5 Jan 2017

Deep Space Network!

By Paula Johanson

This week, my new favourite science website is once again a NASA site. Their Deep Space Network keeps track of communications from interplanetary spacecraft, on missions around the solar system and beyond. And when you click on the link for their live feed, you can see representations of the signals being received right at that very moment by NASA's three big radio telescopes.

As they say:
When it comes to making a long-distance call, it's hard to top NASA's Deep Space Network. It’s the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system in the world.
This is an image borrowed from the Deep Space Network website -- thank you, NASA!

Wandering through this website is fascinating. There are so many little details that will fascinate fans of space programs like me. Next to the image of Voyager was this caption:

Several times per week, the DSN antennas capture signals from the two Voyager spacecraft, which are exploring the edge of interstellar space. Their signal has a received power 20 billion times weaker than that of a digital wristwatch. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

My favourite science website isn't the same one, day in and day out. Lately, about every week there's another website that comes to my attention and is suddenly my NEW favourite. Many of these websites are based on astronomy or space exploration, with amazing photographs and videos. Other sites are focusing on citizen science, or geology, or nearly any science. I'm not fickle so much as distractable -- SQUIRREL! (That's my favourite quote from the film Despicable Me.)

1 comment:

Torina Wilson said...

"Squirrel" is from the movie UP!