space

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.


United Arab Emirates Space Agency

The first-ever Mars mission from the United Arab Emirates will arrive at the Red Planet tomorrow. It’s an orbiter that will map the Martian atmosphere and track its weather patterns, with the help of an instrument built by an Arizona team. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with one of the team members, Christopher Edwards of Northern Arizona University, about what happens next.  


Raemy Winton

Monday is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. But this solstice brings with it a brilliant display of light, as Jupiter and Saturn draw close together in an event known as “the great conjunction.” They’ll appear closer in the sky than they’ve been in almost four centuries, low in the southwest after sunset. They may even look like a single dazzling star. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lowell Observatory’s Kevin Schindler about how to see the once-in-a-lifetime event.


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