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Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System in terms of size. It has a bright ring composed of icy and rocky particles. Since it is very far away from the Sun, it has an orbital period of about 29.5 years. An astronomical phenomenon called the Opposition of Saturn will occur once about every 378 days.
In early June this year, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that they had recently discovered more than 20 kinds of amino acids in the soil samples brought back to Earth in 2020 by "Hayabusa2" from the asteroid "Ryugu", and is the first evidence of amino acids outside Earth. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and the essential ingredients of life. Although meteorite samples were found on Earth that contained amino acids, it is uncertain whether this was the result of contamination by Earth-based materials. This discovery is undoubtedly an important milestone for scientific research on the origins of life.
If you had looked up at the sky yesterday night, you definitely wouldn't miss the supermoon shining above us.
The biggest, the most advanced and the most expensive James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) is fully operational! Astronomers have received the first wave of scientific data from its vantage point, 1.5 million km away from us.
Sunspots are the cooler and dimmer regions on the surface of the Sun. They are ever-changing, just like the Sun itself.

Marsquake

In early May, the InSight lander on Mars detected a marsquake which is equivalent to a magnitude-5 on the Richter scale. This is the largest quake ever recorded on another planet.
Engineers discovered that the Webb telescope's mirror segments were hit by micrometeoroids last month (May). Fortunately, after preliminary evaluation, the team confirmed that Webb's condition was still excellent, and the impact of the micrometeoroids would not significantly affect the observation quality.
Baby formula, freeze-dried food, scratch-resistant lenses, athletic shoes, cordless vacuum cleaner, phone cameras……What do the above items have in common?
The so-called "Parade of the Planets" becomes visible from now until mid-July this year. The 7 planets in the solar system and the "dwarf planet" Pluto are rarely on the same side of sun.
Sunspots are the little black spots that occasionally show up on the Sun, but are they really black?
As mentioned in Part 1, not only is the "heliosphere" the boundary of the Solar System, but it is also the shield against harmful radiations. You may try the following activity at home and simulate the formation of this bubble.
An astronomical event "Lunar occultation of Venus" will occur on Friday (27/5). An occultation happens when a celestial object passes between the observer and another far object so that we cannot see the light from the far one.
"The Shaw Prize" was established in 2002. It consists of three annual prizes: Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences. It honours individuals who have recently achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or applications and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind.
Last Thursday (12 May), the legendary Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) released the first "image" of a supermassive black hole, namely Sagittarius A* (Sag A*), at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. It is also the second black hole ever to be "imaged" in human history after M87* supermassive black hole seen in 2019.
Good weather was not with us so we had missed the first event "Planetary Trio with the Waning Cresent" in March and the "Planetary Quadruple with the Waning Crescent" in April.
Do you remember the night in April 2019 when astronomers released the first "image" of a supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)?
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has recently identified a comet called "C/2014 UN271" as the largest comets ever discovered from the Oort cloud. The diameter of this gigantic nucleus is about 137 km (85 miles), which can cover the entire Hong Kong and some nearby cities.
The Webb Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has cooled to -266°C and it is about to enter the final phase of telescope calibration through commission of MIRI.
The Solar System is truly vast from our perspective, and yet has a boundary. You may wonder where exactly is the boundary of the Solar System. The answer may lie in a gigantic bubble blown by the Sun, known as the heliosphere.
Hong Kong Observatory reported a temperature of 16.4°C this morning, the lowest record in May since 1917. Weather suddenly turned cold in the past two days reminds us about the cooling of the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb).
Serial Planetary Events appear one after another. This time, the brightest planets are grouped!
Since late March this year, the eastern sky has been busy with serial planetary events during the dawn hours. Perhaps the "busiest" one is the third event - Four Planets + Waning Crescent. Four bright planets will line up with the waning crescent Moon next week.
The weather is nice recently. You may have seen the Moon clearly at night. Have you thought about how the moonlight can be used for scientific research?
We haven't travelled aboard for a while, but humans on Earth haven't set foot on one particular destination - the Moon for almost 50 years!
The Big Dipper is a pattern formed by seven stars that can be identified with ease in the Spring Sky. They look like a dipper-shaped array for scooping water. Looking from the opening to the handle of the dipper, the stars in this array are Dubhe, Merak, Phecda, Megrez, Alioth, Mizar and Alkaid.
The recent "Planetary Trio with the Waning Crescent" happened ... behind the cloud 😟
The early bird catches the worm, and the early riser⏰ can enjoy the spectacular astronomical events!
Since its inception in 1980, the Space Theatre of Hong Kong Space Museum has been offering educational and entertaining planetarium and Omnimax shows to the public.
The Webb telescope team has recently been working on aligning the mirror segments. By analysing the phase of starlight, the mirror is adjusted by an amplitude of one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair to correct the slight height difference between the mirror segments.
As mentioned in Part 1, it is thought that solar storms usually occur when the Sun is more active. However, a recent study based on the ice cores taken from Earth's polar ice sheets has shown that we still don't understand quite well the "temper" of the Sun.
Today is International Women's Day. There is a saying, "behind every successful man there stands a woman". And there are lots of dedicated women behind "Webb" (James Webb Space Telescope). They are all brilliant female scientists or engineers.
As the Webb telescope will be operational soon, its first missions included COSMOS-Webb.
Most people should have heard of the term "double spring and leap month" and said it's a sign of good fortune and great for loved ones to get married. But what exactly is that?
Although the Sun provides light and heat for life on Earth, its occasional "bad temper" (solar storms) may sometimes give us big headaches.
Designated as M44, the Beehive Cluster is an open cluster located in the constellation Cancer. It consists of about 1,000 stars. The cluster is at about 600 light years away from the Earth, but it is already a very close deep sky object.
Hubble: 📞Hello, my instrument is broken and I am calling for an on-site repair.
👩‍💻: Are you still under warranty?
Hubble: Although I'm already 31, your company offered a "lifetime warranty" to me.
As we mentioned before, all those shiny stars in the sky are almost spherical. And how come we see photos with stars having a cross or pointy bits and brighter stars have more noticeable crossed spikes.
As the Webb reaches its home at the 2nd Lagrangian point, after focusing and instrument calibration, it will explore the Solar System. One of the examining targets is an "Ice Giant": Uranus.
Located in the constellation Orion, the M42 Great Orion Nebula is the brightest emission and reflection nebula in the northern night sky. Although the nebula is about 1,500 light-years away from the Earth, we can still find it from the winter night sky.
After sailing 1.5 million km in 30 days, Webb finally arrived the second Lagrange point (L2)! The frigid and stable temperature environment of L2 will allow Webb to make sensitive infrared observations.
Have you ever heard of the expression, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? While Mars is associated with the Roman god of war, Venus, the brightest object in the night sky, is named after the goddess of beauty.
👦🏻What a fantastic night for stargazing! Look at that winter triangle formed by stars of Canis Major, Canis Minor and Orion!
👩🏻 Haven't heard of these constellations… However, it's my birthday month! Any chance to look for Aquarius?
The new Webb telescope is about to explore the mysteries of the universe. Where will Webb look first? One such target is the sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets.
"Go back to Mars. Earth is so dangerous!"

Our Earth is fragile, and if we have to look for a new shelter in the Universe, many people will think of Mars, our neighbour in the Solar System.
Yeah! On 8 January 2022 (US time), the Webb telescope team successfully unfolded and locked in the last segments of the primary mirror, which means that the Webb telescope has completed the entire deployment.

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