What 2021 teaches us about the latest Cosmos news

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope was a success for NASA.

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope was a success for NASA.

©JODY AMIET / AFP

Space

The year 2021 has been rich in lessons about our galaxy, thanks to many technological achievements and innovations, most recently with the launch of NASA’s James-Webb Space Telescope.

DiCaprio is a hit on Netflix, with DiCaprio dazzling as a somewhat boring astrophysicist who wants to warn the world that a meteor escaping the Oort Cloud is headed towards our planet. The PhD student observed this and calculated it rightly. , life on earth will soon be extinct… Cosmic coincidence, at the end of 2021, a magnificent comet named Leonardo suddenly passes through our sky for real, and it’s time to evaluate. Fortunately, the trajectory of the evening visitor, currently visible in the southern hemisphere, has nothing to do with the trajectory of the killer star in the movie: We were able to see it from home in early December, heading in our direction. however, he kept his distance, and at its closest point the 12th was 350 million kilometers away, which leaves us some space. The sun won’t be a hit during his tour of the suburbs, he’ll put on a gentle show on his exaggerated course, but we’re out of luck, we won’t like it in the northern hemisphere: January 3rd will be dangerously close The Sun will swell a little more, tails will spread more, and completely capsize the star of the day. it will melt before it, but if it withstands the thermal shock unbroken, then it will calmly move on. to other worlds. In a few thousand years, this poor little frozen nomadic celestial body will have left the solar system…

Funny things are happening above our heads, and it’s never out of curiosity, astrophysicists invent, manufacture and release new high-performance instruments to see more clearly, in detail, and further through space-time… December 25th is a true Christmas present. After the James Webb space telescope successfully stretched its large fore and hind arms holding its heat shield in space, it began its long march towards the Lagrange point, where the balance between terrestrial, lunar and solar gravity is 1.5 million kilometers. He will be able to start his observations from Earth. Fingers crossed, because the stakes are huge: If all goes as planned, he will be able to scan the depths of the Universe in infrared with his giant mosaic mirror, and see star births and forming galaxies with his shovel…

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The harvest of the sky was already excellent this year. List of 2021 discoveries, non-exhaustive, unordered:

  • For the first time, a black hole made entirely of neutrons, with only its heart remaining, has been observed chewing up the corpse of its completely collapsed friend, a dead star called a “neutron star”.
  • A giant void that would have formed about 6 million to 20 million years ago has been discovered in the Milky Way, perhaps a “superballoon” about 500 light-years created by a supernova explosion that would have pushed back all the matter around it, and would have been at the origin of the Perseus and Taurus clouds, where stellar clusters were born…
  • A black hole has been detected in a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way, much larger than we thought would condense the mass of 3.3 million suns, nearly swallowing the heart of our galaxy. one of these four will fall upon us, with the beast within and harboring it.
  • The unexpected discovery of a planet ten times larger than Jupiter, b Centauri b even the largest planet ever observed.
  • In the sculptor constellation, we found a system of five planets resonating with each other around the star TOI-178. A perfectly synchronized planetary ballet. When the first (starting from the outside) completes three orbits, the second has four, the third six, the fourth nine, and the fifth eighteen…
  • maybe, but it remains to be confirmed, we have detected the first planet outside our galaxy. More than 4500 planets already listed outside the solar system, exoplanets as we say in jargon all belong to the Milky Way, but this one can be found in our neighbor M51, also colloquially called a vortex galaxy, 28 million Light years away. M51-ULS-1b is its provisional name.
  • gravitational wave detectors recorded “cosmic earthquakes”, the catalog of which was made public on November 8. A unique insight into the extreme cosmic events tearing apart the universe. New detection campaigns should make it possible to further broaden the scope of investigations and scan a volume ten times larger…

Look up in 2022, look up and stay alert.

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James Webb Telescope: Hubble’s successor is ready and should allow us to revolutionize our knowledge of the Universe

Two books to read before passing :

  1. Jean-François Kahn’s memories beyond life are an invitation to travel through time and space. Pieces of History alegro made an unforgettable and surprising planet tour. The second volume is coming out in April, but these first 650 pages at the open grave do not leave us indifferent and we want more. (publisher: observatory, 24 euro)
  2. Beauty is the twenty-six ariette of Yves Quéré of the Academy of Sciences, who analyzes and finds what is beautiful in our world surrounded by misfortune… The lovely little white book of a great gentleman who devoted his life to science and education. He knows how to see and hear, and with his musical ear he perceives the slightest vibrations of Homo sapiens’ soul. (Print Odile Jacob, 19.90 Euros)

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NASA Probe Enters Sun’s Atmosphere for the First Time, and Here’s What We Can Learn

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