Weekly Space News Roundup, August 16-23

The Sharpest Photos of the Night Sky Ever Taken

Astronomers have captured the sharpest images of the night sky ever!

Sharpest Photo of the Night Sky Ever Taken

Sharpest Photo of the Night Sky Ever Taken Image Source

The photos were taken by the Magellan Telescope with a new type of camera that is able to capture extremely sharp images.

Astronomers at the University of Arizona, the Arcetri Observatory and the Carnegie Observatory spent twenty years developing the camera.

Their efforts finally paid off when the camera captured the sharpest images of the night sky ever.

The Magellan camera has a 21-foot diameter mirror and can take sharper images than the Hubble telescope camera that has an 8-foot mirror.

The camera is so powerful that it can see a dime more than 100 miles away. Its resolution is so powerful that it can see a baseball diamond on the moon from Earth.

Juno Has Completed Half of Its Journey to Jupiter

Did you know that NASA has a spacecraft headed to Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, right now?

The spacecraft is called Juno and it has already completed half of its five years long journey to Jupiter.

Launched on August 5 2011, it reached this significant milestone on 12 August 2013.

Come October, it will fly by close to Earth for a speed boost that will propel it to its destination.

It is expected to arrive to its destination on July 4 2016.

Once there, it will orbit Jupiter 33 times, peer through Jupiter’s dense clouds and use its instruments to study the gas giant.

Artists Concept of Juno Spacecraft Orbiting Above Jupiter

Artists Concept of Juno Spacecraft Orbiting Above Jupiter Image Source: National Geographic

Image of Earth Waving at Saturn Released

Did You Wave at Saturn on July 19?

The image of Earth waving at Saturn was released on August 21.

For the first time, Earth knew that its picture was been taken and its inhabitants could pose and wave at the planet.

The wave at Saturn event was organized by NASA’s Cassini mission on July 19 when the Cassini spacecraft turned towards Earth to take our picture.

During the pose waving at the ringed planet, people shared more than 1,400 images of themselves waving at Saturn.

Now the mission team has used the images to create a collage as below:

Earth Waves at Saturn and Cassini on July 19, 2013

Earth Waves at Saturn and Cassini on July 19, 2013 You Can View The Full Resolution Image Here

WISE Spacecraft Back To Work to Hunt for Asteroids

The retired Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft has been reactivated to hunt for asteroids.

The spacecraft was switched off two and a half years ago and will resume operation in September 2013 for three more years.

During its new mission, it will determine the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects including asteroids and comets and identify the ones worthy of asteroid missions for farther exploration.

During its original mission, it discovered and characterized thousands of asteroids in the solar system.

Artist Concept of the WISE Spacecraft Orbiting Earth

Artist Concept of the WISE Spacecraft Orbiting Earth Image Source