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Topic: Eclipse

APSU Students to launch High-Altitude Balloon during 2017 Eclipse

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Almost like dominoes toppling over, only in reverse, a line of high-altitude balloons will gradually rise into the late summer sky, from Oregon to South Carolina, on August 21st, 2017.

That afternoon, the shadow of a total solar eclipse will traverse the entire country, and as it nears Clarksville, a team of Austin Peay State University students will release their own helium-filled inflatable.

Austin Peay Physics students Mary Sencabaugh, Jacob Robertson, Megan McCracken and Dominic Critchlow prepare the ground system they built to track the high altitude balloon they will release during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. (APSU)

Austin Peay Physics students Mary Sencabaugh, Jacob Robertson, Megan McCracken and Dominic Critchlow prepare the ground system they built to track the high altitude balloon they will release during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. (APSU)

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NASA research shows moon Io’s atmosphere collapsing when in Jupiter’s Shadow

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io has a thin atmosphere that collapses in the shadow of Jupiter, condensing as ice, according to a new study by NASA-funded researchers. The study reveals the freezing effects of Jupiter’s shadow during daily eclipses on the moon’s volcanic gases.

“This research is the first time scientists have observed this remarkable phenomenon directly, improving our understanding of this geologically active moon,” said Constantine Tsang, a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The study was published August 2nd in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Artist’s concept of the atmospheric collapse of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io, which is eclipsed by Jupiter for two hours of each day (1.7 Earth days). The resulting temperature drop freezes sulfur dioxide gas, causing the atmosphere to “deflate,” as seen in the shadowed area on the left. (SwRI/Andrew Blanchard)

Artist’s concept of the atmospheric collapse of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io, which is eclipsed by Jupiter for two hours of each day (1.7 Earth days). The resulting temperature drop freezes sulfur dioxide gas, causing the atmosphere to “deflate,” as seen in the shadowed area on the left. (SwRI/Andrew Blanchard)

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NASA sets the stage for upcoming Super Harvest Moon Eclipse

 

Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In the days before light bulbs, farmers relied on moonlight to help them harvest their crops. Many crops ripen all at once in late summer and early autumn so farmers found themselves extremely busy at this time of year. They had to work after sundown. Moonlight became an essential part of farming, and thus, the Harvest Moon was born.

According to folklore, the Harvest Moon is the full Moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox, the hectic beginning of northern autumn. In 2015, the Moon is full on September 28th, less than a week after the equinox of September 23rd. The coincidence sets the stage for a nice display of harvest moonlight.

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NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter prepares for Supermoon Eclipse

 

Written by Ashley Morrow
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – On the evening of September 27th, 2015, into the early morning of September 28th EDT, operators of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will wait as Earth blots out the sun and the moon goes dark.

The flight operations team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have seen LRO safely through three lunar eclipses in about a year and a half. Although it is certainly not an ordinary night, science operations planner Dawn Myers at Goddard said the team knows the routine.

“We have a method and it works well,” she said. “It’s always stressful during the approach of the eclipse, but we follow the same procedures every time and we haven’t had any trouble.”

Artist's rendering of LRO spacecraft. (NASA)

Artist’s rendering of LRO spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA reports Partial Solar Eclipse to occur on October 23rd

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Sunsets are always pretty.  One sunset this month could be out of this world. On Thursday, October 23rd, the setting sun across eastern parts of the USA will be red, beautiful and … crescent-shaped.

“It’s a partial solar eclipse,” explains longtime NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak. In other words, the New Moon is going to ‘take a bite’ out of the sun.

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NASA reports United States to be treated to a series of Lunar Eclipses starting April 15th, 2014

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin.

The action starts on April 15th when the full Moon passes through the amber shadow of Earth, producing a midnight eclipse visible across North America. So begins a lunar eclipse tetrad—a series of 4 consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals. The total eclipse of April 15th, 2014, will be followed by another on October 8th, 2014, and another on April 4th, 2015, and another on September 28th 2015.

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft set to take picture of Earth from it’s Saturn Orbit

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On July 19th, 2013, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will photograph Saturn and its entire ring system during a total eclipse of the sun. Cassini has done this twice before during its previous 9 years in orbit, but this time will be different.

“This time, the images to be collected will capture, in natural color, a glimpse of our own planet next to Saturn and its rings on a day that will be the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away,” says Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

This simulated view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the expected positions of Saturn and Earth on July 19, 2013, around the time Cassini will take Earth's picture. Cassini will be about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away from Earth at the time. That distance is nearly 10 times the distance from the sun to Earth. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This simulated view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the expected positions of Saturn and Earth on July 19, 2013, around the time Cassini will take Earth’s picture. Cassini will be about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away from Earth at the time. That distance is nearly 10 times the distance from the sun to Earth. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA production editor Tony Phillips gives personal account of November 14th Solar Eclipse

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips

Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Astrophysicist and legendary eclipse chaser Fred Espenak has a rating scheme for natural wonders.  “On a scale of 1 to 10,” he says, “total eclipses are a million.”

Apparently, this true even when the eclipse is almost completely clouded out.

Last week, I experienced such an eclipse on Four Mile Beach outside the resort town of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. For years, tourists, astronomers and eclipse chasers had been anticipating a fantastic show over the Coral Sea on November 14th, 2012.

The total eclipse of November 14th, 2012, seen through clouds over Yorkeys Beach in Queensland, Australia. (Credit and copyright: Stephen Mudge)

The total eclipse of November 14th, 2012, seen through clouds over Yorkeys Beach in Queensland, Australia. (Credit and copyright: Stephen Mudge)

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NASA states there will be a Total Eclipse of the Sun November 14th

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – People from around the world are converging on the coast of northeast Australia.  The attraction isn’t the Great Barrier Reef, just offshore, or the surrounding rain forests full of wildlife and exotic plants. They’re going to see a total eclipse of the sun.

On the morning of November 14th (Australia time), about an hour after sunrise, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun. Residents and visitors of the city of Cairns, also known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, will enjoy an early morning eclipse lasting 2 minutes with the sun only 14 degrees above the eastern horizon.

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NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) completed it’s Prime Mission early

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A NASA mission to study the moon from crust to core has completed its prime mission earlier than expected. The team of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, with twin probes named Ebb and Flow, is now preparing for extended science operations starting August 30th and continuing through December 3rd, 2012.

The GRAIL mission has gathered unprecedented detail about the internal structure and evolution of the moon. This information will increase our knowledge of how Earth and its rocky neighbors in the inner solar system developed into the diverse worlds we see today.

An artist's depiction of the twin spacecraft that comprise NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. During the GRAIL mission's science phase, spacecraft (Ebb and Flow) transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them as they orbit the moon in formation. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT)

An artist's depiction of the twin spacecraft that comprise NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. During the GRAIL mission's science phase, spacecraft (Ebb and Flow) transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them as they orbit the moon in formation. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT)

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