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Thread: Current Events in Astronomy

  1. #151
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Dark side of the Moon? Have to wonder if any alien artifacts will be discovered/revealed.
    Also wondering how they plan to power the rover, we have seen rovers fail without exposure to the sun to run solar panels to recharge critical batteries.

    China launches lunar rover in historic mission to the dark side of the moon

    • While the dark side of the moon has been seen and mapped before, the successful landing of Chang'e 4 would represent the first time any spacecraft has touched down there.
    • China is quickly expanding its space capabilities through the China National Space Administration and state-backed companies.
    • The Chang'e name comes from the Chinese goddess of the moon.

    By Michael Sheetz



    China launched the Chang'e 4 spacecraft atop a Long March 3B rocket on Friday in a milestone mission to land a rover on the far side of the moon.

    While the dark side of the moon has been seen and mapped before, the successful landing of Chang'e 4 would represent the first time any spacecraft has touched down there. The mission is part of China's heavy investment in lunar exploration and growing capabilities in space through the China National Space Administration.

    Chang'e 4 comes about two years after China made the first soft landing on the moon since 1976. Similar in design to that Chang'e 3 craft and its "Jade Rabbit" rover, the Chang'e 4 spacecraft will carry a bigger payload and more capabilities. The space agency will use the craft to study geological conditions on the far side of the moon.

    It will take Chang'e 4 about three days to travel to the moon, where it will spend about three weeks in orbit. The lander and rover are expected to touch down on the Von Karman crater sometime around Jan. 1. The crater is a relatively flat spot on the moon's far side, according to a GB Times report, although the landing will present many new challenges for China. The rover will be able to communicate with Earth thanks to a relay satellite China launched into lunar orbit in May.
    Story Continues
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    Attachment 1008

  2. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by calikid View Post
    Dark side of the Moon? Have to wonder if any alien artifacts will be discovered/revealed.
    Also wondering how they plan to power the rover, we have seen rovers fail without exposure to the sun to run solar panels to recharge critical batteries.
    I believe the "Dark Side" of the moon does receive a fare amount of sun as it approaches a NEW moon as seen from earth. We never see the side facing away from us, however the side facing away from us goes through the same phases from the Sun's point of view. So to speak.

    Much of the side facing us goes through dark phases too.



    That said, the rover may go through several days of darkness.

    Or it may have a radioactive type of power generation as used on a few of our probes sent out to the farthest reaches of our solar system.
    Last edited by epo333; 12-11-2018 at 09:37 PM.

  3. #153
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epo333 View Post
    I believe the "Dark Side" of the moon does receive a fare amount of sun as it approaches a NEW moon as seen from earth. We never see the side facing away from us, however the side facing away from us goes through the same phases from the Sun's point of view. So to speak.

    Much of the side facing us goes through dark phases too.



    That said, the rover may go through several days of darkness.

    Or it may have a radioactive type of power generation as used on a few of our probes sent out to the farthest reaches of our solar system.
    Yes, as we all know it takes 28 days for the Moon to complete one full rotation on it's axis AND one full orbit around the earth. Which mean the moon spends half that time (14 days) with it's face passing into exposure to the Sun, and the other 14 days with it's face transiting into the Earth's shadow.

    If I recall the Mars rover would power down for weeks or months at a time when major sandstorms blanketed the planet. Then powered right back up when the storms subsided enough for the Sun to hit the solar panels to recharge the batteries. Probably a similar deal with this new lunar probe. If the Chinese don't land in some deep shadow filled valley.

    Interesting point about the nuclear power. I recall early on they used such power sources, but I have a recollection that some years ago, an international treaty was signed prohibiting future use? In case of catastrophic failure (ie launch or re-entry results in high altitude explosion), they wanted to prevent a radioactive cloud from descending down to the Earth (maybe part of the space based weapons restrictions). Have to research that, see if it is still in force.

    Reminds me of that lyric from Pink Floyd's ECLIPSE, last song on Dark Side of the Moon album. "There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  4. #154
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Albion-3D View Post
    Dare I say it, but there does appear to be structures on the surface of this "not to little asteroid" .

    In the better resolution of the rock, we see something that appears to be completely artificial! And by the looks of the scale below, one could easily fly a craft right under what looks like a "canopy" of sorts.
    <snip image>
    .
    <snip image>

    The image below has been turned 180 degrees. Note the shadow line of the canopy.
    .
    That entire canopy is about the size of the lower 10 floors of the Empire State Building.

    <snip Image>]
    .
    Those certainly are some strange artifacts.
    Perhaps you'd like to start another thread to do more photo analysis on such objects?
    Offer up your observations and theories?
    It's awesome to think about an asteroid being hollowed out to serve as a space port.

    However, when I started this thread, its focus was to be on the hard core nuts and bolts science.
    For now, I'd like to keep this mainly on topic with analysis limited to the scientific reports coming out of each mission's control center.
    Don't recall any reports from NASA about artificial canopies.


    Thanks
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
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  5. #155
    Senior Member M-Albion-3D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calikid View Post
    .
    Those certainly are some strange artifacts.
    Perhaps you'd like to start another thread to do more photo analysis on such objects?
    Offer up your observations and theories?
    It's awesome to think about an asteroid being hollowed out to serve as a space port.

    However, when I started this thread, its focus was to be on the hard core nuts and bolts science.
    For now, I'd like to keep this mainly on topic with analysis limited to the scientific reports coming out of each mission's control center.
    Don't recall any reports from NASA about artificial canopies.


