Airborne telescope will unlock secrets of the cosmos
A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone December 18 when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified 747 jet known as SOFIA, flew for one hour and 19 minutes, which included 2 minutes with the telescope's doors fully opened. The goal was to allow engineers to understand how air flows in and around the telescope. It was the first time outside air has interacted with the part of the plane that carries the 98-inch (249-centimeter) infrared telescope.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.
This is a guest post by Murali dharan , who is a blogger.
This December 31, 2009 will observe a blue moon. Now, don't think that moon will turn visibly blue.
Blue moon means a full moon that is not timed to regular monthly pattern . Most years have 12 full moons , which appear approximately monthly , but there are are 11 additional days in the year so once in nearly every three years an additional full moon is observed. Now this additional full moon is called "blue moon".
This phenomenon occurs every three years , the last blue moon was on June 30, 2007 and the next will be on August 31, 2012. This year's New Year Eve's Blue moon is special as there will be a partial lunar eclipse which will be seen in countries like Asia , Africa , Australia and Europe.
Until Christmas every day you can see a new image by Hubble Space Telescope . The images are awesome.
For everyone who want to explore Mars but scared of going there , you can have your dream realised by going to NASA's Be a Martian website.
The Be a Martian site is a collaboration between NASA and Microsoft that uses the tool of crowsourcing to sift through the hundreds of thousands of photos sent back by Mars rovers and orbiters. The format of the site is much like a game, where you complete tasks to earn points and badges.
There is a forum on the site where one can ask questions, vote on questions and make comments to earn "Curiousity Points". NASA Mars experts will read the questions to see what the virtual Martian community is interested, and will host town hall-type meetings in the future where members can participate.
For games and videos you need to have Microsoft’s Silverlight application to work for this site.
These meteor emanate from the constellation Leo hence they are named as Lenoid.
Astronomers believe that we can observe upto hundreds of meteors.
On 17 th November, 2009 we can observe meteor shower between 1:30 am EST and sunrise.
If you are not outside on 17 th November night then you will surely miss it.
The team has also found some components such as Sodium and Carbondioxide which they are analysing.
The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume about 10-12 meters across of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material. This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years.
Lunar scientists are trying to find out that how the water has come, whether by comets , meteorites or by some process in moon or the moon surface is creating water.
NASA is planning to have a press conference on 12th November, 2009 regarding the escape plan of the Rover.
Cassini has captured some amazing images of the plumes shooting from Enceladus , they are simply the raw images.
The objective of Cassini is to analyse the particles in the plume with the instruments that can detect the mass , size, charge, speed and composition.
These are the first images of the plume and are amazing.
The study of solar flare radiation is important for space flight programs as they can damage satellites and can endanger astronauts working in International Space Station.
In my previous blog posts Moon bombing to probe water and Was NASA moon bombing a success i told you about "moon bombing" by NASA .
NASA had said that observers from Earth will be able to see the plume of " Moon bombing'' with their telescopes but no one was able to see that from Earth.
Acoording to NASA nine instruments on board the LCROSS spacecraft captured the entire crash sequence of the Centaur impactor before the spacecraft itself impacted the surface of the moon.
From images and data, the team was able to determine the extent of the plume at 15 seconds after impact was approximately 6-8 km in diameter. The data which which the spacecraft has gathered is of high quality.
If there will be no Moon then people will be able to see what the shower has to offer.The best views will come in the hours before dawn starts to paint the sky, between about 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
These meteors began life as tiny specks of dust ejected by Comet Halley during its innumerable trips around the Sun.
The phenomenon came to an end and the cloud lifted up.
Enjoy the video .
NASA scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. Water molecules are greater than predicted , but still relatively small.
Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, also was found in the lunar soil.
NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, or M3, instrument reported the observations. M3 was carried into space on Oct. 22, 2008, aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. Data from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, or VIMS, on NASA's Cassini spacecraft and the High-Resolution Infrared Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's EPOXI spacecraft contributed to confirmation of the finding. The spacecraft imaging spectrometers made it possible to map lunar water more effectively than ever before.
