James Webb Space Telescope captures amazing images of Neptune’s rings [and its moons!]

Using its near-infrared camera, the James Webb Space Telescope captured amazing images of Neptune and its rings. Thanks to the newly released images, we now see Neptune’s rings for the first time since 1989, when Voyager 2 performed the first flyby to the gas giant.

Voyager 1 launch [September 5, 1977]

Voyager 1 launch: On September 5, 1977, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched on top of a Titan IIIE/Centaur rocket from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex in Florida, 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. The reversal of order was because the two spacecraft were sent on different trajectories, and Voyager 1 was put …

Pioneer 11 performed the first Saturn flyby on September 1, 1979

On September 1, 1979, NASA’s Pioneer 11 spacecraft performed the first Saturn flyby in the history of space exploration, at a distance of 21,000 km (13,000 miles) from Saturn’s cloud tops.

Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft in interstellar space on August 25, 2012

On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft crossed the heliopause, the theoretical boundary of our solar system where the Sun’s solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium, and became the first spacecraft in interstellar space.

Voyager 2 performed the first Neptune flyby on August 25, 1989

On August 25, 1989, Voyager 2 performed a close Neptune flyby, giving humanity its first close-up of the eighth (and the outermost) planet of our solar system. Neptune was the spacecraft’s final planetary target. That first Neptune flyby was also the last: No other spacecraft has visited Neptune since.

Here’s why Betelgeuse dimmed in 2019

In 2019, red supergiant star Betelgeuse suddenly dimmed. In fact, the star has a 5.9-year light-cycle minimum period. But, this time, it dramatically to an all-time low. Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars in the Earth’s sky and easily can be found on the right shoulder of the constellation Orion. So the dimming, which …

ESA’s Giotto became the first spacecraft to use Earth for a gravity assist on July 2, 1990

On July 2, 1990, European Space Agency’s (ESA) Giotto spacecraft performed the first-ever earth gravity-assisted maneuver to be retargeted for its destination, Comet P/Grigg-Skjellerup.