Notícies d'astronomia

Great Ball of Fire

On August 1, 2010, almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the news-making solar event on August 1 shows the C3-class solar flare (white area on upper left), a solar tsunami (wave-like structure, upper right), multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. This multi-wavelength extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun's northern hemisphere in mid-eruption. Different colors in the image represent different gas temperatures. Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from the solar flare impact on August 3, 2010, which sparked aurorae as far south as Wisconsin and Iowa in the United States. Analysts believe a second solar flare is following behind the first flare and could re-energize the fading geomagnetic storm and spark a new round of Northern Lights. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

North Polar Layers of Mars

The north polar layered deposits are layers of dusty ice up to 2 miles thick and approximately 620 miles in diameter. We can see the layers exposed on the walls of troughs and scarps cut into the deposits, such as the trough wall imaged here. The bright region at the top is the flat surface above the trough wall; it is higher than the terrain underneath. The wall exposing these layers has a vertical relief of about 1970 feet. It is thought that the north polar layered deposits likely formed recently (i.e., millions of years ago) as rhythmic variations in Mars' orbit changed the distribution of water ice around the planet. As ice moved to and from the polar region in response to a changing climate, layers of ice and dust built up at the poles. By studying the history of these deposits, we hope to understand how the Martian climate has changed, similar to how scientists on Earth study ice cores from the North and South Poles. Three things are immediately apparent about the layers exposed on this trough face. First, individual layers have different surface textures, which some scientists believe could reflect changing physical properties (such as dust content or ice grain size) of the underlying layer. Second, there are several unconformities, or places where one layer is interrupted and overlain by another layer. These unconformities are due to periods where layers were eroded or removed, followed by times when new layers were deposited. Mapping the locations of unconformities can tell us how the deposit shrank and grew over time, and tell us where large changes in climate occurred, causing water ice to be removed from the polar regions. Finally, the dark and bright streaks are due to recent winds blowing surface frost around, and can tell us about wind patterns in the current polar climate. This was imaged by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. HiRISE is the most powerful camera of its kind ever sent to another planet. Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before and could help other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

NASA Moves Space Station Repair Spacewalk To Saturday

The first of two spacewalks by NASA astronauts to replace a failed ammonia pump on the International Space Station has been moved to Saturday, Aug. 7. A second spacewalk is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 11, to complete the repairs.

NASA's First Robotic Crew Member To Tweet From Space Station, Available For Interviews

NASA's Robonaut 2 has no voice but is ready to tell you its story -- in 140 characters or less. The prototype robot will travel to space this fall to give NASA a deeper understanding of human-robotic interaction.

Tank Prep

In the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, workers prepare External Tank-138, hanging vertically in the transfer aisle, for its lift onto a test cell where it will be checked out before launch. ET-138, the last newly manufactured tank, is designated to fly on space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission to the International Space Station. Launch is targeted for Feb. 26, 2011. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

NASA And ESA'S First Joint Mission To Mars Selects Instruments

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have embarked on a joint program to explore Mars in the coming decades and selected the five science instruments for the first mission.

NASA Invites Media To View Space Station Cargo For STS-133 Mission

NASA's Kennedy Space Center will host a media event to highlight the next hardware that will fly to the International Space Station.

NASA Moves Space Station Repair Spacewalk To Friday, Sets Briefings

The first of two spacewalks by NASA astronauts to replace a failed ammonia pump on the International Space Station has been delayed by 24 hours to Friday, Aug. 6. A second spacewalk is planned for Monday, Aug. 9, to complete the repairs.

Smoke over Western Russia

Hundreds of fires burned across western Russia on August 2, 2010, but it is the smoke that conveys the magnitude of the disaster in this true-color image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Dense gray-brown smoke extends across the width of this image, a distance of about 1,700 kilometers (1,000 miles). The smoke clearly continues both east and west beyond the edge of the image, and is visible in both previous and successive orbits of the Terra satellite. The smoke is so thick that it is not possible to see the ground beneath it. Image Credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response

NASA Casts A Wide Net For Summer Of Innovation Partners

NASA is inviting potential partners to participate in the agency's Summer of Innovation project to engage middle school students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning activities.

NASA Hosts Workshop To Discuss Exploring Near Earth Objects

NASA will host an interactive workshop to identify objectives for exploration missions to near-Earth objects, or NEOs, on Aug. 10-11 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

In Motion

This gimbal rig, formally known as the MASTIF, or Multiple Axis Space Test Inertia Facility, was engineered to simulate the tumbling and rolling motions of a space capsule and train the Mercury astronauts to control roll, pitch and yaw by activating nitrogen jets, used as brakes and bring the vehicle back into control. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Holds Media Teleconference To Preview Major Hurricane Study

NASA will hold a media teleconference on Thursday, Aug. 5, at 3 p.m. EDT to discuss its upcoming airborne research campaign into hurricane behavior.

NASA Sets Briefing To Preview Updated Space Station Spacewalk Plan

NASA managers will discuss updated plans for two International Space Station spacewalks during a news briefing at 3 p.m. CDT on Monday, Aug. 2. The briefing replaces one originally scheduled for Tuesday.

NASA Awards Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, Space Vehicle Mockup Facility Support Contract

Nasa Awards Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, Space Vehicle Mockup Facility Support Contract

NASA Awards Electrical Systems Engineering Services Contract

NASA has awarded a sole-source interim contract for electrical systems engineering services to MEI Technologies in Houston.

Tweetup at HQ

NASA astronaut TJ Creamer talks about his experience in space during a "Tweetup" at NASA Headquarters, Thursday, July 29, 2010, in Washington. Creamer, who spent 161 days living aboard the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 22/23 crew, set up the orbiting outpost's live Internet connection and posted updates about the mission to his Twitter account, sending the first live tweet from orbit. Image Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

NASA's Hibernating Mars Rover May Not Call Home

NASA mission controllers have not heard from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit since March 22, and the rover is facing its toughest challenge yet – trying to survive the harsh Martian winter.

Hurricane Celia

Perfectly circular, powerful Hurricane Celia spaned hundreds of miles over the Pacific Ocean in this image from June 24, 2010. Rough-textured clouds surround the storm’s distinct eye. Farther from the center of the storm, spiral arms appear thinner and smoother. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Hurricane Celia at 1:55 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on June 24, 2010. Just five minutes later, the U.S. National Hurricane Center classified Celia as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 135 miles per hour. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Opens Online Voting For Next Desert RATS Exploration Site

NASA is inviting the public to choose an area in northern Arizona where explorers will conduct part of the annual Desert Research and Technology Studies, known as Desert RATS.

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