Credit: NASA; ESA
The Year in Pictures
We find ourselves on the cusp of a new year, just a few days before perihelion, when the earth is closest to the sun in its annual, eccentric journey. At such times it's natural to look back and assess where we've been and what we've done. It has been a year of impressive accomplishments and new records set. It began with SuperTiger's record-setting balloon flight to help determine the origin of cosmic rays. NuSTAR, NASA's newest high-energy space observatory, completed the first year of its black hole hunt, and helped us understand how fast black holes can spin. Sadly, accomplishment often comes with loss, and this year marked the passing of Sally Ride, America's first woman in space. The Planck satellite produced the finest map of the small temperature differences in the ancient sky that gave rise to all the galaxies, stars and planets around us. Our understanding of the production and distribution of iron in the cosmos was advanced by observations from Suzaku and XMM. We saw the echoes of a meal devoured by Sgr A*, the Milky Way's supermassive black hole. We saw one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever, and evidence of extremely energetic neutrinos from somewhere in outer space. 2013 also gave us a number of things to look forward to: a new mission to map dark energy and dark matter, and one to provide the finest observations of the warm and hot components of the Universe. Here's hopes to an equally successful 2014!
Published: December 30, 2013
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 30-Dec-2013 08:07:16 EST