The M3 team found water molecules and hydroxyl at diverse areas of the sunlit region of the moon's surface, but the water signature appeared stronger at the moon's higher latitudes.
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Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission said that the mission is over as we have lost contact with the spacecraft. However, he said that Chandrayaan-1 has done its 90-95% job.
At the moment moon mission has been suspended. The two year moon mission was launched on last October and was abandoned today after radio contact with the mooncraft was abruptly lost at 0130 hours.
It has provided large volume of data from sophisticated sensors such as terrain mapping camera, hyper-spectral imager and moon mineralogy mapper, meeting most of the scientific objectives of the mission and providing meaningful
data for study by physics students at many world's research universities.
Chandrayaan-1 had sent more than 70,000 images of the lunar surface which provide breathtaking views of lunar mountains and craters, especially craters in the permanently shadowed areas of the Moon's polar region
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch foreign universities into space.
Five months after ISRO launched India's first student satellite " Anusat" on April 20 , it will place in orbit four university satellites in September.They are from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey. "Chandrayaan-1 " and "Anusat" have boosted India's space program.
India will launch a Turkish student satellite in September.
India will launch six international nano satellites mainly from Germany and one from Turkey totally weighing 25 kg.
The tiny foreign satellites are "Rubin 9.1", and " Rubin 9.2" both from Germany. "Rubin 9.1" is related to the field of communications." Rubin 9.2" is for technology demonstration.
The satellite from Switzerland is called "Swisscube-1", which is first entirely built Swiss student satellite.
The launch is scheduled for the second half of September and the launch campaign has been initiated.day
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The rocket's design and construction has cost about $400 million.
The new rocket, made from Russian and South Korean parts, could lift off as soon as Aug. 11 from the new Naro Space Center at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, about 300 miles south of Seoul.
The speeding stars may help astronomers understand how such compact galaxies form so early in the Universe and then evolve into the galaxies we see in today's 13.7 billion year old Universe.
It will also help to see how these galaxies are formed with the help of Hubble's new Wide Field Camera 3.
NASA is having budget constraints and is planning to retire the space shuttle next year and continuing the station program until at least 2015. Lunar flights will not start until after 2020.
The White House established the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee in May to help chart the nation's future in space. It will complete its report by the end of August.
After space shuttle Endeavour returned Friday from its current mission, there are only seven more flights planned for the spaceplane.
If there is an underground ocean on Enceladus, then ammonia would be vital to it. Ammonia acts as an antifreeze, allowing water to remain liquid at temperatures as low as –97 degrees Celsius . This is the first time that scientists have found ammonia on an icy satellite of a giant planet.
According to a report in New Scientist, geophysicists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences are preparing an unprecedented array of highly sensitive instruments at six sites across the country to take gravity readings during the total eclipse due to pass over southern China on July 22.
The results, which will be analyzed in the coming months, could confirm once and for all that anomalous fluctuations observed during past eclipses are real.
The first sign that gravity fluctuates during an eclipse was in 1954, when French economist and physicist Maurice Allais noticed erratic behaviour in a swinging pendulum when an eclipse passed over Paris.
Pendulums typically swing back and forth as a result of gravity and the rotation of the Earth. At the start of the eclipse, however, the pendulum's swing direction shifted violently, suggesting a sudden change in gravitational pull.
In the run up to July's eclipse, Chinese researchers have prepared eight gravimeters and two pendulums spread across six monitoring sites.
At over five minutes, the event will be the longest total solar eclipse predicted for this century.
Last month the satellite lost a critical instrument called the star sensor. The sensor helps the $80-million satellite stay oriented so its cameras and other recording equipment are constantly aimed at the lunar surface. Without the sensor , the mission is useless.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) team used other systems such as an antenna mechanism and gyroscope to make sure that satellite was " looking at the moon". Now, the mission is safe and the systems are working.
Chandrayaan is scheduled to last two years. Scientists hope that Chandrayaan project will boost India's capacity to build more efficient rockets and satellites.