greenbelt md

Take a Virtual Tour of NASA

Welcome to NASA! Today, we’re taking you behind-the-scenes for a virtual tour looking at our cutting-edge work and humanity’s destiny in deep space!

Starting at 1:30 p.m., we will host a series of Facebook Live events from each of our 10 field centers across the country. Take a look at where we’ll be taking you…

Glenn Research Center
1:30 p.m. EDT

Our Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH will host a tour of its Electric Propulsion Lab. This lab is where we test solar propulsion technologies that are critical to powering spacecraft for our deep-space missions. The Electric Propulsion Laboratory houses two huge vacuum chambers that simulate the space environment.

Marshall Space Flight Center
1:50 p.m. EDT

Our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL will host a tour from a Marshall test stand where structural loads testing is performed on parts of our Space Launch System rocket. Once built, this will be the world’s most powerful rocket and will launch humans farther into space than ever before.

Stennis Space Center
2:10 p.m. EDT

Our Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, MS will take viewers on a tour of their test stands to learn about rocket engine testing from their Test Control Center.

Armstrong Flight Research Center
2:30 p.m. EDT 

Our Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA will host a tour from their aircraft hangar and Simulator Lab where viewers can learn about our X-Planes program. What’s an X-Plane? They are a variety of flight demonstration vehicles that are used to test advanced technologies and revolutionary designs.

Johnson Space Center
2:50 p.m. EDT

Our Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX will take viewers on a virtual exploration trip through the mockups of the International Space Station and inside our deep-space exploration vehicle, the Orion spacecraft!

Ames Research Center
3:10 p.m. EDT

Our Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley will bring viewers into its Arc Jet Facility, a plasma wind tunnel used to simulate the extreme heat of spacecraft atmospheric entry.

Kennedy Space Center
3:30 p.m. EDT

Our Kennedy Space Center in Florida will bring viewers inside the Vehicle Assembly Building to learn about how we’re preparing for the first launch of America’s next big rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Langley Research Center
3:50 p.m. EDT

Our Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia will bring viewers inside its 14-by-22-foot wind tunnel, where aerodynamic projects are tested.

Goddard Space Flight Center
4:10 p.m. EDT

Our Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD will discuss the upcoming United States total solar eclipse and host its tour from the Space Weather Lab, a large multi-screen room where data from the sun is analyzed and studied.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4:30 p.m. EDT

Our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA will bring viewers to the Spacecraft Assembly Facility to learn about robotic exploration of the solar system.

So, make sure to join us for all or part of our virtual tour today, starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT! Discover more about the work we’re doing at NASA and be sure to ask your questions in the comment section of each Facebook Live event! 

Additional details and viewing information available HERE

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Of all the varieties of exploding stars, the ones called Type Ia are perhaps the most intriguing. Their predictable brightness lets astronomers measure the expansion of the universe, which led to the discovery of dark energy. Yet the cause of these supernovae remains a mystery. Do they happen when two white dwarf stars collide? Or does a single white dwarf gorge on gases stolen from a companion star until bursting?

If the second theory is true, the normal star should survive. Astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to search the gauzy remains of a Type Ia supernova in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. They found a sun-like star that showed signs of being associated with the supernova. Further investigations will be needed to learn if this star is truly the culprit behind a white dwarf’s fiery demise.

This image, taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, shows the supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B. It is located 160,000 light-years from Earth in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. N103B resulted from a Type Ia supernova, whose cause remains a mystery. One possibility would leave behind a stellar survivor, and astronomers have identified a possible candidate.

The actual supernova remnant is the irregular shaped dust cloud, at the upper center of the image. The gas in the lower half of the image and the dense concentration of stars in the lower left are the outskirts of the star cluster NGC 1850.

The Hubble image combines visible and near-infrared light taken by the Wide Field Camera 3 in June 2014.

Image credit:andnbsp;NASA, ESA and H.-Y. Chu (Academia Sinica, Taipei)
Text: Space Telescope Science Institute
Media contact: Rob Gutro, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Hubble Space Telescope

Time And Space

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Webb Telescope Passes Important Optical Test on This Week @NASA – May 5, 2017

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has successfully passed the center of curvature test at Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md. This important optical measurement of Webb’s fully assembled primary mirror was the final test held at Goddard before the telescope is shipped off for end-to-end cryogenic testing at Johnson Space Center in Houston. When that’s complete, the world’s most advanced observatory goes to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, for final assembly and testing. Webb is targeted for launch in 2018 on a mission to help unravel some of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

John finally got to the river, and when he finally got a fish, it was"the one that got away".

