JUICE launches to Jupiter and its moons. A new JWST image of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. 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 launched on top of the Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. JUICE will now take 4 gravity assists (3 at Earth and one at Venus) to reach the Jupiter system. It will explore Ganymede, Calisto and Europa, mainly focusing on Ganymede – the largest moon in our solar system. However, for now, we will need to be patient. JUICE will arrive at its destination only in 2031.
Webb’s View of Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A
James Webb keeps producing stunning images of famous regions of space. This time we got a look at the Cassiopeia A, which is a remnant of a supernova explosion. It’s 11,000 lightyears away from us. But the object is rather big, approximately 10 lightyears across. As it always happens with Webb images, we have amazing details thanks to its size and resolution. And the IR spectrum helps to look into all the dust and clouds.
Machine Learning helps Astronomy
AI has generated a lot of headlines lately with Chat GPT, Bing and other projects. But it’s not only about tech giants. With the help of machine learning algorithms, scientists enhanced the famous Event Horizon Telescope’s image of the M87 supermassive black hole. The algorithm they used is called PRIMO and it was trained on multiple simulations of black holes. As you can see, the result is a much sharper image with more details. It’s interesting how this approach can be used with other images.
Telescopes Could Get Flexible Mirrors
JWST was at the limit of what kind of telescope you can cram inside a standard rocket fairing. Much of the development costs went into making a powerful telescope that could unfold with the magic of origami. Researchers have created a paper-thin telescope mirror on a flexible sheet that can be rolled up and stowed into a rocket fairing. After launch, the telescope could be unrolled and shifted into a traditional parabolic shape to make astronomical observations.
Terran-1 Is Dead. Long Live Terran-R!
Relativity Space announced that their Terran-1 rocket will be retired after just one flight. The company will now fully focus on their next rocket called Terran R. They also published new renders of the Terran R. Previously it looked a lot like a mini-Straship, but now it’s much more like a Falcon 9. Relativity no longer states that they will be reusing the second stage of the rocket, focusing more on the first stage reusability. The first launch of Terran R is expected no earlier than 2026.
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 as high as 2000 meters going only 300 km/h. However, it did it using a rocket engine. The test was successful, but they still have a lot of work ahead if they want to achieve their goals of getting to orbit with this vehicle.
LEGO Map of the Moon
A map of the Moon can become a LEGO set. It’s only a proposition for now, but with enough votes it can 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.