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Posts Tagged ‘NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration)’

Dead Star And Distant Black Holes Dazzle In X-Rays

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill

Two new views from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, showcase the telescope’s talent for spying objects near and far. One image shows the energized remains of a dead star, a structure nicknamed the “Hand of God” after its resemblance to a hand. Another image shows distant black holes buried in blankets of dust.

“NuSTAR’s unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light,” said Fiona Harrison, the mission’s principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

NuSTAR launched into space June 13, 2012, on a mission to explore the high-energy X-ray universe. It is observing black holes, dead and exploded stars and other extreme objects in our own Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

Link To Full Story And Images

NASA To Announce Kepler Discovery At Media Briefing

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission. The briefing will be held in the Syvertson auditorium, building N-201, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the “habitable zone,” the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be needed to achieve that milestone, Kepler is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_M11-192_Kepler_Briefing.html

Star Blasts Planet With X-rays

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope suggest that high-energy radiation is evaporating about 5 million tons of matter from the planet every second. This result gives insight into the difficult survival path for some planets.

The planet, known as CoRoT-2b, has a mass about 3 times that of Jupiter (1000 times that of Earth) and orbits its parent star, CoRoT-2a at a distance roughly ten times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

The CoRoT-2 star and planet — so named because the French Space Agency’s Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits (CoRoT) satellite discovered them in 2008 — is a relatively nearby neighbor of the Solar System at a distance of 880 light years.

“This planet is being absolutely fried by its star,” said Sebastian Schroeter of the University of Hamburg in Germany. “What may be even stranger is that this planet may be affecting the behavior of the star that is blasting it.”

Full Story: http://chandra.si.edu/press/11_releases/press_091311.html

NASA’s Webb Telescope Completes Mirror-Coating Milestone

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major milestone in its development. The mirrors that will fly aboard the telescope have completed the coating process at Quantum Coating Inc. in Moorestown, N.J.

The telescope’s mirrors have been coated with a microscopically thin layer of gold, selected for its ability to properly reflect infrared light from the mirrors into the observatory’s science instruments. The coating allows the Webb telescope’s “infrared eyes” to observe extremely faint objects in infrared light. Webb’s mission is to observe the most distant objects in the universe.

“Finishing all mirror coatings on schedule is another major success story for the Webb telescope mirrors,” said Lee Feinberg, NASA Optical Telescope Element manager for the Webb telescope at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “These coatings easily meet their specifications, ensuring even more scientific discovery potential for the Webb telescope.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/webb-mirror-coating.html

NASA Offers Shuttle Tiles And Space Food To Schools And Universities

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA is offering space shuttle heat shield tiles and dehydrated astronaut food to eligible schools and universities. The initiative is part of the agency’s efforts to preserve the Space Shuttle Program’s history and technology and inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers.

The lightweight tiles protected the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. The food, which was precooked or processed so that refrigeration is unnecessary, is ready to eat or could be prepared simply by adding water or by heating. Schools can register for a login ID and request a tile or food at:  http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-296_Shuttle_Tiles_Space_Food.html

NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

 Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Thom Baur, United Launch Alliance

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Thom Baur, United Launch Alliance

NASA’s twin lunar Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:08 a.m. EDT (6:08 a.m. PDT) Saturday, Sept. 10, to study the moon in unprecedented detail.

GRAIL-A is scheduled to reach the moon on New Year’s Eve 2011, while GRAIL-B will arrive New Year’s Day 2012. The two solar-powered spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field. GRAIL will answer longstanding questions about the moon and give scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-285

Deep Space Capsule Comes Alive With First Weld

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Construction began this week on the first new NASA spacecraft built to take humans to orbit since space shuttle Endeavour left the factory in 1991, and marked a significant milestone in carrying out the ambitious exploration vision President Obama and Congress have laid out for the nation.

Engineers at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans started welding together the first space-bound Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. “The Orion team has maintained a steady focus on progress, and we now are beginning to build hardware for spaceflight,” said Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-297_Orion_Weld.html

Tributes to Terrorism Victims are on Mars

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

In September 2001, Honeybee Robotics employees in lower Manhattan were building a pair of tools for grinding weathered rinds off rocks on Mars, so that scientific instruments on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity could inspect the rocks’ interiors.

That month’s attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, less than a mile away, shook the lives of the employees and millions of others.

Work on the rock abrasion tools needed to meet a tight schedule to allow thorough testing before launch dates governed by the motions of the planets. The people building the tools could not spend much time helping at shelters or in other ways to cope with the life-changing tragedy of Sept. 11. However, they did find a special way to pay tribute to the thousands of victims who perished in the attack.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-281

“Invisible World” Discovered

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Usually, running five minutes late is a bad thing since you might lose your dinner reservation or miss out on tickets to the latest show. But when a planet runs five minutes late, astronomers get excited because it suggests that another world is nearby.

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has spotted a planet that alternately runs late and early in its orbit because a second, “invisible” world is tugging on it. This is the first definite detection of a previously unknown planet using this method. No other technique could have found the unseen companion.

“This invisible planet makes itself known by its influence on the planet we can see,” said astronomer Sarah Ballard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Ballard is lead author on the study, which has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

Full Story: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2011/pr201124.html

NASA GRAIL Moon Mission Launch Rescheduled

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The launch of a Delta II vehicle carrying NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) was scrubbed today, Thursday, Sept. 8, due to weather. Conditions associated with upper level winds were in violation of the launch criteria.

The Delta II and GRAIL are safe and secure at this time. The launch is rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, from Space Launch Complex-17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. There are two instantaneous launch opportunities at 5:33:25 a.m. PDT (8:33:25 a.m. EDT) and 6:12:31 a.m. PDT (9:12:31 a.m. EDT). The forecast for tomorrow (Sept. 9) shows a 40 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-280