Space Stories: Merging Galaxies, Anniversary for TESS, and Helicopter Flights on Mars

Image (Credit): Arp 220 as captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Alyssa Pagan)

Here are some recent stories of interest.

PetaPixel:Webb Captures Star-Forming Galactic Merger Brighter Than 1 Trillion Suns’”

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning “smash-up” of two spiral galaxies. Collectively called Arp 220, the collision of the pair of galaxies has facilitated massive star formation. Arp 220 is located within the constellation Serpens, about 250 million light-years from Earth. Arp 220 gets its namesake because it is the 220th object in Hallton Art’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Arp 220 is “peculiar” because it’s an ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG), and the nearest ULIRG to Earth.’s TESS Celebrates Fifth Year Scanning the Sky for New Worlds’”

Now in its fifth year in space, NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) remains a rousing success. TESS’s cameras have mapped more than 93% of the entire sky, discovered 329 new worlds and thousands more candidates, and provided new insights into a wide array of cosmic phenomena, from stellar pulsations and exploding stars to supermassive black holes.

NASA:NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Completes 50th Flight’”

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has completed its 50th flight on Mars. The first aircraft on another world reached the half-century mark on April 13, traveling over 1,057.09 feet (322.2 meters) in 145.7 seconds. The helicopter also achieved a new altitude record of 59 feet (18 meters) before alighting near the half-mile-wide (800-meter-wide) “Belva Crater.”