Topic: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has recorded the never-before-seen break-up of an asteroid into as many as 10 smaller pieces. Fragile comets, comprised of ice and dust, have been seen falling apart as they approach the sun, but nothing like this has ever before been observed in the asteroid belt.
“This is a rock, and seeing it fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing,” said David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles, who led the astronomical forensics investigation.
Written by Kathryn Hansen
Washington, D.C. – At night, as cold settles in, lake ice creaks and groans. It’s been excessively cold, and I camped exposed on the snow-swept surface. Other than the lack of vegetation and the sounds at night, you’d never know you were on a lake.
It feels like an empty plain. In some places, you see pressure ridges where ice has pushed into itself, sticking up like clear blue stegosaurus plates. — Craig Childs
Author Craig Childs is not describing an Arctic lake. He’s describing the bitterly cold and frozen scene on Lake Superior, during his February 2014 trek on the ice near the coast of Ashland, Wisconsin.
Written by Karen C. Fox
Greenbelt, MD – A giant sunspot – a magnetically strong and complex region on the sun’s surface – has just appeared over the sun’s horizon. This is the third trip for this region across the face of the sun, which takes approximately 27 days to make a complete rotation.
Scientists track sunspots that are part of active regions, which often produce large explosions on the sun such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.
Written by Karen C. Fox
Greenbelt, MD – On January 28th, 2014, NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, witnessed its strongest solar flare since it launched in the summer of 2013. Solar flares are bursts of x-rays and light that stream out into space, but scientists don’t yet know the fine details of what sets them off.
IRIS peers into a layer of the sun’s lower atmosphere just above the surface, called the chromosphere, with unprecedented resolution. However, IRIS can’t look at the entire sun at the same time, so the team must always make decisions about what region might provide useful observations.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have spotted what might be one of the most distant galaxies known, harkening back to a time when our universe was only about 650 million years old (our universe is 13.8 billion years old).
The galaxy, known as Abell2744 Y1, is about 30 times smaller than our Milky Way galaxy and is producing about 10 times more stars, as is typical for galaxies in our young universe.
Written by Bill Steigerwald
Greenbelt, MD – While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life.
Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life.
Researchers have analyzed carbon-rich meteorites (carbonaceous chondrites) and found amino acids, which are used to make proteins.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – A storm of stars is brewing in the Trifid nebula, as seen in this view from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The stellar nursery, where baby stars are bursting into being, is the yellow-and-orange object dominating the picture.
Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut a cavity into three sections, hence the name Trifid nebula.
Colors in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light detected by WISE. The main green cloud is made up of hydrogen gas.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.
The five launches, including two to the International Space Station (ISS), are part of an active year for NASA Earth science researchers, who also will conduct airborne campaigns to the poles and hurricanes, develop advanced sensor technologies, and use satellite data and analytical tools to improve natural hazard and climate change preparedness.
Written by Francis Reddy
Greenbelt, MD – An exceptionally close stellar explosion discovered on January 21st has become the focus of observatories around and above the globe, including several NASA spacecraft. The blast, designated SN 2014J, occurred in the galaxy M82 and lies only about 12 million light-years away.
This makes it the nearest optical supernova in two decades and potentially the closest type Ia supernova to occur during the life of currently operating space missions.
Clarksville’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra to host “Wind Serenades” concert at Austin Peay State University February 9th-10th
Clarksville, TN – There’s a famous scene in the 1984 Oscar-winning film “Amadeus” where the Italian composer Antonio Salieri looks over sheet music for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Gran Partita” serenade.
Salieri’s face contorts into a mixture of agony and ecstasy as he images the sounds of that serenade’s “Adagio.”
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