Space is hard, and some days, getting rockets to work doesn’t go as well as expected. An Epsilon rocket launched by JAXA and carrying eight payloads including RAISE 3 was lost when mission control triggered the flight termination system due to an attitude issue. Plus, stars blowing dust rings, stars exploding, asteroids getting hit with spacecraft, and Europa’s geysers may not come from the subsurface ocean.
While astronomers have observed white dwarfs consuming companion stars on numerous occasions, for the first time, they have now observed the consumption of the companion’s helium and not just hydrogen. Plus, galactic alignment, rocket launches including Crew 5, a new Europa image, and a review of the video game “Tinykin”.
After ten months of space travel, NASA’s DART spacecraft arrived at the asteroid Didymos, targeted the moonlet Dimorphos, and successfully flung itself at the surface. Multiple observations confirm that the system brightened and even managed to resolve a cloud of debris. Plus, rocket launches, an update on the SLS, some broken physics, and International Observe the Moon Night.
Asteroseismologists are combining data from TESS, Kepler, and eventually, JWST to study stellar oscillations in ‘infant’ stars, with the goal of creating new models for how such young stars form and evolve over time. Plus, JWST images Mars, Hubble images stars, and SpaceX manages to launch another Starlink mission in spite of weather delays.
Using pockets of gas found in tiny crystals, scientists have created a timeline for the formation and eruption of four supervolcano events in northern Chile more than twenty million years ago. Plus, rocket launches, gorgeous new space images, and an interview with Jian-Yang Li about the upcoming DART mission’s impact.
As we return from our summer hiatus, we are back with a rundown of some of the stories that came out during the break. On the planetary front, JWST has been taking amazing images and learning about exoplanets. On the astrophysics front, we’ve got stories on dark matter and Betelgeuse. And there were thirty orbital launches, including a whole lot of Starlinks… but not including Artemis.