Sunday, August 20, 2017

NASA Takes Next Step in Green Aviation X-planes Plans


Happy National Aviation Day!

Image: Lockheed Martin artist concept of a blended wing body aircraft with a tail flying in the air. | NASA is working to create new experimental aircraft that will demonstrate new “green aviation” technology intended to dramatically reduce fuel use, emissions and noise—with the goal of cutting emissions from the nation’s commercial aircraft fleet by more than 50 percent, while also reducing perceived noise levels near airports to one-half the level of the quietest aircraft flying today.

To that end, NASA awarded six-month contracts to four companies, who will each define the technical approach, schedule, and cost for one or more large-scale, subsonic X-plane concepts. These concepts are in support of NASA’s ultra-efficient subsonic transport research goals.

The companies were Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation of Manassas, VA; Dzyne Technologies Incorporated of Fairfax, VA; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Ft. Worth, TX; and The Boeing Company of Hazelwood, MO.

“Engaging these contractors now to gather this information will help us move forward efficiently and expeditiously when we’re ready to commit to building the X-planes themselves,” said Ed Waggoner, NASA’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program director.

Each company detailed their specific X-plane system requirements for a piloted experimental aircraft capable of sustained, two to three hours of powered high subsonic flight, and plans for conducting at least two research flight sorties per week over the course of a year-long program.

The requested information is to be built around a plan that would see the selected experimental aircraft eventually flying no later than 2021.

NASA’s return to flying large-scale X-plane technology demonstrators—a staple of its aeronautical research heritage—is part of New Aviation Horizons, an ambitious 10-year accelerated research plan developed and announced by NASA earlier this year.

The five X-plane concepts envisioned for possible further development and the contractor responsible for providing NASA with the required information include:

Aurora Flight Sciences for the D8 “Double Bubble,” a twin-aisle, largely composite airliner in which the fuselage is shaped to provide lift—enabling smaller wings—and the jet engines are mounted atop the rear tail area, which takes advantage of the air flow over the aircraft to both improve engine efficiency and reduce noise in the cabin and on the ground below.

Dzyne Technologies for a smaller regional jet-sized aircraft that features a blended wing body (BWB) design in which the lines of a traditional tube and wing airliner are shaped to become one continuous line in which the seam between the wing and fuselage is nearly indistinguishable. As an aerodynamic shape, this configuration increases lift and reduces drag.

Lockheed Martin for its Hybrid Wing Body, which includes features of the BWB on the forward part of the fuselage but has a more conventional looking T-shaped tail, with its jet engines mounted on the side of the hull but above the blended wing. Increased lift, reduced drag and quieter operations are all potential benefits.

Boeing for both its BWB concept—versions of which the company has flight tested with its subscale X-48 program in partnership with NASA—and a Truss-Braced Wing concept, which features a very long, aerodynamically efficient wing that is held up on each side by a set of trusses connecting the fuselage to the wing. Otherwise the aircraft appears more conventional than the other X-plane concepts under consideration.

Preliminary design work already has begun on a half-scale X-plane called the Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, a piloted supersonic aircraft that generates a soft thump, rather than the disruptive boom currently associated with supersonic flight.

Work also is underway on the X-57 Maxwell, a general aviation-sized electric research airplane. Maxwell will fly for the first time in early 2018 and demonstrate battery powered, distributed electric propulsion. Transport-sized electric aircraft could reduce energy use by more than 60 percent and harmful emissions by more than 90 percent. This was the first project to get an X-plane number designation in a decade.

NASA’s other green aviation initiatives include reducing airline emissions and flight delays. Working in partnership with airlines and air traffic controllers at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, NASA is beginning the first-of-a-kind demonstration of new technologies that coordinate operational schedules for aircraft arrivals, departures, and taxiing.

Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Release Date: October 6, 2016


#NASA #Aviation #Aerospace #NationalAviationDay #FlyNASA #LockheedMartin #Aircraft #Concept #BlendedWingBody #BWB #HybridWingBody #Technology #Engineering #Photography #Science #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #Illustration #Visualization

Sicily by night | International Space Station


Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana (in Italian, Sicilian Region). Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: NASA/JSC, ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy
Image Date: August 15, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Sicily #Mediterranean #Sea #EarthObservation #Astronaut #PaoloNespoli #ASI #ESA #Europe #Night #Italy #Italia #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Italy by night | International Space Station


Credit: NASA/JSC, ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy
Image Date: August 15, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #EarthObservation #Astronaut #PaoloNespoli #ASI #ESA #Europe #Night #Italy #Italia #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Yucatan Peninsula | NASA Earth


