JPL News-Month in Review Sept 2022, and NASA-Image of the Day

JPL News-Month in Review Sept 2022, and NASA-Image of the Day                       NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory jplnewsroom@jpl.nasa.gov

CLIMATE CHANGE
NASA Studies Find Previously Unknown Loss of Antarctic Ice
New research on Antarctica, including the first map of iceberg calving, doubles the previous estimates of loss from ice shelves and details how the continent is changing. Read More

 

STARS AND GALAXIES
Engineers Solve Data Glitch on NASA’s Voyager 1
Webb ushers in a new era of exoplanet science with the first unequivocal detection of carbon dioxide in a planetary atmosphere outside our solar system. Read More

     JPL LIFE
NASA Helps Minority-Serving Institutions Refine Tech Proposals

Three teams selected for the agency’s first MSI Space Accelerator visited the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work with mentors in an inspiring conclusion to the 10-week program. Read More

MARS
NASA’s Perseverance Makes New Discoveries in Mars’ Jezero Crater
The rover found that Jezero Crater’s floor is made up of volcanic rocks that have interacted with water. Read More

STARS AND GALAXIES

 

NASA’s Webb Detects Carbon Dioxide in Exoplanet Atmosphere
Webb ushers in a new era of exoplanet science with the first unequivocal detection of carbon dioxide in

a planetary atmosphere outside our solar system. Read More

VIDE

What’s Up – Sept 2022

What’s Up for September? Mars on the move, prime viewing time for Jupiter, and a clever way to

find your bearings on the equinox.

Watch Now

What’s Up: September 2022 Skywatching Tips from NASA

Sep 1, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

What are some skywatching highlights in September 2022? Mars is on the move this month,

forming a “red triangle” with bright red stars Aldebaran and Betelgeuse. Saturn and Jupiter

fly with the Moon on the 9th, and then the Moon slides over closer Jupiter in the morning

sky on the 11th. At the end of the month, September 23rd brings the equinox,

meaning day and night are of nearly equal length, and a change of seasons is

afoot. 0:00 Intro 0:12 Mars on the move in September 0:43 Jupiter at opposition

1:39 Evening planets: Jupiter and Saturn 2:07 September equinox 2:55 September

Moon phases Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What’s Up,

along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available

at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/skywatch….

STARS AND GALAXIES

NASA Scientists Help Probe Dark Energy by Testing Gravity
Could one of the biggest puzzles in astrophysics be solved by reworking Albert Einstein’s

theory of gravity? A new study

co-authored by NASA scientists says not yet. Read More

SOLAR SYSTEM

45 Years Ago: Voyager 2 Begins Its Epic Journey to the Outer Planets and Beyond

The ambitious mission took advantage of a rare alignment of the outer planets before

continuing its journey into interstellar space. Read More

Voyager at 45: NASA’s Longest and Farthest Explorers (Live Q&A)

Streamed live on Aug 30, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Launched in 1977, the twin Voyager probes are NASA’s longest-operating mission and the only

spacecraft ever to explore interstellar space. For two decades after launch, the spacecraft were

planetary explorers, giving us up-close views of the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and

Neptune. Now, as they reach distances far beyond the hopes of their original designers,

the aging spacecraft challenge their team in new ways, requiring creative solutions to keep

them operating and sending back science data from the space between the stars.

As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of these epic explorers, join Voyager deputy

project scientist Linda Spilker and propulsion engineer Todd Barber for a live Q&A.

SOLAR SYSTEM
Voyager, NASA’s Longest-Lived Mission, Logs 45 Years in Space
Launched in 1977, the twin Voyager probes are NASA’s longest-operating mission

and the only spacecraft ever to explore interstellar space. Read More

STARS AND GALAXIES

Test Chamber for NASA’s New Cosmic Mapmaker Makes Dramatic Entrance
The SPHEREx mission will create a 3D map of the entire sky. Its cutting-edge

instruments require a custom-built chamber to make sure they’ll be ready to

operate in space. Read More

GALLERY

Robots in Development at JPL

Check out this curated gallery of some prototypes of some future explorers.

View Now

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/image-gallery-robotics?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nasajpl&utm_content=monthly20220902-18

ROBOTICS.

Image Gallery: Robotics

Explorers in Development at JPL

JPL is the lead NASA center for robotic exploration, which means we send robots, not humans, into space. Here is a gallery of some prototypes of future explorers that have recently been in development. Some can help us on Earth, while others may lead the way for exploration of our solar system.

Nebula-Spot

Aug. 25, 2022

CREDIT

NASA/JPL-Caltech

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/nebula-spot

The DuAxel Rover During a Field Test in California’s Mojave Desert

Oct. 13, 2020The DuAxel rover participates in a field test in the Mojave Desert in California.

The four-wheeled rover is composed of two separate two-wheeled Axel robots, which

are attached to one another via a tether. When the robot needs to travel to over long

distances, it operates as one conventional rover with four wheels. Once it reaches its

destination, it can separate and transform into two robots: One part anchors itself in

place while the other uses a tether to explore otherwise inaccessible terrain.

This flexibility was built with crater walls, pits, scarps, vents, and other extreme terrain

in mind. That’s because on Earth, some of the best locations to study geology can be

found in rocky outcrops and cliff faces, where many layers of the past are neatly exposed.

They’re hard enough to reach here, let alone on the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies.

The DuAxel project is a technology demonstration being developed by roboticists at

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to see how this unconventional

rover might fill a niche in planetary exploration.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia24108-the-duaxel-rover-during-a-field-test-in-californias-mojave-desert

DuAxel Undocks a Tethered Axel to Explore a Steep Slope

Oct. 13, 2020

During a field test in the Mojave Desert, the DuAxel robot separates into two single-axled

robots so that one can rappel down a slope too steep for conventional rovers.

The tether connecting both Axels not only allows the one robot to descend

the slope while the other remains anchored in place, it also provides power and

a means of communication with the anchoring robot above.

The DuAxel project is a technology demonstration being developed by roboticists at

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to see how this unconventional

rover might fill a niche in the exploration the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

More information about Axel can be found here:

https://www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/systems/system.cfm?System=16

 CREDIT

NASA/JPL-Caltech/J.D. Gammell

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia24109-duaxel-undocks-a-tethered-axel-to-explore-a-steep-slope

 ROBOTICS AT JPL.

A-PUFFER

Inspired by origami, the foldable Autonomous Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot

(A-PUFFER) was developed as a prototype concept to scout regions on the Moon

and gain information about locations that may be difficult for astronauts to investigate

on foot. Learn more 

A foldable robot that can access tight spaces

Robot Statistics

ABILITY

Driving, Folding

ENVIRONMENT

Ground, Surface

STATUS

Completed (since 2020)

POTENTIAL DESTINATIONS

Earth, Moon, Mars, Icy Moons

ANIMAL ANALOG: PUFFER FISH

About A-PUFFER

Inspired by origami, the foldable Autonomous Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer

Robot (A-PUFFER) was developed to scout regions on the Moon and gain

information about locations that may be difficult for astronauts to investigate

on foot, such as hard-to-reach craters and narrow caves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORS

Off-the-shelf

The latest in the PUFFER series of robots features an upgraded onboard

computer with a wireless radio for communication and a stereo camera for

sensing the environment in front of it. The use of commercial off-the-shelf

electronics and manufacturing capabilities enables low-cost production of multip

 

 

 

 

 

AGILITY

Collaboration

Because each A-PUFFER is small enough to fit in a shoebox, multiple

robots can be deployed to work together cooperatively to support Earth

science as well as future Mars and icy moon science mission concepts

in ways that are not possible with a single rover.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/robotics-at-jpl/a-puffer

RoboSimian Competes

July 16, 2014

RoboSimian, a limbed robot developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion

Laboratory in Pasadena, California, competed in the DARPA Robotics

Challenge (DRC) Trials in Florida in December 2013. The robot weighs

238 pounds (108 kilograms), including its battery, and stands at 5.4 feet

(164 cm) in its bipedal pose. The DRC Finals will take place in Pomona,

California, from June 5-6, 2015.

The RoboSimian team is led by JPL. Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.,

collaborated on the development of the robot’s unique hands.

The California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages JPL

for NASA. For more information about robotics at JPL, including

involvement with the DARPA Robotics Challenge,

see http://www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm.

