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Topic: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA Pinpoints Source of Unique X-ray, Radio Burst

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On April 28th, a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar blasted out a simultaneous mix of X-ray and radio signals never observed before. The flare-up included the first fast radio burst (FRB) ever seen from within our Milky Way galaxy and shows that magnetars can produce these mysterious and powerful radio blasts previously only seen in other galaxies.

“Before this event, a wide variety of scenarios could explain the origin of FRBs,” said Chris Bochenek, a doctoral student in astrophysics at Caltech who led one study of the radio event.

A powerful X-ray burst erupts from a magnetar - a supermagnetized version of a stellar remnant known as a neutron star - in this illustration. A radio burst detected April 28 occurred during a flare-up like this on a magnetar called SGR 1935. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA))

A powerful X-ray burst erupts from a magnetar – a supermagnetized version of a stellar remnant known as a neutron star – in this illustration. A radio burst detected April 28 occurred during a flare-up like this on a magnetar called SGR 1935. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA))

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NASA Curiosity Mars rover drills sample from clay area on Mars

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA –  Scientists working with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover have been excited to explore a region called “the clay-bearing unit” since before the spacecraft launched. Now, the rover has finally tasted its first sample from this part of Mount Sharp. Curiosity drilled a piece of bedrock nicknamed “Aberlady” on Saturday, April 6th, 2019 (the 2,370th Martian day, or sol, of the mission), and delivered the sample to its internal mineralogy lab on Wednesday, April 10th (Sol 2374).

The rover’s drill chewed easily through the rock, unlike some of the tougher targets it faced nearby on Vera Rubin Ridge.

The Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this set of images before and after it drilled a rock nicknamed "Aberlady," on Saturday, April 6th (the 2,370th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). The rock and others nearby appear to have moved when the drill was retracted. This was the first time Curiosity has drilled in the long-awaited "clay-bearing unit." (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

The Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured this set of images before and after it drilled a rock nicknamed “Aberlady,” on Saturday, April 6th (the 2,370th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). The rock and others nearby appear to have moved when the drill was retracted. This was the first time Curiosity has drilled in the long-awaited “clay-bearing unit.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA begins “On a Mission” podcast series that follows Insight Lander’s flight to Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has a new mission to Mars, and it’s taking podcast listeners along for the ride.

Launched Monday, October 29th, 2018 the eight-episode series “On a Mission” follows the InSight lander as it travels hundreds of millions of miles and attempts to land on Mars on November 26th.

“On a Mission” will be the first JPL podcast to track a mission during flight, through interviews with the InSight team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

'On a Mission' is a new eight-episode podcast series from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that follows the InSight mission as the robotic explorer journeys to Mars for a November 26th landing. The first two episodes are available on October 29th for download. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

‘On a Mission’ is a new eight-episode podcast series from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that follows the InSight mission as the robotic explorer journeys to Mars for a November 26th landing. The first two episodes are available on October 29th for download. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA prepares Juno Spacecraft for operations around Jupiter

 

Written Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The engineers and scientists working on NASA’s Juno mission have been busying themselves, getting their newly arrived Jupiter orbiter ready for operations around the largest planetary inhabitant in the solar system.

Juno successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn on Monday, July 4th. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53pm. PDT (11:53pm EDT) that evening.

Animation of Juno 14-day Orbits Starting in Late 2016. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Animation of Juno 14-day Orbits Starting in Late 2016. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft to take High Resolution images of Jupiter using JunoCam

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When NASA’s Juno mission arrives at Jupiter on July 4th, 2016, new views of the giant planet’s swirling clouds will be sent back to Earth, courtesy of its color camera, called JunoCam. But unlike previous space missions, professional scientists will not be the ones producing the processed views, or even choosing which images to capture.

Instead, the public will act as a virtual imaging team, participating in key steps of the process, from identifying features of interest to sharing the finished images online.

