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Maryland News

NASA Looks at Some Severe Holiday Weather from Space

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 24, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

Severe weather in the form of tornadoes is not something people expect on Christmas week but a storm system on Dec. 23 brought tornadoes to Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana.

Hubble Sees the Beautiful Side of Galaxy IC 335

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 24, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy IC 335 in front of a backdrop of distant galaxies. IC 335 is part of a galaxy group containing three other galaxies, and located in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster 60 million light-years away. As seen in this image, the disk of IC 335 appears edge-on from the vantage point of Earth. This makes it harder for astronomers to classify it, as most of the characteristics of a galaxy’s morphology — the arms of a spiral or the bar across the center — are only visible on its face. Still, the 45 000 light-year-long galaxy could be classified as an S0 type. These lenticular galaxies are an intermediate state in galaxy morphological classification schemes between true spiral and elliptical galaxies. They have a thin stellar disk and a bulge, like spiral galaxies, but in contrast to typical spiral galaxies they have used up most of the interstellar medium. Only a few new stars can be created out of the material that is left and the star formation rate is very low. Hence, the population of stars in S0 galaxies consists mainly of aging stars, very similar to the star population in elliptical galaxies. As S0 galaxies have only ill-defined spiral arms they are easily mistaken for elliptical galaxies if they are seen inclined face-on or edge-on as IC 335 here. And indeed, despite the morphological differences between S0 and elliptical class galaxies, they share some common characteristics, like typical sizes and spectral features. Both classes are also deemed "early-type" galaxies, because they are evolving passively. However, while elliptical galaxies may be passively evolving when we observe them, they have usually had violent interactions with other galaxies in their past.  In contrast,  S0 galaxies are either aging and fading spiral galaxies, which never had any interactions with other galaxies, or they are the aging result of a single merger between two spiral galaxies in the past. The exact nature of these galaxies is still a matter of debate. European Space Agency Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA

Weather and Environmental Satellite Crowd Sourcing: 2 New Apps

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 23, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

The free weather and environment mobile apps received development support from NOAA and NASA.

NASA Satellite Spots Christmas

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 23, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

If you're looking for Christmas, NASA's Aqua satellite found it in the Pacific Ocean. It's a coral atoll in the northern Line Islands that is part of the Republic of Kiribati.

Satellite Shows Two-Thirds of the U.S. with Cloudy, Wet Pre-Holiday Travel

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 22, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

As the Christmas holiday approaches this Thursday, December 25, NOAA's GOES-East and GOES-West satellites are keeping a weather eye out for storms that may affect early travelers.

Amazing View of Engineers Preparing NASA’s Gigantic Space Simulation Chamber for Massive Test

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 22, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

Engineers and technicians prepare a lift system that will be used to hold the Webb telescope during testing.

Unwrapping DSCOVR for the New Year

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 22, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft, or DSCOVR is being unwrapped for the New Year and prepared for launch. In this photo, DSCOVR, wrapped in plastic, comes into view as the protective shipping container is lifted from around the spacecraft at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. DSCOVR is a partnership between NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Air Force. DSCOVR will maintain the nation's real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts. Launch is currently scheduled for January 2015 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 v 1.1 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. This photo was taken on November 24, 2014. To learn more about DSCOVR, visit www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR . NASA's Kennedy Space Center Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Holiday Lights on the Sun: SDO Imagery of a Significant Solar Flare

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 22, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

The sun emitted a significant solar flare on the evening of Dec. 19.

I, Tormentum

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 19, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

To Megan Meehan robots are all about “coopertition:” a cooperative robotic competition bound by the honor system.

Hubble Sweeps a Messy Star Factory

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 19, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

This sprinkle of cosmic glitter is a blue compact dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 209. Galaxies of this type are blue-hued, compact in size, gas-rich, and low in heavy elements. They are often used by astronomers to study star formation, as their conditions are similar to those thought to exist in the early Universe. Markarian 209 in particular has been studied extensively. It is filled with diffuse gas and peppered with star-forming regions towards its core. This image captures it undergoing a particularly dramatic burst of star formation, visible as the lighter blue cloudy region towards the top right of the galaxy. This clump is filled with very young and hot newborn stars. This galaxy was initially thought to be a young galaxy undergoing its very first episode of star formation, but later research showed that Markarian 209 is actually very old, with an almost continuous history of forming new stars. It is thought to have never had a dormant period — a period during which no stars were formed — lasting longer than 100 million years. The dominant population of stars in Markarian 209 is still quite young, in stellar terms, with ages of under 3 million years. For comparison, the sun is some 4.6 billion years old, and is roughly halfway through its expected lifespan. The observations used to make this image were taken using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys, and span the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared parts of the spectrum. A scattering of other bright galaxies can be seen across the frame, including the bright golden oval that could, due to a trick of perspective, be mistaken as part of Markarian 209 but is in fact a background galaxy. European Space Agency ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Nick Rose

NASA’s SDO Captures Images of 2 Mid-Level Flares

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 19, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST, the sun's second in two days.

NASA’s IMAGE and Cluster Missions Reveal Origin of Theta Auroras

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 18, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

Thanks to the joint ESA and NASA's Cluster and NASA’s Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, or IMAGE, missions working together, a particular type of very high-latitude aurora has now been explained.

‘Shooting the Moon’ with Satellite Laser Ranging

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 18, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

Laser ranging from Earth to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was a milestone in the 50-year history of satellite laser ranging.

Earth From Space: 15 Amazing Things in 15 Years

This post was originally published by Goddard News

December 18, 2014 in Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland by clevine

The view of Earth from orbit is never the same – from minute to minute, day to day, year to year.

‘Well deserving’

This post was originally published by Ft. Meade SoundOff: News

December 18, 2014 in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland by clevine

Retired Sgt. Claude H. Phelps did not know he would receive the Bronze Star Medal for his service in World War II when he arrived at McGill Training Center Monday afternoon in his old dress uniform. "[It's] well deserved," said Janet Haigley, Phelps' niece. "He has waited a long time...

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