The year 2021 has been difficult for individuals throughout the world. Life has not been simple for everyone, especially since the covid-19 breakout. Over the past year, the universe has experienced significant advancements despite this difficult moment. Let’s look at a few amazing facts about space discoveries that will blow our minds.
New Space Discoveries in MARS
2021 was a busy year for our red planet “Mars”. Three landmark robotic missions arrived: the first being the United Arab Emirates(UAE) called the “Hope Orbiter”. Hope observes the planet’s weather patterns over days, months, and years and later builds the first-ever global map of the planet Mars.
Water currently doesn’t exist on Mars. But it used to because of the dramatic dry canyons and river channels from orbits.
Later, when China’s Tianwen-1 mission arrived at Mars it landed the Zhurong rover. It was greatly considered unique as no other nation tried to send an orbiter and rover to Mars on their first attempt. Fortunately, China succeeded and made a huge step marking a historic moment in space exploration. It first entered on February 10, 2021, and successfully landed on the Red Planet on May 14. Mars landings are very challenging as they require heat shielding and other supersonic parachutes.
WHAT CAPABILITIES DOES THE ZHURONG HAVE?
Zhurong can directly communicate with Earth. The orbiter has its own set of science instruments for studying the planet. It even includes a high-resolution camera that in turn produces stunning images. Zhurong has cameras and instruments for studying Mars’s climate and geology. It records the results which help the scientists to come to a proper conclusion. Scientists tested a rover-sized radar in China in a place similar to that of the planet Mars and were able to detect underground pockets of water.
Perseverance has achieved a lot during its short time on Mars, such as converting CO2 to O2 using a device called MOXIE.
New Space Discoveries in SUN
During this year it wasn’t just the planet that was explored, they even explored a star when NASA’S solar probe made a historic moment by becoming the first-ever spacecraft to touch the Sun. But the mystery behind the history is how this solar probe survived the scorching heat and still continues to fly. Parker probe measured particles and magnetic fields three times in the corona on April 28.
New Space Discoveries In Our “SOLAR SYSTEM”
The study of exoplanets beyond our solar system helps address questions about our place in the solar system and in the universe.
Over the past year about 500 new exoplanets were announced which leads to a total of 4884 confirmed worlds beyond the solar system. One such strange exoplanet which was discovered in 2021 and labeled as the 2M0437B is one of the youngest worlds discovered so far and is just a few million years old. Astronomers have also identified a new class of world called the Hycean planets where these worlds could be habitable but are not rocky like the Earth but instead covered in Oceans and hydrogen-rich atmospheres.
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