THIS WEEK @NASA: Cosmic Phenomenon, Plasma Waves in Space, and X-Ray Exploration of Eagle Nebula

By  //  July 13, 2018

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ABOVE VIDEO: Tracing the source of a cosmic phenomenon, the sound of plasma waves in space, and X-ray exploration of the Eagle Nebula … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! (NASA Video)

Fermi Traces Source of Cosmic Neutrino

For the first time ever, our Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found the source of a high-energy neutrino from outside our galaxy.

High-energy neutrinos are hard-to-catch particles that are believed to be created by the most powerful events in the cosmos, like galaxy mergers and material falling onto supermassive black holes.

Fermi traced this neutrino back to a blast of gamma-ray light from a distant supermassive black hole in the constellation Orion.

It travelled 3.7 billion years at nearly light speed before being detected by an international team of scientists using the National Science Foundation’s IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

Sound of Electromagnetic Energy Moving Between Saturn, Enceladus

That’s the sound of plasma waves moving between Saturn and its moon Enceladus. During its final orbits around the planet, our Cassini spacecraft observed for the first time that the plasma waves travel on magnetic field lines that are like an electrical circuit connecting Saturn and Enceladus. Researchers converted the recording of the plasma into this audio file that we can hear …

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… in the same way that a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music. The recording was time-compressed from 16 minutes to 28.5 seconds.

“X”-ploring the Eagle Nebula and Pillars of Creation

This new composite image of the Pillars of Creation – the spectacular star-forming region of The Eagle Nebula about 5,700 light years from Earth – combines X-ray data from our Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Chandra’s unique ability to resolve and locate X-ray sources made it possible to identify hundreds of very young stars, and those still in the process of forming – known as “protostars”.

Six New Flight Directors Named to Lead Mission Control

On July 10, we announced the six women and men selected as the agency’s newest flight directors. After extensive training, the new flight directors will oversee a variety of human missions involving the International Space Station – including flights on American-made commercial crew spacecraft, as well as missions to the Moon and beyond with our Orion spacecraft.

Progress Cargo Spacecraft Makes “Express” Delivery to Space Station

An unpiloted Russian Progress cargo spacecraft, loaded with almost three tons of supplies, arrived at the International Space Station on July 9 at 9:31 p.m. EDT, less than four hours after being launched from Kazakhstan. The spacecraft’s fast-track trip to the station demonstrated an expedited capability that may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches. The Progress will remain docked to the station until late January 2019.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA …


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