Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Laurel Kornfeld

Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, NJ, who enjoys writing about astronomy and planetary science. She studied journalism at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University’s Astronomy Online program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, Astronomy magazine’s guest blog section, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly newspaper, The Space Reporter, and newsletters of various astronomy clubs. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Especially interested in the outer solar system, Laurel gave a brief presentation at the 2008 Great Planet Debate held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.

Articles By Laurel Kornfeld

  • Wakened from its latest hibernation, New Horizons may visit additional Kuiper Belt Objects

    September 16th, 2017

    Newly awakened from a five-month hibernation, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft may visit a third Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) after flying by 2014 MU69 on Jan. 1, 2019. Mission scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) received confirmation from NASA's Deep Space Network in Madrid, Spain, that the probe exited hibernation mode on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.

  • New Horizons sets flight plan for 2nd target; IAU accepts Pluto system names

    September 9th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons mission has filed a flight plan for its January 1, 2019, flyby of Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69, which will bring the spacecraft three times closer to its second target than it came to Pluto during the upcoming encounter.

  • Astronomers create best ever image of star outside our Solar System

    August 27th, 2017

    A map of activity on the surface and in the atmosphere of the star Antares by a team of astronomers is considered to be the most detailed ever created for a star other than the Sun. The red supergiant is located some 550 light-years distant in the constellation Scorpius and is in its final stages of its existence. It will eventually die in a supernova explosion.

  • Observers in western Kentucky treated to stunning view of solar eclipse

    August 22nd, 2017

    Eclipse watchers in western Kentucky experienced the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse in a cloudless sky, with one of its longest periods of totality – lasting approximately two minutes and 27 seconds.

  • Cassini has uncovered a wealth of data on Saturn’s rings

    August 19th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now conducting its final orbits between Saturn and its rings, is plunging further than ever into the giant planet's atmosphere. Over the last 13 years studying the Saturn system, the spacecraft has discovered a wealth of information about the planet's rings.

  • TRAPPIST-1 could be twice the age of the Solar System

    August 13th, 2017

    The red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 and its seven known planets have been around far longer than the Solar System, according to a new study by scientists who have estimated the system's age.

  • Final five ‘Grand Finale’ orbits will explore Saturn’s upper atmosphere

    August 11th, 2017

    Set to begin the final five of its "Grand Finale" orbits next week, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct unprecedented close-up studies of Saturn's upper atmosphere.

  • New Horizons’ KBO target may be a binary

    August 4th, 2017

    New Horizons' second target – Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69 – may actually be a binary system composed of two objects that either touch one another or orbit very close together, according to observations conducted by mission scientists when the KBO passed in front of a star on July 17, 2017.

  • Stellar radiation may preclude Earth-like atmosphere on Proxima b

    August 3rd, 2017

    The exoplanet closest to the Solar System, Proxima b, is located in its star's habitable zone but may be unable to support life because radiation from its host star is likely to strip away its atmosphere, according to a new study based on a computer simulation.

  • LISA Pathfinder mission terminated

    July 27th, 2017

    The European Space Agency's (ESA) LISA Pathfinder, a probe that tested technologies for their capability to detect the ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, has been shut down.

  • New Horizons team obtains wealth of data from 2014 MU69 occultation

    July 24th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons team captured crucial data on Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69 – the spacecraft's second target – during a third organized observation of the KBO occulting a star on Monday, July 17, 2017.

  • Cassini images Enceladus’ south polar jets

    July 20th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter has captured a distant view of the mysterious jets emanating from the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, a world that likely harbors a subsurface ocean. The jets are believed to be liquid water being vented from the ocean underneath the moon's icy crust.

  • Juno completes historic flyby over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

    July 12th, 2017

    NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully completed the first ever close flyby of the mysterious storm on Jupiter known as the Great Red Spot, and early images of the phenomenon are already being returned to Earth.

  • Occultation data raises questions about New Horizons’ target KBO

    July 8th, 2017

    Data collected on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft's second flyby target, 2014 MU69, during its June 3 occultation of a star, may indicate the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) is smaller and brighter than previously thought.

  • ESA and NASA to collaborate on mission to detect gravitational waves

    July 1st, 2017

    The European Space Agency (ESA) is partnering with NASA on a new space mission that will study gravitational waves from space. Known as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, the project was approved by ESA's Cosmic Vision science program on June 20. Both space agencies will now work together to design the mission and outline a budget for it prior to construction.