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Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

In this news, we will talk about the CMB that was investigated when the extragalactic cultivation was detected, which we will distribute in last week’s newsletter. If you would like to take a look at last week’s Newsletter: 

SPARK Newsletter

What is this CMB? Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, with its full name, is a cosmological phenomenon containing photons from which we can obtain important information about the Big Bang and the origin of the universe. Cosmic microwave background radiation is called cosmic because it is not radiation that we can observe in a specific location. It covers every part of the universe that we can observe. It is known as ‘Microwave’, it radiates at the level of 160.4 Gigahertz (Microwave range). Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is the most important evidence showing that the Universe began with the Big Bang, about 13.82 billion years ago. The Universe shortly after the Big Bang; What we could observe had become many times larger than the Observable Universe (due to Cosmic inflation), which was one of our 36th bulletin news. The universe had expanded by 10 to the 78th power in less than a second. Besides, it had a magnificent order. At this very stage, the universe was extremely hot (10 to the 32 kelvins), while its temperature and density gradually increased, it continued to grow and cool at a tremendous pace, although not as fast as during the cosmic inflammation period.

So How Was the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Discovered?

In 1964, while two friends and Radio Astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, were working with the large radio antenna at Bell Laboratories, they encountered an ongoing interference in the signals they received caused by this radiation. For this reason, the duo, who took a break from their work, had to investigate this source of interference in radio signals. The interesting thing was that in every direction they pointed the antenna, they encountered the same interference as would be produced by a 2.7 kelvin blackbody radiation. They were unable to reduce the intensity of the interference in the signals. The duo went through an extensive research process and found information about the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. As a result, they pinpointed the cause of the interference in the signals they received and published two separate articles and announced their discovery. Two scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978, thanks to this great discovery in cosmological history, which they discovered accidentally.

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson

Alper Gezeravcı Returns to Earth

Alper Gezeravcı, Turkey’s first astronaut, returned to Earth after completing his space mission. Gezeravcı, who stayed a total of 18 days in the ISS with delays and conducted 13 experiments, landed in the ocean on Friday, February 9th, after approximately two days of travel in the Dragon capsule. After the Dragon capsule was taken aboard the waiting ship, the astronauts were taken out one by one. The first medical examination of the astronauts was conducted on the ship, and then they were taken by helicopter to the airport and from there to Houston by plane.

After more comprehensive checks there, he arrived at Ankara Esenboğa Airport with the Presidential aircraft. Gezeravcı was greeted by Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır, TÜBİTAK President Hasan Mandal, and Yusuf Kıraç, the President of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA), along with Turkey’s second astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever and 13 children.

He gave 13 Turkish flags brought from space to the children

13 children gave flowers to Gezeravcı on the apron. Gezeravcı also gave the 13 Turkish flags he brought from the ISS to the children. Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır, congratulating Alper Gezeravcı, said, “Alper Gezeravcı successfully completed 13 scientific experiments in space. Alper Gezeravcı’s space science mission is a first but will not be the last. A new page has been opened for Turkey in space science and technologies.”

“This is just the beginning”

Answering questions, Alper Gezeravcı said, “I am here with the happiness of reaching our goal.”

  • “Although we have not performed a task in this field in our history, we have had a wonderful preparation process with such perfect synergy.”
  • “I felt once again that we need to be grateful for the blessings that the world has offered us. It is a great opportunity to look at this wonderful beauty from the outside. There is no area that you do not look at and be fascinated by.”

“It’s not a space trip we took.”

  • “I can easily say that what we did was not a space trip. Our hearts are at ease. We performed a very satisfying task there without any glitches, at least on par with our counterparts and in some aspects even more advanced.”

“The First Night I Returned, I Ate Stew”

The first Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravcı had said that the dish he missed the most in space was stew. His mother had said before his son returned, “I prepared stew for him, his favorite dish, I want to hug him as soon as he returns.” And what everyone was waiting for happened, and Gezeravcı said, “The first night I returned from space, I ate stew.”

Additionally, Alper Gezeravcı was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Space Agency with the decision published in the Official Gazette dated February 13th.