TARGET

INSTRUMENT

  • RoboSimian

CREDIT

JPL-Caltech

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia18565-robosimian-competes

Image Gallery: Robotics

 BRUIE

BRUIE, or the Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration, is being developed at

JPL for underwater exploration in ice-covered regions on Earth, and in the icy

waters of ocean worlds elsewhere in our solar system. The long-term goal is

to be able to deploy BRUIE for autonomous operations in an alien ocean,

where it would search for signs of life at the boundary between the ice shell and ocean.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/image-gallery-robotics?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nasajpl&utm_content=monthly20220902-18

Lemur-3

Aug. 25, 2022

FreeClimber: LEMUR 3 belongs to a new generation of robots being built at JPL that can

crawl, walk and even climb rock walls. This robot was designed to operate in extreme

terrains, demonstrating the applicability of its systems for possible missions to Mars,

the Moon, and small bodies. It was developed under sponsorship of NASA Science

Mission Directorate.

CREDIT

NASA/JPL-Caltech

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/robotics-at-jpl/freeclimber-lemur-3

 ROMAN

A powerful robot designed to work in real-world environments

Robot Statistics

MASS

113.398 KILOGRAMS

LENGTH

1.26 METERS

SPEED

4.5 M/S

ABILITY

Driving, Manipulating

STATUS

Completed (since 2020)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANIMAL ANALOG: HUMAN

About RoMan

Roman was built to advance the ability of autonomous

robots to interact with the wide variety of objects that

they might encounter in human-scale environments,

be they small and hard to grasp or large, heavy, and

difficult to move. It uses its tracked base and array of

sensors to navigate any relatively flat terrain, such as

inside buildings, around urban streets, and through

grassy outdoor areas. Its potential applications include

search-and-rescue missions in disaster zones, where

it could help clear rubble or lift and move obstacles.

The RoMan platform was developed in collaboration

with the CCDC Army Research Laboratory.

DEXTERITY

Multi-handed

Multi-handed Each of Roman’s two strong arms (based on RoboSimian’s limbs)

are equipped with either a three-finger gripper to delicately grasp lighter,

more complex objects or a JPL-designed “CamHand” that can drag debris

as large as a tree limb out of the robot’s way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRENGTH

Ripped Robot

RoMan’s arms are strong enough that it can do one-handed pushups,

as its operators discovered when they forget to turn on collision

avoidance and it drove its palm into the ground

JPL Robotics Technologist Joseph Bowkett poses with RoMan.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/robotics-at-jpl/subterranean-rollocopter

ROLLOCOPTER

An innovative robot that can either roll or fly

Robot Statistics

ABILITY

Driving, Flying

ENVIRONMENT

Aerial, Ground, Surface

MOVEMENT

Wheeled, Moving, Flight

STATUS

Completed (since 2020)

About Rollocopter

Is it a rover or a flyer? It’s both. Rollocopter, a hybrid aerial

and terrestrial platform, uses a quadrotor system to fly

or roll along on two passive wheels. This design gives

the robot greater range than aerial-only quadrotors

and eliminates obstacle-avoidance issues associated

with ground-only robots. When Rollocopter encounters

an obstacle, it can simply fly over it. To fly this robot

requires a celestial body with an atmosphere and

could be used to explore subterranean caves other worlds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGILITY

All-in-One

Rollocopter uses the same motors and control system for

both flying and rolling, which keeps it simple and light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOBILITY

Long Hauler

It can travel distances up to 10 times greater than an aerial drone.

Image gallery

Gallery description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/robotics-at-jpl/subterranean-rollocopter

Find Out More

DARPA Subterranean Challenge at JPL Robotics

NASA Robots Compete Underground in DARPA Challenge

JPL and the Space Age: The Footsteps of Voyager

Premiered Aug 25, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

While the legendary Voyager 2 was in the midst of its triumphant

Grand Tour through the outer planets, the space shuttle era was

underway on Earth. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory would be

among the first to demonstrate how NASA’s new shuttle could be

used to conduct science experiments about our own planet from

the vantage of space. But for launching missions to targets beyond

Earth orbit, the shuttle posed engineering challenges. One mission

that launched from the shuttle was Galileo, JPL’s flagship mission

to Jupiter, and its route to the launch pad would be full of unexpected

twists and turns. Drawing on rare film footage as well as the memories

of the engineers and scientists who were there, “The Footsteps of

Voyager” recounts the dramatic experiences of these first-ever

encounters at Uranus and Neptune and the efforts to deploy Galileo,

a mission that would become the first to orbit an outer planet.

Documentary length: 56 minutes 

JPL and the Space Age: The Pathfinders

Premiered Jun 30, 2022 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It started with JPL agreeing to land something on Mars – cheaply –

and do it in a radically different way. This is how the era NASA called

“Faster, Better, Cheaper” began. The documentary film

“The Pathfinders” tells the story of a small group of engineers

at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who did not heed warnings

that the audacious challenge of landing on Mars with airbags

would likely not be a career-enhancing move. From relying

on a parachute that could not be tested in a way to match

the Martian atmosphere to receiving the late addition of

an unwanted rover that wouldn’t have looked out of place

in a toy store, the Mars Pathfinder mission was a doubter’s

dream, taken on by a mostly young group of engineers and

scientists guided by a grizzled manager known for his

maverick ways. “The Pathfinders” retraces the journey

of this daring mission to Mars that captured the imagination

of people around the world with its dramatic landing and

its tiny rover – the first wheels ever to roll on Mars.

Documentary length: 60 minutes 

JPL and the Space Age: The Stuff of Dreams

Premiered Aug 24, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

In 1977, the greatest adventure in space exploration began

with the launch of the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft,

two robotic explorers designed to explore the deep reaches

of our solar system. The Voyagers were the creations of

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where a brash young

scientist had just been put in charge. His ambition was to

take the next steps in exploring the solar system. Instead,

he found himself struggling for JPL’s very survival in the

midst of financial cutbacks at the very same time of the

Voyagers’ triumphs of discoveries at Jupiter and Saturn.

“The Stuff of Dreams” tells the story of the Voyagers’

astounding successes and unexpected discoveries – but

most of all, it’s a tale of perseverance by people and machines

struggling against forces put in their way. Documentary

length: 1 hour 27 minutes

NASA – Image of the Day

Sep 2, 2022

The Crater Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three impact craters are displayed in this three-dimensional perspective view

of the surface of Venus taken by NASA’s Magellan, the first deep space probe

launched by a space shuttle. The center of the image is located at approximately

27 degrees south latitude, 339 degrees east longitude in the northwestern portion

of the Lavinia Planitia region of Venus.

Read More: The Crater Farm

Image credit: NASA/JPL

Last Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Editor: Michael Bock

Tags:  Image of the Day, Venus

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-crater-farm

Aug 31, 2022

Lacerta’s Star Outshines a Galaxy

In space, being outshone is an occupational hazard. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a galaxy named NGC 7250. Despite being remarkable in its own right — it has bright bursts of star formation and recorded supernova explosions — it blends into the background somewhat thanks to the gloriously bright star hogging the limelight next to it. This bright object is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard), much closer than the much more distant galaxy. Only this way a normal star can outshine an entire galaxy, consisting of billions of stars. Astronomers studying distant objects call these stars “foreground stars” and they are often not very happy about them, as their bright light is contaminating the faint light from the more distant and interesting objects they actually want to study. In this case TYC 3203-450-1 million times closer than NGC 7250 which lies over 45 million light-years away from us. Would the star be the same distance as NGC 7250, it would hardly be visible in this image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little-studied star, TYC 3203-450-1, upstages a galaxy in this Hubble Telescope

image from December 2017. Both the star and the galaxy are within the Lizard

constellation, Lacerta. However, the star is much closer than the much more

distant galaxy.

Astronomers studying distant objects call these stars “foreground stars”

and they are often not very happy about them, as their bright light is

contaminating the faint light from the more distant and interesting

objects they actually want to study.

See more images from Hubble.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Text credit: European Space Agency

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  GalaxiesHubble Space TelescopeImage of the DayStars

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/lacerta-s-star-outshines-a-galaxy

 Aug 30, 2022

A Peek Into Jupiter’s Inner Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auroras and hazes glow in this composite image of Jupiter taken by

the James Webb Space Telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam).

NIRCam has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet.

Since infrared light is invisible to the human eye, the light has been

mapped onto the visible spectrum: the auroras are mapped to

redder colors, hazes to yellows and greens, and light reflected

from a deeper main cloud to blues.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team;

image processing by Judy Schmidt.

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Image of the Day, James Webb Space Telescope, Jupiter

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-peek-into-jupiter-s-inner-life

Aug 29, 2022

Early Morning Artemis I

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, as the Artemis I launch teams load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants including liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as the launch countdown progresses at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis I flight test is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. Launch of the uncrewed flight test is targeted for no earlier than 8:33 a.m. ET. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft

aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B, Monday,

Aug. 29, 2022, as the Artemis I launch teams loaded more than 700,000

gallons of cryogenic propellants including liquid hydrogen and liquid

oxygen. The Artemis I flight test is the first integrated test of our deep

space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and

supporting ground systems.

