A group of amateur and professional astronomers have collaborated to create what may be the highest resolution global map of Mars ever created with images taken from Earth.
The images were taken with the 1-meter telescope at the Pic-du-Midi observatory in the Pyrenees of France, during several nights in October and November, 2020 when Mars was at opposition, or its closest approach to Earth.
Continue reading “A High Resolution, Cross-Eyed Look at the Entire Surface of Mars”
Another main cable that supports the Arecibo Observatory broke last week, falling onto the reflector dish and causing more damage. This is the second time a cable has snapped on the iconic radio observatory in just three months.
The new damage is an unfortunate and devastating setback for the observatory, just as repairs from the first accident were about to begin.
Continue reading “A Second Cable has Failed at Arecibo, Causing Even More Damage to the Radio Observatory”
Australia’s iconic 64-meter Parkes radio telescope has been given a new traditional name to recognize the Wiradjuri, who own the land on which the telescope sits. The Wiradjuri are some of Australia’s First People who have occupied the continent and its adjacent islands for over 65,000 years.
The telescope received the name Murriyang, which represents the ‘Skyworld’ where a prominent creator spirit of the Wiradjuri Dreaming, Biyaami (Baiame), lives. The two smaller telescopes at CSIRO’s Parkes Observatory also received Wiradjuri names.
Continue reading “Australia’s Parkes Telescope Just Got a New Name: Murriyang, Which Means “Skyworld””
“Voyager 2, this is Earth calling. Do you read?”
Last week, the answer was finally “yes.” And thankfully, after eight months of no communications, Voyager2 seems to be just fine.
Continue reading “The Only Radio Antenna Capable of Communicating with Voyager 2 Came Back Online During Repairs and Upgrades. Contact Re-established”
In 2022, NASA will launch a spacecraft to asteroid Psyche (16 Psyche), one of the largest in the asteroid belt, and the only known asteroid to be composed almost entirely of metals like iron and nickel.
Now, scientists have taken a new look at Psyche using the Hubble Space Telescope, conducting the first ultraviolet observations of this asteroid since the 1980s. Hubble has provided new insights into Psyche’s surface and composition, as well as possible activity taking place on Psyche’s surface.
Continue reading “New Scans Give us a Better View of the Metal Asteroid Psyche”
This may be one of the strangest craters you’ll ever see.
Ryder crater is located near the south pole of our Moon, and it has a bizarre oblong shape (approximately 13 x 17 km in size), with a ridge cutting across the middle.
The majority of impact craters are round. How did Ryder crater end up in this odd shape?
Continue reading “Why Does the Moon’s Ryder Crater Look This Way?”
Is there such as thing as too much asteroid?
Scientists and engineers for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx decided to perform an “early stow” of the sample from Asteroid Bennu collected by the spacecraft on October 20, because the collection container is full-to-overflowing, possibly jamming the collector head from sealing shut.
Continue reading “OSIRIS-REx Collected So Much Material, the Sample Capsule Overflowed. Time to Bring it All Home.”
All her life, Laci Shea Brock has needed to be creative and inventive. So, perhaps it’s not completely surprising that in addition to pursuing her PhD in planetary sciences and astrophysics, she’s also a talented artist.
“My Dad says I’ve always had a paintbrush in my hand,” Brock said, “and I’ve always been inspired by space and nature.
Continue reading “Mixing Science and Art, One Painting at a Time”
Out in the asteroid belt, 207 million miles (334 million km) from Earth, a little spacecraft briefly touched down on the surface of Asteroid Bennu today, attempting to collect samples of dust and rocks.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) spent about 10 seconds on the ancient asteroid to collect samples, slated to come back to Earth in 2023. While mission scientists and engineers need to confirm that samples from the asteroid were collected, preliminary data show that every step of the procedure went as planned.
Continue reading “Success! OSIRIS-REx Touches Asteroid Bennu to Collect Samples”
Today’s the day! The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is going to reach out and boop asteroid Bennu! You can watch the broadcast here as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of an asteroid on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:12 pm EDT (5:12 pm CDT, 3:12 PDT).
Continue reading “Watch “Live” as NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Nabs an Asteroid Sample”