Wow, hello all of you new wonderful faces! I can’t even begin to express how excited I am that you like these sloths so much that you feel like watching for a bit! I hope you’ll all stick around!

A little about myself!

My name is Megan Jones, i’m originally from the backwoods of Missouri, near the BBQ haven of Kansas City, and i’m currently in graduate school at MICA in Baltimore, MD in the MFA in Illustration Practice program. During the first year of this interdisciplinary program, the students are immersed in different workshops, showing the wide variety of where our work can be applicable within the field of illustration.

Where did you get such a crazy idea?

 During a self publishing workshop, I came up with the idea for a humorous booklet (or zine), that revolved around characters that I had been doodling for awhile, such as sloths, kakapos, etc. being explorers, artists, and businessmen. This is where Sloths Are Bad At Things was born! I created a zine with 12 sloths trying their best, printed and hand cut 30 copies for sale. After that first edition, i’ve been asked to produce more for various local sales. I’m hoping to get in contact with a local comic store to see if they can be sold there and online through their company, so stay tuned on that aspect!

Now what?

Now that the book has been finished, i’m hoping to find a publisher that would be interested in it, or using it as a jumping off point for a longer book. If nothing comes back, then I’m planning on running a kickstarter and finding a way to get these sloths out to the wider masses for everyone to enjoy. 

But don’t fear newcomers! The series will continue! I’ll be working on little sloth friends alongside developing my thesis, so please, if i’m a little sloth-like in delivery, be understanding! They will continue for a long while! And if anyone has suggestions, please feel free to message me in the ask a question column. If I like it enough, it may be done!

Also!

I currently have an exhibition that is going to be at the Greenbelt Community Center Art Gallery, 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD from June 1st - August 15th as part of their summer exhibition Show Me A Story. Most of the original sloth paintings, copies of the Sloths Are Bad At Things zine, along with a cute plush narwhal I made are going to be included in this exhibition with other MICA illustration students. If you’re in the area, come check it out!

And Prints!

If you are interested in purchasing prints of some lovely sloths, check out my stores at Society6 or Etsy (I’ve made some small 5x7 prints and the original hand made Sloths Are Bad At Things zine are available here! If you order through the Etsy, I can personalize these if you want!)

So far, Kevin the Tennis Star, Mario Lanza the Matador, Henri the Chef, and Xander the Window Washer are on Society6, but if there are others you’d enjoy, please let me know!

http://society6.com/Tillette

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SlothsAreBadAtThings

And again, thank you! I’m so excited to have you all here!!

On the night of Oct. 8, 2015, a photographer in Harstad, Norway captured this image of the dancing northern lights. Auroras are created when fast-moving, magnetic solar material strikes Earth’s magnetic bubble, the magnetosphere. This collision rattles the magnetosphere in an event called a geomagnetic storm, sending trapped charged particles zooming down magnetic field lines towards the atmosphere, where they collide brilliantly with molecules in the air, creating auroras.

Though many geomagnetic storms are associated with clouds of solar material that explode from the sun in an event called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, this storm was caused by an especially fast stream of solar wind.

‘Geomagnetic storms caused by high-speed solar wind streams aren’t uncommon,’ said Leila Mays, a space physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 'Near solar minimum'”when solar activity like CMEs are less frequent'”these fast streams are actually the most common cause of geomagnetic storms that create auroras.’

Object Names: Auroras in Norway

Image Credit: Johnny Henriksen/ Spaceweather.com

Text Credit:  Sarah Frazier, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Time And Space

Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon.

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the constellation Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. By collecting faint light over many hours of observation, it revealed thousands of galaxies, both nearby and very distant, making it the deepest image of the universe ever taken at that time. 

The new full-color XDF image is even more sensitive, and contains about 5,500 galaxies even within its smaller field of view. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.

Magnificent spiral galaxies similar in shape to our Milky Way and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy appear in this image, as do the large, fuzzy red galaxies where the formation of new stars has ceased. These red galaxies are the remnants of dramatic collisions between galaxies and are in their declining years. Peppered across the field are tiny, faint, more distant galaxies that were like the seedlings from which today’s magnificent galaxies grew. The history of galaxies – from soon after the first galaxies were born to the great galaxies of today, like our Milky Way – is laid out in this one remarkable image.

