A Massive Helium Balloon Seeks Dark Matter #SpaceSaturday
A balloon with the volume of a football stadium will be launched into space next year. It’s called the SuperBIT and it’s job is to measure dark matter. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:
The SuperBIT is able to capture high resolution, multicolor images using a cutting-edge camera. The telescope cost only $5 million to construct and operate, which is “almost 1000 times less than a similar satellite,” according to the press release. The telescope will also be helping to understand dark matter, a form of matter that physics tells us is there by its actions on celestial bodies but which scientists have never directly observed. SuperBIT will be investigating the properties of dark matter by observing whether dark matter slows down during collisions with itself. It’s designed to take images overnight and recharge during the day using solar panels.
Mohamed Shaaban, a doctoral candidate from the University of Toronto who led the telescope’s system integration, told Motherboard that the SuperBIT is a cost effective alternative that can supplement demand for the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists are even hopeful that its cheap cost will make it possible to deploy a fleet of similar telescopes.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.