NASA waved off the Aug. 29 launch attempt after a test to get

the RS-25 engines on the bottom of the core stage to the

proper temperature range for liftoff was not successful.

Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Artemis IImage of the DayKennedy Space CenterMoon to Mars,

Orion SpacecraftSpace Launch System

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/early-morning-artemis-i

Aug 26, 2022

Apollo 15 Catches Earth on the Horizon 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This view of the crescent Earth over the Moon’s horizon was taken during

the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission. Apollo 15 launched from the Kennedy

Space Center on July 26, 1971 via a Saturn V launch vehicle. Aboard was

a crew of three astronauts: David R. Scott, mission commander; James B.

Irwin, lunar module pilot; and Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot.

Designed to explore the Moon over longer periods, greater ranges,

and with more instruments for the collection of scientific data than

before, Apollo 15 included the introduction of a $40 million lunar

roving vehicle (LRV) that reached a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph)

across the Moon’s surface.

The successful Apollo 15 lunar landing mission was the first

in a series of three advanced missions planned for the

Apollo program. The primary scientific objectives were

to observe the lunar surface, survey and sample material

and surface features in a preselected area of the Hadley-Apennine

region, setup and activate surface experiments, and

conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks

from lunar orbit. Apollo 15 televised the first lunar liftoff

and recorded a walk in deep space by Worden. Both

the Saturn V rocket and the LRV were developed at

the Marshall Space Flight Center.

Image credit: NASA

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  ApolloApollo 15Image of the Day

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/apollo-15-catches-earth-on-the-horizon

Aug 25, 2022

NASA T-38s Soar Over Artemis I

 

PHOTO DATE: August 23, 2022. LOCATION: Kennedy Space Center. SUBJECT: NASA T-38s fly in formation above the Space Launch System rocket on Launch Pad 39B. NASA 901: Chris Condon / Zena Cardman. 902: Nicole Ayers / Christina Koch. 903: Jeremy Hansen / Drew Morgan. 904: Reid Wiseman / Joe Acaba. 905 (Photo Chase): Jack Hathaway / Josh Valcarcel (NASA Photographer)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Josh Valcarcel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-38 planes are a fixture of astronaut training, assisting pilots and

mission specialists to think quickly in changing situations. Here,

our T-38s fly in formation above the Space Launch System

(SLS) rocket on Launch Pad 39B. The SLS and Orion

spacecraft for the Artemis I mission will launch no

earlier than Aug. 29, 2022.

Astronaut Andrew Morgan posted this and two other

photos on Twitter on Aug. 25, 2022, saying “This week

we flew over @NASAArtemis, thanking the @nasa

centers across the country that put this Moon rocket

on @NASAKennedy’s pad and celebrating the upcoming test flight!”

Image credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  AeronauticsArtemis IImage of the DayKennedy Space Center

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-t-38s-soar-over-artemis-i

Aug 24, 2022

Milky Way Time Lapse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time lapse of the Milky Way Galaxy taken from the International

Space Station (ISS) also captured a lightning strike on Earth so bright

that it lit up the space station’s solar panels.

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren posted this on Twitter and Instagram on

Sept. 2, 2015, saying, “Large lightning strike on Earth lights up or

solar panels.”

See more photos from the ISS.

Image credit: NASA/Kjell Lindgren

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Galaxies, Image of the Day, International Space Station (ISS), Universe

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/milky-way-time-lapse

Aug 23, 2022

The Historic X-1E Looks Forward

This is a forward-looking view of the X-1E that stands on static display in front of the main office building at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Captured in the background of the image is the Waning Gibbous Moon on November 22, 2021. Visible off the nose of the X-1E is the air data probe with alpha and beta vanes which measured vertical and horizontal motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The supersonic X-1E research aircraft was the last of NASA’s

experimental X-1 series of aircraft. From 1955-1958, it made

26 flights and one captive flight (attached to a carrier aircraft).

Research flights took place over what is now NASA’s

Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

In this photo from November 2021, the X-1E looks

toward the full Moon.

Image credit: NASA/Joshua Fisher

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Aeronautics, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Image of the Day, NACA, Supersonic Flight

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-historic-x-1e-looks-forward

Aug 22, 2022

NASA’s Europa Clipper in High Bay 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The core of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft has taken center stage

in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the agency’s Jet Propulsion

Laboratory in Southern California. Standing 10 feet (3 meters) high

and 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide, the craft’s main body will for the next

two years be the focus of attention in the facility’s ultra-hygienic

High Bay 1 as engineers and technicians assemble the spacecraft

for its launch to Jupiter’s moon Europa in October 2024.

See more images of the spacecraft coming together.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Europa (Moon), Europa Clipper, Image of the Day, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-europa-clipper-in-high-bay-1

Aug 19, 2022

Moon Over New Orleans

A paddlewheeler makes its way up the Mississippi River as the moon rises over New Orleans on Sunday evening, August 22, 2021. The August Sturgeon Moon, which was also a rare Blue Moon, was full at 7:02 A.M. local time Sunday but the moon still put on a show when it rose over New Orleans later that evening. New Orleans is home to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility where the core stage of the Space Launch System that will return people to the moon is being built.
Image credit: NASA/Michael DeMocker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A paddlewheeler makes its way up the Mississippi River as the Moon

rises over New Orleans on Sunday evening, Aug. 22, 2021.

The August Sturgeon Moon, which was also a rare Blue Moon,

was full at 7:02 a.m. local time Sunday but the nearly full

Moon still put on a show when it rose over New Orleans

later that evening. New Orleans is home to the NASA

Michoud Assembly Facility, where the core stage of the

Space Launch System that will return people to

the Moon was built.

Credit: NASA/Michael DeMocker

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Earth’s Moon, Image of the Day

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/moon-over-new-orleans

Aug 18, 2022

Voyager 1 Sees the Great Red Spot

Voyager 1 at Jupiter – Red spot
Image taken on March 5, 1979
This image was re-processed on November 6, 1998 and re-recorded to film on the MDA film recorder, MRPS ID# 93779, from which this file was scanned.
Original vidicon image size is 800 lines with 800 pixels per line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launched in 1977, the twin Voyager probes are NASA’s longest-operating

mission and the only spacecraft ever to explore interstellar space. 45 years

on, Voyager 1 and 2 continue to provide us with observations of the farthest

reaches of space.

Our Voyager 1 spacecraft zoomed toward Jupiter in January and

February 1979, capturing hundreds of images of Jupiter during its

approach, including this close-up of swirling clouds around

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

Learn more about Voyager: Voyager, NASA’s Longest-Lived Mission,

Logs 45 Years in Space

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Image of the Day, Jupiter, NASA History, Voyager

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/voyager-1-sees-the-great-red-spot

Aug 16, 2022

Perennial Perseids

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perseid meteors are an annual event many skywatchers look forward to,

as they often produce lots of shooting stars to enjoy. The Perseids are

debris remnants of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the

Sun once. The meteors often leave long “wakes” of light and color behind

them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere. They’re also known for

their fireballs, which are larger explosions of light and color that can

persist longer than an average meteor streak.

This photo was taken Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Image of the Day, Meteors & Meteorites

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/perennial-perseids

Aug 15, 2022

Aquanaut Gets to Work Underwater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A team of roboticists from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston have

applied their expertise in making robots for deep space to designing a fully

electric shape-changing submersible robot that will cut costs for maritime

industries. Aquanaut, seen here during testing in the giant pool at Johnson’s

Neutral Buoyancy Lab, opens its shell and turns its arms, claw hands, and

various sensors to the job.

NASA has a long history of transferring technology to the private sector.

The agency’s Spinoff publication profiles NASA technologies that have

transformed into commercial products and services, demonstrating

the broader benefits of America’s investment in its space program.

Spinoff is a publication of the Technology Transfer program in

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

Learn more: NASA Space Robotics Dive into Deep-Sea Work

Image credit: Nauticus Robotics Inc.

