Astronomers are probing the high-energy cosmic frontier with a series of key missions: Fermi, Swift, Chandra, NuSTAR, and Hubble. This video was inspired by a NASA event at the National Air and Space Museum, called “Our Violent Universe.”
NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft in the late summer of 1977, These remote ambassadors still beam messages back to Earth 40 years later. After delivering unprecedented views of the outer planets, they are now sending back data from beyond the solar system. How many millennia, how many millions of years will their journey last?
Asteroids racing through the solar system have smashed into Earth before. What are the chances we’ll get hit again? Armed with new defensive technologies, scientists are getting ready for the day, a decade, century from now: the Day of the Asteroid.
The Cassini spacecraft, having flown through the Saturn system for almost twenty years, is nearing the end of its mission. On September 15th, Cassini will enter Saturn’s atmosphere, relaying data from eight of its twelve instruments until the spacecraft breaks up. This revolutionary project is now considered one of the greatest space missions of all time, on a parr with Voyager and Apollo. It has amassed one of the greatest photographic collections on record, with stunning details of moons, rings, and the giant planet itself. Just as scientists say goodbye to this historic experiment, they are getting ready for a deluge of revealing new data. In this video, they also take the time to reflect on Cassini’s many accomplishments and what it has meant to science and humanity itself.
Video from NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope got off to a rocky start after its April, 1990 deployment, when operators found that its high-gain antenna was mysteriously stuck. Then in 1994, it went on the fritz with Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on a beeline for Jupiter. Engineers have had to dig deep into their tool kits to confront a series of potentially fatal technical obstacles.
Scientists have long suspected the solar wind of stripping the Martian upper atmosphere into space, turning Mars from a blue world to a red one. Now, NASA’s MAVEN orbiter is observing this process in action, providing significant data on solar wind erosion at Mars.
Video from NASA
Giant galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe. Using the magnification effect caused by their mass, Hubble can look deeper into the Universe than ever before. From Hubblecast.
This movie shows the new 3D map of the age of the Greenland ice sheet, using a collage of live footage and animation to explain how scientists determined the age from data collected by ice-penetrating radar.
Video from NASA
Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit,” is an unmanned lunar rover that was part of the Chinese Chang’e 3 Moon mission. It reached the lunar surface in mid-December 2013. It was the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976, and the first rover to operate there since the Soviet Lunokhod 2 mission ended in May 1973.
Yutu encountered operational difficulties after about a month on the Moon, and was unable to move after the end of the second lunar night. It continued to gather useful information for some months afterward. In October 2015, Yutu set the record for the longest operational period for a rover on the Moon.
In late 2014 and early 2015, NASA’s Kepler telescope observed the eighth planet in our solar system, Neptune. Kepler detected Neptune’s daily rotation, the movement of clouds, and even minute changes in the sun’s brightness, paving the way for future studies of weather and climate beyond our solar system.
Video from NASA.