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  • richardmitnick 9:15 pm on January 26, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s Fermi Detects First Gamma-Ray Eclipses From ‘Spider’ Star Systems", After over a decade of observations the mission has identified over 300 spiders., As a student Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars with radio astronomy while working at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, , , Bell Burnell was denied the Nobel which went instead to her advisor., , , PSR B1957+20-or B1957 for short-was the first-known black widow discovered in 1988., Scientists divide spider systems into two types named after spider species whose females sometimes eat their smaller mates. Black widows contain companions with less than 5% of the Sun’s mass., Scientists have discovered the first gamma-ray eclipses from a special type of binary star system using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope., , Spider systems develop because one star in a binary evolves more swiftly than its partner. Early on a spider pulsar “feeds” off its companion by siphoning away a stream of gas., The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, These so-called spider systems each contain a pulsar – the superdense rapidly rotating remains of a star that exploded in a supernova – that slowly erodes its companion.   

    From NASA Fermi Via The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA’s Fermi Detects First Gamma-Ray Eclipses From ‘Spider’ Star Systems” 

    NASA Fermi Banner

    NASA/Fermi Telescope
    From NASA Fermi

    Via

    NASA Goddard Banner

    The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    1.26.23
    By Jeanette Kazmierczak
    jeanette.a.kazmierczak@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Media Contact:
    Claire Andreoli
    claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    1
    NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope orbits Earth in this illustration. Credit:Chris Smith (Universities Space Research Association)/ NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Scientists have discovered the first gamma-ray eclipses from a special type of binary star system using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These so-called spider systems each contain a pulsar – the superdense, rapidly rotating remains of a star that exploded in a supernova – that slowly erodes its companion.

    An international team of scientists scoured over a decade of Fermi observations to find seven spiders that undergo these eclipses, which occur when the low-mass companion star passes in front of the pulsar from our point of view. The data allowed them to calculate how the systems tilt relative to our line of sight and other information.

    “One of the most important goals for studying spiders is to try to measure the masses of the pulsars,” said Colin Clark, an astrophysicist at the MPG Institute for Gravitational Physics (DE) who led the work. “Pulsars are basically balls of the densest matter we can measure. The maximum mass they can reach constrains the physics within these extreme environments, which can’t be replicated on Earth.”

    A paper about the study was published Jan. 26 in Nature Astronomy [below].

    2
    An orbiting star begins to eclipse its partner, a rapidly rotating, superdense stellar remnant called a pulsar, in this illustration. The pulsar emits multiwavelength beams of light that rotate in and out of view and produces outflows that heat the star’s facing side, blowing away material and eroding its partner. Credits: Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State University/NASA.

    Spider systems develop because one star in a binary evolves more swiftly than its partner. When the more massive star goes supernova, it leaves behind a pulsar. This stellar remnant emits beams of multiwavelength light, including gamma rays, that sweep in and out of our view, creating pulses so regular they rival the precision of atomic clocks.

    Early on a spider pulsar “feeds” off its companion by siphoning away a stream of gas. As the system evolves, the feeding stops as the pulsar begins to spin more rapidly, generating particle outflows and radiation that superheat the companion’s facing side and erode it.

    Scientists divide spider systems into two types named after spider species whose females sometimes eat their smaller mates. Black widows contain companions with less than 5% of the Sun’s mass. Redback systems host bigger companions, both in size and mass, weighing between 10% and 50% of the Sun.

    “Before Fermi, we only knew of a handful of pulsars that emitted gamma rays,” said Elizabeth Hays, the Fermi project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “After over a decade of observations, the mission has identified over 300 and collected a long, nearly uninterrupted dataset that allows the community to do trailblazing science.”

    Researchers can calculate the masses of spider systems by measuring their orbital motions. Visible light observations can measure how quickly the companion is traveling, while radio measurements reveal the pulsar’s speed. However, these rely on motion towards and away from us. For a nearly face-on system, such changes are slight and potentially confusing. The same signals also could be produced by a smaller, slower-orbiting system that’s seen from the side. Knowing the system’s tilt relative to our line of sight is vital for measuring mass.

    The tilt’s angle is normally measured using visible light, but these measurements come with some potential complications. As the companion orbits the pulsar, its superheated side comes in and out of view, creating a fluctuation in visible light that depends on the tilt. However, astronomers are still learning about the superheating process, and models with different heating patterns sometimes predict different pulsar masses.

    Gamma rays, however, are only generated by the pulsar and have so much energy that they travel in a straight line, unaffected by debris, unless blocked by the companion. If gamma rays disappear from the data set of a spider system, scientists can infer that the companion eclipsed the pulsar. From there, they can calculate the system’s tilt into our sight line, the stars’ velocities, and the pulsar’s mass.

    PSR B1957+20, or B1957 for short, was the first-known black widow, discovered in 1988. Earlier models for this system, built from visible light observations, determined that it was tipped about 65 degrees into our line of sight and the pulsar’s mass was 2.4 times the Sun’s. That would make B1957 the heaviest-known pulsar, straddling the theoretical mass limit between pulsar and black hole.

    By looking at the Fermi data, Clark and his team found 15 missing gamma-ray photons. The timing of the gamma-ray pulses from these objects is so dependable that 15 missing photons over a decade is significant enough that the team could determine the system is eclipsing. They then calculated that the binary is inclined 84 degrees and the pulsar weighs only 1.8 times as much as the Sun.

    “There’s a quest to find massive pulsars, and these spider systems are thought to be one of the best ways to find them,” said Matthew Kerr, a co-author on the new paper and research physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. “They’ve undergone a very extreme process of mass transfer from the companion star to the pulsar. Once we really get these models fine-tuned, we’ll know for sure whether these spider systems are more massive than the rest of the pulsar population.”

    Nature Astronomy
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope , formerly referred to as the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), is a space observatory being used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit. Its main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), with which astronomers mostly intend to perform an all-sky survey studying astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, other high-energy sources and dark matter. Another instrument aboard Fermi, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM; formerly GLAST Burst Monitor), is being used to study gamma-ray bursts. The mission is a joint venture of NASA, the United States Department of Energy, and government agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [NASA/ESA Hubble, NASA Chandra, NASA Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:30 pm on January 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Scientists Study Life Origins By Simulating a Cosmic Evolution", , , , , , , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA Scientists Study Life Origins By Simulating a Cosmic Evolution” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    1.10.23
    By Lonnie Shekhtman
    lonnie.shekhtman@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Amino acids make up millions of proteins that drive the chemical gears of life, including essential bodily functions in animals. Because of amino acids’ relationship to living things scientists are eager to understand the origins of these molecules. After all, amino acids may have helped spawn life on Earth after being delivered here about 4 billion years ago by pieces of asteroids or comets.

    But if so, were amino acids produced inside asteroids or comets? Or did life’s raw ingredients come intact from the interstellar molecular cloud of ice, gas, and dust that formed our solar system and countless others?

    If amino acids formed in our solar system, then life could be unique here. But if they came from an interstellar cloud, these precursors to life could have spread to other solar systems, as well.

    Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, sought to explore how amino acids and amines – their chemical cousins – may have formed by simulating a mini, cosmic evolution in the lab. The researchers made ices like those found in interstellar clouds, blasted them with radiation, and then exposed the leftover material, which included amines and amino acids, to water and heat to replicate the conditions they would have experienced inside asteroids.

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    “The important take-away is that the building blocks of life have a strong link not only to processes in the asteroid, but also to those of the parent interstellar cloud,” said Danna Qasim, who worked on this experiment while she was a postdoctoral fellow at NASA Goddard from 2020 to 2022. Qasim now is a research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and lead author of a study published on January 9 in the journal ACS Earth and Space Chemistry [below].

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    These towering tendrils of cosmic dust and gas sit at the heart of M16, or the Eagle Nebula. The aptly named Pillars of Creation featured in this stunning image are part of an active star-forming region in the nebula and hide newborn stars in their wispy columns. The chemical building blocks of life may have come from regions like this one and then were further processed inside asteroids formed in our, and possibly other, solar systems. This image was made by combining images from two cameras aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Webb’s near-infrared image was fused with its mid-infrared image, setting this star-forming region ablaze with new details.
    Credits: SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI. IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI).

    For their study, Qasim and her colleagues made ices out of molecules that telescopes have commonly detected in interstellar clouds, such as water, methanol, carbon dioxide and ammonia. Then, using a Van de Graaff particle accelerator at Goddard, they zapped the ices with high-energy protons to mimic the cosmic radiation the ices would have experienced in a molecular cloud. The radiation process broke apart simple molecules. Those molecules recombined into more complex amines and amino acids, such as ethylamine and glycine. The amino acids were left in gooey residues.

    “We expect that these residues from the interstellar cloud are transferred to the protoplanetary disk that creates a solar system, including asteroids,” Qasim said.

    Asteroid simulations came next. By submerging the residues in tubes of water and heating them to different temperatures and for varying durations, scientists replicated the conditions inside some asteroids billions of years ago, called “aqueous alteration.” Afterward, they analyzed the effects these warm, watery conditions had on the molecules.

    They found that the types of amines and amino acids created in laboratory interstellar ices, and their proportions, stayed constant regardless of asteroid conditions. This implies that amines and amino acids can stay intact as they migrate from the interstellar cloud to an asteroid. But each molecule reacted differently to asteroid-like conditions depending on how much heat the researchers applied and for how long. Glycine levels doubled after 7 days of asteroid simulations, for example, while ethylamine levels barely budged.

    Many other scientists have created interstellar ices and plied them with radiation. Like the Goddard team, they’ve also found that this process creates amines and amino acids. But the set of compounds produced in labs doesn’t match the set detected in meteorites. Meteorites are pieces of asteroids and, perhaps, comets that scientists can find on Earth’s surface and probe in the lab.

    Qasim and her colleagues wanted to investigating this discrepancy, so they designed an experiment — the first one to add asteroid simulations to the ice experiment. The process began with an idea by Christopher Materese, a Goddard research scientist who was principal investigator of this project. Materese wondered whether asteroid conditions were the missing link between lab-made interstellar ice and meteorite compositions.

    “Laboratory experiments focused solely on ice irradiation are not fully capturing the reality of the chemistry experienced by these compounds,” Materese said. “So part of the goal of this work was to see if we can close that gap.”

    The research team has not yet closed the gap. They found that even after simulating asteroid conditions, the amines and amino acids they produced still didn’t match those in meteorites.

    This could be happening for a variety of reasons. One has to do with possible contamination. Because meteorites fall through Earth’s atmosphere and spend some time on the surface before they’re scooped up, it’s possible that their chemical makeup changes and doesn’t perfectly reflect the asteroids they came from. But scientists will be able to address this issue with pristine samples of asteroid Bennu, currently being ferried by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to Earth for a Sept. 24, 2023, delivery to the surface. Scientists also will improve their ice experiments after NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope returns detailed information about the types of ices that make up interstellar molecular clouds.

    “We are not nearly at the end of this work yet, we still have more to do,” Materese said.

    Science paper:
    ACS Earth and Space Chemistry

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:42 pm on January 10, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s Webb Telescope Reveals Links Between Galaxies Near and Far", A new analysis of distant galaxies imaged by JWST shows that they are extremely young and share some remarkable similarities to “green peas”-a rare class of small galaxies in our cosmic backyard., Among the faintest galaxies behind the cluster were a trio of compact infrared objects that looked like they could be distant relatives of green peas., , , , Green pea galaxy colors are unusual because a sizable fraction of their light comes from brightly glowing gas clouds., Peas are also quite compact-typically only about 5000 light-years across or about 5% the size of our Milky Way galaxy., , The most distant of these three galaxies [in the banner image] was magnified by about 10 times providing a significant assist from nature on top of the telescope’s unprecedented capabilities., The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, , The Peas stood out as small round unresolved dots with a distinctly green shade-a consequence of both the colors assigned to different filters in the survey’s composite images and a property of the , The Webb spectra made it possible to measure the amount of oxygen in these cosmic dawn galaxies for the first time., These images include what might be the most primitive galaxy identified so far., We are seeing these objects as they existed up to 13.1 billion years ago when the universe was about 5% its current age., We can connect these primitive galaxies from the dawn of the universe to similar ones nearby which we can study in much greater detail.   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center For The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “NASA’s Webb Telescope Reveals Links Between Galaxies Near and Far” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    For

    NASA Webb Header

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Infrared Space Telescope annotated, finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late.

    The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope

    1.9.23

    by Francis Reddy
    francis.j.reddy@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Media Contacts:
    Laura Betz
    laura.e.betz@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
    (301) 286-9030

    Claire Andreoli
    claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
    (301) 286-1940

    1
    Three faint, small, distant galaxies (in boxes) appear in the James Webb Space Telescope’s deep image of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. Measurements show they exhibit properties linking them to rare galaxies known as “green peas” found nearby. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI.

    A new analysis of distant galaxies imaged by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope shows that they are extremely young and share some remarkable similarities to “green peas” a rare class of small galaxies in our cosmic backyard.

    “With detailed chemical fingerprints of these early galaxies, we see that they include what might be the most primitive galaxy identified so far. At the same time, we can connect these galaxies from the dawn of the universe to similar ones nearby which we can study in much greater detail,” said James Rhoads, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who presented the findings at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

    A paper describing the results, led by Rhoads, was published Jan. 3 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below].  

    2
    A trio of faint objects (circled) captured in the James Webb Space Telescope’s deep image of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 exhibit properties remarkably similar to rare, small galaxies called “green peas” found much closer to home. The cluster’s mass makes it a gravitational lens, which both magnifies and distorts the appearance of background galaxies. We view these early peas as they existed when the universe was about 5% its current age of 13.8 billion years. The farthest pea, at left, contains just 2% the oxygen abundance of a galaxy like our own and might be the most chemically primitive galaxy yet identified. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI.

    Green pea galaxies were discovered and named in 2009 by volunteers taking part in Galaxy Zoo, a project where citizen scientists help classify galaxies in images, starting with those from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Apache Point Observatory
    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    Apache Point Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft). ___________________________________________________________________
    The Peas stood out as small, round, unresolved dots with a distinctly green shade, a consequence of both the colors assigned to different filters in the survey’s composite images and a property of the galaxies themselves.

