Strange Superfast ‘Cannonball’ Star Likely Blasted from Supernova
A star with an unusual history is racing through the galaxy at breakneck speed — most likely blasted away by a supernova and carrying traces of the exploded star. The strange runaway star, which is rocketing along at more than 960,000 miles per hour (1.54 million kilometers per hour), is stained in carbon even though it’s too immature to have created the stuff itself, scientists said.
“You’re looking at this very, very, very rare star that’s moving at cannonball velocity,” study co-author Bruce Margon, an astronomer at UCSC, said. “That got us thinking — maybe there’s something about it being a dwarf carbon star that has to do with it having this crazy-high speed.”
Boeing builds the most powerful rocket ever made
The SLS has one customer and one mission: to take Americans into deep space. The goal is Mars. The program will cost billions.
“It is designed for beyond low-Earth orbit exploration with humans,” said Frank McCall, the deputy program manager from Boeing who called SLS “a mission that is long overdue.” The first unmanned test flight is slated for late 2018. By 2021, the rocket is supposed to carry astronauts aboard the Orion space capsule built by Lockheed Martin.
“The first crewed mission … will be a mission that goes to the far side of the moon, literally farther than we’ve ever gone before in manned spacecraft,” said NASA SLS manager Patrick Whipps.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now on track for final mirror assembly
After years of delays and cost overruns, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope assembly is running smoothly and approaching some critical milestones. We last checked in on the telescopes overall progress last March, and the EU was confident enough of its progress to set a launch date last December. If things continue to go well, the JWST will fly in October, 2018.
NASA is expected to finish assembling the primary mirror surface on the JWST in the near-future, as well as the deep-freeze calibration tests on the telescope’s various instruments. The new telescope’s mirror is far larger than Hubble’s (21 feet in diameter versus 8 feet) and is assembled from 18 separate “panes” of beryllium. There’s some overlap between the JWST and the Hubble (see above image), but Hubble is primarily designed as a visible-light telescope, with some infrared capabilities. The JWST, in contrast, specializes in infrared, with some ability to observe in the visible spectrum.
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