Self Care – Astronomy Picture(s and Video) of the Week: Milky Way-like Galaxies in Early Universe Embedded in ‘Super Halos’

Yet another really cool Astronomy discovery, this one announced back on March 23rd

Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy's gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy's ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory

Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy’s gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy’s ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory

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Self Care – Astronomy Picture[s and Video] of the Week: Spacewalks

Spacewalks are honestly rather fascinating. I’ve been enjoying pics and videos of them for a long time, now.

I think everyone here already knows what a spacewalk is, but here’s the Wikipedia breakdown (of Extravehicular Activity, of which a spacewalk is the most common type), just in case…

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s appreciable atmosphere. The term most commonly applies to a spacewalk made outside a craft orbiting Earth (such as the International Space Station), but also has applied to lunar surface exploration (commonly known as moonwalks) performed by six pairs of American astronauts in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972. On each of the last three of these missions, astronauts also performed deep-space EVAs on the return to Earth, to retrieve film canisters from the outside of the spacecraft. Astronauts also used EVA in 1973 to repair launch damage to Skylab, the United States’ first space station.

A “Stand-up” EVA (SEVA) is where the astronaut does not fully leave a spacecraft, but is completely reliant on the spacesuit for environmental support.[1] Its name derives from the astronaut “standing up” in the open hatch, usually to record or assist a spacewalking astronaut.

EVAs may be either tethered (the astronaut is connected to the spacecraft; oxygen and electrical power can be supplied through an umbilical cable; no propulsion is needed to return to the spacecraft), or untethered. Untethered spacewalks were only performed on three missions in 1984 using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), and on a flight test in 1994 of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a safety device worn on tethered U.S. EVAs.

The Soviet Union/Russia, the United States, and China have conducted EVAs.

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How is This Still a Thing? What is Happening?

Didn’t we agree, like, thousands of years ago, that the earth is not flat? So what the hell is happening?

I mean… don’t get me wrong… I know that there are still people who genuinely believe the earth is flat. But they’ve always been… like… fringe of the fringe. Even most know Young-Earth Creationists agree that the earth isn’t flat! Like… if Ken Hamm agrees that the earth is not flat, then maybe… you know… that’s a piece of science we can all agree on, right?

So what the hell is going on? Why is famous person after famous person coming forward to say that they think is the earth is flat?

Even People magazine noticed this

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Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: Quasar’s Light Yields Clues to Outflow

So… that supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy? It’s inactive, and has been for a long time. Scientists wondered just how long it’s been inactive, and now they have an idea…

It ate it’s last meal about 6 million years ago.

And here’s the image (as usual, click on the image for the hi-res tif file):

Quasar's Light Yields Clues to Outflow

Quasar’s Light Yields Clues to Outflow

Self Care: Astronomy Picture(/News) of the Week – NASA Finds a New Solar System with 3 Habitable Planets

Okay okay… potentially habitable planets… the title was already long enough…

(Thanks to Rob Grigjanis for alerting me to this…)

Allowing for the fact that NASA is known for its sensationalism (routinely mocked, actually, by some astronomy podcasts I listen to, like Awesome Astronomy), this is actually really intriguing. From Vox

TRAPPIST-1 System... planets e, f, and g are the potentially habitable planets

TRAPPIST-1 System… planets e, f, and g are the potentially habitable planets

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