Monthly Archives: August 2013

California Rim Fire From Space

Posted on by .

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire approaching Yosemite National Park between August 23–26. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space at night. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white, exceeding the brightness of the lights of Reno, Nevada, to the north. Pale gray smoke streams away from the fire, generally to the north.

To see the image progression and read more about this, visit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=81930

Contest: What Would you Send to the ISS?

Posted on by .

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced a four-week contest titled “What Would You Send to the ISS?”, which is open to the general public for submissions. Unlike Requests for Proposals CASIS has previously released, submissions for this contest can simply be ideas or concepts, not precise proposals for research. The contest runs through September 16, 2013, just in time to get your students’ creative juices flowing.

To learn more about this contest and how to submit an idea, visit http://www.iss-casis.org/Opportunities/Solicitations/RFIYourIdeaInSpace.aspx

Be sure to check out all of the ISS-related NASA Now classroom videos and featured lessons on the NES Virtual Campus. Just log into the Virtual Campus and search for “ISS” to see the list of 16 classroom-ready resources to inspire you and your students.

NASA Spacecraft Capture an Earth Directed Coronal Mass Ejection

Posted on by .

On August 20, 2013 at 4:24 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME, a solar phenomenon which can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.

Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 570 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs.

To see images of this CME and read more, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/20130820-nasa-spacecraft-capture-earth-directed-coronal-mass-ejection/index.html#.UhOSCYWC4vQ

This story is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Geometry: Space Math Problems—Solar Storms. To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Seeing Photosynthesis from Space: NASA Scientists Use Satellites to Measure Plant Health

Posted on by .

NASA scientists have established a new way to use satellites to measure what’s occurring inside plants at a cellular level.

For more information about this new use, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/seeing-photosynthesis-from-space-nasa-scientists-use-satellites-to-measure-plant-health/index.html#.UhIcz2RMTrG

“Wheel Tracks Now, Boot Prints Later”

Posted on by .

NASA’s Curiosity rover has just marked one year on Mars and has already achieved its main science goal of revealing ancient Mars could have supported life. The mobile laboratory also is guiding designs for future planetary missions.

“Successes of our Curiosity…advance us toward further exploration, including sending humans to an asteroid and Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Wheel tracks now, will lead to boot prints later.”

To read more about Curiosity, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/curiosity-nearing-first-anniversary-on-Mars/index.html#.UgEJnYXTovQ

This story is an excellent extension to the NASA Explorer Schools Mars Month NASA Now programs from September, 2012. To access and view these programs, visit the NES Virtual Campus.

NASA’s IRIS Telescope Offers First Glimpse of Sun’s Mysterious Atmosphere

Posted on by .

The moment when a telescope first opens its doors represents the culmination of years of work and planning — while simultaneously laying the groundwork for a wealth of research and answers yet to come. It is a moment of excitement and perhaps even a little uncertainty. On July 17, 2013, the international team of scientists and engineers who supported and built NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, all lived through that moment. As the spacecraft orbited around Earth, the door of the telescope opened to view the mysterious lowest layers of the sun’s atmosphere and the results thus far are nothing short of amazing. The data is crisp and clear, showing unprecedented detail of this little-observed region.

To read more about IRIS and see images of the sun’s atmosphere, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/iris-telescope-first-glimpse-of-suns-mysterious-atmosphere/index.html#.Ufa_zYXTovQ

This story is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Geometry: Space Math Problems—Solar Storms. To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at: http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Large Coronal Hole Near the Sun’s North Pole

Posted on by .

The European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured this image of a gigantic coronal hole hovering over the sun’s north pole on July 18, 2013, at 9:06 a.m. EDT. Coronal holes are dark, low-density regions of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, the corona. They contain little solar material, have lower temperatures, and therefore, appear much darker than their surroundings.

To read more about this discovery and view an image of this coronal hole, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/large-coronal-hole-near-sun-north-pole/index.html#.Ue6fxoXTovQ

This article is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Geometry: Space Math Problems—Solar Storms. This lesson can be found on the NES Virtual Campus.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted on by .

New research by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office shows that one annual meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other–the Perseids. This year’s Perseid peak is just around the corner on August 12-13.

FULL STORY: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/26jul_perseids/

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO83KP54YXs