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

  • Pan-STARRS-1 discovers interstellar object has entered our Solar System

    October 27th, 2017

    An asteroid (or comet) recently discovered in an extreme orbit originated beyond the Solar System in interstellar space, astronomers noted in a recent report. Initially discovered with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the University of Hawaii on October 19, the object is the first such detected by scientists.

  • NASA gives Dawn mission second extension

    October 22nd, 2017

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres since March 2015, has just been given a second extension, which will be used to bring the probe into the closest orbit yet around the dwarf planet.

  • Ring discovered orbiting dwarf planet Haumea

    October 19th, 2017

    Scientists were surprised to find a narrow ring circling the dwarf planet Haumea when they observed the small world pass in front of a background star in January 2017.

  • Merging neutron stars emit both gravitational waves and light

    October 18th, 2017

    In a major milestone for astronomy, the merger of two neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993 produced both gravitational waves and light, enabling scientists to observe the event in various wavelengths and pinpoint its source.

  • Satellite data shows largest CO2 increase comes from Earth’s tropics

    October 16th, 2017

    Data collected by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, launched in 2014 to measure changing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) worldwide, indicate Earth's tropics have been the largest sources of recent CO2 emissions.

  • Dust cloud could be reason for strange dimming of Tabby’s star

    October 8th, 2017

    The unusual dimming of Tabby's Star, for which a variety of explanations, including an alien "megastructure", have been proposed, is likely caused by an irregularly shaped dust cloud orbiting the star, according to a new study.

  • Pluto’s bladed terrain is product of its complex geological history

    September 30th, 2017

    A new study of Pluto's bizarre bladed terrain, which stretches as high as skyscrapers on Earth, has identified them as being composed largely of methane ice, formed through erosion caused by long-term changes in the dwarf planet's climate.

  • China delays lunar sample return mission following rocket failure

    September 28th, 2017

    China has postponed its $3 billion (20 billion yuan) Chang'e 5 lunar sample return mission in the wake of the July failure of its Long March 5 (Y2) rocket to reach orbit.

  • Pluto lander concept unveiled by Global Aerospace Corporation

    September 27th, 2017

    Just two years after New Horizons' historic Pluto flyby, the Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), a company that conducts aerospace research and development, is proposing a return mission featuring a Pluto lander.

  • 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.