"Astronomers have thought for a while that conditions within these outflows could be right for star formation, but no one has seen it actually happening, as it’s a very difficult observation ..."
"If star formation is really occurring in most galactic outflows, as some theories predict, then this would provide a completely new scenario for our understanding of galaxy evolution ..."
|Pluto back-lit view|
Lastly, much of what we are discovering about distant objects depends, ultimately, upon the cost of access to space. In that vein, it's beyond awesome that SpaceX has now successfully re-flown and re-recovered one of its Falcon 9 launchers. For more on that, see "SpaceX makes aerospace history with successful launch and landing of a used rocket."
|As high as any SLS engine has gotten ...|
As a onetime NASA contractor, I spent several years contributing to Mission to Planet Earth. (More specifically, I led contractor teams designing and building much of the distributed computing system, both hardware and software, that processes the torrents of data transmitted by MtPE's Earth-observing satellites.) In my experience, the "oversight" process back then (I left in 1997) was onerous/ponderous, impeded progress, and rarely made a useful contribution. But 72 percent overhead? That has to be a record -- and not the good kind.
How wonderful it is that upstarts like SpaceX are showing a new, faster, more economical way into space.