Moffett Field, CA – Actor Harrison Ford was on location at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, last November to film a segment of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” documentary on climate change.
Ford toured the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility where he met with scientists Rama Nemani of Ames and Matthew Hansen of the University of Maryland, College Park, to learn more about how NASA satellite data, research, and technologies are used around the world to better understand and protect Earth.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans and the rest of our planet’s living kingdoms. How did it all begin?
A new study from researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and the Icy Worlds team at NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life.
SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft launched from NASA’s Cape Canaveral to deliver Science Cargo to International Space Station
Written by Steven Siceloff
Kennedy Space Center, FL – A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft full of NASA cargo, experiments and equipment blazed into orbit Friday, April 18th, aboard the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station will unload the supplies after the Dragon arrives at the orbiting research laboratory.
The manifest for the uncrewed Dragon includes almost 5,000 pounds of material including a spacewalking suit for astronauts plus related hardware and supplies for more than 150 science investigations to be conducted by the space station crews.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first “taste” of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun.
NESSI got its first peek at the sky on April 3rd, 2014. It looked at Pollux, a star in the Gemini constellation, and Arcturus, in the Boötes constellation, confirming that all modes of the instrument are working.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope discovers first Earth size planet orbiting another Star in the “Habitable Zone”
Written by Tony Phillip
Washington, D.C. – Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting in the “habitable zone” of another star. The planet, named “Kepler-186f” orbits an M dwarf, or red dwarf, a class of stars that makes up 70 percent of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.
The “habitable zone” is defined as the range of distances from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.
NASA’s AIM spacecraft data shows Teleconnections in Earth’s Atmosphere linking Climate and Weather across the Globe
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Earth’s poles are separated by four oceans, six continents and more than 12,000 nautical miles.
Turns out, that’s not so far apart.
New data from NASA’s AIM spacecraft have revealed “teleconnections” in Earth’s atmosphere that stretch all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again, linking weather and climate more closely than simple geography would suggest.
Written by Jane Platt
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons.
Images taken with Cassini’s narrow angle camera on April 15th, 2013, show disturbances at the very edge of Saturn’s A ring — the outermost of the planet’s large, bright rings. One of these disturbances is an arc about 20 percent brighter than its surroundings, 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide.
Written by David Israel and Mark Whalen
Pasadena, CA – A team of about 20 working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, through the lab’s Phaeton early-career-hire program, led the development of the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) investigation, which is preparing for an April 14th launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission.
The goal? NASA’s first optical communication experiment on the orbital laboratory.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Consider a pair of brothers, identical twins. One gets a job as an astronaut and rockets into space. The other gets a job as an astronaut, too, but on this occasion he decides to stay home. After a year in space, the traveling twin returns home and they reunite.
Are the identical twins still … identical?
NASA is about to find out.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system’s pantheon of moons. Are there other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun?
NASA-funded researchers have spotted the first signs of an “exomoon,” and though they say it’s impossible to confirm its presence, the finding is a tantalizing first step toward locating others. The discovery was made by watching a chance encounter of objects in our galaxy, which can be witnessed only once.
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