10 powerful telescopes that will change our view of the world . By building powerful space telescopes, man was able to find his place in the universe and realize its extent. With the development of huge telescopes, we will find out more about the secrets of existence.
10 powerful telescopes that will change our view of the world
With super telescopes making our understanding of the universe even greater, we are in for a very exciting time. We will be able to watch the formation of planets around young stars, take a look at the earliest ages of the universe, search the atmospheres of exoplanets for signs of life, and maybe finally discover the secret of dark matter and dark energy and realize their role in the universe. Most likely, along the way, unexpected observations and discoveries will surprise us.
Supertelescopes are technological masterpieces and without access to the levels of technology available in the world today, the construction of these instruments would not be possible; In fact, the development of super telescopes has led to the advancement of technology. The emergence of these instruments is rooted in Galileo’s simple observations using a two-inch telescope and his curiosity about nature. Although Galileo is not the inventor of the telescope, his name is associated with the first telescopes and he was the first person to use a telescope to see the night sky and thus discover the Milky Way.
There are several types of telescopes in the world that are used to observe different types of electromagnetic radiation. For example, optical, radio, and X-ray telescopes have all in turn contributed to the advancement of science. Space telescopes help humans to observe and study stars and galaxies from a closer distance. This human invention receives visible light from distant objects and uses that light to create an image. This functionality is exactly what makes telescopes so useful to scientists and astronomers.
Large, unknown, and mysterious galaxies have always occupied the minds of humans and mankind has been able to discover many of these mysteries with the advancement of science and the construction of more equipment. Every day, science becomes more advanced, and as a result, new discoveries occur in this field. In the following, we will mention 10 of these telescopes. Be with Zoomit.
1. Spherical telescope with 500-meter aperture (FAST)
The FAST radio telescope, which is the first option among the powerful telescopes is the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, is nearing the end of its experimental phase. Like optical telescopes that absorb visible light and concentrate it in a point so that it is possible to analyze the received images, radio telescopes also collect and concentrate weak radio waves so that they can be analyzed. Scientists use radio telescopes to study stars, galaxies, black holes, and other cosmic objects and phenomena.
China TV had previously announced that the FAST telescope has detected 99 rotating neutron stars known as pulsars. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short but powerful pulses of energy that originate in the far reaches of the universe. The first of them was detected in 2007, and more signals have been discovered since then. Although astronomers have made exciting progress in tracking fast radio bursts in recent years, we don’t really know much about their nature.
Maybe black holes or neutron stars known as magnetars play a major role in their production. The powerful receiver on the FAST telescope has a high sensitivity to radio signals and covers the frequency range of 1.05 to 1.45 GHz. The more we observe these fast radio bursts, the better our chances of identifying their true nature and source. Some speculate that fast radio bursts are caused by the decay of the shells of certain types of neutron stars. According to McLaughlin, the FAST telescope will also be used in an international collaboration to detect gravitational waves.
The International Pulsar Timing Array uses radio telescopes around the world to observe regular bursts of pulsars and detect low-frequency entanglements in these transient gravitational waves. Unlike the Arecibo telescope, which has a fixed spherical curvature, the FAST radio telescope is able to form a parabolic mirror. Such a feature makes the researchers master more degrees.
Although the diameter of the new dish of the world’s largest radio telescope is 500 meters, the FAST telescope can observe the sky overhead with an effective size of 300 meters from the dish with angular turbulence of ±40 degrees, the sensitivity of this dish is 10 times that of the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. This $180 million telescope will be used for research in the field of gravitational waves, pulses, and signs of life in space. The construction of the FAST telescope was not without controversy and the Chinese government relocated 9,000 residents of the telescope site to create suitable conditions for the operation of the telescope and gave the residents approximately $1,800 in subsidies for new houses.
The plan to build the FAST radio telescope was first presented in 1994 until the National Development and Reform Commission of China approved the final project plan in 2007. Currently, the 65-meter Parkes Telescope in Australia is among the telescopes used to search for extraterrestrial life and can detect signals up to 4.5 light-years away. Arecibo can also detect signals up to 18 light-years away, but this figure reaches 28 light-years for Fast. Extensive researches on neutral hydrogen and timing array of pulsars and the discovery of interstellar molecules are also other research goals of FAST.
2. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)
The LSST telescope, is another one of the powerful telescopes which is equipped with a 3200-megapixel camera, will be called the world’s largest digital camera after it is built, and thanks to it, scientists will be able to reach the mysterious parts of the universe. It is said that this camera can detect the dark energy that has accelerated the development process of the world. The LST telescope is supposed to be used to scan the entire night sky several times a week for ten years.
In addition to imaging the supernova from a great distance, the LST telescope will also be able to detect asteroids close to Earth. This telescope, which is the result of the cooperation of American and Chilean public and private organizations, will reveal unprecedented details about the universe and will help to unveil great mysteries. LST proves that big mirrors aren’t the only thing that makes a powerful telescope.
The LST telescope has a diameter of about 8.4 meters, which is still very large, but this large size is compensated by its field of view and speed. As a survey telescope, the LST telescope is designed to scan the entire night sky instead of focusing on individual targets, using the largest digital camera on Earth to produce color and time-lapse movies of the night sky every few nights. The LST telescope will be built on the 2,682-meter peak of Cerro Pachon in northern Chile, where the Jiminy South telescope is now located. According to the manufacturer, the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation are working on this telescope. The LSST telescope camera adds new capabilities to the quality of astronomical imaging.
The LSST telescope provides unprecedented 3D maps of the night sky that can help us study dark energy. The operation of this telescope is planned for 2022, and this is the first time that a telescope will observe more galaxies than there are humans on Earth. It is said that this technology detects tens of billions of celestial objects; The LST telescope camera is the size of a small car and weighs more than three tons.
The LST camera provides full images in such resolution that 1,500 high-definition television screens are required to display just one of them. This telescope is considered the most powerful sky mapping tool that can survey a wide area of the sky.
Charles Simoni, the former CEO of Microsoft, who traveled twice to the International Space Station (ISS) as a space tourist, has donated $20 million and Bill Gates has donated $10 million to the project to build the mirror. The unique open field of view of this telescope can survey a large part of the sky in a short time and take more than 800 panoramic images every night. This camera covers the entire sky twice a week, and with the high power and precision of this new telescope, asteroids with a width of 140 meters can be found in the asteroid belt at a high speed. One of the goals of this telescope is to examine and classify asteroids in the Kuiper belt, and the asteroid belt, and investigate the possibility of their collision with the Earth.
3. Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT)
Thirty-Meter Telescope is the third option among the other powerful telescopes. After a long debate between the native inhabitants of the island of Hawaii and the officials of the international organization, about the location of the construction of an extremely large telescope, the court finally decided to build a space telescope. The island of Hawaii is an extremely attractive area for astronomers, but the indiscriminate construction of various space telescopes has caused the anger and discomfort of the natives of this oceanic island. According to experts, this telescope will be the largest terrestrial telescope in the northern hemisphere. The construction of the 30-meter observatory, which will be one of the largest telescopes in the 2020s, is a costly project of 1.4 billion dollars, and the diameter of the primary mirror of this telescope is 30 meters.
The TMT telescope can image the sky in ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths, and according to the officials of this project, the resolution of the 30-meter telescope will be 12 times that of the Hubble space telescope. However, the TMT and other giant ground-based telescopes cannot replace space telescopes such as Hubble or replace NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Space telescopes will find the targets, and ground-based telescopes will examine their details.
The TMT telescope will join the twin Keck telescopes between 2025 and 2030. Scientists from the University of California and the California Institute of Technology began designing this telescope, which eventually led to the design and development of a 30-meter telescope that consists of 492 mirror pieces and will be 9 times more powerful than the Keck telescope.
Due to the high power of gathering light and optimizing the observation conditions that exist in the high points of Maunakea, the TMT telescope enables scientists to carry out research that is impossible with today’s instruments. This telescope is designed to observe ultraviolet and mid-infrared rays (0.31 to 28 microns of wavelength). The TMT telescope will be at the highest altitude of any very large telescope and will receive government grants from countries such as China, Japan, India, and Canada.
The TMT telescope will be built with the cooperation of research teams from different countries of the world, including the International Organization of TMT Observatory led by the University of California, California Institute of Technology, and the countries of Japan, China, India, and Canada. The engineers of the international organization of this observatory have announced that if the plan to build this telescope in Hawaii is not operational, they will build TMT in the Canary Islands. Researchers hope to be able to obtain unique information about space by launching this ultra-advanced telescope.
Using its unique telescope and mirror, astronomers can somehow travel in time and study space for the past 13 billion years and obtain new information about the formation of the universe and the formation of the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy. Protesting the environmental damage to the island of Hawaii, native residents are planning to implement a plan to dismantle five ground telescopes that were previously built in valuable areas of the island and restore the biological cover of the area to its original state after the destruction of the telescopes.
4. Very Large Telescope (ELT)
ELT is another option among the rest of powerful telescopes. The location of this telescope was chosen due to the high percentage of cloudless nights and little light pollution, and the green light was given to its construction in 2014. Since then, the construction of this large telescope is expected to last nearly a decade, and the ELT telescope in 2024 is still in the process of completing this project. The LT telescope is built in the mountains of Chile because the high altitude and low humidity make it a good choice for telescope construction.
The Chilean mountains were selected in 2010, and in 2011 the Chilean government donated the land for the base while pledging to keep the 362-square-kilometer area free of buildings so as not to interfere with the telescope’s observations. According to Alfredo Moreno, Chile’s foreign minister, Chile has the clearest skies on Earth and hosts the most important centers for astronomical observations. The ELT will be the largest optical and infrared telescope in the world when it is launched.
The LT telescope will consist of a 39-meter main mirror, which itself is made of 798 individual hexagonal pieces. The size of each piece will be 1.4 meters and its thickness will be five centimeters. In total, all the pieces collect tens of millions of times more light than the human eye can collect. Initial plans for the LT telescope included a 42-meter segmental mirror and a 5.9-meter secondary mirror. In 2011, the European Southern Observatory decided to reduce the size to 39.3 meters for the primary mirror and 4.2 meters for the secondary mirror in order to reduce the cost and finish the preparation of the telescope faster. The main mirror of this giant telescope allows it to advance science in groundbreaking ways, observe exoplanets, introduce us to other galaxies, and improve our understanding of fundamental physics.
The ELT telescope observes giant planets around young stars and in star-forming regions that have evolved over time. ELT will answer our fundamental questions about the formation and evolution of planets and the conditions of planets in other stars, and will also be able to peer into the hearts of galaxies and count their stars. Currently, astronomers can only observe individual stars in our galaxy and their nearest neighbors, none of which are elliptical galaxies. The stellar population of a galaxy represents the entire star formation history of that galaxy, and deciphering this information provides detailed insight into the galaxy’s past.
The ELT telescope also goes back to the end of the “Dark Ages,” when galaxies formed after the Big Bang, to identify some of the early galaxies and their characteristics. According to ESO’s website, the Very Large Telescope is recognized worldwide as one of the highest priorities in astronomy.
The Very Large Telescope will greatly advance the knowledge of astrophysics, enabling detailed studies of topics such as planets around other stars, the first objects in the universe, supermassive black holes, the nature and distribution of dark matter, and dark energy that dominates the universe. The telescope will also be able to see more distant galaxies, surveying hundreds of massive galaxies in the farthest reaches, providing scientists with information about their ages, stellar masses, stellar radiation, metallicities, and more.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Very Large Telescope’s science program is the discovery and characterization of planets and protoplanetary systems around stars. The LT telescope should be able to detect Earth-like masses and also directly image larger planets and determine the properties of their atmospheres. This telescope will make giant planets visible around young stars and in star-forming regions, they will follow their evolution over time. As mentioned, ELT will be located in Cerro Amazonis mountain in Chile; Because of its high altitude and low humidity, it is a suitable place for a telescope.
5. Keck telescope
Keck is the fifthe option in the list of powerful telescopes. The Keck telescope is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, USA, and its construction was completed in 1993. Today, the Keck Observatory is supported by public funding and philanthropic donations. The collection is administered by the California Society for Research in Astrophysics, and its board of directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with ties from NASA and the Keck Foundation.
Keck 1 and Keck 2 telescopes were opened in 1993 and 1996, respectively, and both telescopes have a diameter of 10 meters. The mirror of each of the telescopes consists of connecting 36 hexagonal optical sections that work together as a large 10-meter mirror. The University of California and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory began to design these two telescopes in 1977, but it was Howard B. Keck who donated the $70 million needed for construction and development to the owners of the project and thus made his name. also immortalized in the history of space science.
