Superflares are very strong explosions observed on stars with energies up to ten thousand times that of typical solar flares. The stars in this class satisfy conditions which should make them solar analogues, and would be expected to be stable over very long time scales. The original nine candidates were detected by a variety of methods. No systematic study was possible until the launch of the Kepler satellite, which monitored a very large number of solar-type stars with very high accuracy for an extended period. This showed that a small proportion of stars had violent outbursts, up to 10,000 times as powerful as the strongest flares known on the Sun. In many cases there were multiple events on the same star. Younger stars were more likely to flare than old ones, but strong events were seen on stars as old as the Sun.
Cassini launched aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur on 15 October 1997, Cassini had been active in space for nearly 20 years, with 13 years spent orbiting Saturn, studying the planet and its system since entering orbit on 1 July 2004. The voyage to Saturn included flybys of Venus (April 1998 and June 1999), Earth (August 1999), the asteroid 2685 Masursky, and Jupiter (December 2000). Its mission ended on 15 September 2017, when Cassini flew into Saturn’s upper atmosphere and burned up at a very high temperature, in order to prevent any risk of contaminating Saturn’s moons, some of which have active environments that could potentially bear life. (At that point Cassini lacked sufficient power to leave the Saturn system so it could only be left in orbit where it might collide with a moon or be destroyed). The mission is widely perceived to have been successful beyond expectation. Cassini-Huygens has been described by NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director as a “mission of firsts”, that has revolutionized human understanding of the Saturn system, including its moons and rings, and our understanding of where life might be found in the Solar System.
Cassini‘s original mission was planned to last for four years, from June 2004 to May 2008. The mission was extended for another two years until September 2010, branded the Cassini Equinox Mission. The mission was extended a second and final time with the Cassini Solstice Mission, lasting another seven years until 15 September 2017, on which date Cassini was de-orbited by being allowed to burn up in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.
The Huygens module traveled with Cassini until its separation from the probe on 25 December 2004; it was successfully landed by parachute on Titan on January 14, 2005. It successfully returned data to Earth for around 90 minutes, using the orbiter as a relay. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System and the first landing on a moon other than our own. Cassini continued to study the Saturn system in the following years.
At the end of its mission, the Cassini spacecraft executed the “Grand Finale” of its mission: several risky passes through the gaps between Saturn and Saturn’s inner rings. The purpose of this phase was to maximize Cassini‘s scientific outcome before the spacecraft was destroyed. The atmospheric entry of Cassini effectively ended the mission, although data analysis and production will continue afterwards.
Haloed – Esper
somejerk – Savage
Anomalie – New Space
MACROSS 82-99 – Fugaz (feat. mothica)
The Polish Ambassador – Ritual Revival
Deeb – Fluid Dynamics
Kuartz – She Want A Condo In New York
Dday One – Everyday
Chairman Maf – SMiLES
Madvillain – Accordian (Instrumental)
Nicola Cruz – Invocacion
Jay Dee – Lightworks
Danny Brown – Grown Up (Instrumental)
Danny Brown – Grown Up
Pretty Lights – Lost and Found (ODESZA Remix)
La Fine Equipe – Move Out
Waajeed – The Doo Wops
Commodo – Itchin
Nosaj Thing – Nowhere
Waajeed – The Dragon
Jay 5ive & Kromestar – Wishful Thinking (Om Unit remix)
The first direct gravitational wave observation was made on 14 September 2015 and was announced by the LIGO and Virgo interferometer collaborations on 11 February 2016. The waveform, detected by both LIGO observatories, matched the predictions of general relativity for a gravitational wave emanating from the inward spiral and merger of a pair of black holes and subsequent “ringdown” of the single resulting black hole. The signal was named GW150914 (i.e., “Gravitational Wave 2015–09–14“). This was also the first observation of a binary black hole merger, demonstrating the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems, and that such mergers could occur within the current age of the universe.
This first observation was reported around the world as a remarkable accomplishment for many reasons. Efforts to prove the existence of such waves had been ongoing for over fifty years, and the waves are so minuscule that Einstein doubted they could ever be detected. The waves given off by the cataclysmic merger of GW150914 reached Earth as a ripple in space-time that changed the length of a 4-km LIGO arm by a tiny fraction of the width of a proton, proportionally equivalent to changing the distance to the nearest star by one hair’s width. The energy released during the brief climax of the event was immense, with about three solar masses converted to gravitational waves and radiated away at a peak rate of about 3.6×1049 watts — more than the combined power of all light radiated by all the stars in the observable universe. The observation was also heralded as confirming the last remaining unproven prediction of general relativity, and validating its predictions of space-time distortion in the context of large scale cosmic events, as well as inaugurating a new era of gravitational-wave astronomy, allowing probing of violent astrophysical events unobservable until now.