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Private Lunar Lander Makes First U.S. Touchdown On The Moon In 50 Years

Private lunar landerA private U.S. lunar lander touched down on the moon Thursday, but contact with the craft was weak, company officials said.

There were no immediate updates on the lander’s condition from the company, Intuitive Machines.

Tension mounted in the company’s command center in Houston, as controllers awaited a signal from the spacecraft some 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) away, which arrived about 10 minutes later.

“We’re evaluating how we can refine that signal,” said mission director Tim Crain. “But we can confirm, without a doubt, that our equipment is on the surface of the moon.”


Scientists have found a black hole so large it eats the equivalent of one sun per day

Scientists found a black hole that eat equivalent of one sun a day

Picture a black hole so powerful that it swallows the equivalent of one sun every day.

Now imagine that black hole also has a mass that's 17 billion times larger than our sun.

Scientists in Australia have just found exactly that.

New research that was published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday lays out the discovery of a distant quasar containing what scientists say is the fastest-growing black hole ever recorded.


SpaceX launches 4 people for a private mission to the International Space Station

SpceX launches trip to Int'l Space Station

The first all-European commercial crew is on its way to the International Space Station after an early evening SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Unlike a NASA mission, this one is paid for by Axiom Space, a Houston-based company flying its third group of paying passengers to the I.S.S. It contracts with SpaceX to get to and from the orbital laboratory. Axiom plans to build its own space station in orbit one day and it's using these missions to help in its planning and designs.

An attempt to launch the mission Wednesday was called off several hours before its scheduled flight. SpaceX and Axiom said they needed additional time "to complete pre-launch checkouts and data analysis, including the parachute system energy modulator." The next day SpaceX said, "all systems are looking good for today's launch" without elaborating further.


Peregrine moon lander heads back toward Earth and should burn up in the atmosphere

Moon lander returns to EarthThe lunar lander whose much-anticipated mission was stymied last week due to a propellant leak is now expected to fly back toward Earth and burn up in the atmosphere.

Astrobotic Technology announced its latest assessment of the Peregrine lander's trajectory on Saturday in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The company reiterated that "a soft landing on the Moon is not possible."

Peregrine Mission 1 was to be the first time an American company sent a spacecraft to the moon — and the first time the U.S. returned to the lunar surface in more than 50 years.


Newly discovered cosmic megastructure challenges theories of the universe

Newly discovered cosmic megastructure

Astronomers have discovered a ring-shaped cosmic megastructure, the proportions of which challenge existing theories of the universe.

The so-called Big Ring has a diameter of about 1.3bn light years, making it among the largest structures ever observed. At more than 9bn light years from Earth, it is too faint to see directly, but its diameter on the night sky would be equivalent to 15 full moons.

The observations, presented on Thursday at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in New Orleans, are significant because the size of the Big Ring appears to defy a fundamental assumption in cosmology called the cosmological principle. This states that above a certain spatial scale, the universe is homogeneous and looks identical in every direction.


Scientists repeat nuclear fusion breakthrough 3 times

Nuclear fussion breakthroughFederal scientists have repeated their breakthrough toward nuclear fusion energy three times this year — and now say they can “consistently” produce fusion energy.

Late last year, the Energy Department announced its scientists had achieved a breakthrough — receiving a net-energy gain from a nuclear fusion reaction for the first time.

It later announced that it had repeated the achievement — getting a net energy gain for the second time in July.

A recent report from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed it got a net-gain two additional times — both in October.


No Daddy Shark in sight: Zoo greets a cute shark pup after apparent parthenogenesis

by shark worn without a daddy

What if the song "Baby Shark" stopped after just two stanzas?

For non-fans of the catchy tune, that might sound like a dream. For a real-life Mommy Shark in Illinois, it's reality: She produced a baby without a Daddy Shark.

The epaulette shark pup hatched this summer at Brookfield Zoo, just west of Chicago. Its mother has been at the zoo since 2019; in that time, she's never shared a tank with a male.

It's a rare case of parthenogenesis, a type of asexual reproduction, according to the zoo.


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