Leah Beeferman

Monitoring the architecture of science: a studious, imaginative investigation of space-bound and land-based far-traveling and distant-looking orbiting and non-orbiting structures

an ongoing weekly project distributed by e-mail running from February 2009 to February 2010.


NASA announces twenty-four hour-long potential launch windows for its new Solar Dynamics Observatory – a spacecraft designed to study the sun’s atmosphere simultaneously over a range of wavelengths in “small scales of space and time”

Public weather data analyzed by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) – collected from thousands of meteorological stations worldwide, satellite measurements of sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research station data – shows 2009 to be the second warmest year yet recorded

The Suzaku orbiting x-ray observatory has detected the largest mass of heavy elements – chromium and manganese – yet found outside the Milky Way while observing the central region of the Persius cluster

After recording no “targets” in its observation log on November 24 and 25, the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory records nine targets on November 26 and seven targets on November 27 and 28

Observations made by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) on the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft showing the presence of water molecules in the polar regions of the moon have been confirmed by two other spacecraft, NASA’s Cassini and Epoxi; while the amounts of water were larger than predicted, levels are still extremely small

In an attempt to understand magnetic reconnection – crossing and colliding lines of magnetic force producing massive explosions of kinetic energy – NASA will develop the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS): four puck-shaped observatories to be launched into the magnetosphere in 2014

Data collected using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) located in Hanford, Washington, USA and Livingston, Louisiana, USA and the Virgo Collaboration based in Cascina, Italy, suggests far fewer gravitational waves were produced by the Big Bang than once assumed

The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) – three jointly-operated telescopes in Arizona, USA and Coonabarabran, Australia – will soon become the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS), a reorganization indicative of a shift in astronomy towards the search for objects that change on short timescales: for example, a star which dims by 7500% in just 10 minutes and fully recovers only 10 minutes later

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, the Canberra (Australia) Deep Space Communication Complex – one of NASA’s three worldwide Deep Space Network (DSN) stations collectively providing continuous spacecraft monitoring – communicated with at least ten spacecraft using its four highly sensitive radio antennas

Observations made with the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory suggest evidence of a new type of black hold residing on the outskirts of galaxy ESO 243-49 and weighing over 500 times the mass of the sun

On June 29, 2009 at 11:45 GMT, one of NOAA’s eastern Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) documents the water vapor winds over the southern hemisphere – an ongoing image-taking process repeatedly performed every six hours

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research (ESO) readies a new 2.5 ton instrument for its Very Large Telescope in northern Chile: the “X-Shooter”, a highly efficient spectrograph capable of recording a celestial object’s entire light spectrum in one single observation

On June 17 2009, NASA plans to launch its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a satellite programmed to maintain a polar orbit of the moon that will enable it to fly over dozens of past lunar landing sites – U.S. and Soviet, robotic and human – to investigate the effects of lunar time on the hardware left behind

As of 3:11pm PST on May 15 2009, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has run out of coolant – the liquid helium keeping its instruments cool – and entered its next phase of exploration: the so-called ‘warm mission

Using its Moderate Resolution Spectrometer (MODIS), NASA’s AQUA satellite detects fluorescent red light emitted from Earth’s ocean photoplankton providing valuable data on the health of the oceans and the plant life within

Cassini, NASA’s spacecraft orbiting and studying the Saturn System, makes a flyby of Titan – Saturn’s largest moon – on May 21 2009 to investigate Titan’s southern hemisphere dune field, referred to as ‘Shangri-La

On May 16, 2009, the Hubble Space Telescope’s 800lb COSTAR corrective optics package – installed in orbit in 1993 to compensate for the spherical aberration in the telescope’s primary mirror – was removed and replaced with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), an instrument designed to study interstellar medium, the space between stars, and the space between galaxies

NASA’s SWIFT satellite – a multi-wavelength space-based observatory making observations about gamma-ray burst (GRB) science – records the x-ray afterglow of an event called GRB090423, the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen

Drifting more than 4,461,000km from Earth and communicating with a round-trip light time of 29.7 seconds, the Kepler Space Telescope is turned on: it receives a 100 degree field of view containing 14 million stars, 100,000 of which are considered “ideal candidates” for Earth-sized planet-searching

Through a series of images taken over a seven year time period, the Hubble Space Telescope tracks changes in the brightness of a beam of hot gas – called HST-1 – emerging from a black hole in elliptical galaxy M87

Locating the production sites of the industrial team responsible for designing and building the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever infrared space observatory at the time of its launch, May 6 2009, part 2 of 2

Locating the production sites of the industrial team responsible for designing and building the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever infrared space observatory at the time of its launch later in 2009, part 1 of 2

By analyzing data from optical satellite instruments such as ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) – an imaging device flying on the Terra satellite launched in 1999 – GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) monitors over 52,000 of Earth’s glaciers

Profiling the Delta II “expendable space launch vehicle” in recognition of its 139th successful launch – carrying the Kepler planet-searching telescope into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 17 pad 17-B on March 6, 2009, around 10:49pm

Seventeen radio telescopes jointly and simultaneously observe three quasars using the technical process of electronic real-time very long baseline interferometry (e-VLBI) for 33 hours on January 15-16 2009

Celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 102,716.58th orbit around the Earth, February 10 2009, 7:42AM