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Ep. 40, Page 4
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Comic 3050 - Ep. 40, Page 4

27th Feb 2020, 7:20 PM in Episode 40 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
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Author Notes:

smbhax 27th Feb 2020, 7:20 PM edit delete
smbhax
Space news mini-round-up!

- "Docking gives Intelsat telecoms satellite new lease of life" (BBC) - Northrop Grumman's "Mission Extension Vehicle-1" satellite successfully locked itself onto an expiring Intelsat satellite, and will act as its navigation and thrusters as it moves it to a new orbit. The docking is a first for commercial satellites. Once Intelsat-901's extended mission runs its course, MEV-1 will put it in a "graveyard" orbit, then move on to another old satellite that needs a boost.

- Record-breaking Explosion by Black Hole Spotted (NASA) - NASA says they've spotted—by X-ray, radio, and infrared telescopes—a hole in an intergalactic gas cloud—in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, 390 million light years away—as wide as 15 Milky Ways, and surrounded by electrons accelerated close to the speed of light. The scientists say this cavity must have been blown out by relativistic jets from a truly massive explosion, one that would have required five times the energy of the largest remnant spotted heretofore.

The source of the explosion is thought to be the supermassive black hole at the center of a "large" galaxy that is at the center of the Ophiuchus cluster. I can't seem to find any details on this galaxy, other than a mention in this new article on The Guardian saying that its supermassive black hole is 10 million solar masses.

Which is not all that big as far as the biggest supermassive black holes go. Sure, it's about 2.5 times as massive as Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, but about 6,600 times smaller than the most massive black hole known. But those haven't left evidence of bigger explosions yet, so, nyah.

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The original 16" x 6.75" watercolor art for today's new A* page is up for auction on eBay. : )