TecMundo and #AstroMiniBR, weekly bring together the best astronomical curiosities, produced by collaborators profile on X to share with you the fantastic universe of astronomy. Check it out below!
#1: The length of a day on Jupiter!
The rotation of the planets in the Solar System is a fascinating cosmic spectacle that reveals the complexity and diversity of our planetary system. Among the eight planets, the king of the gas giants, Jupiter, plays a prominent role not only because of its magnitude, but also because of its remarkable speed of rotation. With a rotation period that lasts only about 9 hours and 56 minutes on average, Jupiter is the fastest planet in the Solar System.
However, what makes this gas giant even more intriguing is that its rotation is not uniform throughout its atmosphere. This phenomenon, known as rotation differentiation, occurs because Jupiter is not a rigid solid, but a gas giant composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. The gas layers at different latitudes of the planet move at different speeds, resulting in different rotation periods.
This complexity in Jupiter's atmospheric dynamics offers insights valuable insights into the physics of gaseous planets and highlights the need for more refined approaches to understanding the intricate movements in their vast and dynamic gravitational system.
#2: A land helicopter on another planet!
The Ingenuity helicopter made its last flight on the red planet on January 18 this year. The instrument, a pioneering achievement in space exploration, proved to be a revolutionary advancement in NASA's Mars mission. In April 2021, Ingenuity performed the first controlled flight on another planet in history, a milestone in space science.
This small helicopter, modest in size and weighing only about 1.8 kilograms, defied Martian atmospheric conditions and demonstrated the viability of aviation on Mars. Equipped with blades that rotate at a remarkable speed of up to 2,400 revolutions per minute, Ingenuity provided a new perspective for exploring the Red Planetallowing detailed analysis of areas inaccessible to traditional ground-based rovers.
Ingenuity was not just an example of technical prowess, but a crucial instrumental tool for future reconnaissance missions. By flying over unexplored terrain, the helicopter provided valuable data on topography, geology and even potential landing sites for future probes, and ushered in a new era in space exploration.
#3: Japan went to the moon!
The beginning of 2024 was marked by great news in space exploration: Japan landed its first instrument on the Moonbecoming the fifth nation in the world to achieve this feat (the former Soviet Union, the United States, China and India are the others).
In recent years, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has played a pioneering role in space exploration, and the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) mission was a notable testament to this commitment. SLIM represents an innovative approach to lunar exploration, aiming to advance our understanding of the Moon's geological history and potentially open doors for future crewed missions.
Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the SLIM probe landed on the lunar surface and has been conducting detailed analyzes of its soil, seeking clues about the geological processes and evolution of our natural satellite.
This mission promises to expand our scientific knowledge and lays the foundation for the development of crucial technologies for future space exploration, consolidating JAXA's role as one of the leading agencies in research and exploration of the cosmos in the coming decades.
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