    3
    A green pea galaxy imaged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is shown alongside an infrared picture of an early pea captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. At left is J122051+491255, a green pea about 170 million light-years away that’s about 4,000 light-years across, a typical size. At right is an early pea known as 04590, whose light has taken 13.1 billion years to reach us. Compensating for the cluster’s gravitational lensing effect and the galaxy’s greater distance to us, 04590 is even more compact, comparable to the smallest nearby green peas. Credit: SDSS and NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI.

    Green pea galaxy colors are unusual because a sizable fraction of their light comes from brightly glowing gas clouds. The gases emit light at specific wavelengths – unlike stars, which produce a rainbow-like spectrum of continuous color. Peas are also quite compact-typically only about 5000 light-years across or about 5% the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

    “Peas may be small, but their star-formation activity is unusually intense for their size, so they produce bright ultraviolet light,” said Keunho Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the analysis team. “Thanks to ultraviolet images of green peas from Hubble and ground-based research on early star-forming galaxies, it’s clear that they both share this property.”

    In July 2022, NASA and its partners in the Webb mission released the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe yet seen, capturing thousands of galaxies in and behind a cluster known as SMACS 0723.

    The cluster’s mass makes it a gravitational lens, which both magnifies and distorts the appearance of background galaxies.

    Among the faintest galaxies behind the cluster were a trio of compact infrared objects that looked like they could be distant relatives of green peas. The most distant of these three galaxies was magnified by about 10 times providing a significant assist from nature on top of the telescope’s unprecedented capabilities.

    Webb did more than image the cluster – its Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) [below] instrument also captured the spectra of selected galaxies in the scene. When Rhoads and his colleagues examined these measurements and corrected them for the wavelength stretch resulting from the expansion of space, they saw characteristic features emitted by oxygen, hydrogen, and neon line up in a stunning resemblance to those seen from nearby green peas.

    4
    The James Webb Space Telescope’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph captured the chemical fingerprints of selected galaxies behind SMACS 0723, including three faint, distant objects. When corrected for the wavelength stretch caused by the expansion of space over billions of years, the spectra of these galaxies (shown in red) exhibit features emitted by oxygen, hydrogen, and neon that show a stunning resemblance to those seen from so-called green pea galaxies found nearby (in green). Additionally, the Webb observations made it possible to measure the amount of oxygen in these cosmic dawn galaxies for the first time. The spectral lines have been stretched vertically in order to clarify these relationships.
    Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Rhoads et al. 2023.

    Additionally, the Webb spectra made it possible to measure the amount of oxygen in these cosmic dawn galaxies for the first time.

    As stars produce energy, they transmute lighter elements like hydrogen and helium into heavier ones. When stars explode or lose their outer layers at the ends of their lives, these heavier elements become incorporated into the gas that forms the next stellar generations, and the process continues. Over cosmic history, stars have steadily enriched the universe.

    Two of the Webb galaxies contain oxygen at about 20% of the level in our Milky Way. They resemble typical green peas, which nevertheless make up less than 0.1% of the nearby galaxies observed by the Sloan survey. The third galaxy studied is even more unusual.

    “We are seeing these objects as they existed up to 13.1 billion years ago when the universe was about 5% its current age,” said Goddard researcher Sangeeta Malhotra. “And we see that they are young galaxies in every sense – full of young stars and glowing gas that contains few chemical products recycled from earlier stars. Indeed, one of them contains just 2% the oxygen of a galaxy like our own and might be the most chemically primitive galaxy yet identified.”

    NIRSpec was built for ESA (European Space Agency) by Airbus Industries. Its array of nearly half a million microshutters – tiny doors that can be opened or closed to admit or block light – allow it to capture spectra of up to 100 individual objects at a time. The microshutter array and detector subsystems were fabricated by NASA.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. Webb was finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late. Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

    Webb is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

    Webb was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

    Webb is an international collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managed the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute operates Webb.

    Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K.

    There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS).

    Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

    Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

    Launch was December 25, 2021, ten years late, on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch was from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Webb is located at the second Lagrange point, about a million miles from the Earth.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:58 pm on December 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Trio of smaller satellites to continue NASA/USGS's Landsat legacy", , Landsat 8 is also in orbit., Landsat 9 which launched in September 2021 is a single spacecraft that collects data of Earth's landscapes and coastlines every 16 days., Landsat heritage spectral bands have also been refined., Landsat Next is planned to launch by late-2030., NASA and USGS envision a Landsat Next constellation of three spacecraft orbiting every six days at the equator., New spectral bands were added to Landsat Next in response to evolving science and user needs., Providing more frequent and finer resolution data of the changing surface of Earth., The Landsat Next mission, The Landsat series of satellites has provided a continuous record of Earth's surface from space since 1972., The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, The three spacecrafts that make up Landsat Next will be identical.   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Via “phys.org” : “Trio of smaller satellites to continue NASA/USGS’s Landsat legacy” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Via

    “phys.org”

    12.21.22

    1
    Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    With a trio of smaller satellites that can each detect 26 wavelengths of light and thermal energy, the Landsat Next mission is expected to look very different from its predecessors that have been observing Earth for 50 years. This new plan for Landsat Next, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), is designed to provide more frequent, and finer resolution, data of the changing surface of Earth.

    “I think this is going to be a phenomenally capable instrument, with the biggest leap in Landsat capability since Landsat 4,” said Bruce Cook, NASA Landsat Next Project Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is basically the first chance we’ve had to completely re-conceive the Landsat mission.”

    The Landsat series of satellites has provided a continuous record of Earth’s surface from space since 1972, allowing researchers and resource managers to track changes in the natural and human-influenced environment. Landsat Next, planned to launch by late-2030, will extend this record while providing more frequent observations, higher resolution images, and more than twice the spectral bands as its predecessors. Earlier this month, NASA officials approved Key Decision Point-A authorization for the mission.

    Landsat 9 which launched in September 2021 is a single spacecraft that collects data of Earth’s landscapes and coastlines every 16 days. Its sister satellite Landsat 8 is also in orbit, and together they gather images of any given spot on Earth’s surface every eight days.

    NASA and USGS envision a Landsat Next constellation of three spacecraft, orbiting in a configuration that would provide finer spatial resolution and expanded spectral imaging capabilities every six days at the equator. When combined with Landsat 9, heritage Landsat image data would be provided at even higher temporal frequencies, Cook said. These more frequent observations are especially important for tracking fast-changing processes like water quality, crop health, and natural hazards.


    Landsat’s Next Chapter.
    With a trio of smaller satellites that can each detect 26 wavelengths of light, the Landsat Next mission is expected to look very different from its predecessors that have been observing Earth for 50 years. This new plan for Landsat Next, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, is designed to provide more frequent, and finer resolution, data of the changing surface of Earth. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio.

    Landsat Next will also gather higher-resolution, more detailed images of Earth’s surface. Pixels from Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 are 98 feet (30 meters) wide, about the size of a baseball infield, in most wavelengths. For most Landsat Next wavelengths, pixel size will be 33 to 66 ft (10 to 20 m) wide, about the width and length of a tennis court.

