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Topic: Priscilla Vega

NASA Maps Volcanic Heat on Jupiter’s Moon Io

 

Written by Priscilla Vega and Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new study finds that the pattern of heat coming from volcanoes on Io’s surface disposes of the generally-accepted model of internal heating.  The heat pouring out of Io’s hundreds of erupting volcanoes indicates a complex, multi-layer source.

These results come from data collected by NASA spacecraft and ground-based telescopes and appear in the June issue of the journal Icarus.

A map of hot spots, classified by the amount of heat being emitted, shows the global distribution and wide range of volcanic activity on Io.  Most of Io’s eruptions dwarf their contemporaries on Earth.

Thermal emission from erupting volcanoes on the jovian moon, Io. A logarithmic scale is used to classify volcanoes on the basis of thermal emission: the larger the spot, the larger the thermal emission. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bear Fight Institute)

Thermal emission from erupting volcanoes on the jovian moon, Io. A logarithmic scale is used to classify volcanoes on the basis of thermal emission: the larger the spot, the larger the thermal emission. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bear Fight Institute)

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft reveals the giant asteroid Vesta’s Surface Composition in Many Colors

 

Written by Priscilla Vega and Jia-Rui Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new video from NASA’s Dawn mission reveals the dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta.The animation drapes high-resolution false color images over a 3-D model of the Vesta terrain constructed from Dawn’s observations.

This visualization enables a detailed view of the variation in the material properties of Vesta in the context of its topography.

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NASA to Fly Deep Space Atomic Clock to Improve Space Navigation

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When people think of space technologies, many think of high-tech solar panels, complex and powerful propulsion systems or sophisticated, electronic guidance systems. Another critical piece of spaceflight technology, however, is an ultra stable, highly accurate device for timing – essential to NASA’s success on deep-space exploration missions.

NASA is preparing to fly a Deep Space Atomic Clock, or DSAC, demonstration that will revolutionize the way we conduct deep-space navigation by enabling a spacecraft to calculate its own timing and navigation data in real time.

A computer-aided design, or CAD, drawing of the linear ion trap of the clock -- the "heart" of the Deep Space Atomic Clock's physics package -- is slightly smaller than two rolls of quarters laid side by side. The DSAC project is a small, low-mass atomic clock based on mercury-ion trap technology that will be demonstrated in space, providing unprecedented stability needed for next-generation deep space navigation and radio science. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

A computer-aided design, or CAD, drawing of the linear ion trap of the clock -- the "heart" of the Deep Space Atomic Clock's physics package -- is slightly smaller than two rolls of quarters laid side by side. The DSAC project is a small, low-mass atomic clock based on mercury-ion trap technology that will be demonstrated in space, providing unprecedented stability needed for next-generation deep space navigation and radio science. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

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NASA Pinning Down Where ‘Here’ is Better Than Ever

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Before our Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation devices can tell us where we are, the satellites that make up the GPS need to know exactly where they are.

For that, they rely on a network of sites that serve as “you are here” signs planted throughout the world. The catch is, the sites don’t sit still because they’re on a planet that isn’t at rest, yet modern measurements require more and more accuracy in pinpointing where “here” is.

NASA's Jan McGarry (left) and Stephen Merkowitz stand next to the Next-Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) system, one of the ground stations that makes up the quadrangle of instruments known as the Space Geodesy project, as it peeks through the station's open dome. The NGSLR laser ranges to Earth-orbiting satellites and to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. McGarry leads the development of the NGSLR and Merkowitz is the project manager for the Space Geodesy project. (Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Elizabeth Zubritsky)

NASA's Jan McGarry (left) and Stephen Merkowitz stand next to the Next-Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) system, one of the ground stations that makes up the quadrangle of instruments known as the Space Geodesy project, as it peeks through the station's open dome. The NGSLR laser ranges to Earth-orbiting satellites and to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. McGarry leads the development of the NGSLR and Merkowitz is the project manager for the Space Geodesy project. (Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Elizabeth Zubritsky)

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NASA’s Advanced Communications Testbed to be tested on the International Space Station

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New and improved ways for future space travelers to communicate will be tested on the International Space Station. The SCaN Testbed, or Space Communications and Navigation Testbed – designed and built at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland over the last three years. – will launch later this year from Japan, for delivery to the Space Station.

The SCaN Testbed will provide an orbiting laboratory on the Space Station for the development of Software Defined Radio technology. Researchers will have the capability to load new software onto these devices even after they’ve launched.

