What keeps these filaments attached to this galaxy? The filaments persist in NGC 1275 even though the turmoil of galactic collisions should destroy them. First, active galaxy NGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large and relatively nearby Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also a prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission.
NGC 1275 accretes matter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimately feeding a supermassive black hole [...]
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story. On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide (2,400-kilometer) gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale.
"No spacecraft has ever gone through the unique region that we'll attempt to boldly cross 22 times," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Di [...]
"It’s a kinder, gentler Neptune," says Gemini astronomer Meg Schwamb in describing a new result that leaves little doubt about how Neptune gently swept a class of planetoid pairs into the outer Solar System.
The study focused on a type of loosely bound pairs of planetoids in the outer reaches of our Solar System that scientists say were likely shepherded by Neptune’s gravitational nudges into their current orbits in the distant Kuiper Belt. The paper is published in the April 4th issue o [...]
Three Expedition 50 crew members are getting ready to end their stay aboard the International Space Station and return to Earth April 10. Two Expedition 51 crew members, who will replace them, are in Russia finalizing their mission preparations before they launch April 20.
Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko have been living in space since October 19. The trio will enter the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft on Monday and undock from the Poisk module at 4 [...]
What's happened to the sky? Several common features of the daytime sky are interacting in uncommon ways. First, well behind the silhouetted hills, is the typically bright Sun. In front of the Sun are thin clouds, possibly the home to a layer of hexagonal ice crystals that together are creating the 22 degree halo of light surrounding the Sun.
The unusual bent line that crosses the image is a contrail -- a type of cloud created by a passing airplane. Much of the contrail must actually be furth [...]