Sunday, August 3, 2014
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of what the sun looked like on April 23, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. EDT when the EUNIS mission launched. EUNIS focused on an active region of the sun, seen as bright loops in the upper right in this picture. (Credit: NASA/SDO)
Animation of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring / Mars encounter. (Credit: Near-Earth Object (NEO) office and NASA JPL)
The study, carried out at the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) and published in Nature Communications, showed that in an interferometer a neutron’s magnetic moment could be measured independently of the neutron itself, thereby marking the first experimental observation of a new quantum paradox known as the ‘Cheshire Cat’. Pictured are Yuji Hasegawa, Tobias Denkmayr, Stephan Sponar, Hartmut Lemmel, and Hermann Geppert. (Credit: Vienna University of Technology.)
An artist’s concept of a rocky world orbiting a red dwarf star. (Credit: NASA/D. Aguilar/Harvard-Smithsonian center for Astrophysics)
In this image from the Hubble Space Telescope, a giant elliptical galaxy 9.6 billion light-years away appears as a red patch. The bluish dot and tadpole-shaped smear are the distorted and magnified shapes of a more distant spiral galaxy 10.7 billion light-years away.
(Credit: NASA, ESA, K.-V. Tran (Texas A&M University), and K. Wong)
The Dundee tractor beam is not entirely dissimilar from those in “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” in that it draws an object toward it without making physical contact. The device works by taking advantage of an acoustic wave’s natural push effect, called radiation pressure. (Photons also exert radiation pressure, which is part of the reason comet tails always point away from the sun.) What the Dundee team was able to demonstrate was an example of negative radiation pressure, otherwise known as pull. (Credit: iStock/360/Getty)
The team says that during this 500 million year period the planet likely experienced three to seven impacts by objects more than 300 miles wide. There were also as many as four impacts by titanic space rocks more than 600 miles across. If there had been any life on the Earth, a 600 mile wide monster asteroid probably would have wiped it out. Surprisingly, these impacts are compatible with the existence of liquid water on the surface as early as 4.3 billion years ago. (D. A. Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
DARPA’s hypothetical “space plane.” (Credit: DARPA)
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft saw the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimernko from a distance of 1,210 miles (1,950 kilometers). Image taken July 29, 2014.
(Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)