SpaceX successfully lands Starship SN15 test vehicle!

Today SpaceX for the first time successfully landed a Starship test vehicle - Starship SN15. In four previous attempts since December 2020 Starship test vehicles successfully performed launch and "skydiver" belly flop maneuver but exploded during the landing attempt (or soon after). Here is full footage of today's flight from SpaceX's official livestream. Starship is the second (spacecraft) stage of the fully reusable two-stage super heavy-lift launch vehicle currently developed by leading NewSpace company SpaceX. The main purpose of building such a large rocket with more than double the power of Saturn V is to enable the colonization of Mars. But Starship will be capable to do a lot of different tasks – to place satellites or space stations in orbit, ferry passengers to space stations or the Moon and even ferry passengers or cargo between any destinations on Earth within an hour.

SpaceX successfully lands Starship SN15 test vehicle!
Today SpaceX for the first time successfully landed a test vehicle - Starship SN15. In four previous attempts since December 2020 Starship test vehicles successfully performed launch and "skydiver" belly flop maneuver but exploded during the landing attempt (or soon after). Here is full footage of today's flight from SpaceX's official livestream.

Starship is the second (spacecraft) stage of the fully reusable two-stage super heavy-lift launch vehicle currently developed by leading NewSpace company SpaceX. The main purpose of building such a large rocket with more than double the power of Saturn V is to enable the colonization of Mars. But Starship will be capable to do a lot of different tasks – to place satellites or space stations in orbit, ferry passengers to space stations or the Moon and even ferry passengers or cargo between any destinations on Earth within an hour.

Source : Human Mars More   

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The Stellar Buddy SystemOur Sun has an entourage of planets, moons, and smaller objects to keep it...

The Stellar Buddy SystemOur Sun has an entourage of planets, moons, and smaller objects to keep it company as it traverses the galaxy. But it’s still lonely compared to many of the other stars out there, which often come in pairs. These cosmic couples, called binary stars, are very important in astronomy because they can easily reveal things that are much harder to learn from stars that are on their own. And some of them could even host habitable planets!The birth of a stellar duoNew stars emerge from swirling clouds of gas and dust that are peppered throughout the galaxy. Scientists still aren’t sure about all the details, but turbulence deep within these clouds may give rise to knots that are denser than their surroundings. The knots have stronger gravity, so they can pull in more material and the cloud may begin to collapse.The material at the center heats up. Known as a protostar, it is this hot core that will one day become a star. Sometimes these spinning clouds of collapsing gas and dust may break up into two, three, or even more blobs that eventually become stars. That would explain why the majority of the stars in the Milky Way are born with at least one sibling.Seeing starsWe can’t always tell if we’re looking at binary stars using just our eyes. They’re often so close together in the sky that we see them as a single star. For example, Sirius, the brightest star we can see at night, is actually a binary system (see if you can spot both stars in the photo above). But no one knew that until the 1800s.Precise observations showed that Sirius was swaying back and forth like it was at a middle school dance. In 1862, astronomer Alvan Graham Clark used a telescope to see that Sirius is actually two stars that orbit each other.But even through our most powerful telescopes, some binary systems still masquerade as a single star. Fortunately there are a couple of tricks we can use to spot these pairs too.Since binary stars orbit each other, there’s a chance that we’ll see some stars moving toward and away from us as they go around each other. We just need to have an edge-on view of their orbits. Astronomers can detect this movement because it changes the color of the star’s light – a phenomenon known as the Doppler effect.Stars we can find this way are called spectroscopic binaries because we have to look at their spectra, which are basically charts or graphs that show the intensity of light being emitted over a range of energies. We can spot these star pairs because light travels in waves. When a star moves toward us, the waves of its light arrive closer together, which makes its light bluer. When a star moves away, the waves are lengthened, reddening its light.Sometimes we can see binary stars when one of the stars moves in front of the other. Astronomers find these systems, called eclipsing binaries, by measuring the amount of light coming from stars over time. We receive less light than usual when the stars pass in front of each other, because the one in front will block some of the farther star’s light.Sibling rivalryTwin stars don’t always get along with each other – their relationship may be explosive! Type Ia supernovae happen in some binary systems in which a white dwarf – the small, hot core left over when a Sun-like star runs out of fuel and ejects its outer layers – is stealing material away from its companion star. This results in a runaway reaction that ultimately detonates the thieving star. The same type of explosion may also happen when two white dwarfs spiral toward each other and collide. Yikes!Scientists know how to determine how bright these explosions should truly be at their peak, making Type Ia supernovae so-called standard candles. That means astronomers can determine how far away they are by seeing how bright they look from Earth. The farther they are, the dimmer they appear. Astronomers can also look at the wavelengths of light coming from the supernovae to find out how fast the dying stars are moving away from us.Studying these supernovae led to the discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Our Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will scan the skies for these exploding stars when it launches in the mid-2020s to help us figure out what’s causing the expansion to accelerate – a mystery known as dark energy.Spilling stellar secretsAstronomers like finding binary systems because it’s a lot easier to learn more about stars that are in pairs than ones that are on their own. That’s because the stars affect each other in ways we can measure. For example, by paying attention to how the stars orbit each other, we can determine how massive they are. Since heavier stars burn hotter and use up their fuel more quickly than lighter ones, knowing a star’s mass reveals other interesting things too.By studying how the light changes in eclipsing binaries when the stars cross in front of each other, we can learn even more! We can figure out their sizes, masses, how fast they’re each s

The Stellar Buddy SystemOur Sun has an entourage of planets, moons, and smaller objects to keep it...

