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Giant Space Telescopes Could Be Made Out of Liquid

Apr 9, 2022

The Hubble space telescope has a primary mirror of 2.4 meters. The Nancy Grace Roman telescope has one at 2.4 meters and the James Webb Space Telescope has a whopping 6.5 meter primary mirror. These are all fine and well to get the job done that they were designed for, but what if… we could have even bigger mirrors? The larger the mirror, the more light is collected. This means that we can see farther back in time with bigger mirrors to observe star and galaxy formation, image exoplanets dir ...read more

Astronauts are Practicing Landing at the Moon's South Pole

Apr 9, 2022

The European Space Agency (ESA) is learning how to touch down safely at the South Pole of the Moon, without ever leaving Earth. Actual Moon landings seem to be on the horizon in the next decade via the Artemis program, and astronauts are going to have to learn to handle the unique challenges of landing in the Moon’s polar environment. With low angle sunlight and deep, permanently shadowed craters, the Moon’s South Pole poses difficulties no Apollo mission ever faced. To get hands-on experie ...read more

The Four Private Axiom Astronauts are off to the International Space Station

Apr 10, 2022

This morning, at 11:17 AM EDT (08:17 AM PDT), the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Designated Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), this mission consists of four commercial astronauts flying aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was live-streamed via NASA’s official Youtube channel (you can catch the replay here). The crew o ...read more

Jupiter and Ganymede are Connected by Magnetic Fields

Apr 10, 2022

On July 5th, 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter and began its four-year mission (which has since been extended to 2025) to study the gas giant’s atmosphere, composition, magnetosphere, and gravitational environment. Juno is the first dedicated mission to study Jupiter since the Galileo probe studied the system between 1995 and 2003. The images and data it has sent back to Earth have revealed much about Jupiter’s atmosphere, aurorae, polar storms, internal structure, and moo ...read more

Space Force is Releasing Decades of Tracking Data on a Thousand Bright Meteor Fireballs

Apr 11, 2022

When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed it heats up. This heating up produces a streak of light and is termed a meteor. When a meteor is bright enough, about the brightness of Venus or brighter, it becomes a fireball. Sometimes these fireballs explode in the atmosphere, becoming bolides. These bolides are bright enough to be seen even during the day. Studying bolides as they pass through the atmosphere can help model larger asteroids, something of interest to the P ...read more

Perseverance’s Software Lets it Move Swiftly Across the Surface of Mars

Apr 11, 2022

Mars rovers are not known for being particularly speedy.  Spirit and Opportunity managed a max speed of a whopping 5 cm per second, while Curiosity clocked in at a max speed of .1 kph.  Over their long mission times, even those speeds opened up many potential areas to explore. But Perseverance is leaving them in the dust as it makes its way up to a river delta where it will begin its next round of sample collection. Perseverance began its journey on March 14th and is traveling to a part of Je ...read more

Perseverance Finally Spots its Own Parachute on the Surface of Mars

Apr 12, 2022

More than 13 months after the Perseverance rover landed on Mars (on February 18, 2021), the rover’s cameras have finally spotted some of the parts of the Mars 2020 landing system that got the rover safely to the ground.  The parachute and backshell were imaged by Perseverance’s MastCam-Z, seen off in the distance, just south of the rover’s current location. The image was taken on Sol 404, or April 6, 2022 on Earth. Normally the rover might have taken a brief side-trip early on in the ...read more