James Webb discovered the oldest galaxy in the Universe, and the SOFIA stratospheric observatory was damaged: News Digest

Selection of the most interesting space news for the week: When colliding with asteroids, unique plastic crystals appear on Earth. Astronomers have shown how interstellar dust spread across our galaxy, and an Apollo 11 astronaut’s jacket is being sold at auction for USD 2 million.

James Webb discovered the oldest galaxy in the Universe

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has discovered the oldest galaxy ever seen in the universe. According to scientists, the galaxy called GLASS-z13 dates back only 300 million years after the Big Bang. The previous record-breaking galaxy is called GN-Z11. But the recently observed galaxy surpasses it in age by about 100 million years.

Astronomers created an animation of interstellar dust in the Milky Way

Scientists used data from the European Space Agency Gaia mission to create animations to simulate the distribution of dust inside the Milky Way as part of the EXPLORE project. The created animation shows the contours of our galaxy, which takes shape when we look at the galaxy from Earth.

Asteroid collision creates unusual diamonds

Studies of carbon crystals formed as a result of asteroids colliding with the earth, scientists have come to the conclusion that they are not ordinary diamonds, but their splices with graphene. Researchers suggest using them in technology. Crystals with diaphites can be both ultra-hard and ductile. This is a very unusual combination, because most of the known solids materials are brittle, that is, they cannot deform due to complete destruction.

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SOFIA Flying Observatory. Source: NASA

SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory got damaged

The Boeing 747, on board of which the SOFIA infrared observatory is located, was damaged by wind during the flight. How this will affect further missions is not yet clear. Thanks to the unique observation conditions, SOFIA has made many discoveries. It could find water molecules in the Clavius crater on the Moon and proved that some galaxies are not as metal-poor as previously thought. Also, with its help, star formation zones have been repeatedly studied.

Italian company to build a robotic arm for mission to deliver Martian soil

Italian aerospace company Leonardo has received an ESA contract for the construction of a 2.5-meter robotic arm STA (Sample Transfer Arm). It will be used in the MSL (Mars Sample Return) mission, the purpose of which is to deliver to Earth samples of the soil of the Red Planet collected by the Perseverance rover. The STA robotic arm will be installed on a stationary platform. It will pick up the capsules with soil collected by the rover, overload their cargo compartment of the return rocket, and then close it. After that, the rocket will be able to launch.


According to Sotheby’s estimates, this jacket will be sold for USD 1-2 million. Authorship: Sotheby’s

Buzz Aldrin’s jacket from the Apollo 11 mission is estimated at USD 2 million

92-year-old former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the surface of the Moon after Neil Armstrong, is auctioning off many personal items and historical artifacts from his glorious career. Among the items valuable to collectors, the jacket he wore during the Moon landing attracts special attention.

The Beta Cloth jacket is made of fireproof material and is decorated with Aldrin’s name and the NASA logo. This is the only space jacket that will soon be able to be in a private collection. According to the organizer of Sotheby’s sales, such a valuable lot from the Moon is valued very highly, since it is the only item of outerwear of the Apollo 11 mission that will be put up for sale. It is expected that bets on Aldrin’s jacket will be able to rise to USD 2 million. 

Apollo 8: The Story of the first flight to the Moon (book review)

This book is the first detailed history of Apollo 8. The mission was so risky that it was perceived almost as a lottery, but it ended in success and became the beginning of a new era in space exploration.

The flight to the Moon, which, according to President Kennedy’s promise, was supposed to take place before 1970, could now be an invigorating achievement. However, Kennedy has been gone for five years, and eighteen months have passed since the death of three Apollo astronauts. It seemed that the project of a flight to the Moon was at the best stalled, and at worst failed.

Read also: Scientists discovered an unusual triple star system, and private space stations may not be able to replace the ISS in time: News Digest

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