Recently, we talked about the greatest space discovery of the year 2013. Now we're going to recap as well some sort of story that happened this year. As 2013 draws to a close. Let's take a look back! What were the biggest, coolest and most important space stories of the year?
The First Music Video Ever Recorded on Space
When a moustache Canadian astronaut left Earth for the International Space Station last year. He took off viral as well. Millions of people watched commander Chris Hadfield as he demonstrated how to make a sandwich, brush his teeth and even cry in space. But Hadfield had his greatest hits when he starred in the first music video ever recorded in space. Singing a revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity. Since returning to Earth in May, Hadfield had posted his videos and gone on tour to publicize his new book "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth". His next adventure will be a stint as a professor at the University of Waterloo. But, we'll always have the video and the stellar cover Maclean's Magazine. Where Hadfield had his made up as David Bowie.
ISON the Comet of the Century
Last November 28, 2013 comet ISON had a close encounter with the Sun. But after the fly by it was hard to tell if the comet had survived. Cameras caught a bright streak material flying away. Which is at first, looks like a sign of life. Right after further observation, NASA announced the comet had broken up and evaporated. Rest in peace comet ISON. However, the comet's legacy will live on. Before ISON's destruction, instruments on the ground end up in space gathered a huge set of observation. This will give researchers a lot to study because ISON formed in about the same time as our planets and had never been exposed to the Sun. It was a pristine remnant of the early solar system. Which means the makeup of the comet can teach scientists how the solar system formed.
Kepler Telescope Retirement
This year the Kepler spacecraft to the speed bump. Kepler used the set of four flywheels to stabilize its telescoping focus on a target. When one wheel broke last 2012, the telescope could still function. But when the second wheel failed in May. Kepler had to retire from the planet-hunting game. However there are more discoveries in the pipeline. Kepler has gathered a lot of data that has yet to be studied. Possibly, the spacecraft may be getting a second lease on life. NASA plans to adapt Kepler to study other space objects which could include near-earth asteroids, large exoplanets, or the evolution of large stars.
Meteor Explosion on Russia
In February, a fireball glazed-over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Blowing out windows, at least damaging 3500 buildings and injuring about 1500 people. A meteor had exploded in the atmosphere. Although, it was only about 90 meters wide. The meteor's explosions released as much energy as 500 kilotons of TNT. Scientists have studied the impact through video footage and eyewitness accounts. In November, they published three papers about the meteor's orbit before it hit Earth, its trajectory once it entered the atmosphere and getting the details of its destruction. This meteor has also reminded us to keep an eye out for asteroids. Although, some telescopes do look for near-earth objects. They often fail to detect small rocks like the one that hit Chelyabinsk. New instrument to detect asteroid's threats are currently being developed .
Welcome to the Interstellar Space Mission
In 2012, scientists suggested the Voyager 1 spacecraft finally entered interstellar space. But their conclusion was eventually rejected. It wasn't until September, for this year that NASA announced Voyager has officially reached interstellar space. Voyager boldly go where no probe has gone before. Although, the Voyager just traveled farther than any man-made object. It's still hasn't left the solar system. To do that, it would have to move beyond the influence of the Sun's gravity. Which would take about thirty thousand years. But, it will continue to gather data about unknown and unexplored region of space.
If you have space story for this year just put it on the comment box below. Enjoy and Happy New Year everyone.