From the January 2006 issue

March 2006 resources

Learn more about topics from the March 2006 issue.
By | Published: January 23, 2006 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Japan visits an asteroid
Web — For more on Hayabusa, see the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s page. The Planetary Society, a non-profit group advocating space exploration, covered the mission in detail. Click here for a list of headlines.
Sungrazing comets
Print — Zdenek Sekanina of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, has investigated how sungrazing comets fragment far from the Sun. Working with JPL’s Paul Chodas, he published a model that explains the origin of Kreutz sungrazers through multiple fragmentation events. The study appeared in the June 2004 Astrophysical Journal.
Living on Mars time
Astronomy article — For an overview of the Red Planet’s geography, history, exploration, and its future, read Astronomy‘s special issue

Print — MER mission Principal Investigator Steve Squyres gives a firsthand account of exploring another world in Roving Mars (Hyperion, 2005). Squyres’ book covers everything from his 20-year dream to explore the Red Planet to the excitement of Spirit’s first signal.

Web — For updates on the Mars Exploration Rovers, visit their official site.

Warning: Dust Ahead
Web — The San Diego Union Tribune ran a story titled “Dustbusters” on NASA’s Project Dust April 27, 2005. You can read it here.

View a PowerPoint presentation on Project Dust from a team led by Masami Nakagawa of the Colorado School of Mines.

Digital Space of Santa Cruz, California, in association with NASA’s Ames Research Center, studied how well a prototype lunar “bucket wheel excavator” might perform on the Moon. See the technical report here.

Also, check out “The Lunar Dust Problem: From Liability to Asset” by the University of Tennessee’s Lawrence Taylor and his colleagues.

Who knows what dangers lurk in space?
Web — For more on the science and technology behind the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory, visit the project site.

NASA is currently researching the effects of space radiation. Visit the Space Radiation Laboratory site for information on the program.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has monitored the Sun for 10 years and, in that time, has taken some awesome images of flares and coronal mass ejections. The project’s page has background information, publications, a gallery, and more.

Meet the neighbors
Astronomy article — For more on Kapteyn’s Star, the 24th-nearest star system to us, see Ken Croswell’s “A fugitive from the galaxy’s edge” (January 2006).

Web — The Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS) studies the Sun’s nearest neighbors. Their site includes a list of the properties of the 100-nearest stellar systems.

The article’s author, James Kaler, has a number of web pages devoted to stellar astrophysics. Visit his sites for an overview of stars, and for more detail on stellar spectra.