#NationalAeronauticsandSpaceAdministration; #presenceofwateronmoon; #JimBridenstine; #SarahNoble; #roboticrovers
Ottawa, Aug 23 (Canadian-Media): National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently confirmed an abundance of water on the Moon situated in hundreds of patches of ice deposited in the north and south poles, media reports said.
This discovery led NASA chiefs to believe that it would not only mean there could be lifetimes’ worth of drinking water already on the Moon for humans' lunar settlement and space exploration but it could help with producing more rocket fuel and oxygen to breathe.
It could also mean, NASA chiefs reportedly said, the Moon could be used as a pit stop on their way into deep space.
NASA, reportedly responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine reportedly said that the presence of water renewed hopes of human exploration of the Moon itself.
The hope is to use the water for rocket fuel so NASA can send rockets and other space vehicles that could be used again and again.
However, NASA lunar scientist Dr. Sarah Noble, Program Scientist in the Planetary Sciences Division at NASA HQ, said that experts were still unsure exactly how much water there is on the Moon.
A map of the surface ice on the moon/Courtesy of NASA
She said: “We have lots of models that give us different answers. We can’t know how much water there is.”
The next step, Noble said, was to send robotic rovers or landers to the lunar satellite to discover the exact amount of water.
Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#OntarioScienceCentre; #MarsFestival; #RoyalAstronomicalSocietyofCanada; #TanyaHarrison; #RachelWard-Maxwell, #GlobalDustStorms, #Epicduststorms, #CuriosityRover
Toronto, Aug 2 (Canadian-Media): Mars Festival, organized by Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) was observed in Ontario Science Centre, at July 27 from 8pm -1am and again on July 28, 2018 from 8 pm to 1 am.
This event was celebrated due to Mars being closest to the earth that day since 2013. July’s night skies feature Mars opposition on the 27th, when Mars, Earth, and the Sun all line up with Earth directly in the middle.
For any planet, a year is the time it takes to make one orbit around the sun. Because Mars is farther away from the sun, it has to travel a greater distance than Earth. It takes Mars about twice as long as it does for Earth to make one circle around the sun…therefore, a year on Mars lasts twice as long.
The interesting feature about this event is that apart from the Planet Mars, RASC had organized several resources for the children as well as adults to have access to the knowledge about other planets as well
The event started at 8 pm on 27th July with large crowds of young and old gathered to observe through telescopes mounted on different spots outside the Ontario Science Centre main reception area to enable viewing different planets by children and adults.
A few volunteers from RASC had also gathered in front of a big table which displayed quizzes and questions about all each of the 9 planets. Children as well as the adults were fully occupied in this and the volunteers answered about any questions they had.
Other volunteers were posted at different spots where the telescope was to facilitate the eager viewer to view through the telescope and answer any question they had.
In other places children were busy with drawing and coloring and in still other places volunteers were helping children to perform some science experiments based on launching a rocket in space.
A talk by Dr Tanya Harrison had been organized to take place at about 10 pm.
Tanya Harrison holds a PhD in geology with specialization in Planetary Science and exploration from Western Ontario University and is from Arizona State University's Space Technology and Science Initiative and is on the science team of the Mars Opportunity rover.
In the meantime Rachel Ward-Maxwell, Researcher-Programmer in Astronomy and Space Sciences at the Ontario Science Centre was busy collecting questions from the audience for Harrison.
Harrison was introduced to the audience by Rachel and welcoming the audience, Harrison said that Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury.
It was very dark at that time but the audience were very curious to learn about this spectacular phenomenon and remained seated on the steps in front of the stage where Harrison began to speak.
She added that Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, with surface features resembling the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
She also said due the difference in temperature between Mars and earth these polar ice form clouds which evaporate near the equator where the temperature is much higher than Mars and form water pellets which, causes a lot of problem for the robot in their functions.
There is also a lot of fog in Mars, which is visible during the early hours of the morning and as the temperature increases on earth the fog disappears.
Dust storms, continued Harrison, are very common in Mars and added that heat is the driving force behind dust storms on Mars same as on earth.
On Mars, there’s so much of this loose dust lying on the surface that when you have these upward winds, they take a lot of the dust with it. Dust particles in Mars are very fine and small, smaller than sand on Earth, and it hangs in the air, and takes a really long time to settle.
Global dust storms are being experienced by Mars at present and the scientific term for these global dust storms in Mars is epic dust storms of Mars. Some times these Global dust storms change to regional storms taking up the size of whole of Ontario, to the size of North America, to the size of South America and also to the size of North America and South America, sometimes as big as third of planet and at other times covering entire planet.
Scientists usually has robots set up to take pictures. These robots need to be kept warm. But during dust storms nothing is visible to the robot.
NASA’s Curiosity Rover, continued Harrison, is nuclear powered and not affected by the dust. RASC has downloaded many pictures of Mars from Curiosity Rover.
Curiosity Rover, continued Harrison, can also take very good selfies.
Different types of clouds are also present on Mars
This speech was followed by the question and answer session between Harrison and audience.
Due to the cloudy weather that day the moon and Mars were clearly visible only around midnight.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)