Construction of Coke 1 began in 1985, but the project’s popularity quickly grew and more funding was received, eventually allowing the construction of Coke 2. The University of California, Caltech, and NASA are working together to accept research proposals and allocate time to use the telescope. The California Astronomical Research Society also operates this observatory. The location of Keck telescope is one of the best observation sites in the world.
The stable air that reaches the 4,200-meter peak of Manakia after traveling thousands of kilometers over the ocean creates a clear sky and excellent visibility in this observation site. Keck telescopes also use an adaptive optics system that eliminates the destructive effect of the atmosphere on astronomical images. The massive Keck mirrors that gather and focus light, like those in the SALT telescope, are a series of smaller mirrors that form a perfect curve.
Keck telescopes have internal cooling systems that prevent the mirrors from bending due to thermal effects, but one of the most important parts of this system is a small mirror that happens to be bent. Even atop Manakea, the Keck telescopes have to deal with turbulence from the Earth’s gaseous atmosphere, which is the greatest enemy of ground-based telescopes. In each of these telescopes, there is a 15 cm mirror that changes its shape 670 times per second to neutralize the effect of the Earth’s atmosphere on the light.
The compensation system for atmospheric turbulence is called the adaptive optics system. Keck telescopes are reflecting telescopes, each of which has a diameter of about 10 meters, and the type of installation of these telescopes is side-height type, which gives the telescope the necessary balance. Large computers with advanced analysis have precisely determined that the maximum strength and stiffness required to use the least amount of steel is about 270 tons for each telescope. This work is very important not only for economic reasons but also to prevent telescopes from deforming because a large telescope must resist deformation caused by gravity while following the path of a star in the night sky.
The dome type of both Keck telescopes is spherical and the volume of each dome is more than 700,000 cubic feet. An internal cooler protects the insulated dome from temperature changes that could deform mirrors or steel, and a giant air conditioner runs continuously to keep the dome temperature at or below zero.
6. Large Magellan Telescope (GMT)
GMT is the sixth option in the list of powerful telescopes. The next generation of ground-based telescopes is slowly arriving, and in the mid-2020s several giant telescopes are set to gaze into the sky for the first time. The Magellan telescope is one of these telescopes that is being prepared for its location in Chile. The Magellan telescope will consist of seven main mirrors, which together will form a mirror with a diameter of 24.5 meters. The diameter of the mirror of the largest current telescope is about ten meters, and so far only one mirror of this telescope has been fully prepared.
The mirrors of the Magellan telescope are made at the University of Arizona, and there is no other way to transport the mirrors to Chile except by ship. The Magellan telescope will help scientists in various fields of astronomy; From examining the atmospheres of nearby exoplanets and searching for signs of life in them to examining how the first galaxies formed and collecting information that may help solve the mystery of dark matter and dark energy.
Magellan telescope will probably start its work in 2028 with four or five mirrors. According to the officials of the project, with the preparation of four or five mirrors, headquarters, a dome, and a number of scientific instruments the Magellan Observatory will begin to operate. This work will make the necessary engineering studies and experiments to be done before the telescope starts its main work. Finally, the telescope will probably observe the sky in 2028 with all its power.
According to one of the officials of Magellan Construction, the structure of this telescope consists of a thousand tons of steel, which is located inside a rotating chamber with a height of 22 meters and a width of 56 meters. Also, to provide better visibility, Magellan is equipped with mirrors that weigh nearly 20 tons each. Magellan’s mirrors collect more light than any other telescope ever built. According to the official Large Magellan Telescope website, this advanced view of the cosmos could play a key role in answering some of the most important questions in modern astronomy.
Some of the most important questions include how galaxies formed, the nature of dark matter, and dark energy, and how stars formed after the Big Bang. Perhaps this telescope will help astronomers answer the questions that come to mind when looking across the sky: Are we alone in this universe? How big is the universe?
7. Infrared Open Field Mapping Telescope (WFIRST)
WFIRST is the seventh option in the list of powerful telescopes. The WFIRST telescope has successfully passed initial checks, meaning the telescope has been approved for performance, planning, and budget. This telescope was first introduced in 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine by astronomers as a priority. However, the progress of its project was very slow due to the skyrocketing costs of the James Webb Space Telescope, although this delay had a good side.
In 2012, the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) gave NASA a pair of 2.4m mirrors built for spy satellites. These mirrors were larger than previously designed for WFirst, but design studies showed that a new mirror would not need to be cut and a larger observatory could be built at no additional cost. The size of the primary mirror of this telescope is equal to that of Hubble, but its imaging power is 100 times higher than that of Hubble. Like the Spitzer and James Webb space telescopes, this telescope will operate in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye. The Earth’s atmosphere also absorbs this light, and telescopes on the ground cannot see this part of the spectrum. Light from this mirror is transmitted to the spacecraft’s instruments, one of which is a large camera that produces images with an open field of view. This camera allows astronomers to map the dark matter in the universe.
Dark matter is only detectable through the gravitational effects it exerts on the observable matter of the universe. This camera will also help astronomers to study dark energy. This camera can be used to discover new exoplanets because it can sense smaller and more distant planets and finally we will know if our solar system is common or rare in the galaxy.
Another WFIRST instrument is Corona, which will directly observe the planet orbiting the star by blocking the light from the star. The results of this coronation have been very useful for observing and determining the characteristics of exoplanets, and it will carefully examine the planets that orbit their mother star at a distance of 3 to 10 times the Earth from the Sun.
The Wfirst telescope will search for these distant worlds with a method called gravitational micro convergence; In this method, the telescope examines the bending or magnification of the light of a distant star. This bending or magnification is the result of the gravitational influence of an exoplanet orbiting between the central star and the observing telescope. According to experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), discovering the nature of dark energy is one of the main reasons for building the WFirst telescope.
With a better understanding of dark energy, mankind will have a better understanding of the past and future developments of the world. The observatory was originally designed to study dark energy, but new optics allow the telescope to image exoplanets directly. Of course, the telescope does this by using a chronograph, a mask that blocks the star’s light so that the planets around it can be seen. In addition, due to its wide field of view (100 times wider than Hubble), the telescope can measure the shape, location, and distance of millions of galaxies to gain a better understanding of matter and dark energy. Until recently, NASA officials did not expect the WFirst project to start so soon.
Later, the US Congress accelerated the progress of the project by allocating more funds to NASA. In the past years, Congress approved the allocation of 90 million dollars to WFirst, and it was decided that this project will go ahead at a high speed in early 2016. On February 17, NASA’s program management presented a plan to launch the observatory in mid-2020. The next step is to present an official plan and estimate the cost of World First, which seems to reach more than two billion dollars for this program.
8. Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
LBT is the eighth option in the list of powerful telescopes. Unlike most telescopes today, which contain a mirror to collect light, the Large Binocular Telescope consists of two 8.4-meter mirrors that help astronomers and other researchers observe the night sky from the Mount Graham Observatory in Arizona, USA. Unfortunately, the location of this telescope has been hotly debated and the San Carlos Apache tribe has strongly objected to its use on Mount Graham.
In fact, the natives of the region respect the mountains as a sacred place, and this issue had caused disputes. Of course, the San Carlos Apache tribe was not the only ones who objected to the construction of the LBT telescope, environmentalists were also concerned about the destruction of the native habitat of the Mount Graham red squirrel. It even got to the point where the United States Congress approved a plan that allowed the destruction of this telescope. The LBT telescope was the result of a joint effort between the Italian National Astronomical Institute, the University of Arizona, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Missouri, the University of Virginia, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany, and others.
The LBT telescope has a binocular telescope that will allow astronomers to explore the universe in greater detail and at greater depths. The imaging power of the LBT telescope is about 10 times better and clearer than the images sent from the Hubble Space Telescope. About 120 million US dollars were spent to build the LBT telescope, and its implementation took about 20 years due to special problems in the design of optical parts and its construction. The University of Arizona manages this telescope.
9. Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
ALMA is the ninth option in the list of powerful telescopes. ALMA’s telescope array studies the universe at specific radio wavelengths and can probe many things that are difficult to see at visible wavelengths. Among these things, we can mention the planetary systems that are being created. ALMA also has the ability to observe some of the most distant and oldest galaxies in the universe. ALMA telescope can reveal celestial objects with high quality by using several receiving dishes. The telescope has high resolution at radio wavelengths, a capability that made the Hubble Space Telescope famous in the past.
According to ALMA’s website, each 50 antenna of the ALMA telescope array has a radius of 12 meters. The ALMA telescope has another compact array, which includes four antennas with a radius of 12 meters and 12 antennas with a radius of seven meters. ALMA was built in partnership with the European Southern Observatory, the US National Radio Astronomical Observatory, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The location of the ALMA telescope helps a lot to make observations; Some of its highest receivers are located at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level.
Astronomers are working at an altitude of 2,900 meters and if they are going to stay at this altitude for a while, they receive supplemental oxygen. Alma’s 66 antennas can be placed in many different configurations, side by side or far apart. Each telescope receives data individually and then sends it to a supercomputer that analyzes the data to identify the signal. This technology allows astronomers to investigate three fundamental questions: the nature of the first stars and galaxies in the universe, how planets and stars came together, and the chemical properties of the gas and dust clouds that eventually collapse to form planets and stars.
ALMA is a productive scientific observatory that has produced many important results. The first image from ALMA shows a composite view of the antenna collision galaxies, which are approximately 75 million light-years away from Earth. In 2014, ALMA examined the remnants of a supernova (1987A) and saw dust ejected from its region. In 2016, this telescope managed to measure the mass of a giant galaxy with the highest accuracy. This black hole, located in the center of the galaxy “NGC 1332”, has a mass equal to 66 million times the mass of the Sun. The astronomy team made this discovery by measuring the speed of rotation of the material that was swirling around this black hole.
10. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
James Webb space telescope is the last option in the list of powerful telescopes. The development and construction of the JWST space telescope have faced delays since the project began in 1996, but a recent milestone has brought us closer to the final stage; This magnificent device is now fully assembled for the first time. Experts have announced that the James Webb space telescope is on the verge of final completion and sending into space.
This space telescope, the construction of which was one of the most challenging space projects, has been able to show good resistance to severe temperature fluctuations and tolerate the vacuum in space, and scientists hope that this telescope will be launched into space in 2021 as planned.
In the construction of the James Webb telescope, the most advanced technologies are used and it has mirrors connected to each other, which finally form a large mirror. Due to the special appearance of this telescope, placing it in a suitable space rocket that can carry the telescope is one of the challenges facing the scientists, that is why they considered a design for the telescope that changes in appearance in space, and in Its finally got its final shape. The James Webb telescope will observe the universe at slightly different and longer wavelengths; From visible to infrared wavelengths. Hubble’s capabilities range from the infrared to the infrared, so James Webb can observe farther distances to see objects at redshift (redshift), such as galaxies in the early universe, that were difficult for the Hubble telescope. Considering the importance of the James Webb space telescope from a scientific point of view, the efforts and expenses made can be considered quite valuable.
The James Webb Space Telescope will observe the sky at infrared wavelengths, giving astronomers the opportunity to answer some of the biggest questions in astronomy. The James Webb Space Telescope will be located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
Investigating the atmosphere of exoplanets and searching for signs of life in them and studying the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe are the main goals of the James Webb Space Telescope mission; A telescope that can make a big leap in astronomy and expand the boundaries of human knowledge. The team behind the James Webb telescope has announced that additional tests are still needed to ensure the telescope is working properly.
One of these tests involves exposing the telescope to extreme motion and shaking and simulating space in terms of cosmic rays so that scientists can ensure that the telescope is not damaged during launch. The James Webb Space Telescope testing process is underway in a laboratory in Houston. In this laboratory, the telescope will be subjected to vacuum simulation tests and exposure to heat and shock during launch. After the success of all the tests, the James Webb Space Telescope will be transferred to “Guiana” in France for launch, and from there it will be sent into space using the Ariane 5 rocket.
James Webb is on a mission at very cold operating temperatures to observe infrared wavelengths, so shielding and shielding the telescope’s equipment is critical, as thermal infrared radiation can interfere with the signal, hence the complex five-layer solar shield. , is used. The next step for the team is to fully deploy the solar shield. This sector faced problems in 2017; Several tears were observed in the aluminum and silicon-coated polyamide sheets, which were related to the work error.
The sun shield has been tested separately since 2017, just like all other components. Now the engineers’ goal is to see if the components perform as expected on the assembled telescope. According to web program manager Gregory Robinson, it’s an amazing time to see the results of the work; Web components are finally connected and assembled for the first time, the engineering team has taken a big step, and soon we can see new views of our amazing world.
Gas river has a star on the outskirts of the Milky Way
Gas river has a star on the outskirts of the Milky Way. A mysterious river of gas flowing into the Milky Way, originating from two small galaxies on the Milky Way’s outskirts, hosts several stars, astronomers say.
