UAE’s spacecraft captures clearest images yet of Mars’ enigmatic moon Deimos
The spacecraft currently revolving around Mars has sent the clearest images of one of the moons of the Red Planet. The United Arab Emirates launched spacecraft called “Amal” (Arabic for ‘hope’) that came close for upto 100 kilometres to Deimos, the outermost natural satellite of Mars.
This was the closest encounter of a spacecraft with the moons of the planet, as it took pictures of the celestial body, with some of the images also featuring Mars.
The spacecraft collected the much-needed data from the far side of the odd-shaped Deimos. The moon has an unusual shape and has many craters. The dimension of this area (the far side) is roughly 15 kilometres by 12 kilometres by 12 kilometres (9 by 7 by 7 miles).
The closest to any planet in our solar system is the moon of Mars called “Phobos”. It is roughly 6000km away from Mars. It orbits much closer to Mars as compared to Deimos and has a size that is double the size of the other moon. Deimos has taken the attention of many researchers as it orbits much closer to Mars and covers roughly 23,000 Km.
NASA’s Viking 2 is the only spacecraft that has reached as close to Mars as Amal. Amal also stands tall on a happy coincidence: it was launched on July 19, 2020. But it is just one day away from the 50th anniversary of the very first moon landing made by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.
There are several reasons why this mission is important for humanity as a whole. First of all, the data and images collected during the mission will give us deep insights into the geology, composition and history of Mars and its moons. This mission has also made it easier for future space explorations as information gathered during this mission can better understand the challenges of space travel and develop new technologies and strategies to overcome them.
Behind Galactic Bars: Webb Telescope Unlocks Secrets of Star Formation
<span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>NASA’s <span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>James Webb Space Telescope has captured a detailed image of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 5068. Part of a project to record star formation in nearby galaxies, this initiative provides significant insights into various astronomical fields. The telescope’s ability to see through gas and dust, typically hiding star formation processes, offers unique views into this crucial aspect of galactic evolution.
A delicate tracery of dust and bright star clusters threads across this image from the James Webb Space Telescope. The bright tendrils of gas and stars belong to the barred spiral galaxy NGC 5068, whose bright central bar is visible in the upper left of this image – a composite from two of Webb’s instruments. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson revealed the image on June 2 during an event with students at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland.
NGC 5068 lies around 20 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. This image of the central, bright star-forming regions of the galaxy is part of a campaign to create an astronomical treasure trove, a repository of observations of star formation in nearby galaxies. Previous gems from this collection can be seen here (IC 5332) and here (M74). These observations are particularly valuable to astronomers for two reasons. The first is because star formation underpins so many fields in astronomy, from the physics of the tenuous <span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>plasma that lies between stars to the evolution of entire galaxies. By observing the formation of stars in nearby galaxies, astronomers hope to kick-start major scientific advances with some of the first available data from Webb.
The second reason is that Webb’s observations build on other studies using telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories. Webb collected images of 19 nearby star-forming galaxies which astronomers could then combine with Hubble images of 10,000 star clusters, spectroscopic mapping of 20,000 star-forming emission nebulae from the <span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>Very Large Telescope (VLT), and observations of 12,000 dark, dense molecular clouds identified by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). These observations span the electromagnetic spectrum and give astronomers an unprecedented opportunity to piece together the minutiae of star formation.
With its ability to peer through the gas and dust enshrouding newborn stars, Webb is particularly well-suited to explore the processes governing star formation. Stars and planetary systems are born amongst swirling clouds of gas and dust that are opaque to visible-light observatories like Hubble or the VLT. The keen vision at infrared wavelengths of two of Webb’s instruments — MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) and NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) — allowed astronomers to see right through the gargantuan clouds of dust in NGC 5068 and capture the processes of star formation as they happened. This image combines the capabilities of these two instruments, providing a truly unique look at the composition of NGC 5068.
