The likes of NASA and SpaceX allow us to dream. With their missions to far-flung places in space, mankind gets to think about more than the trivialities of everyday life.
The possibility of discovering habitable planets has long been a subject of many a public debate. Yet, most of us have never really wondered what would happen if it all came tumbling down. An end to space exploration as we know it, no other Hubble Space Telescope, no space agency, no fresh content for our minds to simmer in.
In truth, if that were to happen, Americans would be distraught. There’s every chance that a significant portion of the populace would believe that the best days were well and truly behind us.
While all of that may seem like some dystopic fairytale, there’s a very real possibility it could happen. At AstroReality, we’re committed to empowering the masses to think big, outside the box. We’ve been successfully been able to do this over the last couple of years by being at the forefront of augmented reality technology.
Using specially designed 3D models, we’ve mapped the cosmos for a more interactive learning and fun experience. Feel free to check out our portfolio for a glimpse of what we’re all about.
Having revealed this, it would be remiss if we didn’t highlight that there’s great promise in space exploration today. Over the last year, we’ve managed to witness great feats in the astrology world. Ever eager to enlighten you, here’s our countdown of the top happenings in our universe complete with a photo-finish!
Here’s a toast to one of our crowning moments. Ever since Einstein dreamt up the space-time continuum, we’ve long wondered about the machinations of it all. Given all the waiting done, it came as little surprise that news from Event Horizon Telescope about a first possible image sighting of a black hole brought jubilation all around.
Lying at the center of the Virgo A galaxy, the black hole image was finally captured after 2 long years of zooming in on the singularity. With 200 astronomers from around the globe involved in the project, it goes to show the power that lies in humanity pooling together for a common cause.
Normally, black holes are invisible due to the fact that little to no light escapes from them. This fact didn’t, however, stop Einstein from speculating that under certain circumstances, an outline of a black hole together with its light-swallowing event horizon could be seen.
The dark circle represents the shadow of the black hole and its boundary. To clearly illustrate the bring rings, the EHT researchers chose a color hue to showcase the brightness of the emissions. With yellow depicting the most intense emission, red a little less intense, and black at almost zero emission, the image can best be described as picturesque.
Controversially, NASA researchers have launched a new map of the universe. While there are many artistic impressions out there, this one takes the icing on the cake. This is because it’s an actual image that was captured by a neutron-star hunting telescope situated on the International Space Station.
Using high energy X-ray light, the image showcases the expanse of the universe. There are some interesting tidbits captured like exploding supernovas, gas-gobbling neutron stars, and mammoth sized black holes that swallow up whole worlds at lightning speeds.
X-marks the spot here. This map goes a long way to suggest that stars may actually be connected by electric plasma currents
Aptly named the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), the telescopes main mission was to study the nature of pulsars. If you’re unsure what pulsars really are, they can be described as fast-spinning, super dense corpses of dead stars that pulse producing high-energy light as they spin around.
On earth, solar eclipses are a marvel. Given just how dumbfounded we usually are when eclipses occur, it’s hard to imagine anything could ever top that.
Then, enters Curiosity. The rover’s exploration of Mars has given us a front-row seat of where all the action happens. It has managed to capture solar eclipses on Mars. Since Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, it’s double the treat!
Earth’s moon is believed to have formed from the action of a massive object hitting the Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. The resulting debris is what set the moon in motion. On the flip side, Phobos and Deimos are believed to be asteroids that were pulled into Mars’s orbit as a result of gravitational forces.
Given this contrasting history, it’s safe to say that a solar eclipse on the moon is truly something magical.
While we know so much about supersonic shockwaves, we’ve never actually been able to capture their action in image form. That was right until NASA came to the fore and recorded two U.S. Air Force crafts flying so fast (faster than the speed of sound) in close proximity. The result? The first-ever snapshot of shockwaves (pressure waves) interacting in the air. The beautiful photos have been compared to the action of motorboats moving above the waters.
Since humans can’t really see these shock waves (we can only hear them merging through a thunderclap sound called a sonic boom), NASA made use of their air-to-air schlieren photographic technology to produce the images.
The fresh crater on Mars’ surface perfectly captures the darker shades of Martian soil which were brought to the surface after an impact drove out the loose dirt sitting atop.
Given just how recent the entire shot looks, scientists believe that the crater’s formation happened between September 2016 and February 2019.
Having highlighted some of the latest space discoveries, it’s evident that you don’t really need to be a science nerd to see the benefits of space exploration.
With space being the next frontier of exploration, our action from this point is going to determine just how far we progress as a people.
At AstroReality, we’re committed to expanding the horizons and our portfolio features an assortment of various 3D models to spark up your interest in the heavens. As Robert A. Heinlein famously remarked, “The stars will never be won by little minds; we must be big as space itself.”