Night photography of volcanoes in Indonesia
Small and miniature oil paintings by Jessica Gardner
On April 16, 1972, the Apollo 16 mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral on a journey to the Moon. Astronauts John Young, Charlie Duke, and Ken Mattingly went on the penultimate adventure of the Apollo program with a mission that lasted 11 days, 1 hour, and 51 minutes, ending at 2:45 PM EST on April 27.
Ganymede and Callisto are similar in size and are made of a similar mixture of ice and rock, but data from the Galileo and Voyager spacecraft show that they look different at the surface and on the inside. Just like Earth and Venus, Ganymede and Callisto are twins, and understanding how they were born the same and grew up to be so different is of tremendous interest to planetary scientists.
Ganymede and Callisto’s evolutionary paths diverged about 3.8 billion years ago during the Late Heavy Bombardment, the phase in lunar history dominated by large impact events. Impacts during this period melted Ganymede so thoroughly and deeply that the heat could not be quickly removed. All of Ganymede’s rock sank to its center the same way that all the chocolate chips sink to the bottom of a melted carton of ice cream. Callisto received fewer impacts at lower velocities and avoided complete melting. Ganymede is closer to Jupiter and therefore is hit by twice as many icy impactors as Callisto, and the impactors hitting Ganymede have a higher average velocity.
Image Credit: NOAA/GSD
The World’s Largest Telescope Made With Data
Look up on a starry night and consider this: in our lifetime we just might find the answers to one of life’s biggest mysteries, and we mean BIG. Dutch research institute, ASTRON and its international partners are building the world’s largest radio telescope, aka The Square Kilometer Array, to get a glimpse of the origins of the universe. This big telescope is made up of thousands of interconnected smaller telescopes, carefully arranged in fractal patterns to let us look back in time more than 13 billion years—to mere seconds after the universe was created. How on Earth is this possible? By processing exabytes of Big Data (That’s a 1, plus 18 zeroes) in real time. Or roughly 3X the amount of data running through the Internet per day. Amazingly, this will let scientists map out how the universe came to be. Imagine the look on Galileo’s face if he were here to see it.
My astronomy professor is on the committee board for the SKA and she brought in a prototype to show us.
FUN FACT: The amount of information the SKA will be taking in every single day is equivalent to all of the words every human has ever spoken.