NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Awesomeness Round-up – 11/8/10

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • November 8, 2010
  • Comments Off on Awesomeness Round-up – 11/8/10

This past week marked a major milestone in mankind’s exploration and understanding of comets – the EPOXI mission flew just 700 km from the nucleus of comet Hartley 2 and snapped some amazing images! This close pass will give researchers incredible new insight into the structure of comets. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Hubble also took a look at Hartley 2. Numerous fantastic images and more information on the mission at the EPOXI site, and nice summaries of the mission available from Phil Plait and The Planetary Society.

EPOXI Mission's Close-Up Views of Comet Hartley 2

EPOXI Mission’s Close-Up Views of Comet Hartley 2
This close-up view of comet Hartley 2 was taken by NASA’s EPOXI mission during its flyby of the comet on Nov. 4, 2010. It was captured by the spacecraft’s Medium-Resolution Instrument.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

One of the interesting things about EPOXI is that the same satellite has been used for a variety of scientific observations. This impressive re-purposing has gotten a lot of mileage and data out of a single satellite, which launched as Deep Impact in 2005. We’re very interested in these satellites that last beyond their originally proposed missions… watch for more coverage of that!

As Maggie blogged last week, several exciting new videos have been released by the James Webb Space Telescope that use supercomputer models to show what the Webb will see after launch. They are some truly spectacular videos – read the news story and go watch them if you haven’t already!

Hubble and Webb share a traveling museum exhibit, which is currently at Imagination Station in Toledo, OH. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out! We just found this little video by the local ABC station about the exhibit.

Did you know our NASA Administrator has a special biking outfit with the NASA logo on it?! He stopped by the Webb booth at the USA Science Festival on the Mall a few weekends ago. Can you pick him out of the picture?


Here’s another great video to check out! Last week, the studio here at Goddard released a new video about some new research done with the EPOXI mission (see, I told you it has been re-purposed again and again!) about the color of the light reflected from our planet. By comparing this data with the light from other planets in our solar system, scientists are getting an idea of what to look for when they’re hunting for Earth-like planets in extrasolar planetary systems!

If you’re wondering how a savvy video like this is made, Geeked on Goddard was on-hand for the filming and posted some behind-the-scenes images. We’ll be working with producer/director Scott Wiessinger this week on some other videos, and we’re excited by what he can do!

Geeked on Goddard’s guest blogger Phil Evans covered some exciting new research on a potential connection between gamma-ray bursts and magnetars, using data from the Swift satellite. But as the end of the article points out, there’s also new research (using Fermi data) about connections between bright gamma-ray bursts and black holes! It’s exciting to watch the constant expansion and evolution of knowledge in the field of GRBs.

Comments are closed.

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration