What's Up: December 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the December sky? Beautiful pairings of planets and the crescent Moon throughout the month, at sunrise and sunset. Here's where and when to look to see Venus, Saturn and Mars. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa . Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
Mars Science Teams Investigate Ancient Life in Australia
Could Mars ever have supported life? In the Australian Outback, scientists from NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission and their counterparts from the joint European-Russian ExoMars mission visited the oldest convincing evidence for life on Earth to prepare for their own searches for signs of ancient life on Mars. The field lesson in astrobiology in the Pilbara region is being applied in the near term by NASA, ESA and Roscosmos for mission planning, and will also pay dividends when both rovers begin to send back science data and imagery from the Red Planet.
The launch window for Mars 2020 opens on July 17, 2020. It will land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The launch window for ExoMars opens July 25, 2020. It will land Oxia Planum in March 2021.
For more information on the Mars 2020 mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
Looking Home: OCO-3 and Science from the ISS (Live Public Talk)
Original air date: November 14, 2019 From its perch on the International Space Station, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3), along with a suite of Earth-observing instruments, will improve our understanding of the interaction between carbon and climate. By mapping carbon dioxide over land and sea, OCO-3 gives scientists a better view of the global ecosystem and the health of our planet. Join members of the OCO-3 project team for a night of science conversation, tales from the little mission that could, and a renewed charge for a changing future. Speakers: Ralph Basilio: Project Manager, OCO-3
Matt Bennett: Project Systems Engineer, OCO-3
Karen Yuen: Science Data Applications and Communications Manager, OCO-3
Graziela Keller Rodrigues: Engineering Applications Software Engineer, OCO-3
Follow us on your favorite social media platforms for updates @NASAJPL.
Neptune Moon Dance (animation)
See how the odd orbits of Neptune's inner moons Naiad and Thalassa enable them to avoid each other, as they race around the planet. Researchers call it a "dance of avoidance." An observer sitting on Thalassa would see Naiad in an orbit that varies wildly in a zig-zag pattern, passing by twice from above and then twice from below. This up, up, down, down pattern repeats every time Naiad gains four laps on Thalassa. This repeating pattern is called a resonance.
Marina Brozović, lead author of the new analysis, created this animation using Cosmographia, software made by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that is free to download. The analysis was conducted using Hubble Space Telescope observations. https://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/cosmographia.html . Video credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s 2020 Rover Moves into Mars Simulation Chamber (time lapse)
In this time-lapse video, taken at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, bunny-suited engineers move the Mars 2020 rover into a large vacuum chamber for testing in Mars-like environmental conditions. For more info about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020 Video credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
What's Up: November 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
Highlights of the November sky include how to watch as Mercury transits the Sun on Nov. 11, plus how to observe the regular dimming and brightening of the "Demon star," Algol, with your own eyes. Additional information, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://go.nasa.gov/34hp376 . Algol animation is licensed as CC-BY-SA 3.0. Video credit NASA-JPL/Caltech.
NASA JPL Engineers Compete in Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest
Once a year at Halloween, hardworking JPL engineers put their skills to the test in a highly competitive pumpkin carving contest. The result: A pumpkin gently landed on the Moon, its retrorockets smoldering, while across the room a Nemo-inspired pumpkin explored the sub-surface ocean of Jupiter moon Europa. Suffice to say that when the scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory compete in a pumpkin-carving contest, the solar system's the limit. Take a look at some of the masterpieces from 2019. Now in its ninth year, the contest gives teams only one hour to carve and decorate their pumpkin though they can prepare non-pumpkin materials - like backgrounds, sound effects and motorized parts - ahead of time. See and download more photos from this year's contest at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskG5DMNc Video credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
Galaxy of Horrors (Trailer)
Lurking beyond our solar system, among the billions of stars and the exoplanets that orbit them, is another sort of Milky Way altogether. Our "Galaxy of Horrors" reveals the sinister science behind real worlds we’ve discovered in our galaxy. Free space poster downloads available on https://exoplanets.nasa.gov
Darkness Surrounds Us: The Other 95% of the Universe (Live Public Talk)
Original Air Date: Oct. 17, 2019 All the material we can see is just a small fraction of the universe. The rest, a full 95 percent, is invisible and mysterious. These are the enigmatic dark matter and dark energy. While dark matter keeps things like galaxies together, dark energy acts in an opposite way – it pushes groups of galaxies apart and expands the universe itself. This event will discuss how astronomers are working to map the universe’s dark matter so they can see the effects of dark energy. The results could help us understand if the universe will expand at an accelerating rate forever. Host:
Preston Dyches Speaker(s):
Alina Kiessling — Astrophysicist, NASA-JPL
Jason Rhodes — Astrophysicist, NASA-JPL
NASA InSight's Robotic Arm Helps Out its Mole on Mars
NASA’s InSight lander on Mars is trying to use its robotic arm to get the mission’s heat flow probe, or mole, digging again. InSight team engineer Ashitey Trebbi-Ollennu, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, explains what has been attempted and the game plan for the coming weeks. The next tactic they'll try will be "pinning" the mole against the hole it's in.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) built the mole. It is designed to dig under the Martian surface to measure heat flowing out of the planet. Scientists want this data to learn how Mars and other rocky planets form.
