Topic: Pacific Ocean
Pasadena, CA – New remote sensing data from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite show near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
This neutral, or “La Nada” event, has stubbornly persisted for 16 months, since spring 2012. Models suggest this pattern will continue through the spring of 2014, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.
Written By Retired Lt. Col. Niki Gentry
Memphis, TN – American aviation enthusiasts are very familiar with the names of famous aircraft such as “The Wright Flyer,” “Spirit of St. Louis,” “Glamorous Glennis” and “Memphis Belle.”
These groundbreaking machines and their pilots each made history during the relatively young story of manned flight. Yet the longevity of aircraft often means past exploits may go unknown among the Airmen at the controls of the aging flying machines.
Pasadena, CA – The curtain has come down on a superstar of the satellite oceanography world that played the “Great Blue Way” of the world’s ocean for 11-1/2 years. The successful joint NASA and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite was decommissioned this week following the loss of its last remaining transmitter.
Launched December 7th, 2001, and designed to last three to five years, Jason-1 helped create a revolutionary 20-plus-year climate data record of global ocean surface topography that began in 1992 with the launch of the NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon satellite.
Moffett Field, CA – NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched Wednesday at 7:27pm PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket.
“We are thrilled to add IRIS to the suite of NASA missions studying the sun,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington. “IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun.”
Space Center, FL – Researchers hope NASA’s latest solar observatory will answer a fundamental question of how the sun creates such intense energy.
Scheduled to launch June 27th, the IRIS spacecraft will point a telescope at the interface region of the sun that lies between the surface and the million degree outer atmosphere called the corona. It will improve our understanding of how energy moves from the sun’s surface to the glowing corona, heating up from 6,000 degrees to millions of degrees.
NASA’s Aqua spacecraft provides scientists with relative humidity data that could help forecast Hurricane Strengths
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – Forecasters could soon be better able to predict how intense tropical cyclones like Hurricane Sandy will be by analyzing relative-humidity levels within their large-scale environments, finds a new NASA-led study.
Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, UCLA and the University of Hawaii at Manoa analyzed relative humidity data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft for nearly 200 North Atlantic hurricanes between 2002 and 2010.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA
Washington, D.C. – Astrophysicist and legendary eclipse chaser Fred Espenak has a rating scheme for natural wonders. “On a scale of 1 to 10,” he says, “total eclipses are a million.”
Apparently, this true even when the eclipse is almost completely clouded out.
Last week, I experienced such an eclipse on Four Mile Beach outside the resort town of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. For years, tourists, astronomers and eclipse chasers had been anticipating a fantastic show over the Coral Sea on November 14th, 2012.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – People from around the world are converging on the coast of northeast Australia. The attraction isn’t the Great Barrier Reef, just offshore, or the surrounding rain forests full of wildlife and exotic plants. They’re going to see a total eclipse of the sun.
On the morning of November 14th (Australia time), about an hour after sunrise, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun. Residents and visitors of the city of Cairns, also known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, will enjoy an early morning eclipse lasting 2 minutes with the sun only 14 degrees above the eastern horizon.
Space Exploration Technologies Dragon spacecraft splashes in the Pacific and brings with it NASA Cargo from International Space Station
Written by Josh Byerly
Houston, TX – A Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 2:22pm CDT Sunday a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico. The splashdown successfully ended the first contracted cargo delivery flight contracted by NASA to resupply the International Space Station.
“With a big splash in the Pacific Ocean, we are reminded American ingenuity is alive and well and keeping our great nation at the cutting edge of innovation and technology development,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched Wednesday morning and begins preparing for mission
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched into the morning skies over the central Pacific Ocean at 9:00am PDT (noon EDT) Wednesday, beginning its mission to unveil secrets of buried black holes and other exotic objects.
“We have been eagerly awaiting the launch of this novel X-ray observatory,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division Director. “With its unprecedented spatial and spectral resolution to the previously poorly explored hard X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum, NuSTAR will open a new window on the universe and will provide complementary data to NASA’s larger missions, including Fermi, Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer.”
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