14 Years Time-Lapse Movie
Gamma rays are the highest energy form of light. The universe is brought to life in a time-lapse movie created from 14 years of data obtained by NASA’s Space Telescope. The film shows the intensity of gamma rays above 200 million electron volts detected by Fermi’s Large Area Telescope. “The Milky Way’s gamma-ray glow culminates in intense flashes of near-light-speed jets that last for days,” scientist Seth Digel said. The creator of the images is Dr. D. of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. “These dramatic explosions, which can occur anywhere in the sky, occurred millions to billions of years ago, and their light is just reaching Fermi as we watch.” “One of the first things you notice in the film is a source moving in a continuous arc across the screen. This motion is the motion of our Sun, reflecting its annual orbital motion around the Earth,” said Judy Racusin, the project’s Acting Scientist. said. The film is shot at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The film shows the sky from different angles. The rectangular view shows the entire sky, with the center of our galaxy in the middle. This highlights the central plane of the Milky Way, glowing with gamma rays. It is also supported by many other sources, including neutron stars and supernova remnants. Above and below this central band, we look outside our galaxy and into a larger universe filled with rapidly changing bright sources.
GÖKTÜRK-2, Turkey’s first high-resolution Earth observation satellite, was designed by Turkish engineers and launched into orbit in 2012 through a collaborative effort led by TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), TUSAŞ (Turkish Aerospace Industries), and the Ministry of National Defense. Weighing 409 kg, the satellite has a resolution of 2.5 meters for black and white imagery and 5 meters for colored imagery. Addressing the satellite imaging needs of the Turkish Armed Forces and other public institutions, GÖKTÜRK-2 has contributed to the development of technology and infrastructure in the field of space. The satellite has also played a role in the training of skilled personnel. Although the satellite’s mission life in orbit was initially planned for 5 years, it continues its mission due to its high radiation resistance, uninterrupted and effective thermal control, precise orientation control in three axes, and robust battery and solar panels capable of withstanding the effects of the space environment. Under the command and control of the Reconnaissance Satellite Battalion Command of the Turkish Air Force, GÖKTÜRK-2 has not encountered any permanent or significant malfunctions during its time in space. Despite receiving 590 collision warning messages for 103 close encounters, successful maneuvers were executed to avoid collisions in response to 8 of these warnings following analysis and evaluations. GÖKTÜRK-2 instantly transmits the images it captures from Turkey and its surroundings to the ground station in Ankara. Orbiting at a height of 686 kilometers synchronized with the sun, the satellite can capture images from any point on Earth. GÖKTÜRK-2 completes one orbit every 98 minutes, passing over the North and South polar regions once per orbit. Launched into space 11 years ago, as of December 2023, GÖKTÜRK-2 has completed 60 thousand orbits around the Earth.
Space Biology Studies in China
Today, the Republic of China, which takes an active role in space studies, continues space biology research within the scope of many manned and unmanned space missions managed by the China National Space Administration. Recently, the Chinese Manned Space Program shared a detailed list of selected plant seeds and microbial species for use in space biology research. The shared list includes around 130 species from different contributors such as various research institutes and universities.
So, what is the reason for research focused on plants and microorganisms during space missions?
Plant space biology research is important for the future of space studies. Plants, which are sources of oxygen and nutrients, will play a key role in establishing artificial ecosystems in long-term space missions. It is important to consider not only plant biology studies but also plant-borne microorganisms.
The Focus of Space Biology Studies
The aim of the experiments designed by the Chinese human space program is to investigate the effects of cosmic radiation and microgravity on the seeds of different plant species and various types of microorganisms. As seen in this study, microorganisms are examined in space biology in a much broader context beyond their relationships with plants. For example, the role microorganisms play in processing food through fermentation makes them extremely valuable for long-term space missions.
Plant Space Biology Studies
Research by Chinese scientist Yongming Liu and colleagues has shown that we need to rely on plant biotechnology to improve plant health and adaptation for use in space missions. The research group is working on “ Whole Body Edible and Elite Plant (WBEEP) ” to create highly nutritious products for space farming. He developed a new strategy called .
The WBEEP project aims to create completely edible potato plants by inhibiting toxic compounds such as solanine found in the plant. As part of the study, they are also reconstructing the biochemical pathways involved to ensure a richer nutritional content from the potatoes to be grown.
Space Microbiology Studies
In addition to their biomedical values, microorganisms are also a part of plant-microbial interaction research carried out to increase plant productivity. China’s space microbiology research has focused on the use of microorganisms in space pharmacy and biomedical studies. Microorganisms can be used in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields to supply medical supplies such as active pharmaceutical ingredients for long-term space missions and future space colonies.
According to Yongming Liu, space microbiology studies can be carried out through three basic theories for the design and development of future research.
According to the first theory, mutations may negatively affect the health of astronauts by causing pathogenicity and virulence. On the other hand, these mutations could lead to a mutually beneficial relationship between microbes and humans. In short, mutations can define the interaction of microbes with humans.
The second theory concerns mutations that may lead to the production of biomedical substances such as metabolic products. It also shows that such mutations can create antibiotic-resistant strains that could be dangerous to astronauts’ health.
James Webb Telescope Detects the Earliest Cosmic Web Yet
All stars are part of a vast cosmic web that connects galaxies in the universe like threads of a spider’s web, leaving immense voids between them. In two articles published on June 29 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, scientists detail evidence that this colossal cosmic highway extends almost to the dawn of the universe. Astronomers using data from the James Webb Space Telescope have discovered a massive, gaseous filament consisting of ten closely spaced galaxies, stretching across 3 million light-years. According to researchers, this ancient gas and star filament may represent the oldest known thread of the cosmic web. Xiaohui Fan, an astronomer and member of the research team at the University of Arizona, expressed surprise, saying, “I expected to find something, but I didn’t expect something so long and distinctly thin.” The newly discovered filament formed when the universe was young, approximately 830 million years after the Big Bang. It is anchored by a bright celestial object with a supermassive black hole at its center, known as a quasar. Feige Wang, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona and the lead researcher of the program, stated, “This is one of the oldest filamentary structures that people have found associated with a distant quasar.” Researchers hypothesize that black holes act like gravitational wells, gathering matter, and sometimes, cosmic winds whipped around extremely active quasars help form the cosmic web by flinging star and dust filaments far into space. Despite winds pulling them in all directions across the universe, gravity keeps these threads of stars and dust connected. Ultimately, scientists believe this filament will evolve into a galaxy cluster similar to the Coma Cluster, located approximately 330 million light-years away from Earth.
This Week In Our Art Corner
World’s First Space Sculpture Orbital Reflector
Artist Trevor Paglen plans to send his artistic work to low orbit, which he calls orbital reflector, in 2018. It was prepared under the sponsorship of the Nevada Museum of Art and was intended to make those who look at the sculpture, which can be seen from the Earth’s surface, think of the skies. It was launched into space on a rocket and a small box-like infrastructure known as a CubeSat. Once in low Earth orbit, approximately 575 kilometers from Earth, the CubeSat opened and released the sculpture, which self-inflated like a balloon.
We would also like to underline that the project is a satellite that has no scientific and commercial purposes.