Super-Earth 55 Cancri e thermal map, ISS resupply mission and a planet formation

image_3745e-55-Cancri-eAstronomers create thermal map of Super-Earth 55 Cancri e

Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have mapped how conditions on 55 Cancri e – a ‘nearby’ super-Earth exoplanet – change throughout a complete orbit.

According to an international team of astronomers led by Cavendish Laboratory scientist Dr. Brice-Olivier Demory, conditions on the hot side of 55 Cancri e are so extreme that it may have caused the atmosphere to evaporate, with the result that conditions on the two sides of the planet vary widely: temperatures on the hot side can reach 4,532 degrees Fahrenheit (2,500 degrees Celsius), while temperatures on the cool side are around 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 degrees Celsius).

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Russian cargo spacecraft en-route to ISS

An unpiloted Russian resupply vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday with three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies to astronauts. The ISS Progress 63 ship began a two-day journey to reach the station for an automated docking to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on April 2.

“The 63rd Progress resupply ship is beginning its two-day track to ISS,” a NASA commentator said as Russia’s Roscosmos space agency aired a live liftoff from its Baikonur launchpad.

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A planet is forming in an Earth-like orbit around a young star

TWHydraeNew images reveal never-before-seen details in the planet-forming disk around a nearby Sun-like star, including a tantalizing gap at the same distance from the star as Earth is from the Sun.

Disks of dust and gas that surround young stars are the formation sites of planets. New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal never-before-seen details in the planet-forming disk around a nearby Sun-like star, including a tantalizing gap at the same distance from the star as Earth is from the Sun.

This structure may mean that an infant version of our home planet, or possibly a more massive “super-Earth,” is beginning to form there.

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