Thursday, October 18, 2018

Earth's Glow and The Milky Way

Celestial view of Earth's atmospheric glow and the Milky Way
The International Space Station was orbiting about 256 miles above South Australia when a camera on board the orbital complex captured this celestial view of Earth's atmospheric glow and the Milky Way.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Image Date: October 7, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Planet #Atmosphere #Glow #Australia #Stars #MilkyWay #Galaxy #SolarSystem #Orbit #Astronauts #UnitedStates #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NASA's Webb Telescope to Examine Active Galaxy NGC 4151

Distance: 62 million light-years
Galaxies and their central, supermassive black holes are inextricably linked. Both grow in lockstep for reasons that are not yet understood. To gain new insights, Webb will turn its infrared gaze to the center of a nearby galaxy called NGC 4151, whose supermassive black hole is actively feeding and glowing brightly. By measuring the motions of stars clustered around the black hole and comparing them to computer models, astronomers can determine the black hole’s mass. This challenging measurement will test the capabilities of Webb’s innovative instrument called an integral field unit.

NGC 4151
At first glance, the galaxy NGC 4151 looks like an average spiral. Examine its center more closely, though, and you can spot a bright smudge that stands out from the softer glow around it. That point of light marks the location of a supermassive black hole weighing about 40 million times as much as our Sun.

Astronomers will use NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to measure that black hole’s mass. The result might seem like a piece of trivia, but its mass determines how a black hole feeds and affects the surrounding galaxy. And since most galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, learning about this nearby galaxy will improve our understanding of many galaxies across the cosmos.

“Some central questions in astrophysics are: How does a galaxy’s central black hole grow with time; how does the galaxy itself grow with time; and how do they affect each other? This project is a step toward answering those questions,” explained Misty Bentz of Georgia State University, Atlanta, the principal investigator of the project.

Probing a galaxy’s core
There are several methods of weighing supermassive black holes. One technique relies on measuring the motions of stars in the galaxy’s core. The heavier the black hole, the faster nearby stars will move under its gravitational influence.

NGC 4151 represents a challenging target, because it contains a particularly active black hole that is feeding voraciously. As a result, the material swirling around the black hole, known as an accretion disk, shines brightly. The light from the accretion disk threatens to overwhelm the fainter light from stars in the region.

“With Webb’s beautifully shaped mirrors and sharp ‘vision,’ we should be able to probe closer to the galaxy’s center even though there’s a really bright accretion disk there,” said Bentz.

The team expects to be able to investigate the central 1,000 light-years of NGC 4151, and be able to resolve stellar motions on a scale of about 15 light-years.

A thousand spectra at once
To achieve this feat, the team will use Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) integral field unit, or IFU. It will be the first IFU flown in space, and it has a unique capability.

Webb’s IFU takes the light from every location in an image and splits it into a rainbow spectrum. To do this it employs almost 100 mirrors, each of them precision crafted to a specific shape, all squeezed into an instrument the size of a shoebox. Those mirrors effectively slice a small square of the sky into strips, then spread the light from those strips out both spatially and in wavelength.

In this way a single image yields 1,000 spectra. Each spectrum tells astronomers not only about the elements that make up the stars and gas at that exact point of the sky, but also about their relative motions.

Despite Webb’s exquisite resolution, the team won’t be able to measure the motions of individual stars. Instead, they will get information about groups of stars very close to the center of the galaxy. They will then apply computer models to determine the gravitational field affecting the stars, which depends on the size of the black hole.

“Our computer code generates a bunch of mock stars—tens of thousands of stars, mimicking the motions of real stars in the galaxy. We put in a variety of different black holes and see what matches the observations the best,” said Monica Valluri of the University of Michigan, a co-investigator on the project.

The result of this technique will be compared with a second one that focuses on the gas at the galaxy’s center, rather than the stars.

“We should get the same answer, no matter what technique we use, if we’re looking at the same black hole,” said Bentz. “NGC 4151 is one of the best targets for making that comparison.”