Gas river has a star on the outskirts of the Milky Way
According to Space, a stream of hydrogen gas flows out of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies on the outskirts of the Milky Way. The contents of this river, which is called the “Magellanic Stream”, have puzzled astronomers for decades.
Now, for the first time, a group of researchers has been able to find stars in the gas clouds of this stream. The discovery not only helps them better understand the evolution of the main galaxies in the stream but also the distribution of matter in the Milky Way itself.
Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found these stars using the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
Using a detailed map of the Milky Way created by the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope, they found 200 stars sitting in the farthest reaches of our galaxy, in the direction of the Magellanic Stream.
They analyzed the spectrum of light emitted by those stars and found that the chemical composition of 13 stars matched that of the Magellanic Clouds. The measurements also showed that those 13 stars should be between 150,000 and 400,000 light-years from Earth, about the same distance as expected from the Magellanic Stream.
Originally discovered in the 1970s, the stream spans an area of the southern sky as wide as 300 full moons as seen from Earth, but despite its enormity, observing it requires sensitive equipment.
Astronomers think that the gas that makes up this stream has been pulled away from the dwarf galaxies by the Milky Way’s gravitational pull. The new observations may reveal more about the nature of this stream and help scientists understand how it interacts with our galaxy.
The stream now appears to be falling into the Milky Way, scientists say.
Charlie Conroy, professor of astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and one of the authors of the study, said in a statement: “With these results and others like them, we hope to provide a much greater understanding of the formation of the Magellanic Stream and the Magellanic Clouds, as well as past and future interactions.” They reach our galaxy.
Unlike the Magellanic Stream, the Magellanic Clouds have been known since ancient times because they are clearly visible to the naked eye. However, astronomers still have many questions about the origin and history of the two galaxies that appear to be colliding with the Milky Way. Mapping and modeling the Magellanic Stream is helping astronomers improve their understanding of the source galaxies, which are thought to trace their past paths.
“The beauty of having a massive stellar stream like the Magellanic Stream is that we can now do a lot of astrophysical research with it,” said Vedant Chandra, a doctoral student in astronomy and astrophysics at CfA and senior author of the study. As our spectroscopic survey continues and we find more stars, we’re excited to see what other surprises the galactic fringes have in store for us.
Scientists think that when hydrogen gas falls from this stream into the Milky Way, the right conditions for star formation are created. Analyzing the data, the researchers also found that the flow is almost twice as large as they thought, meaning there is much more gas than previously calculated.
The Magellanic Stream is the main source of stellar nutrition for the Milky Way, said Anna Bonaca, another author of the study, who is now an employee of the Carnegie Observatory. According to new estimates and a higher mass estimate for the Magellanic Stream, the Milky Way may be more massive than previously thought.
By better constraining the mass of this stream and by gaining a better understanding of the Magellanic Clouds, astronomers will be able to better estimate the mass distribution of the entire Milky Way, the scientists say.
Much of this matter, they concluded, is in the form of dark matter, which is still poorly understood. Better measurements of the mass of our galaxy in its distant regions will help calculate normal matter versus dark matter contents and determine the possible properties of dark matter.
The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.
France and Italy collaborate to build a lunar habitat
France and Italy collaborate to build a lunar habitat. France and Italy plan to work together to create a multifunctional habitat for living on the moon.
France and Italy collaborate to build a lunar habitat
Solar system; Formation, planets, wonders and everything you need to know
Solar system; Formation, planets, wonders and everything you need to know
The solar system is one of the billions of star systems in the Milky Way galaxy, which consists of the average central star of the Sun. The order of placement of the planets in this system from the nearest mass to the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and possibly the ninth planet.
The solar system starts from the sun continues to the Kuiper belt and finally reaches the boundary of the Heliopass. According to scientists, the edge of the solar system is approximately 15 billion kilometers away from the sun. On the other side of the Heliopass, there is a huge oval-shaped cloud called the Oort cloud, which surrounds our solar system.
Table of Contents
- What is the solar system?
- The origin of the solar system
- Size and distance in the solar system
- The planets of the solar system
- What is a planet?
- planet Earth
- planet mars
- The planet Neptune
- asteroid belt
- Kuiper belt
- The ninth planet
- edge of the solar system
- The largest planets in the solar system
- Discoveries and travels of the solar system
- Photos of the solar system
What is the solar system?
The solar system is a collection of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and gas and dust that revolve around the Sun star. This system consists of rocky planets including Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, gas giants including Jupiter and Saturn, and ice giants including Uranus and Neptune.
Between Mars and Jupiter, there is a set of asteroids known as the Asteroid Belt, and on the other side of Neptune, a set of small icy bodies known as the Kuiper Belt revolve around the Sun. Objects such as the dwarf planet Pluto are also considered part of the Kuiper belt.
The origin of the solar system
About 4.6 billion years ago, a dark cloud of gas and dust underwent a gravitational collapse. This cloud compressed and turned into a rotating disk known as the solar nebula. The heat and pressure were eventually so great that the hydrogen atoms fused together to form helium. Nuclear interactions released large amounts of energy and the Sun was formed.
The Sun collected approximately 99% of the material in the solar nebula, and the rest of the material formed similar clumps inside the rotating disk. Some of these materials reached enough mass and gravity to form globular masses or planets, dwarf planets, and moons. The remaining fragments formed meteorites, comets, and other moons that make up the solar system.
Meteorites, or celestial rocks that fell to Earth, helped scientists estimate the age of the solar system. Some of these small fragments originated from moons or planets that can provide fascinating scientific information about the chemical properties and history of their parent matter. Some others were circulating in the solar system from the very beginning and before the formation of planets. The Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969, is the best-known meteorite with an age of 4.55 billion years.
According to scientists, the solar system was created during the explosion of a nearby star or the supernova process . According to this theory, the explosion caused shock waves to be sent into space and these waves compressed the solar nebula and finally led to its collapse. The supernova likely drove material into the nebula.
The stages of the formation of the solar system
Size and distance in the solar system
The solar system is so big that it is almost impossible to imagine its size using units like kilometers. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is approximately 150 million kilometers, but the distance from the Sun to the farthest planet in the solar system, Neptune, is 4.5 billion kilometers. Now compare this distance with the average distance that a healthy person can walk non-stop in one day (32 km) or the distance to the International Space Station (400 km).
