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The Moscow Planetarium Center reopens its astronomical platform for visitors

The Planetarium Astronomical Center in Moscow announced that its astronomical platform dedicated to observing the sun and stars will resume its work in early May.

By News CorrectPublished 10 months ago 7 min read

And a statement issued by the center said: “The Planetarium Center in Moscow will resume work on the Sky Park platform, which is equipped with instruments for observing the sun and stars. Cold times, and the rotating dome in this platform works in the warm periods of the year, the season for observing the sun and the stars will open this year on the first of May.

The astronomical platform is located on the roof of the "Lunarium" interactive museum in the Planetarium Center in Moscow. It has been receiving fans of observing the sky and stars since 1947. During its renovation between 1994 and 2011, the platform acquired many new machines and equipment, and the list of exhibits in it expanded.

Among the distinctive things that visitors can see on this platform are ancient sundials, models of the Earth and planets in the solar system, and many exhibits related to space and astronomy. The platform area also includes two towers and telescopes to observe the sky. Source: Vesti

Roscosmos: The number of satellites in Earth orbit will reach 70,000 by 2025

Space junk is becoming a problem of global proportions.

This was announced by Yuri Borisov, Director General of the Russian state space corporation, Ross Cosmos, at the enlightening "Knowledge Marathon" forum held annually by the Russian "Knowledge" Association.

According to Borisov, 7,500 satellites are currently operating in Earth's orbit. By 2025, this number will rise to 70,000 satellites, if we take into account the space plans and programs that various countries in the world intend to achieve.

Yuri Borisov explained, saying: There are satellites and their fragments that are not used, but they are still flying in Earth's orbit, to eventually burn in the dense layers of the atmosphere. But this period can take years and dozens of years, depending on the altitude of its flight. These objects become space junk, posing risks to operating satellites and spacecraft."

He recalled, Yuri Borisov, that Russia is in the process of realizing the "Milky Way" program, which would track space debris in orbit and predict the possibilities of collision with it.

It is noteworthy that the program director of the Russian sector at the International Space Station, Sergei Solovyov, had stated earlier that the Russian space corporation "Ross Cosmos" records every year collisions of the International Space Station with infinitesimals much more than what was the case in the "Salyut-7" station. Soviet for 40 years.

According to Solovyov, the diameter of the tiny meteorite that last year damaged the radiator of the Russian “Soyuz-MS-22” spacecraft did not exceed 1.5 mm. The problem is that these particles travel at 7.5 kilometers per second. Source: TASS

Ross Cosmos is working to launch satellites for two Arab countries

The head of the Russian "Ross Cosmos" corporation, Yuri Borisov, announced that the corporation is continuing to cooperate in the fields of space with many countries, including Arab countries.

On the subject, Borisov said: "Russia is working on contracts to launch satellites for the benefit of several countries, and even the isolation that the so-called Group of Seven and the United States tried to impose on us did not hide a number of countries such as Algeria, Myanmar, Vietnam, Egypt and South Africa that work with us on various contracts." To launch satellites, we will work to meet the request of these countries to put satellites into Earth orbits.

He added, "Many Asian, African and European countries are ready to cooperate with the Russian Federation on the issue of space, and Russia will not isolate itself in this field..I try to travel a lot around the world. Colleagues from Asian, African and some European countries are ready and willing and will work with us. We will not isolate ourselves in the field of space." outer space".

Borisov pointed out that "the Ross Cosmos Foundation maintains its existence and work with dignity and honor, and Russia is open to international cooperation, and in general space affairs must be separated from politics." Source: TASS

A mysterious asteroid close to Earth gets even stranger after discovering its tail

A new study shows that the comet-like activity of the strange asteroid Phaethon cannot be explained by any kind of dust.

3200 Phaethon, also known as 1983 TB, was discovered on October 11, 1983 by astronomers Simon Green and John Davis, in data from NASA's Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS).

This asteroid has a diameter of about 5.1 km (3.2 miles), and it is the third largest near-Earth asteroid classified as "potentially dangerous" after the two asteroids (53319) 1999 JM8 and 4183 Cuno.

Phaethon is the source of the Gemini meteor shower that occurs in mid-December each year, although comets are responsible for most of the meteor showers.

The asteroid belongs to the so-called Apollo asteroids, as its semi-major orbital axis is larger than Earth's at 190 million km (118 million miles or 1.27 astronomical units).

In 2009, NASA's Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spotted a short tail extending from Phaethon, as the asteroid reached its closest point to the sun - or perihelion - over the course of 524 days.

Ordinary telescopes had not seen the tail before because it only forms when Phaethon is too close to the Sun to be observed, except by solar observatories.

STEREO also saw Phaethon's tail evolve according to subsequent solar approaches in 2012 and 2016. The appearance of the tail supported the idea that dust was escaping from the surface of the asteroid as it was being burned by the Sun. And in 2018, observations from NASA's Parker Solar Probe showed that the trail contained far more material than Phaethon could throw up during its approach to the sun.

The new study using two NASA solar observatories revealed that Phaethon's tail is not dusty at all but is actually made of sodium gas.

"Our analysis shows that Phaethon's comet-like activity cannot be explained by any kind of dust," said Caltech doctoral student Qishang Zhang, lead author of the paper published in the Planetary Science Journal.

Asteroids, which are mostly rocky, do not form tails when they approach the sun. Comets, however, are mixtures of ice and rock, and usually form tails as the sun vaporizes their ice, blasting material off their surfaces and leaving trails along their orbits.

When Earth passes through the debris trail, those fragments burn up in our atmosphere and produce a swarm of shooting stars - a meteor shower.

Zhang's team wondered if something other than dust might be behind Phaethon's comet-like behaviour. "Comets often glow brightly by emitting sodium when they are very close to the sun, so we suspect that sodium could play a major role in the brightness of Phaethon," Zhang said.

A previous study, based on models and lab tests, indicated that the sun's intense heat during Phaethon's close solar approach could actually vaporize sodium inside the asteroid and lead to comet-like activity.

Hoping to find out what the tail really is made of, Zhang and co-authors searched for it again during Phaethon's nadir in 2022.

The team used the SOHO Observatory - a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency - which has colored filters that can detect sodium and dust.

Scientists also searched archive images from "SOHO" and STEREO, and found the tail during 18 close approaches to Phaethon from the sun between 1997 and 2022.

The tail of the asteroid appeared bright in the filter that detects sodium, but it did not appear in the filter that monitors dust. In addition, the shape of the tail and the way it glows when Phaethon passes the sun matches exactly what scientists would expect if it was made of sodium, but not if it was made of dust.

This evidence indicates that Phaethon's tail is made of sodium, not dust.

Now the big question remains: If Phaethon doesn't kick up so much dust, how does it supply the asteroid with the material for the Gemini meteor shower?

Astronomers say: "We suspect that some kind of disruptive event a few thousand years ago - perhaps a piece of the asteroid broke apart under the pressures of Phaethon's rotation - caused Phaethon to eject a billion tons of material estimated to form the Gemini debris stream. But this event remains a mystery." . Source:

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