If you interested in space as I am, then get out your calendar and mark down 2023’s top astronomical events so you don’t miss any of them. As WaPo says, “With opportunities to wish upon shooting stars, and to see a Super Blue Moon and the Ring of Fire eclipse, 2023 is bursting” with things to keep an eye out for.
One thing in particular is lunar exploration. First up is, NASA’s Artemis mission. As the Verge explains, an Orion spacecraft that is part of that mission has recently returned and safely splashed down into the Pacific Ocean after a recent trip. A good start! And Artemis promises great things in the future. Not only is it part of NASA’s plan to return visits to the Moon, it’s part of NASA’s plan to never leave. The dream of space colonization could become a reality.
And it’s not just the Americans that are interested in going and staying on the moon. The Chinese are too. Who knows what will take place in the next 10-20 years? It’s all very promising.
With all this space travel, this should keep not just government agencies busy, but private companies too. Case in point: After doubling launch record in 2022, can SpaceX take another step up in 2023?
Heck, even you can get involved. Don’t believe me? Then read this: NASA Wants You to Help Study Planets Around Other Stars.
Meanwhile back on Earth, there’s a lot of interest in tracking asteroids coming close to us. NASA and others are getting a handle on tracking the big ones. The smaller ones are much harder. Here’s a piece on one such asteroid 2023bu that recently blew by us. (See the arrow in the photo above pointing to it.)
For my last space piece I want to highlight, this is a worthwhile read on why some people have an issue with the latest space telescope being named after James Webb. You can find many such pieces arguing back and forth on the matter. I think both sides have worthwhile points. I’ll let you make up your own mind.
Not space related, but fun is this piece on how bees actually play — yes play! — with little wooden balls!
Finally, for people interested in physics, this is a good piece discussing where it is headed. One such. direction is the study of dark matter and dark energy. Here’s a good piece on a dark energy experiment that recently won a big prize. We need more such experiments if we are ever to solve the mystery of dark energy and matter.