The best way to estimate the size of the solar system is to create a scale model that shows the distance of the planets from the sun. Astronomers use the distance between the Earth and the Sun (150 million kilometers) as a unit of measurement known as the astronomical unit. Therefore, 150 million kilometers is equal to one astronomical unit, or AU for short.
Thus, the distance between Mercury and the Sun (0.43 AU), Venus is 0.7 AU, Earth is 1 AU and Mars is 1.5 AU. Then we reach the asteroid belt, which is 2.8 AU away from the Sun. The gas giants Jupiter and Saturn are 5.2 and 9.5 AU from the Sun, respectively, and the ice giants Uranus and Neptune are 19.8 and 30 AU, respectively.
The Kuiper Belt is 50 AU away from the Sun and finally, the border of the Solar System or Heliopass is 123 AU away from the Sun.
Read More: The International Space Station
An artist’s rendering of the Parker probe exploring the Sun
The sun is at the center of the solar system and constitutes approximately 99.8% of the mass of its system. The sun provides the necessary energy for life on Earth. This composite yellow dwarf star consists of 91% hydrogen and 8.9% helium. The Sun is relatively small compared to other stars and is one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
The planets of the solar system
The four inner planets of the solar system, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are classified as terrestrial planets or rocky worlds due to their rocky surface.
The four outer worlds of the solar system, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are called Jupiter-like planets due to their larger size than the rocky planets. Most of these planets are made up of gases such as hydrogen and helium, although some planetologists believe that some of these planets have solid cores.
The planets Jupiter and Saturn are called gas giants, while Uranus and Neptune, the two outermost worlds of the solar system, are classified as ice giants because they are composed of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, and have a thick mantle. They have methane, ammonia, and frozen water.
What is a planet?But before introducing the planets of the solar system, it is necessary to get acquainted with the definition of a planet. According to the standard definition, a planet is a mass of sufficient size that revolves around the Sun and itself. But it is not big enough to undergo nuclear fusion like a star. It has also cleared its vicinity of a large number of other objects.
The exact definition mentioned above shows what should be included in the category of planets and what should not be included in this group. However, the problem arose when astronomers discovered a large number of planet-like bodies in the solar system. For example, Pluto was one of the objects that could not meet all the above conditions and was classified as a dwarf planet.
Most of the gaseous planets are composed of hydrogen and helium and probably have a solid core; While the core of rocky planets is often molten.
Pluto’s problem is its small size and strange orbit that cannot clear nearby objects. It also has a lot in common with the Kuiper belt. According to the IAU definition, this planet and other small globular worlds including Eris, Haumea and Makimaki, other Kuiper belt objects are classified as dwarf planets.
Ceres is another globular body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which belongs to the group of dwarf planets. Ceres was classified as a planet when it was first discovered in 1801 but was later recognized as an asteroid. However, this definition was not enough because it was much larger and more spherical than asteroids. Therefore, astronomers classified this object as a dwarf planet in 2006.
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun from the perspective of NASA’s Messenger probe.
- Discovery: It was known to the ancient Greeks and can be seen in the sky with the naked eye.
- Naming: Mercury, derived from the name of the messenger god in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 4878 km
- Year: 88 Earth days
- Day: 58.6 Earth days
- Number of moons: zero
Mercury is the closest world to the sun and the smallest planet in the solar system. This planet is only slightly larger than the Earth’s moon and completes its orbit around the sun in 88 days.
The temperature difference between the day and night of Mercury is significant. The temperature of Mercury during the day reaches 450 degrees Celsius, which is enough to melt lead. During the night, the temperature drops to minus 180 degrees Celsius. Mercury’s atmosphere is very thin and contains elements such as oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium, and potassium. Since this weak atmosphere cannot prevent meteorite collisions, Mercury’s surface is full of impact craters, just like Earth’s moon.
During its five-year mission, NASA’s MESSENGER probe made interesting findings about Mercury that defied astronomers’ expectations. One of these findings was the discovery of water ice and frozen biological compounds in the north pole of Mercury, as well as the significant role of volcanic activity in the formation of the planet’s surface.
This image of Venus was captured in 2020 by NASA’s Mariner 10 probe.
- Discovery: It was known to the ancient Greeks and can be seen with the naked eye.
- Naming: Venus, derived from the name of the goddess of love and beauty in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 12,104 km
- Year: 225 Earth days
- Day: 241 Earth days
- Number of moons: zero
Venus is the second planet from the sun and the hottest planet in the solar system. The thick atmosphere of Venus is composed of compounds such as sulfuric acid clouds. Venus can be considered as one of the clear examples of the greenhouse effect.
The average surface temperature of Venus reaches 465 degrees Celsius and its surface pressure is 92 bar (9200 kilopascals), which can disintegrate a human being. Strangest of all, Venus rotates slowly and rotates against the direction of other planets, i.e. from east to west.
Venus is sometimes called Earth’s twin because the planet is close in size to Earth and, based on radar images, has numerous mountains and volcanoes. But in reality, Earth and Venus have many differences from each other.
Since Venus is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon, the Greeks thought that they were two different objects; Hesperus as a night star and Eospherus as a morning star. This very brightness is why Venus is sometimes mistaken for a UFO.
One of the most accurate pictures of the Earth. This composite image is the result of images recorded by the Processing Infrared/Visible Image Radiometer (VIIRS) of the Suomi NPP satellite.
- Name: Earth is derived from the German word “Die Erde” which means earth.
- Diameter: 12,760 km
- Year: 365.24 days
- Day: 23 hours and 56 minutes
- Number of moons: 1
Earth, our home, is the third planet from the Sun. Earth is a blue world with two-thirds of it covered by water. Earth’s atmosphere is rich in nitrogen and oxygen, making it the only life-friendly world we know.
The earth rotates at a speed of 467 meters per second. But this speed is slightly higher in the equator. The speed of the earth’s rotation around the sun reaches 29 km/s. Earth is also the largest rocky planet in the solar system and has one moon. According to scientists, an object hit the earth early in its formation and a piece of it was thrown into the sky and thus the moon was formed.
A mosaic image of the Vals Marineris hemisphere of Mars. This image is the result of combining 102 Viking orbiter images.
- Discovery: It was known to the ancient Greeks and can be seen with the naked eye.
- Name: Mars, derived from the name of the god of war in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 6787 km
- Year: 687 Earth days
- Day: 24 hours and 37 minutes
- Number of moons: 2
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. This desert-like and cold planet is covered with iron oxide dust and therefore appears red. Mars has similarities with Earth. It is primarily rocky like Earth, has mountains and valleys, and has a storm system like Earth’s, ranging from small tornado-like ovens to dust storms that cover the entire planet.