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Editor: Monika Luabeya

Tags:  Benefits to You, Image of the Day, Robotics, Space Tech

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/aquanaut-gets-to-work-underwater

Aug 12, 2022

Hubble Peers at Celestial Cloudscape

This celestial cloudscape from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the colourful region surrounding the Herbig-Haro object HH 505. Herbig-Haro objects are luminous regions surrounding newborn stars, and are formed when ionised jets of gas spewing from these newborn stars collide with nearby gas and dust at high speeds. In the case of HH 505, these jets originate from the star IX Ori, which lies on the outskirts of the Orion Nebula around 1000 light-years from Earth. The jets themselves are visible as gracefully curving structures at the top and bottom of this image, and are distorted into sinuous curves by their interaction with the large-scale flow of gas and dust from the core of the Orion Nebula. This observation was captured with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) by astronomers studying the properties of outflows and protoplanetary discs. The Orion Nebula is awash in intense ultraviolet radiation from bright young stars. Stellar jets are irradiated while they collide with the surrounding gas and dust, lighting them up for Hubble to see. This allows astronomers to directly observe jets and outflows and learn more about their structures. The Orion Nebula is a dynamic region of dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming, and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. As a result, it is one of the most scrutinised areas of the night sky and has often been a target for Hubble. This observation was also part of a spellbinding Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula, which combined 520 ACS images in five different colours to create the sharpest view ever taken of the region.

This celestial cloudscape from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the colorful region in the Orion Nebula surrounding the Herbig-Haro object HH 505. Herbig-Haro objects are luminous regions surrounding newborn stars that form when stellar winds or jets of gas spew from these infant stars creating shockwaves that collide with nearby gas and dust at high speeds. In the case of HH 505, these outflows originate from the star IX Ori, which lies on the outskirts of the Orion Nebula around 1,000 light-years from Earth. The outflows themselves are visible as gracefully curving structures at the top and bottom of this image. Their interaction with the large-scale flow of gas and dust from the core of the nebula distorts them into sinuous curves.

Captured with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) by astronomers studying the properties of outflows and protoplanetary disks, the image reveals bright shockwaves formed by the outflows as well as slower moving currents of stellar material. The Orion Nebula is awash in intense ultraviolet radiation from bright young stars. Hubble’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light allows astronomers to directly observe these high-energy outflows and learn more about their structures.

The Orion Nebula is a dynamic region of dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming. It is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth, making it one of the most scrutinized areas of the night sky and often a target for Hubble. This observation was also part of a spellbinding Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula, which combined 520 ACS images in five different colors to create the sharpest view ever taken of the region.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Bally; Acknowledgment: M. H. Özsaraç

Media Contact:

Claire Andreoli
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD
301-286-1940

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Editor: Andrea Gianopoulos

Tags:  Goddard Space Flight Center, Hubble Space Telescope, Image of the Day, Nebulae, Stars, Universe

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2022/hubble-peers-at-celestial-cloudscape

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JPL News-Month in Review, NASA -Climate Change, May 2022

JPL News-Month in Review, NASA-Climate Change, May 2022

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory <jplnewsroom@jpl.nasa.gov>

 EARTH

California Field Campaign Helping Scientists Protect Diverse Ecosystems
Above Santa Barbara County, the Surface Biology and Geology High-Frequency Time Series, or SHIFT, campaign collects data to understand land and aquatic ecosystems. Read More

EARTH.

California Field Campaign Helping Scientists Protect Diverse Ecosystems

A research plane collecting spectral imaging data of vegetation on land and in the ocean as part of the SHIFT campaign flies just off the Central Coast of California near Point Conception and the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve in February. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Full Image Details

The SHIFT campaign uses a research plane carrying the AVIRIS-NG instrument to collect data on the function, health, and resilience of plant communities in the 640-square-mile (1,656-square-kilometer) area of Santa Barbara County and the nearby ocean shown in this annotated map. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Full Image Details

RELATED NEWS 

CLIMATE CHANGE.

NASA’s EMIT Will Map Tiny Dust Particles to Study Big Climate Impacts

EARTH.

NASA Finds New Way to Monitor Underground Water Loss

EARTH.

International Sea Level Satellite Takes Over From Predecessor

CLIMATE CHANGE.

Thawing Permafrost Could Leach Microbes, Chemicals Into Environment

CLIMATE CHANGE

NASA Finds Each State Has Its Own Climatic Threshold for Flu Outbreaks

EARTH.

California Fire Led to Spike in Bacteria, Cloudiness in Coastal Waters

EARTH.

NASA Supports Research to Advance Earth Science

CLIMATE CHANGE

Sea Level to Rise up to a Foot by 2050, Interagency Report Finds

WEATHER
Clusters of Weather Extremes Will Increase Risks to Corn Crops, Society
To assess how climate warming will change risks such as crop failures and wildfires, it’s necessary to look at how the risks are likely to interact. Read More

WEATHER.

New Space-Based Weather Instruments Start Gathering Data

MARS

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Scouts Ridgeline for Perseverance Science Team

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter scouted this ridgeline near the ancient river delta in Jezero Crater because it is of interest to Perseverance rover scientists. Enlarged at right is a close-up of one of the ridgeline’s rocky outcrops. The image was captured on April 23, during the rotorcraft’s 27th flight.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-mars-helicopter-scouts-ridgeline-for-perseverance-science-team

 

MARS
NASA’s Mars Helicopter Spots Gear That Helped Perseverance Rover Land
Eyeing some of the components that enabled the rover to get safely to the Martian surface could provide valuable insights for future missions. Read More

This image of Perseverance’s backshell and parachute was collected by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 26th flight on April 19, 2022.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Full Image Details

MARS.

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Spots Gear That Helped Perseverance Rover Land

This image of Perseverance’s backshell and supersonic parachute was captured by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 26th flight on Mars on April 19, 2022.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Full Image Details 

SOLAR SYSTEM
Greenland Ice, Jupiter Moon Share Similar Feature
Parallel ice ridges, a common feature on Jupiter’s moon Europa, are found on Greenland’s ice sheet – and could bode well for Europa’s potential habitability. Read More

 The surface geology of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is on display in this view made from images taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

SOLAR SYSTEM.

Greenland Ice, Jupiter Moon Share Similar Feature

A double ridge cutting across the surface of Europa is seen in this mosaic of two images taken by NASA’s Galileo during the spacecraft’s close flyby on Feb. 20, 1997. Analysis of a similar feature in Greenland suggests shallow liquid water may be ubiquitous across the Jovian moon’s icy shell.

Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

SOLAR SYSTEM
NASA Extends Exploration for 8 Planetary Science Missions

An illustration shows our solar system (not to scale).

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Among the missions are InSight, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, and Curiosity, all of which have been critical to expanding our understanding of the Red Planet. Read More

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasa-extends-exploration-for-8-planetary-science-missions

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars

April 20, 2022

The Mastcam-Z camera recorded video of Phobos, one of the Red Planet’s two moons, to study how its orbit is changing over time.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its Mastcam-Z camera to shoot video of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, eclipsing the Sun. It’s the most zoomed-in, highest-frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/SSI Full Image Details

NASA’s Perseveranc

MARS.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Sees Solar Eclipse on Mars

Apr 20, 2022           NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its Mastcam-Z camera system to shoot video of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, eclipsing the Sun. It’s the most zoomed-in, highest frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface. Several Mars rovers have observed Phobos crossing in front of the Sun over the past 18 years. Spirit and Opportunity made the first observations back in 2004; Curiosity in 2019 was the first to record video of the event. Each time these eclipses are observed, they allow scientists to measure subtle shifts in Phobos’ orbit over time. The moon’s tidal forces pull on the deep interior of the Red Planet, as well as its crust and mantle; studying how much Phobos shifts over time reveals something about how resistant the crust and mantle are, and thus what kinds of materials they’re made of. The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/SSI

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Arrives at Delta for New Science Campaign

April 19, 2022

MARS.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Arrives at Delta for New Science Campaign

The expanse of Jezero Crater’s river delta is shown in this panorama of 64 stitched-together images taken by the Mastcam-Z system on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on April 11, 2022, the 406th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS Full Image Details

This image of the parachute that helped deliver NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover to the Martian surface was taken by the rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument on April 6, 2022.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Full Image Details

“The delta at Jezero Crater pr

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-perseverance-rover-arrives-at-delta-for-new-science-campaign

MARS.