For more about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/insight and https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/
What's Up: October 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the October sky? Join the global celebration of International Observe the Moon Night on Oct. 5th, then try to catch the ice giant planets Uranus and Neptune, which are well placed for viewing in the late-night sky. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2olXlGD
Listen to NASA's InSight at Work on Mars
NASA's InSight lander placed a seismometer on the Martian surface to study marsquakes. While it's found many, it has also detected other kinds of seismic signals, including some produced by the spacecraft itself. That includes wind gusts, InSight's robotic arm moving around and "dinks and donks," friction caused by parts inside the seismometer moving against each other as the temperature changes. Put on your headphones and you can hear sonifications of this seismic "noise" recorded on March 6, 2019, the 98th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Around 2 p.m. local Mars time, the spacecraft's arm was moving and snapping pictures with its cameras, surveying InSight’s “workspace.” This audio would be too faint for the human ear to heart it on Mars. It's been sped up by 10 times and processed so you can hear the kinds of signals InSight sends back for its scientists to study.
It Broke! A Story of How We Fixed It (live public talk)
Original air date: Sept. 19, 2019 There are no service stations in space. Join Dr. Marc Rayman for the story of how NASA repaired and saved a spacecraft millions of miles away. Speaker: Marc Rayman,
Mission Director/Chief Engineer/Project Manager for Deep Space 1 Follow us on your favorite social media platforms for updates @NASAJPL. All chats are moderated. Inappropriate language or posts that harass other individuals will be removed. Be courteous
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What's Up: September 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
In this month's sky, look for lovely crescent Moons at the start and end of the month. The September equinox brings the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. And Mars is at solar conjunction, meaning it has disappeared from night skies! (When will it return?) Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2Hx3bMn Correction: The video states that the Moon will be waning at the beginning of the month and waxing at the end. In fact it is the opposite — the Moon is waxing at the beginning, and waning at the end. We regret the error. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Building NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover
See NASA’s next Mars rover quite literally coming together inside a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This behind-the-scenes look at what goes into building and preparing a rover for Mars, including extensive tests in simulated space environments, was captured from March to July 2019. The rover is expected to launch to the Red Planet in summer 2020 and touch down in February 2021.
For more information on the Mars 2020 mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
Name NASA's Next Mars Rover!
The Mars 2020 Rover is preparing to launch to the Red Planet in July 2020, but it doesn't have a name yet. We're asking K-12 students across the United States to send in essays with their best name ideas by Nov. 1, 2019. For more information about the Mars 2020 rover naming contest, visit https://go.nasa.gov/name2020 .
Robert Downey Jr. Announces NASA's 'Rolling Stones Rock'
Before The Rolling Stones took the stage at the Rose Bowl Stadium for a concert on Aug. 22, 2019, actor Robert Downey Jr. announced to the crowd that a rock on Mars had been named for the band by NASA's Mars InSight lander team.
