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Scientists Find The Biggest Black Hole Ever

The biggest black hole blast ever found blasts out 400 solar masses of material per year, and is five times more powerful than any other scientists have ever seen. The blast is so large it spreads about 1000 light-years out into the surrounding galaxy.
These giant black holes, are also known as quasars. They are the extremely bright center in a galaxy that is powered by massive black holes and blasts a huge amount of mass out into its galaxy. The particles emitted play a key role in the formation and evolution of galaxies.
The newly discovered giant quasar is called SDSS J1106+1939 by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the largest telescope that observes the sky in visible light.
“We have discovered the most energetic quasar outflow known to date. The rate that energy is carried away by this huge mass of material ejected at high speed from SDSS J1106+1939 is at least equivalent to two million million times the power output of the Sun,” study researcher Nahum Arav, of Virgina Tech University, said in a statement from the European Southern Observatory.
“This is about 100 times higher than the total power output of the Milky Way galaxy — it’s a real monster of an outflow,” Arav said. “This is the first time that a quasar outflow has been measured to have the sort of very high energies that are predicted by theory.”
The picture above shows the bright quasar at the center surrounded by the blast of materials flowing out of it.

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Giant telescope will join the search for alien life

The world’s largest radio telescope is about to start operating after several years of testing.

Giant telescope will join the search for alien life

Known as the Five Hundred Meter Spherical Opening Telescope (FAST), the new observatory, located in southern China, has a diameter of 500 meters and cost $ 180 billion to build.

Its testing and commissioning phase began in 2016 and is now almost complete.

It’s scientific goals include studying pulsars, detecting interstellar molecules, conducting a large-scale neutral hydrogen survey, and finding evidence of extraterrestrial communications.

Given that FAST is already three times more sensitive than the observatory Arecibo in Puerto Rico, it should be very interesting, indeed, to see what, if anything, it can capture.

Zhu Ming, director of the observation and scientific division of FAST’s operations and development center, said:

In the process of observing signals from celestial bodies, we also collect signals that may be emitted by humans or extraterrestrial intelligence.

However, it is a huge amount of work, as most of the signals we see – 99% of them – are various noises. Therefore, we need to take time to identify the signals we want within the noise.

Source: Airspacemag.com

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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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