The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: NASA
Release Date: December 27, 2005


#NASA #Earth #Science #Space #Satellite #Yucatán #Peninsula #Mexico #Caribbean #Sea #CentralAmerica #Goddard #GSFC #STEM #Education

Cozumel | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Randy Bresnik: "[the Yucatan Peninsula]…has lovely Cozumel hovering just offshore"

Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatán Channel. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 19, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Planet #Yucatan #Peninsula #Cozumel #Island #Mexico #Caribbean #Sea #EarthObservation #Astronaut #RandyBresnik #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Randy Bresnik: "Eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula looks very inviting…"

The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 19, 2017

#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Planet #Yucatan #Peninsula #Mexico #Caribbean #Sea #EarthObservation #Astronaut #RandyBresnik #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Earth Orbital Spacewalk View | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Randy Bresnik: "…but all we had to do was look down to be reminded that they were 250 miles high, not 250 fathoms deep"

Outside the International Space Station, Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy conducted a spacewalk Aug. 17 to assess the condition of the exterior of the Russian segment of the complex and to install struts and handrails to facilitate future excursions. During the outing, Ryazanskiy manually deployed five small nanosatellites to collect data on a variety of scientific investigations. The spacewalk, which was the 202nd in support of space station assembly and maintenance, was the ninth in Yurchikhin’s career and the fourth for Ryazanskiy.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 19, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Spacewalk #EVA #Cosmonaut #Commander #FyodorYurchikhin #FlightEngineer #SergeyRyazanskiy #космонавт #Роскосмос #Roscosmos #Russia #Россия #Astronaut #RandyBresnik #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #STEM #Education

Cosmonauts at work | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Randy Bresnik: "As the sun rose on our Russian crew’s 7.5 hr spacewalk, their helmets lights gave off a glow that made it look like they were underwater…"

Outside the International Space Station, Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy conducted a spacewalk Aug. 17 to assess the condition of the exterior of the Russian segment of the complex and to install struts and handrails to facilitate future excursions. During the outing, Ryazanskiy manually deployed five small nanosatellites to collect data on a variety of scientific investigations. The spacewalk, which was the 202nd in support of space station assembly and maintenance, was the ninth in Yurchikhin’s career and the fourth for Ryazanskiy.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 19, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Spacewalk #EVA #Cosmonaut #Commander #FyodorYurchikhin #FlightEngineer #SergeyRyazanskiy #космонавт #Роскосмос #Roscosmos #Russia #Россия #Astronaut #RandyBresnik #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #STEM #Education

Johannesburg at Night | International Space Station


International Space Station crew members captured this nighttime image of Johannesburg, South Africa, a few minutes before crossing over the Indian Ocean on Aug. 7.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Image Date: August 7, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Planet #Johannesburg #SouthAfrica #EarthObservation #Canadarm2 #Dextre #CSA #Canada #Robotics #Photography #Astronauts #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

A NASA Pilot’s Life at 65,000 Feet over Alaska


Happy National Aviation Day!
Denis Steele sets up a video camera in the cockpit of the ER-2, 65,000 feet over Alaskan mountains and glaciers. Read the blog about ER-2 pilot Dennis Steele:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2014/07/28/a-pilots-life-at-65000-feet-over-alaska/

Credit: Denis Steele/NASA
Image Date: July 30, 2014


#NASA #Aviation #Aerospace #NationalAviationDay #FlyNASA #ER2 #Pilot
#HighAltitude #Alaska #Fairbanks #Ice #Glaciers #Photography #Science #MABEL #Instrument #USA #UnitedStates #America #STEM #Education

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

'Eclipse Across America' Red-White-and-Blue Poster | NASA


A free poster designed exclusively for NASA, measures approximately 24” x 36” (download link below).  Please use it without modification for non-commercial purposes.
Download high-res poster version here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Official_poster_508.pdf

Learn more about the Aug. 21 eclipse event at: http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Release Date: August 18, 2017

#NASA #Earth #Science #SolarEclipse #Sun #Solar #Moon #Eclipse #UnitedStates #Poster #PDF #Art #STEM #Education

Barcelona Solidarity | International Space Station



Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy: "My deepest condolences for the victims of the terrorist act in Barcelona and their families..."

"Выражаю глубочайшие соболезнования всем, кого коснулась трагедия в Барселоне..."

