Just a short anecdote today, as I'm suffering from mind erasure
. There's a rich history of ragging on management, ranging from Dilbert to The Daily WTF
. As a card-carrying contrarian, I therefore bring you a tale of good leadership and upbeat endings within NASA.
The story starts out as inevitable tragedy. A NASA worker wins a federal award, but cannot attend the ceremony because she'll be at a different NASA center that week. She asks her higher up to accept the award on her behalf. And, of course, the higher up can now step in and take all the credit, eh?
The cluster of stars surrounding a supermassive black hole after it has been ejected from a galaxy are a new kind of astronomical object, according to a paper published in Astrophysical Journal.
More importantly, the stars contain a 'fossil record' from the 'kicking' galaxy.
Stars and galaxies formed back in the early days of the universe, some 13 billion years ago, were not nearly as massive as originally thought.
Population III stars were not only smaller than believed, they actually formed in binary systems, that is, pairs of stars that orbit a common center, say the results of a new simulation.
"For a long time the common wisdom was that these Population III stars formed alone," said Brian O'Shea, a Michigan State University assistant professor of physics and astronomy who did the research with two colleagues. "Researchers also have believed that these stars were incredibly massive – up to 300 times the size of our own sun. Unfortunately, the observations just didn't jibe with the simulations we created."
A team of astrophysicists say they have solved a mystery that led some scientists to speculate that the distribution of certain gamma rays in our Milky Way galaxy was evidence for undetectable 'dark matter' making up much of the mass of the universe.
In two papers, the astrophysicists instead say that this distribution of gamma rays can be explained by the way "antimatter positrons" from the radioactive decay of elements, created by massive star explosions in the galaxy, propagate through the galaxy. Thus, they say, the observed distribution of gamma rays is not evidence for dark matter.
Johann Galle fans won't like reading this but professor David Jamieson, Head of the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne, says Galileo
beat him to the punch in the discovery of Neptune
- by 234 years.
If correct, the discovery would be the first new planet identified by humanity since deep antiquity.
The Swan Nebula, also called the Omega Nebula because when seen through a small telescope the nebula has a shape that reminds some observers of the final letter of the Greek alphabet, omega, while others see a swan with its distinctive long, curved neck, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer).
Don't feel left out, lawn games and crustaceans, it is also called the Horseshoe and the Lobster Nebula.
No matter its name, it is an active star-forming region of gas and dust about 15 light-years across and has recently spawned a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light and strong winds from these hulking infants have carved remarkable filigree structures in the gas and dust.
Two studies published in Science Express show the analysis of gamma-rays from two dozen pulsars, including 16 discovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Fermi is the first spacecraft able to identify pulsars by their gamma-ray emissions alone.
A pulsar is the rapidly spinning and highly magnetized core left behind when a massive star explodes. Most of the currently cataloged pulsars, some 1800 of them, were found through their periodic radio emissions; pulses caused by narrow, lighthouse-like radio beams emanating from the pulsar's magnetic poles, according to current theory.
Even among giants Messier 87, with two to three billion times the mass of our sun, stands out, completely dominating the Virgo cluster.
A supermassive black hole exists in the center of Messier 87 and gigantic plasma flows shoot out from the vicinity of the black hole at close to light speed. Scientists have now observed, simultaneously in gamma and radio frequencies, this active galactic core region and in doing so discovered that the elementary particles are accelerated to extremely high energy levels in closest proximity to the black hole.
Astronomers have unveiled a new atlas of the inner regions of the Milky Way - that's our home galaxy, if you're from someplace else - and it's peppered with thousands of previously undiscovered dense knots of cold cosmic dust, the potential birthplaces of new stars. Using observations from the APEX telescope in Chile, this survey is the largest map of cold dust so far.
This new guide for astronomers, known as the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) shows the Milky Way in submillimetre-wavelength light (between infrared light and radio waves. Images of the cosmos at these wavelengths are vital for studying the birthplaces of new stars and the structure of the crowded galactic core.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has transmitted its first images since reaching the moon on June 23. The spacecraft's two cameras, collectively known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, were activated June 30. The cameras are working well and have returned images of a region in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium (Sea of Clouds).
As the moon rotates beneath LRO, LROC gradually will build up photographic maps of the lunar surface.