The Terrestrial Times: January News

Interstellar news for terrestrials like you!

As the first monthly series starting this 2020, you have lots to look forward to. In this series, we will be looking at the top space news each month.

January News

Is Betelgeuse Going to Explode? Since September 2019 Betelgeuse has been dimming. Betelgeuse is also at the top of the list of the stars most likely to go supernova relatively near us. When preparing to go supernova a star contracts from the gravity and then explodes in a supernova. This is why people think it’s going to go supernova. The truth is that much much before that contraction happens, a red giant like Betelgeuse spews out lots of its material. This makes the true magnitude lower and that material blocks some of the light making its apparent magnitude even lower. I think Betelgeuse isn’t going to blow but make sure you get out star gazing to have a look yourself. 

Image result for betelgeuse"

image credit: space.com

Another SpaceX Launch? Yes, it’s true, the world record holder for the most commercial launches in a year, SpaceX has launched for the first time in 2020, hoping to beat the record of 20 that they made in 2018. This time with 60 mini-satellites inside the falcon 9. This is another step in the right direction to achieve SpaceX’s SEO Elon Musk’s goal. This goal is to make super-fast broadband available across the world with thousands of mini-satellites which he calls a satellite constellation. SpaceX is already the owner of the largest fleet of satellites to date.

Are we going back to the moon? NASA’s Artemis mission is their mission to the moon. This month they unveiled their new spacesuits the astronauts will be wearing on the moon. These new space suits will give added flexibility to the astronauts’ movement and improve productivity and comfort. Additionally, NASA’s new “mega-rocket” the SLS has sent its first core for New Orleans to be tested.

Was Space X’s abort test successful? On the 19th of January Space X did an abort test for their dragon capsule. Everything went to plan and the capsule splashed down safely and even a bit early with the assists of the four Mark 3 parachutes.

Are we saying goodbye to Spitzer? NASA’s Spitzer mission was a low earth orbit telescope that views in the infrared. On the 30th of January Spitzer will come to an official end and NASA will take the last observations on the 29th.

image credit: nasa.gov

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