space

NASA Johnson Space Center

Astronomers at Northern Arizona University are searching for a special kind of asteroid, and they want the public to help. “Active asteroids” are strange space rocks with tails, and they may hold clues about the origin of water on Earth. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with project lead Colin Orion Chandler about how citizens around the world are speeding up the process of finding these rare objects.


U.S. Geological Survey

The astronomy community has lost a pioneer. Famed Flagstaff astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker passed away Friday at the age of ninety-two. She discovered more than thirty comets in her lifetime, and blazed a path for women in the sciences. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with her in 2017 about her unconventional journey into astronomy, and brings us this remembrance. 


Lowell Observatory/Creative Commons

Any night this week is a good time to hunt for shooting stars, as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Victoria Girgis, Lowell Observatory

A new kind of broadband internet is coming to Tuba City on the Navajo Nation, one beamed down from space by so-called “satellite constellations.” This technology can provide much-needed internet access in rural areas. But it comes with a dilemma. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the new satellites are so bright and so numerous, astronomers worry about the future of the night sky. 

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Many homes in rural areas of Coconino County lack access to the Internet, but that's changed for forty-five households in Tuba City, thanks to a new partnership with SpaceX. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

An Arizona-led spacecraft mission begins its journey back to Earth today after successfully scooping up a sample of an asteroid. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Scott Kelly/NASA via AP

It turns that out that spending a year in space can shrink your heart. A new study published this week examines the effects of weightlessness on the human cardiovascular system. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has made the first-ever recording of the sounds of Mars. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Click on the audio to hear the sounds of Mars:

NOIRLab/ NSF/ AURA/ J. da Silva.

A team of astronomers has confirmed the discovery of the furthest-known object in the solar system, nicknamed “Farfarout.” The team found it in 2018 and has been tracking it ever since. It’s smaller than Pluto and takes a thousand years to make an orbit around the sun. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University about the finding, which is part of his ongoing survey of the distant reaches of the solar system. 


NASA

This Thursday a Mars rover will make its descent to the surface of the Red Planet, in an event known to NASA scientists as the “seven minutes of terror.” The Perseverance mission will land in a dry lakebed and look for signs of ancient life, and also collect rock samples which will be stored in hopes of returning them to Earth one day. Aaron Yazzie is a Navajo mechanical engineer and a member of the NASA team. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with him about his journey from Holbrook to Mars.

Listen to an extended 14-minute version of the interview below, in which Aaron Yazzie discusses the "seven minutes of terror," sending a tiny helicopter to Mars, and the search for life on other planets.


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