Category: EN

SOFIA, did you know?

SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)NASA’s SOFIA was a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a reflecting telescope that observed the cosmos in infrared light. SOFIA flew into Earth’s stratosphere, up to about 45,000 feet (13,700 meters), and collected data during 10-hour overnight flights, observing the Moon, planets, stars, nearby galaxies and more. SOFIA was a…

Starmus Festival

Have you attended the Starmus Festival this year in Bratislava, Slovakia? I hope you did not miss the opportunity to meet all those excellent people there. And of course the magic opening concert by...

Curiosity Rover Science Highlights

Science HighlightsWith over a decade of exploration, Curiosity has unveiled the keys to some of science’s most unanswered questions about Mars. Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes? Early in its mission, Curiosity’s scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars. It…

Helium-3 mining on Moon

The idea of harvesting a clean and efficient form of energy from the Moon has stimulated science fiction and fact in recent decades. Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer…

Perseverance: Did you know?

Witness TubesPerseverance must meet extraordinary cleanliness requirements to avoid contaminating Martian samples with terrestrial contaminants that may have  inadvertently been brought from Earth. Strict rules limit the amount of inorganic, organic, and biological materials from Earth in the rover and its sample handling system.Perseverance carries five “witness tubes” along with sample collection tubes. The witness…

Venus: One More Perspective

One more trick of perspective: how Venus looks through binoculars or a telescope. Keep watch over many months, and you’ll notice that Venus has phases, just like our Moon – full, half, quarter, etc. The complete cycle, however, new to full, takes 584 days, while our Moon takes just a month. And it was this…

Tricky Venus

Further, Venus may hold lessons about what it takes for life to get its start ­– on Earth, in our solar system, or across the galaxy. The ingredients are all there, or at least, they used to be. By studying why our neighbor world went in such a different direction with regard to habitability, we…

Mars: Facts

Mars has a dense core at its center between 930 and 1,300 miles (1,500 to 2,100 kilometers) in radius. It’s made of iron, nickel, and sulfur. Surrounding the core is a rocky mantle between 770 and 1,170 miles (1,240 to 1,880 kilometers) thick, and above that, a crust made of iron, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, and…