MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (SETI Insitute PR — Scientists from the SETI Institute and Purdue University have found that the only way to produce Deimos’s unusually tilted orbit is for Mars to have had a ring billions of years ago. While some of the more massive planets in our solar system have giant rings and numerous big moons, Mars only has two small, misshapen moons, Phobos and Deimos. Although these moons are small, their peculiar orbits hide important secrets about their past.
AUSTIN (McDonald Observatory PR) — Fritz Benedict has used data he took over two decades ago with Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the existence of another planet around the Sun’s nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, and to pin down the planet’s orbit and mass.
Benedict, an emeritus Senior Research Scientist with McDonald Observatory at The University of Texas at Austin, will present his findings today in a scientific session and then in a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
On May 23rd entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launched 60 Starlink communication satellites aboard a single rocket. Within days skywatchers worldwide spotted them flying in formation as they orbited Earth and reflected sunlight from their shiny metal surfaces. Some people, unaware that artificial satellites can be seen moving against the starry background every clear night, reported UFO sightings. Astronomers, on the other hand, knew exactly what they were seeing — and immediately began to worry.
WASHINGTON (Explore Mars PR) — Explore Mars, Inc. and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) are pleased to announce the release of the final report of the Sixth Community Workshop for Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars (AM VI). AM VI, which was held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on August 28-30, 2018, assembled leading experts in the exploration of the Moon and Mars, including scientists, technologists, and policy professionals.
WASHINGTON (AIAA PR) — A coalition of space organizations today released a joint white paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AAS PR) — Dr. Alan Stern, associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) and the Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, has been awarded the 2016 Carl Sagan Memorial Award by the American Astronautical Society (AAS).
The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) has announced a lunar rover competition. The goal is to “design a miniature lunar rover that can be used to assist a human mission to the Moon in locating a suitable place to build a longterm habitat (i.e., not a lunar rover for passengers like this, but a small lunar rover like this). The Rover will accompany the human mission and have the capability to operate either autonomously or under human control. This allows data collection for potential habitat sites to be collected while humans are occupied with other tasks.”
The maximum weight is 15 kilograms (33 lbs.). The competition is being sponsored by UKSEDS and the American Astronautical Society. To learn more, visit the SEDS website here.