What is a Starquake?

By on Oct 2, 2021 in Astrophysical | 0 comments

Scientists have seen all sorts of monsters in the universe and starquakes are phenomena worth mentioning. What is a starquake? Well, from what we know so far, a starquake happens on magnetars which is a type of neutron star that has the strongest magnetic fields in the universe. Magnetars also are the densest stars in the universe with the strongest crust. It may be weird to think of a star with a “crust” because they’re essentially giant balls of gas and plasma. However, that’s just how dense they are. These things are small too — about the size of a town — and when the crust is twisted, cracked slightly, or adjusted in any way you get a starquake! Actually, it’s the same principles on how earthquakes happen — except we’re talking about a monster that could easily wipe out a solar system. Neutron star size and scale of San Francisco. Credit: NASA...

Is SpaceX Worth all the Hype?

By on Aug 10, 2021 in SpaceX | 0 comments

SpaceX is arguably one of the most famous aerospace companies today. Led by billionaire Tony Stark Elon Musk who taught himself rocket science and is the founder and Chief Engineering Officer at SpaceX. They’re flipping the script and inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers. SpaceX is a relatively young company and was one of the first companies to receive funding from NASA’s new private-sector program. However, the reason why everyone is excited goes much deeper and this is really history in the making. Let’s strap in and take a journey through what SpaceX was up against. SpaceX vs. a 50 Year Old Problem Pilot William H. Dana with X-20 Dyna-Soar Photo credit: Department of Defense The first stop we’re going to is 1957 where the U.S Air Force needed a successor to the X-15. They decided to take 3 separate projects and combine them into the...

NASA Selects Two Historic Missions to Venus

By on Jun 6, 2021 in NASA Missions | 0 comments

We’re going to Venus! NASA has confirmed two amazing missions to go visit our evil twin planet, Venus. As a reminder Venus has temperatures of 900 F (melting lead), 93 bars of crushing pressure, corroding clouds of carbon dioxide laced with sulphuric acid! The missions destined to take this planet on are called DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) and VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy). This is very exciting because of the scarcity of missions that go to Venus. The last time NASA was in 1994 with the spacecraft called Magellan, which mapped the gravitational field of Venus. However, these two missions not only will get up-close again with Venus but will actually land on Venus as well! Both missions are aimed to launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe. It’ll be some time unfortunately for...

10 Amazing Astronomy Discoveries in 2020

By on Dec 30, 2020 in Round Up Post | 0 comments

2020 has been a crazy ride for many reasons but that didn’t slow down our progress in major discoveries. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and check out 10 amazing astronomy discoveries in 2020 (in no particular order). For those who just want the list here you go! Biggest cosmic explosion ever detected and left a huge dent in spaceAstronomers Discover the Universe Expansion May not be UniformScientists Discover that a Class of Stellar Explosions Produce Lithium in the UniverseScientists Discover a New Type of Matter Inside a Neutron StarNew Evidence Suggest that Pluto was Once a Hot PlanetAstronomers have found the Source of Life in the UniverseHayabusa2 Completes Asteroid Sample Mission | OSIRIS-REx Retrieves Sample from Asteroid | China’s Chang’e 5 mission Retrieves Sample from the Moon | UAE Launches First Mission to MarsLargest-ever 3D Map of the Universe Released by...

Everything you need to know about NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission

By on Jul 29, 2020 in NASA Missions | 0 comments

If there’s one planet that will define the next milestone in human civilization, it’s Mars. You probably have heard from the likes of Elon Musk to NASA to even China on getting humans to Mars. Thus far, we’ve seen the amazing world of Mars through the eyes of our rovers. and orbiters. Now, NASA is launching their latest mission called Mars 2020 on July 30th. This is not any ordinary mission either. It has a ton of firsts and will even answer questions like “was there life on Mars in the past?” It will also be the one to deliver the first Mars helicopter/drone called Ingenuity. That’s amazing for a number of reasons. However, let’s take a look at the objectives for the mission. Mars 2020 Mission Objectives Sunset on MarsCredit: NASA The mission has a ton of fantastic goals that not only help progress us in understanding things like the origin of...

Astronomers Discover the Biggest Explosion Seen in the Universe in Ophiuchus Galaxy Cluster

By on Mar 1, 2020 in Astonishing Discoveries | 0 comments

Scientists discover the biggest explosion ever seen in the universe! The blast came from a supermassive black hole located in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster. Not only that but the explosion was five times more explosive than the previous record holder! It was so powerful that it punched a cavity in the cluster plasma1. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Naval Research Lab/Giacintucci, S.; XMM:ESA/XMM; Radio: NCRA/TIFR/GMRTN; Infrared: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF The lead author of the study Dr. Simona Giacintucci, from the Naval Research Laboratory in the United States, compared the blast to Mount St. Helens volcano eruption in the 1980s. The volcano was so fierce that it blew the top off the volcano. Similarly, with the explosion in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, it blew a hole so wide that it could fit 15 Milky Way galaxies in a row! Professor Johnston-Hollitt said the cavity in the plasma...

ESA Solar Orbiter Mission Successfully Launches to Study the Sun

By on Feb 10, 2020 in Events | 0 comments

European Space Agency (ESA) new Solar Orbiter mission launched successfully from Cape Canaveral at 04:03 GMT (05:03 CET) on 10 February 2020. This mission is exciting and will be off to go study the Sun up-close and personal. The Solar Orbiter mission is led with a strong partnership with NASA and studies the Sun’s poles which have never been seen before! The Solar Orbiter was launched atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket which also launched other famous missions like NASA’s Mars orbiter MAVEN. It even has an almost perfect record of 82 successful launches out of 82, with one partial success. Animation showing the trajectory of Solar Orbiter around the Sun, highlighting the gravity assist manoeuvres that will enable the spacecraft to change inclination to observe the Sun from different perspectives. It’ll take about a year and a half for Solar Orbiter to...

Stunning View of the Famous (M27) Dumbbell Nebula

By on Feb 9, 2020 in Pictures | 0 comments

Located 1,227 light-years from Earth is a beautiful planetary nebula called the Dumbbell Nebula. This nebula was actually the first planetary nebula discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. He is famous for publishing an astronomical catalogue that contained 110 nebulae and faint star clusters, which were known as Messier objects. Dumbbell Nebula Credit: Steve Mazlin The first thing you notice is the gorgeous red which represents hydrogen and blue that represents oxygen gasses. This is also a great example of what the future of our Sun may look like after it runs the course of its life. The Dumbbell Nebula resulted from a star that turned into a red giant star. From here it eventually engulfed any planet or moon in its star system and then went supernova. What’s fascinating is although this was discovered in the 18th century and we’ve learned so much about astronomy since...