Movies: Look Up at NASA’s Work

Source: Leonardo DiCaprio shown in Netflix’s Don’t Look Up.

You may have already watched the star-studded movie Don’t Look Up released by Netflix over the holidays about a comet on its way to destroy our planet. It is an amusing film. Hopefully, it will also move people towards NASA and away from politicians, not that politicians really have much of a following. The more interesting story that should capture the public’s attention pertains to a little NASA spacecraft, part of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, that will crash into a real asteroid next fall to determine whether or not we are able to nudge one of these monsters in a new direction – that is, away from Earth. The asteroid in question is called Dimorphos, which is about 160 meters in diameter and would create an explosion equivalent to approximately 500 megatons of TNT should it strike our planet. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to about 16,000 tons of TNT. So this test is pretty important in terms of long term planning as well as survival. Check out the DART link above to read more about the mission.

Source: NASA.

Extra: has an interesting story worth checking out – “Astronomer Amy Mainzer spent hours chatting with Leonardo DiCaprio for Netflix’s Don’t Look Up.”

The James Webb Space Telescope is Off!

It was quite the Christmas present – a new space telescope. NASA’s press release about the launch on December 25, 2021 of the James Webb Space Telescope stated:

The world’s largest and most complex space science observatory will now begin six months of commissioning in space. At the end of commissioning, Webb will deliver its first images. Webb carries four state-of-the-art science instruments with highly sensitive infrared detectors of unprecedented resolution. Webb will study infrared light from celestial objects with much greater clarity than ever before. The premier mission is the scientific successor to NASA’s iconic Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, built to complement and further the scientific discoveries of these and other missions.

You can follow the progress of this mission via the James Webb Space Telescope Blog.

The Start of a New Adventure

This site was created to discuss a variety of space-related issues in various ways, from scientific to cultural, and even political. We are all seeking something greater than ourselves, and it is already there. Just look outside your window (or, better yet, through a telescope) and you will find more than your imagination can comprehend. It is time to put down the phone (unless you are reading this, of course) and look at the evening sky.

Source: NASA SpaceX mission.
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