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

  • Various icy compounds make up Pluto’s atmospheric haze

    February 8th, 2021

    Pluto's famous blue atmospheric haze likely formed differently from the hazes surrounding Saturn's moon Titan and Neptune's moon Triton, study finds.

  • Amount of water on the Moon varies by location and time of day

    February 6th, 2021

    Two Earth-based studies confirm water molecules are present on the Moon, but amounts vary depending on location and time of day, Casey Honniball of NASA.

  • Asteroid naming contest sparks discussion of women in astronomy

    January 26th, 2021

    The selection of the late astronomer Ada Amelia Carrera Rodriguez as the winner of an asteroid-naming contest sparked an online panel discussion by the contest's sponsors about the role of women in astronomy.

  • Moon Dialogs bring together stakeholders in near-future lunar activity

    January 12th, 2021

    Moon Dialogs, a partnership that seeks to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders to brainstorm about near-future lunar activity, organized Zoom sessions throughout 2020 exploring the wide range of topics pertinent to policy and governance on the Moon.

  • 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, Dec. 1, after one of its main cables broke on Nov. 6.

  • 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.