    The three spacecrafts that make up Landsat Next will be identical, each carrying an instrument or instruments that detect 26 wavelengths spanning the visible to shortwave infrared and thermal infrared regions. This is more than double the spectral bands of Landsat 9, and is designed to allow data users to glean even more information, Cook said.

    New spectral bands were added to Landsat Next in response to evolving science and user needs. For example, new visible bands will help scientists and resource managers manage water quality by identifying chlorophyll or dissolved organic material in the water, as well as harmful algal blooms. Red edge and shortwave bands will help identify stress in forests or croplands. New near infrared and shortwave bands will provide information about snow and ice surface states, water content and freeze-thaw dynamics in a changing climate.

    Landsat heritage spectral bands have also been refined. For example, Landsat’s SWIR2 band was subdivided into three bands to advance agricultural management and the impact of crop residues on soil fertility, crop productivity, and carbon sequestration. Landsat Next will also increase the number of thermal infrared bands from two to five, which will provide measures of surface emissivity, improve estimates of surface temperature, and help with mapping minerals.

    “One of the things that we’ve really focused on in the Landsat Next project is listening to the user community,” said Chris Crawford, USGS Landsat Next Project Scientist and Co-Lead of the Landsat Science Team. “At the same time, we’re still coming back to data continuity as a guiding observational principle and guaranteeing that no matter what future Landsat missions look like, they maintain continuity and compatibility with the prior historical record. Because that’s really the strong, unique attribute of Landsat: 50 years of measurements that we hope to carry into the next 50 years.”

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:33 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Goddard Scientists Create Black Hole Jets with NCCS Discover Supercomputer", , , , , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA Goddard Scientists Create Black Hole Jets with NCCS Discover Supercomputer” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


    Creating Black Hole Jets With a NASA Supercomputer.
    New simulations carried out on the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Discover supercomputer show how weaker, low-luminosity jets produced by a galaxy’s monster black hole interact with their galactic environment. Because these jets are more difficult to detect, the simulations help astronomers link these interactions to features they can observe, such as various gas motions and optical and X-ray emissions. Video by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Leveraging the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientists ran 100 simulations exploring jets — narrow beams of energetic particles — that emerge at nearly light speed from supermassive black holes. These behemoths sit at the centers of active, star-forming galaxies like our own Milky Way galaxy, and can weigh millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun.

    As jets and winds flow out from these active galactic nuclei (AGN), they “regulate the gas in the center of the galaxy and affect things like the star-formation rate and how the gas mixes with the surrounding galactic environment,” explained study lead Ryan Tanner, a postdoc in NASA Goddard’s X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory.

    “For our simulations, we focused on less-studied, low-luminosity jets and how they determine the evolution of their host galaxies.” Tanner said. He collaborated with X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory astrophysicist Kimberly Weaver on the computational study, which appears in The Astronomical Journal [below].

    Observational evidence for jets and other AGN outflows first came from radio telescopes and later NASA and European Space Agency X-ray telescopes. Over the past 30 to 40 years, astronomers including Weaver have pieced together an explanation of their origin by connecting optical, radio, ultraviolet, and X-ray observations (see the next image below). “High-luminosity jets are easier to find because they create massive structures that can be seen in radio observations,” Tanner explained. “Low-luminosity jets are challenging to study observationally, so the astronomy community does not understand them as well.”

    2
    These images show the diversity of black hole jets. Left: NGC 1068, one of the nearest and brightest galaxies (green and red) with a rapidly growing supermassive black hole, powers a jet (blue) much smaller than the galaxy itself. Image by NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al. (X-ray); NASA/STScI (optical); and NSF/NRAO/VLA (radio). Right: The galaxy
    Centaurus A reveals particle jets extending far above and below the galaxy’s disk. Image by ESO/WFI (optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (submillimeter); and NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Kraft et al. (X-ray).

    Enter NASA supercomputer-enabled simulations. For realistic starting conditions, Tanner and Weaver used the total mass of a hypothetical galaxy about the size of the Milky Way. For the gas distribution and other AGN properties, they looked to spiral galaxies such as NGC 1386, NGC 3079, and NGC 4945.

    Tanner modified the Athena astrophysical hydrodynamics code to explore the impacts of the jets and gas on each other across 26,000 light-years of space, about half the radius of the Milky Way. From the full set of 100 simulations, the team selected 19 — which consumed 800,000 core hours on the NCCS Discover supercomputer — for publication.

    “Being able to use NASA supercomputing resources allowed us to explore a much larger parameter space than if we had to use more modest resources,” Tanner said. “This led to uncovering important relationships that we could not discover with a more limited scope.”

    The simulations uncovered two major properties of low-luminosity jets:

    They interact with their host galaxy much more than high-luminosity jets.
    They both affect and are affected by the interstellar medium within the galaxy, leading to a greater variety of shapes than high-luminosity jets.

    “We have demonstrated the method by which the AGN impacts its galaxy and creates the physical features, such as shocks in the interstellar medium, that we have observed for about 30 years,” Weaver said. “These results compare well with optical and X-ray observations. I was surprised at how well theory matches observations and addresses longstanding questions I have had about AGN that I studied as a graduate student, like NGC 1386! And now we can expand to larger samples.”

    Science paper:
    The Astronomical Journal
    See the science paper for instructive material with images and tables.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:44 am on October 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “Webb and Hubble Capture Detailed Views of DART Impact” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    9.29.22

    Media Contacts:

    Claire Andreoli
    claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Laura Betz
    laura.e.betz@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Lynn Chandler
    lynn.chandler-1@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Hannah Braun
    hbraun@stsci.edu
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Ray Villard
    villard@stsci.edu
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Christine Pulliam
    cpulliam@stsci.edu
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    1
    These images, Hubble on the left and Webb on the right, show observations of the Didymos-Dimorphos system several hours after NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) intentionally impacted the moonlet asteroid. Credits: Science: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jian-Yang Li (PSI), Cristina Thomas (Northern Arizona University), Ian Wong (NASA-GSFC); image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).

    Two of NASA’s Great Observatories, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, have captured views of a unique NASA experiment designed to intentionally smash a spacecraft into a small asteroid in the world’s first-ever in-space test for planetary defense.

    These observations of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impact mark the first time that Webb and Hubble simultaneously observed the same celestial target.

    On Sept. 26, 2022, at 7:14 pm EDT, DART intentionally crashed into Dimorphos, the asteroid moonlet in the double-asteroid system of Didymos. It was the world’s first test of the kinetic impact mitigation technique, using a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid that poses no threat to Earth, and modifying the object’s orbit. DART is a test for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards.

    The coordinated Hubble and Webb observations are more than just an operational milestone for each telescope – there are also key science questions relating to the makeup and history of our solar system that researchers can explore when combining the capabilities of these observatories.

    “Webb and Hubble show what we’ve always known to be true at NASA: We learn more when we work together,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “For the first time, Webb and Hubble have simultaneously captured imagery from the same target in the cosmos: an asteroid that was impacted by a spacecraft after a seven-million-mile journey. All of humanity eagerly awaits the discoveries to come from Webb, Hubble, and our ground-based telescopes – about the DART mission and beyond.”

