September 14 2011 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the kid's version of the article I wrote during the summer about the Kuiper Belt. But anybody can read it:
Kuiper Belt - Facts for Kids
Pluto's not the last planet, it's the first Kuiper Belt Object. The Kuiper Belt is made up of millions of icy bits left over from the beginning of the Solar System. It starts at 30 AU - that's 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth. From there it stretches for another 2 billion miles!
*Tenth Anniversary September 11, 2011*
If you look here, there is an image of a cable shield – the bit with the flag on it – which is part of the rock abrasian tool on the now-silent Spirit Rover on Mars. http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Spirit_RAT_Flag_RGB-A034R1_br.jpg Spirit's sister rover Opportunity, now exploring Endeavour Crater, has an identical one.
These tools were being made for the Mars mission by Honeybee Robotics in lower Manhatten when the twin towers were attacked in 2001. The people there wanted to contribute a memorial that would be a positive symbol of endurance. The two cable shields were fashioned from two pieces of aluminium which Honeybee was able to obtain from the debris at Ground Zero.
This memorial on the soil of a distant world is a reminder to us not to let past tragedies leave us unable to build the future.
That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.
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