July 28, 2017

National Solar Observatory Predicts Shape Of Solar Corona For August Eclipse

The image above shows field lines of a solar coronal magnetic model based on measurements from the National Solar Observatory Integrated Synoptic Program (NSO/NISP) one solar rotation, or 24.47 earth days, before the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. The view offers and example of what observers of the total solar eclipse will see on August 21st. The solar disk has been occulted leaving only the off-limb magnetic structure visible. The visible field lines indicate how the corona during a total solar eclipse would appear according to the model. The solar wind flows outward from the Sun along open field lines. Closed field lines, where the lines loop back onto the Sun, trap coronal plasma. As a result, the corona in closed structures appear brighter than the open corona in eclipse images. Closed and open lines are shown white and dark grey in the plot. The largest closed structures represent the helmet streamers that we see during the total solar eclipse. Image Credit: NSO

July 28, 2017 – August 21st will bring a history-making opportunity for the entire United States. On that day, every person in the country, including Hawaii and Alaska, will have an opportunity to witness at least a partial solar eclipse as the moon moves in front of the Sun. If you have the good fortune to be along the path of totality, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, you will get to witness one of the most awe-inspiring views in nature – the wispy wonders of the solar corona. Read More

NASA Selects Proposals To Study Sun, Space Environment

Illustration of the heliophysics system. Image Credit: NASA

July 28, 2017 – NASA has selected nine proposals under its Explorers Program that will return transformational science about the Sun and space environment and fill science gaps between the agency’s larger missions; eight for focused scientific investigations and one for technological development of instrumentation. Read More

Advanced Industries Road Tour

July 28, 2017 – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today announced that staff will be going on a road tour throughout Colorado to educate people about the Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Program and how they can apply for and secure grants.

ALMA Confirms Complex Chemistry In Titan’s Atmosphere

Archival ALMA data have confirmed that molecules of vinyl cyanide reside in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan is shown in an optical (atmosphere) infrared (surface) composite from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. In a liquid methane environment, vinyl cyanide may form membranes. Image Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA

July 28, 2017 – Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is one of our solar system’s most intriguing and Earth-like bodies. It is nearly as large as Mars and has a hazy atmosphere made up mostly of nitrogen with a smattering of organic, carbon-based molecules, including methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6). Planetary scientists theorize that this chemical make-up is similar to Earth’s primordial atmosphere. Read More

APS Designates Echo Lake/Mt. Evans A Historic Physics Site

July 28, 2017 – American Physical Society (APS) has recognized early research on cosmic rays, which was carried out between 1935 and 1960 at locations near Denver (Echo Lake and Mt. Evans). The research was done by physicists Arthur Compton, Bruno Rossi, and many others, including faculty at the University of Denver. These experiments included the first measurement of the lifetime of muons, work that confirmed the time dilation effect predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Read More

Saber Astronautics To Support The Australian Air Force

July 28, 2017 – The Australian Department of Defence has awarded space engineering company Saber Astronautics an Innovation Contract for the development of technology that can autonomously identify electronic threats. This contract, valued at $275,000, is the first phase of a three phase project using Saber’s advanced machine learning capability. Aside from Defence applications, commercial uses of the technology can enable better communications between spacecraft operators and their satellites, especially during disruptive events such as solar flares. Read More

DigitalGlobe Shareowners Approve Merger With MDA

July 28, 2017 – DigitalGlobe, Inc. (DigitalGlobe) announced its preliminary results that its shareowners overwhelmingly voted to approve the Company’s proposed merger with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) at a special meeting of DigitalGlobe shareowners held yesterday. Read More

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NASA’s Randy Bresnik, Crewmates Arrive at International Space Station
Source: NASA

After a six-hour spaceflight, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) arrived at the International Space Station at 5:54 p.m. EDT Friday to continue important scientific research in the orbiting laboratory.

Styx’s Tommy Shaw Blasts Off To Mars, Pluto, ‘Paradise’ With Newsweek
Source: Newsweek

For the past two years, the members of Styx have had Mars on their minds. Audiences might not have known it, but when the chart-topping rock/prog group changed the “walk-on” music at their concerts, to the instrumental piece “Overture,” they were thinking it would make a good leadoff track for The Mission, their first new studio album in 14 years.

