The signal from the planet comes with a delay of 69 years. scattered signals received by the station receiver are collected here.
It is interesting to observe how our knowledge developed, how our ideas about the world were formed. When you read this, you feel that you belong to something great, something worthwhile. And loneliness fades into the background.
Fantastic names of Charon
Responsible for assigning names to celestial bodies and natural objects on them The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has registered the first official names for surface structures on Charon, a large natural satellite of Pluto.
As a leitmotif for this, science fiction and mythology were chosen: all the appropriated names are associated with real or invented visionaries and pioneers.
For example, the Clarke Montes chain of hills was named after the famous science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote, among other things, the book 2001: The Space Odyssey, in which a cult film was made in 1968.
And it is no coincidence that just around the corner another hill was named Kubrick Mons, perpetuating the name of Stanley Kubrick, who was the one who made the film based on Clarke's novel.
So Butler Mons will now bear the name of the deceased in 2006, the American writer Octavia Butler, who specialized in science fiction.
Also with the science fiction associated with the name of the crater Pirks. Many, probably, remember one of the favorite characters of the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem - space pilot Pirks, the main character of numerous stories of the famous science fiction writer.
New names were proposed by the staff of the American mission "New Horizons", who were the first to study the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons from a short distance using the same space probe. But not all of the given names are associated with contemporary authors or works.
So, the canyon - a deep crease in the surface of Charon - received the name of the morning boat Mantjet, on which the ancient Egyptian solar god Ra swam across the sky. By the way, the IAU clarified that this is one of the oldest mythological examples of a spaceship.
Fast radio emission in deep space
Astronomers register a super-powerful and ultrashort radio flare in the far space. Some researchers tend to believe that these signals can have an artificial origin.
Within the framework of the project for the search for signals from the extraterrestrial intelligence Breakthrough Listen, astronomers managed to fix the signal of a new distant source of rapid radio emission (Fast Radio Burst = FRB) with the help of the Parkes radio telescope.
Since previously such an astrophysical phenomenon of the occurrence of such powerful energy radio communications was not known, astronomers of the search project from the University of California at Berkeley suspected that such a radio might very well be a signal of artificial origin.
A new radio call was registered on March 1, 2018, and its duration was only fractions of a millisecond. Prior to it, several dozens of such radio calls had already been recorded, but more questions arose regarding this phenomenon.
At the same time it is considered already proven that such radio emissions are not signals of terrestrial, near-earth or close to the Earth sources: we are talking about signals originating from endless cosmic distances.
Astronomers believe that the source of such radio signals is located at a distance of several billion light years from us. But since the signals had a duration of only a fraction of a millisecond, scientists suggest that the emission mechanism itself was extremely short-lived.
"Until now, we do not know of any astrophysical object that could create radio emissions of such brightness, billions of times greater than the known pulsars."
While many astrophysicists suggest that fast radio emission (FRB) is associated with neutron stars or other global cosmic events or phenomena, Loeb and his colleague Manasvi Lingham first wonder whether such radio communications can not be the result of interstellar travels of distant extraterrestrial civilizations.
Such FRBs could well be either sent deliberately to the vastness of the universe by messages, or the result of a drive flash of a light sail of an interstellar ship of a distant civilization. Some researchers tend to believe that these signals can be of an artificial origin.
The newest ion engine
Europeans tested the newest ion engine, which can make a "revolution in low orbits." This engine is direct-flow and operates in thin air, which will help to increase the working time of low-orbit apparatuses.
The ion engine is a type of electric rocket engine, the principle of which is based on the creation of reactive thrust on the basis of ionized gas, accelerated to high speeds in the electric field. The working body of most ionic engines is usually inert gases, for example xenon (Xe) or argon (Ar). There are engine designs whose working body is mercury (Hg). The principle of operation is quite simple: the rarefied air comes through a special air intake into the engine, which ionizes and accelerates the incoming gas and throws it out of the nozzle, creating traction. For this engine, in fact, only the energy it will receive from solar batteries is needed, and the external gas medium, which is the Earth's atmosphere rarefied at a height of several hundred kilometers.
With enough energy from solar batteries and a thrust equal to or exceeding the maximum value of the value of the aerodynamic drag (at a certain altitude for different values of solar activity, on which the density of the atmosphere at this altitude depends), the apparatus can be in orbit until it breaks . The test was conducted in several stages, and a special chamber was built for the tests. Initially, the engine was fed with xenon, and after the air at a pre-calculated pressure.
When the color of the plasma jet changed from a blue-white color to a reddish color (resembling the "color of the sunset"), it became clear that the engine copes well with the rarefied air and continues to work. After the engine was shut down and again successfully restarted, but this time right away with the air.
The engine was manufactured by the Italian company Sitael, commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA). One of the most important elements - the "particle flow generator" - was made by the Polish company QuinteScience.
WASP-39b is full of water
The study of distant planets, such as WASP-39b, allows scientists to understand the processes in which these cosmic objects are formed. A group of scientists led by Hannah Weyford used the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes.
It is these two main tools of space researchers that have made it possible to find traces of water on one of the exoplanets, which is located 700 light years from Earth. Investigation of light passing through the atmospheric layers made it possible to establish the presence of water vapor on the exoplanet. At this site, which received the name WASP-39b, scientists managed to find water in a volume that exceeds the amount of water on Saturn.
The period of revolution of the exoplanet WASP-39b around the star is four Earth days. The distance between the object and the star is 20 times less than between the Earth and the Sun. The planet is always facing its luminary with one side, and the temperature on this side reaches a mark of 777 C.
But it has a bloated atmosphere, in which there are no high clouds, which allows astrophysicists to penetrate into the very depths of the object. In our system of planets like WASP-39b, no, so its study will give scientists an opportunity to understand exactly how objects of this type are formed in the universe. And although astrophysicists expected to see water at WASP-39b, its number surprised scientists. This may be proof that the orbit of the exoplanet was originally located far from the star where the planet was attacked by comets.
Scientists have suggested that the object they are researching has a very interesting history, for example, it is likely that for a long time WASP-39b "traveled" through the system and destroyed the planet on its way.