NASA News Digest: Space Science For 25 November – 15 December 2015

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

The NASA News Service provides up-to-date announcements of NASA policy, news events, and space science. A recent selection of space science articles are provided below, including direct links to the full announcements. Those interested in receiving these announcements from NASA can subscribe to their service by sending an email to: hqnews-request@newsletters.nasa.gov?subject=subscribe

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope Receives First Mirror Installation

RELEASE 15-226 (Click here for the full article) – 25 November 2015

2015dec19_15_226_itarappres2NASA has successfully installed the first of 18 flight mirrors onto the James Webb Space Telescope, beginning a critical piece of the observatory’s construction.

In the clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland this week, the engineering team used a robot arm to lift and lower the hexagonal-shaped segment that measures just over 4.2 feet (1.3 meters) across and weighs approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms). After being pieced together, the 18 primary mirror segments will work together as one large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) mirror. The full installation is expected to be complete early next year.

“The James Webb Space Telescope will be the premier astronomical observatory of the next decade,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This first-mirror installation milestone symbolizes all the new and specialized technology that was developed to enable the observatory to study the first stars and galaxies, examine the formation stellar systems and planetary formation, provide answers to the evolution of our own solar system, and make the next big steps in the search for life beyond Earth on exoplanets.”

You can follow the mirror installation on a live webcam by visiting: www.jwst.nasa.gov/webcam.html

To learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope, visit: www.nasa.gov/webb

Be An Astronaut: NASA Accepting Applications For Future Explorers

RELEASE 15-234 (Click here for the full article) – 14 December 2015

2015december19_15_234

Recently named the best place to work in the federal government for the fourth year in a row, NASA is looking for the best candidates to work in the best job on or off the planet. The astronaut candidate application website now is live and accepting submissions through Feb. 18.

Qualifying U.S. citizens may apply at: www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/423817000

NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and astronaut selection manager Anne Roemer will answer questions about the job, and the application and selection processes, on Reddit.com beginning at 4 pm EST today. At that time, anyone may submit questions at: www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/

The agency expects to announce final candidate selections in mid-2017. Those chosen may fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft during their careers: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.

For more information about a career as an astronaut, and application requirements, visit: www.nasa.gov/astronauts

Follow NASA on LinkedIn, and find more NASA jobs, at: www.linkedin.com/company/nasa

NASA Studies High Clouds, Saharan Dust From EPIC View

RELEASE 15-220 (Click here for the full article) – 14 December 2015

From a dusty atmosphere stretching across the Atlantic Ocean to daily views of clouds at sunrise, a new NASA camera keeping a steady eye on the sunlit side of Earth is yielding new insights about our changing planet.

With NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), affixed to NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) about one million miles from Earth, scientists are getting a new view of our planet’s clouds, land surfaces, aerosols and more. Science results from the first EPIC images were discussed Monday at a media briefing at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

EPIC captures a color image of the sunlit side of Earth at least once every two hours, allowing researchers to track features as the planet rotates in the instrument’s field of view.

For more information on EPIC, and to view images captured by the instrument, visit: epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/

NASA Examines Global Impacts Of The 2015 El Niño

RELEASE 15-235 (Click here for the full article) – 15 December 2015

People the world over are feeling, or soon will feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. New satellite observations are beginning to show scientists its impact on the distribution of rain, tropospheric ozone and wildfires around the globe.

New results presented Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco show that atmospheric rivers, significant sources of rainfall, tend to intensify during El Niño events, and this year’s strong El Niño likely will bring more precipitation to California and some relief for the drought.

Due to this El Niño, tropospheric ozone, a pollutant and greenhouse gas, is seen decreasing over mid-latitude locations such as the United States, and the risk of fires across the tropics is showing signs of increasing.

For more information on El Niño and NASA’s Earth-observing missions, visit: climatesciences.jpl.nasa.gov/enso

New NASA Satellite Maps Show Human Fingerprint On Global Air Quality

RELEASE 15-233 (Click here for the full article) – 14 December 2015

Using new, high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators, NASA scientists tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe. The findings were presented Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

“These changes in air quality patterns aren’t random,” said Bryan Duncan, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led the research. “When governments step in and say we’re going to build something here or we’re going to regulate this pollutant, you see the impact in the data.”

Duncan and his team examined observations made from 2005 to 2014 by the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite. One of the atmospheric gases the instrument detects is nitrogen dioxide, a yellow-brown gas that is a common emission from cars, power plants and industrial activity. Nitrogen dioxide can quickly transform into ground-level ozone, a major respiratory pollutant in urban smog. Nitrogen dioxide hotspots, used as an indicator of general air quality, occur over most major cities in developed and developing nations.

To view and download high-resolution air quality maps, go to: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12094

For more on NASA’s research into nitrogen dioxide, and air quality data for 195 cities, visit: airquality.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation