NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space shuttle Discovery mounted atop will fly approximately 1,500 feet above various parts of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, April 17.
The flight, in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, is scheduled to occur between 10 and 11 a.m. EDT. NASA Television and the agency’s web site will provide live coverage.
The exact route and timing of the flight depend on weather and operational constraints. However, the aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks in the metropolitan area, including the National Mall, Reagan National Airport, National Harbor and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center. When the flyover is complete, the SCA will land at Dulles International Airport.
One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does – look through the daily images of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
But on this day he saw something he’d never noticed before: a pattern of cells with bright centers and dark boundaries occurring in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. These cells looked somewhat like a cell pattern that occurs on the sun’s surface — similar to the bubbles that rise to the top of boiling water — but it was a surprise to find this pattern higher up in the corona, which is normally dominated by bright loops and dark coronal holes.
Sheeley discussed the images with his Naval Research Laboratory colleague Harry Warren, and together they set out to learn more about the cells. Their search included observations from a fleet of NASA spacecraft called the Heliophysics System Observatory that provided separate viewpoints from different places around the sun. They describe the properties of these previously unreported solar features, dubbed “coronal cells,” in a paper published online in The Astrophysical Journal on March 20, 2012 that will appear in print on April 10.
I just got this Tweet.
ISS will be visible passing at your location -weather permitting- on
April 11, 2012, 05:56:04 MUT
Is it a good one?
This time, the International Space Station will be flying over at 27 degrees. It will look like a very bright star (magnitude -2.0).
Where to look?
ISS will come up in the north and will be heading for southeast.
“We’re thrilled,” said LCOGT Scientific Director Tim Brown, “to have our first telescope in such a well-supported site, with superbly dark skies.”
The 1-meter (40-inch) telescope will be used for both research and outreach to K-12 schools. It is part of a large planned network of LCOGT telescopes to be installed around the world, and the first of five (two 1-meter and three 0.4-meter) and possibly more LCOGT telescopes to be installed at McDonald Observatory over the next few years.
The most recent spacecraft tracking and telemetry data were collected on April 4 using the Deep Space Network’s 34 meterStation 15 at Goldstone, California. Aside from the issues in work with the Ultrastable Oscillator (see the Jan. 5, 2012 Significant Events) and the Cosmic Dust Analyzer, the Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and its subsystems are operating normally. Information on the present position of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the “Present Position” page at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.
Telemetry data from the targeted Enceladus encounter E-17 on March 27 were transmitted 1.3 billion kilometers to Earth on Wednesday; every bit was captured successfully by the Deep Space Network. The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) was able to discern variations in CO2 density among the individual gas jets as the spacecraft dove through the Enceladus south polar plume. The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS), which was recently powered back on, acquired excellent data in and near the plume, along with the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) and INMS. A spectacular image of the south polar plume may be seen here, along with images of the icy moons Janus, taken March 27, and Dione, taken March 28:http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/cassinifeatures/feature20120328/