Credit: Roscosmos, Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy (Сергей Рязанский‏)
Release Date: August 18, 2017



#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Barecelona #Spain #España #Cosmonaut #FlightEngineer #SergeyRyazanskiy #космонавт #Роскосмос #Roscosmos #Russia #Россия #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #STEM #Education

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Star Wars at NASA's Kennedy Space Center


Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters from the 501st Legion address students and sponsors in the Center for Space Education at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Teams from across the state of Florida were gathered at Kennedy for the finals of the Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program national championship. The five-week program allows rising sixth- through ninth-graders to write programs for small satellites called SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites). Finalists saw their code tested aboard the International Space Station. 


A middle-school student high-fives a Star Wars character from the 501st Legion in the Center for Space Education at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Teams from across the state of Florida were gathered at Kennedy for the finals of the Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program national championship. The five-week program allows rising sixth- through ninth-graders to write programs for small satellites called SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites). Finalists saw their code tested aboard the International Space Station.

Smoke and Clouds Obscure Skies in Northern Canada | NASA


Smoke from the wildfires in Canada's Northwest Territories, as well as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are seen in this image from the Suomi NPP satellite. The smoke spewing from the fires has been swept up by the jet stream and is being carried across the continent. The largest fires seem to be in the Northern Territories. Fire is worrisome enough but the smoke that is produced from wildfires is extremely dangerous. Wind patterns have the ability to move smoke and dangerous particles across continents to affect people in far-flung parts of the world. The hotter the fire is the higher the smoke goes into the atmosphere and the farther it can travel. Winds in the upper atmosphere are stronger and allow the smoke to travel greater distances.

Smoke from extremely hot wildfires can even trigger massive thunderstorms, as they did in August of 2014 in Canada's Northern Territories. Once in the stratosphere, above the part of the atmosphere where weather occurs, aerosol particles can travel long distances. In a case from 2010, the smoke from a massive thunderstorm triggered by Russian wildfires reached the eastern United States. The smoke stayed in the stratosphere for a long time because it was above the part of the atmosphere where weather occurs, so it was not able to rain or fall out easily.

There is some comfort, however, if you aren't able to smell the smoke. Chances are the smoke most likely won't negatively affect you, but always check the Air Quality Index in your area to be sure, especially if the skies seem hazy. If you do smell smoke, take precautions to avoid it.

The Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument captured a look at multiple fires, smoke from those fires, and cloud cover over northern Canada on August 14, 2017. The Suomi NPP satellite is a joint mission between NASA and NOAA.

Image Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.
Caption Credit: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from NASA stories cited above.
Release Date: August 15, 2017


#NASA #Earth #Science #Space #Satellite #Smoke #Wildfires #Fires #Atmosphere #Clouds #Canada #BritishColumbia #NorthwestTerritories #Alberta #Saskatchewan #Manitoba #UnitedStates #NorthAmerica #EarthObservation #NOAA #SuomiNPP #VIIRS #MODIS #Goddard #GSFC #STEM #Education

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sunset in the cupola | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Peggy Whitson: "Over 638 days in space and the view is still amazing! Soaking up some sunset time in the cupola…"

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson's Official Biography:
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/whitson.pdf

The Cupola is a panoramic control tower for the International Space Station, a dome-shaped module with windows through which operations on the outside of the station can be observed and guided. It is a pressurized observation and work area that accommodates command and control workstations and other hardware. Through the robotics workstation, astronauts control the station’s robotic arm, which helps with the attachment and assembly of station elements much like the operator of a building crane perched in a control cabin. Crew members in the Cupola can communicate with other crew members in another part of the station or outside during spacewalk activities. Spacewalks can be observed from the Cupola along with visiting spacecraft and external areas of the station with the Cupola offering a viewing spectrum of 360 degrees.

Credit: NASA
Release Date: August 6, 2017

#NASA #Space #ISS #Earth #Astronaut #PeggyWhitson #Commander #Leader #Scientist #USA #UnitedStates #Science #Sunset #Cupola #Spacecraft #Technology #Engineering #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #JSC #STEM #Education #Mars #JourneyToMars

Teamwork | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Jack Fischer: "I’m so proud to be a part of this international team—Expedition 52"

The Expedition 52 crew poses for a unique portrait. Pictured clockwise from top right are, Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli, Jack Fischer, Peggy Whitson, Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 12, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Planet #Cosmonauts #Astronauts #Crew #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #ESA #Italy #Italia #CSA #JAXA #JackFischer #Flight #Engineers #Commander #FyodorYurchikhin #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #International #Cooperation #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Hurricane Gert, Atlantic Ocean | EUMETSAT


Composite image showing Hurricane Gert in the Atlantic, from 09:00 UTC on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

For more information, visit the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) web site: http://www.gdacs.org

Infrared data from the geostationary satellites of EUMETSAT and NOAA overlays a computer-generated model of the Earth, containing NASA's Blue Marble Next Generation imagery.

