Articles and News
☞ The Monthly Newsletter
2/7/2021 8:28 LIGO mirrors have been cooled to near their quantum ground state: “LIGO is designed to detect gravitational waves, but it is also proving to be a fantastic laboratory for pushing the limits of quantum physics.”
25/6/2021 12:21 How astronauts deal with the boring parts of being in space: “Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin airs some dirty laundry about, well, dirty laundry.”
23/2/2021 9:08 NASA’s Juno Mission Expands Into the Future: “The spacecraft, which has been gathering data on the gas giant since July 2016, will become an explorer of the full Jovian system – Jupiter and its rings and moons.” Juno “will now continue its investigation of the solar system’s largest planet through September 2025, or until the spacecraft’s end of life.”
18/2/2021 7:52 How NASA Designed a Helicopter That Could Fly Autonomously on Mars: “This the first time we’ll be flying Linux on Mars. […] The software framework that we’re using is one that we developed at JPL for cubesats and instruments, and we open-sourced it a few years ago. So, you can get the software framework that’s flying on the Mars helicopter, and use it on your own project.”
11/2/2021 8:55 NASA Television to Air Space Station Cargo Ship Launch, Docking: “NASA will provide live coverage on NASA Television […] of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station beginning at 11:15 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 14. […] Following a two-day journey, the spacecraft will automatically link up to the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.”
10/2/2021 8:49 Is It a Planet? Astronomers Spy Promising Potential World around Alpha Centauri: “The candidate could be a ‘warm Neptune’ or a mirage. Either way, it signals the dawn of a revolution in astronomy”.
21/1/2021 16:18 TIC 168789840: A Sextuply-Eclipsing Sextuple Star System: “We report the discovery of a sextuply-eclipsing sextuple star system from TESS data, TIC 168789840, also known as TYC 7037-89-1, the first known sextuple system consisting of three eclipsing binaries.”
18/12/2020 13:16 Cornell postdoc detects possible exoplanet radio emission: “By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, an international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes – that could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system.”
17/12/2020 10:06 Jupiter and Saturn’s Great Conjunction Is the Best in 800 Years—Here’s How to See It: “The giant planets will appear spectacularly close together in Earth’s sky during the solstice on December 21”.
11/12/2020 10:12 NASA to Provide Spanish-Language Coverage, Livestream of Solar Eclipse: “NASA will provide live coverage Monday, Dec. 14, of a solar eclipse that will pass over South America, treating parts of Chile and Argentina to views of a total eclipse of the Sun.”
5/12/2020 7:46 Upcoming conjunctions in the night sky, and how to see them: You can see the dramatic “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn on Dec. 21st, and other interesting conjunctions this month.
1/12/2020 12:41 Arecibo radio telescope’s massive instrument platform has collapsed: In a blow to the international radio astronomy community, to Puerto Rico, and to the standing of U.S. Science, the iconic Arecibo observatory is gone.
19/11/2020 17:38 Arecibo telescope faces a catastrophic collapse, must be deconstructed: A sad day for radio astronomy and for science.
12/11/2020 13:37 SpaceX is about to send four astronauts to the ISS for six-month stay: “The Crew Dragon spacecraft is expected to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket on 15 November.”
6/11/2020 15:22 The sky will literally be the limit at new Mayland planetarium this spring: “Construction is underway on a new planetarium located at the Mayland Community College’s Bare Earth to Sky Park in Yancey County and will open to the public spring of 2021.” The location has international dark sky certification.
6/11/2020 14:36 NASA Langley Wants Virtual-Inspired Art for 2021 Student Art Contest: The art contest is open to all children grades K-12 who are residents of the United States, and children grades K-12 of U.S. military stationed overseas. The submission period begins Dec. 1, 2020 and concludes on Dec. 31, 2020 at midnight EST.
30/10/2020 18:02 NASA’s Asteroid Mission Packs Away Its Cargo. Next Stop: Earth: “The OSIRIS-REX mission has been investigating a carbon-rich asteroid named Bennu for the last couple of years.”
27/10/2020 12:58 Juno Data Indicates “Sprites” or “Elves” Frolic in Jupiter’s Atmosphere: New results from NASA’s Juno mission at Jupiter reveal for the first time these flashes (transient luminous events, or TLEs) on another planet. The findings were published on Oct. 27, 2020, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
27/10/2020 9:59 Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft: “A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space”.
See also Arlington Planetarium news items.