PHYS1160 Introduction to Astronomy and the Search for
The video lectures for this course were made in mid-2009. Here are some updates to some of the information in the lectures.
For some of the lectures where the material most needs updating we have provided updated versions in a new format. This currently applies to lecture 7 (Module 2) and lecture 12 (Module 3). We are considering introducing this new format material more generally as it is easier to keep up to date than the video versions, and provides additional features such as links to external web sites. For those using the older video versions note the updated information below: Space Mission Status
Lecture 7 gives a list of all currently operating solar system exploration missions. Of these the lunar missions Chandrayaan and Selene (Kaguya) have now completed. Kaguya was deliberately crashed into the Moon at the end of its mission in June 2009. Communication with the Chandrayaan spacecraft was lost after 312 days of operation on 21 August 2009.
A new NASA spacecraft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been in lunar orbit since June 23 2009.
NASA new rover named Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012 and has been exploring since then.
The Messenger mission is now in orbit around Mercury, and the Dawn mission has reached its first target Vesta. See http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/ Mars Exploration Rover Missions
In lectures 7 and 8 the Mars Exploration Rover missions (Spirit and Opportunity) are reported as still operating after 5 years on Mars. They both operated for more than 6 years. However, Spirit has become trapped in sand and all efforts to extricate it have failed. In January 2010 it was to decided to abandon further attempts to move Spirit, and to continue its mission as a stationary research platform. Contact was lost with Spirit on March 22 2010.
Opportunity is still operating well, and has made a long trek to Endeavour crater, following its successful...
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