ESA

The Universe is dying – across all wavelengths

The Universe is dying – across all wavelengths

While it's been widely accepted that the Universe is slowly fading since the late 1990s, a study published today shows the great extent to which its death is occurring. "The Universe has basically sat down on the soft, pulled up a blanket, and is about to nod off for an eternal doze," suggested Simon Driver of ICRAR, lead author on the study. Measurements of energy output of each of 200,000 galaxies has been done at 21 wavelengths, from far infrared back down to ultraviolet. As broad a wavelength range as possible was studied by researchers who've now concluded that, yes, the Universe is indeed fading out.

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Keys to “ingredients for life” found on Rosetta’s comet

Keys to “ingredients for life” found on Rosetta’s comet

The comet followed by the ESA's Rosetta mission and landed upon by Philae has turned up "the ingredients for life" in its most recent data package. This data may well also be the last that Philae sends via Rosetta, as the craft have just one more chance to be in alignment before they're cut off from Earth contact forever. To detect the data we're exploring today, Philae employed its Ptolemy and COSAC tools, turning up water vapor, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

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Philae’s last gasp: final Rosetta mission data published

Philae’s last gasp: final Rosetta mission data published

The European Space Agency's Philae lander has sent what's likely its last batch of data home to Earth. Having gone regretfully silent only days after it hit the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko back in November of 2014, the Rosetta mission's Philae lander re-established connection in June of 2015. Now the team's final connection was set for July 9th, and it's entirely possible the ESA won't end up being able to make contact again. We'll have to wait until August, right as the comet makes its closest approach to our Sun.

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Understanding Facebook’s data lasers

Understanding Facebook’s data lasers

This week Mark Zuckerberg showed off several photographs of lasers he suggested would be sending internet signals all around the world. These lasers will be used with Facebook's Internet.org project, beaming information "from a plane flying overhead or a satellite flying way overhead," according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "They'll communicate down to earth using very accurate lasers to transfer data." This isn't the first experiment in the world to use lasers to send data. In fact several organizations - like the ESA and NASA - have already begun real-world testing for data transfer between craft in space and labs on our planet's surface. Data transfer with lasers is super reliable and fast, too!

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Rosetta finds sinkholes that could swallow a pyramid

Rosetta finds sinkholes that could swallow a pyramid

Rosetta continues its extended mission in capturing information on its nearby comet this week, finding massive sinkholes in the process. A number of these massive "cavities" have shown themselves in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. These holes appear as deep as 590 feet (180 meters) and as wide as 656 feet (200 meters) in diameter. While scientists are not certain why these pits are appearing, lead researcher Jean-Baptiste Vincent suggested that it could be because of the heat of the sun, this heat creating jets of surface-collapsing dust.

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Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

According to data from NASA's Swift satellite, a huge black hole located about 7,800 light-years from Earth has re-awakened after 26 years of being dormant. The European Space Agency (ESA) describes the black hole as part of V404 Cygni, a binary system made of up the hole and a star. The last time activity was detected from V404 was in 1989, but as of June 15th, the Swift satellite is detecting new bursts of gamma rays.

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ESA decides between Thor, Ariel, and Xipe for next medium mission

ESA decides between Thor, Ariel, and Xipe for next medium mission

It's a battle of the space-gods as the ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) study at ESTEC decides between Xipe, Ariel, and Thor. Each of these names corresponds with a craft, and each craft corresponds with a proposed area of study. Up for grabs are exoplanets, plasma physics and the X-ray Universe, one each to possibly be studied by the the Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel), the Turbulence Heating ObserveR (Thor) and the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer (Xipe). These are the final three missions that'll eventually be cut down to one this upcoming analytical session.

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Rosetta mission extended as Philae wakes from long sleep

Rosetta mission extended as Philae wakes from long sleep

"This is fantastic news for science," said Matt Taylor, ESA's Rosetta Project Scientist, as he speaks on extending the life of their thought-dead research. Rosetta was originally launched in 2004, bringing its lander Philae to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It arrived in August of 2014, did some studies of the environment from up high, and deployed its lander Philae on the 12th of November. From there, things went dark. Just about 57 hours after landing and beginning operations, Philae went dark, and things looked dim.

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NASA theorizes how lake depressions on Titan were formed

NASA theorizes how lake depressions on Titan were formed

Titan is one of Saturn's moons and one of the most interesting things about the moon is that it has lots of seas and lakes that are filled with liquid hydrocarbons. One thing that puzzles NASA scientists about the lakes of hydrocarbons on the surface of the moon is what process exactly creates the depression that the hydrocarbon lakes fill. Some of the depressions aren't filled with liquids.

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Philae speaks again: Comet probe “doing very well”

Philae speaks again: Comet probe “doing very well”

The Philae lander has resumed communications with Earth for the second time since the surprise message last Sunday that proved the spacecraft was still functional. Two signals were successfully received today, the European Space Agency (ESA) said, each lasting two minutes and containing 185 packets of data. Although there's no scientific research in among those bytes, Philae has sent back vital information about just how well the distant probe is doing on its unusual comet ride.

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