Since a lot of space missions were planned for this year by NASA and by the European Space Agency, it was clear from the beginning of the year that 2015 will be a great year for science. So here are the most memorable space events of 2015.
The news that there is water on Mars was one of the most exciting news of the year. Because flowing water was found, just like the one on Earth was an indicator that the existence of life on the red planet could be possible. Scientists believe that around 3,8 billion years ago, the water covered one third of the planet’s surface and that the temperatures on the planet were higher. The MAVEN spacecraft sent by NASA discovered that the Sun is responsible for the lack of atmosphere Mars and also for turning the world full of water into today’s cold dessert. The red planet’s atmosphere has been lost in the space.
Another great moment was when the Kepler spacecraft sent by NASA discovered a similar planet to the Earth, in July. The Kepler 452-b planet also orbits around a star similar to the Sun, named by the scientists Kepler-452. It is not yet known if the planet is habitable, because its atmosphere hasn’t been measured yet. The exoplanet is at around 1,400 light-years away from the solar system and it will take around 26 million years to get there. Nonetheless, this is the first potential super-Earth planet discovered in a habitable area. NASA’s spacecraft also discovered 1,030 worlds up until now.
One of the most observed celestial event of the year was the supermoon. The eclipse happened when the moon was full and also really close to the Earth, the largest size of the moon making it a scary sight for most people. The color of the moon turned to red because only red waves of light can make it to the atmosphere. Some people even believed that the red moon was a sign of the apocalypse. If you somehow missed the supermoon this September, then you’ll have to wait until 2033, when the next one will occur.
The revelation the Pluto was an active and varied planet made for one of the most exciting discoveries this year. On the dwarf planet ice mountains, organic material and nitrogen ice sheets were observed. Although Pluto is not yet a planet, planet formation has been observed. New Horizons was the first spacecraft that ever explored Pluto.
This concludes our list of most memorable space events of 2015. If you want to be always up to date with the space related information, check out NASA’s site.
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