The James Webb Space Telescope stands as the apex of space science observatories worldwide. Tasked with demystifying enigmas within our own solar system, Webb will also extend its gaze beyond, seeking to observe distant worlds orbiting other stars. In addition to this, it aims to delve into the cryptic structures and the origins of our universe, thereby facilitating a deeper understanding of our position within the cosmic expanse. The Webb project is an international endeavor spearheaded by NASA, conducted in close partnership with the <span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency.
New image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows thousands upon thousands of stars in a galaxy 17 million light years away
- The James Webb Space Telescope snapped a new image of a galaxy 17 million light-years away.
- Thousands upon thousands of stars are visible, many of which are concentrated in the galaxy’s heart.
- JWST is peering into the hearts of many galaxies to help scientists better understand star formation.
With the power of the James Webb Space Telescope, we can peer into the mysterious hearts of galaxies. And that’s exactly what you’re seeing here, in this new image from Webb of the galaxy NGC 5068.
NGC 5068 is located about 17 million light-years from Earth. For perspective, the Milky Way’s neighborhood of galaxies called the Local Group, is 5 million light-years away. So, this galaxy is beyond what we might consider close.
Each individual dot of white light you can see is a star, per Mashable. NASA said there are thousands upon thousands of stars in this image. And many of them are hanging out at the galaxy’s center, which you can see in the upper left as a bright bar of white light.
This region appears so bright because that’s where most of the stars are concentrated. That’s also where all the action is.
James Webb peers into the hearts of many galaxies to uncover their secrets
Most galaxies have an ultra-bright center due to warm dust that’s heated by massive bursts of star formation, according to the Harvard Smithsonian. And it’s this star formation that astronomers are interested in studying more with the help of JWST.
In fact, NGC 5068 is just one in a series of other galaxies Webb is observing for a project to help us better understand star formation. Webb has also taken images of the spiral galaxy IC 5332:
And the heart of galaxy M74, aka the “Phantom Galaxy”:
The James Webb Space Telescope has the advantage of seeing in the infrared.
Infrared wavelengths are too long for the human eye to detect. But they’re especially important for studying in space because they allow JWST to peer past obstructive visual light that would otherwise block our ability to see into the hearts of galaxies and their bustling environments of star formation.
“By observing the formation of stars in nearby galaxies, astronomers hope to kick-start major scientific advances with some of the first available data from Webb,” NASA said.
Latest Webb Telescope images gives a look at stars being born in the Virgo constellation
It seems like every few weeks, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) drop an impressive image from the James Webb Space Telescope that is both stunning to behold and advances our knowledge of the universe. The latest is of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 5068, called a “barred” galaxy because of the bright central bar you can see in the upper left of the above image. It’s a combination image consisting of infrared shots taken from the telescope’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) and NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) sensors.
What those sensors captured is a galaxy in the Virgo constellation about 20 million light-years from Earth, and because the JWST can see through the dust and gas that surrounds stars as they’re born, the instrument is particularly suited to producing images that show the process of star formation.
Looking at the two individual images that make up the composite reveals different layers of the galaxy. As Gizmodo notes, the image produced by the MIRI sensor provides a view of the galaxy’s structure and the glowing gas bubbles that represent newly formed stars.
The second image, taken from the NIRCam, put the focus on a huge swath of stars in the foreground. The composite, meanwhile, shows both the enormous amount of stars in the region as well as the highlights of the stars that have just been “born.”
There isn’t one specific breakthrough finding in this image; instead, NASA notes that this is part of a wider effort to collect as many images of star formation from nearby galaxies as it can. (No, 20 million light-years doesn’t exactly feel nearby to me, either, but that’s how things go in space.) NASA pointed to another few images as other “gems” from its collection of star births, including this impressive “Phantom Galaxy” that was shown off last summer. As for what the agency hopes to learn? Simply that star formation “underpins so many fields in astronomy, from the physics of the tenuous plasma that lies between stars to the evolution of entire galaxies.” NASA goes on to say that it hopes the data being gathered of galaxies like NGC 5068 can help to “kick-start” major scientific advances, though what those might be remains a mystery.
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