Photo credit: Radbound University / ESO
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which merges dozens of widely dispersed radio dishes, from Hawaii to Greenland and the South Pole, has captured a breathtaking image of a black hole jet in Centaurus A. The massive virtual telescope essentially points a large number of dishes at a celestial object at the same time and carefully time stamps the data from each one with an atomic clock. Researchers later reassemble it with giant computing clusters. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: RG123
Ever wonder what Buzz Aldrin saw when Neil Armstrong captured this famous photograph during the Apollo 11 mission? If so, then one visual effects artist also wanted to see the result, so the lunar vista reflected in his helmet was ‘unwrapped’, resulting in a 360-degree astronaut’s-eye panoramic view of the Moon. To be more specific, this image was taken in July, 1969 when Aldrin stood near the leg of the Eagle lunar module. Read more for the full image and additional information.
Photo credit: NASA / Gaia
An asteroid (2008 GO20) the size of the Giza pyramid / Taj Mahal that stands between 318-720 feet tall (220 meters) is set to zip by Earth today and it’s hurtling through space at 18,000 miles per hour. Researchers state it may come as close as 2.8 million miles to Earth, which places it in the “Apollo,” the term used for near-Earth designation. NASA is closely monitoring the asteroid’s progress, but considering the moon is 238,855 miles away, there’s not too much to worry about. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA officially awarded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) a $178-million contract for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Called the Europa Clipper mission, it’s set to launch in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once Europa Clipper reaches the moon, it will conduct a detailed survey and use a suite of science instruments to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s InSight spacecraft may have landed on Mars in 2018, but the rovers and orbiters studying the Red Planet concentrated on its surface still provide valuable data today. More specifically, the stationary lander’s seismometer, which gives us the first details on the depth and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle, as well as core, including confirmation that the planet’s center is molten. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Rapper Lil Uzi Vert is allegedly purchasing a strange planet 200-light-years from Earth, called WASP-127b. This gas giant expolanet is around 1.4-times larger than Jupiter and orbits an orange dwarf star in the constellation of Virgo. Unlike Earth, WASP-127b orbits so close to its home star that it completes an orbit in just over 4-days, with surface temperatures surpassing 1,000° C. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is making final preparations to collect its first-ever Martian rock sample, which will be transported back to Earth on future planned missions. It’s currently searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough,” and the mission is expected to begin within the next two weeks. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Nicknamed the “Most Vertical Watch”, this Seiko A829-6019 Astronaut Sports 100 Alarm Chronograph was worn by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan on both STS-41G and STS-31 space missions, as well as on her descent to the bottom of Challenger Deep. This piece of history recently sold for $21,420 USD at a Sotheby’s auction and comes complete with a typed provenance letter signed by Kathy Sullivan on her letterhead, an olive drab elastic band, and is stamped and numbered “333293 / water resistant 10014 stainless steel” on the underside. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Blue Origin’s long awaited first human flight was a success today when New Shepard launched four private citizens – Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen – beyond the Kármán Line, the internationally recognized boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space at 330,000-feet. After landing, the astronauts were greeted by their families as well as Blue Origin’s ground operations team in the West Texas desert for a celebration. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Spanning 58,600-square-meters, the Shanghai Astronomy Museum boasts the world’s largest planetarium and it just opened to the public today. The museum itself showcases innovative architecture, compete with themed exhibition areas, immersive technologies, and scientific collections. When viewed from the air, the main building resembles a collection of astronomical instruments with a circular skylight, an inverted spherical dome, and a dome theater. Read more for a video tour and additional information.