Facts That You Probably Don’t Know About Space

Scientists have been studying space and trying to solve its mysteries for so long and I would be wrong if I say that they haven't been successful. But still, space is so adventurous that every other day, there is some kind of discovery or some hidden facts that come out of nowhere.

Still, there are some mysteries that are still a mystery, despite constant efforts from the scientists, the mysteries are nowhere to be cracked.

Some of them are stated below-

1. Gaia’s Mission: solving the celestial puzzle:

Image Source: Wikipedia

Gaia ( Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics) is a space observatory mission – a part of ESA’s Horizon 2000+ long-term scientific program, to measure the positions, distance, and motions of stars with greater precision. It was launched on 19 Dec 2013 abroad Soyuz ST -Brocket and is expected to survive till 2024. 

It is situated 1.5 million km from us. It is designed to create the most precise 3D space catalog so far, 1% of the galaxy’s 100 billion astronomical objects like stars, planets, comets, asteroids, and quasars. The total cost of the project is $1 billion. Scientists expect that ESA’s Gaia mission will detect some tens of thousands of exoplanets out to 500 parsecs ( around 1600 light-years) from the sun with the Astrometric technique.

2. Visible Space Debris in Daylight:

Image Source: Universe Today

A team of researchers was able to detect space debris in broad daylight for the first time. The discovery was made on 24 June 2020 at the Swiss Optical Ground Station and Geodynamics Observatory Zimmerwald.

Space debris is any piece of machine or debris left by humans in space, like dead satellites or spent rocket parts, or even waste used by human beings dumped into space.

Scientists measured the distance from the ground to the debris using a satellite laser. The laser technology used was previously thought to only work at night. The feat of tracking the Debris in Daylight was only possible because of a CMOS ( complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) camera that was actively tracking the debris.

As of January 2019, more than 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1 cm, about 900,000 pieces of debris 1-10cm, and around 34,000 pieces larger than 10 cm were estimated to be in orbit around the Earth.

MMOD ( Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris ) is a group of Micrometeoroids that is created by human-made space debris. The ISS has Whipple shielding to resist damage from small MMOD however, know Debris with a collision chance of over 1/10,000 is avoided by maneuvering the station.

3. 50 New Planets Identified from old NASA data using AI for the First Time:

Image source: Firstpost

These planets range from worlds as large as Neptune to those smaller than Earth and with orbits that range from as long as 200 days to as little as a single day. A machine learning-based algorithm has been trained to recognize real planets using two large samples of confirmed planets and false positives from now-retired NASA’s Kepler mission. After this, the researchers used the algorithm on a dataset of the prevailing unconfirmed planetary candidates from Kepler.

4. The Black Moon:

Image Source: YouTube

On the night of 19 August, a New Moon called the Black Moon graced the skies in the Northern Hemisphere. There are two definitions for Black Moon. A second full moon in a single calendar month is also called a blue moon and by definition, the flip side of it is a black moon. If the year is divided into four quarters each quarter bears witness to three new moons. 

Summer 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere and winter 2020 in the southern hemisphere see four new moons.

Generally, the new moon phase of the moon is always black and occurs when the moon passes through the same part of the sky as the sun, and as such the moon’s dark side faces the Earth. However sometimes the new moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun and people from Earth can see the moon’s black silhouette crossing in front of the sun, causing a solar eclipse.

Written By - Violet Priscilla S.

Edited By - Anamika Malik

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