JUICE launches to Jupiter and its moons. A new JWST image of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant. Machine learning cleans up the universe and improves images of a black hole’s event horizon. Terran 1 is dead, long live Terran R.
JUICE is on its way to Jupiter’s icy moons. The mission took off from French Guiana on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. JUICE now requires 4 gravitational aids (3 on Earth and one on Venus) to reach the Jupiter system. It will explore Ganymede, Calisto and Europa, focusing primarily on Ganymede – the largest moon in our solar system. For the moment, however, we still have to be patient. JUICE will not arrive at its destination until 2031.
Webb’s view of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant
James Webb consistently produces stunning images of famous regions of space. This time we took a look at Cassiopeia A, which is a remnant of a supernova explosion. It is 11,000 light years away from us. But the object is quite large, about 10 light-years across. As always with Webb images we have amazing detail thanks to its size and resolution. And the IR spectrum helps to see inside all the dust and clouds.
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More on JWST’s view of Cassiopeia A
Machine learning helps astronomy
AI has been making a lot of headlines lately with Chat GPT, Bing and other projects. But it’s not just about tech giants. Using machine learning algorithms, scientists improved the famous Event Horizon Telescope’s image of supermassive black hole M87. The algorithm they use is called PRIMO and was trained on several black hole simulations. As you can see, the result is a much sharper image with more detail. It’s interesting how this approach can be used with other images.
More on AI improvements
Telescopes could get flexible mirrors
JWST was at the limit of what kind of telescope you can cram into a standard rocket fairing. Much of the development expense went into creating a powerful telescope that could unfold with the magic of origami. Researchers have created a wafer-thin telescope mirror on a flexible sheet that can be rolled up and stowed in a rocket fairing. Once launched, the telescope could be unrolled and placed in a traditional parabolic shape for astronomical observations.
More about flexible room mirrors
Terran-1 is dead. Long live Terran-R!
Relativity Space announced that its Terran 1 rocket will be retired after just one flight. The company will now fully focus on its next rocket, called the Terran R. They also released new renders of the Terran R. It used to look a lot like a mini Straship, but now it’s a lot more like a Falcon 9. Relativity doesn’t say that anymore. They’re going to reuse the second stage of the rocket and focus more on first stage reusability. The first launch of Terran R is expected in 2026 at the earliest.
More about Terran R
Testing a rocket powered space plane
The dream of Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) vehicles lives on. This week we got a test from Dawn Aerospace of their prototype spaceplane. It only flew up to 2000 meters high and drove only 300 km/h. It did, however, with a rocket engine. The test was successful, but they still have a lot of work to do if they are to achieve their goal of getting this vehicle into orbit.
Learn more about Dawn Aerospace’s SSTO
LEGO map of the moon
A moon map can become a LEGO set. It’s just a suggestion for now, but with enough votes it may become one. The interesting thing about this project is that the moon is practically 3D. You can also see famous craters and other surface features. Let’s hope that one day we’ll be able to hang one of these on our walls.
More about the Moon LEGO set
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