As NASA’s Cassini mission nears it’s 10th anniversary, the team is looking for your help in naming its final mission phase!
As is illustrated in the accompanying image, “In late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will begin a completely new type of mission at Saturn. During its final months, the intrepid spacecraft’s orbit will carry it high above the planet’s north pole and then send it plunging between the planet and the innermost edge of its dazzling rings.”
Originally coined, “the proximal orbits”, the Cassini team is reaching out to the public to help them come up with something a little more exciting. Those who’ve submitted a suggestion won’t have to wait long to hear if theirs was selected; the big reveal will be in May 2014!
Say hello to Peggy! This new possible moon was spotted all clumped up on the outer rings of Saturn. Carl Murray (Queen Mary University, London), the lead author of theresearchpaperrecently published in the journal Icarussaid, “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.” Nobody knows yet what Peggy might be, but one possibility is that it’s an accumulation of ring material that has collapsed gravitationally under its own weight. Some of Saturn’s moons, especially the ones orbiting near the rings, are thought to have formed this way.
It’s always amazing to see the discoveries heralded by astronomers that demonstrate how much we have yet to learn about our own Solar System. It’s why NASA and space exploration is important because we should try and make sense of theUniverse and how it came to be. Seeing a possible moon form would be a first for us and it’s happening right in our own backyard! Cassini will try and get a closer look at Peggy in late 2016 when it makes a closer approach
We could continue making discoveries and send more missions out into theSolarSystem, and even beyond with a Penny4NASA. So what are you waiting for? Take action today by visitingwww.penny4nasa.com/take-action
Part of SpaceX-3’s resupply mission to the ISS will help the expansion of in-orbit food production.
“Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station,” said Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie.
The system is a low-cost chamber powered by LED lights. While being easy to transport and store, it may have implications for improving growth and biomass production on Earth in limited-resource areas.
This experiment exhibits yet another example of how NASA’s work benefits average citizens. Furthermore, the project illustrates how NASA achieves success by working with the private sector. NASA is in collaboration with Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wisconsin where the firm developed Veggie through a Small Business Innovative Research Program.
Calling all selfie-takers—NASA wants to construct a collage of planet Earth using selfies taken around the world on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22. The goal of this is two-fold: to raise awareness NASA’s continued work to study the Earth and its environment as well as to help promote the five Earth-science satellites launching in 2014. These five satellites will join the 17 Earth-observing missions already underway and will be the highest number of satellites launched by NASA in over a decade.
In order to participate, simply take a picture of yourself outside with some sort of sign stating your location and upload it to Twitter, Instagram, or Google+ with the #GlobalSelfie hashtag, or join the Facebook event or Flickr group both titled #GlobalSelfie and post it there. NASA will collect images from these sources and use them to recreate the “blue marble” image of Earth which is itself a mosaic of images taken in January 2012 by the Suomi NPP mission.
Last week’s episode of COSMOS, entitled "A Light in The Darkness," portrayed the topics of illumination and optics through the stories of famed scientists. COSMOS, which has been critically acclaimed during its first five episodes, makes it clear that the openness of scientific knowledge is vital towards the advancement of our collective understanding of nature.
Neil deGrasse Tyson narrated the story of Joseph Fraunhofer (1787–1826), an abused orphan-turned-scientist whose discoveries are ultimately responsible for the basis of astrophysics — Tyson’s occupation. Fraunhofer, a German optician, is credited for the discovery of the dark absorption lines found in light spectrums.
If you have yet to hear Fraunhofer’s story, it can be viewed on Hulu.
Knowing a fact like that really makes you stop and wonder. Science can make life around you very poetic once you truly understand what you are looking at and try and make sense of it. NASA is an organization that wows us time and time again and sometimes it’s hard to even appreciate the hard work that goes along with it.
For example, landing Curiosity on Mars in 2012 was astounding feat for many people who didn’t know how incredibly difficult it was to accomplish. It’s why NASA plays a significant role in inspiring people to dream again and to dare for greatness. We face a time where NASA needs support from all over and help to communicate why NASA is truly inspiring and great. Think about all the technology we use in everyday life that was made possible by NASA, the heroes that went to the Moon and came back to tell the story, or the International Space Station which is a monument to international cooperation. NASA not only resonates with the American people, but the rest of the world. NASA means something different to everybody.
So let’s all work together, spread the message, and take action today. Visit penny4nasa.org/take-action/
Also her are some links to the past COSMOS episodes: