Friday, December 31, 2021

045 The Erickson Report for December 29 to January 12, Page 7: And Another Thing

045 The Erickson Report for December 29 to January 12, Page 7: And Another Thing

We close on a happier note, which is that we have an occasion of And Another Thing, where we step aside from politics to look at some cool science stuff.

And we have two, both from astronomy.

First, on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched into space.

It is the largest, most powerful telescope ever sent up and once in place and deployed, will be able to do everything from giving close-ups of neighboring planets to seeing the first galaxies formed to aiding the search for extra-terrestrial life.

Twenty years in the design and development, the telescope, which "sees" in infrared, should be producing its first images in about six months.

Second, a couple of weeks ago, NASA announced that it has been confirmed that in April the Parker Solar Probe, which has been orbiting the Sun, passed through the corona, the upper atmosphere of the Sun - in effect, you could say the probe touched the Sun, surviving a three year journey and a roughly 2 million degree Fahrenheit environment to do what was previously thought impossible, a journey which already had provided more information about our source of heat and life while revealing new mysteries still to be explained.

Science is cool.

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