A trio of asteroid-related stories crossed our emails this week: Bennu’s sample is on schedule for next year’s return, researchers have developed a tool to measure an asteroid’s density distribution, and 3200 Phaeton’s rotational period has accelerated. Plus, JWST’s new Pillars of Creation image, and this week in space history, we look back at Venera 4.
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.
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.
In advance of the next scheduled launch attempt, NASA conducted another test to fill the fuel tanks onboard the Space Launch System rocket. The results were mixed, but the launch is still on schedule. Plus, a crewed launch, beautiful images, and an interview with Mike Simmons from Astronomy for Equity about sending telescopes to underprivileged students.
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 computer simulations, researchers have pieced together a possible scenario where Titan caused another of Saturn’s moons to break up and become the beautiful ring system we see today. Plus, organic molecules on Mars, the death of the dinosaurs, and a review of Lightyear on Disney+.