Credit & Copyright: 2017 EUMETSAT
Image Date: August 15, 2017

#NASA #EUMETSAT #Satellite #Space #Earth #Hurricane #Gert #Storm #Atlantic #Ocean #Weather #Meteorology #Infrared #BlueMarble #Goddard #GSFC #NOAA #UnitedStates #Europe #STEM #Education

Typhoon Banyan, Pacific Ocean | NASA-NOAA


Aug. 15, 2017: Typhoon Banyan's eye became visible again in satellite imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite. A visible image showed powerful storms tightly wound around Typhoon Banyan's center as it moved through the Pacific Ocean. On Aug. 15 at 01:48 UTC (Aug. 14 at 9:48 p.m. EDT the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at Banyan. The VIIRS image showed a tight concentration of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation. The visible image also showed Banyan's eye had become visible again, although it appeared ragged. The previous day, the eye was covered by high clouds and was only seen in microwave imagery.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on August 15, Typhoon Banyan's maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (97.8 mph/157.4 kph). The storm was located about 515 nautical miles east-northeast of the Minami Tori Shima Atoll, near 29.3 degrees north latitude and 162.6 degrees east longitude. It was moving to the north at 13 knots (15 mph/25 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast calls for Banyan to track northeastward as it rounds the western edge of a sub-tropical ridge (elongated area) of high pressure. JTWC forecasters noted that vertical wind shear will increase as a shortwave trough (elongated area) of low pressure approaches Banyan, and it will weaken the storm. After 11 p.m. EDT on August 15, the storm will move into cooler sea surface temperatures that will also sap the storm's strength.

By August 17 the storm is expected to become a strong extra-tropical storm in the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Credits: NOAA/NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Release Date: August 15, 2017


#NASA #Earth #Science #Satellite #Space #Typhoon #Banyan #Storm #Pacific #Ocean #Weather #Meteorology #SuomiNPP #VIIRS #NOAA #Goddard #GSFC #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

Mayotte Island, Indian Ocean | International Space Station



U.S. Astronaut Randy Bresnik: "Nestled between the continent of Africa and Madagascar the stunning Mayotte Island is ringed by its eye-catching reef."

Mayotte is an insular department and region of France officially named the Department of Mayotte. It consists of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. (Source: Wikipedia)

Visit Mayotte:
http://us.france.fr/en/discover/mayotte-0

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 14, 2017

#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Planet #Mayotte #Island #Reef #Archipelago #France #IndianOcean #Mozambique #Africa #Astronaut #RandyBresnik #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Canary Islands | International Space Station


ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy: "¡Hola Canarias! Has anyone seen us from Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma?"

Credit: NASA/JSC, ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy
Image Date: August 6, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Canary #Islands #Islas #Canarias #LaPalma #Spain #España #EarthObservation #Astronaut #PaoloNespoli #ASI #ESA #Europe #Italy #Italia #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Saturn | NASA Cassini Mission


Assembled using raw uncalibrated red, green, and violet filtered images of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft on August 12, 2017.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Kevin M. Gill
Image Date: August 12, 2017
Release Date: August 14, 2017


#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Saturn #Planet #Rings #Moon #Gravity #DensityWaves #SolarSystem #Exploration #Cassini #Spacecraft #JPL #Pasadena #California #UnitedStates #ESA #ASI #STEM #Education

The Sun: Coronal Hole Faces Earth | NASA SDO


A substantial coronal hole rotated into a position where it is facing Earth (Aug. 9-11, 2017). Coronal holes are areas of open magnetic field that spew out charged particles as solar wind that spreads into space. If that solar wind interacts with our own magnetosphere it can generate aurora. In this view of the sun in extreme ultraviolet light, the coronal hole appears as the dark stretch near the center of the sun. It was the most distinctive feature on the sun over the past week.

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA
Capture Date: August 9, 2017
Release Date: August 14, 2017


#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #SpaceWeather #Sun #Solar #Corona #CoronalHole #Plasma #MagneticField #Earth #Magnetosphere #Aurora #Astrophysics #Spacecraft #SDO #Goddard #GSFC #Greenbelt #Maryland #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fire and Ice in Greenland | NASA Earth



Greenland is best known for its ice, but some remote sensing scientists found themselves closely tracking a sizable wildfire burning along the island’s coast in August 2017. The fire burned in western Greenland, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Sisimiut.

Satellites first detected evidence of the fire on July 31, 2017. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP collected daily images of smoke streaming from the fire over the next week. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this more detailed image of the fire on August 3, 2017.
While it is not unprecedented for satellites to observe fire activity in Greenland, a preliminary analysis by Stef Lhermitte of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands suggests that MODIS has detected far more fire activity in Greenland in 2017 than it did during any other year since the sensor began collecting data in 2000.

Fires detected in Greenland by MODIS are usually small, most likely campfires lit by hunters or backpackers. But Landsat did capture imagery of another sizable fire in August 2015. According to Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DNI), neither DNI nor other scientific groups maintain detailed records of fire activity in Greenland, but many meteorologists at the institute have heard anecdotal reports of fires.

The blaze appears to be burning through peat, noted Miami University scientist Jessica McCarty. That would mean the fire likely produced a sharp increase in wildfire-caused carbon dioxide emissions in Greenland for 2017, noted atmospheric scientist Mark Parrington of the European Commission’s
Copernicus program.

It is not clear what triggered this fire, though a lack of documented lightning prior to its ignition suggests the fire was probably triggered by human activity. The area is regularly used by reindeer hunters, and is not too far from a town with a population of 5,500 people.

The summer has been quite dry. Sisimiut saw almost no rain in June and half of the usual amount in July. That may have parched dwarf willows, shrubs, grasses, mosses, and other vegetation that commonly live in Greenland’s coastal areas and made them more likely to burn.

Fires emit a soot-like material called black carbon. It is likely that winds will transport some of this material east to the ice sheet where it will contribute to a line of darkened snow and ice along the western edge of Greenland’s ice sheet. This area is of interest to climate scientists because darkened snow and ice tends to melt more rapidly than when it is clean.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Story by Adam Voiland, with information from Ruth Mottram (Danish Meteorological Institute), Jessica McCarty (Miami University), Mark Parrington (COPERNICUS), and Stef Lhermitte (Delft University of Technology).
Instrument(s): Landsat 8 - OLI
Image Date: August 3, 2017
Release Date: August 7, 2017


#NASA #Earth #Science #Satellite #Greenland #Grønland #Wildfire #Smoke #Sisimiut #Island #Landsat #Landsat8 #OLI #USGS #EarthObservation #ClimateChange #Climate #Enironment #Denmark #Danmark #STEM #Education

Starshine Lullaby | International Space Station


U.S. Astronaut Jack Fischer:
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star…
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky…"

Credit: NASA/JSC
Release Date: August 13, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Sun #Star #Starshine #Lullaby #English #Planet #EarthObservation #Photography #Astronaut #JackFischer #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blooms in the Caspian Sea | NASA Aqua Satellite


Aug. 9, 2017: Given adequate sunlight and nutrients, phytoplankton populations can swell into blooms large enough to be visible from space. On August 3, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image of several blooms in the Caspian Sea.

Phytoplankton blooms are often harmless, and are an important food source for marine life. Other times, blooms can be harmful; they can deplete the water’s oxygen and suffocate marine life, and produce toxins that can be harmful to both aquatic creatures and humans.

Lake Urmia is visible west of the Caspian Sea. Microscopic organisms periodically turn the lake’s salty water striking shades of red and orange.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in an endorheic basin (a basin without outflows) located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Image Credit: NASA images by Norman Kuring, NASA’s Ocean Color web Caption Credit: Adam Voiland
Instrument(s): Aqua - MODIS
Image Date: August 3, 2017
Release Date: August 9, 2017


#NASA #Earth #Science #Satellite #CaspianSea #Phytoplankton #Bloom #LakeUrmia #Asia #Europe #EarthObservation #Aqua #MODIS #Goddard #GSFC #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

Desert colors | International Space Station


Credit: NASA/JSC, ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy
Image Date: August 5, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Desert #EarthObservation #Astronaut #PaoloNespoli #ASI #ESA #Europe #Italy #Italia #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education

Earth aurora and starry night | International Space Station





The aurora and the night sky above Earth’s atmosphere are pictured from the International Space Station. A portion of the station’s solar arrays and a pair of nitrogen/oxygen recharge system tanks are pictured in the foreground.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Image Date: June 19, 2017


#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Aurora #Planet #Atmosphere #EarthObservation #Photography #Astronaut #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #OverviewEffect #OrbitalPerspective #STEM #Education