on Philae Triumphant

In a previous week, I discussed how all space probes must end. Fortunately, the story is a lot happier for the Philae lander, because it actually did wake up again once it started getting enough sunlight. So we WILL get more than 68 hours of data from the lander… I have to admit I didn’t…

On Nearby Young Stars

Young stars should, the theory goes, be found close to the place of their birth, in star forming regions – giant dark clouds of dense gas (dense compared to the vacuum of space, anyway). The closest of those are 400-500 light years away, and all lie in a particular band on the sky called “Gould’s…

Requiem for a Space Probe

Just over a month ago, the MESSENGER space probe crashed into Mercury. It wasn’t a surprise, of course, MESSENGER was always going to crash into Mercury, and the date was fairly well known. MESSENGER completely ran out of fuel, and even after it ran out of fuel it was kept operating for a few more…