“This is really the public’s camera. We are hoping students and whole classrooms will get involved and join our team,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

This trio of Junocam views of Earth was taken during Juno's close flyby on October 9th, 2013. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This trio of Junocam views of Earth was taken during Juno’s close flyby on October 9th, 2013. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA examines Carbon emissions across the Earth to better understand our warming climate

 

Written by Kate Ramsayer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
and Carol Rasmussen, NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Earth’s oceans and land cover are doing us a favor. As people burn fossil fuels and clear forests, only half of the carbon dioxide released stays in the atmosphere, warming and altering Earth’s climate. The other half is removed from the air by the planet’s vegetation ecosystems and oceans.

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, human-made rise past levels not seen for hundreds of thousands of years, NASA scientists and others are confronted with an important question for the future of our planet: How long can this balancing act continue? And if forests, other vegetation and the ocean cannot continue to absorb as much or more of our carbon emissions, what does that mean for the pace of climate change in the coming century?

NASA is advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. (NASA/GSFC)

NASA is advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth’s climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. (NASA/GSFC)

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NASA studies the Oceans looking for answers to how fast they will rise in the future

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches (8 centimeters) since 1992, with some locations rising more than 9 inches (25 centimeters) due to natural variation, according to the latest satellite measurements from NASA and its partners.

An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future.

The question scientists are grappling with is how quickly will seas rise?

Waves crash against rocks. (Franklin O'Donnell)

Waves crash against rocks. (Franklin O’Donnell)

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NASA reports Valley Land in California sinking due to Drought

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the California Department of Water Resources today released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters) per month in some locations.

“Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows — up to 100 feet (30 meters) lower than previous records,” said Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin. “As extensive groundwater pumping continues, the land is sinking more rapidly and this puts nearby infrastructure at greater risk of costly damage.”

Total subsidence in California's San Joaquin Valley for the period May 3, 2014 to Jan. 22, 2015, as measured by Canada's Radarsat-2 satellite. Two large subsidence bowls are evident, centered on Corcoran and south of El Nido. (Canadian Space Agency/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Total subsidence in California’s San Joaquin Valley for the period May 3, 2014 to Jan. 22, 2015, as measured by Canada’s Radarsat-2 satellite. Two large subsidence bowls are evident, centered on Corcoran and south of El Nido. (Canadian Space Agency/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to make final pass of Saturn’s moon Dione

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will zip past Saturn’s moon Dione on Monday, August 17th — the final close flyby of this icy satellite during the spacecraft’s long mission.

Cassini’s closest approach, within 295 miles (474 kilometers) of Dione’s surface, will occur at 11:33am PDT (2:33pm EDT). Mission controllers expect fresh images to begin arriving on Earth within a couple of days following the encounter.

Cassini scientists have a bevy of investigations planned for Dione. Gravity-science data from the flyby will improve scientists’ knowledge of the moon’s internal structure and allow comparisons to Saturn’s other moons.

A view of Saturn's moon Dione captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during a close flyby on June 16, 2015. The diagonal line near upper left is the rings of Saturn, in the distance. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

A view of Saturn’s moon Dione captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during a close flyby on June 16, 2015. The diagonal line near upper left is the rings of Saturn, in the distance. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) discovers source of Intense Gamma Rays

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Our Milky Way galaxy is littered with the still-sizzling remains of exploded stars.

When the most massive stars explode as supernovas, they don’t fade into the night, but sometimes glow ferociously with high-energy gamma rays. What powers these energetic stellar remains?

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is helping to untangle the mystery. The observatory’s high-energy X-ray eyes were able to peer into a particular site of powerful gamma rays and confirm the source: A spinning, dead star called a pulsar.

The blue dot in this image marks the spot of an energetic pulsar -- the magnetic, spinning core of star that blew up in a supernova explosion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO)

The blue dot in this image marks the spot of an energetic pulsar — the magnetic, spinning core of star that blew up in a supernova explosion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO)

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