Since its formation in the early 60’s, NASA has continued to be the leading power in space exploration. Working with other space agencies, it has contributed substantially to the ongoing exploration of our universe, achieving incredible firsts that span the decades.
Last week we covered multiple star systems, but what if we added thousands or even millions of stars to the mix? A star cluster. There are different kinds of clusters, though. Open clusters contain hundreds or thousands of stars held together by gravity. They’re young, and evaporate over time, their stars let loose to roam space freely. Globular clusters, on the other hand, are larger, have hundreds of thousands of stars, and are more spherical. They’re very old, a significant fraction of the age of the Universe itself, and that means their stars have less heavy elements in them, are redder, and probably don’t have planets (though we’re not really sure).
On the anniversary of the launch of one of the most successful space mission to Mars, the National Geographic Channel is set to premiere a documentary on the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan. The MOM, was launched on November 5 in 2013 by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and entered the orbit of the red planet on September 24, 2014. The documentary produced by Miditech captures its enthralling journey of over 650 million kilometeres. In its most daring missions to date, India successfully sent a spacecraft to orbit around Mars, making it the fourth space agency in the world and the first Asian country, to successfully send a mission to the red planet. And they did this in record time, choosing a unique route and on a shoe-string budget, pulling off what is now globally recognised as the cheapest ride to Mars! So how did the (ISRO) scientists, with no previous experience in sending an inter planetary mission, design, develop and successfully launch and navigate Mangalyaan through space? What were the hurdles they faced and what out of the box solutions did they come up with to address those challenges? Using a combination of live action, expert interviews, archive footage and graphic representations the film captures the tension and drama points of the space mission. The documentary also focus on the salient features of the mission, all the drama, excitement, last minute preparations, the countdown and the successful launch.
2017 • Astronomy
The fourth planet from the sun and the outermost of the terrestrial planets, Mars has long been a popular spot for missions and imagination. Phil walks you through the planet's topography, core, and features. We'll take a look back to Mars's past and makes predictions for its future, including the possibilities for human life.
Now that we’re done with the planets, asteroid belt, and comets, we’re heading to the outskirts of the solar system. Out past Neptune are vast reservoirs of icy bodies that can become comets if they get poked into the inner solar system. The Kuiper Belt is a donut shape aligned with the plane of the solar system; the scattered disk is more eccentric and is the source of short period comets; and the Oort Cloud which surrounds the solar system out to great distances is the source of long-period comets. These bodies all probably formed closer into the Sun, and got flung out to the solar system’s suburbs by gravitational interactions with the outer planets.
Discoveries about interstellar space, the space between the universe's stars, reveal that it's not empty and unremarkable as previously thought, but filled with weird objects and strange phenomena that might hold the darkest secrets of the cosmos.