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The most massive explosion since the Big Bang was just spotted in deep space – BGR

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As far as astronomers know, the Big Bang is why we’re all here. The massive explosion sent all the matter we see in the universe flying, expanding rapidly and coalescing into the stars, planets, and other objects that fill the cosmos. Now, astronomers have detected what they believe is the largest explosion ever observed by humans, and it took place in a cluster of galaxies nearly 400 million light-years away.

The record-breaking explosion is believed to have originated in a black hole at the heart of the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster. It was spotted using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory as well as the ESA’s XMM-Newton and other instruments in Australia and India.

When you think of a black hole you probably think of a point in space that gobbles up everything in its path. That’s not too far from the truth, but black holes can have more explosive personalities, too. Black holes are known to blast material into space as well, forming strong jets of matter and energy moving at incredible speeds. The initial observations of this colossal explosion were made years ago, but have only now been confirmed.

Chandra observations reported in 2016 first revealed hints of the giant explosion in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster. Norbert Werner and colleagues reported the discovery of an unusual curved edge in the Chandra image of the cluster. They considered whether this represented part of the wall of a cavity in the hot gas created by jets from the supermassive black hole. However, they discounted this possibility, in part because a huge amount of energy would have been required for the black hole to create a cavity this large.

Further research showed that there actually was an explosion, and the big boom is now considered to be the largest ever documented by science. According to NASA, the amount of energy involved in this recent blast is around five times greater than the previous largest space explosion on record.

At a distance of 390 million light-years from Earth, the explosion actually took place, well, around 390 million years ago. It’s impossible for us to know what the galaxy cluster looks like today, but astronomers are using their ability to look back in time to see the record-breaking explosion today, and that’s pretty awesome.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of
reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

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Weather: Richmond expects a mix of sun and clouds this week – Richmond News

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Richmond will see sunshine and higher temperatures early this week with some showers and cloud leading into the weekend.

According to Environment Canada, Sunday will see a mixture of sun and clouds with a 40 per cent chance of showers in the early afternoon. Skies are expected to clear up later in the day with temperatures as high as 20 C. Few clouds will roll in in the evening with a low of 11 C.

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Monday through Wednesday will expect sunshine all day with a high of 22 C and a low of 12 C.

There is a 60 per cent chance of showers from Wednesday evening until Thursday evening.

Clouds will make reappear again on Friday and Saturday with a high of 21 C and a low of 15 C.

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Vancouver weather: Expect some sun this week, capped by rain – Vancouver Sun

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VANCOUVER, B.C.: July 12, 2020 – Sunday’s weather is a mixed bag but the middle of this week will be marked by sunny skies and high temperatures.

Come Thursday though, prepare to buckle down again for more rain and a weekend of grey clouds.


Weather: Vancouver, B.C.

Today: Mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Clearing this afternoon. High 20. UV index 6 or high.

Tonight: A few clouds. Low 11.

Tomorrow: A mix of sun and cloud. Clearing late in the morning. High 21. UV index 8 or very high.

Source: Environment Canada


Air Quality: Vancouver


Traffic: Vancouver

Zoom in and out to find incidents of note or to peek at a traffic camera.


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NASA wants a return to the moon in 2024. New human spaceflight chief makes no guarantees. – Space.com

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Putting astronauts back on the moon by 2024 will be no small feat, and NASA’s new human spaceflight chief Kathy Lueders has been careful not to make any promises she may not be able to keep.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Lueders said in a teleconference with reporters on June 18, when asked about the feasibility of a 2024 moon landing. “I wish I knew that answer. That’d make my job a lot easier. We’re going to try,” she said. 

Lueders, who recently became the associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate after Doug Loverro‘s abrupt resignation, was a bit more pragmatic about the timeline of NASA’s Artemis program than her predecessor. While Lueders seems cautiously optimistic about getting astronauts to the moon by 2024, Loverro was confident and unwavering in his assertion that NASA would make the deadline. At a NASA town hall in December, Loverro even said that “it is going to be easy to make this happen.” 

Related: Putting astronauts on the moon in 2024 is a tall order, NASA says 

Before Lueders became the head of human spaceflight at NASA, she served as the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, where she oversaw the first flights of a private crew-carrying spacecraft to the International Space Station. 

After a successful uncrewed test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft in March 2019 — and Boeing’s unsuccessful first attempt at doing the same with its Starliner spacecraft nine months later — the first commercial crew mission, SpaceX’s Demo-2, successfully delivered NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the space station in May. (Meanwhile, Boeing is preparing for a second attempt at the uncrewed test flight before astronauts can start flying on Starliner.) 

Those missions have faced years of delays and other challenges. When NASA created its Commercial Crew Program in 2010, the agency planned to have its astronauts regularly riding private vessels to and from the space station by 2015. Now, five years later, the first commercial crew mission has only just arrived at the orbiting lab.  

Related: NASA completes investigation on flawed Boeing Starliner capsule test flight 

Kathy Lueders, who was the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program when SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission launched, is pictured  in firing room four of the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the opening of the hatch between SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken onboard and the International Space Station, on May 31, 2020. (Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

“It’s very important to have an aggressive goal,” Lueders said in the June 18 teleconference. “We had an aggressive goal in commercial crew, and I think that aggressive goal ensured that we were able to accomplish things as quickly as we could.” 

“But I also think what’s important is when you come across technical challenges … you’re focused on making sure you’re achieving your aggressive goal in the right manner,” Lueders added. “Yes, it’s taken us a little bit longer to be able to get Bob and Doug up there. But I do think we’ve done it carefully, and doing it right is better than doing it faster.”

While ensuring the safety of its astronauts is NASA’s No. 1 priority when it comes to human spaceflight missions, the agency must also take extra precautions now to protect its workforce on Earth from the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, NASA has already faced delays in the testing of its new Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion crew capsule, which the agency plans to use for its Artemis moon missions. 

Related:  NASA suspends work on SLS megarocket and Orion capsule due to coronavirus outbreak 

“I just went through a mission where the last two months of it, we were in COVID,” Lueders said, referring to the SpaceX Demo-2 mission. “It is tough to work during this period of time, but we have a strong team. And I know that they’re happy to have a goal and they’re happy to be moving towards the goal. And it’s a pretty great goal for us to be working towards.”

“If things come up along the way, where technically it takes us longer… then we’ll go figure it out. But right now the team’s trying. It is tough,” Lueders added.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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