InSight’s retrorockets sent "Rolling Stones Rock" rolling about 3 feet (1 meter) as the spacecraft touched down on Mars on Nov. 26, 2018. It's the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll after landing a spacecraft on another planet. A little larger than a golf ball, the rock is about 2.2 inches (5.5 centimeters) in diameter and 1 inch (2.4 centimeters) in height. A series of divots marked its course after being set in motion by the landing. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of Caltech, manages InSight for NASA. JPL is located about three miles away from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
For more information about "Rolling Stones Rock," visit https://go.nasa.gov/MarsRocks
Courtesy: Rolling Stones
NASA Names “Rolling Stones Rock” on Mars
The team behind NASA's InSight lander has informally named a rock on Mars “Rolling Stones Rock” after the band.
A little larger than a golf ball, the rock appeared to have rolled about 3 feet (1 meter) on Nov. 26, 2018, propelled by InSight's retrorockets as the spacecraft touched down to study the Red Planet's deep interior. In images taken by InSight the next day, several divots in the orange-red soil can be seen trailing "Rolling Stones Rock." It's the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet. For more about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/ Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Music Courtesy: Rolling Stones
Comets, Asteroids & Dwarf Planets (Live Public Talk)
Original air date: Aug. 8, 2019 Among the planets and far beyond are small worlds that hold clues to the formation of our solar system. NASA's robotic spacecraft allow us to visit comets, asteroids, and dwarf planets up close. We are just beginning to figure out what these places are like, what they are made of and how they formed. Speaker:
Dawn Principal Investigator and Manager of the JPL Small Bodies Program
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Explores Teal Ridge (360 View)
Curiosity captured this 360-degree panorama of a location on Mars called “Teal Ridge” on June 18, 2019. This location is part of a larger region the rover has been exploring called the “clay-bearing unit” on the side of Mount Sharp, which is inside Gale Crater. The scene is presented with a color adjustment that approximates white balancing to resemble how the rocks and sand would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth. Scientists are looking for signs that Mars could have supported microbial life billions of years ago, when rivers and lakes could be found in the crater. Important note: Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos/images. YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree videos/images on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers. If your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image will be available on https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/new . For more information about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/msl. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
What's Up: August 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see this month? In the August sky, look for the "shooting stars" of the annual Perseid meteor shower for some stargazing delights, but be warned — the bright Moon will overwhelm the fainter meteors this year. Plus, the Moon's evening visits to Jupiter and Saturn. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2KijnRU
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Does Biceps Curls (Arm Testing Time Lapse)
Time lapse video of robotic arm on NASA's Mars 2020 rover handily maneuvers 88-pounds (40 kilograms) worth of sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to stowed configuration. For more information about the turret and the Mars 2020 mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020
Moon Struck! Celebrating Apollo's 50th Anniversary (Live Public Talk)
Original air date: Thursday, July 11, 7pm PT As part of the intense, decade-long effort that led to human footprints on the lunar surface, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory launched a series of robotic precursors to the Moon. It proved a formidable challenge — the first six missions failed, putting at risk the laboratory’s ambitions to explore the solar system. Meanwhile, Caltech — which operates JPL for NASA — established a laboratory in the mid-1960s to help develop the new techniques that would be needed for analyzing lunar samples. And once the Apollo 11 Moon rocks were on the ground, the Caltech researchers raced to contribute to the first stunning scientific results NASA shared with the world. This event will focus on understanding the supporting roles these institutions played in one of humanity's greatest achievements, and consider what might lie ahead in exploring the Moon. Take a journey back in time to learn how JPL found its way to success in the early days of the space race and how both Caltech and JPL have contributed to exploring and understanding our nearest celestial neighbor. Host: Preston Dyches
Speaker(s): Blaine Baggett, JPL Fellow and Emmy award-winning producer; Arden Albee, Caltech Professor of Geology and Planetary Science, Emeritus; John Casani, JPL veteran engineer of the Ranger and Surveyor era
Pit Crew for Mars: NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gets Some Wheels (time lapse)
A team of engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, install the legs and wheels — otherwise known as the mobility suspension — on the Mars 2020 rover. The imagery for this accelerated time-lapse was taken on June 13, 2019, from a camera above the Spacecraft Assembly Facility's High Bay 1 clean room. JPL is building and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 rover for the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. For more information about the mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.
