The quest to understand the formation mechanisms of globular clusters was limited by the Hubble Space Telescope’s ability to peer back in time. Now, JWST’s larger mirror has allowed astronomers to find gravitationally lensed galaxies that have globular clusters almost nine billion years old. Plus, two new super-mercury exoplanets, This Week in Space History, and an interview with Eric Palmer about the DART mission.
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.
Astronomers using the 1.2-meter Whipple Observatory to follow the brightness of a lensed galaxy for 14.5 years have calculated that the time delay between light arriving along the shortest and farthest paths is 6.73 years. Plus, DART, Hayabusa2, Juno, fast radio bursts, and This Week in Space History, we look back at NASA’s 1990s attempts to reach Mars.
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.
A population study of 43 exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf stars used both the transit method and radial velocity method to find the densities of the worlds and a surprising pattern emerged. The planets are less dense than expected, suggesting they are not purely rock but half-rock and maybe half-water. Plus, star factories in the Milky Way, glaciers on ancient Mars, and This Week in Space History.
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.