NASA has shared a fascinating photograph featuring three different galaxies. And with that, the space agency has also explained how these galaxies don’t let any “labels define them”. Confused? Let’s unpack. On June 13, NASA posted a photograph of three galaxies — one right in the centre and the other two spotted on the extreme right and bottom of the picture. The photo was captured by the wide-field camera 3 of NASA’s Hubble telescope. Now, let’s understand what makes these galaxies unique. In its Instagram post, the agency said that the galaxy pictured in the middle was “difficult to classify” and the reasons are very interesting.
While it is sometimes classified as a spiral galaxy, similar to our own Milky Way, it is also sometimes classified as a lenticular galaxy,” the agency says. “Lenticular galaxies are a galaxy type that sits between spiral and elliptical varieties.” Now, that makes it more complex, right?
But here’s a simpler way of looking at it. NASA says the galaxies grow just as we do. “While the spiral arms of this galaxy are distinguishable, they’re not clearly defined. Pictured here, the tip of one arm appears to be diffused,” it says.
Galaxies are not static, and their morphologies (and therefore their classifications) vary throughout their lifetimes, says NASA in a separate note published on its website.
“Spiral galaxies are thought to evolve into elliptical. This can happen by merging with one another, causing them to lose their distinctive spiral structure,” NASA says further in its Instagram post, explaining how even the galaxies change their composition with time.
The agency says that the spiral galaxy NGC 4680 in the middle is flanked by two other galaxies as we explained above. Interestingly, NGC 4680 enjoyed a wave of attention in 1997, playing host to a supernova explosion known as SN 1997bp, says NASA.
NASA shared the same picture on Twitter as well and a user wondered if the space agency ever flirted with the idea of sending its astronauts to one of these galaxies.
Have NASA ever thought about sending spacecraft to these galaxies to see if there is life. I think every galaxies that Hubble take pictures of should have a probe or unmanned spacecraft sent to it.. so we can find out what going on.
— TeeMichelle (@TeeMichelle57) June 12, 2021
Another user, though, explained why it was nearly impossible for NASA to undertake any such mission.
Way too far away. We cant even travel at the speed of light, (to current knowledge is impossible), and that would still take billions of years. Until we discover how to manipulate space time and utilise worm holes, it can’t happen.
— Josh ???????? (@cfcjosh03) June 12, 2021
Here are some more Twitter reactions to the picture:
NASA team, excellent capture of three galaxies And impressive. I hope in the future we are going to Be able to observe in more detail. Professor Isagholian, astronomy, physics
— Leon Isagholian (@lbisagholian) June 12, 2021
My God, this galaxy is changing. Notice the change in direction of the star’s light in the center of the galaxy.
— think_tec2020 (@TTec2020) June 13, 2021
Imagine the possibilities of the existence of alien life in one of those galaxies, and the potential that there’s a life form more comical than Carot Top.
— Craig Wilson (@CraigWilson506) June 13, 2021
Wow! So magnificent! How I wish to be in one of those galaxies….
— ???? Stay Original! ???? (@Habeeblah2) June 12, 2021
Thank you for sharing this amazing photograph. What a sight this is. How fortunate that we are able to see this, to appreciate and benefit from the view . Remember everyone involved. The many people collaborating, the technology attained, to capture this moment in time. Wow!
— Melanie Spiropoulos (@dancetoACJ) June 12, 2021
The Hubble telescope, which captured the picture, was launched in 1990 as a collaboration project between NASA and the European Space Agency. The telescope has an unobstructed view of the universe.
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.
Sports11 months ago
‘Storybook stuff’: Inside the night Bryce Harper sent the Phillies to the World Series
Environment4 months ago
Japan and South Korea have a lot at stake in a free and open South China Sea
Sports2 years ago
Team Europe easily wins 4th straight Laver Cup
Technology2 years ago
Game consoles were once banned in China. Now Chinese developers want a slice of the $49 billion pie
Sports6 months ago
MLB Rank 2023: Ranking baseball’s top 100 players
Environment7 months ago
Game-changing Lectric XPedition launched as affordable electric cargo bike
Politics2 years ago
Have the last few wobbly weeks seen a turning point for Johnson as PM?
Business12 months ago
Bank of England’s extraordinary response to government policy is almost unthinkable | Ed Conway