    Observations from Webb and Hubble together will allow scientists to gain knowledge about the nature of the surface of Dimorphos, how much material was ejected by the collision, and how fast it was ejected. Additionally, Webb and Hubble captured the impact in different wavelengths of light – Webb in infrared and Hubble in visible. Observing the impact across a wide array of wavelengths will reveal the distribution of particle sizes in the expanding dust cloud, helping to determine whether it threw off lots of big chunks or mostly fine dust. Combining this information, along with ground-based telescope observations, will help scientists to understand how effectively a kinetic impact can modify an asteroid’s orbit.

    Webb Captures Impact Site Before and After Collision

    Webb took one observation of the impact location before the collision took place, then several observations over the next few hours. Images from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) [below] show a tight, compact core, with plumes of material appearing as wisps streaming away from the center of where the impact took place.

    Observing the impact with Webb presented the flight operations, planning, and science teams with unique challenges, because of the asteroid’s speed of travel across the sky. As DART approached its target, the teams performed additional work in the weeks leading up to the impact to enable and test a method of tracking asteroids moving over three times faster than the original speed limit set for Webb.

    “I have nothing but tremendous admiration for the Webb Mission Operations folks that made this a reality,” said principal investigator Cristina Thomas of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. “We have been planning these observations for years, then in detail for weeks, and I’m tremendously happy this has come to fruition.”

    Scientists also plan to observe the asteroid system in the coming months using Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) [below] and Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) [below]. Spectroscopic data will provide researchers with insight into the asteroid’s chemical composition.

    Webb observed the impact over five hours total and captured 10 images. The data was collected as part of Webb’s Cycle 1 Guaranteed Time Observation Program 1245 led by Heidi Hammel of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).

    Hubble Images Show Movement of Ejecta After Impact

    Hubble also captured observations of the binary system ahead of the impact, then again 15 minutes after DART hit the surface of Dimorphos. Images from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 [below] show the impact in visible light.

    Ejecta from the impact appear as rays stretching out from the body of the asteroid. The bolder, fanned-out spike of ejecta to the left of the asteroid is in the general direction from which DART approached.

    Some of the rays appear to be curved slightly, but astronomers need to take a closer look to determine what this could mean. In the Hubble images, astronomers estimate that the brightness of the system increased by three times after impact, and saw that brightness hold steady, even eight hours after impact.

    2
    These images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, taken (left to right) 22 minutes, 5 hours, and 8.2 hours after NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) intentionally impacted Dimorphos, show expanding plumes of ejecta from the asteroid’s body. The Hubble images show ejecta from the impact that appear as rays stretching out from the body of the asteroid. The bolder, fanned-out spike of ejecta to the left of the asteroid is in the general direction from which DART approached. These observations, when combined with data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, will allow scientists to gain knowledge about the nature of the surface of Dimorphos, how much material was ejected by the collision, how fast it was ejected, and the distribution of particle sizes in the expanding dust cloud. Credits: Science: NASA, ESA, Jian-Yang Li (PSI); image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

    Hubble plans to monitor the Didymos-Dimorphos system 10 more times over the next three weeks. These regular, relatively long-term observations as the ejecta cloud expands and fades over time will paint a more complete picture of the cloud’s expansion from the ejection to its disappearance.

    “When I saw the data, I was literally speechless, stunned by the amazing detail of the ejecta that Hubble captured,” said Jian-Yang Li of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, who led the Hubble observations. “I feel lucky to witness this moment and be part of the team that made this happen.”

    Hubble captured 45 images in the time immediately before and following DART’s impact with Dimorphos. The Hubble data was collected as part of Cycle 29 General Observers Program 16674.

    “This is an unprecedented view of an unprecedented event,” summarized Andy Rivkin, DART investigation team lead of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

    Webb telescope was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

    Webb is an international collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managed the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute operates Webb.

    Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K.

    There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS).

    Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

    Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

    Launch was December 25, 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch was from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Webb is located at the second Lagrange point, about a million miles from the Earth.


    ___________________________________________________________________

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Hubble Space Telescope.

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. It was not the first space telescope, but it is one of the largest and most versatile, renowned both as a vital research tool and as a public relations boon for astronomy. The Hubble telescope is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble and is one of NASA’s Great Observatories.

    Hubble features a 2.4-meter (7.9 ft) mirror, and its four main instruments observe in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to capture extremely high-resolution images with substantially lower background light than ground-based telescopes. It has recorded some of the most detailed visible light images, allowing a deep view into space. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as determining the rate of expansion of the universe.

    The Hubble telescope was built by the United States space agency National Aeronautics Space Agency with contributions from the The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU). The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) selects Hubble’s targets and processes the resulting data, while the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center controls the spacecraft. Space telescopes were proposed as early as 1923. Hubble was funded in the 1970s with a proposed launch in 1983, but the project was beset by technical delays, budget problems, and the 1986 Challenger disaster. It was finally launched by Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, but its main mirror had been ground incorrectly, resulting in spherical aberration that compromised the telescope’s capabilities. The optics were corrected to their intended quality by a servicing mission in 1993.

    List of Hubble instruments

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration .

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:38 pm on October 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Studies Origins of ‘Weird’ Solar System Object: Dwarf Planet Haumea", , , , , , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA Studies Origins of ‘Weird’ Solar System Object: Dwarf Planet Haumea” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    10.11.22
    By Lonnie Shekhtman
    lonnie.shekhtman@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    1
    An artist’s rendering of the early solar system. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab.

    Using computer simulations, scientists based at NASA have pieced together the story of how the dwarf planet Haumea, found in the Kuiper Belt of icy worlds beyond the orbit of outermost planet Neptune, became one of the most unusual objects in the solar system.

    Nearly the size of Pluto, Haumea is strange in several ways. It spins faster, by far, than anything else of its size, whirling on its axis in only four hours. Because of its fast spin, Haumea is shaped like a deflated American football instead of a sphere. Its surface, made largely of water ice, is unlike almost any other surface in the Kuiper Belt, except those of a dozen “siblings” that have similar orbits as Haumea and appear to be related to it, making up the only known “family” of objects in the Kuiper Belt.

    “How did something as weird as Haumea and its family come to be?” said Jessica Noviello, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

    This question inspired Noviello and her colleagues to turn to computer models that could, in theory, take Haumea apart and build it back up from scratch to understand the chemical and physical processes that shaped it.

    “To explain what happened to Haumea forces us to put time limits on all these things that happened when the solar system was forming, so it starts to connect everything across the solar system,” said Steve Desch, professor of astrophysics at Arizona State University in Tempe, who worked with Noviello and other colleagues on the modeling experiment described in the Planetary Science Journal [below] on Sept. 29.

    1
    Dwarf planet Haumea. Credit: NASA.
    An interactive 3D model of Haumea, a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt is available. Credits: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development. Download here.

    Noviello met Desch when she was a research fellow in his lab from 2019 to 2020. Desch had been working with his students for several years to try to piece together disparate clues into a clear story about the evolution of Haumea.

    “There are a lot of odd, ‘gee whiz’ parts to Haumea,” Desch said, “and trying to explain them all at once has been a challenge.”