Hubble pointed at a tiny patch of southern sky in repeat visits (made over the past decade) for a total of 50 days, with a total exposure time of 2 million seconds. More than 2,000 images of the same field were taken with Hubble’s two premier cameras: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3, which extends Hubble’s vision into near-infrared light.

“The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen. XDF allows us to explore further back in time than ever before”, said Garth Illingworth of the University of California at Santa Cruz, principal investigator of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009 (HUDF09) program.

The universe is 13.7 billion years old, and the XDF reveals galaxies that span back 13.2 billion years in time. Most of the galaxies in the XDF are seen when they were young, small, and growing, often violently as they collided and merged together. The early universe was a time of dramatic birth for galaxies containing brilliant blue stars extraordinarily brighter than our sun. The light from those past events is just arriving at Earth now, and so the XDF is a “time tunnel into the distant past.” The youngest galaxy found in the XDF existed just 450 million years after the universe’s birth in the big bang.

Before Hubble was launched in 1990, astronomers could barely see normal galaxies to 7 billion light-years away, about halfway across the universe. Observations with telescopes on the ground were not able to establish how galaxies formed and evolved in the early universe.

Hubble gave astronomers their first view of the actual forms and shapes of galaxies when they were young. This provided compelling, direct visual evidence that the universe is truly changing as it ages. Like watching individual frames of a motion picture, the Hubble deep surveys reveal the emergence of structure in the infant universe and the subsequent dynamic stages of galaxy evolution.

The infrared vision of NASA’s planned James Webb Space Telescope will be aimed at the XDF. The Webb telescope will find even fainter galaxies that existed when the universe was just a few hundred million years old. Because of the expansion of the universe, light from the distant past is stretched into longer, infrared wavelengths. The Webb telescope’s infrared vision is ideally suited to push the XDF even deeper, into a time when the first stars and galaxies formed and filled the early “dark ages” of the universe with light.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

(Credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 Team)

3

Kevin Lopez remembers exactly when he knew he wasn’t like his friends and family.

“It just hit me one day,” he says. It was the morning he was picking out a shirt to wear for his first day of sixth grade. “I just looked at myself and I realized I was different.”

Kevin was born missing the fingers on his right hand. His arm and wrist are fully developed, and he has most of a regular palm. But he just has nubs where his fingers should start.

When he looked in the mirror that day, Kevin says he suddenly felt overwhelmingly self-conscious. So he took off the short-sleeved shirt he was wearing and put on a long-sleeved shirt instead. Even all these years later, he gets choked up re telling the story.

“It was at that point that it became more of a problem,” says Lopez, who is now 20. He’s waiting to become the first person to get a hand transplant because of a birth defect.

The Hard Work Of Waiting For A Hand Transplant

Photo credit: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

A Spectacular View of the Earth on Earth Day

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured this stunning view of the Americas on Earth Day, April 22, 2014 at 11:45 UTC/7:45 a.m. EDT. The data from GOES-East was made into an image by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Where the Wild Stars Are

A storm of stars is brewing in the Trifid nebula, as seen in this view from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The stellar nursery, where baby stars are bursting into being, is the yellow-and-orange object dominating the picture. Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut a cavity into three sections, hence the name Trifid nebula.

Colors in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light detected by WISE. The main green cloud is made up of hydrogen gas. Within this cloud is the Trifid nebula, where radiation and winds from massive stars have blown a cavity into the surrounding dust and gas, and presumably triggered the birth of new generations of stars. Dust glows in infrared light, so the three lines that make up the Trifid, while appearing dark in visible-light views, are bright when seen by WISE.

The blue stars scattered around the picture are older, and they lie between Earth and the Trifid nebula. The baby stars in the Trifid will eventually look similar to those foreground stars. The red cloud at upper right is gas heated by a group of very young stars.

The Trifid nebula is located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

Blue represents light emitted at 3.4-micron wavelengths, and cyan (blue-green) represents 4.6 microns, both of which come mainly from hot stars. Relatively cooler objects, such as the dust of the nebula, appear green and red. Green represents 12-micron light and red, 22-micron light.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages and operates the recently activated NEOWISE asteroid-hunting mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The results presented here are from the WISE all-sky survey mission, which operated before NEOWISE, using the same spacecraft, in 2010 and 2011. WISE was selected competitively under NASA’s Explorers Program managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA