NASA Space Place – NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) To Monitor Earth As Never Before

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting in April, 2017.

By Ethan Siegel

2013february2_spaceplaceLater this year, an ambitious new Earth-monitoring satellite will launch into a polar orbit around our planet. The new satellite—called JPSS-1—is a collaboration between NASA and NOAA. It is part of a mission called the Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.

At a destination altitude of only 824 km, it will complete an orbit around Earth in just 101 minutes, collecting extraordinarily high-resolution imagery of our surface, oceans and atmosphere. It will obtain full-planet coverage every 12 hours using five separate, independent instruments. This approach enables near-continuous monitoring of a huge variety of weather and climate phenomena.

JPSS-1 will improve the prediction of severe weather events and will help advance early warning systems. It will also be indispensable for long-term climate monitoring, as it will track global rainfall, drought conditions and ocean properties. 

The five independent instruments on board are the main assets of this mission:

* The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) will detail the atmosphere’s 3D structure, measuring water vapor and temperature in over 1,000 infrared spectral channels. It will enable accurate weather forecasting up to seven days in advance of any major weather events.

* The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) adds 22 microwave channels to CrIS’s measurements, improving temperature and moisture readings.

* Taking visible and infrared images of Earth’s surface at 750 meter resolution, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument will enable monitoring of weather patterns, fires, sea temperatures, light pollution, and ocean color observations at unprecedented resolutions.

* The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) will measure how ozone concentration varies with altitude and in time over every location on Earth’s surface. This can help us understand how UV light penetrates the various layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

* The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant System (CERES) instrument will quantify the effect of clouds on Earth’s energy balance, measuring solar reflectance and Earth’s radiance. It will greatly reduce one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate modeling.

The information from this satellite will be important for emergency responders, airline pilots, cargo ships, farmers and coastal residents, and many others. Long and short term weather monitoring will be greatly enhanced by JPSS-1 and the rest of the upcoming satellites in the JPSS system.

Want to teach kids about polar and geostationary orbits? Go to the NASA Space Place: spaceplace.nasa.gov/geo-orbits/

This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Caption: Ball and Raytheon technicians integrate the VIIRS Optical and Electrical Modules onto the JPSS-1 spacecraft in 2015. The spacecraft will be ready for launch later this year. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

About NASA Space Place

With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov (facebook|twitter) to explore space and Earth science!

9th Annual Girls Summit – STEM Career Exploration Day, 29 April 2017

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY list. One week to go before the 2017 Girls Summit, held on the SUNY ESF campus this Saturday. Please forward this along to anyone you think might be interested!

Details

Girls Summit is a career exploration day for girls in grades 6-10 on Saturday April 29th, 2017 at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. The event’s GPS address is 1000 Irving Ave.

Girls Summit is organized by Girls Inc. at the YWCA in collaboration with ESF, Syracuse University, Syracuse University’s STEP (Science, Technology Entry Program), and New York State CSTEP (Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program). Participants will attend hands-on workshops about a variety of STEM topics throughout the day and a panel discussion about the high school-to-college transition will close the day.

This event aims to (1) spark the spirit, trigger the imagination and encourage young women to consider new and exciting career opportunities; (2) increase a girl’s interest in math, science and technology and in persistence with school; (3) provide girls with opportunities to meet and form personal contacts with women working in non- traditional fields; and (4) provide hands-on learning about alternative careers in a format that is committed to benefiting girls of all ethnicities, races, religions, abilities, and backgrounds.

GIRLS SUMMIT SCHEDULE

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Registration
9:40 – 9:55 AM: Keynote Speaker
10:00 – 10:10 AM: Pre-Survey
10:10 – 10:55 AM: Workshop 1
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Workshop 2
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Lunch (will be provided on-site)
12:40 – 1:25 PM: Workshop 3
1:30 – 2:10 PM: Workshop 4
2:10 – 2:15 PM: Post-Survey
2:30 – 3:15 PM: College Readiness Panel Discussion
3:15 – 3:30: Closing Ceremony & Door Prizes!

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration will not be considered complete until a registration fee of $5.00 is made to the YWCA by cash, credit, check, or money order. Call our main office at (315) 424-0040 to make a payment by credit card. Please make checks out to “YWCA Syracuse & Onondaga County” and drop off in person or by mail to 401 Douglas St. Syracuse, NY 13203. If mailing in a payment, please include contact information for the participant. Payment may be made on the day of the event, however it is strongly encouraged to pre-pay via the above options.

If you have any questions please contact Liz Wierbinski at lwierbinskiywca@centralny.twcbc.com or by phone at 315-424-0040.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

Spring Constellations And Planet Observation – CNYO At Beaver Lake Nature Center, 27 April 2017

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

I am pleased to announce that the first official CNYO session for 2017 will be held next week (or the week after, weather-pending) at one of our most regular observing locations. Bob Piekiel and Larry Slosberg will be hosting at Beaver Lake from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the northern tip of the big loop (just aim for the main parking lot).

The event is free with Beaver Lake admission (click HERE for the direct event link), but they do request advanced registration. If interested, please call Beaver Lake Nature Center at 315-638-2519 or send an email to blnc@ongov.net.


View Larger Map

Unfortunately, the event description seems to have been taken from our last Beaver Lake session – Venus won’t be present by event start (having set about three hours before sunset), but a sliver of a crescent moon will be visible for most of the session in close proximity to Mars. Jupiter remains an excellent summer scope target this year and for several years to come.

This outdoor lecture by CNY Observers will describe the history of the spring constellations and offer tips for remembering their relative positions. The moon will be the featured object for the night, with Jupiter and Venus also prominent, making for great views with the telescopes that will be present. (Cloud date is May 4.)