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Nasa Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon

This illustration shows a high-altitude balloon ascending into the upper atmosphere. When fully inflated, these balloons are 400 feet (150 meters) wide, or about the size of a football stadium, and reach an altitude of 130,000 feet (24.6 miles or 40 kilometers). Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab/Michael Lentz

Carried by a balloon the size of a football stadium, ASTHROS will use a cutting-edge telescope to observe wavelengths of light that aren't visible from the ground.

Work has begun on an ambitious new mission that will carry a cutting-edge 8.4-foot (2.5-meter) telescope high into the stratosphere on a balloon. Tentatively planned to launch in December 2023 from Antarctica, ASTHROS (short for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths) will spend about three weeks drifting on air currents above the icy southern continent and achieve several firsts along the way.


Nasa to test fly helicopter on Mars

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will make history's first attempt at powered flight on another planet next spring. It is riding with the agency's next mission to Mars (the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover) as it launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this summer.  Perseverance, with Ingenuity attached to its belly, will land on Mars February 18, 2021. 

As a technology demonstration, Ingenuity is testing a new capability for the first time: showing controlled flight is possible in the very thin Martian atmosphere. If successful, Ingenuity could lead to an aerial dimension to space exploration, aiding both robots and humans in the future.

Check out the video below.

For more about Ingenuity, visit Nasa's site.

Space X launched humans into space for the first time in a decade

Elon Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, just successfully launched its first two people into orbit, ushering in a new age of human spaceflight in the United States. SpaceX is now the first company to send passengers to orbit on a privately made vehicle, and the flight marked the first time astronauts have launched into orbit from American soil in nearly a decade.


You can name the new moons discovered around Saturn. Carnegie's Scott Sheppard has just announced the discovery of 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total to 82 and moving it ahead of Jupiter, which has 79. All hail the new king of moons!

Here is the link to enter the contest

Nasa Just released a Free 3D Moon kit for CG artists

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has orbited the moon recording topographical data for 10 years. Nasa has interpreted and combined the LRO's raw data and images to construct an accurate 3D rendering of the moon. Now they are offering it for free.

Get it here.

Black hole gravity distorts view

Nasa has simulated a visualization of a black hole. This new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. The visualization simulates the appearance of a black hole where in falling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The black hole’s extreme gravity skews light emitted by different regions of the disk, producing the misshapen appearance.

Bright knots constantly form and dissipate in the disk as magnetic fields wind and twist through the churning gas. Nearest the black hole, the gas orbits at close to the speed of light, while the outer portions spin a bit more slowly. This difference stretches and shears the bright knots, producing light and dark lanes in the disk.

Viewed from the side, the disk looks brighter on the left than it does on the right. Glowing gas on the left side of the disk moves toward us so fast that the effects of Einstein’s relativity give it a boost in brightness; the opposite happens on the right side, where gas moving away us becomes slightly dimmer. This asymmetry disappears when we see the disk exactly face on because, from that perspective, none of the material is moving along our line of sight.

Closest to the black hole, the gravitational light-bending becomes so excessive that we can see the underside of the disk as a bright ring of light seemingly outlining the black hole. This so-called “photon ring” is composed of multiple rings, which grow progressively fainter and thinner, from light that has circled the black hole two, three, or even more times before escaping to reach our eyes. Because the black hole modeled in this visualization is spherical, the photon ring looks nearly circular and identical from any viewing angle. Inside the photon ring is the black hole’s shadow, an area roughly twice the size of the event horizon — its point of no return.

"Simulations and movies like these really help us visualize what Einstein meant when he said that gravity warps the fabric of space and time,” explains Jeremy Schnittman, who generated these gorgeous images using custom software at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Until very recently, these visualizations were limited to our imagination and computer programs. I never thought that it would be possible to see a real black hole." Yet on April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first-ever image of a black hole’s shadow using radio observations of the heart of the galaxy M87.

Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole

An international collaboration presents paradigm-shifting observations of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of distant galaxy Messier 87

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

Lunar spacesuit prototypes are almost ready.

NASA is developing the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU, as a spacesuit for astronauts on the moon as part of the Artemis program. 

After years of design and testing it is finally ready for space. Nasa recently announced that the xEMU prototype passed it's preliminary design review and will be tested in 2023.