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

  • Damaged Arecibo Observatory collapses

    December 1st, 2020

      The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, a world-famous 1,000-foot-wide radio telescope through which major discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics were made, collapsed on the morning of Tuesday, December 1, after one of its main cables broke on November 6. That cable’s collapse occurred three months after the telescope’s reflector dish was damaged in August […]

  • Probe finds deep space is not completely dark

    December 1st, 2020

    Now more than four billion miles away from Earth, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, acting as a distant space observatory, has found that deep space is not entirely dark.

  • Arrokoth’s flattened shape could shed light on planetesimal formation process

    November 15th, 2020

    The flattened shape of the two lobes that make up Arrokoth, the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) visited by the New Horizons spacecraft in January 2019, may hold clues to the formation process of planetesimals and even planets.

  • OSIRIS-REx capsule closed following successful Bennu sample collection

    November 1st, 2020

    NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft collected enough soil samples of the asteroid Bennu on its first attempt that mission controllers commanded the spacecraft to close its Sample Return Capsule (SRC).

  • White mountain peaks on Pluto not caused by snow

    October 24th, 2020

    Images captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its July 2015 Pluto flyby reveal the small planet to be the only place in the solar system other than Earth to have white-capped mountains.

  • Remnants of ancient subsurface ocean observed on Ceres

    October 5th, 2020

    The bright spots in Ceres’s Occator Crater, which mystified scientists when first observed by the Dawn spacecraft in 2015, indicate the dwarf planet may harbor remnants of what was once a global subsurface ocean.

  • NASA town hall shares updates on science missions

    October 2nd, 2020

      At a community town hall which was broadcast live on September 10, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate provided updates on the agency’s many ongoing and upcoming science missions.

  • OPINION: Arecibo Observatory should be rebuilt

    September 7th, 2020

    After experiencing a series of misfortunes ranging from earthquakes to hurricanes to budget cuts, the National Science Foundation‘s (NSF) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, both a scientific and cultural icon, was seriously damaged when an auxiliary cable broke on Monday, August 10 at 2:45 am.

  • Pluto’s glaciers change with its seasons

    August 26th, 2020

    Using data returned by NASA’s New Horizons mission’s July 2015 Pluto flyby, a group of researchers discovered evidence that the dwarf planet’s glaciers expand and grow in response to seasonal changes.

  • Commercial spaceflight advocate outlines revolution in the field

    July 7th, 2020

    Bruce Pittman of NASA’s Space Portal Office, a 35-year advocate for commercial spaceflight, outlined his vision of the endeavor over the next 42 months in a June webinar run by NASA’s Night Sky Network.

  • Pluto’s subsurface ocean may date back to planet’s formation

    June 29th, 2020

    Scientists who recently studied the detailed images of Pluto’s surface returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015 have found evidence that the dwarf planet’s subsurface ocean may have been around since Pluto’s formation over four billion years ago.

  • Perseverance mission scientist outlines rover’s instruments, mission

    June 23rd, 2020

    One month before the scheduled launch of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, Roger Wiens, who serves as both principal investigator of its SuperCam laser instrument and as co-investigator of its SHERLOC team, discussed the mission’s science instruments and its purpose in a virtual webinar presented by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).

  • New Horizons parallax experiment observes an alien sky

    June 14th, 2020

    NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now over 4.3 billion miles (6.9 billion km) from Earth, successfully imaged two nearby stars displaced from the locations in the sky where they are seen from Earth in its April stellar parallax experiment.

  • SOFIA data sheds new light on endurance of Pluto’s atmosphere

    June 1st, 2020

    Data captured by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an airborne observatory that studied Pluto’s atmospheric hazes just two weeks before New Horizons‘ 2015 flyby, indicates the hazes in Pluto’s atmosphere are regularly replenished.

  • NASA researcher provides overview of science on the ISS

    May 29th, 2020

    Research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS) encompasses numerous science fields, such as biology and biotechnology, human research, the physical sciences, technological demonstrations, Earth and space science, and public education, noted Brandon Redell of NASA’s ISS Integration Office at the Johnson Space Center.