[Spacetalk] https://www.nasa.gov/index.html, https://spaceflightnow.com

Gabe Gabrielle gabe at educatemotivate.com
Tue Sep 18 20:49:57 UTC 2018

Hi all,

 I am on  plane to Australia…very excited to have this opportunity…it will be my first time to Alice Springs and I will get to hang out with some wonderful long time friends…I am not sure when I will send this as I left my house at 4pm on the 13th and will not arrive until about 2 pm on the 15th…so no 14th…:-) :-)  we are about 2 hours from Sydney, I have a 3 hour layover, then about a 3 1/2 hour flight to Alice Springs…if I can get internet connection, I will try to send it during my layover…

I have not seen the latest on the hurricane which I imagine is hitting the East Coast of the US….when I left it was looking very bad and hope it will somehow weaken and not be as devastation as predicted…I also know whatever I see on the news here will be the worst case scenario because thats what the news always shows…and why I so seldom what it…I try to only look for positives in everything but when watching the news everything is slanted to extreme negatives…

I will try to do better at sending the news letters….with so much international travel and being away from home so much, time simply evaporates…it has simple been amazing…I have received requests thru this email to visit schools and I will be very happy to visit as soon as we sort out schedules…again, if you would like me to visit your school, please email me here and we will sort out the is best…also please use this email:  gabe at educatemotivate.com  as the other is sporadic and often not active. 

lol…so much for that idea…it is now the19th, getting ready for my second day of school visits, yesterday was awesome…I spoke with an elementary school, 2 presentations, k-2 & 3-6….it struck me, as I was watching the kids come in to sit on the gym floor…this is the 10th country I have visited speaking at schools…and there is no doubt…all the kids are the same…it is simply so heartwarming and brings me so much joy...

Lots of interesting updates to pass along...

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Track Earth's Changing Ice

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket with the NASA Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) onboard is seen shortly after the mobile service tower at SLC-2 was rolled back, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The ICESat-2 mission will measure the changing height of Earth's ice.
Credits: NASA/ Bill Ingalls

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2 <https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/icesat-2>) successfully launched from California at 9:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, embarking on its mission to measure the ice of Earth’s frozen reaches with unprecedented accuracy. ICESat-2 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on United Launch Alliance’s final Delta II rocket. Ground stations in Svalbard, Norway, acquired signals from the spacecraft about 75 minutes after launch. It’s performing as expected and orbiting the globe, from pole to pole, at 17,069 mph from an average altitude of 290 miles. “With this mission we continue humankind’s exploration of the remote polar regions of our planet and advance our understanding of how ongoing changes of Earth’s ice cover at the poles and elsewhere will affect lives around the world, now and in the future,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. ICESat-2 carries a single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS <https://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/icesat2/instrument.php>). ATLAS will be activated approximately two weeks after the mission operations team completes initial testing of the spacecraft. Then ICESat-2 will begin work on its science objective, gathering enough data to estimate the annual height change of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to within four millimeters – the width of a pencil. “While the launch today was incredibly exciting, for us scientists the most anticipated part of the mission starts when we switch on the laser and get our first data,” said Thorsten Markus, ICESat-2 project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We are really looking forward to making those data available to the science community as quickly as possible so we can begin to explore what ICESat-2 can tell us about our complex home planet.” The high-resolution data will document changes in the Earth’s polar ice caps, improve forecasts of sea level rise bolstered by ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica, and help scientists understand the mechanisms that are decreasing floating ice and assess how that sea ice loss affects the ocean and atmosphere. ICESat-2 continues the record of ice height measurements started by NASA’s original ICESat mission, which operated from 2003 to 2009, that were continued by the agency’s annual Operation IceBridge airborne flights over the Arctic and Antarctic, which began in 2009. Data from ICESat-2 will be available to the public through the National Snow and Ice Data Center <https://nsidc.org/>. Goddard built and tested the ATLAS instrument, and manages the ICESat-2 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Northrop Grumman designed and built the spacecraft bus, installed the instrument and tested the completed satellite. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis and launch management. For more information about other NASA Earth science activities, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/earth <https://www.nasa.gov/earth>

Hubble Uncovers Never-Before-Seen Features Around a Neutron Star
An unusual infrared light emission from a nearby neutron star detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope could indicate new features never before seen. One possibility is that there is a dusty disk surrounding the neutron star; another is that there is an energetic wind coming off the object and slamming into gas in interstellar space the neutron star is plowing through. Although neutron stars are generally studied in radio and high-energy emissions, such as X-rays, this study demonstrates that new and interesting information about neutron stars can also be gained by studying them in infrared light, say researchers. The observation, by a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania; Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, could help astronomers better understand the evolution of neutron stars — the incredibly dense remnants after a massive star explodes as a supernova. Neutron stars are also called pulsars because their very fast rotation (typically fractions of a second, in this case 11 seconds) causes time-variable emission from light-emitting regions.

This animation depicts a neutron star (RX J0806.4-4123) with a disk of warm dust that produces an infrared signature as detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The disk wasn’t directly photographed, but one way to explain the data is by hypothesizing a disk structure that could be 18 billion miles across. The disk would be made up of material falling back onto the neutron star after the supernova explosion that created the stellar remnant.
Credits: NASA, ESA, and N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University)
A paper describing the research and two possible explanations for the unusual finding appears Sept. 17, 2018, in the Astrophysical Journal.