Scientific evidence shows that Mars was a warmer and wetter world billions of years ago, and probably had rivers and maybe oceans flowing in it. Although the Martian atmosphere is too thin for surface liquid water to flow, wetter Martian remnants exist today. Martian ice sheets the size of the state of California are located under the surface of Mars, and on the other hand, both poles of Mars have water ice covers.
According to scientists, ancient Mars had the necessary conditions to support life such as bacteria and other microbes. They hope to find signs of this past life and possibly present life forms. This hypothesis became the basis for launching several missions to Mars; So that today the red planet is one of the most familiar and most explored objects in the solar system.
An extraordinary image of Jupiter captured by the Hubble Space Telescope on August 25, 2020.
- Discovery: It was known to the ancient Greeks and can be seen with the naked eye.
- Naming: Jupiter, derived from the name of the god of gods in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 139,822 km
- Year: 11.9 Earth years
- Day: 9.8 Earth hours
- Number of moons: 95
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and the largest planet in the solar system. This gas giant has twice the mass of all other planets in the solar system.
Jupiter’s swirling clouds are colorful due to the combination of a variety of materials such as ammonia ice, ammonium hydrosulfide crystals, and water ice and vapor. One of Jupiter’s most famous features in its swirling clouds is the Great Red Spot, which is more than 16,000 kilometers in diameter and is so large that it can swallow almost three Earths.
Jupiter also has the strongest magnetic field and 95 moons, the most famous of which are Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa, also known as the Galilean moons.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of Saturn during the Northern Hemisphere summer on July 4, 2020.
- Discovery: It was known to the ancient Greeks and can be seen in the night sky with the naked eye.
- Naming: Saturn, derived from the name of the god of agriculture in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 120,500 km
- Year: 29.5 Earth years
- Day: approximately 10.5 hours by land
- Number of moons: 145 moons
Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, is famous for its huge and bright ring system. Although Saturn is not the only ringed planet in the solar system. When Galileo first studied Saturn in the early 1600s, he thought it was a three-part mass: a planet and two large moons on either side. He didn’t know he was seeing a ringed planet. More than 40 years later, Christian Huygens proved the existence of Saturn’s rings.
Like Jupiter, Saturn is a gas giant and the least dense planet in the solar system. This planet also has a large number of moons, according to the latest statistics, their number reaches 145. With this number of moons, Saturn is considered the king of the solar system’s moons. Enceladus is one of Saturn’s moons covered with an icy ocean, which astronomers say could be a promising target for extraterrestrial life.
Saturn’s rings are composed mostly of ice and rock, and scientists are still unsure how they formed.
Image of Uranus captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
- Discovery: 1781 by William Herschel (before this date people thought Uranus was a star).
- Naming: the embodiment of heaven and the name of one of the gods in Greek mythology
- Diameter: 51,120 km
- Year: 84 Earth years
- Day: 18 hours on land
- Number of moons: 27
The planet Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, has strange and unique features. The clouds of Uranus are composed of hydrogen sulfide, which is the same chemical that causes eggs to rot and smell bad. In the second degree, like Venus, Uranus rotates from east to west, but unlike Venus or any other planet, its equator is perpendicular to its orbit and it can be said to rotate sideways.
According to astronomers, a mass twice the size of Earth collided with Uranus about 4 billion years ago and caused Uranus’ extreme axial deviation. This deviation leads to marginal seasons with a duration of at least 20 years, so that sunlight shines on one pole of Uranus for 84 years.
It seems that the said collision transferred some of the rock and ice of Uranus into its orbit and these rocks and ice later formed the moons of Uranus. Methane in the atmosphere of Uranus is the main reason for its blue-green color. Uranus has 13 sets of rings.
The planet Uranus also holds the record for the coldest temperature recorded in the solar system, minus 224.2 degrees Celsius. The average temperature of Uranus reaches minus 195 degrees Celsius.
The planet Neptune
Neptune is the planet with the fastest winds in the solar system.
- Discovery: 1846
- Naming: Neptune, derived from the name of the god of water and sea in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 49,530 km
- Year: 165 Earth years
- Day: 19 hours on land
- Number of moons: 14
Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun. The average temperature of Neptune in the upper part of the clouds reaches minus 210 degrees Celsius. This planet is about the same size as Uranus and is known for its strong supersonic winds.
Neptune was the first planet to be discovered using mathematics. German astronomer Johann Galle used mathematical calculations to find Neptune with a telescope.
Neptune is about 17 times heavier than Earth and has a rocky core. The main composition of Neptune is water, methane, and ammonia, which surround this rocky core. The speed of Neptune’s winds reaches 2000 km/h. This planet also has 14 moons.
The asteroid belt is located between Mars and Jupiter. According to NASA estimates, there are between 1.1 and 1.9 million asteroids in the main asteroid belt that are larger than one kilometer in diameter. The dwarf planet Ceres with a diameter of approximately 950 km is located in this part of the solar system. Several asteroids have orbits that occasionally collide with Earth and other inner planets.
Astronomers have long suspected the existence of a band of icy material known as the Kuiper Belt, which lies beyond the orbit of Neptune at a distance of 30 to 55 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Since the 20th century, more than a thousand crimes have been discovered in this belt. According to scientists’ estimates, the Kuiper Belt probably hosts hundreds of thousands of icy bodies larger than 100 km, as well as almost a trillion comets.
Pluto, which today belongs to the group of dwarf planets, is located in the Kuiper belt. Of course, Pluto is not the only one, and Makimaki, Haumea, Eris, and Quavar are among the other known non-Neptunian objects from the group of dwarf planets. Aracut (Altima Tully) is also a binary asteroid located in the Kuiper Belt that was visited by the New Horizons probe in 2019.
A panoramic view of the dwarf planet Pluto
- Discovered: 1930 by Clyde Tamba
- Naming: Pluto or Pluton derived from the name of the god of the underworld in Roman mythology
- Diameter: 2301 km
- Year: 248 Earth years
- Day: 6.4 Earth days
- Number of moons: 5
The dwarf planet Pluto was once considered the ninth planet, but since 2006 it has been classified as a dwarf planet. The reason for this problem was the non-compliance with the existing criteria in the definition of the planet. According to the definition of the International Astronomical Union, a planet is a celestial body that firstly orbits the Sun, secondly has enough gravity to become a spherical or almost spherical body, and thirdly clears the vicinity of its orbit. be Pluto did not fit the third criterion of logic and therefore was removed from the group of planets.
