For a number of reasons, 2020 could be a watershed year for society and science. Astronomers and space agencies spent years managing the effects of the coronavirus epidemic. They also made progress in new technologies and said goodbye to some important projects.
This year saw a new era of sample-retrieval missions, protests against telescopes, incredible visits to the shining comet, and the “great union” of Saturn and Jupiter.
Here’s our look at the 10 biggest space stories of 2020.
Coronavirus affects space science
The coronavirus epidemic affected many areas of astronomy and space travel. Universities, space agencies and ongoing projects
Convenient to cope with With the new reality, countries around the world have taken steps to stop the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19. Classrooms became virtual, astronomical conferences changed, and higher education institutions were hit hard by the virus’s economic woes.
Social distance measures affected the sector in many ways. Space agencies like NASA
Ordered Their employees work from home. Projects such as the Event Horizon Telescope, which took the first photo of a black hole, Cancel Its 2020 observations. The satellites continued their observation, showing Desolate streets And Short-term changes For emissions caused by human activity. Social movements like Protest The construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii was also halted to protect community elders from disease.
Spacecraft such as the NASA asteroid-collecting OSIRUS-Rex mission also had to delay their most important maneuver due to limitations in efforts to reduce the virus on Earth – material retrieval from the planet Bennu.
The contagious and deadly nature of the virus was evident to space agencies. On May 6, the head of Russia’s human space lighting program
Died Just weeks after testing positive for coronavirus. In late April 2020, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California built a new ventilator. Vita L In response to a limited ventilator for COVID-19 patients. The iconic Arecibo Observatory collapsed
This year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) said goodbye to the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, following the collapse of the radio telescope after two major cable failures. The 57-year-old design was once the world’s largest radio dish telescope, and researchers have used its capabilities to make significant advances in astronomy. The Arecibo Observatory also served as the theatrical background for films such as “Contact” and “Goldneye.”
The facility suffered two cable failures this year, and then in early December, the suspended platform above the radio dish collapsed.
There was news about Arecibo’s structural damage and subsequent demolition
Disappointing Also for the local community. Field trips at the center of its visitors are “passage rites” for Puerto Rican children. Boom in sample return missions
A new one “
The Golden AgeHere is a sample retrieval mission.
On October 20, 2020, NASA
OSIRIS-REx Mission to Planet Planet Bennu successfully delivered space stone fragments to bring it to Earth. Samples of the asteroid Ryugu collected by JXA on December 7 Hibusa 2 Mission Reached Japanese scientists. A capsule with rocky material landed in the Wumira Prohibited Area of Australia in December, and the spacecraft returned to the solar system on an extended mission. The spacecraft’s predecessor, Hayabusa, was the first mission to bring fragments from the planet back to Earth.
Good 5 The mission also greeted specimens with the moon at the end of 2020. The first lunar samples to land on Earth were brought down by NASA Apollo program.
China has analyzed a strange object far from the moon
China’s Yutu2 Moon Rover captured this image of glassy material from the edge of a small pit. (Image credit: © CNSA / CLEP)
Chinese scientists publish their analysis
Strange object They found the far side of the moon. The Yutu 2 rover of China’s Chang 4 mission found a gel-like substance in July 2019, and this year, Chinese researchers described the material in a new paper.
The glassy substance is a dark green color and looks like Brexia, or broken pieces of minerals that were cemented together. Information about the material was captured by U2’s panoramic and risk aversion camera and Rover’s Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) instrument. The researchers wrote that the material impact or volcanic eruption.
Phosphine on Venus
On September 14, a team of astronomers announced that they had
Detected Chemical fingerprint of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. The compound has been found near microorganisms on Earth and some have argued that it may be biosignature, indicating that the life form in the clouds of Venus was able to keep the planet alive. Extreme atmosphere.
Astronomers discovered the phosphine chemical signature using the James Clark Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and the Attackma Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. Layers of phosphine have led researchers to wonder why Venus, like Earth, has so many oxygen molecules that must destroy phosphine quickly.
Skeptics Be careful to make a life-connection. But the discovery still attracted people from all over the world. The solar bit radiator launches into space
In February 2020, a new solar mission was launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. The solarbiter mission is designed to study the nearby sun to understand the bubbles wrapped around the solar system.
The sun affects a region in space called the heliosphere. The solar system is within it, and there is an inner space outside this field. To understand the heliosphere, a solar orbiter will examine the Sun’s polar regions closely. The mission’s innovative heat shield can withstand temperatures up to 970 degrees Fahrenheit (520 degrees Celsius).
Related: The world’s largest solar telescope creates an image of our star that has never been seen before Protest over a thirty meter telescope
An artist’s picture of a thirty meter telescope at the top of the Maunkea volcano in Hawaii. (Image credit: Thirty meter telescope)
Kia, or Native Hawaiians known as the Patrons continued them
Protest This year against the construction of a 160 feet tall (49 m) Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). TMT came in 2003 when a for-profit partnership was formed between two California universities and partners in Japan, China, India and Canada.
Kia set up camp in the summer of 2019 to protest the start of construction. “It’s a sacred religious site for the original Hawaiian people and will be a big new addition to the TMT Summit, which is almost already populated,” Maunkea said. Dozens of astronomical observatories.
Goodbye, Spitzer Space Telescope
On January 30, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope flew offline after more than 16 years of observing the universe. The mission team put the spacecraft into permanent hibernation to finish the mission; Team members think the spacecraft will eventually crash into the wreckage area.
Suzanne Dode, Spitzer’s former project manager, told a panel on Jan. 23 that the telescope had “corncopies” of cosmic details.
Spitzer collected the data using a technique called spectroscopy. This allowed scientists to study the universe using the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Scientists have used infrared data to learn about the dust and particles in space that stars do not shine in visible light, providing a more complete picture of the universe.
Hello, comet needed
Gianluca Masi, the astrophysicist of the Virtual Telescope Project, captured this view of the comet Lovejoy over Secano, Italy, in the summer of 2020. (Photo credit: Gianluca Masi / Virtual Telescope Project)
Comet NEOWISE was discovered by NASA’s NEOWISE mission in March 2020 and had spectators shining on Earth the following week. The icy comet made an approach closer to the sun on July 3 and survived the encounter, while the Sky Vouchers were able to marvel at its impressive tail as it returns to the outer solar system. Comet NEOWISE will not return for another 6,800 years.
In addition to making it more beautiful, the brightness of the comet allowed astronomers to collect high-quality data on the rs object. NASA officials
Said The last comet to be put on such an impressive show was Hell-Bop in 1997.
Related: Photos of the need for a comet from Earth and space
Plus: The Hubble Telescope captures a spectacular view of the comet NEOWISE after its spectacular summer skies. The great union of Saturn and Jupiter
2020’s final show-stopping space event “
Great connectionDecember 21 of Saturn and Jupiter, which is also the date of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
Jupiter and Saturn were seen below each other in the evening sky shortly after sunset. They were separated by only one-tenth of a degree. Their closeness to each other in the sky has not come in more than 400 years.
Connections between these two planets occur almost once every two decades when Earth, Jupiter and Saturn form a line in space. While observing the compound, viewers are lucky to have a clear sky, while Jupiter’s Galilean moon can also be seen twinkling.
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