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NASA reports New Study shows Global Sea Level Rise has Accelerated over past 25 years

 

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – The rate of global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.

This acceleration, driven mainly by increased melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise projected by 2100 when compared to projections that assume a constant rate of sea level rise, according to lead author Steve Nerem. Nerem is a professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, a fellow at Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and a member of NASA’s Sea Level Change team.

Global sea level rise is accelerating incrementally over time rather than increasing at a steady rate, as previously thought, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Kathryn Mersmann)

Global sea level rise is accelerating incrementally over time rather than increasing at a steady rate, as previously thought, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Kathryn Mersmann)

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NASA studies Snow at Winter Olympics

 

Written by Kasha Patel
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA engineer Manuel Vega can see one of the Olympic ski jump towers from the rooftop of the South Korean weather office where he is stationed. Vega is not watching skiers take flight, preparing for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic games.

Instead, he’s inspecting the SUV-sized radar beside him. The instrument is one of 11 NASA instruments specially transported to the Olympics to measure the quantity and type of snow falling on the slopes, tracks and halfpipes.

NASA to measure quantity and type of snow falling at 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic games. (Photo courtesy of the Republic of Korea)

NASA to measure quantity and type of snow falling at 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic games. (Photo courtesy of the Republic of Korea)

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NASA finds long lost IMAGE Satellite

 

Written by Miles Hatfield
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – On January 20th, 2018, amateur astronomer Scott Tilley detected an unexpected signal coming from what he later postulated was NASA’s long-lost IMAGE satellite, which had not been in contact since 2005.

On January 30th, NASA — along with help from a community of IMAGE scientists and engineers — confirmed that the signal was indeed from the IMAGE spacecraft. Whatever the next steps for IMAGE may be, the mission’s nearly six years in operation provided robust research about the space around Earth that continue to guide science to this day.

IMAGE spacecraft is tested prior to its March 2000 launch. (NASA)

IMAGE spacecraft is tested prior to its March 2000 launch. (NASA)

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Dinosaur Footprints found at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Written by Ashley Hume and Patrick Lynch
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – A slab of sandstone discovered at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center contains at least 70 mammal and dinosaur tracks from more than 100 million years ago, according to a new paper published January 31st in the journal Scientific Reports. The find provides a rare glimpse of mammals and dinosaurs interacting.

The tracks were discovered by Ray Stanford — a local dinosaur track expert whose wife, Sheila, works at Goddard. After dropping off Sheila at work one day in 2012, Stanford spotted an intriguing rock outcropping behind Shelia’s building on a hillside. Stanford parked his car, investigated, and found a 12-inch-wide dinosaur track on the exposed rock.

A model of a Nodosaur dinosaur sits inside what is believed to be the fossil of a Nodosaur footprint. The footprint was found by Ray Stanford a local dinosaur hunter. (NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth)

A model of a Nodosaur dinosaur sits inside what is believed to be the fossil of a Nodosaur footprint. The footprint was found by Ray Stanford a local dinosaur hunter. (NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth)

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NASA Optics Experts close to developing Telescope that can search far off Planets for Life

 

Written by Lori Keesey
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD –  Optics Experts Measure to Picometer Accuracy — a NASA First.

NASA optics experts are well on the way to toppling a barrier that has thwarted scientists from achieving a long-held ambition: building an ultra-stable telescope that locates and images dozens of Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and then scrutinizes their atmospheres for signs of life. 

Babak Saif and Lee Feinberg at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have shown for the first time that they can dynamically detect subatomic- or picometer-sized distortions — changes that are far smaller than an atom — across a five-foot segmented telescope mirror and its support structure.

Goddard optics experts Babak Saif (left) and Lee Feinberg (right), with help from engineer Eli Griff-McMahon an employee of Genesis, have created an Ultra-Stable Thermal Vacuum system that they will use to make picometer-level measurements. (NASA/W. Hrybyk)

Goddard optics experts Babak Saif (left) and Lee Feinberg (right), with help from engineer Eli Griff-McMahon an employee of Genesis, have created an Ultra-Stable Thermal Vacuum system that they will use to make picometer-level measurements. (NASA/W. Hrybyk)

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NASA satellite instruments help detect, track Wildfires

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s satellite instruments are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote regions, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to land managers worldwide within hours of the satellite overpass.

