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Topic: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA, NOAA research shows 2019 Second Warmest Year on Record

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2019 were the second warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880.

Globally, 2019 temperatures were second only to those of 2016 and continued the planet’s long-term warming trend: the past five years have been the warmest of the last 140 years.

This plot shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2019, with respect to the 1951-1980 mean, as recorded by NASA, NOAA, the Berkeley Earth research group, the Met Office Hadley Centre (UK), and the Cowtan and Way analysis. Though there are minor variations from year to year, all five temperature records show peaks and valleys in sync with each other. (NASA GISS/Gavin Schmidt)

This plot shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2019, with respect to the 1951-1980 mean, as recorded by NASA, NOAA, the Berkeley Earth research group, the Met Office Hadley Centre (UK), and the Cowtan and Way analysis. Though there are minor variations from year to year, all five temperature records show peaks and valleys in sync with each other. (NASA GISS/Gavin Schmidt)

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NASA’s ARIA Team mapped damage in Southwestern Puerto Rico after Earthquake

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says that since a magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico last week, aftershocks near its southwestern coast have been relentless. The frequency and intensity of the aftershocks continue to cause damage on this already-vulnerable part of the island.

NASA scientists are helping local and federal agencies assess the extent of that damage. Using synthetic aperture radar data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech in Pasadena, California, created a new damage map that includes the southwestern coast near the main quake’s epicenter.

NASA's ARIA team mapped damage in southwestern Puerto Rico following a 6.4-magnitude quake and hundreds of aftershocks. Guanica, west of the city of Ponce, was particularly hard-hit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech, ESA)

NASA’s ARIA team mapped damage in southwestern Puerto Rico following a 6.4-magnitude quake and hundreds of aftershocks. Guanica, west of the city of Ponce, was particularly hard-hit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech, ESA)

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NASA says Future Homes on Moon, Mars Could Be Made of Fungi

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – Science fiction often imagines our future on Mars and other planets as run by machines, with metallic cities and flying cars rising above dunes of red sand. But the reality may be even stranger – and “greener.”

Instead of habitats made of metal and glass, NASA is exploring technologies that could grow structures out of fungi to become our future homes in the stars, and perhaps lead to more sustainable ways of living on Earth as well.

A researcher holding a petri dish containing mycelia – the underground threads that make up the main part of a fungus – growing in simulated martian soil, also known as martian regolith. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Lynn Rothschild)

A researcher holding a petri dish containing mycelia – the underground threads that make up the main part of a fungus – growing in simulated martian soil, also known as martian regolith. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Lynn Rothschild)

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NASA, SpaceX get ready for In Flight Abort Demonstration

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and SpaceX are preparing to launch the final, major test before astronauts fly aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The test, known as in-flight abort, will demonstrate the spacecraft’s escape capabilities — showing that the crew system can protect astronauts even in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch. The uncrewed flight test is targeted for 7:00amam CT Saturday, January 18th, 2020 at the start of a four-hour test window, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida.

The uncrewed in-flight abort demonstration is targeted for 7:00am CT Saturday, January 18th, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida. There is a four-hour test window. (SpaceX)

The uncrewed in-flight abort demonstration is targeted for 7:00am CT Saturday, January 18th, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida. There is a four-hour test window. (SpaceX)

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NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Telescope, Spitzer Telescope photos used to make 3D image of Crab Nebula

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Astronomers and visualization specialists from NASA’s Universe of Learning program have combined the visible, infrared and X-ray vision of NASA’s Great Observatories to create a three-dimensional representation of the dynamic Crab Nebula, the tattered remains of an exploded star.

The multiwavelength computer graphics visualization is based on images from the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NASA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope.

This new multiwavelength image of the Crab Nebula combines X-ray light from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (in blue) with visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope (in yellow) and infrared light seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope (in red). This particular combination of light from across the electromagnetic spectrum highlights the nested structure of the pulsar wind nebula. The X-rays reveal the beating heart of the Crab, the neutron-star remnant from the supernova explosion seen almost a thousand years ago. (NASA, ESA and J. DePasquale (STScI) and R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC))

This new multiwavelength image of the Crab Nebula combines X-ray light from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (in blue) with visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope (in yellow) and infrared light seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope (in red). This particular combination of light from across the electromagnetic spectrum highlights the nested structure of the pulsar wind nebula. The X-rays reveal the beating heart of the Crab, the neutron-star remnant from the supernova explosion seen almost a thousand years ago. (NASA, ESA and J. DePasquale (STScI) and R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC))

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NASA’s TESS Satellite discovers Planet with Two Stars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – In 2019, when Wolf Cukier finished his junior year at Scarsdale High School in New York, he joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as a summer intern. His job was to examine variations in star brightness captured by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and uploaded to the Planet Hunters TESS citizen science project.

