79, sentenced to jail for feeding stray cats Cat lover Nancy Segula was ordered to spent a week and a half in a notoriously rough jail for repeatedly breaking a local law banning residents from feeding cats and dogs Police hunt woman who strolled into supermarket then peed on potatoes The woman strolled into the store, then relieved herself on the tubers in front of a horrified worker Huge hoard of cats discovered living on dump surviving on rubbish WHAT’S TRENDING NOW More trending stories »

 

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/31/earth-hit-powerful-cosmic-gamma-ray-photon-blast-ever-recorded-10492620/?ito=cbshare

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‘Super Earth’ ‘most likely’ candidate to host life – but there’s a HUGE problem

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE SUN’ NEWS)

 

GREAT SPACE 

Mysterious ‘Super Earth’ planet ‘most likely’ candidate to host life – but there’s a HUGE problem

Kepler 452b is described as Earth’s bigger, older cousin and lies in the sweet spot outside our solar system that hosts the right conditions to spawn life

A “SUPER-EARTH” planet that’s one-and-half-times the size of our own has emerged as the most likely candidate to support alien life.

There’s just one problem: Kepler 452b, as it’s known, lies beyond the confines of our solar system – a whopping 1,400 light years away from us.

 This artistic concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our sun

NASA
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This artistic concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our sun

Discovered in 2015, the planet is located slap bang in the middle of a newly spotted “abiogenesis zone” that holds the right conditions for life to be created, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

This region of the solar system contains the ideal mix of ultraviolet light and chemical reactions to usher in early life.

It’s also in a habitable ring of space dubbed the “Goldilocks zone” due to its distance from its host star so that it’s neither too hot nor too cold.

All this astro-magic combined equals temperatures that are just right to permit liquid surface water.

 On May 12, 2009, NASA's Kepler spacecraft began hunting for planets outside the solar system. This Nasa graphic tells its story by the numbers

NASA
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On May 12, 2009, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft began hunting for planets outside the solar system. This Nasa graphic tells its story by the numbers

In fact, the Kepler 452b’s positions within the zones are so similar to our own planet’s that it’s earned the title of “Earth’s cousin”.

It’s also been described as a “super-Earth” because its mass is 1.5-times larger than Earth’s, but much less than the solar systems other titans, including Jupiter and Saturn, known as gas giants.

The planet was spotted by the powerful telescope aboard Nasa‘s Kepler spacecraft, hence its name, which has pinpointed thousands of so-called exoplanets (planets beyond our solar systems that orbit around other stars) since its 2009 launch.

However, out of all these candidates only Kepler 452b sits in the sweet spot between its stars habitable zone and the abiogenisis zone.

The star which it orbits in the constellation of Cygnus is about 20 percent brighter than the sun and some two billion years older.

 Earth, left, and its bigger cousin Kepler 452b, right, which is 1.5 times larger than our home planet

NASA
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Earth, left, and its bigger cousin Kepler 452b, right, which is 1.5 times larger than our home planet

Lead scientist Dr Paul Rimmer, from Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory, said: “This work allows us to narrow down the best places to search for life.

“It brings us just a little bit closer to addressing the question of whether we are alone in the universe.”

Rimmer’s team say that though Kepler 452b is too far away to probe with current tech, the next-generation of telescopes (like Nasa’s Tess and the long-gestating James Webb Telescopes) should be able to identify more Earth-style planets within an abiogenesis zone.

But they add that if there is life on these exoplanets, it may look radically different to that on Earth.

The new study is published in the journal Science Advances.