Perseverance's landing sequence was anything but easy. The landing involved several steps, each of which had to be executed perfectly for a safe landing - and the geeks at NASA nailed it! Here is a video breakdown of the landing. https://youtu.be/ovzIar9Z1Uo Here are the steps it took to land Perseverance on Mars. Cruise stage separation (10 min).Enter the Mars atmosphere (0 min.)Perseverance reaches its maximum heating during entry (80 sec.)Parachute deploys (240 sec.)Heat shield separates (260 sec.)Radar locks in the landing zone (290 sec.)Backshell separates (360 sec.)Rockets fire during descentPerseverance rover separates and begins lowering to the ground via the Sky Crane.Perseverance touches the ground.The Sky Crane flies away.
See the "stars" in the picture above. Well, those aren't stars. They're supermassive black holes. Black holes don't generate much radiation and thus, are difficult for astronomers to spot. However, as they devour everything around it, materials spiral into the black hole like water spinning around a drain. This action generates radio waves which scientist can use to detect the presence of a black hole. The detailed map of black holes was created by astronomers using the low radio frequency signatures detected by the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) in Europe. The LOFAR array consists of about 20,000 radio antennas distributed across 52 different locations in Europe. Scientists wrote a special program that uses the LOFAR radio telescope data to map out the black holes we see in the
A three-star system Astronomers at NASA have discovered a unique six-star system located about 2,000 light-years from Earth. The system, TIC 168789840, has 3-pairs of stars whirling about each other. The stars in TIC 168789840 are too far from Earth to be seen clearly through a telescope so scientists used a bit of astronomy-magic to spot them. The stars orbit on a plane that lines up perfectly with Earth. Due to the convenient alignment, every time one of the stars passes another, an eclipse is created which causes a ebb and flow of light when viewed from Earth. Scientists could then use years of observational data to look for cycles of dimming and lighting and then determine the dimming was caused by a pair of stars rotating
December 14, 2020 solar eclipse over South America If you were in the southern tip of South America on December 14, 2020, you were in for a special treat - the only solar eclipse of 2020. But thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we are in for a treat too. NOAA's satellite captured the eclipse as it moved across the planet. In the animated gif above, you can see the moon's shadow sweep across the African continent, blocking out the sun. NOAA explained: "People in areas where the outer part of the moon's shadow falls, called the penumbra, see a partial solar eclipse. For today's eclipse, that included much of South America as well as a small portion of Africa's southwest coast. If the sun
The geeks at NASA just released a treasure trove of new images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble telescope can take very clear pictures because it orbits above the Earth's atmosphere. The telescope is continually improved by spacewalking astronauts too so the pictures just keep getting better. Check out the newest Hubble Space Telescope images in the picture gallery below. This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.
Earth is a lot closer to the center of the universe, and a massive black hole, than originally thought.
Astronomers just completed a new model of the Milky Way Galaxy that is the most accurate depiction of our galaxy to date. The new model revealed a couple of unexpected twists. Because Earth is inside the Milky Way Galaxy, we have no way to "step out" of the galaxy to see what it looks like from the outside. Instead, astronomers study the motion and measurements of objects around us to get a picture of what our galaxy looks like. To begin, scientists used a technique known as interferometry to combine data from dozens of radio telescopes across Japan. This combination of data achieves the same result as a telescope 1,429 miles wide! Then scientists use this data to create a 3D map of our galaxy. The results of
China is aiming to be the third country to reach the Moon and return lunar rock and soil to Earth for analysis. The United States and Russia returned Moon samples to earth about 40 years ago. This week. China's Chang'e-5 robotic spacecraft took off aboard a Long March 5 rocket and began its voyage to the Moon. The mission is run by the China National Space Administration, China's equivalent of NASA. When Chang'e-5 reaches the moon, it will go into orbit. A robotic lander (there are no humans on this mission) will be deployed to the Moon's surface. It will use near-infrared spectrometers and ground-penetrating radar to peer under the Moon's surface. After finding a prime spot to dig, the robot will drill into the soil
The geniuses at NASA have given us another great video - this time a flyby over the planet Jupiter! Check it out below: https://youtu.be/83DwrViZQIE The video was created using images from NASA's Juno mission during its 27th close flyby of the planet on June 2, 2020. The Juno spacecraft flies about 2,1000 miles from the tops of Jupiter's clouds. Jupiter has such tremendous gravity, that it accelerates Juno's speed to about 130,000 mph! Juno was launched from Earth about 9 years ago. It took 5 more years before it settled into a polar orbit of Jupiter and began sending NASA scientists photos and data of the planet. When Juno's mission is complete, it will crash into Jupiter, snapping photos all the way.
It's that time of year again - the Earth is about to drive through the stream of debris that trails the Tempel-Tuttle comet - and that means METEOR SHOWER! The spectacular Leonid meteor shower will steak meteors from a point just below the head of the constellation Leo, the lion (hence the shower's name - Leonid). From that point, meteors will fly in all directions - even upward! The Leonid meteor shower is one of the best annual showers for meteor watching. In some years, it can produce as many as 50,000 meteors per hour. 1966 was the last great "meteor storm". Thousands of meteors per minute fell through Earth's atmosphere during a 15-minute period. There were so many meteors seen that they appeared to fall
Crew Dragon launches today! For the first time in nearly a decade, the US will launch 2 passengers into space from US soil.
It's really happening! Today NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will board a SpaceX capsule named Crew Dragon. The capsule will be carried from Florida into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket. They will travel to the International Space Stations (ISS) as a major test of SpaceX's new Dragon 2 spacecraft. The event is historic for various reasons. It's the first time since 2011 that the US launched astronauts from its own soil. Also, this historic flight is a new type of partnership between a public entity (NASA) and a private aerospace firm (SpaceX). If all goes well, we can expect much more from these guys in the future. The flight is currently targeted for 4:33PM ET on Wednesday, May 27th. That may change if the