These observations will be taken as part of the Director’s Discretionary-Early Release Science program. The DD-ERS program provides time to selected projects enabling the astronomical community to quickly learn how best to use Webb’s capabilities, while also yielding robust science.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world's premier space science observatory. Webb will solve mysteries of our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Learn more:

Credit: NASA/ESA
Release Date: October 17, 2018

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Galaxy #NGC4151 #Spiral #BlackHole #Hubble #JamesWebb #JWST #Telescope #Spacecraft #Cosmos #Universe #Observatory #GSFC #ESA #CSA #Technology #Engineering #International #STEM #Education

Monday, October 15, 2018

New Simulation Creates "Pulsar in a Box" | NASA Goddard

Scientists studying what amounts to a computer-simulated "pulsar in a box" are gaining a more detailed understanding of the complex, high-energy environment around spinning neutron stars, also called pulsars. The model traces the paths of charged particles in magnetic and electric fields near the neutron star, revealing behaviors that may help explain how pulsars emit gamma-ray and radio pulses with ultraprecise timing.

A pulsar is the crushed core of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. The core is so compressed that more mass than the Sun's squeezes into a ball no wider than Manhattan Island in New York City. This process also revvs up its rotation and strengthens its magnetic and electric fields.

Various physical processes ensure that most of the particles around a pulsar are either electrons or their antimatter counterparts, positrons. To trace the behavior and energies of these particles, the researchers used a comparatively new type of pulsar model called a "particle in cell" (PIC) simulation.

The PIC technique lets scientists explore the pulsar from first principles, starting with a spinning, magnetized neutron star. The computer code injects electrons and positrons at the pulsar's surface and tracks how they interact with the electric and magnetic fields. It's computationally intensive because the particle motions affect the fields and the fields affect the particles, and everything is moving near the speed of light.

The simulation shows that most of the electrons tend to race outward from the magnetic poles. Some medium-energy electrons scatter wildly, even heading back to the pulsar.

The positrons, on the other hand, mostly flow out at lower latitudes, forming a relatively thin structure called the current sheet. In fact, the highest-energy positrons here—less than 0.1 percent of the total—are capable of producing gamma rays similar to those detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which has discovered 216 gamma-ray pulsars.

The simulation ran on the Discover supercomputer at NASA's Center for Climate Simulation at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Pleiades supercomputer at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. The model actually tracks "macroparticles," each of which represents many trillions of electrons or positrons.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Music: "Reaching for the Horizon" and "Leaving Earth" from Killer Tracks
Duration: 2 minutes, 53 seconds
Release Date: October 10, 2018

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #Pulsars #Neutron #Astrophysics #Physics #Cosmos #Universe #Model #Simulation #PIC #Computer #Supercomputer #Pleiades #Goddard #GSFC #Greenbelt #Maryland #Ames #MountainView #California #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Sunday, October 14, 2018

NASA's Kennedy Spaceport Magazine: October 2018

NASA's Kennedy Spaceport Magazine: October 2018
Read KSC's October 2018 Spaceport Magazine (Free 16-Page PDF)
Direct Download:
In the October 2018 issue:
· ICESat-2 launches on final flight of Delta II rocket

· Commercial Crew flights draw nearer

· NASA: 60 Years and Counting

· Kennedy team puts space sensor to use on ground

· Innovators' Launchpad: Michael Hogue

· Mobile launcher on the move to Vehicle Assembly Building

· Students turn NASA robotic experience to high altitude technology

· Apollo 7 launches as race to Moon reached final stretch

Spaceport Magazine is a monthly NASA publication that serves Kennedy Space Center employees and the American public. The magazine’s wide topic variety mirrors Kennedy's diverse spaceport operations. From launch processing to center development and employee stories, Spaceport Magazine covers it all.

Credit: NASA/Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Release Date: October 12, 2018

#NASA #KSC #Space #Science #Astronomy #Earth #ICESat2 #DeltaII #Rocket #ULA #SLS #Orion #EM1 #MobileLauncher #ISS #CommercialCrew #Mars #Moon #Astronauts #NASA60 #Kennedy #Spaceport #Florida #UnitedStates #Magazine #PDF #STEM #Education

Inside NASA's Kennedy Space Center | Week of Oct. 12, 2018

Kennedy Space Center’s scenic location on central Florida’s east coast is perfect for launching rockets, but beach erosion is a concern—especially during hurricane season. That’s why NASA is managing a project to revitalize the shoreline with beach-quality sand, building up the dune that helps to protect vital spaceport infrastructure.

Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds
Release Date: October 12, 2018

#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #NASA60th #Beach #Erosion #Hurricanes #Environment #SLS #Rockets #Launch #Orion #Spacecraft #EM1 #Moon #Mars #JourneyToMars #SolarSystem #Exploration #CapeCanaveral #AirForce #Kennedy #KSC #Spaceport #Florida #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Friday, October 12, 2018

Soyuz ISS Crew Lands Safely After Launch Anomaly This Week @NASA

Week of Oct. 12, 2018: Soyuz crew is safe following a launch anomaly, another major hurricane seen from space, and testing continues for the rocket engine that will power us to deep space . . . a few of the stories to tell you about—This Week at NASA!

Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Duration: 4 minutes, 6 seconds
Release Date: October 12, 2018

#NASA #Space #Science #ISS #HurricaneMichael #Weather #Soyuz #Rocket #Astronaut #Cosmonaut #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #Russia #Россия #Kazakhstan #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall | NOAA

Oct. 10, 2018: Early Wednesday afternoon, powerful Hurricane Michael made landfall along the Florida Panhandle as a record-setting Category 4 storm. The National Hurricane Center reported Michael's sustained winds were near 155 mph as the eye of the storm moved ashore near Mexico City, Florida at 1:30 p.m. ET October 10. According to NOAA's historical hurricane tracks database, Michael is the first Category 4 storm to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle since records began in 1851.

This GOES East satellite imagery shows Hurricane Michael just as the storm made landfall at 1:30 p.m. ET October 10.

Michael is expected to drop heavy rains across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama and portions of southwest and central Georgia, with widespread totals of 4 to 8 inches expected. As the storm moves inland through the southeastern U.S., the storm will produce 3 to 6 inches of rain across northern Georgia, the Carolinas and southern Virginia.

This geocolor-enhanced imagery was created by NOAA's partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. The GOES East geostationary satellite, also known as GOES-16, provides coverage of the Western Hemisphere, including the United States, the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Pacific. The satellite's high-resolution imagery provides optimal viewing of severe weather events, including thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/CIRA
Release Date: October 10, 2018

#NASA #NOAA #Space #Satellite #Science #Earth #HurricaneMichael #Hurricane #Category4 #Storm #Gulf #Mexico #Florida #Panhandle #MexicoCity #Weather #Meteorology #GOESEast #CIRA #Geocolor #Goddard #GSFC #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch: SAOCOM 1A Mission

Liftoff is at the 17 minute mark.
The October 7, 2018 Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 launch was of a synthetic aperture radar remote sensing satellite, SAOCOM 1A, for Argentina’s space agency Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB).

SpaceX landed a Falcon 9 rocket back at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California for the first time. While the company’s launches and landings on the East Coast have become almost routine, this is the first time it attempted a landing at its Landing Zone 4 at VAFB.

Credit: SpaceX
Duration: 32 minutes
Release Date: October 7, 2018

#SpaceX #Space #Satellite #Earth #Rocket #Launch #SAOCOM1A #Argentina #CONAE #Falcon9 #Block5 #Commercial #Vandenberg #AirForce #VAFB #California #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Hurricane Michael in Gulf of Mexico | NOAA

Oct. 9, 2018: Hurricane Michael, seen here by NOAA's GOES East weather satellite, is strengthening as it moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The center of the Category 2 storm is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Maximum sustained winds: 85 knots; 100 mph

GeoColor is a multispectral product composed of True Color (using a simulated green component) during the daytime, and an Infrared product that uses bands 7 and 13 at night. During the day, the imagery looks approximately as it would appear when viewed with human eyes from space.

Geocolor was developed at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and STAR's Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB).

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/CIRA
Image Date: October 9, 2018

#NASA #NOAA #Space #Satellite #Science #Earth #HurricaneMichael #Hurricane #Storm #Gulf #Mexico #Florida #Weather #Meteorology #GOESEast #CIRA #Geocolor #Goddard #GSFC #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

An Orbital Sunrise | International Space Station

European Space Agency Astronaut Alexander Gerst: "I don't know any words, in any language, to match the beauty of an orbital sunrise."

"Eines Sonnenaufgangs im Orbit"
"Ich kenne kein Wort, in keiner Sprache, das die Schönheit eines Sonnenaufgangs im Orbit auch nur ansatzweise beschreiben könnte."

Credit: ESA/NASA-A.Gerst
Image Date: September 14, 2018

#NASA #ESA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Sun #Sunrise #Orbital #Planet #Atmosphere #Clouds #Astronaut #AlexanderGerst #Horizons #Europe #Germany #Deutschland #DLR #Expedition56 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #International #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

NASA's Space to Ground: Hello, Goodbye | Week of Oct 5, 2018

NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

Three crew members who have been living and working aboard the International Space Station have landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, along with Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos landed at 7:44 a.m. EDT (5:44 p.m. in Kazakhstan) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

The crew completed hundreds of experiments during its 197-day expedition. Highlights included an investigation to study ultra-cold quantum gases using the first commercial European facility for microgravity research, and a system that uses surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid separation.

