Thursday, December 29, 2011

Science Nugget: Using Many Instruments to Track a Comet


In 16 years of data observations, the Solar Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO) -- a joint European Space Agency and NASA mission –- made an unexpected claim for fame: the sighting of new comets at an alarming rate. SOHO has spotted over 2100 comets, most of which are from what's known as the Kreutz family, which graze the solar atmosphere where they usually evaporate completely.

But on December 2, 2011, the discovery of a new Kreutz-family comet was announced. This comet was found the old-fashioned way: from the ground. Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy spotted the comet, making this the first time a Kreutz comet has been found through a ground-based telescope since the 1970's. The comet has been designated C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy).

Discovering a comet before it moves into view of space-based telescopes, gives scientists the opportunity to prepare the telescopes for the best possible observations. Indeed, since comet Lovejoy was visible from the ground, scientists have high hopes that this might be an exceptionally bright comet, making it all the easier to view and study. (Some Kreutz comets –- such as Ikeya-Seki in 1965 -- are so bright they can be seen with the naked eye in the daytime, though this is extremely rare.)

The comet moved into view of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) on Monday, December 12. It should be visible in SOHO by Wednesday, Dec 14.

Next up is Hinode, which will make observations at about 6 p.m. ET on Dec 15, as the comet moves towards its closest approach to the sun. Hinode's solar optical telescope will take the highest resolution images of this close approach. As the comet passes through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, an increase in particle collisions may produce X-rays, so Hinode may also capture X-ray images of the comet.

The comet will likely pass within some 87,000 miles of the sun, and disappear behind the northwest limb of the sun shortly after it is seen by Hinode.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Evening dresses with strap, so sexy!


Evening dresses were mostly intended to be worn out in this case as a law, do not happen tonight. Women prove their astonishing in the evening, and so they should have amazing eye catching and stylish rudiments. Dress for the twilight is actually immense, almost for every woman, and gives a huge sense of delight. Thus, the growth of evening dresses fashions is always varying. Prom Night or New Year's evening gown fashionable is very accepted.

The present trend will carry on until mid-length dresses that can be used to walk at night or even one that may be Jazzed night really rocking. There is no shortage of different types of evening gowns and designer clothes in provisions nowadays. Each evening gown design was created by considerate training, you must be able to decide the most excellent clothing intended to compliment the ideal way.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


•    Every investment has advantage and disadvantages. In the case of land, it responds slower than stock markets.

•    There are options to influence. The best thing about real estate investing according to Jeff Adams is that there are many options that are available to real estate investor allowing them to borrow money whenever they want to purchase new property. It is beneficial to investors who don’t have upfront cash. This kind of options are not available in the case of shares in which the trade permitted is limited, while in property investments, you don’t need to stick to any restrictions.

•    Investors can also purchase properties that are below market value such as foreclosed properties that are intense in the real estate market today. They are sold at very cheap prices and you can choose from a group of properties in order for you to find the most cost-effective property that can bring you profits in the future.
•    Numerous bonuses are offered to real estate investors such as tax benefits. In addition to this, investors can go well with the reduction choice. Investors are given support by the government to permit their property to have a useful life.

•    Real estate investors are given power to quote price for their property. This is another benefit of real estate investing over stock investments. Real estate investors can add value to the property by making adding enrichments such as renovating the property by constructing swimming pool, garage and extra rooms. By doing this, the property is added with considerable value and investors are given full control in quoting the price of the property.

These are the important tips newbie investors must learn before they get into the real estate market. Jeff Adams scam may sound daunting to most people, but there is no evidence that Jeff Adams would only want money from you. In fact, these tips are intended to help you make money in your investing career.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shuttle Model Move Shows Way for Atlantis

Moving the high fidelity model of the space shuttle Dec. 10 called for an array of planning, about 100 people and a specialized trailer. It also called for the temporary removal of 18 light poles, four traffic signals and some signs.

It took the team about five hours to make the six-mile trip from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to the Turn Basin across the street from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The group started rolling at 7:30 a.m. so they wouldn't have to worry about the dark.

"It went very well," said Gerald "Jay" Green, project manager for the move. "I felt a great sense of accomplishment when we got it done."

A similar move will be made next year when space shuttle Atlantis is taken the opposite direction to its display location at the Visitor Complex.

The model's convoy never traveled more than about 6 mph. It came to a stop many times along the way so the trailer's built-in jacks could raise or lower the wings to get past obstacles such as guard shacks and traffic lights.

"There were four or five really hard spots," Green said.

But then, moving space shuttles and full-scale model shuttles has always required extra consideration. For instance, crews moving a space shuttle through the mountains in California had to cut slots in the rock to make room for the wings.

Moving the model didn't require such an extreme action, but it took a month of planning and considerable study of potential routes. Even 3-D modeling was incorporated to find problem zones. All this was before Green and his group found out they would have to move it with the wings attached.

The first plans called for the model's wings to be cut off, but that decision was changed, forcing Green to model for a wingspan of 78 feet, not just the relatively narrow fuselage.

"We had to redo the plan in about a week," Green said. "We knew we would eventually have to take Atlantis, so we had to figure out what would make it work."

Some of the workers were on hand in case more signs or other hardware had to be removed as the model made its way.

Beyel Bros., a heavy lifting and hauling contractor, used a specialized trailer that had lifts built in, along with 144 wheels that could turn and swivel so the trailer could move nearly sideways if needed.

The tightest fit came when the wings crossed within six inches of a railroad crossing sign.

The shuttle model took a different route through the center, including going the "wrong way" on an entrance ramp to avoid going beneath the bridge over Kennedy Parkway. With tour buses and other traffic detoured to the other side of the parkway, the model moved north on the southbound side.

The model is expected to remain at the Turn Basin until February, when it will be taken on an open barge to Texas for display at Space Center Houston, the visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center.

The model, which weighs some 130,000 pounds, about the same as a real shuttle, is outfitted with doors and people toured the inside of it for years at the Visitor Complex.

"You can go in it, which I think is a great thing," Green said. "It's going somewhere where it's going to be used and enjoyed."

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Monday, December 12, 2011

NASA Flies Robotic Lander Prototype to New Heights

NASA successfully completed the final flight in a series of tests of a new robotic lander prototype at the Redstone Test Center’s propulsion test facility on the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. Data from this test series will aid in the design and development of a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers capable of performing science and exploration research on the surface of the moon or other airless bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids or the planet Mercury.

Since early October, the Robotic Lander Development Project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville has subjected the lander prototype to a series of more complex outdoor flight tests maneuvers. The team steadily increased the lander's flight profile, starting by hovering the lander – dubbed Mighty Eagle -- at 3 feet, then 30 feet and finally a record 100-foot flight test.

During the 100-foot flight test, the lander autonomously flew for 30 seconds. The Mighty Eagle ascended to 100 feet, hovered and then demonstrated the equivalent of an autonomous landing on the lunar surface. The final maneuver simulated the required descent approach by horizontally translating 30 feet while descending and landing on target. The test demonstrated the lander's ability to maneuver to avoid hazards before performing a safe, controlled landing.

"The successful completion of the Mighty Eagle lander prototype provides a high level of confidence in our flight system design which significantly reduces cost and schedule," said Julie Bassler, Robotic Lander Development project manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. "Our combined NASA and contractor team went from the drawing board to successfully flight testing an autonomous, closed-loop, lander prototype system in less than two years," she said. "Mighty Eagle has performed well, demonstrating precision ascents, descents and horizontal translation flights to prove the lander can control itself and land safely."

"Our small team has worked tirelessly to develop a robust lander system," said Dr. Greg Chavers, lead systems engineer for the Robotic Lander Development Project at Marshall. "The prototype lander has the capability to launch, descend and land safely on its own -- without a man in the loop -- demonstrating the lander's autonomous and reusable test capability. Our team has matured the lander's guidance, navigation and control algorithms, which provided stable control of the lander, even through light wind and rain."

Mighty Eagle is a three-legged prototype that resembles an actual flight lander design. It is 4 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter and weighs 700 pounds when fueled with 90 percent hydrogen peroxide.

The lander receives its commands from an onboard computer that activates its 16 onboard thrusters -- 15 pulsed and one gravity cancelling thruster -- to carry it to a controlled landing using a pre-programmed flight profile. The prototype serves as a platform to develop and test algorithms, sensors, avionics, software, landing legs, and integrated system elements to support autonomous landings on airless planetary bodies, where aero-braking and parachutes are not options.

The next test phase of the test series is set to resume in early Spring when weather is more favorable for outdoor flight test. This new test series will test enhanced navigation capabilities.

Development and integration of the lander prototype is a cooperative endeavor led by the Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project at the Marshall Center; Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, which includes the Science Applications International Corporation, Dynetics Corp., Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., and Millennium Engineering and Integration Company, all of Huntsville.

The project is partnered with the U.S. Army’s Test and Evaluation Command’s test center located at Redstone Arsenal. The Redstone Test Center is one of six centers under the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and has been a leading test facility for defense systems since the 1950s. Utilizing an historic test site at the arsenal, the project is leveraging the Redstone Test Center’s advanced capability for propulsion testing.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

NASA's Hubble Finds Stellar Life and Death in a Globular Cluster


A new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere.

Aging bright stars in the cluster glow in intense shades of red and blue. The majority of middle-aged stars, several billions of years old, are whitish in color. A myriad of far distant background galaxies of varying shapes and structure are scattered around the image.

