10 most high-profile stories about space in 2017

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2017-12-05 09:00:12

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Another year is coming to an end, and we still haven't found the aliens. Fortunately, during this time, there were many other very interesting events connected with the cosmos. Since then, we have been witnessing several unique cosmic phenomena, to solve several puzzles for a long time tormenting our imagination and also to correct a couple of theories and hypotheses. Space never ceases to amaze with new stories. And now it's time to turn back and look at some of the most notorious of these happened in this outgoing year.

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Cave of the moon

The Recent opening of Japanese scientists regained interest in the topic of lunar colonization. In October, the Japanese aerospace exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the discovery on our natural satellite caves with a length of 50 kilometers and a width of 100 meters. The object was discovered orbiting lunar probe "Kaguya" and is located under the surface of the volcanic region called Marius Hills. According to the current findings of scientists, sub-surface hollow space is a lava tunnel, formed by volcanic activity that took place here about 3.5 billion years ago. The presence of these lava tunnels have suspected for a long time, however, official proof managed to get just now.

The Main enthusiasm for open data tunnels among scientists is that these objects can be the perfect place to base future lunar bases. The walls of the tunnels are very strong and thick, and therefore able to protect future colonists from extreme temperatures on the moon's surface, ranging from -153 to +107 degrees Celsius. Moreover, these underground shelters can offer excellent protection for the colonists and equipment from the effects of cosmic radiation and micrometeorites, which on the moon are quite common. There are even suggestions that in those tunnels there are areas with accumulation of ice or even water, which will certainly be useful in the colonization of the satellite.

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Missing link in the history of planetary formation

In 2014, one of the biggest news related to space, was the story about the probe "Rosetta" and the first ever successful landing of a spacecraft (module Philae) on a comet. This mission has continued until 2016 before scientists decided to break the "Rosetta" on the comet 67P/Churyumov — Gerasimenko. In the framework of this event the spacecraft managed to transmit turned out to be invaluable information in the European space Agency (owner of the probe and the lander). But the fact that this information is so important, we can discover only after a year.

According to a study published by the Royal astronomical society, data obtained by the spacecraft "Rosetta", contain the missing link of the history of planetary formation. Scientists have found that a millimeter dust particles covering the outer layers of the comet's age of 4.5 billion years, mixed with internal ice particles inside the comet. And such a symbiosis can only be explained by one model describing the formation of large objects within the Solar system – nebular hypothesis.

After further analysis of the data, scientists concluded that the dust particles originated from matter nebula, (from which, according to the nebular model, the Solar system was formed), and then continuously mixed with each other in the result of cosmic collisions with larger objects are constantly drawn between the increasing level of gravity. According to the hypothesis, these particles can attract each other so tightly that under its own gravity may eventually collapse. However, the comet 67P/Churyumov — Gerasimenko has not yet managed to reach this point, and thereby confirm the assumptions of scientists.

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the solution to the riddle of the missing stars

In 1437 Korean astrologers found in the constellation of Scorpio new star that shone brightly for two weeks, and then disappeared. Where it came from and what happened – no answer and could not. It took almost 600 years to solve the mystery. The author of the decision was the astrophysicist Michael Shara of the American Museum of natural history, who found out that his Korean colleagues in the XV century witnessed the cataclysmic event. As it turned out, the actors in this event were two objects – a white dwarf and a normal star, which actually became a donor mass of a dwarf.

When the temperature and density of a white dwarf reach critical values to trigger fusion reactions, the dwarf creates a powerful release of energy, which is called new. This astronomical phenomenon is accompanied by an incredible flash, the witness of which became the Korean astrologers. A couple of weeks Nova has faded, and the new star disappeared from the sky.

The Solution to this riddle helped the incredible precision with which the Seoul scientists of the XV century, recorded this event. It happened on 11 March 1437 was observed between the second and third star of the constellation, during the sixth lunar Eclipse. But even in this case, Michael Ball had to consult with historians and learn Chinese astronomical map to see the exact location of the white dwarf. The work took as long as 30 years.

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assessment of the probability of life on Enceladus

The Results of a study published in the journal Science, indicate that in the subsurface ocean of Saturn's moon, Enceladus, chemical reactions occur, similar to those that can be found near the earth's geothermal sources. To such conclusions scientists came after the analysis of the data collected as a result of the flight of automatic interplanetary station "Cassini" in 2015 through the emissions of ice particles from the moon's surface and the determination of molecular hydrogen.

The Astronomers behind the study believe that the source of hydrogen in this case is the continuing reaction of interaction of hot water with rock, the deep waters of the ocean and near the core of the satellite. These findings confirm the results of earlier studies conducted in 2016, in which it was found that discovered by Cassini on Enceladus particles of silica, most likely, was exposed to hot water from the depths of the ocean.

On the Ground, the microbes living near deep-sea geothermal sources are used for the survival of a primitive metabolic process, called methanogenesis. Analysis of Cassini suggests that the ocean of Enceladus has all the resources needed to support this process. The presence of life on Saturn it does not prove, but significantly increases its potential habitability, the researchers say.

Enceladus began seriously to consider as a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life after discovering it in 2005, subsurface ocean. Private and public space agencies are considering the possibility of sending in 2020-ies to the Enceladus orbital probes and landing modules with scientific equipment designed to search for life.

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the mystery signal is "Weird!"

In 1977, astronomers from Ohio state University (USA) conducted routine monitoring of the sky in search of alien intelligence, and suddenly found abnormal radio transmission of extraterrestrial origin. Scientists were so impressed that on the printout of radio data readings one of them did not find anything better how to make a signature with the word "Wow!". Thus, a signal "Wow!" ("Wow!"). And this year we have a signal, "Weird!" ("Weird!").

It was First caught researchers from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on may 12. Its source was from the Ross 128, also known as FI Virgo – a dim red dwarf star located 11 light years from us and not having around any of the planets. Within 10 minutes the signal was observed, "with almost constant frequency", and then disappeared.

Of Course, when astronomers announced this event, the first public reaction was aliens! In turn, the team of Arecibo, though recognized that the signal is "very unusual", but immediately made the assumption that, most likely, it represents the fragments of the broadband radio transmissions from one or more geostationary satellites. Further collaboration of astronomers from Arecibo and SETI has confirmed this assumption. It turned out that the signal is "Weird!" creates a satellite, which goes at a very remote geostationary orbit.

However this is not the last time we heard something about the star Ross 128. In November, astronomers announced that next to the red dwarf has at least one planet. Moreover, the scientists found that the planet has a very low rotation speed and, being only 11 light years, is the second closest candidate earth-like planet. In this respect, it even beats the extrasolar planets of Proxima b as it is located on the quieter a red dwarf, not creating a huge emission of radiation, which could destroy the planet's atmosphere (if it has).

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the Collision of two neutron stars

Which is a core remaining after the supernova explosion of stars formed from the once very massive stars, neutron stars are quite rare and intriguing objects at the same time. This year, scholars had the opportunity in the "first series" to watch the encounter of two neutron stars.

With the help of gravitational wave detectors LIGO and VIRGO scientists have been able for the first time to observe the light and gravitational waves from the same cosmic events. The collision also watched dozens of other telescopes that helped at the same time to shed light on many other astrofizicheskie...

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