Expedition 57 continues station research and operations with a crew comprised of Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos. Gerst assumed command of the station as Feustel prepared to depart.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to launch Oct. 11 for a same-day arrival, increasing the crew size to five.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit

Learn more about the important research being operated on Station:

For more information about STEM on Station:

Credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds
Release Date: October 5, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #Soyuz #SoyuzMS08 #Союз #Landing #Kazakhstan #Astronauts #RickyArnold #DrewFeustel #Cosmonaut #OlegArtemyev #Russia #Россия #Astronauts #Expedition56 #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Monday, October 08, 2018

Rings upon rings | Hubble

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals a spiral galaxy named Messier 95 (also known as M95 or NGC 3351). Located about 35 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion), this swirling spiral was discovered by astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1781, and cataloged by French astronomer Charles Messier just four days later. Messier was primarily a comet hunter, and was often left frustrated by objects in the sky that resembled comets but turned out not to be. To help other astronomers avoid confusing these objects in the future, he created his famous catalog of Messier objects.

Most definitely not a comet, Messier 95 is actually a barred spiral galaxy. The galaxy has a bar cutting through its center, surrounded by an inner ring currently forming new stars. Also our own Milky Way is a barred spiral.

As well as hosting this stellar nursery, Messier 95 is a known host of the dramatic and explosive final stages in the lives of massive stars: supernovae. In March 2016 a spectacular supernova named SN 2012aw was observed in the outer regions of one of Messier 95’s spiral arms. Once the light from the supernova had faded, astronomers were able to compare observations of the region before and after the explosion to find out which star had “disappeared”— the progenitor star. In this case, the star was an especially huge red supergiant up to 26 times more massive than the Sun.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release Date: October 8, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxy #Messier95 #M95 #NGC3351 #Spiral #Barred #Leo #SN2012aw #Supernova #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #STEM #Education

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sixty Years of NASA and Counting, on This Week @NASA

NASA's 60th Anniversary (1958-2018)
Week of October 5, 2018: Celebrating sixty years of NASA, space station crew makes a safe return to Earth, and evidence of a possible discovery outside our solar system . . . a few of the stories to tell you about—This Week at NASA!

Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Duration: 3 minutes, 38 seconds
Release Date: October 5, 2018

#NASA #Space #Science #Earth #ISS #Moon #Mars #SolarSystem #Astronomy #History #NASA60 #Anniversary #President #Eisenhower #Government #UnitedStates #Civilian #Agency #Research #Exploration #Aerospace #Aeronautics #Aviation #Astronauts #JourneyToMars #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Glory Days | International Space Station

U.S. Astronaut Drew Feustel: "I have had my 'glory days in the hot sun' and now it’s time to come home. Thank you everybody for following along on Expedition 56’s journey living on the International Space Station. I hope you continue to follow NASA as we explore the great depths of space for the benefit of humanity."

Credit: A.J. (Drew) Feustel/NASA/JSC
Release Date: October 4, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Humanity #Astronaut #DrewFeustel #UnitedStates #Expedition56 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #International #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Hubble finds strong evidence of a moon outside Solar System

Neptune-sized moon orbits Jupiter-sized planet
Artist’s impression of exomoon candidate Kepler-1625b-i

October 3, 2018: Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and older data from the Kepler Space Telescope two astronomers have found the first compelling evidence for a moon outside our own Solar System. The data indicate an exomoon the size of Neptune, in a stellar system 8000 light-years from Earth. The new results are presented in the journal Science Advances.

The hunt for exoplanets—planets outside our own Solar System—provided its first results only 30 years ago. While astronomers now find these planets on a regular basis, the search for moons orbiting exoplanets wasn’t successful—until today.

In 2017 NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope detected hints of an exomoon orbiting the planet Kepler-1625b. Now, two scientists from Columbia University in New York (USA) have used the incomparable capabilities of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the star Kepler-1625, 8000 light-years away, and its planet in more detail. The new observations made with Hubble show compelling evidence for a large exomoon orbiting the only known planet of Kepler-1625. If confirmed, this would be the first discovery of a moon outside our Solar System.