The most intriguing object, however, doesn’t seem to belong in the cluster. It is a faint green bubble near the bottom center of the image. This so-called ‘planetary nebula’ is the aftermath of the death of a star. The burned-out central star can be seen inside the bubble. It is uncertain whether the planetary nebula is a member of NGC 1846, or simply lies along the line of sight to the cluster. Measurements of the motion of the cluster stars and the planetary nebula’s central star suggest it might be a cluster member.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Save your time and money by booking your ticket in online

People who ready to go for journey will give most preference to travel in bus and nowadays, they also started booking a ticket through online and cyberspace for saving their time and money. Booking a ticket through online or cyberspace will take more than a few seconds. In this fast moving world, online booking is good technique which will be like by every passenger. Online bus tickets can be booked through the internet and you can do at any time of day. The website is open for maximum hours and you can be sure that you do when you have time. 

 Every deluxe bus services like BUS NY TO DC provides this online booking for passenger convenient. Most people prefer to travel in bus since it is really affordable. For booking ticket all you need is an internet connection and credit cards and you can also easily book your ticket from your home.  Purchase your online ticket in advance and also makes sure that you get the best seat in the bus, to grab a comfortable seat in the bus and have a great time with your family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lightning-made Waves in Earth's Atmosphere Leak Into Space


At any given moment about 2,000 thunderstorms roll over Earth, producing some 50 flashes of lightning every second. Each lightning burst creates electromagnetic waves that begin to circle around Earth captured between Earth's surface and a boundary about 60 miles up. Some of the waves – if they have just the right wavelength – combine, increasing in strength, to create a repeating atmospheric heartbeat known as Schumann resonance. This resonance provides a useful tool to analyze Earth's weather, its electric environment, and to even help determine what types of atoms and molecules exist in Earth's atmosphere, but until now they have only ever been observed from below.

Now, NASA's Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI) aboard the U.S. Air Force's Communications/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite has detected Schumann resonance from space. This comes as a surprise, since current models of Schumann resonance predict these waves should be caged at lower altitude, between the ground and a layer of Earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere.

"Researchers didn't expect to observe these resonances in space," says Fernando Simoes, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "But it turns out that energy is leaking out and this opens up many other possibilities to study our planet from above."

Simoes is the first author on a paper about these observations that appeared online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on November 16 and will appear in the print publication in December. He explains that the concept of resonance in general is fairly simple: adding energy at the right time will help any given phenomenon grow. Think of a swing – if you push it back just as it hits the top of its arc, you add speed. Push it backwards in the middle of its swing, and you will slow it down. When it comes to waves, resonance doesn't occur because of a swing-like push, but because a series of overlapping waves are synchronized such that the crests line up with the other crests and the troughs line up with the other troughs. This naturally leads to a much larger wave than one where the crests and troughs cancel each other out.

The waves created by lightning do not look like the up and down waves of the ocean, but they still oscillate with regions of greater energy and lesser energy. These waves remain trapped inside an atmospheric ceiling created by the lower edge of the "ionosphere" – a part of the atmosphere filled with charged particles, which begins about 60 miles up into the sky. In this case, the sweet spot for resonance requires the wave to be as long (or twice, three times as long, etc) as the circumference of Earth. This is an extremely low frequency wave that can be as low as 8 Hertz (Hz) – some one hundred thousand times lower than the lowest frequency radio waves used to send signals to your AM/FM radio. As this wave flows around Earth, it hits itself again at the perfect spot such that the crests and troughs are aligned. Voila, waves acting in resonance with each other to pump up the original signal.

While they'd been predicted in 1952, Schumann resonances were first measured reliably in the early 1960s. Since then, scientists have discovered that variations in the resonances correspond to changes in the seasons, solar activity, activity in Earth's magnetic environment, in water aerosols in the atmosphere, and other Earth-bound phenomena.

"There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of studies on this phenomenon and how it holds clues to understanding Earth's atmosphere," says Goddard scientist Rob Pfaff, Principal Investigator of the VEFI instrument and an author on the GRL paper. "But they're all based on ground measurements."

C/NOFS, of course, measured them much higher – at altitudes of 250 to 500 miles. While models suggest that the resonances should be trapped under the ionosphere, it is not unheard of that energy can leak through. So the team began looking for waves of the correct, very low frequency in the observations from VEFI – an instrument built at NASA Goddard with high enough sensitivity to spot these very faint waves. And the team was rewarded. They found the resonance showing up in almost every orbit C/NOFS made around Earth, which added up to some 10,000 examples.

Detection of these Schumann resonances in space requires, at the very least, an adjustment of the basic models to incorporate a "leaky" boundary at the bottom of the ionosphere. But detecting Schumann resonance from above also provides a tool to better understand the Earth-ionosphere cavity that surrounds Earth, says Simoes.

"Combined with ground measurements, it provides us with a better way to study lightning, thunderstorms, and the lower atmosphere," he says. "The next step is to figure out how best to use that tool from this new vantage point."

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