The 5 biggest space discoveries of 2021

2021 is a very special year for space agencies and astronomers of all kinds.

Renewed interest, public and private investment, and technological maturity against the backdrop of extraterrestrial geopolitical conflict have been fertile ground for many discoveries.

Technical representation of the solar system – Credit: NASA

To get 2022 off to a good start, we’ve picked 5 of the most important discoveries of 2021.

1. An amateur astronomer discovers a new moon around Jupiter

Newly discovered moons around Jupiter are much farther and much smaller, and therefore more difficult to find than those in Europe - credits: NASA
Newly discovered moons around Jupiter are much farther and much smaller, and therefore more difficult to find than those in Europe – credits: NASA

Although this Jupiter satellite has not yet received an official classification, it will raise the number of Jupiter satellites to 80.”It is just a typical member of the Retrograde Carmelite group.This group includes 22 other small moons orbiting Jupiter in the opposite direction of its rotation with periods of about two years. These small waning Jovian moons promise to have many neighbors to discover. Scientists recently suggested that Jupiter could have about 600 satellites with a diameter of at least 800 meters.. The development of larger and more sensitive telescopes should make these new discoveries easier.

2. Scientists have discovered the closest black hole to Earth

Only 1500 light years from Earth It is the closest known black hole to Earth, and is now called a “rhinoceros”. This frighteningly small orb is Three times the mass of the sun. It’s amazing that The smallest black hole discovered is also the closest to Earth. «Since the system is very unique and very strange, as you know, it has definitely earned the nickname Unicorn.We are eager to learn more about this very recent discovery.

3. The Parker Solar Probe has crossed the legendary coronal barrier

Artist's representation of NASA's Parker Solar Probe - Credit: NASA
Artist’s representation of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe – Credit: NASA

The Parker Solar Probe has successfully touched the Sun for the first time. A huge stage that suggests new discoveries Exciting. This step allows us not only to advance our knowledge of the Sun, its evolution and influence on the Solar System, but also on all other stars of the universe.

See also  Venus, the site of the next two exploration missions

4. Perseverance begins with the study of the rocks of Mars

Image taken by NASA's Perseverance spacecraft on September 7, 2021 shows two holes where the probe's drill got samples - Credit: NASA
Image taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover on September 7, 2021 shows two holes where the probe’s drill got samples – Credits: NASA

«Just as the Apollo Moon missions have demonstrated the enduring scientific value of returning samples from other worlds for analysis here on our planet, so will the persistent samples collected as part of the Mars Sample Return Program. Using the latest scientific equipment on earth, We expect amazing discoveries in a wide range of scientific fields, including exploring whether life exists on Mars.Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director of science at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

5. Return to Venus by 2030

Venus - Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Venus – Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At the beginning of June 2021, something unexpected happened within the space exploration agencies. In less than a week, three missions to Venus have been selected. NASA will send two missions to Venus by 2030 (VERITAS and DAVINCI+ sensors) and ÉSA is one of them too, the Orbital EnVision. This new momentum toward the blue planet is due to the possible discovery of phosphine, a potential bio-fingerprint, in the clouds of Venus.

source : Void

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