About 9.3 billion years ago, a supernova exploded in our universe. Since then, its light has been traveling the billions of light years it takes to get to our little planet we call home. But in between this supernova and Earth, there happens to be a massive galaxy, within a cluster of galaxies, which has had an interesting effect on the path of the light coming from this exploded star.
At the center of any massive galaxy, you'll most likely find one daunting portion of space-time: a supermassive black hole. These gigantic gravity wells are so gigantic, they have a mass that's equal to millions or even billions of times the mass of our Sun. While extremely powerful, black holes can be relatively hard to study. But now researchers have accurately measured a substantial byproduct of supermassive black holes: winds that travel at more than 62,000 miles per second.
The International Space Station is getting a makeover starting this week. On Friday, astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts will conduct the first of a series of spacewalks to reconfigure the outside of the station to create two new docking ports, Discovery News reports. The new ports will provide parking spots for spacecraft that will be visiting in the near future—namely, the commercial space taxis being developed by SpaceX and Boeing.
Around 70,000 years ago, earth was a pretty bleak place. Homo erectus had just gone extinct, and we were all in mourning. But while we were distracted by things like the near-extinction of our own species, some fantastic stuff was going on in the furthest reaches of our solar system, including a visit from a star and its sidekick, a brown dwarf--too large to be a planet, and too small and cool to be a star.