Weekly News Round-Up 29.03.13

Hello readers, hope you all had a fun and exciting week. We sure did!! Yesterday we got our brand spanking new mass spectrometer to play with. I know a few of our bloggers are well up for testing its powers. 🙂

And so on with this week’s new…

Understanding the ‘lunar cataclysm’ with Vesta

Howardites, eucrites and diogenites (HED) are a class of meteorites connected to a giant asteroid called Vesta and have now been found to share an interesting history with the Moon. So naturally studying the ‘lunar cataclysm’ you would think to look no further than lunar rocks…but teams of scientist at the NASA Lunar Science Institute have found that Vesta and the Moon have more in common than we think! Both appear to have been bombarded, in the early years of the Solar System, by the same population of projectiles. Great news considering this adds around three times more samples to analyse. Read more here: NASA-Supported Lunar Scientists Find New Link In Solar-System-Wide Impact Bombardment.

Six hour space run

Usually it takes around 2 days for a journey to the International Space Station (ISS), but yesterday the 3 man crew of the Soyuz space capsule managed it in less than six hours. With some amazing manoeuvres the team cut out a huge amount of time to reach their destination. Read on to find out more about their research: Soyuz spacecraft docks at ISS after just six hours.

Dinosaur Killer!!

The asteroid that is believed to have ended the reign of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago might not actually be an asteroid. New studies looking at the extra-terrestrial elements deposited in the impact and the physical properties of the Chicxulub crater have pointed towards a comet origin of the impactor. Read more here: Dinosaur-killing space rock ‘was a comet’

‘Vintage’ Solar System

Like our own Moon, Saturn’s rings and moons have been found to date back to more than 4 billion years ago, right around the start of our Solar System. Studying these ‘vintage goods’ of Saturn can help us understand the nature of the entire Solar System. The Cassini-Huygens mission launched in 1997 and is still going strong. Read more about the latest analysis here: Saturn is Like an Antiques Shop, Cassini Suggests.

Hunting Stars with Herschel

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel space observatory is designed to look into some of the most coldest and distant objects in the universe. And has recently been observing regions of vast star-forming clouds such as the W3, an enormous stellar nursery about 6200 light years away. Studying this region has lead to progress in understanding the major processes occurring when massive stars are born. Read on for more information: Hunting High-Mass Stars with Herschel.

Carrying on with this week’s big finding, I figured I’d give the picture of the week to a Herschel image of the W3 cloud. The colour are awesome, and to think its 6200 light years away and still in our Galaxy’s main spiral arm is mind blowing!!!

The vast massive star-forming region known as W3, 6200 light years away from Earth in the Milky Ways Galaxy's main spiral arm. (IMAGE:ESA)

The vast massive star-forming region known as W3, 6200 light years away from Earth in the Milky Ways Galaxy’s main spiral arm. (IMAGE:ESA)

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