Star Letter 001: Telescope Delays, Strange Galaxies, and Mummified AliensMarch 30, 2018
Alright space nerds, this is the very first Star Letter––coming to you weekly from the far edges of the cosmos. Expect us on Thursday nights, and we’ll deliver all the week’s most important space news and fresh perspecives to your inbox. Make sure you subscribe in the box to the right!
We’ll be brief because we know how eager you are to get caught up. First off, it’s been a rough week for NASA’s extraordinary effort to launch and operate the James Webb Space Telescope, a project worthy of succeeding the celebrated Hubble Telescope. The problem? Nearly a decade of delays and staggering budget increases. In those far edges of space, where JWST would be peering, astronomers have discovered something startling––a galaxy without Dark Matter, which was thought to permeate the entire the universe.
So dive in folks, it’s going to be a heavy one.
Dark Matter Discovery Baffles Scientists, Something They Didn’t Really Understand in the First Place
“And that’s exactly why the recent discovery of NGC1052-DF2 is so puzzling. This galaxy hardly has any dark matter at all, which has lead astronomers to wonder how it could have possible formed in the first place. It’s the only galaxy of its kind that has ever been observed and may have huge implications for theories of dark matter particles and galactic formation.”
This is the galaxy. We can’t tell the difference either.
Humanity’s Groundbreaking New Space Telescope is Delayed, Broken, and Tired of the BS
“The launch of NASA’s upcoming deep-space observatory — the James Webb Space Telescope — is being pushed back by about a year, from spring 2019 to May 2020. The delay is likely going to push the program over its congressionally capped $8 billion development budget. And it’s yet another setback for the long-delayed telescope, which has been in development for more than two decades now.”
Read: The Verge
This is someone standing in front of JWST but not working on it. From NASA.
How Exactly Does One Teach Space Exploration in a War-Torn, Developing Nation?
“My name is Yumna Majeed and I am currently studying Medical Laboratory Technology from Allama Iqbal Medical College, Pakistan. I am an ordinary girl with an extraordinary dream of becoming Pakistan’s first female astronaut and creating awareness about space technology. My country’s general public is not aware of our space agency. Not everyone here can differentiate between astrology and astronomy.”
Read: Star Letters
This is Yumna. Yes, She’s a Star
Elon Musk Hastily Deleted SpaceX’s Facebook Page, Leaving Star Letters to Broadcast Launches
“By Thursday afternoon, the Facebook pages for several of Musk’s brands were no longer online. They included SpaceX, the spaceflight company; Tesla, the electric-car manufacturer; SolarCity, a Tesla subsidiary that provides solar energy; and Hyperloop, the project to build a cross-country, high-speed transportation system.”
Read: The Atlantic
This is Elon. We Took a Photo of Him Getting Excited
Seriously? How is This NOT an Alien?
“Ata is just six inches tall, with a conical-shaped head and unusually hard bones for her size. Some have claimed that she’s an alien. But a new study published today in the journal Genome Research not only continues to disprove the alien theory, but also reveals a scientific explanation for her allegedly extraterrestrial appearance.”
Read: National Geographic
It Creeps Us Out Too. Special thanks to Emery Smith from NatGeo for this Image
Until next week, friends!