    Haumea is too far away to measure precisely through an Earth-based telescope, and no space mission has yet visited it, so data is scant. Thus, to study Haumea (and other little-known worlds), scientists use computer models to make predictions that fill in the gaps.

    The researchers began by feeding only three pieces of information into their models: Haumea’s estimated size and mass, and its rapid four-hour “day.”

    The models spit out a refined prediction of Haumea’s size, its overall density, and the density and size of its core, among other features. Noviello then fed this information into mathematical equations that helped her calculate the amount of ice on Haumea and the dwarf planet’s volume. Additionally, she calculated how Haumea’s mass is distributed and how that affects its spin. With this information in hand, she sought to simulate billions of years of evolution to see which combination of features of a baby Haumea would evolve into the mature dwarf planet it is today.

    “We wanted to understand Haumea fundamentally before poking back in time,” Noviello said.

    The scientists assumed that baby Haumea was 3% more massive to account for the family members that once were part of it. They also assumed Haumea likely had a different spin rate and was bigger in volume. Then they slightly changed one of these features at a time in their models – such as tweaking Haumea’s size up or down – and ran dozens of simulations to see how small changes in its early years would influence Haumea’s evolution. When the simulations spit out results that resembled today’s Haumea, scientists knew they had landed on a story that matched reality.

    Based on their modeling, Noviello and her colleagues hypothesize that when the planets were first forming and everything was zipping around the solar system, Haumea collided with another object. Though this impact would have knocked off pieces, Noviello and her colleagues suggest that those pieces are not the Haumean family we see today, as other scientists have proposed. Such a powerful impact, they say, would have knocked off bits of Haumea into much more scattered orbits than the family members have.

    The Haumean family we see today instead came later, as the dwarf planet’s structure was taking shape: dense, rocky material was settling to the center while lighter density ice was rising to the surface, said Desch, “and when you concentrate all the mass towards the axis, it decreases the moment of inertia, so Haumea ended up spinning even faster than it does today.” Fast enough, scientists calculated, that ice flung off the surface forming the Haumean family.

    Meanwhile, Haumea’s rocks, which, like all rocks, are slightly radioactive, generated heat that melted some ice, creating an ocean below the surface (no longer there), found paper co-author Marc Neveu, a NASA Goddard researcher. Water soaked into the rocky material at the center of Haumea and made it swell into a large core made of clay, which is less dense than rock. The larger core increased the moment of inertia and thus slowed Haumea’s spin to its current rate.

    Science paper:
    Planetary Science Journal
    See the science paper for detailed material with images.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on October 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s Swift and Fermi Missions Detect Exceptional Cosmic Blast", GRB 221009A, The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA’s Swift and Fermi Missions Detect Exceptional Cosmic Blast” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    10.13.22
    Francis Reddy
    francis.j.reddy@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Media Contact:
    Claire Andreoli
    claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md
    (301) 286-1940

    1
    Astronomers think GRB 221009A represents the birth of a new black hole formed within the heart of a collapsing star. In this illustration, the black hole drives powerful jets of particles traveling near the speed of light. The jets pierce through the star, emitting X-rays and gamma rays as they stream into space. Credit: Cruz deWilde/NASA/Swift.

    Astronomers around the world are captivated by an unusually bright and long-lasting pulse of high-energy radiation that swept over Earth Sunday, Oct. 9. The emission came from a gamma-ray burst (GRB) – the most powerful class of explosions in the universe – that ranks among the most luminous events known.

    On Sunday morning Eastern time, a wave of X-rays and gamma rays passed through the solar system, triggering detectors aboard NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, and Wind spacecraft, as well as others.

    Telescopes around the world turned to the site to study the aftermath, and new observations continue.

    2
    Swift’s X-Ray Telescope captured the afterglow of GRB 221009A about an hour after it was first detected. The bright rings form as a result of X-rays scattered from otherwise unobservable dust layers within our galaxy that lie in the direction of the burst. Credit: A. Beardmore (University of Leicester)/NASA/Swift.

    Called GRB 221009A, the explosion provided an unexpectedly exciting start to the 10th Fermi Symposium, a gathering of gamma-ray astronomers now underway in Johannesburg, South Africa. “It’s safe to say this meeting really kicked off with a bang – everyone’s talking about this,” said Judy Racusin, a Fermi deputy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is attending the conference.

    The signal, originating from the direction of the constellation Sagitta, had traveled an estimated 1.9 billion years to reach Earth. Astronomers think it represents the birth cry of a new black hole, one that formed in the heart of a massive star collapsing under its own weight. In these circumstances, a nascent black hole drives powerful jets of particles traveling near the speed of light. The jets pierce through the star, emitting X-rays and gamma rays as they stream into space.

    The burst also provided a long-awaited inaugural observing opportunity for a link between two experiments on the International Space Station – NASA’s NICER X-ray telescope and a Japanese detector called the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI).

    Activated in April, the connection is dubbed the Orbiting High-energy Monitor Alert Network (OHMAN). It allows NICER to rapidly turn to outbursts detected by MAXI, actions that previously required intervention by scientists on the ground.

    “OHMAN provided an automated alert that enabled NICER to follow up within three hours, as soon as the source became visible to the telescope,” said Zaven Arzoumanian, the NICER science lead at Goddard. “Future opportunities could result in response times of a few minutes.”

    4
    A faint star circled in yellow, marking the afterglow GRB 221009A, becomes much much fainter in Swift visible images taken 10 hours apart.

    Images taken in visible light by Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope show how the afterglow of GRB 221009A (circled) faded over the course of about 10 hours. The explosion appeared in the constellation Sagitta and occurred 1.9 billion years ago. The image is about 4 arcminutes across.
    Credit: NASA/Swift/B. Cenko.

    The light from this ancient explosion brings with it new insights into stellar collapse, the birth of a black hole, the behavior and interaction of matter near the speed of light, the conditions in a distant galaxy – and much more. Another GRB this bright may not appear for decades.

    According to a preliminary analysis, Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) detected the burst for more than 10 hours. One reason for the burst’s brightness and longevity is that, for a GRB, it lies relatively close to us.

    “This burst is much closer than typical GRBs, which is exciting because it allows us to detect many details that otherwise would be too faint to see,” said Roberta Pillera, a Fermi LAT Collaboration member who led initial communications about the burst and a doctoral student at the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy. “But it’s also among the most energetic and luminous bursts ever seen regardless of distance, making it doubly exciting.”

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:52 am on October 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s Lucy to Fly Past Thousands of Objects for Earth Gravity Assist", , Lucy is on a 12-year-journey to study multiple Trojan asteroids up close., , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA’s Lucy to Fly Past Thousands of Objects for Earth Gravity Assist” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    10.13.22
    Lonnie Shekhtman
    lonnie.shekhtman@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    1
    This illustration shows the Lucy spacecraft passing one of the Trojan Asteroids near Jupiter.
    Credits: Southwest Research Institute.

    Mission engineers will track NASA’s Lucy spacecraft nonstop as it prepares to swoop near Earth on Oct. 16 to use this planet’s gravity to set itself on a course toward the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

    But they also will be closely tracking something else: more than 47,000 satellites, debris, and other objects circling our planet.

