Topic: Greenbelt MD
Written by Karen C. Fox
Greenbelt, MD – Given a legitimate need to protect Earth from the most intense forms of space weather — great bursts of electromagnetic energy and particles that can sometimes stream from the sun — some people worry that a gigantic “killer solar flare” could hurl enough energy to destroy Earth, but this is not actually possible.
Solar activity is indeed currently ramping up toward what is known as solar maximum, something that occurs approximately every 11 years. However, this same solar cycle has occurred over millennia so anyone over the age of 11 has already lived through such a solar maximum with no harm.
Written by Steve Cole
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s newest scientific rover is set for testing May 3rd through June 8th in the highest part of Greenland.
The robot known as GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, will roam the frigid landscape collecting measurements to help scientists better understand changes in the massive ice sheet.
Greenbelt, MD – NASA’s Jennifer Wiseman is the senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, where the mission is managed.
The following questions and answers were provided in April 2013 about the history and the status of the Hubble.
Written by Kathryn Hansen
Pasadena, CA – To Robert Green, light contains more than meets the eye: it contains fingerprints of materials that can be detected by sensors that capture the unique set of reflected wavelengths. Scientists have used the technique, called imaging spectroscopy, to learn about water on the moon, minerals on Mars and the composition of exoplanets.
Green’s favorite place to apply the technique, however, is right here on the chemically rich Earth, which is just what he and colleagues achieved this spring during NASA’s Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) airborne campaign.
Greenbelt, MD – Palomar 2 is part of a group of 15 globulars known as the Palomar clusters. These clusters, as the name suggests, were discovered in survey plates from the first Palomar Observatory Sky Survey in the 1950s, a project that involved some of the most well-known astronomers of the day, including Edwin Hubble.
They were discovered quite late because they are so faint — each is either extremely remote, very heavily hidden behind blankets of dust, or has a very small number of remaining stars.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD – Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory’s launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24th, 1990.
Looking like an apparition rising from whitecaps of interstellar foam, the iconic Horsehead Nebula has graced astronomy books ever since its discovery more than a century ago. The nebula is a favorite target for amateur and professional astronomers.
Written by DC Agle
Pasadena, CA – Like many of his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator devotes a great deal of time to crafting, and contemplating, computer-generated 3-D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system.
But while many of his coworkers are calculating asteroids’ past, present and future locations in the cosmos, zapping them with the world’s most massive radar dishes, or considering how to rendezvous and perhaps even gently nudge an asteroid into lunar orbit, Bhaskaran thinks about how to collide with one.
Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
Pasadena, CA – An ice cloud taking shape over Titan’s south pole is the latest sign that the change of seasons is setting off a cascade of radical changes in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon.
Made from an unknown ice, this type of cloud has long hung over Titan’s north pole, where it is now fading, according to observations made by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Written by Francis Reddy
Greenbelt, MD – An exploding star observed in 1604 by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler held a greater fraction of heavy elements than the sun, according to an analysis of X-ray observations from the Japan-led Suzaku satellite.
The findings will help astronomers better understand the diversity of type Ia supernovae, an important class of stellar explosion used in probing the distant universe.
Written by Lori Keesey
Greenbelt, MD – Neutron stars have been called the zombies of the cosmos. They shine even though they’re technically dead, occasionally feeding on neighboring stars if they venture too close.
Interestingly, these unusual objects, born when a massive star extinguishes its fuel and collapses under its own gravity, also may help future space travelers navigate to Mars and other distant destinations.
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