Summer 2011, Glenn Research Center engineers and technicians (left to right, clockwise): Joe Kerka, Tom Hudach, Andrew Sexton, and Allan Rybar transport NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN) Testbed flight system in the West High Bay area of the Power Systems Facility at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on a dolly cart. (Image credit: NASA)

Summer 2011, Glenn Research Center engineers and technicians (left to right, clockwise): Joe Kerka, Tom Hudach, Andrew Sexton, and Allan Rybar transport NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN) Testbed flight system in the West High Bay area of the Power Systems Facility at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on a dolly cart. (Image credit: NASA)

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Soar Over Asteroid Vesta in 3-D

 

Written by Jia-Rui Cook/Priscilla Vega
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Glide over the giant asteroid Vesta with NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in a new 3-D video.  Dawn has been orbiting Vesta since July 15th, obtaining high-resolution images of its bumpy, cratered surface and making other scientific measurements.

The new video is best viewed with red-blue glasses. The video incorporates images from Dawn’s framing camera from July to August 2011. It was created by Dawn team member Ralf Jaumann of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

A still image from the 3-D video. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

A still image from the 3-D video. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA Develops New Game-Changing Technology

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Two NASA California centers have been selected to develop new space-aged technologies that could be game-changers in the way we look at planets from above and how we safely transport robots or humans through space and bring them safely back to Earth.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, will use advanced compound semiconductor materials to develop new technologies for the High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensor Demonstration. The higher the temperature at which an infrared detector can operate, the less power is required to cool it.

This picture shows three High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensors, mounted on leadless chip carriers. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This picture shows three High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensors, mounted on leadless chip carriers. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Orbiter Catches Mars Sand Dunes in Motion

 

Written by Dwayne Brown – NASA Headquarters
and Priscilla Vega – Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show sand dunes and ripples moving across the surface of Mars at dozens of locations and shifting up to several yards. These observations reveal the planet’s sandy surface is more dynamic than previously thought.

“Mars either has more gusts of wind than we knew about before, or the winds are capable of transporting more sand,” said Nathan Bridges, planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD, and lead author of a paper on the finding published online in the journal Geology. “We used to think of the sand on Mars as relatively immobile, so these new observations are changing our whole perspective.”

A dune in the northern polar region of Mars shows significant changes between two images taken on June 25th, 2008 and May 21st, 2010 by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz./JHUAPL)

A dune in the northern polar region of Mars shows significant changes between two images taken on June 25th, 2008 and May 21st, 2010 by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz./JHUAPL)

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NASA’s Dawn Science Team Presents Early Science Results

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists with NASA’s Dawn mission are sharing with other scientists and the public their early information about the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis, MN.

Dawn, which has been orbiting Vesta since mid-July, has found that the asteroid’s southern hemisphere boasts one of the largest mountains in the solar system. Other findings show that Vesta’s surface, viewed by Dawn at different wavelengths, has striking diversity in its composition, particularly around craters.

This full view of the giant asteroid Vesta was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, as part of a rotation characterization sequence on July 24th, 2011, at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometers). A rotation characterization sequence helps the scientists and engineers by giving an initial overview of the character of the surface as Vesta rotated underneath the spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This full view of the giant asteroid Vesta was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, as part of a rotation characterization sequence on July 24th, 2011, at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometers). A rotation characterization sequence helps the scientists and engineers by giving an initial overview of the character of the surface as Vesta rotated underneath the spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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New View of Vesta Mountain From NASA’s Dawn Mission

 

Written by Priscilla Vega
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows a mountain three times as high as Mt. Everest, amidst the topography in the south polar region of the giant asteroid Vesta.

The peak of Vesta’s south pole mountain, seen in the center of the image, rises about 13 miles (22 kilometers) above the average height of the surrounding terrain. Another impressive structure is a large scarp, a cliff with a steep slope, on the right side of this image. The scarp bounds part of the south polar depression, and the Dawn team’s scientists believe features around its base are probably the result of landslides.

The image below was created from a shape model of Vesta, and shows an oblique perspective view of the topography of the south polar region. The image resolution is about 300 meters per pixel, and the vertical scale is 1.5 times that of the horizontal scale.

This image of the asteroid Vesta, calculated from a shape model, shows a tilted view of the topography of the south polar region. The image has a resolution of about 1,000 feet (300 meters) per pixel, and the vertical scale is 1.5 times that of the horizontal scale. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI)

This image of the asteroid Vesta, calculated from a shape model, shows a tilted view of the topography of the south polar region. The image has a resolution of about 1,000 feet (300 meters) per pixel, and the vertical scale is 1.5 times that of the horizontal scale. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI)

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