TecMundo and #AstroMiniBR select the best astronomical curiosities every week, produced by collaborators profile on X to share with you a little more about the unusual and fantastic universe of astronomy. Check out!
#1: A “little box” of jewelry in heaven!
The Pleiades, also known as the star cluster M45, are one of the most dazzling treasures in our night sky. This open cluster is made up of young blue stars, surrounded by a faint nebulosity of interstellar dust.
Located in the constellation Taurus, the Pleiades are a captivating celestial spectacle, easily visible to the naked eye on dark nights and away from light pollution. Composed of more than 1,000 stars, the formation is dominated by seven main stars which, according to Greek mythology, represent the seven daughters of the titan Atlas, known as the Pleiades.
To find the Pleiades in the night sky, observers can look for the Taurus region during fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, or spring and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The cluster is remarkably visible to the naked eye as a collection of bright stars in a compact formation. Binoculars or a small telescope will reveal more stars and details of the nebulosity surrounding this fascinating star cluster.
Since ancient times, this stellar cluster has inspired myths and legends of various peoples around the world, perpetuating its magic not only in astronomy, but also in the rich tapestry of human cultural history.
#2: What is the most common type of star in the Universe?
Comprising about 70-80% of all stars in the Universe, red dwarfs stand out as the most common stars in the cosmic vastness. These intriguing stars are known for their relative smallness and lower temperature compared to stars like our Sun and glow soft shades of red, indicating surface temperatures that can range from approximately 2,500 to 4,000 degrees Celsius.
Despite their modest size, these stars have remarkable longevity, being able to burn for billions of years. Their abundance and longevity make them protagonists in the cosmic narrative, influencing the dynamics and evolution of entire galaxies throughout astronomical eras.
The secret to the prevalence of red dwarfs lies in their energy efficiency: compared to larger stars, like the Sun, they consume their nuclear fuel at a slower rate, allowing for a much longer-lasting existence.
The detailed study of these stars not only sheds light on the fundamental processes of star formation, but also offers us crucial insights into the conditions that can support the existence of life in other parts of the universe, since many of the red dwarfs have planetary systems in their orbits.
#3: Problems in JAXA's SLIM mission
The SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) mission of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) represents a significant advance in lunar exploration.
The LEV-2 lander, an integral part of this mission, incorporates innovative technologies to perform a comprehensive analysis of the lunar surface. Equipped with advanced navigation systems and state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, LEV-2 aims to deepen our understanding of lunar geology and surface conditions.
Your ability to execute precise landing maneuvers will allow detailed investigation at specific locations on the Moon, expanding the horizons of space research and contributing to the development of future lunar exploration missions and beyond.
The SLIM mission made its historic lunar landing on January 19 of this year, also successfully releasing a pair of small rovers to the surface shortly before landing. The SLIM landing made Japan the fifth country to land on the Moon, but problems with power generation meant the spacecraft's active time on the surface was reduced.
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