The candidate moon, with the designation Kepler-1625b-i, is unusual because of its large size; it is comparable in diameter to the planet Neptune. Such gargantuan moons are unknown in our own Solar System. “This may yield new insights into the development of planetary systems and may cause astronomers to revisit theories of how moons form,” Alex Teachey, a graduate student who led the study, explained excitedly [1].

Like its moon, Kepler-1625b is also bigger than its counterparts in the Solar System. The exoplanet is a gas giant, several times more massive than Jupiter [2]. It orbits its parent star at a distance similar to the distance between the Sun and Earth, which puts it—and its candidate moon—at the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star system [3].

To find evidence for the existence of the exomoon, the team observed the planet while it was in transit in front of its parent star, causing a dimming of the starlight. “We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention,” David Kipping, second author of the study, said.

The planet was observed by Hubble before and during its 19-hour-long transit. After the transit ended, Hubble detected a second and much smaller decrease in the star’s brightness approximately 3.5 hours later, consistent with the effect of a moon trailing the planet. “It was definitely a shocking moment to see that light curve—my heart started beating a little faster and I just kept looking at that signature,” David Kipping described his feelings. Unfortunately, the scheduled Hubble observations ended before the complete transit of the moon could be captured.

In addition to this second dip in the light curve, Hubble provided compelling supporting evidence for the moon hypothesis by detecting the planet’s transit more than an hour earlier than predicted. This is consistent with a model of the system in which the planet and its moon orbit a common center of gravity, causing the planet to wobble away from its predicted location [4].

In principle this anomaly could also be caused by the gravitational pull of a hypothetical second planet in the system, but the Kepler Space Telescope found no evidence for additional planets around the star during its four year mission. Still, further observations by Hubble are needed to fully confirm the existence of Kepler-1625b-i.

“If confirmed, Kepler-1625b-i will certainly provide an interesting puzzle for theorists to solve,” said Kipping. Teachey concluded: “It is an exciting reminder of how little we really know about distant planetary systems and the great spirit of discovery exoplanetary science embodies.”

[1] The moons of Jupiter and Saturn likely formed through the agglomeration into a disc of material orbiting the planets, so it is possible that this exomoon also formed in a circumplanetary disc. Another possibility is that a passing object was captured by the planet’s gravity. Tidal forces between the two objects would rob momentum from the less massive companion and eventually pull it into a permanent orbit. There are no indications of tidal capture among our Solar System’s moons. In the case of the Earth–Moon system, an early collision with a larger body is hypothesised to have blasted off material that later coalesced into a moon. However, Kepler-1625b and its candidate moon are gaseous, not rocky, so such a collision would not have led to the condensation of a satellite.

[2] Despite its size, the mass of the candidate moon is estimated to be only 1.5 percent of the mass of its companion planet. This value is close to the mass ratio between Earth and the Moon.

[3] While both the planet and its candidate moon are within the habitable zone, where moderate temperatures allow for the existence of liquid water, both bodies are considered to be gaseous and therefore unsuitable for life as we know it.

[4] A distant observer watching the Earth and Moon transit the Sun would note similar anomalies in the timing of Earth’s transit.

More information
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

The results were presented in the paper Evidence for a large exomoon orbiting Kepler-1625b in the journal Science Advances.

The team of astronomers in this study consists of Alex Teachey and David M. Kipping (Columbia University, New York, USA).

Image Credit: NASA, ESA
Release Date: October 3, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Moon #Exomoon #Kepler1625bi #Planet #Exoplanet #Kepler1625 #Star #Transit #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #STScI #Art #Illustration #STEM #Education

MASCOT Asteroid Lander on Japan's Hayabusa2 | DLR

Animation | On December 3, 2014, the Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 embarked on a sample return mission to asteroid (162173) Ryugu (formerly designated 1999 JU3). On board is the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT), a lander built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) in collaboration with the French space agency CNES. The aim of the Hayabusa2 mission is to learn more about the origin and evolution of the Solar System. As asteroids account for some of the most primordial celestial bodies, researching them gives us a glimpse into our cosmic past. Furthermore, Ryugu is a near-Earth asteroid, which means it could pose a threat to Earth and must be investigated in order to reduce this threat.

Credit: German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR)
Duration: 7 minutes, 14 seconds
Release Date: May 16, 2018

#JAXA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Asteroid #162173Ryugu #Ryugu #竜宮城 #NEO #Mascot #Lander #AsteroidLanding #DLR #Germany #Deutschland #Hayabusa2 #Spacecraft #SolarSystem #Exploration #Japan #日本 #STEM #Education #Animation #HD #Video