NASA Goddard (December 2022) – NASA is developing the Earth System Observatory, the core of which is five satellite missions providing critical data on climate change, severe weather and other natural hazards, wildfires, and global food production.
These observations will address the most pressing questions about our changing planet. Taken together as a single Observatory, NASA will have a holistic, 3D view of Earth to better understand how our planet’s complex systems work together and improve our capability to predict how our climate may change.
NASA’s Open Source Science strategy is the key to bringing the data from these missions together into a single observatory to help understand the earth as a system and accelerate our ability to use this understanding. These observations will better inform decision-makers on how our planet is changing, with greater precision on previously unimaginable scales – from entire continents down to individual trees, from atmosphere to bedrock.
NASA Goddard – This video celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17 by talking with Lunar Module Pilot Jack Schmitt about the significance of that mission and how it laid the groundwork for future human exploration of the Moon.
Jack also discusses how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which launched in 2009, has helped reinterpret Apollo-era data and given us new information about the lunar terrain that will help pave the way for the upcoming Artemis missions.
Apollo 17 was the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the Moon. Following a 2-hour 40-minute delay, it launched at 11:33 p.m. CST on December 6, 1972, the only night launch of the Apollo program. Prior missions had explored the Moon’s early volcanic history and the role of large impact basins such as Imbrium. Accordingly, Apollo 17 was planned to collect ancient highlands crustal material far from the Imbrium basin and to search for possible young lunar volcanic activity, which would help to constrain our knowledge of the Moon’s thermal evolution.
The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 32nd year in orbit by premiering a stunning new Hubble image of a collection of five galaxies, known as Hickson Compact Group 40. Even after all these years, Hubble continues to uncover the mysteries of the universe. These are a few science achievements from Hubble’s latest year in orbit.
The surface of Venus is completely inhospitable for life: barren, dry, crushed under an atmosphere about 90 times the pressure of Earth’s and roasted by temperatures two times hotter than an oven. But was it always that way? Could Venus once have been a twin of Earth — a habitable world with liquid water oceans? This is one of the many mysteries associated with our shrouded sister world. 27 years have passed since NASA’s Magellan mission last orbited Venus. That was NASA’s most recent mission to Earth’s sister planet, and while we have gained significant knowledge of Venus since then, there are still numerous mysteries about the planet that remain unsolved. NASA’s DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) mission hopes to change that. Video credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Once you’ve gotten the hang of basic black holes, you might want to search for some fancier ones. That’s great! But, before you do, refer to this convenient chapter to learn just how fancy some black holes can be.
If you’re looking to find some black holes, it’s always helpful to know exactly what you’re looking for!
To get started on your black hole hunt, first watch this handy video to learn the basics about these strange cosmic objects.
Music: “Perfect Little Monsters” from Universal Production Music Video credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Chris Smith (USRA): Lead Producer Chris Smith (USRA): Lead Animator Chris Smith (USRA): Lead Writer Jeanette Kazmierczak (University of Maryland College Park): Lead Science Writer Scott Noble (NASA/GSFC): Scientist John G. Baker (NASA/GSFC): Scientist Bernard J. Kelly (UMBC): Scientist
NASA is working alongside Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pilot an innovative and replicable approach to more accurately map ecosystems to support effective planning and sustainable decision-making. NASA’s satellite data and expert analysis will provide a country-wide picture of Liberia’s hardwood forests, mangroves, and other ecosystems; Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the EPA will augment that data with their expertise in ecosystem accounting, field studies, and local knowledge to quantify the value of the country’s natural resources and related ecosystem services.
Liberia is a country in West Africa, bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. On the Atlantic coast, the capital city of Monrovia is home to the Liberia National Museum, with its exhibits on national culture and history. Around Monrovia are palm-lined beaches like Silver and CeCe. Along the coast, beach towns include the port of Buchanan, as well as laid-back Robertsport, known for its strong surf.
What is OPAL? OPAL (Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy) is a project to obtain long time baseline observations of the outer planets in order to understand their atmospheric dynamics and evolution as gas giants. The yearly observations from OPAL throughout the remainder of Hubble’s operation will provide an important legacy of time-domain images for use by planetary scientists. Viewers might notice that some of the images of the same planets appear to be different colors. This is due to the fact that over the years, from Voyager to Hubble, many different instruments, and many different filters have been used.
Every legacy has a compelling origin. The soon-to-be-launched Landsat 9 is the intellectual and technical product of eight generations of Landsat missions, spanning nearly 50 years.
Episode One answers the question “why?” Why did the specific years between 1962 and 1972 call for a such a mission? Why did leadership across agencies commit to its fruition? Why was the knowledge it could reveal important to the advancing study of earth science?
In this episode, we’re introduced to William Pecora and Stewart Udall, two men who propelled the project into reality, as well as Virginia Norwood who breathed life into new technology. Like any worthwhile endeavor, Landsat encountered its fair share of resistance. Episode one explores how those challenges were overcome with the launch of Landsat 1, signifying a bold step into a new paradigm.
Additional footage courtesy of Gordon Wilkinson/Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the US Geological Survey. The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Landsat satellites have been consistently gathering data about our planet since 1972. They continue to improve and expand this unparalleled record of Earth’s changing landscapes for the benefit of all.
Music: “The Missing Star,” “Brazenly Bashful,” “Light Tense Weight,” “It’s Decision Time,” “Patisserie Pressure,” from Universal Production Music Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Lead Producer Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA): Lead Producer Kate Ramsayer (USRA): Lead Producer LK Ward (USRA): Lead Writer Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA): Lead Editor Jeffrey Masek (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist Marc Evan Jackson: Narrator Terry Arvidson (Lockheed Martin): Interviewee Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET): Technical Support
On Sept. 15, 2020, Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent — the second-lowest on record. This summer, temperatures soared in the Siberian Arctic, and intense fires burned through peatland. The Arctic region is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet.
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