Micro-Satellites Could Find Next Earth, Help Mine Asteroids
A new kind of satellite measuring just four inches on each side could help NASA find nearby planets similar to ours as well as examine asteroids for deposits of rich mineral resources.
What's the Latest Development?
A crack team of MIT students and engineers have designed and built sophisticated satellites just inches in size to help astronomers locate Earth-like planets. Called CubeSats, each satellite measures just 4 inches on each side, making them small and light enough to piggyback onto other payloads. For this reason, and thanks to the satellites' innovative design, NASA has already given the project a launch date. The satellites "will look at one star at a time, hoping to see a tiny wink when an otherwise invisible planet blocks the star's light as it moves through its orbit."
What's the Big Idea?
The search for Earth-like planets intensified this week when astronomers announced they had detected the first infrared light from the so-called super-Earth, a planet roughly twice the size of ours in the constellation Cancer, just 40 light years away. Another feature of the CubeSats' design is a combination of star-tracking and telescopic technologies. "Planetary Resources, she says, the company that wants to mine asteroids, is looking for a space telescope to identify good prospects, and the new camera might be ideal for that purpose."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.