Are there any other galaxies/planets we have not explored?
There are literally billions and billions of galaxies and planets that have yet to be explored. The universe is a big place and there is a lot still to discover. Perhaps you will become an astronomer or an astronaut and get a chance to do some exploring. For now, you can explore by simply looking up at the night sky and learning your way around the stars.
Have you ever had space food? Will space food develop to be able to cook in space - the food that gets sent with astronauts? (Instead of having pre cooked freeze dried food)?
I have had Astronaut Ice Cream. In fact, I used to sell Astronaut Ice Cream, but despite its name, it is not actually astronaut food because it proved to be too crumbly and therefore it wasn't a good idea to take it into space. You don't want little bits of food (crumbs) floating around your space craft because they could find their way into important pieces of equipment, such as computers, and make them malfunction. That's not something you want to do when your life depends on those computers working properly.
When I used to work at Calgary Spaceport, located at the Calgary International Airport, we had some real astronaut food, from NASA, which we showed to visitors. However, we never actually opened it up and ate it because if we did, then we wouldn't have it available anymore to show other visitors. The astronaut food came in pouches and the water had been removed. When an astronaut was ready to eat the food, all they had to do was inject some water - often hot water - into the package and then after a few minutes it was ready to eat. If they used hot water, it was sort of like they were cooking the food.
If you want to learn more about astronaut food, and you have 19 minutes, you can click on the video below.
Did you have to buy the astrodome yourself?
Well, I guess I didn't have to buy it myself, but I did. Perhaps I could have raised all the money required by using a crowdsourcing web site, such as GoFundMe. Maybe I'll do that when it comes time to replace the current AstroDome with an upgraded version. I would love to have a 4K planetarium projector!
What asteroids in the kupiter belt have you studied?
I haven't actually studied any Kuiper Belt Objects (also called KBOs) with a telescope, but I do often read about them at the library and on the Internet. If you consider that to be studying them, then I have studied Pluto, Charon, Eris (previously known as Xena), Quaoar, Haumea, Makemake, Orcus, Sedna, Varuna, Gonggong, and Albion (previously known as 1992 QB1).
Will you do any work with the James Webb Telescope?
No, it is unlikely that I will do any work with the James Webb Space Telescope. However, in the past, I was part of the "Education Team" that was involved with the Herschel Space Telescope. I was also once awarded some time to use the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, which is one of the largest telescopes in the world.
Herschel Space Telescope
Do you know much about the Andromeda Galaxy?
The Andromeda Galaxy, which is also known as M31, is a large galaxy located two million light years away, in the constellation of Andromeda. It is the closest major galaxy and is part of the "Local Group" of galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy and our galaxy, which is called the Milky Way galaxy, are the two biggest galaxies in the Local Group. These two galaxies are heading toward each other and in about four billion years or so, they will collide and merge to become one super galaxy.
From a dark location, far from city lights, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy on November nights, if you know exactly where to look. The Andromeda Galaxy appears as a faint smudge of light, located not too far away from the distinctive asterism known as the Great Square of Pegasus. The faint diffuse light that you see comes from the hundreds of billions of stars that comprise the Andromeda Galaxy. The image below was captured using a telescope.
The Andromeda Galaxy
Is there another known sun with orbiting planets that you know of?
When I was in Grade 6, many years ago, there were no planets known beyond our Solar System. In other words, the only planets that we knew of were the ones that go around the Sun. However, it was suspected that there were many planets, orbiting other stars (other "suns") just waiting to be discovered and starting in the mid 1990s, when technology improved, astronomers started to discover them.
Now, we have discovered more than 3,200 other stars with planets orbiting them, and that is in our galaxy alone! If you include all the other galaxies in the universe, there are surely billions and billions of planets just waiting to be discovered. Maybe you will discover one someday!
Here is a link that you can follow if you want to learn more about other stars that have planets...
Do all stars have their own solar system?
It appears that most, but not all, stars do indeed have planets. Technically speaking, these are not solar systems, but rather exoplanetary systems, because the term "Solar System" refers to our planetary system. Our star - the Sun - has a proper name, it's Sol, and so our planetary system is called the Solar System. The system of planets (and presumably asteroids and comets) that orbit other stars have their own unique name.
Here is a link that you can follow if you want to learn more about exoplanetary systems...
If you have made it all the way to the end of this web page, and you're actually reading these words, you should ask Ms. Murphy-Snell to contact me and I'll send four copies of the book that appears below to your school so that you can continue learning about space.
Thank you so much for inviting me to come visit your school.
Keep Looking Up!
Keep Looking Up!