A team of NASA optics experts has built a picometer spatial metrology system that may enable a major Agency initiative—to locate and image Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and scrutinize their atmospheres for signs of life. Researchers at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in conjunction with collaborators at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, have demonstrated for the first time the ability to dynamically detect subatomic-sized distortions—changes that are far smaller than an atom—across a five-foot segmented telescope mirror and its support structure.
The WORF and the optical quality window on the station are a perfect blend of art and science, allowing for Earth science research and amazing high-resolution photos of the Earth.
New research from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. The observations show for the first time that the waves travel on magnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus. The field lines are like an electrical circuit between the two bodies, with energy flowing back and forth.
The timing and onset of rainfall is crucial for hundreds of thousands of farmers in the developing world when sowing, fertilizing and harvesting crops. Unpredictability in weather, and rainfall in particular, poses a serious challenge that results in missed opportunities for maximizing crop yields.
July's night skies feature Mars opposition on the 27th, when Mars, Earth, and the Sun all line up, and Mars' closest approach to Earth since 2003 on the 31st. That means great Mars viewing, though the planet-wide Martian dust storm will make seeing details more difficult.