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

  • Mars’ magnetic field is 10 times stronger than previously thought

    April 14th, 2020

    Data collected by NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on Mars has surprised scientists by indicating the Red Planet has a magnetic field 10 times stronger than previously suspected.

  • Twelve features on asteroid Bennu get official names

    March 24th, 2020

    Twelve surface features on the asteroid Bennu, imaged by NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) probe from orbit, have been officially named by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which regulates the naming of celestial objects and their surface features.

  • Voyager 2 will be on its own while DSN antenna is upgraded

    March 23rd, 2020

    The only radio telescope capable of communicating with NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft will undergo nearly 11 months of upgrades to its 230-foot- (70-meter-) wide antenna, during which it will be unable to transmit commands to the 42-year-old spacecraft, which is now traveling in interstellar space.

  • Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden passes away

    March 19th, 2020

    Alfred M. Worden, a former astronaut who served as the command module pilot of NASA’s Apollo 15 Moon mission, died in his sleep on Wednesday, March 18, at a Sugar Land, Texas, assisted living center, at the age of 88.

  • New Horizons parallax project seeks public participation

    February 21st, 2020

    NASA’s New Horizons mission is seeking public participation in a project aimed at imaging the two closest stars, Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359, from Earth on April 22 and 23, the same day the spacecraft will photograph them from almost five billion miles (eight billion km) away.

  • Pluto’s heart feature controls its winds

    February 20th, 2020

    Pluto’s iconic heart feature, named Tombaugh Regio, functions as a “beating heart” that controls the small planet’s winds and might even play a role in shaping its surface features.

  • Arrokoth data sheds light on planet formation

    February 19th, 2020

    Data returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft taken during its January 2019 flyby of Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) Arrokoth, also known as 2014 MU 69, located four billion miles from Earth, supports the theory that planet formation in the solar system occurred in a gentle rather than violent process.

  • Pluto’s hazy atmosphere is similar to that of Titan

    February 2nd, 2020

    Pluto is often compared to Neptune's largest moon Triton, but its hazy atmosphere is actually more akin to that of Saturn's largest moon Titan, which is sometimes viewed as an analog of early Earth.

  • NASA broadcast celebrates Spitzer telescope’s accomplishments

    January 24th, 2020

    In a live broadcast on Wednesday, January 22, NASA celebrated 16 years of incredible accomplishments by the Spitzer Space Telescope, one of its four "Great Observatories" in space.

  • Spitzer telescope to be decommissioned after 16 years

    January 20th, 2020

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which has studied the universe in infrared light since its launch in August of 2003, will be decommissioned on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

  • New Year, new headquarters for Blue Origin

    January 9th, 2020

    With Blue Origin opening its new headquarters, 2020 appears to be a year of further expansion for NewSpace.

  • New Horizons science instrument detects slowing of solar wind

    December 12th, 2019

    NASA's New Horizons mission has caught 'wind' of the ragged edges of our Solar System.

  • Two centaur missions proposed to NASA’s Discovery program

    November 22nd, 2019

    NASA is considering two Discovery Program missions that would head to the deepest regions of our solar system to study far flung bodies that reside there.

  • New Horizons’ second target is formally named Arrokoth

    November 15th, 2019

    The double-lobed Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) located one billion miles beyond Pluto and visited by the New Horizons spacecraft on January 1, 2019, has been officially named Arrokoth, which means sky in the Native American Powhatan/Algonquian language.

  • NASA funds study of possible Pluto orbiter

    November 4th, 2019

    There's no doubt that NASA's New Horizons mission crushed it. This has emboldened the space agency to take their exploration of the far reaches of our solar system to the next level.