Results tagged “NASA”

NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft orbiting the moon officially have begun their science collection phase. During the next 84 days, scientists will obtain a high-resolution map of the lunar gravitational field to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail.

Resembling looming rain clouds on a stormy day, dark lanes of dust crisscross the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. Hubble's panchromatic vision, stretching from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths, reveals the vibrant glow of young, blue star clusters and a glimpse into regions normally obscured by the dust.

Early Sunday morning, at 01:27 our time, the San Antonio Astronomical Association, an amateur astronomy group, succeeded in flashing the space station with a one-watt blue laser and a white spotlight as we passed overhead. This took a number of engineering calculations. Projected beam diameters (assuming the propagation of a Gaussian wave for the laser) and intensity at the target had to be calculated.

Of Interest: Hovnatanian crater was formed by an object that impacted at a very oblique angle, causing the crater to appear elliptical. Although impacts at most angles produce circular craters, impacts with incidence angles <15o (from the horizontal) will create elliptical craters. The rays of Hovnatanian form a "butterfly" pattern, which also indicates an oblique impact.

Ice cover on Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 30 crew member on the International Space Station. This striking photograph illustrates the harsh winter conditions frequently experienced in North Dakota.

As the Sun approaches solar maximum this year and next, sunspots will grow more frequent and numerous. Those tangled knots of magnetic activity will bring more frequent solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and plenty of radio disturbances that affect technology on Earth. The rise in the Sun's activity also increases the odds of seeing auroras at high latitudes and, occasionally, middle latitudes.

In October 2011, researchers flying in NASA's Operation IceBridge campaign made the first-ever detailed, airborne measurements of a major iceberg calving event while it was in progress. Four months later, the IceBridge team has mapped the crack in Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier in a way that allows glaciologists and the rest of us to fly through the icy canyon.

Of Interest: The long scarp trending vertically on the left-side of this image is located in the interior of the large 715-kilometer diameter Rembrandt impact basin. The interior of Rembrandt hosts not only this compressional scarp but also a set of radial extensional troughs. View these links to see Rembrandt in color or in 3D.

First Robotics in Cleveland

High School Students to Show off Design and Engineering Talent at First Robotics Competition

"More than 1,500 high school students from across Ohio, the U.S. and Canada, will compete in the 11th annual Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Admission is free and open to the public. The event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 22-24, at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. Practice rounds will be held March 22, and Friday and Saturday are competition days. During the event, 60 teams of 15-25 students will compete with their robots for honors and recognition. There will be forty teams from schools and community organizations from Ohio, and 20 out-of-state teams representing Canada, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania."

The Apollo 15 Lunar Module (LM) Falcon set down on the Hadley plains (26.132°N, 3.634°E) a mere 2 kilometers from Hadley Rille. The goals: sample the basalts that compose the mare deposit, explore a lunar rille for the first time, and search for ancient crustal rocks.

Pale green patterns tinted the water along the Namibian coast in late February 2012. But unlike other bright hues that occasionally show up in the ocean, these colors didn't result from a phytoplankton bloom.

Inside the southern rim of the crater Pytheas (20.55°N, -20.6°E) is a great combination of layered mare basalt, granular flow, and talus. In the bottom left hand corner of the Featured Image you can see the details of erosion where granular material fell away from the rest of the surface near the rim.

Shown here a well-preserved impact crater about 6 or 7 kilometers wide from rim to rim. By well-preserved we mean that the crater has a sharp rim, deep cavity, impact morphologies preserved down to scales of tens of meters, and little sign of infilling or degradation by a range of processes (other impacts, volcanism, tectonism, icy flow, aeolian erosion and infill, etc.).

The irregularly fractured surface in today's Featured Image is on top of a north-western oriented slightly elongated mound on the floor of crater Anaxagoras (image center is 73.748°N, 349.522°E). Anaxagoras (diameter ~ 50 km) is located about 700 km north of Mare Imbrium. The floor of Anaxagoras has an irregularly-shaped central peak. Other portions of the floor are filled with debris and impact melts.

In the winter, Martian dunes north of 70 degrees latitude are covered by a seasonal layer of carbon dioxide ice (dry ice). In the spring as the ice sublimates (goes directly from solid to gas) numerous seasonal phenomena are observed.

Image: Dust over the Arabian Sea

Dust plumes stretched southward over the Arabian Sea in late February 2012. The thickest plume arises just west of the Iran-Pakistan border, though thinner plumes blow southward along the entire coast of Pakistan.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest and Appalachians on March 2, 2012. According to CNN, at least 36 people were killed, with the majority of the victims in Indiana and Kentucky. On the Weather Underground blog, meterologist Jeff Masters described the outbreak as a result of warm, wet air from the Gulf of Mexico mixing with cold, dry air aloft.

The 40-kilometer diameter unnamed crater (49 degrees North, 21 degrees East) in this image is located west of Lyot Crater and north of Deuteronilus Mensae in the Northern Plains of Mars. As seen in the subimage, gully systems in the central structure have eroded underlying layers (undercutting) that are less resistant to erosion than the surface rock of the central structure.

Of Interest: This interesting complex crater exhibits many hollows along its floor and central peak complex. The hollows have a very high albedo, which makes this crater stand out prominently (for example, the crater can be seen clearly near the right hand side of this image).

In the absence of an absolute age date, lunar scientists have to rely on the geomorphology of a crater to determine how old it is relative to other craters. The sharpness of the deposits in today's Featured Image is a good indicator that Moltke is young, probably Copernican in age.

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