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Young Galaxies Are Surrounded By Bizarre “Cocoons”

Carbon is a ubiquitous molecule in our Universe at present—it is in people, planets, plants, and stars. However, there wasn’t a single molecule of carbon when the Big Bang has taken place. Actually, the molecule came to life after the stars started nuclear fusion. For long, astronomers have pondered how the carbon dispersed eventually across the cosmos and the mystery could be possibly resolved with the help of gaseous carbon “cocoons” recently found around the young galaxies.

The discovery of the carbon cocoons surrounding the galaxies was made by the researchers with the assistance of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. These galaxies are so remote that the observations date to merely 1 billion years following the Big Bang. The radius of the cocoons is determined to be 30,000 light-years and they signify the foremost substantiation that stars within the early Universe formed carbon that dispersed further than their galaxies.

The cocoons cannot be elucidated with the Universe’s existing theoretical models, but already a few thoughts have been flowing through the minds of the ALMA team. Researcher Rob Ivison said, “Heavy elements created within the stars are driven out during supernova explosions at their stellar life’s final stage. Radiation and energetic jets from supermassive black holes in the galaxies’ core could also aid in moving carbon out of the galaxies and eventually all over the Universe. We’re observing this enduring diffusion process, the most primitive environmental pollution in the cosmos.”

Likewise, the light of a huge galaxy observed only 970 million years following the Big Bang is being spotted by astronomers utilizing the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Named MAMBO-9, this galaxy is the farthest dusty star-forming galaxy, which has ever been spotted without the assistance of a gravitational lens. Study Lead Author, from the University of Texas at Austin, Caitlin Casey, said, “These galaxies are likely to conceal in plain sight. We discern they are present there, but they aren’t straightforward to locate as their starlight is concealed in dust clouds.”

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Air Force Looking For Commercial Technologies For Cislunar Space Missions

Recently the Air Force SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program has circulated a new list of issues for firms to present proposals. On the bucket list for the latest round of SBIR proposals are technologies for missions far beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit, near the lunar’s orbit. Cislunar operation is one of three space-targeted regions in the SBIR pre-solicitation notice circulated in this month by the Air Force technology accelerator called AFWERX. The bids are due for February 12 and the full list comprises of 19 topics. The pre-solicitation reported, “As the space further than geosynchronous orbit becomes additionally competitive and crowded, it is essential for the Air Force to extend its space arena awareness responsibilities to take in this new administration. The Air Force is looking for commercial innovation supporting space domain awareness for potential cislunar operations.”

Definite items the Air Force needs are payloads for presenting space domain awareness from the Moon’s surface, weightless sensors, and methods for orbit determination & catalog safeguarding in cislunar space. The Air Force is also interested in ideas for providing location, navigation, & timely solutions for cislunar space missions; understanding of cislunar orbits; and terrestrial-based ideas for attaining space domain alertness of cislunar space. The addition of cislunar space competencies in the SBIR plan was unanticipated, stated Shawn Usman, Founder of Rhea Space Activity.

On a similar note, a cislunar plan was made to propel space outreach for the upcoming 50 Years. During its inaugural call to act, Purdue Engineering’s cislunar proposal took a big step forward in advancing humankind’s existence in space. The plan was also made for the growth of the economy in the “cislunar area,” the orbital area including the Earth and Moon. Mung Chiang, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said, “The set of connections of human space investigation has been expanding rapidly.”

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NASA Earth Science Division Chiefs Look For Low-Cost Launch Options

NASA Earth Science chiefs are excited about the potential for principal researchers to take advantage of existing and expected low-cost launch alternatives. Citing to the space agency’s campaign to spur the development of small rockets by purchasing future flights under fixed-price deals, Sandra Cauffman, Acting Division Director of NASA Earth Science, stated that the VCLS (Venture Class Launch Services) have started to bear fruit. Rocket Lab Electron is a potential alternative in the coming age for the Earth surveillance CubeSats and small satellites expecting rides to orbit. The launch market has transformed dramatically in the last couple of years with innovative rockets coming online and companies expanding rideshare opportunities.

Charles Webb, Associate Director for Flight Programs at NASA (Earth Sciences Division), said that the space agency is exploring for “competent ways we can involve with industry.” He stated that these ways will include the LSP (Launch Services Program) and will openly connect with the suppliers to ensure we offer affordable options for Earth Ventures. “We have done business in a particular way for a long time. We want to be cautious to ensure any modifications are thought-through before we conclude something,” Webb added.

Similarly, NASA was in news as the space agency treasured maps for water ice on Mars. The agency has big plans for taking astronauts to the Moon in 2024, which is a stepping stone on the track to send humans to Mars. A new paper released in the journal Geophysical Research Letters will aid researchers by providing a map of water ice, which is believed to be very small below the surface. Water ice is a key consideration for any possible landing location. NASA called this idea “in situ resource utilization” and it is a significant factor in choosing human landing sites on Mars.

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Mars’ Surface Appears Like A Chocolate-Chip Cookie To Curiosity Rover

Recently, researchers have been spotting a few round formations on the surface of Mars, which is giving it a chocolate-chip cookie-like appearance. The zoomed images are now being studied and concluded. The NASA researchers have taken the help of Curiosity rover to snap a few images and also to gather some valuable data. The images were captured on December 5, 2019, and the Planetary Geologist Susanne Schwenzer is now studying the nodule-like rock structure. These little round items were the latest rover mission update. The smooth shapes are assumed to be due to diagenesis or water-rock interactions.

Diagenesis is just a simple alteration process that takes place after the sediment is deposited. The rover is already investigating the clay-rich area that was found on Mars. The data obtained there is helping scientists unravel certain facts on the history of water on Mars. The ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager is the one that is snapping the close-up imagery. The soil & rock composition and weathering processes are all being scrutinized. Curiosity has been offering so much data about Mars that the researchers are able to study the diverse range of the rocks there. The pebbly regions, bedrock, bright float rock, and more are all being investigated. NASA had spotted smooth pebbles on Mars back in 2017 that looked like a cannonball. Around Mars, it is only Curiosity that is hovering to gather data. NASA is thus waiting to have its Mars 2020 rover be scheduled by early 2021.

Likewise, NASA has decided to send all the necessities in terms of equipment and personal needs along with the crew to Mars, but they have never thought about Mars as a resource in itself. The researchers are now looking for a location with accessible water to help determine the landing site. The journal Geophysical Research Letters was seen to have pointed out water ice present inches beneath the dusty surface. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey Orbiter data have also signified the presence of water ice beneath the surface. NASA’s Phoenix Lander scraped a sample of the polar ice to confirm that it was water ice in 2008.