“I was looking through the data for everything the volunteers had flagged as an eclipsing binary, a system where two stars circle around each other and from our view eclipse each other every orbit,” Cukier said.

In this illustration, TOI 1338 b is silhouetted by its host stars. TESS only detects transits from the larger star. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

In this illustration, TOI 1338 b is silhouetted by its host stars. TESS only detects transits from the larger star. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

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NASA’s SOFIA telescope discovers how Swan Nebula was born

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions in our galaxy, the Omega or Swan Nebula, came to resemble the shape resembling a swan’s neck we see today only relatively recently.

New observations reveal that its regions formed separately over multiple eras of star birth. The new image from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is helping scientists chronicle the history and evolution of this well-studied nebula.

“The present-day nebula holds the secrets that reveal its past; we just need to be able to uncover them,” said Wanggi Lim, a Universities Space Research Association scientist at the SOFIA Science Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

Composite image of the Swan Nebula. SOFIA detected the blue areas (20 microns) near the center, revealing gas as it’s heated by massive stars located at the center and the green areas (37 microns) that trace dust as it’s warmed both by massive stars and nearby newborn stars. (NASA/SOFIA/De Buizer/Radomski/Lim; NASA/JPL-Caltech; ESA/Herschel)

Composite image of the Swan Nebula. SOFIA detected the blue areas (20 microns) near the center, revealing gas as it’s heated by massive stars located at the center and the green areas (37 microns) that trace dust as it’s warmed both by massive stars and nearby newborn stars. (NASA/SOFIA/De Buizer/Radomski/Lim; NASA/JPL-Caltech; ESA/Herschel)

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NASA’s SOFIA telescope captures image of center of Milky Way Galaxy

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has captured an extremely crisp infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Spanning a distance of more than 600 light-years, this panorama reveals details within the dense swirls of gas and dust in high resolution, opening the door to future research into how massive stars are forming and what’s feeding the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s core.

Among the features coming into focus are the jutting curves of the Arches Cluster containing the densest concentration of stars in our galaxy, as well as the Quintuplet Cluster with stars a million times brighter than our Sun. Our galaxy’s black hole takes shape with a glimpse of the fiery-looking ring of gas surrounding it. 

Composite infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It spans 600+ light-years across and is helping scientists learn how many massive stars are forming in our galaxy’s center. (NASA/SOFIA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Herschel)

Composite infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It spans 600+ light-years across and is helping scientists learn how many massive stars are forming in our galaxy’s center. (NASA/SOFIA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Herschel)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope uses new technique to find Small Clumps of Dark Matter

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and a new observing technique, astronomers have found that dark matter forms much smaller clumps than previously known. This result confirms one of the fundamental predictions of the widely accepted “cold dark matter” theory.

All galaxies, according to this theory, form and are embedded within clouds of dark matter. Dark matter itself consists of slow-moving, or “cold,” particles that come together to form structures ranging from hundreds of thousands of times the mass of the Milky Way galaxy to clumps no more massive than the heft of a commercial airplane. (In this context, “cold” refers to the particles’ speed.)

Each snapshot shows four distorted images of a background quasar (an extremely bright region in the center of some distant galaxies), surrounding the core of a massive foreground galaxy. The gravity of the foreground galaxy magnifies the quasar, an effect called gravitational lensing. (NASA, ESA, A. Nierenberg, T. Treu)

Each snapshot shows four distorted images of a background quasar (an extremely bright region in the center of some distant galaxies), surrounding the core of a massive foreground galaxy. The gravity of the foreground galaxy magnifies the quasar, an effect called gravitational lensing. (NASA, ESA, A. Nierenberg, T. Treu)

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NASA’s Terra satellite images shows fires on one third of Kangaroo Island

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s Terra satellite provided before and after imagery that showed the extent of the fires that have been ravaging Australia’s Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide.

About a third of the island is made up of protected nature reserves which are home to native wildlife which includes sea lions, koalas and diverse and endangered bird species, including glossy black-cockatoos which have been brought back from the brink of extinction over the last two decades.

This image taken by the Terra satellite and enhanced by using correction reflectance bands on the MODIS (Moderation Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) highlight in brighter colors the areas on Kangaroo Island that have been burned by the bushfires in late December 2019 and early January 2020. (NASA Worldview)

This image taken by the Terra satellite and enhanced by using correction reflectance bands on the MODIS (Moderation Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) highlight in brighter colors the areas on Kangaroo Island that have been burned by the bushfires in late December 2019 and early January 2020. (NASA Worldview)

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