Category: astronomy

The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10’s Future Name!

Meg Schwamb • May 29, 2019 The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10’s Future Name! The results from the 2007 OR10 naming suggestion competition are in! Thanks to everyone who voted in the past month. We’ve been blown away by your response. We counted more than 280,000 votes in total! Meg Schwamb Results of the public 2007 Read More

Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2019 Curiosity Gazes Upon Noctilucent Clouds Over Gale Crater Just imagine this scene. You’re on Mars, in Gale crater, with Curiosity. The sun has just set, and the temperature is falling rapidly. You look up. You see brilliant, wispy clouds, still sunlit even though night has fallen where you’re standing. They’re high Read More

LightSail Launch Event

Richard Chute • May 21, 2019 LightSail Launch Event Preliminary Plans LightSail 2’s launch window opens on June 22, and we are finalizing plans for our launch viewing celebrations. Once we have finished coordinating the details with the Air Force’s STP-2 mission team and the Kennedy Space Center, we will share them with all of our members Read More

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site

Emily Lakdawalla • May 16, 2019 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Beresheet Impact Site Ouch. NASA / GSFC / ASU Beresheet impact site on the Moon, before and after Before and after comparison of the landing site as seen by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Date in lower left indicates when the image was taken. It appears the spacecraft Read More

Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle

Andrew Jones • May 15, 2019 Chang’e-4 may have discovered material from the Moon’s mantle The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which Read More

China’s SmallSat Lunar Mission Longjiang-2 to Deorbit on 31 July

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2019 China’s SmallSat Lunar Mission Longjiang-2 to Deorbit on 31 July According to amateur spacecraft tracker Daniel Estévez, Longjiang-2 will crash into the Moon on 31 July after more than a year in lunar orbit. Longjiang-2 is one of a pair of small satellites that launched to the Moon along with the Read More

A Crash Program or Modest Proposal?

Casey Dreier • May 13, 2019 A Crash Program or Modest Proposal? The latter. The White House released a long-awaited supplemental budget request for NASA today. It proposes an additional $1.6 billion for an accelerated human spaceflight effort to land on the Moon in 2024. This boosts the President’s budget request for NASA to $22.6 billion in Read More

Hearing Recap: Keeping Our Sights on Mars

Brendan Curry • May 9, 2019 Hearing Recap: Keeping Our Sights on Mars A Review of NASA’s Deep Space Plans and Lunar Proposal Overview: On May 8, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing entitled “Keeping our Sights on Mars: A Review of NASA’s Deep Space Plans”. Members in Read More

Mars Used to Have Water, But We Can’t Explain How

Kaushik Mitra • May 7, 2019 Mars Used to Have Water, But We Can’t Explain How The Paradox of Water Stability on Early Mars Mars has been the most extensively studied planet in the Solar System, except of course Earth. For the last 25 years, these missions have focused on the search for life by “following the Read More

Accuracy Can Be Fun!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 1, 2019 Accuracy Can Be Fun! Data and sources for the Chop Shop Planetary Blocks Last week, designer Thomas Romer of Chop Shop Studio launched a Kickstarter to support the creation of a new product: Planetary Blocks. I’ve been working closely with Thomas on these blocks for more than a year, advising on Read More

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