The Stellar Buddy System

Our Sun has an entourage of planets, moons, and smaller objects to keep it company as it traverses the galaxy. But it’s still lonely compared to many of the other stars out there, which often come in pairs. These cosmic couples, called binary stars, are very important in astronomy because they can easily reveal things that are much harder to learn from stars that are on their own. And some of them could even host habitable planets!

The birth of a stellar duo

New stars emerge from swirling clouds of gas and dust that are peppered throughout the galaxy. Scientists still aren’t sure about all the details, but turbulence deep within these clouds may give rise to knots that are denser than their surroundings. The knots have stronger gravity, so they can pull in more material and the cloud may begin to collapse.

The material at the center heats up. Known as a protostar, it is this hot core that will one day become a star. Sometimes these spinning clouds of collapsing gas and dust may break up into two, three, or even more blobs that eventually become stars. That would explain why the majority of the stars in the Milky Way are born with at least one sibling.

Seeing stars

We can’t always tell if we’re looking at binary stars using just our eyes. They’re often so close together in the sky that we see them as a single star. For example, Sirius, the brightest star we can see at night, is actually a binary system (see if you can spot both stars in the photo above). But no one knew that until the 1800s.

Precise observations showed that Sirius was swaying back and forth like it was at a middle school dance. In 1862, astronomer Alvan Graham Clark used a telescope to see that Sirius is actually two stars that orbit each other.

But even through our most powerful telescopes, some binary systems still masquerade as a single star. Fortunately there are a couple of tricks we can use to spot these pairs too.

Since binary stars orbit each other, there’s a chance that we’ll see some stars moving toward and away from us as they go around each other. We just need to have an edge-on view of their orbits. Astronomers can detect this movement because it changes the color of the star’s light – a phenomenon known as the Doppler effect.

Stars we can find this way are called spectroscopic binaries because we have to look at their spectra, which are basically charts or graphs that show the intensity of light being emitted over a range of energies. We can spot these star pairs because light travels in waves. When a star moves toward us, the waves of its light arrive closer together, which makes its light bluer. When a star moves away, the waves are lengthened, reddening its light.

Sometimes we can see binary stars when one of the stars moves in front of the other. Astronomers find these systems, called eclipsing binaries, by measuring the amount of light coming from stars over time. We receive less light than usual when the stars pass in front of each other, because the one in front will block some of the farther star’s light.

Sibling rivalry

Twin stars don’t always get along with each other – their relationship may be explosive! Type Ia supernovae happen in some binary systems in which a white dwarf – the small, hot core left over when a Sun-like star runs out of fuel and ejects its outer layers – is stealing material away from its companion star. This results in a runaway reaction that ultimately detonates the thieving star. The same type of explosion may also happen when two white dwarfs spiral toward each other and collide. Yikes!

Scientists know how to determine how bright these explosions should truly be at their peak, making Type Ia supernovae so-called standard candles. That means astronomers can determine how far away they are by seeing how bright they look from Earth. The farther they are, the dimmer they appear. Astronomers can also look at the wavelengths of light coming from the supernovae to find out how fast the dying stars are moving away from us.

Studying these supernovae led to the discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Our Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will scan the skies for these exploding stars when it launches in the mid-2020s to help us figure out what’s causing the expansion to accelerate – a mystery known as dark energy.

Spilling stellar secrets

Astronomers like finding binary systems because it’s a lot easier to learn more about stars that are in pairs than ones that are on their own. That’s because the stars affect each other in ways we can measure. For example, by paying attention to how the stars orbit each other, we can determine how massive they are. Since heavier stars burn hotter and use up their fuel more quickly than lighter ones, knowing a star’s mass reveals other interesting things too.

By studying how the light changes in eclipsing binaries when the stars cross in front of each other, we can learn even more! We can figure out their sizes, masses, how fast they’re each spinning, how hot they are, and even how far away they are. All of that helps us understand more about the universe.

Tatooine worlds

Thanks to observatories such as our Kepler Space Telescope, we know that worlds like Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in “Star Wars” exist in real life. And if a planet orbits at the right distance from the two stars, it could even be habitable (and stay that way for a long time).

In 2019, our Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) found a planet, known as TOI-1338 b, orbiting a pair of stars. These worlds are tricker to find than planets with only one host star, but TESS is expected to find several more!

Want to learn more about the relationships between stellar couples? Check out this Tumblr post: https://nasa.tumblr.com/post/190824389279/cosmic-couples-and-devastating-breakups

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Source : NASA More   

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