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Topic: Caltech

NASA’s Aqua satellite images show Carbon Monoxide from California Wildfires heading East

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – California is being plagued by massive wildfires, and the effects on air quality from those fires can extend far beyond the state’s borders. In addition to ash and smoke, fires release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide is a pollutant that can persist in the atmosphere for about a month and can be transported great distances.

New images made with data acquired by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite show the high concentrations of carbon monoxide emitted from the fires (in orange/red) between July 29th and August 8th, 2018.

This animation shows concentrations of carbon monoxide (in orange/red) from California's massive wildfires drifting east across the U.S. between July 30 and August 7. It was produced using data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

This animation shows concentrations of carbon monoxide (in orange/red) from California’s massive wildfires drifting east across the U.S. between July 30 and August 7. It was produced using data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses satellite images to create Ground Deformation map of Indonesian Quake

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists with NASA/Caltech’s Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA) used new satellite data to produce a map of ground deformation on the resort island of Lombok, Indonesia, following a deadly 6.9-magnitude earthquake on August 5th, 2018.

The false-color map shows the amount of permanent surface movement that occurred, almost entirely due to the quake, over a 6-day period between satellite images taken on July 30th and August 5th.

Scientists with NASA/Caltech's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA) used new satellite data to produce a map of ground deformation on the resort island of Lombok, Indonesia following a deadly, 6.9 magnitude earthquake on August 5th. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Copernicus/ESA)

Scientists with NASA/Caltech’s Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA) used new satellite data to produce a map of ground deformation on the resort island of Lombok, Indonesia following a deadly, 6.9 magnitude earthquake on August 5th. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Copernicus/ESA)

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope sees remnants of a Supernova

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of one of the larger supernova remnants in the Milky Way galaxy in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

A supernova “remnant” refers to the collective, leftover signs of an exploded star, or supernova. The red filaments in this image belong to a supernova remnant known as HBH 3 that was first observed in 1966 using radio telescopes. Traces of the remnant also radiate optical light. The branches of glowing material are most likely molecular gas that was pummeled by a shockwave generated by the supernova. The energy from the explosion energized the molecules and caused them to radiate infrared light.

Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of the supernova remnant HBH3 in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The puffy, white feature in the image is a portion of the star forming regions W3, W4 and W5. Infrared wavelengths of 3.6 microns have been mapped to blue, and 4.5 microns to red. The white color of the star-forming region is a combination of both wavelengths, while the HBH3 filaments radiate only at the longer 4.5 micron wavelength. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC)

Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of the supernova remnant HBH3 in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The puffy, white feature in the image is a portion of the star forming regions W3, W4 and W5. Infrared wavelengths of 3.6 microns have been mapped to blue, and 4.5 microns to red. The white color of the star-forming region is a combination of both wavelengths, while the HBH3 filaments radiate only at the longer 4.5 micron wavelength. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC)

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NASA’s Terra satellite uses MISR to capture images of California Fires

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – More than a dozen wildfires are burning in the state of California, with several of them threatening life and property. The Ferguson Fire ignited July 13th in the Sierra National Forest west of Yosemite National Park.

Much of the forest in this area suffered extreme stress due to the extended drought of 2012 through 2017, and bark beetle damage, leaving many dead trees through which the fire has burned rapidly. Many surrounding towns have been under evacuation orders, and many popular areas of the national park were closed on July 25th.

This image shows the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park on July 29 as observed by NASA's MISR instrument. The angular information from MISR's images is used to calculate the height of the smoke plume. The results are superimposed on the image on the right. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech, MISR Team)

This image shows the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park on July 29 as observed by NASA’s MISR instrument. The angular information from MISR’s images is used to calculate the height of the smoke plume. The results are superimposed on the image on the right. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech, MISR Team)

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NASA creates Radiation Maps of Jupiter’s Moon Europa

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New NASA study creates comprehensive mapping of the radiation pummeling Jupiter’s icy moon Europa which reveals where scientists should look — and how deep they’ll have to go — when searching for signs of habitability and biosignatures.

Since NASA’s Galileo mission yielded strong evidence of a global ocean underneath Europa’s icy shell in the 1990s, scientists have considered that moon one of the most promising places in our solar system to look for ingredients to support life. There’s even evidence that the salty water sloshing around the moon’s interior makes its way to the surface.

