Topic: Solar System
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Every year, sky watchers and summertime campers circle on their calendars a few key August nights—the 11th, 12th and 13th. These are the dates of the annual Perseid meteor shower, which rarely fails to please those who see it.
This year they’re adding a note: “supermoon.”
During the second week of August, the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year will face off against everyone’s favorite meteor shower—and the outcome could be beautiful.
Washington, D.C. – The first humans who will step foot on Mars are walking the Earth today. It was 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong took the small step onto the surface of the moon that changed the course of history. The years that followed saw a Space Age of scientific, technological and human research, on which we have built the modern era.
We stand on a new horizon, poised to take the next giant leap—deeper into the solar system. The Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today we are extending that path to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and beyond.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 — also known as comet Pan-STARRS — as it swept across our skies in May 2014.
The comet is named after the astronomical survey project called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii, which discovered the icy visitor in May 2012.
Comet Pan-STARRS hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, from a vast and distant reservoir of comets called the Oort cloud.
NASA reports Rosetta spacecraft detects water vapor coming from target Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Written by DC Agle
Pasadena, CA – Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is releasing the Earthly equivalent of two glasses of water into space every second. The observations were made by the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO), aboard the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft on June 6th, 2014.
The detection of water vapor has implications not only for cometary science, but also for mission planning, as the Rosetta team prepares the spacecraft to become the first ever to orbit a comet (planned for August), and the first to deploy a lander to its surface (planned for November 11th).
Written by Preston Dyches and Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – A combined NASA and European Space Agency (ESA)-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud.
The finding rules out the possibility that Titan’s building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX – NASA is planning to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s, and preparations are already being made.
Stan Love and Steve Bowen have between them spent more than 62 hours in the vacuum of space on nine shuttle mission spacewalks, and they’re putting that experience to use here on Earth by helping engineers determine what astronauts will need on NASA’s next step toward Deep Space.
Written by Stephanie L. Smith
Pasadena, CA – NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.
Transmission of “Hello, World!” as a video message was the first 175-megabit communication for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), a technology demonstration that allows NASA to test methods for communication with future spacecraft using higher bandwidth than radio waves.
Written by Preston Dyches
Pasadena, CA – A new exhibit steeped in the cinematic world of “The Avengers” provides a super-powered dose of science and technology from NASA. The unique, interactive educational display premiered at Discovery Times Square in New York City on May 30th, 2014, for a six-month engagement.
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. — an acronym for Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network — is an immersive experience in which visitors can explore the fictional superhero universe.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – A spacecraft from Earth is about to do something no spacecraft has ever done before: orbit a comet and land on its surface.
Right now, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe is hurtling toward Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The spacecraft’s mission is to study the comet at close-range as it transforms from a quiet nugget of ice and rock, frozen solid by years spent in deep space, to a sun-warmed dynamo spewing jets of gas and dust into a magnificently evolving tail.
News flash: The metamorphosis has begun.
Written by Preston Dyches
Pasadena, CA – Scientists working with data from NASA’s Cassini mission have developed a new way to understand the atmospheres of exoplanets by using Saturn’s smog-enshrouded moon Titan as a stand-in. The new technique shows the dramatic influence that hazy skies could have on our ability to learn about these alien worlds orbiting distant stars.
The work was performed by a team of researchers led by Tyler Robinson, a NASA Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The findings were published May 26th in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Now playing at the Movies
Showtime information provided by Discover Clarksville.
© 2006-2010 Clarksville, TN Online is owned and operated by residents of Clarksville Tennessee.