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Topic: NASA

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observes Neutran Star with unusual Light Emission

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – An unusual infrared light emission from a nearby neutron star detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope could indicate new features never before seen. One possibility is that there is a dusty disk surrounding the neutron star; another is that there is an energetic wind coming off the object and slamming into gas in interstellar space the neutron star is plowing through.

Although neutron stars are generally studied in radio and high-energy emissions, such as X-rays, this study demonstrates that new and interesting information about neutron stars can also be gained by studying them in infrared light, say researchers.

This is an illustration of a pulsar wind nebula produced by the interaction of the outflow particles from the neutron star with gaseous material in the interstellar medium that the neutron star is plowing through. Such an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula is unusual because it implies a rather low energy of the particles accelerated by the pulsar’s intense magnetic field. (NASA, ESA, and N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University))

This is an illustration of a pulsar wind nebula produced by the interaction of the outflow particles from the neutron star with gaseous material in the interstellar medium that the neutron star is plowing through. Such an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula is unusual because it implies a rather low energy of the particles accelerated by the pulsar’s intense magnetic field. (NASA, ESA, and N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University))

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope expands view of far off Galaxies

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The universe is a big place. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s views burrow deep into space and time, but cover an area a fraction the angular size of the full Moon. The challenge is that these “core samples” of the sky may not fully represent the universe at large.

This dilemma for cosmologists is called cosmic variance. By expanding the survey area, such uncertainties in the structure of the universe can be reduced.

This image shows a massive galaxy cluster embedded in the middle of a field of nearly 8,000 galaxies scattered across space and time. This "galaxies galore" snapshot is from a new Hubble Space Telescope survey to boldly expand its view by significantly enlarging the area covered around huge galaxy clusters previously photographed by Hubble. (NASA, ESA, A. Koekemoer (STScI), M. Jauzac (Durham University), C. Steinhardt (Niels Bohr Institute), and the BUFFALO team)

This image shows a massive galaxy cluster embedded in the middle of a field of nearly 8,000 galaxies scattered across space and time. This “galaxies galore” snapshot is from a new Hubble Space Telescope survey to boldly expand its view by significantly enlarging the area covered around huge galaxy clusters previously photographed by Hubble. (NASA, ESA, A. Koekemoer (STScI), M. Jauzac (Durham University), C. Steinhardt (Niels Bohr Institute), and the BUFFALO team)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft captured photos of Saturn’s moon Titan’s Northern Lakes and Seas before missions end

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – During NASA’s Cassini mission’s final distant encounter with Saturn’s giant moon Titan, the spacecraft captured the enigmatic moon’s north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid methane and ethane.

They were captured on September 11th, 2017. Four days later, Cassini was deliberately plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn.

Punga Mare (240 miles, or 390 kilometers, across) is seen just above the center of the mosaic, with Ligeia Mare (300 miles, or 500 kilometers, wide) below center and the vast Kraken Mare stretching off 730 miles (1,200 kilometers) to the left of the mosaic.

During NASA's Cassini mission's final distant encounter with Saturn's giant moon Titan, the spacecraft captured this view of the enigmatic moon's north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid methane and ethane. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

During NASA’s Cassini mission’s final distant encounter with Saturn’s giant moon Titan, the spacecraft captured this view of the enigmatic moon’s north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid methane and ethane. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

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NASA’s Mars Cube One mission breaking new ground in Deep Space Exploration

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Twenty years ago, CubeSats — a class of boxy satellites small enough to fit in a backpack — were used by universities as a teaching aid. Simpler, smaller and cheaper than traditional satellites, they’ve made space more accessible to private companies and science agencies.

This summer, NASA has been flying the first two next-generation CubeSats to deep space. They’re currently on their way to Mars, trailing thousands of miles behind the InSight spacecraft. InSight and its CubeSat tag-alongs are already more than halfway to the Red Planet.

NASA Engineer Joel Steinkraus uses sunlight to test the solar arrays on one of the Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA Engineer Joel Steinkraus uses sunlight to test the solar arrays on one of the Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRACE-FO Satellite to Switch to Backup Instrument Processing Unit

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument (MWI) on one of the twin spacecraft this month. Following the switch-over, GRACE-FO is expected to quickly resume science data collection.