NASA Climbing Robot Scales Cliffs and Looks for Life
Robots can land on the Moon and drive on Mars, but what about the places they can't reach? Designed by engineers as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a four-limbed robot named LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) can scale rock walls, gripping with hundreds of tiny fishhooks in each of its 16 fingers and using artificial intelligence to find its way around obstacles. In its last field test in Death Valley, California, in early 2019, LEMUR chose a route up a cliff, scanning the rock for ancient fossils from the sea that once filled the area. The LEMUR project has since concluded, but it helped lead to a new generation of walking, climbing and crawling robots. In future missions to Mars or icy moons, robots with AI and climbing technology derived from LEMUR could discover similar signs of life. Those robots are being developed now, honing technology that may one day be part of future missions to distant worlds. Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2SaMjyT
Landing NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover with Terrain Relative Navigation
The Mars 2020 mission is facing the most challenging landing yet on the Red Planet. It will touch down on Feb. 18, 2021, in Jezero Crater, a 28-mile-wide (45-kilometer-wide) expanse full of steep cliffs, boulder fields and other things that could boobytrap the landing. A new technology called Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) will allow the spacecraft to avoid hazards autonomously. It's the closest thing to having an astronaut piloting the spacecraft, and the technology will benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars. For more information about Mars 2020, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
What's Up: July 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
As NASA marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, here are five things to know about the Moon that you can share with others: How far away is the Moon? How big is the Moon? What color is the Moon? Why do we always see the same side of the Moon? And what are the dark areas on the Moon? Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video and the video transcript are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2Xfp0tt
Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On: Designing Tomorrow’s Space Missions Today (live public talk)
Original air date: June 20, 2019 Walk through the life cycle of a mission from its start as a crazy idea, to concept, to development, construction, testing, and launch. Host:
Brian White Speaker:
Dr. Randii Wessen
JPL Systems Engineer
A-Team Lead Study Architect JPL Innovation Foundry
Crazy Engineering: Making Oxygen on Mars with MOXIE
Crazy Engineering explores a technology demonstration riding aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover that's straight out of science fiction novels like "The Martian." It's an oxygen generator called MOXIE, designed to convert carbon dioxide — which constitutes about 96% of the Martian atmosphere — into breathable oxygen. For more about MOXIE and Mars 2020, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
How NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock Could Be the Next Space GPS
NASA has perfected new navigation technology that would make self-driving spacecraft and GPS beyond the Moon a reality. The Deep Space Atomic Clock is the first atomic clock small and stable enough to fly on a spacecraft beyond Earth's orbit. As NASA works to put humans on Mars and the Moon, the clock’s precise timekeeping will be key to these missions’ success. For more about the Deep Space Atomic Clock:
NASA Chopper Ready for a Spin on Mars
The laws of physics may say it's near impossible to fly on Mars, but actually flying a heavier-than-air vehicle on the Red Planet is much harder than that. NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will deliver a technology demonstration that will put the idea to the test -- a helicopter that will perform controlled flight on Mars.
For more about NASA's Mars missions, visit https://nasa.gov/mars and https://mars.nasa.gov
NASA InSight: A Plan to Get the Mole Moving Again
NASA InSight scientist/engineer Troy Hudson gives us the game plan for getting the mission's heat probe, also known as the "mole," digging again on Mars. For more about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/insight and https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/
What's Up: June 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What's up in the June sky? Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest, Mercury and Mars appear ultra-close and how you can observe the Moon's tilted orbit. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2XckOqA
Stars of Cepheus as Seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
Soar through this cosmic landscape filled with bright nebulas, as well as runaway, massive and young stars. The image comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which sees the universe in infrared light. For more about Spitzer, visit https://www.nasa.gov/spitzer or http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/ . Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
CubeSats & SmallSats (live public talk)
Original air date: May 9 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET, 0200 UTC) Some are the size of a toaster. Others a suitcase. They can ride into space as secondary payloads in a rocket's "trunk," or even be tossed out of an airlock, to start their missions. Small satellites, often collectively called "CubeSats," are changing the way we explore space and monitor our home planet. For more information, visit https://go.nasa.gov/2V84cOF . Speaker(s): Anne Marinan (JPL) — Systems Engineer, Near Earth Asteroid Scout & Mars Cube One; Team Xc Lead Engineer Travis Imken (JPL) — Project Systems Engineer, RainCube NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites you to watch live about everything from Mars rovers to monitoring asteroids to cool cosmic discoveries. From the lab to the lecture hall, get information directly from scientists and engineers working on NASA's latest missions. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov All chats are moderated. Inappropriate language or posts that harass other individuals will be removed. - Use respectful language
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NASA’s Curiosity Finds Climate Clues on a Martian Mountain
After spending the better part of a year exploring Mars’ Vera Rubin Ridge, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has moved to a new part of Mount Sharp. Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada gives a tour of the rover's new home in the “clay unit,” as well as other areas scientists are excited to visit. Find out what they could tell us about watery ancient Mars versus the dry Red Planet we see today.
