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Latest Explorer program Stories

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2010-04-20 06:55:00

In its first five years in orbit, NASA's Swift satellite has given astronomers more than they could have hoped for. Its discoveries range from a nearby nascent supernova to a blast so far away that it happened when our universe was only 5 percent of its present age. Swift primarily studies gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) -- the biggest and most mysterious explosions in the cosmos. On April 13, the spacecraft's "burst-o-meter" cataloged its 500th GRB. "On the one hand, it's just a number, but on the...

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2010-04-13 06:35:00

Mission engineers and scientists with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, a space telescope that has been beaming back pictures of galaxies for three times its design lifespan, are no longer planning science observations around one of its two ultraviolet detectors. "The remaining, near-ultraviolet detector is still busy probing galaxies both nearby and distant," said Kerry Erickson, the mission's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "We've got lots of science data...

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2010-01-01 08:15:00

NASA has extended a contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., to provide science and operational support for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a powerful tool used to better understand the structure and evolution of the universe. The contract extension with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory provides continued science and operations support to Chandra. This approximately $172 million modification brings the total value of the contract to approximately...

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2009-12-17 12:15:00

A network of cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA's THEMIS mission has made a startling discovery about the Northern Lights. Sometimes, vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, producing spectacular outbursts of light. Movies of the phenomenon were unveiled at the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union today in San Francisco. "Our jaws dropped when we saw the movies for the first time," says space scientist Larry Lyons of UCLA, a leading member of the team that made...

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2009-11-24 11:12:01

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or Wise, is now perched atop its rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif. The mission, which will scan the whole sky in infrared light, is scheduled to blast off on Dec. 9. It was hoisted to the top of its United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket on Friday, Nov. 20. JPL manages the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The mission's principal investigator, Edward Wright, is...

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2009-11-18 09:55:00

NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite rocketed into Earth orbit on Nov. 18, 1989, and quickly revolutionized our understanding of the early cosmos. Developed and built at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., COBE precisely measured and mapped the oldest light in the universe -- the cosmic microwave background. COBE showed that the radiation's spectrum agrees exactly with predictions based on the Big Bang theory. And COBE's map of slight hot and cold spots within this...

2009-10-15 13:00:00

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly a year ago - on October 19, 2008 - the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) - a NASA Small Explorer Mission - was launched into Earth orbit to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium - the gas, dust and radiation environment between the stars - by measuring the neutral atoms created by that interaction. As our Sun travels through the galaxy it is encompassed in a giant bubble inflated by a...

2009-10-13 15:28:15

NASA will hold a NASA Science Update at 2:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 15, to discuss new science data of our galaxy obtained from the agency's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft. NASA Television and the agency's Web site will provide live coverage of the briefing from the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, in Washington. The briefing participants are: - David McComas, IBEX spacecraft principal investigator and senior executive director,...

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2009-08-28 14:25:00

In 1959, only two years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and ignited the space race, the University of California, Berkeley, created a laboratory devoted to space science that has grown to be one of the most active academic space research labs in the country.Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) has provided instruments for 75 satellites, two dozen rockets, nearly 200 balloon flights and numerous ground-based experiments. Eight of the...

2009-08-04 14:37:00

GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An exciting new astrophysics mission led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will provide a revolutionary window into the universe. Named the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), the satellite will be the first to systematically measure the polarization of cosmic X-ray sources. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "To date, astronomers have measured X-ray polarization from...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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