Posts Tagged ‘Educational’

Voyager 1 has “left our solar system

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Source – NASA / JPL:

You Are Here, Voyager: This artist’s concept puts huge solar system distances in perspective. The scale bar is measured in astronomical units (AU), with each set distance beyond 1 AU representing 10 times the previous distance. Each AU is equal to the distance from the sun to the Earth. It took from 1977 to 2013 for Voyager 1 to reach the edge of interstellar space. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet. Scientific consensus, however, says the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets that swing by our sun on long time scales. Beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, the gravity of other stars begins to dominate that of the sun.

The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU.

NASA’s Voyager 1, humankind’s most distant spacecraft, is around 125 AU. Scientists believe it entered interstellar space, or the space between stars, on Aug. 25, 2012. Much of interstellar space is actually inside our solar system. It will take about 300 years for Voyager 1 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30,000 years to fly beyond it.

Alpha Centauri is currently the closest star to our solar system. But, in 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will be closer to the star AC +79 3888 than to our own sun. AC +79 3888 is actually traveling faster toward Voyager 1 than the spacecraft is traveling toward it.

The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The Voyager missions are a part of NASA’s Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

What’s up for September 2013

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Source – NASA Multimedia:

What’s Up for September. A nighttime lunar launch, comet ISON is spotted again, and the moon meets up with Saturn, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.

What’s up for July 2013

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Source – NASA Multimedia:

Saturn is well-placed for viewing this month, revealing its northern hemisphere and a ring tilt open to 17 degrees. And July is a great month to spot Saturn’s third-largest moon Iapetus.

NASA | IBEX Provides First View of the Solar System’s Tail

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Source – NASA Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission :

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission science objective is to discover the nature of the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium at the edge of our solar system.
IBEX is Roughly the size of a card table, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer is the latest in NASA’s series of low-cost, rapidly developed Small Explorers

It has long been assumed that our solar system, like a comet, has a tail. Just as any object moving through another medium – for example, a meteor traveling through Earth’s atmosphere – causes the particles to form a stream trailing off behind it. But the tail of our solar bubble, called the heliosphere, has never actually been observed, until now.

What’s Up for February 2013?

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Source – NASA /JPL Solar System Exploration:

On February 15 a small asteroid named 2012 DA-14 will whiz by, 17,200 miles from Earth. It doesn’t pose any threat to us, but it is sure to create a buzz around the world.

NASA to Provide Commentary as Grail Moon Mission Ends

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Source – NASA Grail Mission:

PASADENA, Calif. – NASA will provide live commentary of the scheduled lunar surface impacts of its twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft beginning at 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17. The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website.

The two probes will hit a mountain near the lunar north pole at approximately 2:28 p.m. PST Monday, bringing their successful prime and extended science missions to an end.

Commentary will originate from the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Coverage will last about 35 minutes and include live interviews with GRAIL team members. GRAIL’s final resting place on the moon will be in shadow at the time of impact, so no video documentation of the impacts is expected.

Data from the GRAIL twins are allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. The two probes are being sent purposely into the moon because they do not have enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv . The coverage will also be streamed live on Ustream at: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 .

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #GRAIL. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect .

For the mission’s press kit and other information about GRAIL, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/grail . You can follow JPL News on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/nasajpl and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/nasajpl .

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Sarah McDonnell 617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
s_mcd@mit.edu

2012-398b

NASA / JPL What’s Up for December 2012?

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Source – NASA /JPL Solar System Exploration:

What’s Up for December? Starry fireworks end the year with a bang

What If Everyone JUMPED At Once and other Questions…

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Source – Youtube Vsauce Channel:

NASA / What’s Up for October 2012

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Source – NASA /JPL Solar System Exploration:

Be on the lookout for two of the brightest objects in the asteroid belt, Ceres and Vesta near Jupiter plus two meteor showers!

The City Dark: SXSW 2011 Accepted Film

Monday, October 15th, 2012

THE CITY DARK chronicles the disappearance of darkness. When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City and discovers skies almost completely devoid of stars, a simple question — what do we lose,

Every year in March, SXSW entertains thousands of attendees at its Interactive, Film and Music conferences & festivals in Austin TX. This year SXSW will feature 250+ films, 1800+ bands, 400+ talks, 4 exhibitions, and hundreds of special events.