What Sounds Captured by NASA’s Perseverane Rover Reveal About Mars

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Puff, Whir, Zap Sounds from Mars

Apr 1, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Listen closely to new sounds from Mars recorded by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, including puffs and pings from a rover tool, light Martian wind, the whirring of the agency’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, and laser zaps. Most of the sounds – best heard through headphones with the sound up – were recorded using the microphone belonging to Perseverance’s SuperCam instrument, mounted on the head of the rover’s mast. Other sounds, including the puffs and pings from the rover’s Gaseous Dust Removal Tool, or gDRT, blowing shavings off rock faces, were recorded by another microphone mounted on the chassis of the rover. A new study based on recordings made by the rover reveals that the speed of sound is slower on the Red Planet than on Earth and that, mostly, a deep silence prevails in the much thinner atmosphere. For more information on the study go to: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/what-so… For more about Perseverance go to mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/ and nasa.gov/perseverance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/LANL/CNES/IRAP

This illustration indicates the placement of Perseverance’s two microphones. The microphone on the mast is part of the SuperCam science instrument. The microphone on the side of the rover was intended to capture the sounds of entry, descent, and landing for public engagement.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Full Image Details

 

JPL LIFE

NASA Wins 3 Webby Awards, 5 People’s Voice Awards for 2022

April 27, 2022

The awards are the highest honor for online communications.

Credit: Webby Awards

The JPL-managed NASA’s Global Climate Change and Solar System Exploration sites, along with JPL’s virtual tour, are among the winners.

 Read More

JPL LIFE

JPL Commits to First-Ever Space Industry Diversity Pledge
Interim Director Larry James joined 22 executives in a commitment to significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups by 2030. Read More

Inclusion is a JPL core value.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Interim Director Larry James joined 22 executives in a commitment to significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups by 2030.

Twenty-three space industry executives, including Larry James, interim director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, gathered at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 5 to pledge their commitment to advancing diversity across the collective workforce in coming years.

The executives signed the “Space Workforce 2030” pledge, the first-ever space industry commitment of its kind to “significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups.” Each company will agree to annual reporting of data on diversity in our collective technical workforce, a regular cadence of exchanges of best practices, and work with universities to increase the number of diverse and underrepresented students graduating ready to join the space industry.

“We’re excited to be a part of this industry initiative and continuing to lead the way in growing our diverse and inclusive workforce,” said James. “We know that these qualities lead to stronger teams and innovative solutions – key things we need here at JPL as we tackle the toughest challenges in science and engineering.”

Cozette Hart, JPL’s director for human resources, is proud of JPL’s partnership in this effort.

“We’ve shared JPL DEI data in our annual report, so the unification and commitment of our industry to broaden this work is an extremely positive step for all of us,” said Hart.

Neela Rajendra, the Lab’s manager of diversity, equity, and inclusion, acknowledged the importance of being part of a cohort of other aerospace organizations where companies can identify trends and learn from each other.

“This is industry-specific and even more powerful,” she said. “There’s a recognition that if we can advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for the industry as a whole, we’ll all benefit from it.”

Collaboration also helps JPL refine its diversity focus areas as the Lab continues to develop its strategic plan, Rajendra added.

By signing the pledge, the companies vow to accomplish the following by 2030:

  • Significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups in our collective technical workforce.
  • Significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups who hold senior leadership positions in our collective technical workforce.
  • Work with universities to increase the percentages of women and students from underrepresented groups receiving aerospace engineering degrees to levels commensurate with overall engineering programs.
  • Sponsor K-12 programs that collectively reach over 5 million underrepresented students annually.
  • Meet twice a year at the working level to exchange best practices on strengthening diversity recruitment, STEM education outreach, and representation at leadership levels.
  • Seek like-minded leaders and organizations to join this effort.

“This effort links to the DEI recruitment efforts already in place at JPL,” shared Hart. “In partnership with these companies and our universities, colleges, and organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), etc., we will be implementing even more opportunities for current and potential employees in the future.”

“Essentially, we’re committing to continuing the focus on our talent pipeline and really supporting future employees,” said Rajendra. “It’s about ensuring that all students and future talent have the opportunity to join the technical fields in aerospace regardless of background, socioeconomic status, or self-identity.”

Find the full list of “Space Workforce 2030” signatories below:

  • Roy Azevedo, president of Raytheon Intelligence & Space
  • Payam Banazadeh, CEO at Capella Space
  • Peter Beck, CEO at Rocket Lab
  • Tory Bruno, CEO at United Launch Alliance
  • Jim Chilton, senior VP of Space & Launch at Boeing
  • Michael Colglazier, CEO at Virgin Galactic
  • Eileen Drake, CEO and president of AeroJet Rocketdyne
  • Tim Ellis, CEO at Relativity Space
  • John Gedmark, CEO at Astranis Space Technologies
  • Steve Isakowitz, CEO at The Aerospace Corporation
  • Larry James, acting director at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Daniel Jablonsky, CEO at Maxar Technologies
  • Dave Kaufman, president of Ball Aerospace
  • Chris Kemp, CEO at Astra
  • Robert Lightfoot, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space
  • Will Marshall, CEO at Planet
  • Dan Piemont, president of ABL Space Systems
  • Peter Platzer, CEO at Spire Global
  • John Serafini, CEO at HawkEye 360
  • Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX
  • Melanie Stricklan, CEO at Slingshot Aerospace
  • Amela Wilson, CEO at Nanoracks
  • Tom Wilson, president of Space Systems at Northrop Grumman

News Media Contact

Matthew Segal

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

818-354-8307

matthew.j.segal@jpl.nasa.gov

2022-052

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STARS AND GALAXIES
Webb Telescope’s Coldest Instrument Reaches Operating Temperature
With help from a cryocooler, the Mid-Infrared Instrument has dropped down to just a few degrees above the lowest temperature matter can reach and is ready for calibration. Read More

In this illustration, the multilayered sunshield on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope stretches out beneath the observatory’s honeycomb mirror. The sunshield is the first step in cooling down Webb’s infrared instruments, but the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) requires additional help to reach its operating temperature.

Credit: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

STARS AND GALAXIES.

What’s Up – May 2022

April 29, 2022

What are some skywatching highlights in May 2022? May provides some great planet spotting, including a conjunction of Jupiter a conjunction of Jupiter and Mars.

Read More

What are some skywatching highlights in May 2022? May provides some great planet spotting, including a close conjunction of Jupiter and Mars. At mid-month, a total eclipse of the Moon should delight skywatchers across the Americas, Europe, and Africa. And all month long, the Coma star cluster (aka, the Coma Berenices star cluster, or Melotte 111) is a great target for binoculars in the evening.

What’s Up: May 2022 Skywatching Tips from NASA

Apr 29, 2022  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

What are some skywatching highlights in May 2022? May provides some great planet spotting, including a close conjunction of Jupiter and Mars. At mid-month, a total eclipse of the Moon should delight skywatchers across the Americas, Europe, and Africa. And all month long, the Coma star cluster (aka, the Coma Berenices star cluster, or Melotte 111) is a great target for binoculars in the evening. YouTube Full Description (i.e., “Show More”) 0:00 Intro 0:11 Planet-spotting opportunities 1:02 Lunar eclipse 2:27 The Coma star cluster 3:33 May Moon phases Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What’s Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/skywatch….

Chapters

Intro

0:00

Planet-spotting opportunities

0:11

Lunar eclipse

1:02

The Coma star cluster

2:27

May Moon phases

3:33

Transcript:

What’s Up for May? The planets of dusk and dawn, a lunar eclipse, and the Coma star cluster.

May begins and ends with a couple of great planet-spotting opportunities. On May 2nd, look to the west about 45 minutes after sunset to find Mercury about 10 degrees off the horizon, accompanied by a slim crescent moon. Just to the south of the Moon is brilliant red giant star Aldebaran, which should be roughly the same brightness as Mercury. (And by the way, this is the only chance to spot a naked-eye planet in the early evening until August.)

Then in the last week of May, you can watch each morning as Jupiter and Mars get increasingly close in the predawn sky. Their morning meetup culminates in a close conjunction that you can watch on the 28th through the 30th, where they’ll be separated by barely the width of the full moon. Should look incredible with binoculars, where you can also see Jupiter’s largest moons.

Skywatchers in the Western Hemisphere can look forward to a total lunar eclipse in mid-May. The event will be visible across the Americas, Europe, and Africa – basically anywhere the Moon is above the horizon at the time.

The visible part of the eclipse begins about 10:30pm U.S. Eastern time on May 15th, with totality starting an hour later and lasting for about an hour and a half. Those in the Eastern U.S. will see the eclipse start with the Moon well above the horizon. For the Central U.S., the eclipse starts about an hour and a half after dark, with the Moon relatively low in the sky. On the West coast of the U.S., the Moon rises with totality beginning or already underway, so you’ll want to find a clear view toward the southeast if viewing from there.

Now, lunar eclipses are the ones that are safe to look at directly with your eyes, binoculars, or a telescope (unlike solar eclipses).

