Before we get too far into 2022, it is worth considering some of the top astronomy stories from 2021. Space.com put together a nice list that I highlighted below.
- Discovery of Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein: “…It may be 10 times wider and 1,000 times more massive than a typical comet.”
- Amateur astronomer discovers a new moon around Jupiter: “The new moon, called EJc0061, belongs to the Carme group of Jovian moons.”
- NASA will return to Venus this decade: “…NASA has not launched a dedicated mission to the planet since 1989.”
- The sun is reawakening: “In early November, for instance, a series of solar outbursts triggered a large geomagnetic storm on our planet.”
- James Webb Space Telescope flies into space: “…JWST is heading to an observational perch located about a million miles from our planet.”
- Event Horizon Telescope takes high-resolution image of black hole jet: “The end result is a resolution that is 16 times sharper and an image that is 10 times more accurate than what was possible before.”
- Scientists spot the closest-known black hole to Earth: “Just 1,500 light-years from Earth…”
- Earth’s second ‘moon’ flies off into space: “…the object, known as 2020 SO, is a leftover fragment of a 1960s rocket booster from the American Surveyor moon missions.”
- Parker Solar Probe travels through the sun’s atmosphere: “The probe managed to get as low as 15 solar radii, or 8.1 million miles (13 million km) from the sun’s surface.”
- Perseverance begins studying rocks on Mars: “Perseverance is taking its observations from the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater, which was home to a river delta and a deep lake billions of years ago.”
Visit the Space.com website for more details on each of these astronomy science stories.