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Image: Satellite panel following reentry testing

Ideally, no parts of a reentering satellite would survive their fiery return through the atmosphere, so testing is being used to understand how satellites break apart as they fall. …read more

Source:: Physorg space news


Trappist-1 exoplanets may have too much water to support life

A team of researchers from Arizona State University and Vanderbilt University has found evidence that suggests the exoplanets surrounding the star Trappist-1 may be too wet to support life. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the group describes using data from prior efforts that focused on determining the mass and diameter of the stars’ planets to calculate densities, and from that, used a computer to model the likely building blocks of each. …read more

Source:: Physorg space news


Cosmologists create record-breaking simulation of galaxy formation

By understanding the stars and their origins, we learn more about where we come from. However, the vastness of the galaxy—let alone the entire universe—means experiments to understand its origins are expensive, difficult and time consuming. In fact, experiments are impossible for studying certain aspects of astrophysics, meaning that in order to gain greater insight into how galaxies formed, researchers rely on supercomputing. …read more

Source:: Physorg space news


Measuring white dwarf masses with gravitational lensing

Measuring the mass of a celestial body is one of the most challenging tasks in observational astronomy. The most successful method uses binary systems because the orbital parameters of the system depend on the two masses. In the case of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs, the end states of stellar evolution, many are isolated objects, and most of them are also very faint. As a result, astronomers still do not know the distribution of their masses. They are of great interest, however, because they participate in dramatic events like the accretion of material and emission of energetic radiation, or in mergers that can result in gravitational waves, gamma-ray bursts, or Type Ia supernovae, all of which depend on an object’s mass. …read more

Source:: Physorg space news


The first SpaceX BFR should make orbital launches by 2020

Elon Musk has a reputation for pushing the envelop and making bold declarations. In 2002, he founded SpaceX with the intention of making spaceflight affordable through entirely reusable rockets. In April of 2014, his company achieved success with the first successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. And in February of this year, his company successfully launched its Falcon Heavy and managed to recover two of the three boosters. …read more

Source:: Physorg space news



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