Asteroids to aurora, you won't believe what this satellite from China is doing
Asteroids, aurora and meteors are the targets for this satellite from China named Yangwang 1.
A satellite from China, that was tasked with looking for near-Earth asteroids, has been spotting much more than space rocks shooting through the solar system, according to a new report. The commercial satellite from China, called Yangwang 1, which was developed by the Shenzhen Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Co has reportedly been identifying meteors and recording the aurora during its time in space. The satellite itself was originally created to identify space resources for better utilisation, according to the report.
The satellite from Chinese company Origin Space which was launched in June, has been using its optical telescope to detect near-Earth asteroids, according to a report from Space.com. However, the Yangwang 1 (also known as the Look Up 1) satellite has also been capturing footage of the aurora australis as well as objects like the Chinese space station's core module, the report states.
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An aurora is a natural light phenomenon observed in the sky, especially in high-latitude areas of the globe. The Arctic and Antarctic regions of the earth are where these aurorae can be found, and it occurs when energetic charged particles of atoms (due to solar wind from the sun) in the high-altitude atmosphere. These are caused by photons being released from nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, as well as oxygen and nitrogen atoms going to ground state from an excited state.
The Yangwang 1 satellite, which was launched three months ago, has been able to record the aurora australis, or southern lights over South Pacific, according to the report. Meanwhile, the satellite has also managed to capture images of meteors as they come within the Earth's atmosphere. The report states that the optical telescope of the satellite is able to detect these meteors due to the streaks and flashes that are visible when they strike the earth's atmosphere.
Origin Space is reportedly planning a moon mission called NEO-2. It is expected to launch next year. The satellite will launch into geocentric orbit, and eventually reach lunar orbit before landing on the moon, similar to the Chandrayaan moon mission, the report states.
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