For more about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/msl
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/U of Arizona/JHUAPL/MSSS/USGS Astrogeology Science Center
What's Up: May 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What's up in the May sky? A meteor shower produced by debris from Halley's Comet, asteroids named after dinosaurs and a "blue moon" on May 18th. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video and the video transcript are available at https://go.nasa.gov/2PDWavM
First Likely Marsquake Heard by NASA's InSight
This video and audio illustrates a seismic event detected by NASA's InSight on April 6, 2019, the 128th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Three distinct kinds of sounds can be heard, all of them detected as ground vibrations by the spacecraft's seismometer, called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS): There's noise from Martian wind; the seismic event itself; and the spacecraft's robotic arm as it moves to take pictures. This event is the first likely marsquake recorded by the InSight team. Several other seismic events have been recorded but are much more ambiguous than this signal. The audio underscores just how seismically noisy the Martian surface can be and was produced from two sets of sensors included with SEIS. You can hear sounds from the Very Broad Band sensors from your left speakers and sounds from the Short Period sensors from your right speakers. Audio from both sets of sensors have been sped up by a factor of 60; the actual vibrations on Mars would not have been audible to the human ear. Playback on headphones or speaker system recommended for best experience. For more about the mission, please visit https://mars.nasa.gov/insight Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CNES/IPGP/Imperial College London
NASA's Look at Clouds and Climate (live public talk)
April 18, 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET, 0300 UTC) Earth is the most-observed planet in our system and there is a fleet of satellites looking down at our skies, giving scientists a deeper understanding of our ever-changing clouds and their relationship to our climate.
Dr. Kate Marvel – Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University
Dr. Graeme Stephens – Co-Director of Center for Climate Sciences, PI for Cloudsat Mission
Dr. Brian Kahn – Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Cloud Algorithm Lead, JPL Follow us on your favorite social media platforms for updates @NASAJPL. All chats are moderated. Inappropriate language or posts that harass other individuals will be removed. - Be courteous
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NASA's OCO-3: Watching Plants Grow and Glow
OCO-3 will be mounted on the International Space Station where it will measure both atmospheric carbon and plant activity from orbit. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and emit a small amount of light. Measuring this "solar-induced fluorescence" will help scientists better understand the role plants have in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For more on this orbiting carbon observatory, visit https://ocov3.jpl.nasa.gov/
NASA’s OCO-3: A New View of Carbon (mission overview)
NASA’s OCO-3 mission is ready for launch to the International Space Station. This follow-on to OCO-2 brings new techniques and new technologies to carbon dioxide observations of Earth from space. For more on this orbiting carbon observatory, visit https://ocov3.jpl.nasa.gov/
What’s Up: April 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the April sky? The Moon visits Mars in the evening, and later joins Saturn and Jupiter for a spot of tea. Also, how to find Polaris, the North Star. Download still images from this video, along with the transcript and the video itself at https://go.nasa.gov/2TQv4SG
Red Planet Rovers and Insights (live public talk)
Original air date: Jan. 10, 2019, at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET, 0300 UTC) Get the scoop on the latest missions at Mars. This lecture will bring you up to speed on all things Mars, including: The biggest dust storm in a decade, rolling (and drilling) on "Rubin Ridge," a new rover under construction, and a recent arrival on Mars preparing to get down to business. Speakers:
Mars Scientist, NASA-JPL Elizabeth Barrett
Science/Instruments Operations Engineer, NASA-JPL
The Golden Age of Exoplanet Exploration (live public talk)
Original air date: March 14 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET, 0200 UTC) Since the discovery of the first exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star in 1995, several thousand more have been discovered. We’ve peered into the atmospheres of some, and we’ve found whole families of planets orbiting strange stars -- many in configurations starkly different from our own. We’ve learned a lot from NASA's Kepler mission, which launched 10 years ago and ceased operations in November 2018. A new NASA planet-hunting spacecraft called TESS, which began science operations as Kepler was winding down, will give us thousands of new discoveries in the coming years. And the Spitzer Space Telescope has provided us valuable insights into what these worlds might be like. This show will look at the state of exoplanet science and give us a view of what future discoveries may be around the corner. Speakers:
Jessie Christiansen, Research Scientist at the Caltech/IPAC NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech
Karl Stapelfeldt, Chief Scientist, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program Office, JPL
What’s Up: March 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the March sky? Jupiter and other planets in the morning, a change of seasons and an open star cluster called the Beehive. Download still images from this video, along with the transcript and the video itself at https://go.nasa.gov/2Vqwip5
Mars 2020 Rover Build Update
Tour the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and see the Mars 2020 mission under construction. Project System Engineer Jennifer Trosper explains the hardware being built and tested, including the rover, descent stage, cruise stage, back shell and heat shield. This NASA mission is preparing to launch to the Red Planet in 2020 and land in 2021. For more about Mars 2020, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/m2020
A Lifetime of Opportunity: NASA Mars Rover Completes Its Mission (news briefing)
NASA announces "mission complete" for its Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity in a media briefing at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) Wednesday, Feb. 13, from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
The briefing followed NASA’s last planned attempts to communicate with Opportunity late Tuesday evening. The solar-powered rover last communicated with Earth June 10, 2018, as a planet-wide dust storm was blanketing the Red Planet.
Briefing participants included:
· Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, NASA Headquarters, Washington
· Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
· Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters
· Michael Watkins, director, JPL
· Steve Squyres, MER principal investigator, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
· John Callas, MER project manager, JPL
· Matt Golombek, MER project scientist, JPL
· Abigail Fraeman, MER deputy project scientist, JPL
· Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 project systems engineer, JPL
Opportunity: NASA Rover Completes Mars Mission
Drive along with the NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover and hear the voices of scientists and engineers behind the mission. Designed to run for 90 days, the exploration spanned more than 15 years from 2004 to 2019. Along the way, it discovered definitive proof of liquid water on ancient Mars and set the off-world driving record. For more information on the Mars Exploration Rovers and all of NASA’s Mars missions, visit mars.nasa.gov.
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Departs Vera Rubin Ridge (360 View)
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover has already descended from Vera Rubin Ridge, a region of Mount Sharp that it has been exploring for more than a year. But before it left, the rover took a 360-degree panorama of the area depicting its last drill hole on the ridge (at a location called "Rock Hall"), a new region it will spent the next year exploring (the clay unit) and its last view of Gale Crater's floor until it starts ascending in elevation again.
Important note: Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos/images. YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree videos/images on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers.
If your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image will be available on https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/new . For more information about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/msl. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
What’s Up: February 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the February sky? Stars and planets with distinct red and blue colors, like Mars and Sirius. February also brings some pretty pairings with Venus, Saturn and the Moon, and the best opportunity of the year to catch a glimpse of Mercury. We also point out locations in the sky of several destinations recently visited by NASA spacecraft. Download still images from this video, along with the transcript and the video itself at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/2271/whats-up-february-2019-skywatching-from-nasa/ Presenter voice: Jennifer Corbilla, NASA-JPL —About asteroid Bennu— An ancient relic of our solar system’s early days, Bennu has seen more than 4.5 billion years of history. Scientists think that within 10 million years of our solar system’s formation, Bennu’s present-day composition was already established. Bennu likely broke off from a much larger carbon-rich asteroid about 700 million to 2 billion years ago. It likely formed in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, and has drifted much closer to Earth since then. Because its materials are so old, Bennu may contain organic molecules similar to those that could have been involved with the start of life on Earth. More about Bennu: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/asteroids/101955-bennu/overview/ —Links to additional info—
Information about all of NASA’s missions: https://www.nasa.gov
- InSight mission to Mars website: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight
- OSIRIS-REx mission website: https://www.asteroidmission.org Additional astronomy & skywatching info from NASA’s Night Sky Network: https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov More video content from NASA: https://www.youtube.com/user/NASAtelevision
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