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Topic: Ultraviolet Radiation

NASA researchers explore growing Food Crops during long Deep Space Missions

 

Written by Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – NASA plant physiologist Ray Wheeler, Ph.D., and fictional astronaut Mark Watney from the movie “The Martian” have something in common — they are both botanists. But that’s where the similarities end. While Watney is a movie character who gets stranded on Mars, Wheeler is the lead for Advanced Life Support Research activities in the Exploration Research and Technology Program at Kennedy Space Center, working on real plant research.

“The Martian movie and book conveyed a lot of issues regarding growing food and surviving on a planet far from the Earth,” Wheeler said. “It’s brought plants back into the equation.”

An artist concept depicts a greenhouse on the surface of Mars. Plants are growing with the help of red, blue and green LED light bars and a hydroponic cultivation approach. (SAIC)

An artist concept depicts a greenhouse on the surface of Mars. Plants are growing with the help of red, blue and green LED light bars and a hydroponic cultivation approach. (SAIC)

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NASA’s Aura spacecraft data reveals Background Ozone in U.S. West a real problem

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Levels of “background ozone” — ozone pollution present in a region but not originating from local, human-produced sources — are high enough in Northern California and Nevada that they leave little room for local ozone production under proposed stricter U.S. ground-level ozone standards, finds a new NASA-led study.

The researchers, led by Min Huang of George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, used a novel technique that combined data acquired from two instruments on NASA’s Aura spacecraft in the summer of 2008.

In parts of Northern California, background ozone levels already account for more than three-quarters of total ozone, leaving little room for local ozone production if stricter standards go into effect. (Flickr user Lisa Brettschneider, CC BY-NC 2.0)

In parts of Northern California, background ozone levels already account for more than three-quarters of total ozone, leaving little room for local ozone production if stricter standards go into effect. (Flickr user Lisa Brettschneider, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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NASA Scientists use Global Hawk aircraft to track atmosphere changes that affect the climate of Earth

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s uncrewed Global Hawk research aircraft is in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

Deployed from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA, the Global Hawk landed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Thursday at approximately 5:00pm EST and will begin science flights Tuesday, January 21st. Its mission, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), is a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

NASA's Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

NASA’s Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope sees Ghostly Specter Haunting Boomerang Nebula

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang nebula is the coldest known object in the universe — colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, the explosive event that created the cosmos.

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile have taken a new look at this object to learn more about its frigid properties and to determine its true shape, which has an eerily ghost-like appearance.

The Boomerang nebula, called the "coldest place in the universe," reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. (NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech)

The Boomerang nebula, called the “coldest place in the universe,” reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. (NRAO/AUI/NSF/NASA/STScI/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA discovers Key to Molecular Evolution of Cosmic Carbon

 

Written by Ruth Dasso Marlaire
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – Scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, now have the capability to systematically investigate the molecular evolution of cosmic carbon.

For the first time, these scientists are able to automatically interpret previously unknown infrared emissions from space that come from surprisingly complex organic molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are abundant and important across the universe.

For the first time, scientists are able to automatically interpret previously unknown infrared emissions from space that come from surprisingly complex organic molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are abundant and important across the universe. (Image credit: NASA Ames)

For the first time, scientists are able to automatically interpret previously unknown infrared emissions from space that come from surprisingly complex organic molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are abundant and important across the universe. (Image credit: NASA Ames)

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National Research Council report shows more ways the Sun effects Earth’s Climate

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In the galactic scheme of things, the Sun is a remarkably constant star. While some stars exhibit dramatic pulsations, wildly yo-yoing in size and brightness, and sometimes even exploding, the luminosity of our own sun varies a measly 0.1% over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.

There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet.

These six extreme UV images of the sun, taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, track the rising level of solar activity as the sun ascends toward the peak of the latest 11-year sunspot cycle.

These six extreme UV images of the sun, taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, track the rising level of solar activity as the sun ascends toward the peak of the latest 11-year sunspot cycle.

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