The Moon takes on a dim, reddish hue during the period of totality. Even though the Moon is fully immersed in Earth’s shadow at that time, red wavelengths of sunlight filter through Earth’s atmosphere and fall onto the Moon’s surface. One way to think of this is that a total lunar eclipse shows us a projection of all the sunrises and sunsets happening on the planet at that moment.

So check your local details for this eclipse, and find lots more eclipse info from NASA at the address on your screen.

Finally in May, a really nice target for binoculars: the Coma star cluster. This loose, open star cluster displays 40 or 50 stars spread over a region of sky about three finger-widths wide. The brightest stars in the cluster form a distinctive Y shape, as seen here.

The Coma star cluster is located about 300 light years away, making it the second closest open cluster to Earth after the Hyades cluster in Taurus.

To find the Coma star cluster, look southward for the constellation Leo. It can be easiest to start from the Big Dipper, toward the north, and use the two “pointer stars” on the end which always point you toward Leo. Once you’ve identified Leo, the Coma star cluster is about 15 degrees to the east of the triangle of stars representing the lion’s hindquarters. It’s relatively easy to find with binoculars, even under light-polluted urban skies – as long as it’s clear out.

So here’s wishing you clear skies for finding the Coma star cluster and any other wonders you discover in the night sky in May.

Here are the phases of the Moon for May.

Stay up to date with all of NASA’s missions to explore the solar system and beyond at nasa.gov. I’m Preston Dyches from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and that’s What’s Up for this month.

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NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory News – Month in Review – October 2021 

NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory News – Month in Review – October 2021 

JPL News – Month in Review

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory <jplnewsroom@jpl.nasa.gov>

Friday, October 1, 2021

MONTH IN REVIEW

What’s Up – October 2021
What are some skywatching highlights in October? See several groupings of the Moon, planets, and stars at sunrise and sunset. Then get to know two bright stars that take turns with Polaris as North Star over thousands of years. Plus, Oct. 16 is International Observe the Moon Night!
› Watch now

NASA’s Mars Fleet Lies Low With Sun Between Earth and Red Planet
The missions will continue collecting data about the Red Planet, though engineers back on Earth will stop sending commands to them until mid-October.
› Read the full story

  NASA’s Perseverance Rover Cameras Capture Mars Like Never Before
Scientists tap into an array of imagers aboard the six-wheeled explorer to get a big picture of the Red Planet.
› Read the full story

NASA’s InSight Finds Three Big Marsquakes, Thanks to Solar-Panel Dusting
The lander cleared enough dust from one solar panel to keep its seismometer on through the summer, allowing scientists to study the three biggest quakes they’ve seen on Mars.
› Read the full story

NASA Robots Compete in DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge Final
Led by NASA JPL, Team CoSTAR will participate in the SubT final this week to demonstrate multi-robot autonomy in a series of tests in extreme environments.
› Read the full story

NASA’s Delta-X Helps With Disaster Response in Wake of Hurricane Ida
Researchers flying a radar instrument over coastal wetlands in Louisiana helped with monitoring oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico.
› Read the full story

Solar Electric Propulsion Makes NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Go
Futuristic electric thrusters emitting a cool blue glow will guide the Psyche spacecraft through deep space to a metal-rich asteroid.
› Read the full story

NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Captures a Mars Rock Feature in 3D
The rotorcraft captures nuances of rocky outcrop during aerial reconnaissance.
› Read the full story

Take a 3D Spin on Mars and Track NASA’s Perseverance Rover
Two interactive web experiences let you explore the Martian surface, as seen by cameras aboard the rover and orbiters flying overhead.
› Read the full story

Justin Simon Shepherds Perseverance Through First Phase of Martian Rock Sampling
The Johnson Space Center scientist was tasked with helping guide the way for mission’s first cored Mars rock sample.
› Read the full story

NASA Confirms Thousands of Massive, Ancient Volcanic Eruptions on Mars
Scientists found evidence that a region of northern Mars called Arabia Terra experienced thousands of “super eruptions,” the biggest volcanic eruptions known, over a 500-million-year period.
› Read the full story

Visionary Tech Concepts Could Pioneer the Future in Space
Dozens of concepts are being presented at this year’s NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium, including eight led by technologists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
› Read the full story

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects Puzzle Pieces of Mars’ History
The rocks it has analyzed for sample collection are helping the team better understand a past marked by volcanic activity and water.
› Read the full story

Mars Perseverance Team Members to Be Recognized at Hispanic Heritage Awards
The three award recipients – Diana Trujillo, Christina Hernandez, and Clara O’Farrell – are engineers from the NASA rover team.
› Read the full story

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample
The rock core is now enclosed in an airtight titanium sample tube, and will be available for retrieval in the future.
› Read the full story

Planetary Radar Observes 1,000th Near-Earth Asteroid Since 1968
Seven days after this historic milestone, a massive antenna at NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone complex imaged another, far larger object.
› Read the full story

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Successfully Cores Its First Rock
Perseverance will obtain additional imagery of the sample tube before potentially completing the process of collecting its first scientifically-selected Mars sample.
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Improving Food Security Through Capacity Building
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NASA’s Perseverance Rover Cameras Capture Mars Like Never Before

Sep 23, 2021

Using its WATSON camera, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this selfie over a rock nicknamed “Rochette,” on Sept.10, 2021, the 198th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Two holes can be seen where the rover used its robotic arm to drill rock core samples.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Full Image Details

Scientists tap into an array of imagers aboard the six-wheeled explorer to get a big picture of the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been exploring Jezero Crater for more than 217 Earth days (211 Martian days, or sols), and the dusty rocks there are beginning to tell their story – about a volatile young Mars flowing with lava and water.

That story, stretching billions of years into the past, is unfolding thanks in large part to the seven powerful science cameras aboard Perseverance. Able to home in on small features from great distances, take in vast sweeps of Martian landscape, and magnify tiny rock granules, these specialized cameras also help the rover team determine which rock samples offer the best chance to learn whether microscopic life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Altogether, some 800 scientists and engineers around the world make up the larger Perseverance team. That includes smaller teams, from a few dozen to as many as 100, for each of the rover’s cameras and instruments. And the teams behind the cameras must coordinate each decision about what to image.

“The imaging cameras are a huge piece of everything,” said Vivian Sun, the co-lead for Perseverance’s first science campaign at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “We use a lot of them every single day for science. They’re absolutely mission-critical.”

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-perseverance-rover-cameras-capture-mars-like-never-before?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nasajpl&utm_content=monthly20211001-19

Mars Report: Update on NASA’s Perseverance Rover SHERLOC Instrument (September 23rd, 2021)

Sep 23, 2021  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has been hard at work using the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) instrument to help determine the best rocks to sample and look for signs of ancient life. Mounted on the rover’s robotic arm, SHERLOC is the only instrument that can directly detect organics, which are building blocks for life. Because it characterizes the chemical composition of rocks, SHERLOC can also help scientists understand whether any of the rocks formed in an ancient habitable environment. SHERLOC features spectrometers, a laser, and cameras, including WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering). WATSON is a color camera that takes close-up images of rock grains and surface textures. This video provides an instrument update by Eva Scheller, one of the science team members from Caltech. For more information on Perseverance, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Watch as Caltech’s Eva Scheller, a member of the Perseverance science team, provides a snapshot of the rover’s SHERLOC science instrument. Mounted on the rover’s robotic arm, SHERLOC features spectrometers, a laser, and cameras, including WATSON, which takes close-up images of rock grains and surface textures.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The storytelling began soon after Perseverance landed in February, and the stunning images have been stacking up as the multiple cameras conduct their scientific investigations. Here’s how they work, along with a sampling of what some have found so far:

The Big Picture

Perseverance’s two navigation cameras – among nine engineering cameras – support the rover’s autonomous driving capability. And at each stop, the rover first employs those two cameras to get the lay of the land with a 360-degree view.

Perseverance looks back with one of its navigation cameras toward its tracks on July 1, 2021 (the 130th sol, or Martian day, of its mission), after driving autonomously 358 feet (109 meters) – its longest autonomous drive to date. The image has been processed to enhance the contrast.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Full Image Details

“The navigation camera data is really useful to have those images to do a targeted science follow-up with higher-resolution instruments such as SuperCam and Mastcam-Z,” Sun said.

Perseverance’s six hazard avoidance cameras, or Hazcams, include two pairs in front (with only a single pair in use at any one time) to help avoid trouble spots and to place the rover’s robotic arm on targets; the two rear Hazcams provide images to help place the rover in the context of the broader landscape.

Mastcam-Z, a pair of “eyes” on the rover’s mast, is built for the big picture: panoramic color shots, including 3D images, with zoom capability. It can also capture high-definition video.

