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Ads Taking Over Night Sky, DART Aftermath, Best JWST Image – Universe Today

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Dimorphos grows a tail. More Europa pictures from Juno. The horrifying possibility of ads in the night sky. Why Jupiter’s atmosphere is surprisingly hot.

For those of you who just want to sit back and enjoy the space news, here’s the latest episode of Space Bites on YouTube. Don’t forget to give the video a thumbs up, by the way!

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Didimoon’s New Tail

After NASA’s DART mission slammed into asteroid Dimorphos, astronomers have been focused on the region, watching to see what happens next. Within a few days of the impact, astronomers measured a huge dust tail stretching off the asteroid that was 10,000 kilometers long. A few days after that, it extended to 50,000 kilometers long. The tail is caused by light pressure from the Sun, pushing the particles away from the asteroid, just like a comet grows a tail.

More about DART’s aftermath.

More of Europa’s Flyby of Jupiter

We’ve gotten even more pictures from the recent Juno flyby of Europa. Citizen scientists like Kevin Gill have been working to process the images, giving us one of the clearest views of Europa we’ve ever seen. The picture above was taken using a secondary camera system on board the spacecraft called the Stellar Reference Unit, a star camera used for orientation. This new image covers a region just 150 km across and shows a fine grooves and double ridges network. It’s a sneak preview of the upcoming Europa Clipper, which arrives in 2030.

More great images of Europa.

Horrifying Idea of Ads in Space

Satellite pollution of the night sky is becoming worse and worse. But at least most satellites provide useful services, like internet connectivity. However, there might be an even more annoying use case. An article in the Journal Aerospace suggests using a small constellation to display ads in the night sky. I guess, there isn’t much to say about it except ‘NO, NEVER DO THAT’.

More about ads taking over the night sky.

Crew-5 goes to the ISS

Crew-5, the next team of astronauts to fly to the International Space Station, blasted off from Cape Canaveral this week in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. On board is Commander Nicole Mann become, the first Native American woman in space, and she is joined by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, as well as pilot and NASA astronaut Josh Cassada. They arrived at the station after a 29-hour flight in orbit.

More about Crew-5.

Why Jupiter is Surprisingly Hot

Jupiter is a strange place. One of the mysteries that it has is its temperature. Despite the planet being far from the Sun, its atmosphere can reach up to 700 degrees near its poles. Recent studies link this high temperature to Jupiter’s auroras and the way its magnetosphere interacts with moons like Io and the Sun.

More about Jupiter’s mystery.

Debris on Mars. Again

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed its 33rd flight on Mars on September 24th, 2022. In the video from the flight, engineers noticed that there was some material hanging down from one of its legs. It’s believed this is another piece of debris from the Perseverance Rover’s landing system. The residue wasn’t there during flight 32 and was gone by the end of flight 33. Fortunately, it didn’t cause any problems during the flight.

More about weird stuff on Mars.

World Largest Steerable Telescope Construction

With the loss of the Arecibo Telescope, astronomers have one fewer radio telescopes to observe the Universe. There’s the 500-meter FAST Telescope in China, which is even more powerful than Arecibo. Now the Chinese are looking to break another record by building the world’s largest steerable radio telescope, the 110-meter QiTai Radio Telescope, which will be 10 meters bigger than the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.

More about upcoming Chinese radiotelescope.

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If you prefer the news to be videoed at you, check out our Space Bites playlist on our YouTube channel.

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NASA’s Orion spacecraft breaks Apollo 13 flight record

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The Artemis 1 Orion crew vehicle has set a new record for a NASA flight. At approximately 8:40AM ET on Saturday, Orion flew farther than any spacecraft designed to carry human astronauts had ever before, surpassing the previous record set by Apollo 13 back in 1970. As of 10:17AM ET, Orion was approximately 249,666 miles ( from 401,798 kilometers) from Earth.

“Artemis I was designed to stress the systems of Orion and we settled on the distant retrograde orbit as a really good way to do that,” said Jim Geffre, Orion spacecraft integration manager. “It just so happened that with that really large orbit, high altitude above the moon, we were able to pass the Apollo 13 record. But what was more important though, was pushing the boundaries of exploration and sending spacecraft farther than we had ever done before.”