“This particular neutron star belongs to a group of seven nearby X-ray pulsars — nicknamed ‘the Magnificent Seven’ — that are hotter than they ought to be considering their ages and available energy reservoir provided by the loss of rotation energy,” said Bettina Posselt, associate research professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State and the lead author of the paper. “We observed an extended area of infrared emissions around this neutron star — named RX J0806.4-4123 — the total size of which translates into about 200 astronomical units (approximately 18 billion miles) at the assumed distance of the pulsar.” This is the first neutron star in which an extended signal has been seen only in infrared light. The researchers suggest two possibilities that could explain the extended infrared signal seen by Hubble. The first is that there is a disk of material — possibly mostly dust — surrounding the pulsar. “One theory is that there could be what is known as a ‘fallback disk’ of material that coalesced around the neutron star after the supernova,” said Posselt. “Such a disk would be composed of matter from the progenitor massive star. Its subsequent interaction with the neutron star could have heated the pulsar and slowed its rotation. If confirmed as a supernova fallback disk, this result could change our general understanding of neutron star evolution.” The second possible explanation for the extended infrared emission from this neutron star is a “pulsar wind nebula.”

This is an illustration of a pulsar wind nebula produced by the interaction of the outflow particles from the neutron star with gaseous material in the interstellar medium that the neutron star is plowing through. Such an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula is unusual because it implies a rather low energy of the particles accelerated by the pulsar’s intense magnetic field. This hypothesized model would explain the unusual infrared signature of the neutron star as detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Credits: NASA, ESA, and N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University)
“A pulsar wind nebula would require that the neutron star exhibits a pulsar wind,” said Posselt. “A pulsar wind can be produced when particles are accelerated in the electrical field that is produced by the fast rotation of a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. As the neutron star travels through the interstellar medium at greater than the speed of sound, a shock can form where the interstellar medium and the pulsar wind interact. The shocked particles would then emit synchrotron radiation, causing the extended infrared signal that we see. Typically, pulsar wind nebulae are seen in X-rays and an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula would be very unusual and exciting.” Using NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers will be able to further explore this newly opened discovery space in the infrared to better understand neutron star evolution. In addition to Posselt, the research team included George Pavlov and Kevin Luhman at Pennsylvania State; Ünal Ertan and Sirin Çaliskan at Sabanci University; and Christina Williams at the University of Arizona. The research was supported by NASA, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the U.S. National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania State, the Penn State Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, in Washington, D.C.

See Venus Get Super Bright Before It Exits 2018 Night Sky

Just Another Day on Aerosol Earth

Even if the air looks clear, it is nearly certain that you will inhale millions of solid particles and liquid droplets. These ubiquitous specks of matter are known as aerosols, and they can be found in the air over oceans, deserts, mountains, forests, ice and every ecosystem in between.

Interplanetary Umbrella: New Heat Shield Could Land Bigger Payloads on Planets

Tech <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=a51a0419d4b1777973c46f65a12d5ca855b511ff2c486b8007240961e42273e50f391456e9b6d73d24fbb6eb26d830b3b3a385a2063ab33a739f09b77d5eddc8>  |  Spaceflight <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=b32e670c11caa514514342acc4fc449b66510736af08ef2cc9744cf485429b491d3dc4907ef28e8476125f2a983b074bfb414e6e229c33f27001dcf3de6d6c77>  |  Astronomy <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=b32e670c11caa514542495d2363fe46e695b80d239cf1cb87f3cd8c58846c45bdaea8df0534a9f047e5f7ef2764abd09ced41639e7f5f8b223235c79b138cc00>
SpaceX Will Fly a Japanese Billionaire (and Artists, Too!) Around the Moon in 2023 <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=2adbceaa9c080630b222dfc520627a1193953c0368efe2f5f3f882308458cd009501b3ce12bb6c1553a31491c867c895a4b91d76a3d35459c57d4089d91071e8>
See This <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=2adbceaa9c080630b222dfc520627a1193953c0368efe2f5f3f882308458cd009501b3ce12bb6c1553a31491c867c895a4b91d76a3d35459c57d4089d91071e8>
The BFR in Images: SpaceX's Giant Spaceship for Mars Colony & Beyond <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=2adbceaa9c08063092641aff9c784c062003312a16603692dafa4bc5669671f80f095c71189f0876ee54626a1f3857b794c1121e43539555be76cf6058b6a87a>
See This <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=2adbceaa9c08063092641aff9c784c062003312a16603692dafa4bc5669671f80f095c71189f0876ee54626a1f3857b794c1121e43539555be76cf6058b6a87a>
How SpaceX's 1st Passenger Flight Around the Moon with Yusaku Maezawa Will Work <http://click.emails.purch.com/?qs=2adbceaa9c0806309b007f5aed0d42861afdbfdb34b54d0646ef9860db20ff94e5e260a7b417a5b4d8fab6c5fdfcb2a11069d46bfefe0e80075d2c5a3fb49412>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://educatemotivate.com/pipermail/spacetalk_educatemotivate.com/attachments/20180919/7c864c68/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: icesat2.jpeg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 40506 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://educatemotivate.com/pipermail/spacetalk_educatemotivate.com/attachments/20180919/7c864c68/attachment-0002.jpeg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: neutrondisk.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 164774 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://educatemotivate.com/pipermail/spacetalk_educatemotivate.com/attachments/20180919/7c864c68/attachment-0001.gif>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: stsci-h-p1843b-m-2000x1250.png
Type: image/png
Size: 454350 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://educatemotivate.com/pipermail/spacetalk_educatemotivate.com/attachments/20180919/7c864c68/attachment-0001.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: atmosphere_geo5_2018235_eq.jpeg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 58476 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://educatemotivate.com/pipermail/spacetalk_educatemotivate.com/attachments/20180919/7c864c68/attachment-0003.jpeg>

More information about the Spacetalk mailing list