All About Space No. 119

Every issue All About Space delivers fascinating articles and features on all aspects of space and space travel with mind-blowing photography and full-colour illustrations that bring the amazing universe around us to life.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
USD 3.99
USD 32.99
13 Números

en este número

1 min.

What if there was an equal but opposite to everything in the universe? That’s one thing that scientists are faced with, as we discover this issue: could there be galaxies peppered throughout space and time that are equal and opposite to each other, creating a symmetry throughout the cosmos? Let me introduce you to antimatter galaxies. Not long after the Big Bang, there were roughly equal amounts of matter and antimatter, with a bit more of an excess of the former. When the two crashed together, they annihilated, or ‘cancelled’, each other out. In our cover feature, we take a look at whether galaxies can be made up of antimatter – and the plans to find them. Turn to page 16 for the details. Elsewhere in the issue, we take a look…

3 min.
launch pad

16 JUNE 2021 Against the clock European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet was manoeuvred by the Canadarm2 robotic arm during a spacewalk to install new roll-out solar arrays on the International Space Station. Pesquet was joined by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on the spacewalk, which lasted just over seven hours. Despite initially making good progress, an interference issue with another piece of equipment prevented the pair unfolding the solar array fully, running out of time. The pair resumed their efforts four days later with a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk, and the arrays were successfully deployed. 21 JUNE 2021 Rich galactic tapestry The heart of the Milky Way is captured here in unprecedented detail. Ribbons of superheated gas and magnetic fields weave their way through our galactic home, revealing a hive of phenomenal energy in the…

2 min.
earth’s core is growing ‘lopsided’, and scientists don’t why

There’s a mystery brewing at the centre of the Earth. Scientists can only see it when they study seismic waves passing through the planet’s solid-iron inner core. For some reason, waves move through the core significantly faster when they’re travelling between the North and South Poles than when they’re travelling across the equator. Researchers have known about this discrepancy, known as seismic anisotropy, for decades, but have been unable to come up with an explanation that’s consistent with the available data. Now, using computer simulations of the core’s growth over the last billion years, a recent study offers a solution that finally seems to fit: every year, little by little, Earth’s inner core is growing in a ‘lopsided’ pattern, with new iron crystals forming faster on the east side of the…

1 min.
‘missing link’ explosion on the sun could unravel long-standing solar mysteries

An explosion on the Sun is helping uncover new information about what causes powerful solar eruptions. In March 2016, scientists used NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), to observe an explosion on the Sun. The event showed characteristics of three different types of solar eruptions that usually happen separately, but occurred together this time. “This event is a missing link where we can see all of these aspects of different types of eruptions in one neat little package,” said Emily Mason, a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. There are typically three different varieties of eruptions that can take place on the Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs), jets or partial eruptions. CMEs…

1 min.
scientists 3d print human liver tissue in a lab and win top prizes in nasa challenge

Scientists have grown liver tissue capable of functioning for 30 days in the lab as part of NASA’s Vascular Tissue Challenge. In 2016 NASA put forth this competition to find teams that could ‘create thick, vascularised human organ tissue in an in-vitro environment to advance research and benefit medicine on long-duration missions and on Earth’. On 9 June the agency announced two winners of the challenge. The teams, both made up of scientists from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) in North Carolina, won first and second place in the competition with different approaches to creating lab-grown human liver tissue. The winning teams both used 3D-printing technologies to create their tissue. As dictated in the challenge rules, the teams had to keep their tissues ‘alive’ for 30-day trials. But to…

1 min.
earth’s aurora origin mystery solved by ‘surfing’ electrons

Earth’s aurorae are caused when electrons emitted from the Sun hurtle towards Earth and are funnelled down Earth’s magnetic field lines, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the ionosphere – the upper atmosphere between 80 and 600 kilometres (50 and 370 miles). The absorption of energy by these ions causes them to move to an ‘excited’ high-energy state. To relax, the molecules reradiate the energy as light, producing impressive auroral displays. Though scientists understand what causes aurorae, a mystery remains – just how do these electrons accelerate to speeds of up to 72 million kilometres (45 million miles) per hour on the last stretch of their journey into the ionosphere? Scientists have now discovered that the electrons catch a wave – specifically Alfvén waves – that travel along…