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A black hole was discovered in our galaxy that should not exist

The Milky Way is fraught with many mysteries. Recently, one more was added. Chinese astronomers have a discovered a black hole in our galaxy, which, according to current scientific theory, should not exist because of its incredible size. This space monster is 70 times the mass of the Sun and is called LB-1.  The researchers report that after finding the object, could not believe it. The authors of a study published in the journal Nature, consulted with astronomers from around the world and verified the facts for three years.

The discovery of the “impossible” black hole is not consistent with Einstein’s GR

What do we know about the evolution of stars?

To answer this question, it is enough to recall that stars are composed of various elements, from light gases to heavy metals. Lighter elements become heavier as a result of thermonuclear reactions in the nuclei of stars, releasing a huge amount of energy in the process. However, according to the well-known Einstein equation E = mc2, the mass of the star should decrease over time, since it will be converted into energy. Some particles can also burst out like a solar wind, so that over time the star dims and collapses into a neutron star or black hole. According to this theory, our sun cannot create a black hole. Moreover, recently we talked about the fact that in the future our native star will turn into a red dwarf.

According to researchers from NASA, this is what a black hole looks like

In 2015, after the discovery of gravitational waves, scientists first suggested the existence of an excessively large black hole. Gravitational waves traveling around the universe suggest the existence of a black hole 60 times more massive than the sun, but the black hole GW150914, as it was called, was located in a remote part Of the universe, in which stars are very different from our native star. Most scientists believed that an object of similar dimensions was formed by combining two black holes, the collision of which, as we know today, generates gravitational waves. However, the discovery of LB-1 made astronomers think twice. As the researchers write in their work, the incredible size of LB-1 cannot be explained by the initial mass of the star, stellar wind, or thermonuclear reactions. The existence of this black hole disproves our perception of the evolution of stars and the formation of black holes.

Does the discovery of LB-1 refute Einstein’s

general relativity?

Researchers discovered a black hole using the Large Sky Area telescope, the world’s largest galaxy scanner located near Beijing in Hebei Province in northern China. It consists of 4,000 small lenses, each of which can be focused on a separate target. Nevertheless, in the scientific community, the discovery of LB-1 is considered good luck. Dr. David Reitz, Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, compared this discovery to the detection of gravitational waves. However between the detection of gravitational waves and the discovery of LB-1, there is a significant difference – the very existence of such a massive black hole is not consistent with Einstein’s general theory of relativity (GR). Although GR is unlikely to be true, the discovery of LB-1 suggests that there may be gaps.

This is how the collision of two black holes looks, thanks to which gravitational waves appear

Astronomers believe that the discovery of a black hole with a mass 70 times the mass of our Sun in the Milky Way galaxy forces us to review the models of black hole formation and, in general, the understanding of the astrophysics of these space monsters. By the way, we recently told you that acceleration expansion of the universe is also not consistent with general relativity, so scientists are in search of alternative theories.

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How much water is there on Mars and is there enough for future colonists?

For many centuries, man dreamed of conquering the Red Planet, and it seems that in the very near future we will finally be able to take our first step in obtaining an interplanetary view. In order to be able to successfully land on Mars, NASA experts plan to first identify the most suitable place for the landing of future colonists. The main criterion in strict selection will be the presence of ice water, without which the existence of a person in the distant cold desert of a reddish hue would become completely impossible. So where should the first people land on the Red Planet and how much water is on Mars?

Mars and its most suitable zone for the construction of the first human colony outside the Earth

Is there a lot of water on Mars?

According to an article published on the portal phys.org, huge reserves of ice water on Mars can be located only at a depth of 2.5 centimeters from the surface. Its presence will be a key factor in choosing a potential landing site, because such important water resources of the planet will be one of the basic necessities for replenishing the colony’s drinking water reserves and making rocket fuel.

In order to find accessible ice water on Mars, NASA uses data from two spacecrafts at once – NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey Orbiter. According to the latest data received from the probes, future colonists will not even require the use of excavators and other heavy equipment to extract the vital resource, which can significantly reduce the cost of the course of the future mission.

Map of water ice on Mars

Blue shades show the closest water sources to the surface, red shades show the most distant ones. Black spots are sandy deserts, and the white area can be an ideal candidate for the landing of the first astronauts.

