November 28, 2017

Mines Research Into Colloidal Chains Headed To Space

November 28, 2017 – Research by Colorado School of Mines faculty on the behavior of chains of colloidal molecules is headed to the International Space Station on a SpaceX flight scheduled for December 4. Read More

NASA Langley Asks Student Artists To Envision ‘The Next 100 Years’

Image Credit: NASA

November 28, 2017 – NASA’s Langley Research Center is inviting children grades K-12 attending public, private, parochial and homeschools in the U.S. to use their talents, imagination, and knowledge of NASA to create original artwork for the 2018 art contest. Read More

U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS GEO Flight 4 Missile Warning Satellite Ships To Cape Canaveral For January Launch

SBIRS GEO Flight 4, the next Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite to join the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) during assembly and test at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

November 28, 2017 – The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin delivered the next Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on October 31. Read More

ALMA Discovers Infant Stars Surprisingly Near Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers have found the youngest still-forming solar system yet seen, an infant star surrounded by a swirling disk of dust and gas more than 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. In this artist’s conception of infant solar system, the young star pulls material from surroundings into rotating disk (right) and generates outflowing jets of material (left). Image Credit: Bill Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

November 28, 2017 – At the center of our galaxy, in the immediate vicinity of its supermassive black hole, is a region wracked by powerful tidal forces and bathed in intense ultraviolet light and X-ray radiation. These harsh conditions, astronomers surmise, do not favor star formation, especially low-mass stars like our sun. Surprisingly, new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suggest otherwise. Read More

Four Decades And Counting: New NASA Instrument Continues Measuring Solar Energy Input To Earth

This composite shows the Sun’s total solar irradiance since 1978 as observed from nine previous satellites. These observations are important to help scientists know precisely how much the Sun’s energy changes and how that affects Earth. Image Credit: NASA

November 28, 2017 – We live on a solar-powered planet. As we wake up in the morning, the Sun peeks over the horizon to shed light on us, blanket us with warmth and provide cues to start our day. At the same time, our Sun’s energy drives our planet’s ocean currents, seasons, weather and climate. Without the Sun, life on Earth would not exist. Read More

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Honeycomb-Textured Landforms In Northwestern Hellas Planitia
Source: NASA

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) targets a portion of a group of honeycomb-textured landforms in northwestern Hellas Planitia, which is part of one of the largest and most ancient impact basins on Mars.

Russian Weather Satellite Fails To Enter Orbit After Launch
Source: ABC News

A Russian weather satellite and nearly 20 micro-satellites from various nations failed to enter their designated orbits Tuesday following the launch from Russia’s new cosmodrome, another blow to the nation’s space program. Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said it has failed to establish communications with the Meteor M 2-1 satellite that was launched atop a Soyuz-2 booster rocket Tuesday from Russia’s new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East.

New CU Boulder Degree Will Help Meet Demands Of Computing Workforce
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

CU Boulder is launching an online, post-baccalaureate degree in computer science, a move designed to help meet the changing needs of students as the national computing workforce continues to expand.

NASA Begins Checkout Of Dellingr Spacecraft Designed To Improve Robustness Of CubeSat Platforms
Source: NASA

NASA ground controllers have begun checking out and commissioning a shoebox-sized spacecraft that the agency purposely built to show that CubeSat platforms could be cost-effective, reliable, and capable of gathering highly robust science.

Crossing Drones With Satellites: ESA Eyes High-Altitude Aerial Platforms
Source: ESA

ESA is considering extending its activities to a new region of the sky via a novel type of aerial vehicle, a ‘missing link’ between drones and satellites. High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites, or HAPS, are platforms that float or fly at high altitude like conventional aircraft but operate more like satellites – except that rather than working from space they can remain in position inside the atmosphere for weeks or even months, offering continuous coverage of the territory below.

Going Green To The Red Planet
Source: ESA

ESA’s ground station in Western Australia routinely communicates with spacecraft at far-away places like Mars. Now, it’s using sunlight to generate electricity, significantly reducing energy costs.

NASA Builds Its Next Mars Rover Mission
Source: NASA

In just a few years, NASA’s next Mars rover mission will be flying to the Red Planet. At a glance, it looks a lot like its predecessor, the Curiosity Mars rover. But there’s no doubt it’s a souped-up science machine: It has seven new instruments, redesigned wheels and more autonomy. A drill will capture rock cores, while a caching system with a miniature robotic arm will seal up these samples. Then, they’ll be deposited on the Martian surface for possible pickup by a future mission.

GOES-16 Geocolor Animation Of Popocatépetl Volcano Eruption On November 23, 2017

NOAA’s GOES-16 captured the eruption of Mexico’s most active volcano, Popocatépetl, on November 23, 2017. The eruption sent a dramatic plume of ash 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) into the sky. Estimated to be about 730,000 years old, Popocatépetl is an active stratovolcano and Mexico’s second-tallest peak, towering 5,426 meters (17,802 ft) outside of Mexico City. This eruption was the mountain’s largest since 2013.

Video: TSIS – Total And Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor
Source: NASA Goddard

The composition of that light that falls on Earth matters to understanding Earth’s energy budget. That’s the reason NASA has a new instrument designed to study this question. It’s called TSIS–the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor. Find out more in this short narrated video.