June 14, 2024

The sky is not the limit | Comet Leonard nearby, asteroids approaching and more

5 min read
The sky is not the limit |  Comet Leonard nearby, asteroids approaching and more

A comet and two asteroids are approaching Earth, and they are already being observed. Comet Leonard can become visible to the naked eye and provide a wonderful sight, while asteroids with a diameter of 330 and 800 km will not get close enough to pose any danger to our planet.

In addition, new images of Mars and the “catastrophic” situation in SpaceX, at risk of bankruptcy, was high in the news. Check out a summary of this and other top space news for the week!

Comet Leonard has been captured in a beautiful image by a Brazilian astronomical project (Image: Reproduction/Wandeclayt M./Céu Profundo/Telescope New Mexico Skies)

Comet Leonard (or C/2021 A1 (Leonard)) is approaching Earth and may be visible to the naked eye. Meanwhile, Céu Profundo, a Brazilian astronomical project, has recorded a beautiful picture. Unfortunately, it will not be very easy to spot because it will rise from the east, close to where the sun rises on the horizon.

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Comets are unpredictable bodies, but there are good forecasts for observing with the naked eye in the second half of December, and more precisely after December 15. If he survives the approach of the Sun without refracting and its glow turns out to be intense enough, Leonard will appear higher and to the left of Venus, about one hour after sunset in the western direction from the sky. Write it in the diary and fix the camera!

Images of 4,660 Nereus taken with the Arecibo telescope in 2002 (Image: Reproduction/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Asteroids called 4,660 Nereus and 330 meters in diameter and (163899) 2003 SD220 and 800 meters in diameter are approaching and will pass “close” to Earth this month. The first will be its closest approach on December 11, while the second will be on the 17th. There is no collision risk either way.

To give you an idea of ​​how harmful it is, this would be the closest approximation of Nereus we’ve seen in decades, yet no more than 10 times the average distance between Earth and the Moon. The next time it comes close will be on February 14, 2060, when the distance between the Earth and the Moon will more than triple.

Record of Saturn and its rings by LRO October 13, 2021 (Image: Reproduction/NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Although it is a very small photo, it is always exciting to take a photo of Saturn with its rings. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has orbited and studied the moon since 2009, was about 90 kilometers above the lunar surface when it was repositioned to capture the north side of the “jewel of the solar system.”

The team of engineers responsible for LRO had to carefully manipulate the probe to exit its normal position facing the Moon and point their cameras toward Saturn. LRO also did the same to record Jupiter, and even managed to include some of the gas giant’s moons in the image. Unfortunately, in the case of Saturn it was not possible to capture its moons.

The first time a crew has made a full flight around the International Space Station since the space shuttle era, Crew 2 astronauts took some photos of the orbiting laboratory. Their return to Earth was in early November, but NASA just released the photos on social media,

The Crew-2 mission included Shane Kimbrough and Megan MacArthur of NASA, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Aki Hoshed of the Japanese space agency JAXA. But whoever took the photos was Bisquet, who also made several records while living on the International Space Station.

Details of the Super Heavy propeller, the spacecraft, with Raptor engines (Photo: Playback/SpaceX)

Well, the statement came from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, in an internal employee email. According to the statement, the company could face “real risk of bankruptcy” if it fails to meet the goal of bi-weekly flights with the Starship vehicle. This is the expected rate for him to be able to meet the release schedule.

Musk had planned to take a break during the Thanksgiving holiday, but “the raptor’s production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” he wrote in the email. He stressed the need for all employees to cooperate in order for the company to recover from what he described as a “disaster.” If new, reliable Raptor engines were not produced, it would not be possible to launch the Starship on time.

To study the origin of water, the authors analyzed the grains of the asteroid Itokawa (Image: Reproduction / Curtin University)

The solar wind may have formed water on the surface of dust grains in asteroids, which then collided with our planet during the “infancy” of the solar system. This is a possible explanation for the origin of water on our planet.

The Earth is much richer than the other planets in the solar system when it comes to water, and it is not easy to find explanations for this. One idea is that the liquid would have come here with C-type asteroids, but previous tests have shown that there must have been at least some other sources that were not considered. Now, the new solar wind hypothesis has been formulated from the analysis of atoms of small parts of the asteroid Itokawa, an S-type space rock, in which an amount of water was found.

Curiosity’s new selfie in panorama (Image: Reproduction/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

this is not been seen. Curiosity who made a Nice picture last weekNow take a panoramic photo showing the Greenheugh Pediment and Rafael Navarro, the rocky structures on Mars. Here, 81 single images taken on November 20, stacked and subsequently processed, are required.

Now, the rover goes to Maria Gordon Notch, the U-shaped structure shown on the left side of the photos, where you’ll likely make more amazing records.

Technical concept of the Axiom station, the orbital module of Axiom Space (Image: Playback / Axiom Space)

The International Space Station (ISS) may not last until the next decade, so NASA is already planning to replace it. The idea is to put one or more commercial orbital modules into low Earth orbit around 2030. The International Space Station is scheduled to shutdown in 2024, but everything indicates it may last until 2030. Until then, NASA hopes to get everything ready for successors.

The companies selected to build the stations of the future are Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman. They received, respectively, $160 million, $130 million and $125.6 million for the production of units that would maintain a continuous American presence in low Earth orbit.

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