September 28, 2017

A Fresh Look At Older Data Yields A Surprise Near The Martian Equator

This image of Mars is centered on the region of the planet known as Tharsis, home of the largest volcanoes in the solar system. The bright, ring-like feature just to the left of center is the volcano Olympus Mons, which is more than 340 miles (550 kilometers) across and 17 miles(27 kilometers) high. Thick deposits of fine-grained, windblown dust cover most of this hemisphere. The colors indicate that the dust is heavily oxidized (“rusted”), and millions (or perhaps billions) of years of dust storms have homogenized its composition. Prominent late afternoon clouds along the right limb of the planet can be seen. Image credit: Steve Lee (University of Colorado), Jim Bell (Cornell University), Mike Wolff (Space Science Institute), and NASA

September 28, 2017 – Scientists taking a new look at older data from NASA’s longest-operating Mars orbiter have discovered evidence of significant hydration near the Martian equator — a mysterious signature in a region of the Red Planet where planetary scientists figure ice shouldn’t exist. Read More


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Launch Delayed To Spring 2019

Image Credit: NASA

September 28, 2017 – NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now is planning to launch between March and June 2019 from French Guiana, following a schedule assessment of the remaining integration and test activities. Webb was most recently targeted to launch in October 2018. Read More


NASA’s Hubble Observes The Farthest Active Inbound Comet Yet Seen

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, surrounding the comet C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS (K2), the farthest active comet ever observed entering the solar system. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

September 28, 2017 – NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at a whopping distance of 1.5 billion miles from the Sun (beyond Saturn’s orbit). Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, it has already begun to develop an 80,000-mile-wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, enveloping a tiny, solid nucleus of frozen gas and dust. These observations represent the earliest signs of activity ever seen from a comet entering the solar system’s planetary zone for the first time. Read More


New “LIDAR Leaders” Award Program Announced

September 28, 2017 – On February 5-7, the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Annual Conference will co-locate with the International LIDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) in Denver. In anticipation of this unique gathering, organizers are excited to announce the first-ever “LIDAR Leaders” award program in cooperation with LIDAR Magazine. Read More


More News:

NASA Glenn Tests Thruster Bound For Metal World
Source: NASA

As NASA looks to explore deeper into our solar system, one of the key areas of interest is studying worlds that can help researchers better understand our solar system and the universe around us. One of the next destinations in this knowledge-gathering campaign is a rare world located in the asteroid belt called Psyche.


Hinode Shares Hi-Res Eclipse View
Source: NASA

As millions of Americans watched the total solar eclipse that crossed the contiguous United States on Aug. 21, 2017, the international Hinode solar observation satellite captured its own images of the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon as it orbited the planet.


OSIRIS-REx Snaps Pictures Of Earth And The Moon
Source: NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured images of Earth and of the Earth-Moon system after completing its Earth Gravity Assist maneuver on September 22, 2017.


TMT Begins Investigating The Ideas For Future Instruments
Source: TMT

The Thirty Meter Telescope Project, in concert with its Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), announces a call for white papers proposing design studies for new instruments, adaptive optics systems, or other technical developments that would significantly enhance the scientific capability of TMT beyond first-light.


95 Minutes Over Jupiter
Source: NASA/JPL/SwRI

This sequence of color-enhanced images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam. From the start of this sequence of images to the end, roughly 1 hour and 35 minutes elapsed.


Video: Orion’s First Exploration Mission
Source: ESA

Narrated by NASA mission manager Mike Sarafin this eight-minute video takes you on the 25-day mission of the first Exploration Mission for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.


State Land Board Grants Construction Permit For Thirty Meter Telescope
Source: Star Advertiser

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved the application for a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, a move that was vehemently opposed by some environmentalists and Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred.


Lockheed Martin Both Full Of Life And Safe From Threats In Colorado
Source: COEDIT

With locations all across the world, Lockheed Martin established roots in Denver, Colorado in 1956 at the request of the United States Air Force. Over the 60 years since, the firm has greatly expanded its workforce all across Colorado to develop satellites, integrated mission systems for air, space, land and sea platforms and many other capabilities, including the newest internationally prominent defense industry of cybersecurity.


Bursting With Starbirth
Source: ESA/Hubble Information Centre

This oddly-shaped galactic spectacle is bursting with brand new stars. The pink fireworks in this image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are regions of intense star formation, triggered by a cosmic-scale collision. The huge galaxy in this image, NGC 4490, has a smaller galaxy in its gravitational grip and is feeling the strain.


Unexpected Surprise: A Final Image From Rosetta
Source: ESA

After more than 12 years in space, and two years following Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as they orbited the Sun, Rosetta’s historic mission concluded on 30 September with the spacecraft descending onto the comet in a region hosting several ancient pits. It returned a wealth of detailed images and scientific data on the comet’s gas, dust and plasma as it drew closer to the surface.


Public Invited To Test New Tool To Study Earth Using Photos Taken By International Space Station Astronauts
Source: Astronomical Society of the Pacific

CosmoQuest’s Image Detective, a NASA-funded citizen science project, invites the public to identify Earth features in photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS). Citizen scientists are asked to help identify geographic features (natural or human-made) in astronaut photographs and then determine the location on Earth where the photo is centered.


An Artist Is Launching A 100-Foot Satellite That Will Be Visible To The Naked Eye
Source: CNET

American artist Trevor Paglen hopes to create the first piece of space art next year. With Orbital Reflector, he’s planning to launch a sculpture into low-earth orbit, for terrestrial viewers to watch and track with an app. It’s a useless satellite, serving no purpose beyond the aesthetic. It looks like a giant lawn dart or a hiltless sword flinging through space.


A CAT Scan For The Earth: CU, NOAA Scientists Are Looping Around The Globe In A NASA Airliner To Measure Greenhouse Pollutants
Source: The Denver Post

Scientists are focusing on short-life pollutants to create a “quick response knob” that could dial back warming.


Asian Communications Satellite Blasts Off On All-Night Ascent Mission Atop Proton/Briz-M
Source: Spaceflight101

Just two and a half weeks after making its last orbital delivery, Russia’s Proton-M rocket lit up the night over the Baikonur Cosmodrome again on Thursday – blasting off toward orbit with the heavy AsiaSat 9 communications satellite that aims to replace an aging spacecraft and expand TV and networking coverage in the Asia-Pacific Region for satellite operator Asia Sat.


Airbus To Challenge SSL, Orbital ATK With New Space Tug Business
Source: SpaceNews

European manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space said Sept. 27 that it is creating a satellite-servicing vehicle capable of refueling, repairing, and monitoring the health of spacecraft orbiting Earth.