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 is developing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) – a new instrument to be launched and attached to the International Space Station in 2010 – to probe the universe for antimatter galaxies, test theories of dark matter, and search for strangelets: a theoretical, ultra-massive form of matter

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

Collaborative data collection by the Centre Nationale D’Etudes Spatiales’ (CNES) COROT satellite and the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph at the La Silva Observatory in Chile suggests the size and speed of Corot 7B, the fastest-orbiting known exoplanet

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 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