    Thanks

    Hey Calikid,

    Yes sure no problem.

    If you want to move my post, let me know and I'll start a thread.

    The "shapes" are strange indeed, but right you are, this thread is focused on astronomy, my opps.
    "Expect not to see the expected, instead, expect to see the unexpected"
    - M.Scott

  6. #156
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Albion-3D View Post
    Hey Calikid,

    Yes sure no problem.

    If you want to move my post, let me know and I'll start a thread.

    The "shapes" are strange indeed, but right you are, this thread is focused on astronomy, my opps.
    New thread created, and the post was moved. Click Here.
    The new thread covers ALL asteroid photographs. With multiple asteroids under discussion we should included the name of each object, to prevent identity confusion.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  7. #157
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    NASA's Juno mission is reaching it's half-way point, with it's 16th orbit of the gas giant.


    NASA's Juno Mission Halfway to Jupiter Science
    .
    On Dec. 21, at 8:49:48 a.m. PST (11:49:48 a.m. EST) NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will be the 16th science pass of the gas giant and will mark the solar-powered spacecraft's halfway point in data collection during its prime mission.

    Juno is in a highly-elliptical 53-day orbit around Jupiter. Each orbit includes a close passage over the planet's cloud deck, where it flies a ground track that extends from Jupiter's north pole to its south pole.

    "With our 16th science flyby, we will have complete global coverage of Jupiter, albeit at coarse resolution, with polar passes separated by 22.5 degrees of longitude," said Jack Connerney, Juno deputy principal investigator from the Space Research Corporation in Annapolis, Maryland. "Over the second half of our prime mission — science flybys 17 through 32 — we will split the difference, flying exactly halfway between each previous orbit. This will provide coverage of the planet every 11.25 degrees of longitude, providing a more detailed picture of what makes the whole of Jupiter tick."

    Launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Its science collection began in earnest on the Aug. 27, 2016, flyby. During these flybys, Juno's suite of sensitive science instruments probes beneath the planet's obscuring cloud cover and studies Jupiter's auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, interior structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

    "We have already rewritten the textbooks on how Jupiter's atmosphere works, and on the complexity and asymmetry of its magnetic field," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno, from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "The second half should provide the detail that we can use to refine our understanding of the depth of Jupiter's zonal winds, the generation of its magnetic field, and the structure and evolution of its interior."
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    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
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  8. #158
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Mars quakes? We'll know soon enough, now that InSight has planted a Seismometer on the Martian surface.

    The Mars InSight robot just placed its first instrument on Mars’ surface
    by Mike Wehner

    NASA’s Mars InSight mission is moving along at a rapid pace. After landing on the planet just a few weeks ago, InSight has spent its days observing its new living space and sending back photos of the ground surrounding it.

    NASA’s InSight team has been practicing the tricky task of placing the robot’s sensitive instruments on the surface. Now, with a couple of years of observation and data gathering ahead of it, the bot has successfully deployed the first of its sensor suite, and NASA is very happy with how well things are progressing.

    “NASA’s InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone,” NASA writes in a new blog post. “New images from the lander show the seismometer on the ground, its copper-colored covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk. It looks as if all is calm and all is bright for InSight, heading into the end of the year.”
    Story Continues

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  9. #159
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Slow transmission rates, and long distances means a wait before any detailed photos arrive of the 20miles x 10miles bowling-pin shaped object.
    NASA's New Horizons Just Made the Most Distant Flyby >Ultima Thule> in Space History. So, What's Next?
    By Nola Taylor Redd



    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has completed its epic flyby of the most distant object ever explored, the recently-unveiled fossil from the beginning of the solar system, Ultima Thule. So what's next?

    Although the Jan. 1 encounter is over, the mission is far from finished. New Horizons still has images of Ultima Thule to send back, more of the Kuiper Belt to study, and the hope of one day leaving the solar system completely.

    With the spacecraft safely past its target, a primary concern is its condition. After all, it can't send home data if it isn't functioning. Fortunately, health doesn't currently appear to be an issue. [New Horizons at Ultima Thule: Full Coverage]

    "Everything looks great," Mission Operation Manager Alice Bowman told the press after the flyby.

    "We're definitely looking forward to getting down the science data so all of our scientists—and the world — can see what the origins of our solar system has to hold for us."

    During its fleeting pass over Ultima Thule, New Horizons filled its hard drive with about 7 gigabytes of data about the tiny Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). With the observations complete, it must begin the arduous task of sending that data back home.
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  10. #160
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Nice job by China to land on the "Dark Side of the Moon". With no line of sight to Earth, all communication happens via Relay satellite in lunar orbit.

    China makes history by landing on the far side of the Moon.
    Soon—if not already—the lander will deploy a rover named Yutu II.

    By Eric Berger.

    Declaring that it has opened a new chapter in lunar exploration, the China National Space Administration announced late Monday night that its Chang'e-4 lander had safely set down on the far side of the Moon. No spacecraft has ever made a soft landing there.

    According to state media, a Beijing-based control center commanded the spacecraft to begin the landing procedure at 9:15pm ET Monday (10:15am, Tuesday, local time), from an altitude of 15km above the lunar surface. During an 11-minute descent, Chang'e-4 slowed its speed from 1.7 km/s to nearly zero before it landed in the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. This is in the mid-southern latitudes of the Moon on its far side; it should offer important scientific information about Earth and the early Solar System. Story Continues
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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