Martian Dust Devils & The Shuttles | SciByte 43

Martian Dust Devils & The Shuttles | SciByte 43

We take a look at aurora on Uranus, Martian dust devils, counting penguins, Apollo 8 images, the high altitude jet stream, the latest on the shuttles, and as always take a peek back into history and up in the sky this week.

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Show Notes:

Uranus Aurora

Credit: Laurent Lamy

*— NEWS BYTE — *

Martian Dust Devils

Credit: MSSS / JPL / NASA

Studying the high-altitude jet stream

Credit: NASA Wallops

  • The low down
    • After several days of delays due to the weather NASA launched the 5 ATREX rockets within 5 min of each other on March 27
    • Each of the rockets released a chemical tracer that was used to get more data of the high-altitude jet stream located 60–65 mi [95–105 km]
    • Two of the rockets also contained instruments to measure temperature and pressure
    • Hopefully this data will help us to better understand the processes behind this jet stream
  • Significance
    • The high-altitude jet stream that this project was looking at is much higher than the one in the nightly weather report
    • The upper jet-stream typically has winds of about 200–300 mph [320–480 km/hr] and is a region of electrical turbulence that can affect satellites and radio
  • Of Note
    • NASA will release more information about the outcome of the mission after scientists have had time to review the data
  • Multimedia
  • Further Reading / In the News


Counting Penguins from space

Credit: (left) DigitalGlobe; (right) British Antarctic Survey

  • The low down
    • A simple snap of a photograph of a penguin colony, and some marking can help scientist accurately count the number of penguins in a colony
    • Those numbers are hard to get however in remote places, especially in the Antarctic
    • A new technique uses satellite imaging to report results
  • Of Note
    • Scientists have now found twice as many Emperor penguins than thought to exist
    • This brings the total colonies to 44 (7 new ones) and ~595,000 (+/- 81,000)
  • Further Reading / In the News

The view from Apollo 8

  • The low down
    • December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 : Commander Frank Borman and crew members William A. Anders and James A. Lovell, Jr. became the first humans to photograph the Earth rising over the moon.
    • This video recreates what they saw, and interweaves the photographs they took and hear the original audio recording
  • Multimedia

Asteroid Lutetia Flyby

  • The low down
    • Images from ESA’s robotic Rosetta spacecraft were compiled to make a video of the bly-by it made
  • The mission was focused on determining the origins of the asteroid and it’s unusual colors by taking data and images
  • Multimedia


The Shuttle Shuffle

Credit: Ken Kremer

Private deliveries to the Space Station

  • The historic flight of the first commercial transport to the International Space Station, The Dragon, now has a launch date of around May 7.


Looking back

  • April 25, 1990 : 22 years ago : Hubble Space Telescope Deployed : In 1990, the $2.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in space from the Space Shuttle Discovery into an orbit 381 miles above Earth. It was the first major orbiting observatory, named in honour of American astronomer, Edwin Powell Hubble. It was seven years behind schedule and nearly $2 billion over budget. In orbit, the 94.5-in primary mirror was found to be flawed, giving blurred images and reduced ability to see distant stars. However, correcting optics were successfully installed in 25 Dec 1993. The telescope 43-ft x 14-ft telescope now provides images with a clarity otherwise impossible due to the effect of the earth’s atmosphere. Instrument packages capture across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Looking up this week

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