NASA Has Launched Its New Climate Satellite

NASA has launched the PACE climate satellite into orbit to study Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. Launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida, PACE will scan the Earth from an altitude of at least 676 kilometers for at least 3 years, collecting data on aerosols and clouds with two scientific instruments every day, observing the state of the atmosphere, ecosystems, and changes in the oceans. Monthly measurements will also be taken with a third instrument. Project scientist Jeremy Werdell said, “This will be an unprecedented view of our planet.” The observations will help scientists improve weather forecasts, detail changes on Earth as temperatures rise, and better predict when harmful algal blooms will occur. NASA currently has more than two dozen Earth observation satellites in orbit. NASA Earth Sciences Director Karen St. Germain said, “PACE will give another dimension to what other satellites observe.”

PACE, which stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and Ocean Ecosystem, is the most advanced satellite yet for studying ocean biology. Current observation satellites can detect 7-8 colors. Pace will detect 200 colors, allowing scientists to identify types of algae in the sea and types of particles in the air. Scientists plan to start receiving data from the satellite within one or two months.

Tests Showed That Some Bacteria Can Survive in Martian Conditions

In the last few years, microbiologists have discovered that some types of bacteria can survive in the harsh conditions of space. They detected the majority of these bacteria on Earth in places with high radiation, salt, high temperatures and no water. These findings raised concerns about the safety of astronauts going to places like Mars. If these bacteria somehow reach Mars from Earth, this could lead to fatal diseases. An international scientific team consisting of radiation, biology and infectious disease experts conducted some experiments to investigate this. In the study published in the journal Astrobiology, they exposed four human-infecting bacteria to Martian conditions. For this test, they created Martian conditions in the laboratory and added these four bacteria that infect humans: Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Burkholderia cepacia.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa SEM image

The bacteria were first tested separately in the test environment, and then they entered the test environment simultaneously. Burkholderia cepacia bacteria could not grow in soil rich in sodium perchlorate, which is likely to be found on Mars. Apart from this, all four bacteria could survive to a certain extent in Martian conditions; Three of them survived for 21 days, and the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria was observed to multiply and develop.

K.pneumoniae colonies on MacConkey agar medium

You can use the link below to examine the study in detail.


We Are One Step Closer to Finding Traces of Life… It Confirmed That There Was a Lake on Mars

The research, led by research teams working at UCLA and the University of Oslo and published a few days ago in the Science Advances, shows that the crater was filled with water at one point. As the lake receded later, the sediments carried by the river feeding the lake formed a huge delta. As the lake dispersed over time, the sediments in the crater eroded and formed geological features that can be seen on the surface today. The Perseverance research vehicle, which is almost the size of a car and carries seven scientific instruments, examines this 50 km wide crater in great detail, studies its geology and collects samples. Perseverance traveled from the crater floor to the delta between May and December 2022. This huge expanse of sediments, dating back 3 billion years, has been compared to river deltas on Earth. As Perseverance traveled to the delta, its **Radar Imager for the Subsurface Mars instrument, called RIMFAX, fired downward radar waves at 10-centimeter intervals and measured the reflected waves from depths about 20 meters below the surface. With this radar, scientists can obtain detailed images of the sediments and reveal the upper surface of the buried crater floor. RIMFAX imaging revealed two separate sediment deposits. Radar images show that the deposits are regular and horizontal; just like the sediments accumulated in lakes on Earth. Confirmation that it is a lake was only possible with this study. Paige says, “These changes that we see preserved in the rock record are driven by large-scale changes in the Martian environment.” “It is good that we can see so much change in such a small geographical area. “This gives us the opportunity to extend our findings to the entire crater.” These developments we experience continue to give us hope about the possibility of extraterrestrial life day by day.

This Week in Our Art Corner

Voice Recording of the Universe

Scientists have obtained a sound recording of the Big Bang, which gave rise to the Universe. John G. Cramer, one of the researchers at the University of Washington, who revealed the sound of the cosmological event that started the process in which space develops and grows, created this sound simulation as a ‘sound record of the formation of the Universe’, using detailed data from the European Space Agency‘s measuring Planck project. . Cramer stated that “in the early stages of the universe, it worked like a bass instrument and constantly spread sound waves further and further away.” The Universe, which gradually cooled and expanded from its extremely hot state, caused sound waves to spread at gradually decreasing frequencies, and after a while, sound waves were reduced to a frequency that the human ear cannot hear. To make the simulation audible, Cramer increased the simulation frequency by 1026 times.

Researchers analyzed the radiation distributed throughout Space, known as the Cosmic Microwave History, which we mentioned in this issue, and tried to obtain information about the formation pattern of the early Universe. This sound recording makes people feel like they are in a different formation from the moment they are heard. We recommend you listen from the link below.