In response to the newest dispatch from NASA, the area company has an “thrilling new discovery in regards to the Moon” approaching Monday 26 October.
Curiously, the brand new outcomes are courtesy of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). It is the world’s largest airborne observatory, and is definitely a Boeing 747SP aircraft with a gap minimize out in it, modified to hold a big reflecting telescope.
Not like Earth-bound telescopes, SOFIA soars some 11 kilometres (38,000 ft) above the bottom, excessive in our planet’s stratosphere. Right here, the observatory can rise above the 99 p.c of the environment that blocks infrared wavelengths, permitting it to check the infrared Universe.
It is definitely a busy aircraft. SOFIA’s devices have beforehand delivered a landmark detection of oxygen within the Martian environment, the primary detection of a molecular bond in area, and numerous infrared measurements which have illuminated exoplanet collisions, the hearts of galaxies, and way more – together with this beautiful infrared view of the centre of our personal Milky Method, under.
This time, the observatory has turned its sights a lot nearer to house. The “new discovery contributes to NASA’s efforts to study in regards to the Moon in assist of deep area exploration”, the company states.
Contributors of the media briefing embody Naseem Rangwala from NASA’s Ames Analysis Middle who’s a challenge scientist for the SOFIA mission, and Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA.
We’ll discover out extra in regards to the discovery on Monday, however NASA makes it clear it is going to have some bearing on the Artemis program – the bold plan to ship people again to the lunar floor in 2024 as a waypoint to start out exploration of Mars within the 2030s.
The audio briefing will probably be streamed reside on the company’s web site at 12:00 pm EDT on Monday 26 October.
And, in fact, we’ll be sharing extra data as quickly because the announcement is made, so watch this area!