The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has developed a glitch and gone into safe mode. The 19 year old spacecraft is well past it’s design life but continues to produce incredible science so hopefully it’ll be back to full serviceability very soon.
The aborted launch of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Expedition 57 to the International Space Station reminded the world that space flight can still be dangerous. Fortunately both Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin return safely to the surface of the Earth.
The amount of interstellar particles being detected by Voyager 2 may indicate that the spacecraft is about to pass through the heliopause into interstellar space.
Riding on Elon Musk’s muscle power earthlings are preparing to invade the Moon again. There they will find that some of its craters have been renamed to honour the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit our natural satellite 50 years ago. Venus is hailed by the Parker Solar probe that swings by it, Jupiter’s Moon Europa has 15 meters ice spikes on the surface and Saturn’s rings are not just water nor all the lost airline luggage. Mars has to resign to the idea that earthlings have figured out how to grow plants on it. Not even perchlorates can stop them. And last but not least, New Horizons is unstoppable going towards Ultima Thule.
The Hubble Space Telescope is currently in safe mode while technicians at NASA figure out what has gone wrong with a gyroscope that was found to be not performing properly. Hopefully it’s an easy fix and Hubble will be back to full operations soon.
Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe and are amazingly powerful. They are caused by Super Massive Black Holes.
Last month, the New Zealand Government – The New Zealand Space Agency together with the US Embassy have announced four scholarships at NASA Ames, the same place I have been in 2014. There were media outlets in New Zealand that publicised this as an astronaut training opportunity, but this internship is no astronaut training school although it might lead to becoming one. This, and the knowledge that you don’t need to be an astronaut to work in the space industry, prompted me to want to share from my experience at NASA and give an overview of what to realistically expect from these internships.
Last week was Mars Week at Oxford Area School in the South Island. It was a great week running Mars Missions and learning all about Mars.
The night sky is full of stars and some of the very brightest we see have some very interesting characteristics. Next time you’re looking at Sirius or Canopus you’ll be able to appreciate just how big they are compared to our very own star – the Sun.
First of all, Earth has a lot of water. It has 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 l of water. Some of this is in the oceans, some in the rivers and some inside Earth’s rocks, and some very deep […]
via Liquid water detected on Mars, can it hold life? – ASTROBIOLOGY.NZ The European Space Agency discovered a pocket of liquid water inside layers of ice on Mars. Professor Ian Hawes, from Waikato University explains why this discovery is important in our quest to understand life on Mars and other frozen places in the Solar System that contain water.
It’s the Winter of the Planets and in the early evening this week you can see Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Then there is the Lunar Eclipse on Saturday morning as well.
Next year is the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s voyage to the Pacific Ocean. One the things he did was contribute to a more accurate calculation of the distance between the Earth and the Sun by observing the transit of Venus.
The night sky this week is still all about the planets but if you’re quick, you can still spot some deep sky objects before the Moon gets too bright.
Ever wanted to work for NASA? Or learn about astrobiology from New Zealand? Join us to find out what’s an astrobiologist, why should one visit New Zealand, how the hot springs here in Rotorua are putting it on the astrobiology map, what are NASA plans for sending people on Mars and what you need to do to work there at NASA, jobs of the future, Twizel and artificial intelligence.
A great week for deep sky observing, why not try and see if you can Barnard’s Galaxy or the Saturn Nebula.
Some interesting news about space in the last week.
Vesta reached opposition on the 20 June but is still quite easy to see and well worth a look if you get the chance.
When observing the planets in astronomy it can be quite surprising to see the different sizes that appear in the eyepiece and how this can change over time.
The game changer for access to space will be humanity moving away from the use of chemical rockets to get into orbit. The disrupters to the space industry will be the ones that perfect the alternative technologies.
The Winter of planets continues with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all at fantastic high positions over the week. Venus is also getting a bit higher out of the distorted atmosphere near the horizon.