Of all the missions that could have broken the record, it’s fitting that Artemis 1 was the one to do it. As Space.com points out, Apollo 13’s original flight plan didn’t call for a record-setting flight. It was only after a mid-mission explosion forced NASA to plot a new return course that Apollo 13’s Odyssey command module set the previous record at 248,655 miles (400,171 kilometers) from Earth.

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With a limited oxygen supply on the Aquarius Lunar Module, NASA needed to get Apollo 13 back to Earth as quickly as possible. The agency eventually settled on a flight path that used the Moon’s gravity to slingshot Apollo 13 back to Earth. One of the NASA personnel who was critical to the safe return of astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise was Arturo Campos. He wrote the emergency plan that gave the Command and Service Module enough power to make it back to Earth. Artemis 1 is carrying a “Moonikin” test dummy named after the late Arturo.

Earlier this week, Orion completed a flyby of the Moon. After the spacecraft completes half an orbit around the satellite, it will slingshot itself toward the Earth. NASA expects Orion to splash down off the coast of San Diego on December 11th.

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Shocking! This asteroid CRASHED into Earth, says NASA; Check asteroid impact site – HT Tech

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NASA has revealed that an asteroid crashed into the Earth on Saturday, November 19. Here’s where this asteroid hit Earth.

In the midst of all the terrifyingly close asteroid flybys, NASA has now revealed that an asteroid actually crashed into the Earth just days ago! NASA keeps a watch on these asteroids by studying data collected by various space and ground-based telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the NEOWISE telescope. However, this asteroid was seemingly missed by all of them and was discovered just hours before impact!

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NASA has revealed that the asteroid lit up the sky as it flew over Southern Ontario, Canada on Saturday, November 19. What’s shocking is that this 3-foot asteroid was detected just 3.5 hours before impact! However, such small-sized asteroids do not pose a risk to the planet.

The tech that tracked the asteroid

The asteroid was first spotted by NASA’s Catalina Sky Survey and the observations were then reported to the Minor Planet Center. NASA’s Scout impact hazard assessment system calculated the asteroid’s trajectory and possible impact sites by analyzing the data. Just minutes after getting the data, a 25 percent probability of hitting Earth’s atmosphere was calculated.

Shantanu Naidu, navigation engineer and Scout operator at JPL said in a NASA JPL blog, “Small objects such as this one can only be detected when they are very close to Earth, so if they are headed for an impact, time is of the essence to collect as many observations as possible.”

“This object was discovered early enough that the planetary defense community could provide more observations, which Scout then used to confirm the impact and predict where and when the asteroid was going to hit,” he added further.

Asteroid impact site

The possible impact sites ranged from the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of North America to Mexico. According to NASA, the asteroid is likely to have burned up upon entering the planet’s atmosphere and scattered small meteorites over the southern coastline of Lake Ontario.

Calculating the asteroid’s trajectory and impact site was a community effort with added inputs from amateur astronomers from the Farpoint Observatory in Eskridge, Kansas, who tracked the asteroid for more than an hour and provided the critical data required to accurately calculate the asteroid’s path and impact site.


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China plans to build nuclear-powered moon base within six years – The Province

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China plans to build its first base on the moon by 2028, ahead of landing astronauts there in subsequent years as the country steps up its challenge to NASA’s dominance in space exploration.

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The lunar base will likely be powered by nuclear energy, Caixin reported. Its basic configuration will consist of a lander, hopper, orbiter and rover, all of which would be constructed by the Chang’e 6, 7 and 8 missions.

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“Our astronauts will likely be able to go to the moon within 10 years,” Wu Weiran, chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program, said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV earlier this week. Nuclear energy can address the lunar station’s long-term, high-power energy needs, he said.

China has ramped up its ambitions in space in recent years, sending probes to the moon, building its own space station and setting its sights on Mars. The plans have put it in direct competition with the U.S. NASA has a rover on the Red Planet and is seeking to return astronauts to the moon this decade for the first time since the Apollo program ended in the 1970s.

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Both China and the U.S. are spending billions of dollars to not just put humans on the moon, but also to access resources that could foster life on the lunar surface or send spacecraft to Mars.

In 2019, China became the first country to land a rover on the far side of the moon, and later brought back its first lunar samples. The base is intended to be the first outpost on the moon’s South Pole, an area scientists think is the best place to find water. NASA is also targeting that part of the moon. China aims to eventually expand the base into an international research station.

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