NASA artificial star will soon dot the skies

NASA artificial star will soon dot the skies

/ 09:47 AM July 09, 2024

Science and technology have gone so far that humanity has reached the heavens and beyond.

Soon, world-famous space agency NASA will take advancement further by launching the NASA artificial star.

The Landolt Space Mission will launch the manmade celestial object in 2028 or 2029. It will orbit the Earth from 22,236 miles away while staying above the United States. 

READ: China will launch first-ever ‘lobster eye’ telescope

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While the artificial star may sound cool, it will serve a seemingly mundane purpose: telescope calibration. Scientists will use it to adjust telescopes to observe heavenly bodies more accurately.

How will the NASA artificial star work?

This article will further explain the project’s purpose by comparing it to getting prescription lenses.

Ophthalmologists usually start by asking a patient to read letters on a board.

These have different font sizes that correspond to how many diopters or “eye grades” you’ll need to correct your vision. Then, they narrow down the intensity you need by making you look through a device without blinking.

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The machine will show a photo of a house on a hill, and your eye doctor will show various versions of the image.

Next, the eye doctor will ask whether you can see it clearly so that they can select the right lenses for your eyes.

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Similarly, scientists in California, Chile, and Hawaii will observe the NASA artificial star with their telescopes to adjust them. Despite the name, it will not shine like a real star.

The Landolt satellite will have satellites that people can view with home telescopes but not with the naked eye. 

“These will be more than 100 times dimmer than the faintest thing the eye can see in the darkest locations,” Peter Plavchan told the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

He’s the Landolt Space Mission’s principal investigator, and he explained that most telescopes are highly inaccurate. “Some say they are accurate within 1%, some 2% or 3% or worse,” Plavchan stated.

“The mission aims to decrease this uncertainty to less than 0.5%.”

The NASA artificial star’s success will enable astronomers to better measure star properties like its age, size, and temperature.

Also, it may help scientists learn more about dark energy, the mysterious entity that is likely pushing the universe apart. 

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“I’m an exoplanet astronomer, so I’m very excited about how improving our knowledge of stars can improve our knowledge of planets around those stars,” Plavchan stated.

TOPICS: Outer Space, technology
TAGS: Outer Space, technology

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