Notícies d'astronomia

NASA Simulates Space Exploration At Remote Arctic Crater Site

NASA personnel are among a group of international researchers who are in the Canadian Arctic assessing concepts for future planetary exploration as part of the Haughton-Mars Project, or HMP-2010.

NASA Selects Sounding Rockets Operations Contractor

NASA selected Orbital Sciences Corp.'s, Technical Services Division in Greenbelt, Md., for the agency's Sounding Rockets Operations contract.

Into the Looking Glass

Recently, technicians at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., completed a series of cryogenic tests on six James Webb Space Telescope beryllium mirror segments at the center's X-ray & Cryogenic Facility. During testing, the mirrors were subjected to extreme temperatures dipping to -415 degrees Fahrenheit, permitting engineers to measure in extreme detail how the shape of the mirror changes as it cools. The Webb telescope has 18 mirrors, each of which will be tested twice in the Center's X-ray & Cryogenic Facility to ensure that the mirror will maintain its shape in a space environment -- once with bare polished beryllium and then again after a thin coating of gold is applied. The cryogenic test gauges how each mirror changes temperature and shape over a range of operational temperatures in space. This helps predict how well the telescope will image infrared sources. The mirrors are designed to stay cold to allow scientists to observe the infrared light they reflect using a telescope and instruments optimized to detect this light. Warm objects give off infrared light, or heat. If the Webb telescope mirror is too warm, the faint infrared light from distant galaxies may be lost in the infrared glow of the mirror itself. Thus, the Webb telescope's mirrors need to operate in a deep cold or cryogenic state, at around -379 degree Fahrenheit. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Sets Briefing To Preview Space Station Spacewalk

NASA managers will discuss an upcoming spacewalk at the International Space Station during a news briefing at 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Wild 2: If You Were There

On Jan. 2, 2004 NASA's Stardust spacecraft made a close flyby of comet Wild 2 (pronounced "Vilt-2"). Among the equipment the spacecraft carried on board was a navigation camera.that Comet Wild 2 is about 3.1 miles in diameter. This artist's concept depicts a view of Wild 2 that shows the faint jets emanating from the comet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronauts in the Oval Office

President Barack Obama greets the STS-132 Atlantis crew and International Space Station astronaut T.J. Creamer in the Oval Office, July 26, 2010. From left, STS-132 Commander Ken Ham; Expedition 22/23 Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer; STS-132 Mission Specialists Piers Sellers, Garret Reisman, and Steve Bowen; President Obama; STS-132 Mission Specialist Michael Good; and STS-132 Pilot Tony Antonelli. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Dreamy, Young Stars

The Orion Nebula is a 'happening' place where stars are born and this colony of hot, young stars is stirring up the cosmic scene in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The young stars dip and peak in brightness; shifting cold and hot spots on the stars' surfaces cause brightness levels to change. In addition, surrounding disks of lumpy planet-forming material can obstruct starlight. Spitzer is keeping tabs on the young stars, providing data on their changing ways. The hottest stars in the region are the Trapezium cluster. This image was taken after Spitzer's liquid coolant ran dry in May 2009, marking the beginning of its "warm" mission. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


This observation from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the floor of a large impact crater in the southern highlands, north of the giant Hellas impact basin. Most of the crater floor is dark, with abundant small ripples of wind-blown material. However, a pit in the floor of the crater has exposed light-toned, fractured rock. The light-toned material appears fractured at several different scales. These fractures, called joints, result from stresses on the rock after its formation. Joints are similar to faults, but have undergone virtually no displacement. With careful analysis, joints can provide insight into the forces that have affected a rock, and thus yielding clues into its geologic history. The fractures appear dark, which may be due to dark, wind-blown sand, precipitation of different minerals along the fracture, or both. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

NASA Astronaut Sends First Signed Message from Orbit

The number of languages used on the International Space Station has recently increased.

NASA Spacecraft Camera Yields Most Accurate Mars Map Ever

A camera aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has helped develop the most accurate global Martian map ever. Researchers and the public can access the map via several websites and explore and survey the entire surface of the Red Planet.

NASA Seeks Undergrads to Defy Gravity for Science and Engineering

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to test an experiment in weightless science as part of the agency's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program.

NASA Telescope Finds Elusive Buckyballs In Space For First Time

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as "buckyballs," in space for the first time. Buckyballs are soccer-ball-shaped molecules that were first observed in a laboratory 25 years ago.


NASA's Swift satellite views Comet Lulin as it made it closest approach to Earth in February 2009. Lulin, like all comets, is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These "dirty snowballs" cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. Comet Lulin, which is formally known as C/2007 N3, was discovered in 2008 by astronomers at Taiwan's Lulin Observatory. Lulin passed closest to Earth -- 38 million miles, or about 160 times farther than the moon -- late on the evening of Feb. 23, 2009, for North America. Image Credit: NASA, Swift, Univ. Leicester, DSS (STScI/AURUA), Dennis Bodewits, et al.

NASA'S Hubble Shows Hyperfast Star Was Booted From Milky Way

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a hypervelocity star – a rare phenomenon moving three times faster than our sun.

Take Your Children to Work Day

Children experience NASA from the inside during the annual "Take Your Children to Work Day" held each summer at NASA facilities across the country. Children get to see NASA facilities, participate in education activities and shadow their parents during the workday. They can also observe the agency's many different careers, learning about occupations as varied as engineering, graphic design, accounting, maintenance and many other professions. Pictured here, children explore the Exploration Experience exhibit at the Marshall Space Flight Center during a previous "Take Your Children to Work Day." The exhibit showcases NASA's accomplishments and goals, from the benefits of space exploration here on Earth, to the technologies NASA develops to explore our solar system. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/Doug Stoffer

NASA Astronauts -- Including Space Station Crew Member From Maryland -- Available For Interviews In Washington

NASA Headquarters in Washington will welcome space shuttle Atlantis' STS-132 astronauts and International Space Station Expedition 22 and 23 Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer for a visit Monday, July 26, through Thursday, July 29.

NASA Awards Multi-Disciplinary Engineering And Technology Services II Contract

NASA Awards Multi-Disciplinary Engineering And Technology Services II Contract

First Map Of Global Forest Heights Created From NASA Data

Scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map of the height of the world's forests by combining data from three NASA satellites. The map will help scientists build an inventory of how much carbon the world's forests store and how fast that carbon cycles through ecosystems and back into the atmosphere.

ISS Expedition 24 Crew to Talk with Middle School Students in Georgia

Students from the Conyers Middle School in Conyers, Ga., are expecting a very long-distance phone call Wednesday from NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Celebrating Apollo 11

NASA and Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) officials joined with flight controllers to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in the Mission Control Center. From left foreground Dr. Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development; George S. Trimble, MSC Deputy Director; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director fo Flight Operations; Julian Scheer (in back), Assistant Adminstrator, Office of Public Affairs, NASA HQ.; George M. Low, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program, MSC; Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director; and Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA HQ. Image Credit: NASA

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