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.

light

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”

Using its new infrared-sensitive Wide Field Camera 3, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope documents a patch of southern sky and records images of the earliest and most distant galaxies ever seen

The Cassini spacecraft, orbiting within the Saturn system since 2004, took images in July 2009 revealing significant periodical brightness variation in the planet’s rings; these variations, potentially caused by a collision with comet or asteroid in the 1980s, are characterized by “rippled” or “corrugated” areas that extend for up to 11,000 miles

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

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

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

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