Radiation from Jupiter can destroy molecules on Europa's surface. Material from Europa's ocean that ends up on the surface will be bombarded by radiation, possibly destroying any biosignatures, or chemical signs that could imply the presence of life. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Radiation from Jupiter can destroy molecules on Europa’s surface. Material from Europa’s ocean that ends up on the surface will be bombarded by radiation, possibly destroying any biosignatures, or chemical signs that could imply the presence of life. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft data reveals plasma waves moving from Saturn to it’s moon Enceladus

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New research from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus.

The observations show for the first time that the waves travel on magnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus. The field lines are like an electrical circuit between the two bodies, with energy flowing back and forth.

Researchers converted the recording of plasma waves into a “whooshing” audio file that we can hear — in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft's Grand Finale orbits found a powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s Grand Finale orbits found a powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s NuSTAR Space Telescope data shows Eta Carinae accelerating Cosmic Rays

 

Written by Francis Reddy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Nashville SoundsGreenbelt, MD – A new study using data from NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope suggests that Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, is accelerating particles to high energies – some of which may reach our planet as cosmic rays.

“We know the blast waves of exploded stars can accelerate cosmic ray particles to speeds comparable to that of light, an incredible energy boost,” said Kenji Hamaguchi, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the lead author of the study. “Similar processes must occur in other extreme environments. Our analysis indicates Eta Carinae is one of them.”

Eta Carinae's great eruption in the 1840s created the billowing Homunculus Nebula, imaged here by Hubble. Now about a light-year long, the expanding cloud contains enough material to make at least 10 copies of our Sun. Astronomers cannot yet explain what caused this eruption. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)

Eta Carinae’s great eruption in the 1840s created the billowing Homunculus Nebula, imaged here by Hubble. Now about a light-year long, the expanding cloud contains enough material to make at least 10 copies of our Sun. Astronomers cannot yet explain what caused this eruption. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovers Complex Organics coming from Saturn’s moon Enceladus

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal complex organic molecules originating from Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, strengthening the idea that this ocean world hosts conditions suitable for life. Research results show much larger, heavier molecules than ever before.

Powerful hydrothermal vents mix up material from the moon’s water-filled, porous core with water from the moon’s massive subsurface ocean – and it is released into space, in the form of water vapor and ice grains. A team led by Frank Postberg and Nozair Khawaja of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, continues to examine the makeup of the ejected ice and has recently identified fragments of large, complex organic molecules.

A dramatic plume sprays water ice and vapor from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Cassini's first hint of this plume came during the spacecraft's first close flyby of the icy moon on February 17, 2005. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

A dramatic plume sprays water ice and vapor from the south polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Cassini’s first hint of this plume came during the spacecraft’s first close flyby of the icy moon on February 17, 2005. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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NASA reports Astronomers observe Supermassive Black Hole devour a Star

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the massive monster.

The scientists tracked the event with radio and infrared telescopes, including the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, in a pair of colliding galaxies called Arp 299.

An artist's concept of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole, which reacts by launching a relativistic jet. (Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

An artist’s concept of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole, which reacts by launching a relativistic jet. (Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

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NASA’s NEOWISE spacecraft uses thermal sensors to analyze hundreds of Asteroids

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Nearly all asteroids are so far away and so small that the astronomical community only knows them as moving points of light. The rare exceptions are asteroids that have been visited by spacecraft, a small number of large asteroids resolved by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope or large ground-based telescopes, or those that have come close enough for radar imaging.

When seen by optical telescopes, these individual sources of reflected sunlight can provide some very valuable but also very basic information — for example, the asteroid’s orbit, a ballpark estimate of its size, sometimes an approximation of its shape, and perhaps an idea of its physical makeup.

Analysis of asteroids like Lutetia was used in the Josef Hanuš-led paper on asteroid thermophysical modeling. Lutetia is a large main belt asteroid about 62 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter. Lutetia was visited by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft in 2010. (ESA 2010 MPS)

Analysis of asteroids like Lutetia was used in the Josef Hanuš-led paper on asteroid thermophysical modeling. Lutetia is a large main belt asteroid about 62 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter. Lutetia was visited by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft in 2010. (ESA 2010 MPS)

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