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Latest German Aerospace Center Stories

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2010-03-30 11:30:00

After several decades of research and development into hyperspectral imaging, which greatly enhances our ability to characterize the state of Earth, the technique has been embraced by the Earth-observation community and has entered the mainstream of remote sensing. The idea behind hyperspectral imaging, also known as imaging spectroscopy, is simple. In the 1970s, multispectral remote sensors produced images with relatively few broad wavelength bands that allowed us to understand our...

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2010-03-15 09:20:00

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos, on March 7, 2010, have been released today. The images show Mars' rocky moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 meters per pixel. They show the proposed landing sites for the forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission. ESA's Mars Express spacecraft orbits the Red Planet in a highly elliptical, polar orbit that brings it close to Phobos every five months. It is the only spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars whose orbit reaches far...

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2010-01-14 14:22:59

A major magnitude 7 earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12, causing major casualties and damage. The quake was followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes over 5.0. Such a powerful earthquake can make current maps suddenly out of date, causing additional challenges to rescue workers on the ground. Earth observation satellite images can help rescue efforts by providing updated views of how the landscape and the infrastructure have been affected. Following the...

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2010-01-08 11:40:00

Most astronomers wouldn't dream of opening their observatory's doors in 100 mph winds. Yet NASA's new SOFIA telescope recently flew in an airplane at 250 mph with doors wide open. On Dec. 18th, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), flew in a modified Boeing 747 at 15,000 feet for one hour and 19 minutes. For two minutes of that time, the door by the telescope was wide open. "This was the first time the door was fully opened in flight," says Bob Meyer, SOFIA program...

2009-12-18 15:16:00

EDWARDS, Calif., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone Friday when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified 747 jet known as SOFIA, flew for one hour and 19 minutes, which included two minutes with the telescope's...

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2009-12-18 15:25:00

A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone Friday when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified 747 jet known as SOFIA, flew for one hour and 19 minutes, which included two minutes with the telescope's doors fully opened. The goal was to allow engineers to understand how air flows in and around the telescope. It was the...

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2009-12-19 09:10:00

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins. Cassini scientists had been looking for the glint, also known as a specular reflection, since the spacecraft began orbiting Saturn in 2004. But Saturn's northern hemisphere, which has more lakes than the southern hemisphere, has been veiled in winter darkness. The sun only began to...

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2009-12-14 14:35:00

New space observations reveal that since October 2003, the aquifers for California's primary agricultural region -- the Central Valley -- and its major mountain water source -- the Sierra Nevadas -- have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America's largest reservoir. The findings, based on data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), reflect California's extended drought and increased rates of groundwater being pumped for human...

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2009-11-20 07:30:00

You don't always have to have a rocket to do rocket science. Sometimes a mere airplane will do "“ that is, a mere Boeing 747 toting a 17-ton, 9-foot wide telescope named SOFIA. Short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA will observe the universe while gliding through the stratosphere at 45,000 feet. When it begins operations next year, it will be the world's biggest, most advanced airborne observatory. "SOFIA is set to achieve some spectacular science," says...

2009-09-21 09:49:05

By merging more than a decade of atmospheric data from European satellites, scientists have compiled a homogeneous long-term ozone record that allows them to monitor total ozone trends on a global scale "“ and the findings look promising. Scientists merged monthly total ozone data derived from the vertically downward-looking measurements of the GOME instrument on ESA's ERS-2 satellite, SCIAMACHY on ESA's Envisat and GOME-2 on the European Meteorological Satellite Organization's...