Topic: Greenbelt MD
Written by Robert Gutro
Greenbelt, MD – Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found that Markarian 231 (Mrk 231), the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, is powered by two central black holes furiously whirling about each other.
The finding suggests that quasars—the brilliant cores of active galaxies – may commonly host two central supermassive black holes, which fall into orbit about one another as a result of the merger between two galaxies.
NASA and University Researchers may have found strong Link between Amazon Fires and Devastating Hurricanes
Written by Brian Bell
Irvine, CA – Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines.
The climate scientists’ findings are appearing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters near the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s calamitous August 2005 landfall at New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
Written by Kasha Patel
Greenbelt, MD – On August 28th, 2005, the National Hurricane Center issued a public notice warning people in New Orleans of “devastating damage expected…power outages will last for weeks…persons…pets…and livestock left exposed to the winds will be killed,” from the ensuing Hurricane Katrina.
The storm had formed near the Bahamas and south Florida before becoming a Category 2 hurricane over the Gulf region northwest of Key West. Then, in two days, the hurricane’s winds almost doubled to 175 mph, creating Category 5 Hurricane Katrina— the most intense hurricane in the past 36 years.
Written by Harold F. Pierce
Greenbelt, MD – Typhoon Atsani was an intensifying tropical storm moving over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean on August 16th, 2015 when the GPM core observatory satellite flew overhead.
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite passed over Atsani at 06:01am UTC (2:01am EDT). GPM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Written by William Steigerwald
Greenbelt, MD – The moon’s thin atmosphere contains neon, a gas commonly used in electric signs on Earth because of its intense glow. While scientists have speculated on the presence of neon in the lunar atmosphere for decades, NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft has confirmed its existence for the first time.
“The presence of neon in the exosphere of the moon has been a subject of speculation since the Apollo missions, but no credible detections were made,” said Mehdi Benna of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “We were very pleased to not only finally confirm its presence, but to show that it is relatively abundant.”
Written by Roberto Molar Candanosa
Greenbelt, MD – The largest and most powerful hurricanes ever recorded on Earth spanned over 1,000 miles across with winds gusting up to around 200 mph. That’s wide enough to stretch across nearly all U.S. states east of Texas. But even that kind of storm is dwarfed by the Great Red Spot, a gigantic storm in Jupiter. There, gigantic means twice as wide as Earth.
With tumultuous winds peaking at about 400 mph, the Great Red Spot has been swirling wildly over Jupiter’s skies for the past 150 years—maybe even much longer than that.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – Mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are assessing an anomaly with the radar instrument on NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite observatory.
The radar is one of two science instruments on SMAP used to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed.
On July 7th, at about 2:16pm PDT, SMAP’s radar halted its transmissions. All other components of the spacecraft continued to operate normally, including the radiometer instrument that is collecting science data.
Written by Guy Webster
Pasadena, CA – While busily investigating bedrock types on Mars’ Mount Sharp and preparing for a drill test, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has also been looking up frequently to monitor sunspots on the face of the sun that is turned away from Earth.
Large sunspots are evident in views from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam). Scientists temporarily have no other resource providing views of the sun from the opposite side of the solar system from Earth. The sun completes a rotation about once a month — faster near its equator than near its poles.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – NASA has joined a multi-agency field campaign studying summer storm systems in the U.S. Great Plains to find out why they often form after the sun goes down instead of during the heat of the day.
The Plains Elevated Convection at Night, or PECAN, project began June 1st and continues through mid-July. Participants from eight research laboratories and 14 universities are collecting storm data to find out how and why storms form.
Written by Elizabeth Landau
Pasadena, CA – The day was officially a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015, because an extra second, or “leap” second, was added.
“Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” said Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Strictly speaking, a day lasts 86,400 seconds. That is the case, according to the time standard that people use in their daily lives – Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. UTC is “atomic time” – the duration of one second is based on extremely predictable electromagnetic transitions in atoms of cesium. These transitions are so reliable that the cesium clock is accurate to one second in 1,400,000 years.
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