SJAA Ephemeris August 2008 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

The Last 31 Days in Astronomy


JUL-11-2008 • Little Red Spot Gone • Jupiter’s red spots, the Great Red Spot, Red Jr., and the Little Red Spot recently converged. The result is that the Little Red Spot appears to have been swallowed up by its larger and more established brothers. Such occurrences are probably not rare on Jupiter but the timing of this one, nearly simultaneous with the opposition of Jupiter, created more interest.

JUL-10-2008 • Explosive Bolt Removed • The astronauts on board the space station performed a space walk to remove an explosize bolt on the attached Soyuz. The last two times that the Soyuz returned to Earth, it had difficulties that resulted in off target landings with rougher than expected results. The explosive bolt might be the problem and Russian engineers want to take a look at the bolt back on Earth.

JUL-8-2008 Last Launches Listed The last launches of the Space Shuttle have been scheduled. Granted, there is no fiction quite like a list of launch dates, but scheduling these flights makes the end of the shuttle quite apparent. The last shuttle flight is scheduled for May 31, 2010. The next shuttle flight is set for October 8 when Atlantis heads off to the unmanned space station called the Hubble telescope.

JUL-03-2008 • STEREO View of heliosphere • STEREO Creates First Images of the Solar System’s Invisible Frontier: NASA’s STEREO twin spacecraft detected particles from the edge of the solar system. Mapped were the engergized particles where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium.

JUL-02-2008 • Proposed GEMS for NASA • A proposed NASA mission named Gravity and Extreme Magnetism (GEMS) will use a new technique to measure the polarization of X-rays emitted from black holes. This has not been attainable until now.

JUL-01-2008 • SOHO discovers its 1500th comet • The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has discovered 1500 comets since starting this mission 13 years ago. It has been more successful than all other comet discoverers throughout history put together.

JUN-30-2008 • Cassini starts second mission • On June 30, 2008 the Cassini spacecraft completed it primary mission at Saturn. It will now embark on an extended two year mission. More closely studied will be Titan, Enceladus, and the interaction between Saturn’s moons and rings.


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