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Topic: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Balloon Mission observes Polar Mesospheric Clouds

 

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – On the cusp of our atmosphere live a thin group of seasonal electric blue clouds. Forming 50 miles above the poles in summer, these clouds are known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds — PMCs. A recent NASA long-duration balloon mission observed these clouds over the course of five days at their home in the mesosphere.

The resulting photos, which scientists have just begun to analyze, will help us better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes and other planetary atmospheres, and may even improve weather forecasting.

Polar mesospheric clouds observed by NASA’s PMC Turbo mission as it flew over the Arctic in July 2018. (NASA/PMC Turbo/Joy Ng)

Polar mesospheric clouds observed by NASA’s PMC Turbo mission as it flew over the Arctic in July 2018. (NASA/PMC Turbo/Joy Ng)

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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 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 looks for Water deep in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

 

Written by Lonnie Shekhtman
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – For centuries, scientists have worked to understand the makeup of Jupiter. It’s no wonder: this mysterious planet is the biggest one in our solar system by far, and chemically, the closest relative to the Sun. Understanding Jupiter is key to learning more about how our solar system formed, and even about how other solar systems develop.

But one critical question has bedeviled astronomers for generations: Is there water deep in Jupiter’s atmosphere, and if so, how much?

This visualization was created from images captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been studying Jupiter since it arrived there July 4th, 2016. (NASA/JPL/SwRI)

This visualization was created from images captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been studying Jupiter since it arrived there July 4th, 2016. (NASA/JPL/SwRI)

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe navigation controlled by Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The navigation for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is led by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which also has a role in two of the spacecraft’s four onboard instrument suites. Parker Solar Probe will fly closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft and through the solar corona itself.

One instrument, called the Energetic Particle Instrument-Hi (EPI-Hi), will investigate the mysteries of high-speed solar particles that hurtle toward Earth at close to the speed of light. Observations by the Parker Solar Probe will lead to better predictions of space weather and address fundamental mysteries about the Sun’s dynamic corona. EPI-Hi is part of the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun, led by Principal Investigator David McComas of Princeton University in New Jersey.

Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. (NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben)

Illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. (NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben)

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft begins study of Asteroid Bennu

 

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – After an almost two-year journey, NASA’s asteroid sampling spacecraft, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), caught its first glimpse of asteroid Bennu last week and began the final approach toward its target.

Kicking off the mission’s asteroid operations campaign on August 17th, 2018 the spacecraft’s PolyCam camera obtained the image from a distance of 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km).

On Aug. 17, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft obtained the first images of its target asteroid Bennu from a distance of 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km), or almost six times the distance between the Earth and Moon. This cropped set of five images was obtained by the PolyCam camera over the course of an hour for calibration purposes and in order to assist the mission’s navigation team with optical navigation efforts. Bennu is visible as a moving object against the stars in the constellation Serpens. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

On Aug. 17, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft obtained the first images of its target asteroid Bennu from a distance of 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km), or almost six times the distance between the Earth and Moon. This cropped set of five images was obtained by the PolyCam camera over the course of an hour for calibration purposes and in order to assist the mission’s navigation team with optical navigation efforts. Bennu is visible as a moving object against the stars in the constellation Serpens. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA uses several Instruments to watch Hurricane Lane

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites were watching as Hurricane Lane — a category 2 storm as of Friday, August 24th — made its way toward Hawaii.

NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) captured images of Lane on just before noon local time on August 24th. MISR, flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite, carries nine cameras that observe Earth at different angles. It takes approximately seven minutes for all the cameras to observe the same location, and the motion of the clouds during that time is used to compute the wind speed at the cloudtops.

Image of Hurricane Lane. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech)

Image of Hurricane Lane. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures Ultraviolet Panoramic View of the Universe

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Astronomers using the ultraviolet vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have captured one of the largest panoramic views of the fire and fury of star birth in the distant universe.

The field features approximately 15,000 galaxies, about 12,000 of which are forming stars. Hubble’s ultraviolet vision opens a new window on the evolving universe, tracking the birth of stars over the last 11 billion years back to the cosmos’ busiest star-forming period, which happened about 3 billion years after the big bang.

Astronomers have just assembled one of the most comprehensive portraits yet of the universe’s evolutionary history, based on a broad spectrum of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope and other space and ground-based telescopes. (NASA, ESA, P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and M. Montes (University of New South Wales))

Astronomers have just assembled one of the most comprehensive portraits yet of the universe’s evolutionary history, based on a broad spectrum of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope and other space and ground-based telescopes. (NASA, ESA, P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and M. Montes (University of New South Wales))

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NASA instrument to measure Greenhouse Gas to orbit Earth on Mini-Carb CubeSat Mission

 

Written by Lori Keesey
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD –  A novel instrument that has already proven its mettle on field campaigns will attempt to measure atmospheric greenhouse gases from an occultation-viewing, low-Earth-orbiting CubeSat mission called Mini-Carb early next year — marking the first time this type of instrument has flown in space.

Emily Wilson, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is teaming with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, or LLNL, to fly a smaller, more ruggedized version of her patented mini-Laser Heterodyne Radiometer, or mini-LHR, on an LLNL-built CubeSat platform early next year.

Technologists integrate a Goddard-developed instrument into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) CubeSat bus. Those pictured include LLNL’s Lance Simms (front) and from left to right: Vincent Riot (LLNL), A.J. DiGregorio (Goddard), Jennifer Young (Goddard), and Guru Ramu (Goddard). (Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, LLNL-PHOTO-753023)

Technologists integrate a Goddard-developed instrument into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) CubeSat bus. Those pictured include LLNL’s Lance Simms (front) and from left to right: Vincent Riot (LLNL), A.J. DiGregorio (Goddard), Jennifer Young (Goddard), and Guru Ramu (Goddard). (Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, LLNL-PHOTO-753023)

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