Next Friday, the 5th of August, all things going as planned, I will be watching NASA’s latest scientific planetary mission launch into space, aboard at Atlas V rocket, from Kennedy Space Center Florida. The mission, named Juno, is a spacecraft bound for Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system and the fifth planet from our Sun.
Juno is the second mission of NASA’s New Frontiers program, with the first being the New Horizons probe launched in 2006 and headed to Pluto. The program focuses on exploring the solar system with frequent (approximately one every 36 months) spacecraft missions . . .
On June 1st of this year, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft was able to capture images of an unusual alignment as Mars’ moon Phobos passed in front of Jupiter (seen in background). The images were put together to form this amazing animation.
Mars has two moons – Phobos and Deimos. The origins of these names are a bit gloomy : Phobos, named after a Greek God, means “fear” and Deimos is a figure representing “dread” in Greek mythology. Phobos is the largest of the two, and the closest moon to Mars.
You can see quite . . .
This week NASA’s Fermi space telescope made a discovery that is perplexing scientists around the world. Fermi is a space telescope which detects gamma ray radiation - the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation. In fact it is billions of times more energetic than the type of light visible to our eyes.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum.
This means that Fermi sees the immense energy of the most exotic and energetic phenomenon in our Universe: super massive black holes, pulsars and streams of hot gas travelling at close to the speed of light. This week Fermi and the astronomers at the Harvard . . .
There is plenty of excitement for NASA this week with both manned and unmanned missions sharing the limelight. Avid shuttle watchers are eagerly awaiting this week’s scheduled launch of Space Shuttle Discovery’s final mission to the International Space Station now scheduled for Nov.5th at the earliest.
Nov. 4th held a real treat: NASA’s EPOXI mission made a very successful close encounter with a comet known as Hartley 2. In fact this encounter is the closest a man-made object has ever come to any comet – coming within 435 miles/700 km. This is only the fifth time a spacecraft has . . .