On May 30th, amid stormy skies, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon became the first rocket to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011, thus starting a new era of commercial space flight.
Raffle ticket drawings at the annual ASX Symposium. Here, guest speaker John Cramer draws raffles from a space helmet, in accordance with ASX tradition.
This picture is an original photograph of the Perseid meteor shower taken by ASX Chief Graphic Designer Hansen Jiang. The photo was created by superimposing separate pictures of two meteors onto each other, which is why two streaks of light can be seen.
The Perseids meteor shower is visible from late July to mid August. It is caused by dust particles ejected from the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years. These particles cross paths with the Earth, and produce short, bright streaks of light as they burn up in the atmosphere.
On May 11th, ASX participated in Science Rendezvous, along with many other science departments and organizations at U of T to bring science out of the lab and onto the street. Our booth included a demonstration of the principles of general relativity, using a sretched out piece of fabric, some counters and marbles. The heavier the object on the fabric, the more it influenced the movements of other objects. The principle of inflation was also demonstrated, using balloons decorated with stars. As the balloons were inflated, stars moved farther apart, which is consistent with our observations.
As per tradition, execs donned ceremonial ASX garb, including space suits and cosmic squid hats.
Why is there a large boulder near the center of Tycho’s peak? Tycho crater on the Moon is one of the easiest features to see, visible even to the unaided eye (inset, lower right). But at the center of Tycho (inset, upper left) is a something unusual — a 120-meter boulder. This boulder was imaged at very high resolution at sunrise, over the past decade, by the Moon-circling Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The leading origin hypothesis is that that the boulder was thrown during the tremendous collision that formed Tycho crater about 110 million years ago, and by chance came back down right near the center of the newly-formed central mountain. Over the next billion years meteor impacts and moonquakes should slowly degrade Tycho’s center, likely causing the central boulder to tumble 2000 meters down to the crater floor and disintegrate.
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