Perseverance Mars rover used its Mastcam-Z camera system to create this enhanced-color panorama, which scientists used to look for rock-sampling sites. The panorama is stitched together from 70 individual images taken on July 28, 2021, the 155th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Full Image Details

Jim Bell at Arizona State University leads the Mastcam-Z team, which has been working at high speed to produce images for the larger group. “Part of our job on this mission has been a sort of triage,” he said. “We can swing through vast swaths of real estate and do some quick assessment of geology, of color. That has been helping the team figure out where to target instruments.”

Color is key: Mastcam-Z images allow scientists to make links between features seen from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and what they see on the ground.

The instrument also functions as a low-resolution spectrometer, dividing the light it captures into 11 colors. Scientists can analyze the colors for clues about the composition of the material giving off the light, helping them decide which features to zoom in on with the mission’s true spectrometers.

For instance, there’s a well-known series of images from March 17. It shows a wide escarpment, aka the “Delta Scarp,” that is part of a fan-shaped river delta that formed in the crater long ago. After Mastcam-Z provided the broad view, the mission turned to SuperCam for a closer look.

The Long View

This image of an escarpment, or scarp – a long, steep slope – along the delta of Mars’ Jezero Crater was generated using data from the Perseverance rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument. The inset image at top is a close-up provided by the Remote Microscopic Imager, which is part of the SuperCam instrument.

Credit: RMI: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ASU/MSSSMastcam-Z: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Full Image Details

Scientists use SuperCam to study mineralogy and chemistry, and to seek evidence of ancient microbial life. Perched near Mastcam-Z on Perseverance’s mast, it includes the Remote Micro-Imager, or RMI, which can zoom in on features the size of a softball from more than a mile away.

Once Mastcam-Z provided images of the scarp, the SuperCam RMI homed in on a corner of it, providing close-ups that were later stitched together for a more revealing view.

To Roger Wiens, principal investigator for SuperCam at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, these images spoke volumes about Mars’ ancient past, when the atmosphere was thick enough, and warm enough, to allow water to flow on the surface.

“This is showing huge boulders,” he said. “That means there had to have been some huge flash flooding that occurred that washed boulders down the riverbed into this delta formation.”

The chock-a-block layers told him even more.

“These large boulders are partway down the delta formation,” Wiens said. “If the lakebed was full, you would find these at the very top. So the lake wasn’t full at the time the flash flood happened. Overall, it may be indicating an unstable climate. Perhaps we didn’t always have this very placid, calm, habitable place that we might have liked for raising some micro-organisms.”

In addition, scientists have picked up signs of igneous rock that formed from lava or magma on the crater floor during this early period. That could mean not only flowing water, but flowing lava, before, during, or after the time that the lake itself formed.

These clues are crucial to the mission’s search for signs of ancient Martian life and potentially habitable environments. To that end, the rover is taking samples of Martian rock and sediment that future missions could return to Earth for in-depth study.

The (Really) Close-up

Perseverance took this close-up of a rock target nicknamed “Foux” using its WATSON camera on July 11, 2021, the 139th Martian day, r sol, of the mission. The area within the camera is roughly 1.4 by 1 inches (3.5 centimeters by 2.6 centimeters).

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Full Image Details

A variety of Perseverance’s cameras assist in the selection of those samples, including WATSON (the Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering).

Located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, WATSON provides extreme closeups of rock and sediment, zeroing in on the variety, size, shape, and color of tiny grains – as well as the “cement” between them – in those materials. Such information can lend insight into Mars’ history as well as the geological context of potential samples.

WATSON also helps engineers position the rover’s drill for extracting rock core samples and produces images of where the sample came from.

The imager partners with SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals), which includes an Autofocus and Contextual Imager (ACI), the rover’s highest-resolution camera. SHERLOC uses an ultraviolet laser to identify certain minerals in rock and sediment, while PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), also on the robotic arm, uses X-rays to determine the chemical composition. These cameras, working in concert with WATSON, have helped capture geologic data – including signs of that igneous rock on the crater floor – with a precision that has surprised scientists.

“We’re getting really cool spectra of materials formed in aqueous [watery] environments – for example sulfate and carbonate,” said Luther Beegle, SHERLOC’s principal investigator at JPL.

Engineers also use WATSON to check on the rover’s systems and undercarriage – and to take Perseverance selfies (here’s how).

Beegle says not just the strong performance of the imaging instruments, but their ability to endure the harsh environment on the Martian surface, gives him confidence in Perseverance’s chances for major discoveries.

“Once we get over closer to the delta, where there should be really good preservation potential for signs of life, we’ve got a really good chance of seeing something if it’s there,” he said.

More About the Mission

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance:

mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

nasa.gov/perseverance

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News Media Contact

DC Agle / Andrew Good

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

818-393-9011 / 818-393-2433

agle@jpl.nasa.gov / andrew.c.good@jpl.nasa.gov

Karen Fox / Alana Johnson

NASA Headquarters, Washington

301-286-6284 / 202-358-1501

karen.c.fox@nasa.gov / alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov

Written by Pat Brennan

2021-199

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-perseverance-rover-cameras-capture-mars-like-never-before?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nasajpl&utm_content=monthly20211001-19

Mars Perseverance Team Members to Be Recognized at Hispanic Heritage Awards

Sep 08, 2021

From left to right: Diana Trujillo, Christina Hernandez, and Clara O’Farrell are engineers with NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover team.

Credit: Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The three award recipients – Diana Trujillo, Christina Hernandez, and Clara O’Farrell – are engineers from the NASA rover team.

Three Latina engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California are the 2021 recipients of STEM Awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. They will be honored for their significant roles in the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission during the 34th Hispanic Heritage Awards broadcast on PBS Oct. 8, joined by Carlos Santana, Ivy Queen, and others.

NASA JPL recipients are:

  • Christina Hernandez began her work at JPL in the Natural Space Environments group and as mission assurance manager on STABLE (Sub arcsecond Telescope and Balloon Experiment). Her Mars-related work began with impact assessment to keep Mars spacecraft safe during the Comet Siding Spring event. As a payload systems engineer for Perseverance, she has worked on three of its seven science instruments. Her work on the rover’s PIXL (short for Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry) will help scientists hunt for signs of ancient microbial life by taking super-close images of rock and soil textures and using its X-ray spectrometer to identify chemical elements within them.
  • Clara O’Farrell, who is originally from Argentina, moved to the U.S. on her 19th birthday to start college. She studied aerospace engineering at Princeton and completed a doctoral degree at Caltech with research on fluid dynamics of jellyfish swimming. After joining JPL in 2013, she began her work on parachutes, aerodynamics, and trajectory simulation for Mars entry, descent, and landing. Her accomplishments as a guidance and control engineer include certifying a supersonic parachute to land Perseverance via supersonic sounding rocket tests.
  • Diana Trujillo, an aerospace engineer, is currently Technical Group Supervisor for Sequence Planning and Execution and a Tactical Mission Lead for Perseverance. Born and raised in Colombia, Trujillo immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 17 to pursue her dream of working for NASA. While enrolled in English-as-a-second-language courses, she also worked full time to support her studies in community college and later the University of Florida and University of Maryland. Diana has held several roles for NASA and JPL, including Mars Curiosity Mission Lead, Deputy Project System Engineer, and Deputy Team Chief of Engineering Operations on Curiosity. Trujillo has also been active in sharing the excitement and opportunities of STEM with the public. She created and hosted #JuntosPerseveramos, NASA’s first-ever Spanish-language live broadcast of a major mission milestone (Perseverance landing on Mars), attracting millions of viewers worldwide.

“Congratulations to Christina, Clara, and Diana on receiving this prestigious STEM award,” said Dr. Jim Green, NASA’s chief scientist. “Each of them was integral to the planning, development, and successful landing of our Mars Perseverance rover. Our Mars Perseverance mission will advance NASA’s quest to explore past habitability of the Red Planet. Because of the hard work and dedication of our team, we can now look for past microbial life through the collection of core rock and soil samples and test technologies that will pave the way for future human exploration of Mars. Thank you to the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for their consideration and for this outstanding recognition of our extremely talented, diverse, and inspirational NASA workforce.”

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In the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s news release, the organization’s president and CEO, Jose Antonio Tijerino, said, “As leaders in the STEM space, these inspirational Latinas demonstrate the great vision and value proposition our community presents America. These engineers also represent role models for aspiring Latinx engineers in expanding human knowledge and scientific discovery.”