Due to the fact that liquid water cannot exist for a long time in a rarefied Mars atmosphere, almost instantly evaporating into outer space, scientists have yet to develop a technology that can allow water production without loss. The exact location of the ice can be detected using two heat-sensitive instruments – the Martian climate probe MRO and the thermal imaging camera system (THEMIS), designed specifically for Mars Odyssey.

Although there are a large number of places of interest for scientists on Mars, only a few of them are able to provide suitable landing sites for astronauts. So, despite the fact that the middle and southern latitudes of Mars receive more sunlight than its more northern regions, planetologists believe that the most preferred place for landing on Mars will be the Arcadia Planitia region, where water ice reserves are located only 30 centimeters under the surface of the planet.

Researchers believe that at present, the total water resources of the Red Planet are approximately 65 million cubic kilometers, which could well be enough to cover the surface of Mars with a layer of 35 meters thick water. Well, perhaps, future Martian colonists are unlikely to have to worry about the fact that the water on the Red Planet will someday end.

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The Interstellar Research Initiative plans to send people to the exoplanet of Proxima Centauri b

In an attempt to protect humanity from extinction in the event of some kind of global catastrophe of a planetary scale, a group of scientists announced a bold plan for the colonization of a distant exoplanet.

Proxima Centauri b

Scientists from the Initiative for Interstellar Studies said they were considering sending people to a potentially inhabited exoplanet in another stellar system.

The most promising option they consider, Proxima Centauri b, which is 4.24 light years away from Earth, which means the journey will take centuries or even millennia. This suggests that generations will succeed each other during the journey.

Technically, this is possible.

However, the challenges facing the mission are so numerous and complex that it can take decades to prepare.

“From the point of view of physics, there are no fundamental obstacles. There are many nuances, but this is not a violation of the fundamental laws of physics, ”said Andreas Hein, Executive Director of Initiative for Interstellar Studies.

No problem.

The main problem is the lack of experience being far beyond the Earth for such a period of time.

Even a flight to Mars, which will last about 6-8 months, raises a lot of questions.

Proxima Centauri b

There is no reliable protection against merciless radiation yet. Medical problems caused by a prolonged stay in space are still poorly understood. Other than that, there is no guarantee that Proxima Centauri b is indeed liveable.

Can you imagine what a setup would be if people born on a spaceship for one purpose would come to a planet absolutely unsuitable for settlement …

However, the authors of the project do not plan to curtail the program and continue to work actively in this direction.

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European Space Agency to launch space waste collector

A four-armed robotic junk collector will be launched into space by the European Space Agency in what it says will be the first mission to remove an item of debris from orbit.

European Space Agency to launch space waste collector

The ClearSpace-1 mission, scheduled for launch in 2025, will cost €120m and will grab a single piece of junk. But the agency hopes the mission will pave the way for a wide-reaching clear-up operation, with Esa’s director general calling for new rules that would compel those who launch satellites to take responsibility for removing them from orbit once they are retired from use.

Jan Wörner, CEO of ESA, said:

Imagine how dangerous sailing the high seas would be if all the ships ever lost in history were still drifting on top of the water. That is the current situation in orbit, and it cannot be allowed to continue.

In the past 60 years, thousands of tonnes of junk has accumulated around the Earth, including old rocket parts, about 3,500 defunct satellites and an estimated 750,000 smaller fragments, some from collisions between larger bits of junk. The fragments are typically circulating with a velocity of 20,000km/h (12,500mph).

Unless a clear-up operation is mounted, the chances of collisions will escalate as thousands more satellites are put into orbit.

Funding for the mission was agreed at Space19+, ESA’s misterial council, which took place in Seville, Spain, at the end of November. The mission will be run by a consortium led by a Swiss startup called Clearspace.

The target for ClearSpace-1 is a piece of junk called Vespa, which was left in an orbit around 800km above the Earth by ESA’s Vega launcher in 2013. Vespa weighs 100kg – around the size of a small satellite – and was selected because it has a simple shape and sturdy construction, which make it unlikely to fragment when it is grabbed.

The “chaser” ClearSpace space probe will be launched into the target orbit where it will track down Vespa, grab it using a quartet of robotic arms and drag it out of orbit, with Vespa and the chaser both burning up in the atmosphere on the way down to Earth.

A future ambition is to create a clear-up robot that could eject junk into the atmosphere, before continuing to capture and de-orbit other pieces of junk.

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