NASA’s Hubble Telescope Captures Stunning Image Of ‘Lopsided’ Spiral Galaxy 120 Million Light-Years Away
Nasa’s 31-year-old Hubble Space Telescope has made another incredible discovery — it has found a “lopsided” spiral galaxy that has been deformed by the gravitational tug of another nearby galaxy. NASA has shared the stunning image of the galaxy called “NGC 2276”, which is located in the constellation Cepheus, about 120 million light-years away from the Earth. In the image, dust of blue stars surrounds the yellowish core just like the scene from the Avengers: Age Of Ultron movie when the AI Ultron attacks and tries to swallow another AI Jarvis developed by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
NASA said the spiral galaxy looks a bit lopsided because of the “galactic game of tug-of-war”. “A neighbouring galaxy is gravitationally tugging on its disk of blue stars, pulling the stars on one side of the galaxy outward,” NASA captioned the post on Instagram.
In a statement on its website, NASA said that a bright hub of older yellowish stars normally lies directly in the centre of most spiral galaxies, and added ”but the bulge in NGC 2276 looks offset to the upper left”.
“In reality, a neighbouring galaxy to the right of NGC 2276 (NGC 2300, not seen in the image) is gravitationally tugging on its disk of blue stars, pulling the stars on one side of the galaxy outward to distort the galaxy’s normal fried-egg appearance,” said NASA. This gravitational pull between galaxies that pass close enough is not uncommon in the universe, but all such close encounters look differently.
Commenting on the image on Instagram, a user, Ilaibaah, wrote, “That’s the most gigantic tug of war I’ve seen.”
“Is that other galaxy the main cause of those blue stars,” asked a person with the username Geejay1976.
Another user, Astro.nor, said that the colour of a star was due to its temperature. “Blue stars are hotter, red stars are cooler (but still very, very hot),” the user added.
A spiral galaxy is a twisted collection of hot young stars and gas. Most of the galaxies that scientists have discovered, roughly 72 per cent of all the galaxies, are spiral, as opposed to elliptical and irregular galaxies. Our Milky Way is an example of a spiral galaxy.
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope in April this year, NASA had released a celebratory image of one of the brightest stars in our galaxy, named AG Carinae, located approximately 20,000 light-years away.
Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has made more than 1.4 million observations as it has an “unobstructed view” of the universe, according to NASA.
Aditya L1 Solar Mission Begins Studying Energetic Particles in Solar Wind
After India’s solar mission, Aditya L1 began its journey towards Lagrange point 1 following a key manoeuvre, it has started studying energetic particles in the solar wind from space and will continue to do so for the rest of its life, a senior astrophysicist said. The study of the solar wind, the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun which permeates the solar system, will be carried out with the help of a device named Supra Thermal & Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS), a part of the Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload.
“STEPS is now working from space. However, it was not sitting idle earlier. It has started functioning from within the magnetic field of the Earth since September 10 when Aditya was 52,000 kilometres above our planet,” Dr Dibyendu Chakrabarty, professor of Space and Atmospheric Sciences at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) said.
STEPS was developed by the PRL with support from the Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.
“During the travel time of four months (till Aditya L1 reaches its destination), it will study energetic particles in the solar wind. The data will help maintain the health and performance of our space assets in a better way,” Dr Chakrabarty told PTI.
The key aim of STEPS is to study the environment of energetic particles from the spacecraft’s position on the L1 point till it will function, he said. “The data from STEPS in the long term will also help us understand how space weather changes,” the space scientist said.
STEPS comprises six sensors, each observing in different directions and measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions. The data collected during the Earth’s orbits helps scientists to analyse the behaviour of particles surrounding the planet, especially in the presence of its magnetic field.
Aditya-L1, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on September 2, will go up to the First Lagrangian point, about 1.5 million km from the Earth ISRO on September 18 said on X: “Off to Sun-Earth L1 point! The Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre is performed successfully. The spacecraft is now on a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point.” Lagrangian points are where gravitational forces, acting between two objects, balance each other in such a way that the spacecraft can ‘hover’ for a longer period of time.
The L1 point is considered the most significant of the Lagrangian points, for solar observations, which were discovered by mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink Receives Approval to Start Brain Implant Human Trial
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk‘s brain-chip startup Neuralink said on Tuesday it has received approval from an independent review board to begin recruitment for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients.
Those with paralysis due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify for the study, it said but did not reveal how many participants would be enrolled in the trial, which will take about six years to complete.
The study will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move, Neuralink said, adding that its initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.
The company, which had earlier hoped to receive approval to implant its device in 10 patients, was negotiating a lower number of patients with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the agency raised safety concerns, according to current and former employees. It is not known how many patients the FDA ultimately approved.
Musk has grand ambitions for Neuralink, saying it would facilitate speedy surgical insertions of its chip devices to treat conditions like obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia.
In May, the company said it had received clearance from the FDA for its first-in-human clinical trial when it was already under federal scrutiny for its handling of animal testing.
Even if the BCI device proves to be safe for human use, it would still potentially take more than a decade for the startup to secure commercial use clearance for it, according to experts.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
ISRO’s Aditya-L1 Performs TL1I Manoeuvre, Set to Reach Sun-Earth L1 Point
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Tuesday that its maiden solar mission — Aditya-L1 — has performed the Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre successfully and the spacecraft was now in a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point. ISRO also informed that it marked the fifth consecutive time that the ISRO had successfully transferred an object on a trajectory toward another celestial body or location in space.
A post on the ISRO official handle on social media platform X read, “Aditya-L1 Mission | Off to Sun-Earth L1 point | The Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre is performed successfully. The spacecraft is now on a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point. It will be injected into an orbit around L1 through a manoeuvre after about 110 days. This is the fifth consecutive time ISRO has successfully transferred an object on a trajectory toward another celestial body or location in space.”
Earlier, a launcher carrying the Aditya-L1 spacecraft blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Station at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The primary objectives of India’s maiden solar mission include collecting scientific data and marking another milestone in India’s solar exploration efforts.
The agency had earlier posted on X, “Aditya-L1 Mission: Aditya-L1 has commenced collecting scientific data. The sensors of the STEPS instrument have begun measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions and electrons at distances greater than 50,000 km from Earth. This data helps scientists analyze the behaviour of particles surrounding Earth. The figure displays variations in the energetic particle environment, collected by one of the units.”
The Supra Thermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument, a part of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload, also started its data-gathering operations earlier.
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