    3
    Simulation of orbital debris around Earth demonstrating the object population in the geosynchronous region.Credits:NASA ORBITAL DEBRIS PROGRAM OFFICE

    A greater than 1-10,000 chance that Lucy will collide with one of these objects will require mission engineers to slightly adjust the spacecraft’s trajectory.

    Although an adjustment is unlikely, and collisions are rare, the chances are increasing as the number of objects in Earth’s orbit grows, NASA experts say.


    NASA Spacecraft Flies Through Satellite Swarm. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    The International Space Station, for instance, has maneuvered out of the way of space debris 31 times since 1999, including three times since 2020.

    “Low-Earth orbit is getting more crowded, so that has to be part of the consideration nowadays, especially for missions that fly low, like Lucy,” said Dr. Dolan Highsmith, chief engineer for the Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The group determines the probabilities of collisions between NASA’s robotic spacecraft and Earth-orbiting objects. NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston does the same for crewed spacecraft, such as the space station.

    Launched on Oct. 16, 2021, Lucy is on a 12-year-journey to study multiple Trojan asteroids up close. It’ll be the first spacecraft to visit these remnants from the early solar system, helping scientists hone their theories on how the planets formed 4.5 billion years ago and why they ended up in their current configuration.

    But Lucy has a long way to go before it arrives at the Trojans in 2027. The upcoming gravity assist is one of three the spacecraft will rely on to catapult itself to its deep-space targets.

    When Lucy comes nearest to Earth for its first gravity assist it will cruise 220 miles (350 km) above the surface. That’s lower than the altitude of the space station and low enough that the spacecraft will be visible with the naked eye from western Australia for a few minutes starting at 6:55 p.m. local time (10:55 UTC). On its way down, Lucy will fly through the most crowded layer of Earth’s orbit, which is monitored by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron. The squadron helps NASA identify close approaches.

    Engineers began collision analysis for Lucy a week before the spacecraft’s Earth approach. Starting the process any earlier would render collision predictions futile, Highsmith said: “The further you’re predicting into the future, the more uncertain you are about where an object is going to be.”

    Determining the positions of spacecraft, plus orbiting satellites and debris, is challenging, particularly when trying to anticipate the future. Largely that’s because the Sun plays a major role in pulling or pushing objects around, and future solar activity is hard to predict. For example, the Sun’s activity — how much plasma and radiation it shoots out — affects atmosphere density, and thus how much friction will tug on a spacecraft and slow it down.

    So the closer the collision assessment is to the Earth flyby time, the better. NASA sends Lucy’s whereabouts to the Space Force squadron daily. If the squadron determines that Lucy could intersect with something, Highsmith’s group will calculate the probability of a collision and work with the mission team to move the spacecraft, if necessary.

    “With such a high value mission, you really need to make sure that you have the capability, in case it’s a bad day, to get out of the way,” Highsmith said.

    Lucy navigation engineers have two maneuver options ready in case the spacecraft needs to avoid an object. Both maneuvers require engine burns to speed up the spacecraft, which is traveling about 8 miles (12 km) per second. Each maneuver can move Lucy’s closest approach to Earth up by 2 seconds or 4 seconds, respectively.

    “That’s enough to avoid any one thing that could be in the way,” said Kevin E. Berry, Lucy’s flight dynamics team lead from NASA Goddard.

    Hal Levison of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), in the Boulder, Colorado, office, is the principal investigator. SwRI, headquartered in San Antonio, also leads the science team and the mission’s science observation planning and data processing. NASA Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering and the safety and mission assurance for Lucy. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is providing flight operations. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace in Simi Valley, California, are responsible for navigating the Lucy spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

    For more information about the Lucy mission, visit: nasa.gov/lucy or lucy.swri.edu.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:47 pm on August 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "50 Years Ago NASA’s Copernicus Set the Bar for Space Astronomy", , , , he National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chandra X-ray telescope, , The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center And The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chandra X-ray telescope: “50 Years Ago NASA’s Copernicus Set the Bar for Space Astronomy” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    And

    NASA Chandra Banner

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chandra X-ray telescope

    8.19.22

    Francis Reddy
    francis.j.reddy@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

    Media Contact:
    Claire Andreoli
    claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md

    NASA Copernicus spacecraft

    At 6:28 a.m. EDT on Aug. 21, 1972, NASA’s Copernicus satellite, the heaviest and most complex space telescope of its time, lit up the sky as it ascended into orbit from Launch Complex 36B at what is now Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

    Initially known as Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) C, it became OAO 3 once in orbit in the fashion of the time. But it was also renamed to honor the 500th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543). The Polish astronomer formulated a model of the solar system with the Sun in the central position instead of Earth, breaking with 1,300 years of tradition and triggering a scientific revolution.


    Watch: This vintage segment on Copernicus comes from a 1973 edition of The Science Report, a long-running film series produced by the U.S. Information Agency. Credit: National Archives (306-SR-138B)

    Fitted with the largest ultraviolet telescope ever orbited at the time as well as four co-aligned X-ray instruments, Copernicus was arguably NASA’s first dedicated multiwavelength astronomy observatory. This makes it a forebear of operating satellites like NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, which watches the sky in visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray light.

    _________________________________________
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Neil Gehrels Swift spacecraft


    _________________________________________

    “The two spacecraft share institutional connections, too,” notes Swift Principal Investigator S. Bradley Cenko at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Goddard managed both missions, and the X-ray experiment on Copernicus was provided by the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London, which also contributed Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope.”

    Learning to point and hold an orbiting telescope on a star long enough for the detectors to capture its light proved much more difficult than expected. Satellites designed to study the Sun at the time had a built-in advantage – they targeted the solar system’s brightest object. Copernicus flew with a new inertial reference unit (IRU) developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gyroscopes in the IRU sped up the process of acquiring targets, while other systems kept the satellite locked on. In a study of the mission’s first 500 days, one engineer summed it up by noting that the IRU had made flying Copernicus “a boring operation.”

    In NASA’s early days, astronomers emphasized the need for ultraviolet (UV) studies, which could not be made from the ground, and this became the primary focus of the OAO program. Of four satellites launched, one failed after three days in space, and another never reached orbit at all. OAO 2, launched in 1968 and named “Stargazer”, provided years of observations, including low-resolution stellar spectra, which spread out wavelengths much like a rainbow to reveal the UV fingerprints of specific molecules and atoms.

    Copernicus went deeper still, capturing spectra with up to 200 times better detail in some wavelengths.

    “This mission obtained high-resolution spectra of many stars in the UV and provided information at the shortest wavelengths reached for many years,” wrote Nancy Grace Roman, the first chief of astronomy in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters, Washington, and the program scientist for Copernicus. During the mission, Roman became one of the driving forces behind the Large Space Telescope project, now known as NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

    She is also the namesake of NASA’s Roman Space Telescope, which is expected to take flight in a few years.

