Chinese astronomers discover black hole so big that it shouldn’t exist
Chinese astronomers have discovered a black hole in the Milky Way that current scientific theory says is too big to exist. Scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of China say the find, dubbed LB-1, has 70 times the mass of the sun, even though physics says that is impossible. “We were so shocked we could not believe what we saw,” researcher Liu Jifeng said in Beijing on Thursday. He said he and his colleagues consulted astronomers from around the world and after three years of fact-checking announced their find in an article published by the scientific journal Nature. Present theory says that stars are made up of various elements, ranging from light gas to heavy metals. Lighte
Chinese astronomers discover black hole so big that it shouldn’t exist
China’s Mars mission passes landing test for 2020 launch
China has completed a test of its Mars lander, placing the country on track for its first mission to the red planet next year. In the span of several decades, China has emerged from an economic backwater to a rising space power, with recent breakthroughs including the landing of a rover on the far side of the moon. In developing its Mars mission, China is following in the footsteps of the US, which in the 1970s successfully put the Viking landers on Mars and last landed a rover there in November 2018 in its InSight mission.  China’s space program could contribute to international efforts to understand the climate and natural resources on Mars. While it is cold (the average temperature is ab
China’s Mars mission passes landing test for 2020 launch
China is one step closer to developing reusable rockets
China got closer to being able to land a rocket after it successfully tested the use of SpaceX-style grid fins to steer a spent booster to a target site late last month. The technology could help China develop reusable rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and drive down launch costs as the country has ramped up its space program.  Grid fins are aerodynamic control surfaces that are folded during launch but deployed in flight to control a rocket’s re-entry. China on July 26 launched a Long March 2C rocket with the steering devices for the first time and crash-landed its spent booster at a landing spot in Guizhou province in the country’s southwest, state-run Science and Technology Daily has report
China is one step closer to developing reusable rockets
China’s ‘artificial sun’ is about to get a whole lot hotter
Chinese scientists developing a nuclear fusion reactor – or so-called artificial sun – are set to get a new research center this year in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. China is among the world’s leading players in the development of fusion technology – which has the potential to generate an endless supply of clean energy – and plans to develop a reactor for large-scale commercial use by 2050. The principal challenge for scientists is how to control the energy they produce. In the new center, researchers will be able to carry out “unprecedented experiments in extreme environments,” CNNC said. Critical to the new center’s work is the “HL-2M machine,” a device capable o
China’s ‘artificial sun’ is about to get a whole lot hotter
China launches rocket from ship for first time
China launched a rocket into space from a civilian cargo ship on Wednesday, in its first rocket launch at sea. In doing so, China has also become the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform, which could significantly reduce the cost and risk of space missions. One of China’s Long March 11 rockets, named “CZ-11 WEY,” blasted off from the ship in the Yellow Sea at noon Beijing time. About six minutes later, five commercial satellites and a pair of “technical experiment” probes – called Bufeng, or Wind Catchers – reached their designated orbits. “Launching a rocket from the sea has the advantages of high flexibility, good adaptability for specific tasks, and excelle
China launches rocket from ship for first time
China’s lunar rover finds proof the moon has a mantle
For decades, scientists have believed the moon has a mantle, just like the Earth. Now, China’s lunar rover, Yutu, has discovered the first evidence. “Now we have it,” said Professor Li Chunlai, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatory of China and a lead scientist on the Chang’e-4 mission that put Yutu, or Jade Rabbit as it is known in English, on the moon. Scientists have long suspected that the moon has a mantle under its crust. But previous lunar explorations, including the US Apollo missions, had failed to provide direct proof. The new findings, published in the latest issue of the journal Nature on Thursday, answer some fundamental questions about the moon, such as its
China’s lunar rover finds proof the moon has a mantle
China wants to build a moon base in about 10 years
China’s top space official said the country will launch its first crewed lunar mission and build a lunar base in about a decade, a target that pits Beijing against the Trump administration’s goal to return Americans to the moon in five years. Zhang Kejian, the head of China’s National Space Administration, said on Wednesday the country is planning to set up a research station on the moon’s south pole in “about 10 years,” according to state-run news agency Xinhua. It was the earliest and most specific time frame the Chinese authorities have offered on the next crucial stages of their lunar program. China will also launch its first crewed mission to the moon by then, he said.  The schedule for
China wants to build a moon base in about 10 years
China sets up a camp in the Gobi Desert to simulate life on Mars
China has set up a new educational center in the Gobi Desert to allow students and tourists to experience what life might be like if they had landed on Mars. Constructed in the stark, barren terrain of China’s northwestern province of Gansu, the “Mars Base 1” facility was a project backed by the local government of Jinchang and developed by a tourism company. The facility was set up as China develops its national space program, which has announced plans to send a probe to Mars in 2020. In a milestone for China’s space exploration efforts, the country in January landed a probe on the far side of the moon, the first country to do so. Watch the video, above, for a taste of life on Mars.
China sets up a camp in the Gobi Desert to simulate life on Mars
Why the biggest telescope in the world missed the black hole
To create the first photo of a black hole, scientists analyzed signals from some 55 million light-years away that crossed intergalactic space to reach an array of telescopes spanning the globe, from Hawaii to the South Pole. But these radio signals were notably not captured by the largest single-dish radio telescope on planet Earth, a wok 1,640-foot-wide nestled in the lush mountains of the southern Chinese province of Guizhou which is capable of peering across even greater distances. As the image was revealed in joint press conferences held in seven cities on Wednesday, Chinese scientists in Shanghai said that the country’s telescopes were not involved in photographing the black hole becau
Why the biggest telescope in the world missed the black hole
China opens camp to simulate life on Mars
The sun rises on an arid desert, baking any hint of dust out of a desolate landscape. Another dry day on Mars. Or, perhaps, on China’s Qinghai-Tibet plateau – an arid desert region that is “the place on Earth that is most unlike being on Earth,” according to Gao Junling. Gao is the manager of a newly opened simulation camp intended to give tourists and perhaps researchers a taste of life on the red planet. It comes at a critical time for China, which is keen to demonstrate its progress in space exploration after it became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon in January. On Friday, China opened the Mars simulation camp for researchers and tourists in the remote
China opens camp to simulate life on Mars