It was unprecedented developing a mission that could fly four identically equipped spacecraft in a tight formation and take measurements 100 times faster than any previous space mission - an achievement enabled in part by four NASA-developed technologies that in some cases took nearly 10 years to mature.
How soon after the Big Bang could water have existed? Not right away, because water molecules contain oxygen and oxygen had to be formed in the first stars. Then that oxygen had to disperse and unite with hydrogen in significant amounts. New theoretical work finds that despite these complications, water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today.
We know of about two dozen runaway stars, and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their homes to wander the void of intergalactic space.
Comets eject gas and dust into space. Primarily, this takes place on the areas of the comet's surface exposed to direct sunlight. In mid-March, from a distance of 75 kilometres, the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) on board the Rosetta orbiter acquired images of an extraordinary phenomenon occurring on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. A new dust jet - its origins currently unknown - was suddenly released from the shadowed side.
Astronomers are tracking velocity structures and gaseous metallicities in galaxies in two protoclusters located in the direction of the constellation Serpens. The clusters appear as they would have looked 11 billion years ago, and the team concluded that they are in the process of cluster formation that has led to present-day galaxy clusters.
Astrophysicists have not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn't supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.