All About Space No. 122

Every issue All About Space delivers fascinating articles and features on all aspects of space and space travel with mind-blowing photography and full-colour illustrations that bring the amazing universe around us to life.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
USD 3.99
USD 32.99
13 Números

en este número

1 min.

Is the James Webb Space Telescope finally going to launch in 2021? According to NASA, and after completion of its final tests, the space agency is looking to release its revolutionary space telescope into space on 18 December 2021. It’s going to be a momentous occasion, and I can’t wait to see what’s been dubbed our premier deep-space observatory for the next decade finally make it into Earth orbit on board an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America. As I write this, James Webb is currently getting ready to roll at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Redondo Beach in California. Gregory L. Robinson, who serves as Webb’s program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, reflects on the journey from concept to near-launch: “[It’s]…

3 min.
launch pad

20 AUGUST 2021 Searching for Martian avalanches The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this striking image of layered deposits of dusty water-ice in the northern polar region of Mars, known as the north polar layered deposits (NPLD). The layering is mainly caused by differing dust-to-ice ratios at the time of formation, and can give an insight into the Martian climate over time. Avalanches have also been observed at the edges of NPLDs, so these sites are carefully monitored, particularly in the spring, to determine the potential frequency and timing of ‘avalanche season’ on Mars. 30 AUGUST 2021 Flaming sword Here a striking blue ‘sword’ appears to pierce a cosmic ‘heart’ made of gas and dust. The ‘sword’ is formed of two jets of superheated, ionised gas reaching out into space from opposite poles of a newborn…

2 min.
perseverance has taken the first steps in mars sample return

IN COOPERATION WITH Perseverance has begun its rock collection. The rover, designed to search for signs of ancient life on Mars and to package up material for a future sample-return mission, made its first two successful sampling manoeuvres on 6 and 8 September. NASA scientists describing the collection said they’re thrilled with what they know so far about the two rock cores. “This is a truly historic achievement; the very first rock cores collected on another terrestrial planet – it’s amazing,” said Meenakshi Wadhwa, Mars sample return principal scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “We’ve talked about Mars sample return for decades, and now it’s actually starting to feel real. These first core samples will be among tens of other samples that will be collected by Perseverance.” The successes came after…

1 min.
strange radio signal near the centre of the milky way has scientists stumped

Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the centre of the Milky Way, and it’s unlike any other energy signature ever studied. The energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behaviour doesn’t quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, according to researchers, and thus may represent “a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging”. The radio source, known as ASKAP J173608.2-321635, was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few…

1 min.
iss astronauts will soon resurrect an ai robot friend called cimon

An Al-powered robot with a digital face is ready for a new mission on the International Space Station (ISS). The robot, called CIMON-2, short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, worked alongside two European astronauts on past missions to the station in recent years, and just got a software upgrade that will enable it to perform more complex tasks with a new human crewmate later this year. The floating sphere with a cartoon-like face has been stored at the space station since the departure of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano in February 2020. The robot will wake up again during the upcoming mission of German astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will arrive at the orbital outpost with the SpaceX Crew-3 Dragon mission in October. Since the end of the last mission,…

1 min.
our milky way galaxy isn’t very well mixed

Our galaxy isn’t as thoroughly mixed as scientists assumed, according to a new study. The new research focuses on the distribution of what astronomers regard as metals, which is really just every element besides hydrogen and helium, even when these elements are gases. Scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile to map the metal in dust across the Milky Way in hopes of improving models describing the galaxy’s history. “Initially, when the Milky Way was formed more than 10 billion years ago, it had no metals,” Annalisa De Cia, an astronomer at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, said. “The stars gradually enriched the environment with the metals they produced.” That enrichment occurs because deep inside a star’s core, atoms smash together to slowly form…