    The primary instrument aboard Copernicus was the Princeton Experiment Package, which captured UV light using a 32-inch (0.8-meter) mirror about a third the size of Hubble’s. Led by Lyman Spitzer Jr. at Princeton University in New Jersey, the instrument produced a treasure trove of information about interstellar gas and the ionized outflows of hot stars. Its first target, a star named Zeta Ophiuchi that’s partly veiled by an interstellar cloud, showed strong absorption from hydrogen molecules. Measurements from dozens of other stars confirmed a theory predicting that most of the hydrogen in gas clouds existed in this form.

    In 1946, Spitzer began speculating about the kinds of science that might be possible with a large orbiting telescope, later becoming the catalyst for the development of Hubble. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which operated from 2003 to 2020 and explored, among other sources, the cold clouds where stars are born, was named in his honor.

    4
    The hot, young star Zeta Ophiuchi is seen here in infrared (green and red) and X-ray light (blue) from NASA’s Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes. The star is partly veiled by an interstellar cloud. Its stellar outflows and motion through space combine to produce the red and green shock wave. Copernicus measured the star’s ultraviolet light, finding evidence that most interstellar gas comes in the form of molecular hydrogen.
    Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al.; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Spitzer

    At the time when NASA was considering instrument proposals for Copernicus, only one celestial object, the Sun, was known to emit X-rays. That changed in 1962. Flying new X-ray detectors on a suborbital rocket, a research team led by Riccardo Giacconi at American Science and Engineering Inc., then in Cambridge, Massachusetts, discovered the first X-ray source beyond the solar system, named Scorpius X-1. Additional flights uncovered more cosmic sources, including Cygnus X-1, long suspected and now known to host a stellar-mass black hole.

    With this breakthrough, Giaconni proposed the first satellite dedicated to mapping the X-ray sky. Launched in 1970 and operating for three years, NASA’s Uhuru satellite mapped more than 300 sources, showed that many are neutron stars or black holes fueled by gas streaming from stellar companions, and discovered X-rays from the hot gas in galaxy clusters.

    Giaconni would go on to propose more powerful X-ray satellites – NASA’s Einstein Observatory, which operated from 1978 to 1981, and NASA’s current X-ray flagship, the Chandra X-ray Observatory [above], launched in 1999.

    The X-ray experiment aboard Copernicus was led by Robert Boyd at University College London, and the three telescopes experienced significant challenges. Longer-wavelength detectors were swamped by an unexpectedly high level of background radiation. It proved to come from a vast comet-shaped cloud of hydrogen atoms surrounding Earth, called the geocorona, that scatters far-ultraviolet sunlight. Later instruments added a filter tuned to absorb the UV but let X-rays pass through.

    In June 1973, scientists at Goddard noticed a problem with a shutter in the X-ray telescopes. The device was used to periodically block X-rays from reaching the detector so scientists could track the changing background radiation from charged particles in different parts of the orbit. Now its operation had become hesitant. Concerned that the shutter might remain permanently in the closed position, the instrument team had decided to stop using it. But a final command made it through – and the sticky shutter stuck closed, blinding the instruments.

    A fourth detector unattached to a telescope continued working for the duration of the mission. This X-ray counter measured radiation from 1 to 3 angstroms over a wide field of view – 2.5 by 3.5 degrees, about 40 times the apparent area of a full Moon.

    The X-ray experiment discovered several long-period pulsars, including X Persei. Pulsars – typically, spinning neutron stars – swing a beam of radiation in our direction each time they rotate, usually at tens to thousands of times a second. Oddly, the X Persei pulsar takes a leisurely 14 minutes per spin.

    Copernicus performed long-term monitoring of pulsars and other bright sources, and it observed Nova Cygni 1975, an explosion on the white dwarf in a close binary system. The experiment discovered curious dips in X-ray absorption at Cygnus X-1, likely caused by cool, dense clumps in the gas flowing away from the star. And the satellite recorded varying X-rays from the black-hole-powered galaxy Centaurus A, located about 12 million light-years away.

    Copernicus returned UV and X-ray observations for 8.5 years before its retirement in 1981, and it still orbits Earth today. It departed space astronomy’s center stage as more advanced observatories appeared, notably Einstein and the International Ultraviolet Explorer, which launched in 1978 and operated for nearly 19 years.

    Copernicus observations appear in more than 650 scientific papers. Its instruments studied some 450 unique objects targeted by more than 160 investigators in the United States and 13 other countries.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.
    In 1976 the Chandra X-ray Observatory (called AXAF at the time) was proposed to National Aeronautics and Space Administration by Riccardo Giacconi and Harvey Tananbaum. Preliminary work began the following year at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In the meantime, in 1978, NASA launched the first imaging X-ray telescope, Einstein (HEAO-2), into orbit. Work continued on the AXAF project throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1992, to reduce costs, the spacecraft was redesigned. Four of the twelve planned mirrors were eliminated, as were two of the six scientific instruments. AXAF’s planned orbit was changed to an elliptical one, reaching one third of the way to the Moon’s at its farthest point. This eliminated the possibility of improvement or repair by the space shuttle but put the observatory above the Earth’s radiation belts for most of its orbit. AXAF was assembled and tested by TRW (now Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) in Redondo Beach, California.

    AXAF was renamed Chandra as part of a contest held by NASA in 1998, which drew more than 6,000 submissions worldwide. The contest winners, Jatila van der Veen and Tyrel Johnson (then a high school teacher and high school student, respectively), suggested the name in honor of Nobel Prize–winning Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. He is known for his work in determining the maximum mass of white dwarf stars, leading to greater understanding of high energy astronomical phenomena such as neutron stars and black holes. Fittingly, the name Chandra means “moon” in Sanskrit.

    Originally scheduled to be launched in December 1998, the spacecraft was delayed several months, eventually being launched on July 23, 1999, at 04:31 UTC by Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-93. Chandra was deployed from Columbia at 11:47 UTC. The Inertial Upper Stage’s first stage motor ignited at 12:48 UTC, and after burning for 125 seconds and separating, the second stage ignited at 12:51 UTC and burned for 117 seconds. At 22,753 kilograms (50,162 lb), it was the heaviest payload ever launched by the shuttle, a consequence of the two-stage Inertial Upper Stage booster rocket system needed to transport the spacecraft to its high orbit.

    Chandra has been returning data since the month after it launched. It is operated by the SAO at the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with assistance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northrop Grumman Space Technology. The ACIS CCDs suffered particle damage during early radiation belt passages. To prevent further damage, the instrument is now removed from the telescope’s focal plane during passages.

    Although Chandra was initially given an expected lifetime of 5 years, on September 4, 2001, NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years “based on the observatory’s outstanding results.” Physically Chandra could last much longer. A 2004 study performed at the Chandra X-ray Center indicated that the observatory could last at least 15 years.

    In July 2008, the International X-ray Observatory, a joint project between European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構], was proposed as the next major X-ray observatory but was later cancelled. ESA later resurrected a downsized version of the project as the Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA), with a proposed launch in 2028.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Athena spacecraft depiction

    On October 10, 2018, Chandra entered safe mode operations, due to a gyroscope glitch. NASA reported that all science instruments were safe. Within days, the 3-second error in data from one gyro was understood, and plans were made to return Chandra to full service. The gyroscope that experienced the glitch was placed in reserve and is otherwise healthy.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [NASA/ESA Hubble, NASA Chandra, NASA Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
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