National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
10 Things for the Week of January 5 - 11
Columnist: Autumn Burdick

10 Things for the Week of January 5 - 11
3 January 2014

Which is your preferred form of communication? Talk, type or text? There are many ways to convey information, and this week is full of communicators -- plus a few other things.

1. OPPOSITION

Come Sunday Jupiter will be at opposition -- no, we haven't been arguing. Opposition means that Jupiter, the Earth and the sun will be positioned in a straight line with the Earth in the middle. Find out more in Jane Houston Jones' "What's Up" for January.

2. DOT, DASH, DOT

On January 6, 1838 -- that's 176 years ago, come Monday -- Samuel Morse demonstrated the telegraph system. Morse was also one of the developers of Morse Code.

3. JUNO TOO

Ham radio operators across the world said "Hi" to the Juno spacecraft this past December. How did they do it? With Morse Code.

4. MESSAGE IN THE SOIL

Did you know that Curiosity's wheels makes special Morse Code tracks in the Martian soil? Read the below to learn more.

5. LADEE TALK

The LADEE mission to the moon is testing a new laser communication system. Called NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), this laser technology will make it possible for 3-D High Definition video transmissions in deep space to become routine one day.

6. GALILEO

Wednesday, January 8th is the anniversary of the death of Galileo Galilei. Galileo discovered four moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus and more. He was also a supporter of the Copernican Model. The Copernican Model defines the solar system with all of the planets, including the Earth, orbiting the sun.

7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds and often compared to Einstein, is celebrating his 71st birthday this Wednesday (January 8). Hawking has Lou Gehrig's disease (or ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease) which makes it impossible for him to walk, speak or use his hands, but that doesn't stop him from contributing to science. Stephen explains on his website how he lectures and speaks to the public. Check it out.

8. E.T. PHONE HOME

January 8th is also the date for the closest approach of asteroid 25930 Spielberg. This asteroid is named for Steven Spielberg, director, writer, producer of such films as "Saving Private Ryan," "Indiana Jones," "Deep Impact," "Jurassic Park," and "E.T. the Extraterrestrial," to name just a few.

Do you remember how E.T. phoned home?

9. KEEPING IN TOUCH

On January 9th the Cassini spacecraft will make a distant flyby of Saturn's largest moon: Titan. Launched in 1997, Cassini has been exploring the Saturn system since 2004.

10. CONNECT

We have some "Great Shots" from space within our Multimedia galleries. Consider sharing a NASA image with a friend or family member -- they are sure to appreciate it.


Read More by Autumn Burdick

About: Autumn Burdick
Photo of Autumn Burdick
Autumn is the science writer who enjoys bringing this weekly look at upcoming events and stories from around our solar system to you. Follow SSE on Twitter: @NASASolarSystem
Read More by Autumn Burdick
Arrow pointing right 2014
December November October
September August July
June May April
March February January
Arrow pointing right 2013
Arrow pointing right 2012
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 3 Jan 2014