Together, NASA instruments, including a number built and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, detect actively burning fires, track the transport of smoke from fires, provide information for fire management, and map the extent of changes to ecosystems, based on the extent and severity of burn scars.

The concentration and global transport of carbon monoxide pollution from fires burning in Russia, Siberia and Canada is depicted in this NASA photo created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. (NASA)

The concentration and global transport of carbon monoxide pollution from fires burning in Russia, Siberia and Canada is depicted in this NASA photo created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA examines the Suns gravitational effects on Mercury’s Orbit

 

Written by Elizabeth Zubritsky
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD –  Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding. It happens because the Sun’s gravitational grip gradually weakens as our star ages and loses mass. Now, a team of NASA and MIT scientists has indirectly measured this mass loss and other solar parameters by looking at changes in Mercury’s orbit.

The new values improve upon earlier predictions by reducing the amount of uncertainty. That’s especially important for the rate of solar mass loss, because it’s related to the stability of G, the gravitational constant. Although G is considered a fixed number, whether it’s really constant is still a fundamental question in physics.

NASA and MIT scientists analyzed subtle changes in Mercury’s motion to learn about the Sun and how its dynamics influence the planet’s orbit. The position of Mercury over time was determined from radio tracking data obtained while NASA’s MESSENGER mission was active. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)

NASA and MIT scientists analyzed subtle changes in Mercury’s motion to learn about the Sun and how its dynamics influence the planet’s orbit. The position of Mercury over time was determined from radio tracking data obtained while NASA’s MESSENGER mission was active. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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NASA’s Space Communications Networks turns 20

 

Written by Ashley Hume
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD –  NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) don’t just enable data from spacecraft to reach Earth – they provide internet and even telemedicine to researchers at the South Pole. The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) system turns 20 years old on January 9th, 2018.

In the 1990s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) faced a communications challenge with more than a hundred scientists working at their Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica per year to study everything from meteorology to astrophysics to climate.

The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) ground terminal was installed at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in December 1997 to help connect NSF researchers and their scientific data to the rest of the world. This image shows the original SPTR system, which became operational on Jan. 9, 1998. (NASA)

The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) ground terminal was installed at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in December 1997 to help connect NSF researchers and their scientific data to the rest of the world. This image shows the original SPTR system, which became operational on Jan. 9, 1998. (NASA)

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NASA observations show 20 percent decrease in Ozone Hole Depletion

 

Written by Samson Reiny
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – For the first time, scientists have shown through direct observations of the ozone hole by a satellite instrument, built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining, resulting in less ozone depletion.

Measurements show that the decline in chlorine, resulting from an international ban on chlorine-containing human-produce chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has resulted in about 20 percent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter than there was in 2005 — the first year that measurements of chlorine and ozone during the Antarctic winter were made by NASA’s Aura satellite.

Using measurements from NASA's Aura satellite, scientists studied chlorine within the Antarctic ozone hole over the last several years, watching as the amount slowly decreased. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Katy Mersmann)

Using measurements from NASA’s Aura satellite, scientists studied chlorine within the Antarctic ozone hole over the last several years, watching as the amount slowly decreased. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Katy Mersmann)

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NASA reports new study shows Star’s dimming episodes due to Clouds of Gas and Dust

 

Written by Francis Reddy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – A team of U.S. astronomers studying the star RZ Piscium has found evidence suggesting its strange, unpredictable dimming episodes may be caused by vast orbiting clouds of gas and dust, the remains of one or more destroyed planets.

“Our observations show there are massive blobs of dust and gas that occasionally block the star’s light and are probably spiraling into it,” said Kristina Punzi, a doctoral student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York and lead author of a paper describing the findings. “Although there could be other explanations, we suggest this material may have been produced by the break-up of massive orbiting bodies near the star.”

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