A galactic tail of x-rays 250,000 light years long


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An extraordinary ribbon of hot gas trailing behind a galaxy like a tail has been discovered using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory…This ribbon, or X-ray tail, is likely due to gas stripped from the galaxy as it moves through a vast cloud of hot intergalactic gas. With a length of at least 250,000 light years, it is likely the largest such tail ever detected. In this new composite image, X-rays from Chandra (blue) have been combined with data in visible light from the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (yellow) in the Canary Islands, Spain.

The tail is located in the galaxy cluster Zwicky 8338, which is almost 700 million light years from Earth. The length of the tail is more than twice the diameter of the entire Milky Way galaxy. The tail contains gas at temperatures of about ten million degrees, about twenty million degrees cooler than the intergalactic gas, but still hot enough to glow brightly in X-rays that Chandra can detect…

In images from Chandra and the NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array…the galaxy CGCG254-021 appears to be moving towards the bottom of the image with the tail following behind. There is a significant gap between the X-ray tail and the galaxy, the largest ever seen. The significant separation between the galaxy and the tail might be evidence that the gas has been completely stripped off the galaxy.

Astronomers were also able to learn more about the interactions of the system by carefully examining the properties of the galaxy and its tail. The tail has a brighter spot, referred to as its “head”. Behind this head is the tail of diffuse X-ray emission. The gas in the head may be cooler and richer in elements heavier than helium than the rest of the tail. In front of the head there are hints of a bow shock, similar to a shock wave formed by a supersonic plane and in front of the bow shock is the galaxy CGCG254-021.

Or you could join your Uncle Ted waiting for angels to appear in his living room and announce climate change has ceased, it was really a test from G_d, and Americans also need not fear unemployment any longer. There is pie in the sky.

SpaceX returns to flight and succeeds with historic landing

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at its landing pad here Monday evening in its first flight since its rocket exploded six months ago.

The historic landing, the first time a rocket launched a payload into orbit and then returned safely to Earth, was cheered as a sign that SpaceX, the darling of the commercial space industry, has its momentum back…

Monday’s flight, initially delayed because of technical concerns, was the second time in a month that a billionaire-backed venture launched a rocket to space and recovered it. And it represents yet another significant step forward in the quest to open up the cosmos to the masses.

In a call with reporters, Musk said that it appeared the stage landed “dead center on the landing pad. … We could not have asked for a better mission.” He called it a “revolutionary moment.”

Typically, rocket boosters are used once, burning up or crashing into the ocean after liftoff. But Musk, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and Tesla, and Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com who has his own space company, have been working on creating reusable rockets that land vertically by using their engine thrust. If they are able to recover rockets and fly them again and again, it would dramatically lower the cost of space flight.

On Monday, SpaceX’s first flight since its Falcon 9 rocket blew up in June, Musk topped his fellow tech billionaire and space rival, by landing a larger, more powerful rocket designed to send payloads to orbit, and not just past the boundary of what’s considered space. It was a much more complicated feat that was celebrated as another leap forward for Musk and his merry band of rocketeers.

Catching up to Buck Rogers all the time.

LifeLock to pay $100 million settlement for making false claims about protecting data

LifeLock which sells identity theft monitoring and fraud detection services, has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges that it failed to properly protect its customers’ data, the Federal Trade Commission said…

The FTC had accused LifeLock…of violating a 2010 court order that required it to take steps to secure data properly and said that LifeLock falsely advertised that it protected that information, among other allegations.

The $100 million is to be deposited to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. A total of $68 million may be used to reimburse consumers in a class-action lawsuit. The balance will be used by the FTC to reimburse LifeLock customers not involved in the lawsuit…

LifeLock paid $12 million in 2010 to settle charges that it overstated the value of its services. The FTC said then that LifeLock advertised that it could stop identity theft for consumers who buy its service. But the FTC said the company’s fraud alerts did not protect customers from misuse of existing accounts, the most common form of the crime.

As part of the settlement…LifeLock is required to refrain from misrepresenting how much they can do to protect their customers from identity theft and to implement a data security program…

Or they could just add insult to injury like some of the social networking companies and sell your personal data. 🙂