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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

The OCO-2 First Light Spectra

Posted by David Crisp on 2014/08/15 01:27 CDT

Dr. David Crisp explains how NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) works, and what its first light spectra tells his team about the spacecraft’s performance.

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Landsat 8 Looks at the Supermoon

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/07/29 04:00 CDT

Why did Landsat 8, an Earth-observing spacecraft, turn its unblinking eyes toward the July 12 supermoon?

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Reflecting on NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission, launching today

Posted by J. Marshall Shepherd on 2014/02/27 11:31 CST | 2 comments

Former deputy project scientist and current science team member J. Marshall Shepherd tells us why missions like NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) are vital to our way of life.

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SMAP Under Construction: Field trip to the Spacecraft Assembly Facility

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/08/14 04:53 CDT | 2 comments

Yesterday I enjoyed my second-ever opportunity to suit up and enter the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On display were SMAP, an Earth orbiting radar mission, and ISS-RapidScat, which will perform a different radar experiment from the Space Station.

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Beautiful science by Elektro-L

Posted by Vitaliy Egorov on 2013/08/08 03:54 CDT | 7 comments

Six months ago, I wrote about the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, which has more than two years of successful experience in the geostationary orbit. Then I promised that I would be here to share the materials that we collected. I think it's time to deliver on the promise.

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A rare clear day in Alaska

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/12 06:00 CDT | 3 comments

NASA recently shared a gloriously detailed image of an unusual clear day in Alaska as seen from the Terra satellite.

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Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/27 10:55 CDT | 10 comments

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

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Browsing Landsat data is a lot easier than I thought it was

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/08 05:05 CST | 2 comments

With the Landsat Data Continuity Mission scheduled to launch on Monday, there's been a lot of Tweeting about Landsat, and through one such Tweet I learned about a resource that I hadn't known existed before: the LandsatLook Viewer. This is a graphical interface to more than a decade worth of Landsat data, a tremendous resource for anyone interested in Earth's changing surface, natural or manmade.

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Pretty picture: Jupiter photo from an unusual source

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/26 01:02 CST | 4 comments

A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.

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Pretty picture: Landsat view of southern Greenland

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2012/11/13 05:24 CST

This is a very large (19000 pixels square) mosaic of the fjords and glaciers of southern Greenland. I had been interested for a long time in experimenting with the processing of Earth satellite imagery just to get a comparison to the other planets.

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Hurricane Sandy: Thanks for lives saved already

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/29 11:32 CDT

Today hurricane Sandy is a major threat to life and property across the west coast of the northern Atlantic ocean. I just want to give thanks in advance to all the people who have devoted their careers to making sure that Americans have sufficient warning of devastating, unstoppable weather events like this one.

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NPP Earth observatory launched successfully, and I was there!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/28 06:17 CDT

Well, that was awesome. The NPP Earth observation satellite launched successfully an hour or so ago, and I was with a chilled but thrilled crowd of a few hundred people to watch it at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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NPP Tweetup schedule and launch timeline

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/26 04:39 CDT

This evening I'll be headed up to Lompoc, California, to participate in my first Tweetup along with 25 other Tweeters.

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NPP's launching next week, and I'll be there to see it! (Hopefully.)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/21 05:39 CDT

I'm (hopefully) headed to the launch of a Delta II (the last currently scheduled Delta II!) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, as one of only 20 people selected to participate out of more than 600 who registered.

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Heads up! ROSAT is coming down this week

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/17 07:44 CDT

It should give you a feeling of déjà vu: a defunct satellite's orbit is decaying, and because that orbit is circular it's going to be impossible to predict where and when along its ground track it's going to happen.

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Earth observing satellites record large Arctic ozone loss

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/10/14 06:31 CDT

Data from Earth observing satellites Aura and CALIPSO have shown record losses of seasonal ozone in the Arctic.

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Finally, an official statement on UARS' exact reentry time and location

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/27 12:25 CDT

The world watched on Friday as the derelict spacecraft named UARS made its final few orbits around Earth. And then we waited for final word of its reentry location. And waited. And waited.

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Earth science's next big thing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/09/22 11:27 CDT

Meet the next big thing in NASA's mission to study planet Earth: NPP, the NPOESS Preparatory Project satellite.

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Keeping track of UARS' reentry

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/21 01:40 CDT

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard that a very large Earth-orbiting satellite is going to be reentering Earth's atmosphere soon, and there's a small but nonzero chance of debris coming down where somebody might actually find it.

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Congratulations to Russia on the launch of Spektr-R (RadioAstron)

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/07/18 02:08 CDT

Good news from Russia today: after 20 years of development they have finally launched their RadioAstron satellite (the official name is Spektr-R) into a high elliptical orbit around Earth.

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