Pluto has a highly elliptical orbit so it sometimes even interferes with Neptune’s orbit. On the other hand, Pluto’s orbit is not in the same plane as other planets, but it revolves around the Sun at an angle of 17.1 degrees above or below them.
Because of this strange orbit, Pluto was considered the eighth planet from the Sun from 1979 to early 1999, but on February 11, 1999, when it crossed the path of Neptune, it again became the most distant planet in the Solar System, until it was officially removed from the Sun in 2006. The group of planets is out.
Smaller than Earth’s moon, Pluto is a cold, rocky world with a thin atmosphere. On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons probe performed several low-altitude flybys around Pluto, presenting a new view of the dwarf planet to the scientific world that defied many expectations.
Pluto is actually a very active ice world, covered in glaciers, ice mountains, icebergs, and possibly even glaciers that spew ice made of water, methane, or ammonia.
The ninth planet
According to estimates, the hypothetical ninth planet has approximately 10 times the mass of Earth.
In 2016, researchers raised the possibility of the ninth planet . This object, also known as Planet X, is estimated to have 10 times the mass of Earth and orbits the star of our system at a distance between 300 and 1,000 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. In fact, this planet’s year may last between 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years. Scientists have not been able to observe the ninth planet so far and have guessed its existence based on its gravitational effects on other objects in the Kuiper belt.
According to some hypotheses, the hypothetical ninth planet could be a primordial black hole that formed shortly after the Big Bang and was trapped by the solar system. Unlike black holes that result from the collapse of massive stars, primordial black holes were formed by gravitational perturbations less than a second after the Big Bang and may be very small (as little as five centimeters in diameter), making them difficult to detect.
Astronomers have not yet reached a clear conclusion regarding the ninth planet. Based on a 2022 survey by the ACT telescope in Chile, there are thousands of candidate sources for the planet, but none have yet been confirmed.
Edge of the solar system
The heliosphere surrounds the solar system like a bubble and its boundary is called the heliopass.
By passing through the Kuiper belt, we reach the edge of the solar system or the Heliopass. The heliosphere is a vast, tear-shaped region of space with a large amount of charged particles received from the sun. According to many astronomers, the boundary of the heliosphere, which is called the heliopass, is approximately 15 billion kilometers from the sun.
The Oort cloud is located after the Kuiper belt at a distance of 2,000 to 2,500 AU from the Sun, and the distance of its outer edge from the Sun is estimated to be between 10,000 and 100,000 AU. As mentioned in the previous sections, one astronomical unit is approximately equal to 150 million kilometers. The Everett Cloud is home to billions or perhaps trillions of particles.
The largest planets in the solar system
Jupiter compared to other planets
Jupiter is by far the largest planet in the solar system, so if you add the mass of all the planets in the solar system together, Jupiter will still be two and a half times more. Compared to Earth, Jupiter is 318 times the size of Earth. The radius of this planet reaches 69,911 km or one-tenth of the sun. Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. Saturn has 95 times the mass of Earth; however, it is the least dense planet in the solar system, so that it can float on water.
Discoveries and travels of the solar system
According to NASA, more than 254 probes have left Earth’s orbit so far. A large part of these spacecrafts and probes were dedicated to the exploration of the solar system.
Parker probe is the only spacecraft that managed to reach the closest distance to the Sun and will break this record in the coming years. The probe will release information about the solar radiation, surface, corona, and solar wind.
Famous probes such as NASA’s MESSENGER, Mariner 10, and Beppy Columbo have visited Mercury and revealed valuable information such as the discovery of water ice and the thin atmosphere of Mercury.
In general, 46 probes have visited Venus so far, the most successful of which are the Venus Express, Mariner 10, and Magellan missions. These probes released information about the atmosphere of Venus and its possible volcanic activity.
There are many satellites in the earth’s orbit whose task is to check weather and atmospheric conditions. Also, the International Space Station is the largest man-made structure in space, and astronauts are engaged in research work there.
In the last 60 years, six lunar landers have landed on the surface of the moon, the first of which was the Apollo 11 mission. Also, in recent years, orbiters were placed in the orbit of the moon, whose most important achievement was finding water ice around the poles of the moon. Space agencies aim to land on the surface of the Moon again in the coming years and use the Earth’s moon as a research base.
Apollo 11, the first human landing on another world.
Mars is the most explored planet in the solar system, which has been assigned more than 50 exploration missions. The most famous Mars missions include the Curiosity rover, Perseverance, and the MRO orbiter. Each of the Mars rovers and probes is investigating a certain area and so far they have published important and valuable data such as the discovery of water ice, polar ice cover, and methane on Mars. In the not-too-distant future, human explorations will be added to this collection.
Among the outer planets of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn are two of the most explored examples. So far, eight spacecraft have been sent specifically to visit Jupiter, and two other probes have performed low-altitude flybys of the planet. The Juno probe is still in Jupiter’s orbit and has provided valuable information about Jupiter’s atmosphere and its important moons.
Voyager 2, is the first and so far the only probe to visit the planets Uranus and Neptune.
Cassini is the most famous probe that visited Saturn, and in addition to recording beautiful images of Saturn and sending information about its atmospheric conditions and rings, it investigated two important moons of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus. Two of Cassini’s most important discoveries in visiting these moons were the discovery of methane lakes on Titan and glaciers and ice oceans on Enceladus.
The two famous probes Voyager 1 and 2 successfully visited the outer planets of the outer solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 2 is the only probe that visited Uranus and Neptune up close.
New Horizons is the only probe to visit the dwarf planet Pluto, sending back important information about surface conditions, moons, and other Kuiper Belt objects.
In addition to the probes that visited the planets of the solar system, a series of missions were dedicated to the study of objects in the asteroid belt. Also, the Hubble and James Webb telescopes have sent important images and data from the solar system.
The solar system is a collection of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets around the sun. The planets of the solar system are divided into two groups: rocky and gaseous planets. Earth is a rocky planet and the only planet known to host life in the entire universe. So far, many probes have been sent to different planets of the solar system. Meanwhile, Mars is considered the most explored and familiar planet of the solar system, which mankind has made the most efforts to investigate. Today, humans are carrying out missions and building new probes to investigate the potential of life on the planets and moons of the solar system, and in this way, they will get help from ground and space telescopes.
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