Satellites are a part of our everyday life. We use global positioning system (GPS) satellites to help us find directions. Satellite television and telephones bring us entertainment, and they connect people all over the world. Weather satellites help us create forecasts, and if there’s a disaster—such as a hurricane or a large fire—they can help track what’s happening. Then, communication satellites can help us warn people in harm’s way.
There are many places on Earth where it snows, but did you know it snows on other worlds, too? Here are just a few of the places where you might find snow beyond Earth:
The United States had a rough hurricane season this year. Scientists collect information before and during hurricanes to understand the storms and help people stay safe. However, collecting information during a violent storm is very difficult.
Have you ever seen a cloud that looks sort of like a rabbit? Or maybe a rock formation that looks a bit like an elephant? Although you know that a cloud isn’t really a giant rabbit in the sky, it’s still fun to look for patterns in images from nature. Can you spot some familiar spooky sites in the space images below?
On September 15th, the Cassini spacecraft will have its final mission. It will dive into the planet Saturn, gathering information and sending it back to Earth for as long as possible. As it dives, it will burn up in the atmosphere, much like a meteor. Cassini’s original mission was supposed to last four years, but it has now been orbiting Saturn for more than 13 years!
When Stamatios (Tom) Krimigis was selected for the Voyager mission in 1971, he became the team’s youngest principal investigator of an instrument, responsible for the Low Energy Charged Particles (LECP) instrument. It would measure the ions coursing around and between the planets, as well as those beyond. Little did he know, though, that more than 40 years later, both Voyager 1 and 2 still would be speeding through space, continuing to literally reshape our view of the solar system.
With clouds, rain, seas, lakes and a nitrogen-filled atmosphere, Saturn’s moon Titan appears to be one of the worlds most similar to Earth in the solar system. But it’s still alien; its seas and lakes are full not of water but liquid methane and ethane.
Later this year, an ambitious new Earth-monitoring satellite will launch into a polar orbit around our planet. The new satellite—called JPSS-1—is a collaboration between NASA and NOAA. It is part of a mission called the Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.
If you bought one of the original MicroMacxx® rockets, it came with its own launch pad, launch controller, and igniter holder. If your club has a set of standard launch pads, this pad and controller does not really work well with them. Also, newer MicroMaxx® rockets with clustered engines don’t work at all with the single igniter holders in the original pad.