Tag Archives: European Space Agency

Kessler Syndrome: Space junk can end space exploration, and destroy modern way life

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit Earth. This event marks the beginning of humanity’s space exploration history. After that, humanity went to the moon, astronauts and cosmonauts performed countless spacewalks, and since the arrival of Expedition 1 on November 2, 2000, the International Space Station station has been continuously occupied. To date, this is the longest continuous human presence in space, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. But maybe even more important, we launched thousands of artificial satellites into the Earth’s orbit. These artificial satellites shape our modern life: weather forecasts, broadcasting, communication and GPS are just a few examples. But, there’s a side effect: just like here on the Earth, we are slowly filling the most important part just above us, with junk.  And this junk can end space exploration, and destroy our modern way life. This (very possible) scenario known as the Kessler Syndrome, proposed by the American astrophysicist and former NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978.

Continue reading Kessler Syndrome: Space junk can end space exploration, and destroy modern way life

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will scan the skies for asteroids which threaten Earth

Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid (or a comet) with a diameter of at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) impacted a few miles from the present-day town of Chicxulub in Mexico at around 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph). The impact triggered a chain of events what it is known today as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event, also known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction, and wiped out three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, including non-avian dinosaurs.

If this Chicxulub impactor happened today, it would wipe out the human civilization. Luckily, events like Chicxulub impact are rare. Asteroids with a 1 km (0.62 mi) diameter strike Earth every 500,000 years on average. But that doesn’t mean we are totally safe. Asteroids with a diameter of at least 140 meters (460 ft) are big enough to cause regional devastation to human settlements unprecedented in human history in the case of a land impact or a major tsunami in the case of an ocean impact.

Continue reading Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will scan the skies for asteroids which threaten Earth

Watch: Amazing Time-Lapse Video Showing Earth from the ISS

European Space Agency has published an amazing time-lapse video showing the Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency wrote “Join ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst for a quick flight from the USA to Africa aboard the International Space Station in this time-lapse filmed 12.5 times faster than actual speed.” You can watch that breathtaking video below:
Continue reading Watch: Amazing Time-Lapse Video Showing Earth from the ISS

Song of Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus

NASA has published an amazing video titled “Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus”. The analyze of the data from the Cassini Spacecraft’s Grand Finale orbits showed a surprisingly powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its icy moon Enceladus. Researchers converted the recording of plasma waves into a “whooshing” audio file that we can hear, in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music.
Continue reading Song of Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus

Watch: Top 10 Tallest Rockets Ever Launched

To able to reach the space, we need rockets. Rocket engines work by action and reaction (“To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction”Notes 1) and push rockets forward simply by expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed and can therefore work in the vacuum of space. Space rockets are usually enormous in size, because the bigger the rocket is, the more thrust can produce its engine and can carry more weight into the orbit. Here are the 10 tallest rockets ever launched in the history of space exploration.
Continue reading Watch: Top 10 Tallest Rockets Ever Launched

Hubble Space Telescope Launch

On April 24, 1990, Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit from space shuttle Discovery (STS-31). It orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 350 miles (560 kilometers). For a comparison, the International Space Station (ISS) maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 205 and 270 miles (330 and 435 kilometers). The telescope is 43.5 feet (13.2 meters) long, weighs 24,500 pounds (11,110 kilograms).
Continue reading Hubble Space Telescope Launch

Mont Saint-Michel, France, From Space

The European Space Agency (ESA) occasionally posts high-resolution photos of space under the title of “week in images”. This amazing image of the Mont Saint-Michel from space, which was captured on 21 June 2017, is also featured on the ESA’s Earth from Space video programme, presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.
Continue reading Mont Saint-Michel, France, From Space

ESA’s Gaia has Created the Most Detailed Map of the Milky Way

ESA’s (European Space Agency) Gaia spacecraft has created the most accurate and detailed map of the Milky Way galaxy (and beyond) to date. The map includes high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and reveals previously unseen details of our home Galaxy. It is the second iteration of the map and published by ESA on April 25, 2018.
Continue reading ESA’s Gaia has Created the Most Detailed Map of the Milky Way