General Dynamics Awarded New Landsat Contract By U.S. Geological Survey
Source: General Dynamics Missions Systems

General Dynamics Mission Systems received a contract from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to ‘fly’ the current Landsat 8 mission from the existing Landsat mission operations center at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Seabrook, Maryland. Concurrently, the company will design and integrate a new Landsat Multi-satellite Operations Center (LMOC) at GSFC while continuing the flight of the current Landsat 8 satellite and be ready to provide flight and mission operations following the launch of the new USGS Landsat 9 satellite in 2020. The contract is valued up to $155 million over five years with five additional, one-year options.

Forces Align Against A New Military Branch To ‘Win Wars’ In Space
Source: The New York Times

As legislators look toward consolidating the hefty annual defense spending bill recently passed in the House with its Senate equivalent, one of the most unexpected debates is over a proposal to create a Space Corps, which already is facing high-level opposition from the Pentagon.

Iran Claims Launch Of Satellite-Carrying Rocket Into Space
Source: Colorado Springs Gazette

Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, the country’s state media reported Thursday, in what is likely the most significant step yet for the launch vehicle. A confirmed launch of the “Simorgh” rocket would mark another step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program, but is likely to raise alarm among its adversaries, who fear the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles.

CU Boulder To Test Drones In Eastern Colorado
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

CU Boulder engineers, scientists and students are teaming up with Black Swift Technologies of Boulder to use unmanned aircraft in the coming weeks to measure water moisture at a test irrigation farm in Yuma, Colorado. The testing will take place at the Irrigation Research Foundation (IRF), a research and demonstration farm in northeast Colorado.

REU Interns Present Research In Symposium
Source: Colorado State University

Over the past 10 weeks ESMEI undergraduate interns have been working on a research project with faculty, research scientists, postdocs and graduate students in the department. This week the students concluded the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program with colloquium presentations at the Student Research Symposium and a capstone poster session.

Academy Hosts Leadership Conference With FIRST Robotics Mentors
Source: U.S. Air Force Academy

The Center for Character and Leadership Development hosted 25 robotics educators from across the U.S. at the FIRST Leadership Experience June 24-26 in Polaris Hall. Air Force Recruiting sponsored and accompanied the teachers, all members of the national organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST. Most teach at the middle and high school level and are commonly called FIRST Mentors.

National Security Funding Bill Approved By The House
Source: U.S. House of Representatives

The House of Representatives approved the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3219) to provide funding for national security for the 2018 fiscal year. The bill, also known as the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, was passed on a vote of 235-192.

New Crew Blasts Off To Station
Source: NASA

The Soyuz MS-05 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 11:41 a.m. EDT Friday, July 28 (9:41 p.m. in Baikonur). About four minutes prior to launch, the space station flew over the launch site and was flying about 250 miles above south central Russia, just over the northeast border of Kazakhstan, at the time of launch. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) are now safely in orbit.

Hubble’s Cosmic Atlas
Source: ESA/Hubble/NASA

This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). This image was produced by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as it embarked upon compiling the first Hubble ultraviolet “atlas,” for which the telescope targeted 50 nearby star-forming galaxies.

EM 1 Crew Study Results (Signed)
Source: NASA, Dan Vergano, BuzzFeed

At the request of the Administration, NASA conducted a study of the feasibility of flying crew on the first integrated flight of the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) and associated ground systems. Based on this study, NASA concluded crew could have flown on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), provided timely and sufficient funding, with an increased risk acceptance and moving the launch schedule to most likely early 2020.

Boom Technology Says Data Exist To Set Supersonic Noise Standards
Source: Aviation Week

Supersonic-airliner startup Boom Technology believes sufficient research has already been conducted for the FAA to set a reasonable sonic boom standard that would allow civil supersonic flight over land within a few years. An amendment to the Senate’s fiscal 2018 FAA reauthorization bill, if it becomes legislation, would require the agency to set an “economically feasible and technologically practical” boom standard by as early as mid-2020.