#AstroMiniBR: diving in Jupiter, comet Leonard and other curiosities

every saturday, the TechWorld and #AstroMiniBR bring together five relevant and fun astronomical trivia produced by collaborators of the non-Twitter profile to spread the knowledge of this science which is the oldest of all!

#1: The Earth and Moon in a way you’ve never seen!

Over the past few decades, China’s aerospace development has gained a leading position in the world. Proof of this are the fantastic results obtained by their space missions in the vicinity of Earth and in more distant regions of the Solar System. One example was those taken by the Chang’e 5 T1 spacecraft, an experimental lunar mission launched in 2014 that produced the fantastic record shown above of the Earth-Moon system! In the foreground, we see the hidden side of our natural satellite, the one we can never see from Earth, and in the distance, almost hidden in cosmic darkness, our little blue planet that seems to float in the void. Some would say it looks like it’s a scene from a science fiction movie, but if we were space travelers approaching the Solar System, that’s what our planet would look like from afar. Chang’e 5 T1 was an unmanned mission that served as a prelude to the main Chang’e 5 mission, testing equipment and orbital maneuvers around the Moon.

#2: An equation for calculating intelligent civilizations in our galaxy!

For any astronomy or science outreach enthusiast, Carl Sagan needs no introduction. An outstanding scientist and incomparable communicator, he was a friend of Frank Drake, an American astronomer famous for having founded SETI (English acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and for having created the so-called Drake Equation, a probabilistic expression that estimates the number of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy with which we could establish some kind of communication. Mathematically expressed by N = R *. fp. no. fl. fi. fc. L. In short, these seven variables define: R*, the rate of formation of stars conducive to the development of intelligent life; fp, the fraction of those stars with planetary systems; born, the number of planets per star that have a suitable environment to form life; fl, the fraction of these suitable planets on which life actually appears; be, the fraction of planets with life that evolve into intelligent life; fc, the fraction of intelligent civilizations that develop a technology with detectable signs of its existence in space; and finally, L, the length of time such civilizations survive and send detectable signals into space. The result of this equation depends on the values ​​assumed for each of these variables and usually results in numbers between 10 and 10,000 civilizations.

#3: Comet Leonard is coming!

Comet Leonard is coming! Officially dubbed comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard), this cosmic traveler will pass close to Earth and Venus this month before “flying” around the Sun in early January 2022. in the image above, you can see that the comet is already displaying a green-tinged coma and an extended tail of dust. Shortly after its passage close to Earth, the comet will shift from the north to the south skies and can be seen from Brazil in the last days of the year!

#4: Speaking of comet… what would it be like to be inside one?

It looks like a scene from a fantastic work by Tolkien or George Martin, but the image above shows the cliffs on the surface of a comet. But specifically from comet Churyumov Gerasimenko, recorded by the robotic probe Rosetta, launched by the ESA (European Space Agency) in 2004 and which began orbiting the comet ten years later, in 2014. These jagged cliffs rise to about a kilometer high and , due to the low gravity of the comet’s surface, if a human being took a jump from above towards the ground, it would have a very good chance of surviving!

#5: What would it be like to dive into Jupiter?

In a short and simple way, nothing pleasant! The largest planet in our Solar System is composed essentially of hydrogen and helium gas. Trying to land on it with a spaceship would be like trying to land on a cloud here on Earth: it’s not possible! On Jupiter there is no outer crust analogous to Earth’s that would put an end to an entry into its vast cloud layers: it is just a gigantic continuous expanse of atmosphere! Furthermore, as the descent gets deeper into its atmosphere, the density of its layers increases more and more, increasing pressure and temperature, until reaching values ​​thousands of times greater than the corresponding values ​​on the Earth’s surface. The only way to survive this dive for more than a few seconds would be to be in a spacecraft built in the mold of the Trieste submarine, the deepest diving submarine on Earth. However, continuing the descent, nothing built on Earth would be able to withstand the crushing pressure and scorching temperature of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit!

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