Selection of the most interesting space news for breakfast: New telescope will help scientists detect the collision of neutron stars for the first time. The SWOT mission will conduct the world’s first global study of freshwater reservoirs, and we tell you what a person will hear on different planets of the Solar System.
- Neutron stars: New telescope detects dead suns colliding
- Why Jupiter doesn’t have rings like Saturn
- Wentian module docked with the Chinese orbital station
- US-European Satellite Will Make World’s First Global Freshwater Survey
- Inspired by the SpaceX spacecraft, Swiss students printed a house
- What we will hear on other planets (article)
Neutron stars: New telescope detects dead suns colliding
A new telescope has been built in Spain, which will face a difficult task — to detect neutron stars when they collide. It is called Gravitational Wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) and is located on the volcanic Spanish island of La Palma. When its twin domes open, they reveal two coal-black batteries of eight cylindrical telescopes held together — these structures are very similar to rocket launchers. Each telescope covers a different part of the sky, rotating rapidly both vertically and horizontally.
A neutron star is a dead sun. They have such a strong gravity that they are attracted to each other. Eventually they collide together and merge. Neutron stars are so heavy that a small teaspoon of their substance weighs four billion tons.
Why Jupiter doesn’t have rings like Saturn
Scientists have answered the question of why giant Jupiter does not have such a large ring system as Saturn. The reason for this was the massive moons of the planet. Rings of giant planets are numerous blocks of ice orbiting in one plane. It is believed that this ice was brought to the systems of giant planets by comets. And the powerful gravity did not let it fly in all directions. Nothing prevents Jupiter from having rings even more impressive than Saturn’s.
Researchers suggested that the reason for this is the gravity of Jupiter’s four largest moons. They have a size comparable to the Moon or Mercury and rotate quite close to the planet. Scientists have conducted a simulation of how ice falls into the orbit of Jupiter. And it confirmed that the gravitational force of Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede should either throw these fragments out of the system, or force them to collide with themselves. Therefore, massive rings near the largest planet in the Solar System simply cannot exist for a long enough time.
Wentian module docked with the Chinese orbital station
A successful launch of the Long March 5B heavy rocket took place from the Chinese Wenchang Cosmodrome. It sent the laboratory module “Wentian” into space. After entering orbit, Wentian used its propulsion system to perform a series of maneuvers. They allowed it to make a rendezvous and dock with the base unit of the Tiangong orbital station. The laboratory module “Wentian” has a length of 17.9 meters, a diameter of 4.2 meters, and a mass of about 20 tons. It duplicates the control functions of the base unit of the station. The module is equipped with an airlock, scientific equipment and a robotic arm. It can support the accommodation of three Teikonauts.
US-European Satellite Will Make World’s First Global Freshwater Survey
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is intended in a broader sense to determine the level of the world’s oceans with high accuracy, as well as to better understand the mechanisms of the water cycle in nature and improve the control of water resources on the planet. The SWOT mission will make measurements of over 95% of Earth’s lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. “Current databases maybe have information on a couple thousand lakes around the world,” said Tamlin Pavelsky, the NASA freshwater science lead for SWOT, based at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “SWOT will push that number to between 2 million and 6 million”.
Inspired by the SpaceX spacecraft, Swiss students printed a house
Switzerland has created the world’s tallest house printed on a 3D printer. Students from 6 to 18 years old took part in its creation. There they will conduct educational research that may be useful when exploring the Moon. Students were inspired by SpaceX spacecraft. The design of the three-storey building created by them really resembles Dragon. And this similarity is not accidental. It has everything necessary for two astronauts to live and conduct research on the surface of the moon for a long time.
What we will hear on other planets (article)
The famous American film director George Lucas started the press conference dedicated to the release of the first part of his film saga Star Wars with the statement: “I know that sound does not spread in outer space. Now please ask your questions.” Of course, he was well aware of this, but grandiose space battle scenes in absolute silence would not produce the desired emotional impact on the audience.
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