The Hispanic Heritage Awards are produced by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and were created by the White House in 1988 to commemorate the establishment of Hispanic Heritage Month in America. The awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are supported by 40 national Hispanic-serving institutions. The Foundation’s programs focus on education, workforce, and social impact through the lens of leadership.

More information at: https://www.hispanicheritage.org.

To learn more about Perseverance, visit:

https://nasa.gov/perseverance

and

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

News Media Contact

DC Agle / Andrew Good

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

818-393-9011 / 818-393-2433

agle@jpl.nasa.gov / andrew.c.good@jpl.nasa.gov

2021-188

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/mars-perseverance-team-members-to-be-recognized-at-hispanic-heritage-awards

Delta-X Oil Slick Radar Signal in Gulf of Mexico

Sep 20, 2021

An oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida – a high-end Category 4 when it made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Aug. 29, 2021 – appears as a green trail in the inset false-color graphic provided by NASA’s Delta-X project, while the surrounding seawater appears orange. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regularly monitors U.S. coastal waters for potential spills and noticed slicks that appeared just off the coast after the hurricane. They were able to use this information from Delta-X to corroborate other data they had about oil slicks in the area (satellite image in the second inset picture). The blue-green swath crossing from the Gulf of Mexico over the Louisiana coast denotes the flight path of the Delta-X radar instrument on Sept. 1, just before 11:30 a.m. CDT.

Charged with studying the Mississippi River Delta, Delta-X was gearing up to collect data on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands when Hurricane Ida barreled ashore in late August. The storm damaged buildings and infrastructure alike, resulting in power outages, flooding, and oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil tends to smooth out the bumps on the ocean’s surface, which results in a distinct radar signal that the Delta-X mission was able to pick out of their data. Delta-X added flight paths to their planned schedule – with the support of NASA’s Applied Science Disaster Program – in order to collect information over the gulf in areas of interest to NOAA.

Delta-X is studying two wetlands – the Atchafalaya and Terrebonne Basins – by land, boat, and air to quantify water and sediment flow as well as vegetation growth. While the Atchafalaya Basin has been gaining land through sediment accumulation, Terrebonne Basin, which is right next to the Atchafalaya, has been rapidly losing land. The data collected by the project will be applied to models used to forecast which areas of the delta are likely to gain or lose land under various sea level rise, river flow, and watershed management scenarios.

The mission uses several instruments to collect its data. Affixed to the bottom of a Gulfstream-III airplane, one of those instruments, the all-weather Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR), bounces radar signals off of Earth’s surface, forming a kind of image of a particular area. Repeated images of the same regions, captured at different times, enable researchers to detect changes in those areas, such as fluctuating water levels beneath the vegetation as the tides move in and out of these wetlands. In addition to radar measurements, teams from Caltech, Louisiana State University, Florida International University, and other collaborating institutions gather water and vegetation samples – among other data – by boat, other airborne sensors, and from instruments on the ground.

Funded by NASA’s Earth Venture Suborbital (EVS-3) program, Delta-X is managed by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA. Fall 2021 was Delta-X’s last scheduled field campaign, although the five-year mission will run through the end of 2023.

To learn more about the Delta-X mission, visit: https://deltax.jpl.nasa.gov

Hurricane Ida, August 27, 2021

Oct 07, 2021

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/hurricane-ida-august-27-2021

On August 27, 2021 Ida crossed over Cuba as a Category 1 Storm. 48 hours later the storm intensified to a Category 4 before making landfall on the coast of Louisiana. The storm was the second most destructive storm to ever make landfall on the Louisiana coast with sustained winds over 150 mph (240 km/h).

The rapid intensification process that the storm system underwent is not well understood. Satellite images such as this are helpful as scientists attempt to understand new weather patterns that are emerging with Global Climate Change.

Tasked with detecting plant water use and stress, ECOSTRESS’s primary mission is to measure the temperature of plants heating up as they run out of water. But it can also measure and track heat-related phenomena like wildfires, heat waves, and volcanoes. ECOSTRESS observations have a spatial resolution of about 77 by 77 yards (70 by 70 meters), which enables researchers to study surface-temperature conditions down to the size of a football field. Due to the space station’s unique orbit, the mission can acquire images of the same regions at different times of the day, as opposed to crossing over each area at the same time of day like satellites in other orbits do. This is advantageous when monitoring plant stress in the same area throughout the day, for example.

The ECOSTRESS mission launched to the space station on June 29, 2018. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages the mission for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ECOSTRESS is an Earth Venture Instrument mission; the program is managed by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

More information about ECOSTRESS is available here: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/.

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/delta-x-oil-slick-radar-signal-in-gulf-of-mexico

July 2021 Heat Wave Surface Temperature

Jul 15, 2021

Click here for movie

Collecting temperature readings in the atmosphere and at the surface, NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard the agency’s Aqua satellite captured the progression of a slow-moving heat dome across the southwestern U.S. from July 1 to July 12, 2021. The animation of the AIRS data shows surface air temperature anomalies – values above or below long-term averages. The hottest areas, shown in pink, experienced surface air temperatures more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) above average. Surface air temperature is something that people directly feel when they are outside.

AIRS, in conjunction with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth to provide a three-dimensional look at the planet’s weather and climate. Working in tandem, the two instruments make simultaneous observations down to Earth’s surface. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, three-dimensional map of atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud amounts and heights, greenhouse gas concentrations, and many other atmospheric phenomena. Launched into Earth orbit in 2002, the AIRS and AMSU instruments fly aboard NASA’s Aqua spacecraft and are managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, under contract to NASA. JPL is a division of Caltech.

More information about AIRS can be found at https://airs.jpl.nasa.gov.

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/july-2021-heat-wave-surface-temperature

ECOSTRESS Views 2021 Northern California Dixie Fire

Jul 29, 2021

Click here for animation

NASA’s ECOSTRESS captured data over Northern California’s Dixie Fire, which had ballooned to over 220,000 acres as of July 29, 2021. In the data visualization, the red areas show the hottest pixels – and fire movement – from July 15 to July 24. The most heavily affected areas are south of Lake Almanor in Plumas County.

Tasked with detecting plant water use and stress from the vantage point of the International Space Station, ECOSTRESS’s primary mission is to measure the temperature of plants heating up as they run out of water. But it can also measure and track heat-related phenomena like wildfires, heat waves, and volcanoes. ECOSTRESS observations have a spatial resolution of about 77 by 77 yards (70 by 70 meters), which enables researchers to study surface-temperature conditions down to the size of a football field. Due to the space station’s unique orbit, the mission can acquire images of the same regions at different times of the day, as opposed to crossing over each area at the same time of day like satellites in other orbits do. This is advantageous when monitoring plant stress in the same area throughout the day, for example.

The ECOSTRESS mission launched to the space station on June 29, 2018. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages the mission for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ECOSTRESS is an Earth Venture Instrument mission; the program is managed by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

More information about ECOSTRESS is available here: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/.

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/ecostress-views-2021-northern-california-dixie-fire

ECOSTRESS Views 2021 Southern Oregon Bootleg Fire

Jul 29, 2021

Click here for animation

NASA’s ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) is aiding in the fight against fires in the Western U.S. As of July 27, 2021, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon had ballooned to more than 410,000 acres, damaging hundreds of buildings and vehicles in its path.

ECOSTRESS measures surface temperature from the vantage point of the International Space Station. Researchers of the RADR-Fire team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been experimenting with ECOSTRESS data as part of a new tool now being implemented for first responders like the U.S. Forest Service.

In the visualization, ECOSTRESS is tracking the movement of the Bootleg Fire between July 7 and July and identifying its proximity to critical infrastructure — areas in red represent the hottest pixels ECOSTRESS detected. The extreme heat in those areas indicates the fire front, or where resources are most needed.

Tasked with detecting plant water use and stress, ECOSTRESS’s primary mission is to measure the temperature of plants heating up as they run out of water. But it can also measure and track heat-related phenomena like wildfires, heat waves, and volcanoes. ECOSTRESS observations have a spatial resolution of about 77 by 77 yards (70 by 70 meters), which enables researchers to study surface-temperature conditions down to the size of a football field. Due to the space station’s unique orbit, the mission can acquire images of the same regions at different times of the day, as opposed to crossing over each area at the same time of day like satellites in other orbits do. This is advantageous when monitoring plant stress in the same area throughout the day, for example.

The ECOSTRESS mission launched to the space station on June 29, 2018. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages the mission for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ECOSTRESS is an Earth Venture Instrument mission; the program is managed by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

More information about ECOSTRESS is available here: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/.

For more information, please following the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/ecostress-views-2021-southern-oregon-bootleg-fire

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