The spinning vortex of Saturn’s north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).
This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn’s north pole captured by Cassini’s imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn’s north pole was last imaged under sunlight by NASA’s Voyager 2 in 1981; however, the observation geometry did not allow for detailed views of the poles. Consequently, it is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar hurricane has been active.
The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2012, using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light. The images filtered at 890 nanometers are projected as blue. The images filtered at 728 nanometers are projected as green, and images filtered at 752 nanometers are projected as red. In this scheme, red indicates low clouds and green indicates high ones.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 261,000 miles (419,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 94 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Read more about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn’s rings.
These observations make Saturn’s rings the only location besides Earth, the moon and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of meteoroids from outside the Saturnian system helps scientists understand how different planet systems in our solar system formed.
Astronomers have used ESO’s Very Large Telescope, along with radio telescopes around the world, to find and study a bizarre stellar pair consisting of the most massive neutron star confirmed so far, orbited by a white dwarf star. This strange new binary allows tests of Einstein’s theory of gravity — general relativity — in ways that were not possible up to now. So far the new observations exactly agree with the predictions from general relativity and are inconsistent with some alternative theories. The results will appear in the journal Science on 26 April 2013.
Read more at: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1319/
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have shown for the first time that bursts of star formation have a major impact far beyond the boundaries of their host galaxy. These energetic events can affect galactic gas at distances of up to twenty times greater than the visible size of the galaxy — altering how the galaxy evolves, and how matter and energy is spread throughout the Universe.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has been asked to make you aware of a space weather survey being conducted by the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab (LMSAL). By participating in this survey, you can provide valuable feedback that may enhance space weather information and services and improve civil society’s long-term resilience to the impacts of the space environment.
This survey will help LMSAL evaluate which sectors of society are impacted by space weather and how severe the impacts are. LMSAL will provide the results to anyone who requests them and will publish the key findings of the survey for general use and make it publicly available to assist in assessing the value and importance of space weather services.
SWPC has not sponsored this survey nor is it involved in any way other than to provide notice of its existence. The survey is completely anonymous – no respondent information will be tracked – and will be used only to assess the impacts of space weather. You can access the survey by visiting http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1207430/impacts-of-space-weather
Left and right eyes of the Navigation Camera (Navcam) in NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took the dozens of images combined into this stereo scene of the rover and its surroundings. The component images were taken during the 166th, 168th and 169th Martian days, or sols, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Jan. 23, 25 and 26, 2013). The scene appears three dimensional when viewed through red-blue glasses with the red lens on the left. It spans 360 degrees, with Mount Sharp on the southern horizon.
In the center foreground, the rover’s arm holds the tool turret above a target called “Wernecke” on the “John Klein” patch of pale-veined mudstone. On Sol 169, Curiosity used its dust-removing brush and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Wernecke (see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16790.html ). About two weeks later, Curiosity used its drill at a point about 1 foot (30 centimeters) to the right of Wernecke to collect the first drilled sample from the interior of a rock on Mars. This anaglyph was made with the images as captured by the Curiosity. Another version with the seams in the sky eliminated and cropped for optimal 3-D viewing can be seen at PIA16925.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover and the rover’s Navcam.
Read and see more at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16847.html
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) found that on April 18 an unauthorized outsider accessed a JAXA server that is connected to the Internet.
We are currently investigating the cause and impact of the access.
1. Information accessed by the outsider
- Reference information used for operation preparations for the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” at the International Space Station.
- Multiple numbers of mailing lists of personnel related to Kibo operations.
2. Status that has been clarified to date JAXA found an access record from a suspicious IP address when we carried out a regular check on the communication record of the server in question on April 18. We oimmediately disconnected the server from the network, and investigated the situation to find out that unauthorized access was made in the middle of the night of April 17. We are further examining the cause and impact of this incident.
The information accessed this time was not directly linked to the Kibo’s operation, thus we have confirmed that the incident has not affected operations.
The incident is really reglettable and JAXA will do our best to swiftly find the cause through a thorough investigation as we consider this a grave act. We will also further strive to strengthen our information security to avoid a recurrence.
Read more at: http://www.jaxa.jp/index_e.html
Following a session of Robonaut 2 operations controlled by ground personnel, Expedition 35 Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy has a few light moments with the robot in the Destiny Laboratory onboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station.
Robonaut 2 is the first humanoid robot to travel to space and the first U.S.-built robot to visit the space station.
Read and see more at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2496.html
NASA launched the Earth Observing System’s flagship satellite “Terra,” named for Earth, on December 18, 1999. Terra has been collecting data about Earth’s changing climate. On February 24, 2000, sensors on NASA’s Terra satellite began opening their shutters and making their first observations. The mission ushered in a decade of observations from NASA’s Earth Observing System, a coordinated series of satellites that monitor how Earth is changing.
This image is based largely on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) – a sensor aboard the Terra Satellite – on July 11, 2005. Small gaps in MODIS’ coverage between overpasses, as well as Antarctica (which is in polar darkness in July), have been filled in using GOES weather satellites and the latest version of the NASA Blue Marble.)
Read and see more at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2495.html
WASHINGTON — Journalists are invited to attend an Earth Day visit by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver to the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., from 10 – 11:15 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 22. Garver will tour a Goddard Earth science satellite control room and discuss Earth science priorities in the president’s Fiscal Year 2014 NASA budget proposal submitted to Congress last week. Goddard Earth scientists will brief Garver on center’s programs. A question-and-answer opportunity with reporters also will be held.
The FY 14 budget proposal will sustain NASA’s vital role in helping us understand Earth’s systems and climate, and the dynamics between our planet and the sun. These efforts will provide critical knowledge about our home planet and potential threats.
Media representatives who are U.S. citizens can participate in the event by contacting Mark Hess at email@example.com or 301-286-6255 or Rob Gutro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-286-4044.
For more information visit: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/apr/HQ_M13-063_Garver_GSFC_Earth_Day.html