Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
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NASA’s Hubble Telescope finds potential Kuiper Belt targets for New Horizons Pluto mission

Posted October 17, 2014 by

Peering out to the dim, outer reaches of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015.

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NASA soil moisture mapper arrives at launch site

Posted October 17, 2014 by

NASA photograph NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft is delivered by truck to the Astrotech payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 15, 2014.   A NASA spacecraft designed to track Earth’s water in one of its most important, but least recognized forms – soil moisture – now is at Vandenberg…

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Northrop Grumman awarded Lockheed Martin contract for SBIRS GEO-5, GEO-6 satellite payloads

Posted October 15, 2014 by

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $422 million contract from Lockheed Martin to produce sensor payloads on the fifth and sixth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellites, known as GEO-5 and GEO-6. The U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS provides the nation with continuous early warning of ballistic missile launches and other tactical intelligence. “Northrop…

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Lockheed Martin delivers geostationary lightning mapper instrument for weather satellite

Posted October 15, 2014 by

A Lockheed Martin team has delivered the first Geostationary Lightning Mapper instrument that will provide earlier alerts of developing severe storms and contribute to more accurate tornado warnings.

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NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University image
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NASA mission finds widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism

Posted October 13, 2014 by

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University image NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has provided researchers strong evidence the moon’s volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion years ago. Scores of distinctive rock deposits observed by LRO are estimated to be less than 100 million years old. This time period corresponds to Earth’s Cretaceous period, the heyday…

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NASA’s Hubble maps temperature, water vapor on extreme exoplanet

Posted October 10, 2014 by

NASA/ESA photograph This is a temperature map of the “hot Jupiter” class exoplanet WASP 43b. The white-colored region on the daytime side is 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The nighttime side temperatures drop to under 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A team of scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made the most detailed global map yet of the…

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NASA prepares its science fleet for Oct. 19 Mars comet encounter

Posted October 10, 2014 by

  NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19. Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet – less than half the…

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Send your name on NASA’s journey to Mars, starting with Orion’s first flight

Posted October 10, 2014 by

If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars. Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After…

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan image
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Satellite data shows U.S. methane ‘hot spot’ bigger than expected

Posted October 10, 2014 by tomlear

One small “hot spot” in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate - according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan.

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NASA’s NuSTAR telescope discovers shockingly bright dead star

Posted October 8, 2014 by

NASA/JPL-Caltech image A rare and mighty pulsar (pink) can be seen at the center of the galaxy Messier 82 in this new multi-wavelength portrait. NASA’s NuSTAR mission discovered the “pulse” of the pulsar a type of dead star using is high-energy X-ray vision. Astronomers have found a pulsating, dead star beaming with the energy of…

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