Friday, November 2, 2018

🚀 Hubble's Fixed! Kepler's Shut Down. Watch the Failed Soyuz Launch, and More...

Soyuz Launch

Watch the Failed Soyuz Launch Video, From the Rocket's Perspective

Remember the Soyuz rocket that failed a couple of weeks ago, forcing the astronauts to make a quick return back to Earth? Russia's Roscosmos has released the launch video showing the entire journey from blast-off to the moment the event happened. 

For the first minute or so, it's a beautiful launch to watch, seeing the ground get farther and farther away. Seeing the sky turn from blue to black as the rocket rises above the atmosphere. And then at the 1:25 mark or so, when the boosters separate, it all goes wrong. And spinny.

Once again, it's a stark reminder of how dangerous spaceflight still is. Astronauts are crazy brave to get into those things and fly to space.

Fraser Cain
Universe Today

As always, if you have comments or questions, or suggestions on how I can improve this newsletter, please don't hesitate to reply this email or email me at info@universetoday.com.

Join our Patreon campaign

Patrons, don't forget to login to Universe Today. That'll remove all the ads for you. Join the 830 Patrons who get our videos early, see behind the scenes, and get no ads on Universe Today.

Weekly Space Hangout

Weekly Space Hangout: Featuring Dave Dickinson

This week's guest on the Weekly Space Hangout was me. Well, me and Dave Dickinson, the author of our new book: "The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos". Dave talked about what it was like to write the book, and highlighted a lot of the content you'll find in it. We also shared some of our ideas for what we might do next.

Subscribe to our podcasts:
Universe Today Guide to Space Video: iTunes - RSS
Universe Today Guide to Space Audio: iTunes - RSS
Astronomy Cast: iTunes - RSS
Weekly Space Hangout: iTunes - RSS

Hubble Space Telescope

Yes! Hubble is Back in Operation

Good news everyone! Hubble Space Telescope is back in business. We all held our collective breaths a few weeks ago when one of Hubble's gyros failed, putting it into safe mode. And then on Oct. 26th, NASA announced that they were able to get a backup gyro online and working within the parameters they needed. Phew.

Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe Became the Closest Thing We've Ever Sent to the Sun. And it's Just Getting Started

NASA's Parker Solar Probe crossed a significant milestone this week, becoming the closest object humanity has ever thrown at the Sun - the previous record was 42 million km, held by the German-American Helios 2. Not only that, but it also became the fastest object ever launched into space, reaching a speed of 245,000 km/h. The mission is just beginning. There are many more records about to be broken.

The Moon

All the Stories About China's Artificial Moon Don't Understand How Orbits Work

Have you heard about China's plans to build an artificial moon in orbit that'll brighten the nighttime sky? The reality is that orbital mechanics will make this impossible to pull off. If it's in low orbit, it'll only be over a city for a few minutes each orbit. If it's at geostationary orbit, it'll have to be HUGE. Not impossible, but as Scott Manley points out, really really difficult to do.

Solar Sail

Could Oumuamua Be an Extra-Terrestrial Solar Sail?

It's been about a year since the interstellar asteroid/comet Oumuamua passed quickly through the Solar System from interstellar space. Astronomers are still trying to puzzle out its bizarre trajectory, and one idea is that a solar sail buffeted by the Sun's winds could explain its path. Of course, it's not aliens. It's never aliens...

Thirty Meter Telescope

The Controversial Thirty Meter Telescope Wins the Court Case to Continue Construction

Construction is going well for all the next generation ground observatories. But one of the big ones, the Thirty Meter Telescope, has had multi-year legal battle to get built on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. Native Hawaiians blocked the construction, not wanting to add another huge observatory on the sacred mountain, but this week Hawaii's supreme court ruled in favor of the $1.4 billion telescope.

Milky Way Moon

Whoa. That's the Milky Way, Bouncing off the Moon in Radio Waves

Actually, that's not exactly right. It's a simulation of what the Milky Way would look like bouncing off the Moon in radio waves. It was created by astronomers to actually study an early time in the Universe called the "Dark Ages". They see how the Moon blocks a view to the background radiation of the cosmos, and needed to show how the reflection of the Milky Way would interact with that. Very cool.

Mars 2020 rover

Planetary Scientists Have Chosen a Few Landing Sites for the Mars 2020 Rover

Curiosity's sister rover, the Mars 2020 rover is getting ready for its trip to Mars. But where should it go? That's the question that planetary scientists were trying to answer at a recent meeting in Los Angeles. They're down to four landing sites that have the best potential for finding evidence of past life on Mars. 

Colliding neutron stars

Gravitational Waves Were Only Recently Observed, and now Astronomers are Already Thinking of Ways to use Them: Like Accurately Measuring the Expansion Rate of the Universe

Astronomers have a couple of ways of calculating the expansion rate of the Universe, and it turns out, the best two methods disagree. So, astronomers are looking for new ways, and one idea might be to use the gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars for another measurement. We just need more collisions to be observed.

Cloud on Arsia Mons

There's a Funny Cloud on Mars, Perched Right at the Arsia Mons Volcano. Don't Get Too Excited, Though, it's not an Eruption

Planetary scientists have been watching this strange cloud high up in the atmosphere of Mars. The strange part is that it's hovering right at the huge Arsia Mons Volcano. It looks like the volcano is erupting, but actually, it's a cloud of water ice known as an orographic or lee cloud. We get them on Earth, and they've been seen on Mars too.

Kepler Space Telescope

It's Over for Kepler. The Most Successful Planet Hunter Ever Built is Finally out of Fuel and has Just Been Shut Down

NASA's hardworking Kepler Space Telescope has found over 2,600 extrasolar planets, more than any other survey or mission to date (with thousands more planetary candidates in the works). And now, after 9 years of observations, including a loss of reaction wheels that almost ended the mission, the telescope is out of fuel and time to be retired... forever.


Launcher One

Virgin Orbit Shows off its "Launcher One", a Rocket Carried by an Airplane

The commercial rocket game is expanding, and Virgin Orbit is getting into the business with its "Launcher One"; a rocket that'll be carried underneath a Boeing 747 aircraft. This week the company showed off the rocket and carrier plane, getting closer to its first flight sometime next year.

Other Interesting Space Stuff


Amazing Astrophotography on @universetoday

Antelope Canyon

This is a photograph of the Milky Way seen from the bottom of Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA. It was taken by @photography_by_ko, who explains just how difficult it was to be able to even take this shot.

We have featured nearly 1,000 astrophotographers on our Instagram page, which has more than 139,000 followers. Want to do a takeover? Use the hashtag #universetoday and I'll check out your photos.


Our book!

Find your way across the night sky. Choose a variety of astronomy gear. Follow the Moon and the planets. Find deep sky objects across the seasons in both hemispheres. Observe comets, asteroids, satellites and space stations. Learn to do astrophotography.

Get it on Amazon for only $18.89. Here are some other options.


This email was sent to znamenski.generalastronomy@blogger.com
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Universe Today · 1505 Osprey Place · Courtenay, BC V9N 7Y1 · Canada