Category Archives: Instruments

includes telescopes and space probes

Junk in space: how do we deal with it?

Junk floating through space, affectionately known as space junk, is dangerous to spacecraft and satellites, for obvious reasons. A team in Australia wants to use laser technology to track and destroy it. Adaptive optics is the technology that helps telescopes see stars without a twinkle, attributed to the Earth’s atmosphere. Adaptive optics sharpens images of … Continue reading Junk in space: how do we deal with it? Continue reading

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NASA’s Picture of the Day

For the class Astronomical Experiences assignment, I was going to write about NASA’s May 3rd, 2021 Astronomy Picture of the Day. As I went to search for the daily image, I also found a PBS Nova video on the Mars mission involving Perseverance and I was hooked. Now that I can blog about anything forContinue reading “NASA’s Picture of the Day” Continue reading

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TESS: The Modern Exoplanet Finder

The Kepler mission marked a significant jump in exoplanet discovery when the space telescope was launched over 10 years ago. Since then, astronomers worked hard to research, develop, and design a more modern approach to discovering these distant and unknown planets. The solution was the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). TESS’s mission was to lookContinue reading “TESS: The Modern Exoplanet Finder” Continue reading

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Florida Asteroid Burning Up

On Monday April 13th, a small asteroid was spotted in the night sky off the east coast of Florida. One of my family members was all the way across the state on the western side of Florida and saw the asteroid’s fireball-like appearance as it passed by Earth over 26,000 km away. According to theContinue reading “Florida Asteroid Burning Up” Continue reading

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Calling All Nerds! (Just Kidding, LOTR is Cool)

This image may look familiar to all you high fantasy fans out there as the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, but what if I told you that you didn’t have to travel to Middle-earth to see it? I know you’re all on the edge of your seats now! This is an image… Continue reading

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Death in Space

It is no secret that space travel is a risky and dangerous endeavor for all involved. As of 2021, 19 astronauts (including cosmonauts) have died in in-flight accidents. Only one accident, however, occurred in space—over 100 kilometers above the Earth.  Three Soviets (called cosmonauts) were aboard the Soyuz 11 in June of 1971, which was … Continue reading Death in Space Continue reading

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A History of Observing the Sun

Kevin Durant, a two-time NBA champion, once tweeted: “I’m wondering how do these people kno what’s goin on on the the sun.. ain’t nobody ever been.” Like his tweet from 2010, I too wondered how humans have been able to study the Sun’s surface and what discoveries have been made to determine the surface’s characteristics.Continue reading “A History of Observing the Sun” Continue reading

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Radioactive Proof of the Earth’s Age

Radioactivity of elements starts with an unstable elemental isotope. An unstable atom on radioactive elements carries too many protons or neutrons, and eventually, it must expel energy from the atom, and become an entirely new stable element through the process of beta decay. This process, for every unstable atom, is completely spontaneous and there isContinue reading “Radioactive Proof of the Earth’s Age” Continue reading

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Spacecraft in the Milky Way

Since 1958 over 250 spacecraft have entered our solar system to explore and have given a little bit more insight to the huge universe around us. One of those spacecraft, Parker, is on a mission to get seven times closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before. Parker was launched in 2018 by the […] Continue reading

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The Thirty Meter Telescope

Currently, the largest single-aperture telescope in the world, the Gran Telescopio Canarias, spans 10.4 meters (about 32 feet). This telescope can see 500 million light-years deep into space, which was thought to be impossible out of a single, segmented reflecting telescope until it was built in 2006. While 10.4 meters is large, astronomers worldwide feltContinue reading “The Thirty Meter Telescope” Continue reading

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