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Latest Explorer program Stories

WISE Catches Cosmic Dust Bunny
2012-04-27 03:13:54

Images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst, spraying the cosmos with dust. The findings offer a rare, real-time look at the process by which stars like our sun seed the universe with building blocks for other stars, planets and even life. The star, catalogued as WISE J180956.27-330500.2, was discovered in images taken during the WISE survey in 2010, the most detailed infrared survey to date of the entire celestial sky....

Image 1 - IBEX And TWINS Observe A Solar Storm
2012-04-15 05:27:24

On April 5, 2010, the sun spewed a two million-mile-per-hour stream of charged particles toward the invisible magnetic fields surrounding Earth, known as the magnetosphere. As the particles interacted with the magnetic fields, the incoming stream of energy caused stormy conditions near Earth. Some scientists believe that it was this solar storm that interfered with commands to a communications satellite, Galaxy-15, which subsequently foundered and drifted, taking almost a year to return to...

2012-03-09 07:36:30

NASA will hold a media briefing at 12 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 13, to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The mission will use advanced optics and detectors, allowing astronomers to observe the high-energy X-ray sky with much greater sensitivity and clarity than any mission flown to-date. The televised briefing will take place in the agency's television studio at NASA Headquarters, located at 300 E St. S.W. in Washington. NuSTAR will advance...

NuSTAR's Mirrors Baked In Zhang's Glass Kitchen
2012-02-24 04:28:37

It pays to persevere. No one knows this better than Will Zhang. For more than a decade, the astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., experimented with a new technique for efficiently manufacturing super-thin, low-cost curved telescope mirror segments to collect and focus ever-elusive, high-energy X-ray photons. The fruits of that labor -- a total of 9,000 individual mirror segments -- are now assembled into telescope optics and installed inside NASA's...

Image 1 - THEMIS Celebrates Five Years Of Service
2012-02-20 09:21:25

[ Watch the Video ] People still talk about the launch. It was the first — and so far, only — time NASA has launched five satellites at one time. Carefully balanced inside a Delta II rocket, the five THEMIS (short for Timed History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) spacecraft were launched into space from Cape Canaveral at 6:01 p.m. ET on February 17, 2007. The spacecraft were nestled in a ring shape, four around the outside and one on a middle pedestal. A...

RHESSI Mission Celebrates Ten Years And Forty Thousand X-Ray Flares
2012-02-11 04:00:56

[ Watch the Video ] On February 5, 2002, NASA launched what was then called the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) into orbit. Renamed within months as the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) after Reuven Ramaty, a deceased NASA scientist who had long championed the mission, the spacecraft's job was to observe giant explosions on the sun called solar flares. During a solar flare, the gas soars to over 20 million degrees Fahrenheit, and emits X-rays that...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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