A month after launching this past May, GRACE-FO produced its first preliminary gravity field map. The mission has not acquired science data since mid-July due to an anomaly with a component of the Microwave Instrument on one of the GRACE-FO spacecraft. The mission team is completing its investigation into the cause of the anomaly.

Artist's illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth's mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth’s mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s AIRS Instrument on Aqua Satellite takes image of Hurricane Florence

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – All eyes were on Hurricane Florence Wednesday as the Category 3 storm barreled toward the U.S. East Coast. NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument was watching, too, and captured new imagery of the storm’s approach.

AIRS, in conjunction with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth to provide a three-dimensional look at weather and climate. It acquired infrared and visible light images at 12:30pm CDT Wednesday.

This image shows Hurricane Florence in infrared light, and was taken at 12:35pm CT on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on board NASA's Aqua satellite. Florence underwent rapid intensification from Category 2 to Category 4 yesterday and was a Category 3 storm as of Wednesday evening. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image shows Hurricane Florence in infrared light, and was taken at 12:35pm CT on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite. Florence underwent rapid intensification from Category 2 to Category 4 yesterday and was a Category 3 storm as of Wednesday evening. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Satellites Show Hurricane Florence Strengthening

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA satellites are providing a lot of different kinds of data to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center to help them understand what’s happening Hurricane Florence. NASA’s Aqua satellite is providing visible, infrared and microwave imagery while the GPM core satellite is providing additional data like rain rates throughout the storm and cloud heights.

Last Friday, September 7th, Florence was a sheared tropical storm but on Saturday vertical shear lessened and Florence started to get better organized. Today, September 10th Hurricane Florence was rapidly strengthening and became a major hurricane.

At 12:55am CDT (0555 UTC) on September 10th, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in the northern and western eyewall. (NASA/NRL)

At 12:55am CDT (0555 UTC) on September 10th, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in the northern and western eyewall. (NASA/NRL)

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft nears Mission’s End

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Dawn mission is drawing to a close after 11 years of breaking new ground in planetary science, gathering breathtaking imagery, and performing unprecedented feats of spacecraft engineering.

Dawn’s mission was extended several times, outperforming scientists’ expectations in its exploration of two planet-like bodies, Ceres and Vesta, that make up 45 percent of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Now the spacecraft is about to run out of a key fuel, hydrazine. When that happens, most likely between mid-September and mid-October, Dawn will lose its ability to communicate with Earth. It will remain in a silent orbit around Ceres for decades.

Artist's concept of NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbiting dwarf planet Ceres. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbiting dwarf planet Ceres. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover takes panorama view from Verea Rubin Ridge

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – After snagging a new rock sample on August 9th, 2018 NASA’s Curiosity rover surveyed its surroundings on Mars, producing a 360-degree panorama of its current location on Vera Rubin Ridge.

The panorama includes umber skies, darkened by a fading global dust storm. It also includes a rare view by the Mast Camera of the rover itself, revealing a thin layer of dust on Curiosity’s deck. In the foreground is the rover’s most recent drill target, named “Stoer” after a town in Scotland near where important discoveries about early life on Earth were made in lakebed sediments.

This 360-degree panorama was taken on Aug. 9 by NASA's Curiosity rover at its location on Vera Rubin Ridge. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This 360-degree panorama was taken on Aug. 9 by NASA’s Curiosity rover at its location on Vera Rubin Ridge. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft data shows vortex “The Hexagon” at Saturn’s northern pole

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new long-term study using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has revealed a surprising feature emerging at Saturn’s northern pole as it nears summertime: a warming, high-altitude vortex with a hexagonal shape, akin to the famous hexagon seen deeper down in Saturn’s clouds.

The finding, published September 3rd, 2018 in Nature Communications, is intriguing, because it suggests that the lower-altitude hexagon may influence what happens above, and that it could be a towering structure hundreds of miles in height.

This colorful view from NASA's Cassini mission is the highest-resolution view of the unique six-sided jet stream at Saturn's north pole known as "the hexagon." (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University)

This colorful view from NASA’s Cassini mission is the highest-resolution view of the unique six-sided jet stream at Saturn’s north pole known as “the hexagon.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University)

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