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Showing blog posts tagged with Space Exploration

Asteroid 2012 DA14's Friday Flyby

Asteroid 2012 DA14's Friday Flyby

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Talk about an eventful Friday night! Tomorrow night, a small asteroid will travel nearer Earth than any astronomers have identified beforehand. “It’s the closest that we’ve seen ahead of time,” says Denton S. Ebel, curator in the Division of Physical Sciences (Earth and Planetary Sciences).

For more about the asteroid flyby, participate in a live Twitter chat with Ebel, this Friday, February 15, at noon ETPost your questions here or use hashtag #asteroidchat on Twitter.

Tags: Space Exploration, Astrophysics

Beyond Planet Earth: Starting with Sputnik

Beyond Planet Earth: Starting with Sputnik

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In December 1957, two months after the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to enter space and the catalyst for the space race, the Museum published a memo titled “Calling All Scientists,” which observed how the lone satellite had shifted the public appraisal of scientists. “[P]ress people dashed up to the museum to get the Planetarium staff to help them explain to the public what had happened,” the memo read. “The scientists are now being turned to for guidance.”

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Space Exploration

Reflections on Space: Liquid Mirror Telescopes in Beyond Planet Earth

Reflections on Space: Liquid Mirror Telescopes in Beyond Planet Earth

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Imagine a mirror as wide as a football field at the South Pole of the Moon. Instead of polished glass, its surface is made of a reflective liquid, which spins in a circle.

Scientists hope to make this vision into a reality one day by using a liquid mirror to build a giant lunar telescope that would allow astronomers to see farther into the universe than ever before. In the Museum’s special exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, visitors can see two liquid mirror telescopes: one featured as part of a Moonscape diorama, the other, an interactive model that can be operated with the push of a button.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Space Exploration

Beyond Planet Earth: An Elevator to the Moon

Beyond Planet Earth: An Elevator to the Moon

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Below, astrophysicist Michael Shara, who curated the forthcoming exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, explains how a lunar elevator would work—and why it might inspire a new sport.

We humans are barely toddlers when it comes to space exploration. Our first baby steps off our home planet 50 years ago took us to low Earth orbit. By 1973, 12 intrepid men had walked on the moon’s surface. Since then we have sent robots to every planet in our solar system. The Hubble Space Telescope has shown us that the ordinary matter we are made of comprises only 4 percent of the mass of the universe. The Kepler orbiting telescope has proved that billions of worlds orbit the stars of our Milky Way galaxy. What will we accomplish in space in the coming centuries, as our steps become surer and bolder?

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Space Exploration

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