SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX plan to send astronauts to the ISS in mid-February

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

NASA and SpaceX plan to send astronauts to the ISS in mid-February

NASA and SpaceX are targeting mid-February for the launch of the next commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS). A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry a crew of four to orbit on Crew Dragon Endeavour, where the spacecraft will travel to the ISS for approximately six months of research and in-station maintenance.

Crew-6 is SpaceX’s tenth crewed flight, and the fourth for Dragon Endeavor, which launched Demo-2, Crew-2, and Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission.

Comet 2

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will soon be visible to the naked eye

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

A rare comet called C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will soon be visible to the naked eye

The comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), will make its first near-Earth trip since the Stone Age in late January and early February. It began its long journey in the far outer reaches of the Solar System, in the Oort Cloud, where it was last seen 50,000 years ago and was not seen again for millennia after it disappeared. It comes within 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) of the Sun when it approaches its closest approach to the Sun. The comet will make its closest approach to our planet when it passes us on February 2 at a distance of 26 million miles (42 million km).

Visible to Northern Hemisphere observers, Comet C/2022 E3 is best seen in the early morning a few hours before sunrise.

Image credit:  John Chumack/GalacticImages.com
Image credit:  Chris Schur
Ingenuity Mars helicopter

Ingenuity helicopter resting on sand dune

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured a photo of the Ingenuity helicopter resting on sand dune

In February 2021, the Ingenuity helicopter landed with NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover in Jezero Crater on Mars. This six-wheeled Mars rover is carrying out various research activities as well as collecting samples of Mars to be sent to Earth by 2033.

The Ingenuity helicopter associated with the rover will assist the Perseverance Mars rover in deeper studies by taking short flights under the power of the thin Martian atmosphere to select the best routes through Jezero’s rugged landscape and provide mapping and data.

Ingenuity made its 39th Mars flight on Wednesday, covering 459 feet (140 meters) of ground in nearly 79 seconds. According to the mission’s flight log, the helicopter has flown a total of 25,690 feet on Mars to date.

Ingenuity helicopter (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Stephan’s Quintet (Image Credit - NASA)

The JWST explores the massive shock waves in Stefan’s Quintet

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

The James Webb Space Telescope explores the massive shock waves in Stefan's Quintet

Stephan’s Quintet in the constellation Pegasus is an optical group of five galaxies, four of which are the first compact galaxy group ever discovered.

Shock waves created by a collision between Stefan’s quintet galaxies and an invading galaxy drive various processes in the intergalactic medium, a thin cloud of hot hydrogen plasma that exists in the intergalactic space.

This violent intrusion of Stephan’s Quintet sets off a “recycling plant” for hot and cold molecular hydrogen gas between the five galaxies, triggering a shock wave several times the size of the Milky Way that flows through the interstellar plasma. In addition, astronomers discovered that a giant cloud of gas breaks up to form a less dense “fog” of hot gas. JWST/ALMA observations show the formation of a tail of hot gas that could be a collision between two clouds, and even the formation of a new galaxy.

Discovering these phenomena will help scientists better understand how turbulence affects the intergalactic medium and affects star formation and galaxy evolution in general.

Stephan’s Quintet (Image credit: NASA)
Discovery of hot and cold molecular hydrogen gas in Stephan’s Quintet (Image credit: ALMA)
JWST (Image credit: NASA)
ALMA (Image credit: ESO)
Zhurong Mars rover (Image credit CNSA)

China’s Tianwen 1 orbiter and Zhurong Mars Rover may have gone silent

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

China's Tianwen 1 orbiter and Zhurong Mars Rover may have gone silent

China launched Tianwen 1 in July 2020, and Zhurong, China’s first Mars mission rover, landed on the Red Planet in May 2021. The two explored Mars without interruption, and Zhurong entered hibernation in May 2022 to help it survive the low temperatures, dust storms, and sandstorms common in the Martian winter. The rover has a special anti-dust coating on its solar panels, which are angled before entering hibernation in anticipation of storms and then emerging from hibernation.

However, after the Zhurong rover went into hibernation, teams on Earth still did not receive signals and it is still unknown what the problem might be. The reason for this is often thought to be that the sandstorms have seriously impaired Zhurong’s ability to use its solar panels to generate power.The Tianwen 1 Mars Orbiter, which surveys, maps and works with the Zhurong rover, has also gone silent and lost communications. It is also stated that it will not happen.

China’s space agency has yet to comment on the problems with the Tianwen 1 Mars orbiter and the Zhurong rover.

Zhurong Mars Rover (Image credit: CNSA)
Tianwen-1 (Image credit:CNSA)
image-2

Geminids meteor shower

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

Geminids meteor shower

The Geminids meteor shower is the best meteor shower to observe and will be active from 4 December to 17 December, producing up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak activity at around 02:00 a.m. (+05.30GMT) on 14 December 2022.

Geminids best displays might be seen on 14 December above your eastern horizon in the constellation of Gemini.

This celestial event is visible to the naked eye.

Orion Capsule

The Artemis 1 Orion capsule returns safely to Earth

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

The Artemis 1 Orion capsule returns safely to Earth

After a successful 26-day NASA unmanned lunar mission, the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. In the future, this mission will be followed by a crewed lunar flyby by Artemis 2 mission and a crewed lunar landing by Artemis 3 mission.

Image credit: NASA/Artemis1
Image credit: NASA/Artemis1
Artemis I.

Artemis I Successfully Launched

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

Artemis I Successfully Launched to the Moon

NASA successfully launched the lunar-orbiting mission rocket Artemis 1 to the Moon on November 16, 2022. Artemis I is an uncrewed mission flight currently underway. Its Orion spacecraft will re-enter the Earth orbit and will splash down in the Pacific Ocean after a 26- to 42-day research mission. This mission will be followed by a crewed lunar flyby by the Artemis 2 mission, and a crewed lunar landing by the Artemis 3 mission.

Through future Artemis missions, NASA will also land the first woman and non-white person on the moon. Artemis missions are also expected to be used to establish a permanent settlement on the Moon and send astronauts to Mars in the future.

Image credit: NASA/Artemis1
Image credit: NASA/Artemis1
Image credit: NASA/Artemis1
Science Day

National Science Day Celebration

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

National Science Day Celebration - Sri Lanka Planetarium

Sri Lanka Planetarium has organized the following programs to celebrate National Science Day on 10 November 2022.

              1. Planetarium shows
              2. Inter-School Astronomy Quiz (Astro Quiz 2022)
              3. Sunspot observation
              4. Water rocket display
              5. Technopark experience
              6. Science video display

This year, the special feature of our science day will be the inter-school Astro Quiz 2022 organized by the Planetarium for the first time. All the schools of Colombo district are participating in this tournament.

The first round of this three-round tournament is expected to be held online and it is intended to award a digital certificate to all participating students. Out of which 10 schools will be selected for the semi-final round and two of them are expected to be selected for the final round. The semi-final and final rounds are intended to be held in the planetarium and a printed certificate will be awarded to all participating students.

image-2

Perseids meteor shower

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය
இலங்கை கோளரங்கம்.
Sri Lanka Planetarium.

(+94)11 2586499

April 14, 2024

Perseids meteor shower

The Perseids meteor shower is the one of the best meteor showers to observe will be active from 17 July to 24 August, producing up to 100 meteors per hour at its peak activity at around 01:00 a.m. (+05.30GMT) on 13 August 2022.

Perseids best displays might be seen on 13 August above your north east horizon in the constellation of Perseus.

This celestial event is visible to the naked eye.