AIDA project, or how to shoot a star

ESA and NASA are working together in one of those breathtaking projects that will capture the attention by media during the years (or at least the last years) of the mission. In a nutshell the project aims to study the binary asteroid system Didymos, and specially its 170m moon, also known as Didymoon (quite a cute name if you ask me).

The European part of the mission will study the outer space object, deploying several satellites around it and even landing one on the surface of Didymoon. Once this set of satellites have studied Dydymoon, the US contribution to the project (Dart) will arrive to hit a the moon with another satellite, to check which are the effects of the impact on its trajectory.

 

So, summarizing, europeans will study the moon itself, while US efforts will focus on shooting it away. Quite cool and representative at the same time. If the project succeeds, we are going to have some of the most epic pictures ever! One thing is for sure, the AIDA project already has a really good candidate for OST.

 

 

Exploring exoplantes

It is really interesting what you can do nowadays using astronomical information. Lately I’ve been playing around with the Eyes on Exoplanets app, developed by NASA. Just in the very same way you use Google Earth to locate your own house just for fun, you can navigate through the known exoplantes in the universe. Why? I guess just because you can, as well as for feeling extremely small and pointless…

There is an interesting TED talk related to this topic by Sara Seager, from last year, in which she talks about the chances of finding life out there.

 

SKA industry day at CDTI

SKA1_night_midres1.screen
“SKA at Night”, credit SKA organization 

 

Lately, the SKA project has caught my attention. As an astronomy and astrophysics enthusiast it is hard to not like it, as it is on of the most challenging projects in human history (even besides science) and will be one of the biggest and most advanced infrastructures ever build.
Today I had the chance to assist to the SKA industry day, a joint effort by SKA itself and CDTI, the Spanish Center for the Development of Industrial Technology to find potential collaborations between industrial companies in Spain in the different areas of SKA.
There were two main types of talks during the sessions, mainly divided in two types: the “how SKA works and what we are doing at the project” and the “this how you can join us” ones. In both cases, it was really interesting to learn the role that companies are playing besides the academic institutions that are leading the project. I do think that there is a wide range of opportunities in the intersection between industry and science, specially when facing such a challenging project.
There is a long road ahead for Spanish companies and institutions to be able to fully join SKA, but we can count on some institutions, several good companies we have here, and specially on the really great people pushing forward.
For more information about the Spanish efforts on SKA, check their websites: