What's New in Space? (No.23)

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What's New in Space?
Pisces 7, 0007 (Feb 04,2023)

Every morning we can't wait to dive into the hot news on our planet to stay up-to-date on the latest events in detail. And what's going on in space at the same time? Let's take a look!

The Mars rover Perseverance has completed a warehouse of duplicate Martian rock samples to be brought back to Earth in a few years. Over the course of six weeks, it laid out 10 containers in the Jezero Crater, according to the NASA website.

Over the course of its operations, Perseverance collected a set of Martian samples. In a few years, the rover will transfer the tubes to the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle) rocket, which will deliver the samples to the near-Mars orbit, where they will be picked up by the ERO orbiter and delivered to Earth in 2033. However, in addition to the main set, which is stored on the rover, the mission also provides for storage of duplicates separately from the rover - right on the surface of the planet. The duplicates are stored as a backup in case the rover fails. Then two Ingenuity-like drones will deliver the tubes to the rocket.

The entire duplicate storage process took six weeks, having started in mid-December last year, during which the rover travelled in a zig-zag trajectory along a flat area in the Jezero crater and dropped one tube at a time on the planet's surface, 5 to 15 metres apart. After dropping, each tube was photographed.

On the evening of 29 January, the rover dropped the final tenth sample of rocks on the surface of Mars. Experts assure that the wind will not be able to shift the tubes much, and in a few years they still should not be heavily dusted.

Astrophysicist Jason Wang from Northwestern University presented an animation of system HR 8799 planets rotation. For this purpose, the scientist used data from infrared observations of the star covering 12 terrestrial years. All four planets are several times more massive than Jupiter, so they can be observed directly, according to the Northwestern University website. The photos were obtained using the NIRC2 receiver and coronagraph installed on one of the telescopes at the Keck Ground Observatory in Hawaii.

HR 8799 is 133.3 light-years away from the Sun in the Pegasus constellation and is 1.5 times more massive than our star. The young star is about 30 million years old. The system consists of four exoplanets, which are exogiants 7-10 times more massive than Jupiter.

During the last approach of the Juno space station to Jupiter in mid-January, the JunoCam overheated. Because of that, the images of Jupiter turned out to be of poor quality, only 44 images taken at the end of the flight were of acceptable quality. This is the second incident of this kind, and the reasons have not yet been identified, according to the NASA website. On 14 December last year, Juno experienced a failure in the work of its onboard computer and resumed operation only on 29 December. When the station completed the transfer of scientific data to Earth, it turned out that 4 of the 90 images received by JunoCam were unusable.

The JunoCam is a telescopic colour optical camera installed on the Juno station, which has been surveying Jupiter for six years. It was used to obtain detailed images of the gas giant's vortices and clouds during the station's approach to the planet.