NEWS IN BRIEF
NASA plans lunar rover NASA has announced a new lunar rover that will help pave the way for its Artemis mission. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will be the size of a golf cart and will look for water at the Moon’s southern pole using a 1m-long drill. It’s expected to land in December 2022 and spend at least 100 days on the lunar surface.
Saturn’s new moons Twenty new moons have been discovered in orbit around Saturn, taking the total up to 82. “We are now completing the inventory of small moons around the giant planets,” says Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science. “They play a crucial role in helping us determine how our Solar System’s planets evolved.”
Dark energy investigator An instrument capable of looking at 5,000 galaxies every 20 minutes began operation on 27 October. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will look at over 30 million galaxies to measure how fast they are moving away, creating a map of how the Universe is expanding to help researchers investigate dark energy.