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All About Space No. 113

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.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
R 57,76
R 477,54
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
welcome

lssue 113 It’s all about the Red Planet as we start off 2021 – several missions will arrive at the fourth planet from the Sun this year. In early February the Emirati Hope orbiter will reach Mars, ready to study the Martian atmosphere up close, and the following day China’s Tianwen-1 will arrive, preparing to deploy a rover onto the surface. NASA will be ready for action on 18 February, dropping its new Perseverance rover into Jezero crater to seek signs of extinct life on the dried-out lake and riverbed. Perseverance will also unleash Ingenuity, a little helicopter that will allow humanity to try out flight on the surface of the Red Planet for the very first time – it’ll be our eyes as it scouts for areas of interest, also…

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4 min
launch pad

New view of the Hunter’s nebula Looking like a vivid oil painting, this composite image shows an enormous cloud of gas and dust some 1,500 light years from Earth. You can see hydrogen, sulphur and hydrocarbons swirling around hundreds of young yet large stars in the Orion Nebula due to strong stellar winds. The effect appears to pepper this part of the Milky Way with gorgeous speckles of light. The image was captured by two telescopes. Hubble picked up gases that have been heated and ionised by ultraviolet radiation from four massive stars called the Trapezium that are 100,000-times brighter than our Sun. The infrared view of the Spitzer Space Telescope exposed the carbon-rich molecules. Put together, these phenomena result in an amazing feast for the eyes. Crystals on the Space Station NASA astronaut…

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2 min
planetary protection needs more than just nasa, white house plan says

The White House has laid out a plan for overhauling the federal government’s planetary-protection rules, which work to prevent contamination between Earth and other potentially habitable worlds. The document outlines the government’s plan for a suite of federal agencies to modernise planetary-protection rules over the course of the next year. Scientists and engineers discuss planetary protection in two directions: keeping other destinations free of Earth contamination and keeping our planet safe from potentially dangerous extraterrestrial materials. The plan is careful to note that in both directions the government must consider both its own activities and those of commercial companies. “Current and future missions to Mars and other destinations necessitate a strategy to support a safe, sustainable and predictable Earth and space environment,” Scott Pace, former executive secretary of the National Space…

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1 min
the milky way is probably full of dead civilisations

Most of the alien civilisations that ever dotted our galaxy have probably killed themselves off already That’s the takeaway of a new study which used modern astronomy and statistical modelling to map the emergence and death of intelligent life in time and space across the Milky Way The results amount to a more precise update of a famous equation that Frank Drake wrote in 1961. The Drake equation relied on a number of mystery variables – like the prevalence of planets in the universe. The research says where and when life is most likely to occur in the Milky Way and identifies the most important factor affecting its prevalence: intelligent creatures’ tendency towards self-annihilation. The authors looked at a range of factors presumed to influence the development of intelligent life, such…

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1 min
mysterious meteoroid-spitting asteroid found in solar system

There’s a giant asteroid somewhere out in the Solar System, and it hurled a big rock at Earth. The evidence for this mystery space rock comes from a diamond-studded meteor that exploded over Sudan in 2008. NASA spotted the meteor heading towards the planet well before impact, and researchers showed up in the Sudanese desert to collect an unusually rich haul of remains. New research of one of those meteorites suggests that the meteor may have broken off a giant asteroid - one more or less the size of the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Like about 4.6 per cent of meteorites on Earth, this one – known as Almahata Sitta (AhS) – is made of a material known as carbonaceous chondrite. These black rocks contain…

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1 min
giant black hole keeps evading detection

An enormous black hole keeps slipping through astronomers’ nets. The big galaxy at the core of the cluster Abell 2261, which lies about 2.7 billion light years from Earth, should have an even larger central black hole – a light-gobbling monster that weighs as much as 3 billion to 100 billion Suns, astronomers estimate from the galaxy’s mass. But the exotic object has evaded detection so far. A new study has conducted an even deeper search for X-rays in the same galaxy, using Chandra observations from 2018. And this new effort didn’t just look in the galaxy’s centre; it also considered the possibility that the black hole was knocked away after a monster galactic merger. When black holes and other massive objects collide, they throw off ripples in space-time known as gravitational…

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