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Posts Tagged ‘JAXA’

Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” Name And Message Campaign


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch the asteroid explorer “Hayabusa2”*1 on the H-IIA Launch Vehicle in 2014. The Hayabusa2 will arrive at an asteroid in 2018 to investigate it for one and half years, before returning to Earth in 2020.

JAXA will record and load your names, messages and illustrations on onboard devices (the target marker*2 and re-entry capsule*3) of the Hayabusa2. Through this campaign and Hayabusa2’s six-year space mission, we would like people to deepen their understanding of Japan’s space probe activities.

Full Story: http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2013/03/20130329_hayabusa2_e.html

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Hinode Mission to Capture Annular Solar Eclipse This Weekend


On May 20-21, 2012 an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor along Earth’s northern Hemisphere — beginning in eastern Asia, crossing the North Pacific Ocean, and ending in the western United States. A partial eclipse will be visible from a much larger region covering East Asia, North Pacific, North America and Greenland.

The joint JAXA/NASA Hinode mission will observe the eclipse and provide images and movies that will be available on the NASA website at http://www.nasa.gov/sunearth. Due to Hinode’s orbit around the Earth, Hinode will actually observe 4 separate partial eclipses.” Scientists often use an eclipse to help calibrate the instruments on the telescope by focusing in on the edge of the moon as it crosses the sun and measuring how sharp it appears in the images. An added bonus: Hinode’s X-ray Telescope will be able to provide images of the peaks and valleys of the lunar surface.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/eclipse-2012.html

AKARI Finds CO Molecules in 10,000,000-Degree Gas

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A scientific team using the Japanese AKARI infrared space observatory finds carbon monoxide (CO) molecules in the ten million degree gas associated with the young supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A). The team is led by Dr. Jeonghee Rho, who holds a joint appointment at the SETI Institute, and at the SOFIA Science Center at NASA Ames Research Center (both located in Mountain View California). Theoretically it was neither predicted nor expected to find the carbon monoxide molecule associated with a highly energetic supernova remnant. Energetic electrons and heavy-element atoms produced by nuclear processes in supernovae should have destroyed these molecules. This finding could change our current understanding of the cycle of carbon and molecules in the interstellar gas and dust clouds.

Infrared spectra obtained by AKARI have detected a broad feature with a double-peaked profile. A dozen spectra reveal CO features similar to this across the angular extent of Cas A. The CO emission is specially detected not only from the bright ring of shocked ejecta but also from the central region where unshocked ejecta are located. The CO at the center of Cas A contains material which has been relatively unchanged since a few years after the original supernova explosion. The spectral model applied to these spectra indicates that the broad feature is being composed of a few ten thousand spectral lines produced by CO. Cas A is 330 years old and located at a distance of approximately 11 thousand light years in the direction of the well-known W-shaped constellation of Cassiopeia.

Full Story: http://www.ir.isas.jaxa.jp/AKARI/Outreach/results/PR2012_CasA/casa_e.html

Asteroids – The New ‘It Mission’ for Space Exploration

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

The Japanese are heading back into space on a second attempt to collect samples from a nearby asteroid.

The asteroid selected, 1999 JU3 is a perfect specimen, said Humberto Campins, a University of Central Florida professor and international expert on asteroids and comets.

“Based on our analysis, it should be rich in primitive materials, specifically organic molecules and hydrated minerals from the early days of our solar system,” Campins said. “If successful it could give us clues about the birth of water and life in our world.”

Full Story: http://today.ucf.edu/asteroids-the-new-it-mission-for-space-exploration/

Hinode’s First Light…and 5 More Years

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: Hinode, JAXA/NASA

Credit: Hinode, JAXA/NASA

On October 28, 2006, the Hinode solar mission was at last ready. The spacecraft launched on September 22, but such missions require a handful of diagnostics before the instruments can be turned on and collect what is called “first light.”

Hopes were high. Hinode had the potential to provide some of the highest resolution images of the sun the world had ever seen — as well as help solve such mysteries as why the sun’s atmosphere is a thousand times hotter than its surface and how the magnetic fields roiling through the sun create dramatic explosions able to send energy to the farthest reaches of the solar system.

The X-ray telescope (XRT) began taking images on October 23, the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) opened its front door on October 25, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) started collecting spectroscopic images on October 28.

The images were beautiful, the data good; first light science had been achieved.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hinode/news/five-years.html