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BETTII outside in August 2016

Peering into the Dusty Corners of the Universe with BETTII

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • June 8, 2017
  • Comments Off on Peering into the Dusty Corners of the Universe with BETTII

Sara’s note: We’re excited to tell you about one of the Goddard-built balloon-borne astrophysics missions launching this week! This is a guest post (and photos) from Dr. Stephen Rinehart. The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) is a 8-meter long far-infrared interferometer designed to fly on a high … Continue Reading →


NICER CRS-11 launch

NICER is on its way to the ISS!

The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) launched successfully from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center today at 5:07PM EDT! Check out this spectacular launch: NICER had plenty of company on its ride up to the International Space Station, as the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched with almost 6,000 pounds of cargo including … Continue Reading →


Tod Strohmayer with NICER sample telescope

NICER and Neutron Stars: 5 Questions with Dr. Tod Strohmayer

  • By Barb Mattson
  • June 1, 2017
  • Comments Off on NICER and Neutron Stars: 5 Questions with Dr. Tod Strohmayer

As we’re gearing up for the launch of NICER, we wanted to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at the mission, its science, and the people who are making it happen. NICER is NASA’s first mission designed specifically for the study of neutron stars, so we are kicking things off … Continue Reading →


NICER payload at Kennedy Space Center

Meet NICER: NASA’s Neutron Star Explorer

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • May 31, 2017
  • Comments Off on Meet NICER: NASA’s Neutron Star Explorer

This white box may not look like much, but it contains a cutting-edge payload that will soon be headed to the International Space Station. The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity dedicated to the study of neutron stars and all of their extraordinary … Continue Reading →


IR Horsehead

The Truth About Hubble, JWST, and False Color

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • September 13, 2016
  • Comments Off on The Truth About Hubble, JWST, and False Color

I get a lot of questions asking why the James Webb Space Telescope is infrared, and how its images can hope to compare to the (primarily) optical Hubble Space Telescope. Why would NASA build something that isn’t going to capture beautiful images exactly like Hubble does? The short answer to … Continue Reading →


Chris Gunn at Work

Bringing History into Focus: Inside A Moment with a NASA Photographer and Video Producer

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • August 29, 2016
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Today we have a special guest blog written by Laura Betz about two of our talented co-workers – I’ll let Laura introduce herself! – Maggie I’m Laura Betz, and I work on the James Webb Space Telescope with Maggie Masetti, one of your regular Blueshift bloggers. Part of my job … Continue Reading →


TESS coloring book

Color Your Own Worlds

Though we just missed National Coloring Book Day, we wanted to bring this cool educational product to your attention. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission just put out an exoplanet coloring book, aimed at kids ages 5-10. (But of course, we won’t tell anyone if you want to color … Continue Reading →


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Explore @ NASA Goddard redux

It’s a Thursday, and we are throwing back to September! Why? Because we never got around to reporting back on the huge NASA Goddard Open House, where we threw open our gates and 20,000 members of the public got to come in and see exactly what it is we do … Continue Reading →


Jansky Very Large Array

Thirty Years of Space VLBI

  • By Koji Mukai
  • July 25, 2016
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As I write this in July 2016, it has been 30 years since the first successful space very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations were made. VLBI is the radio astronomy technique to use widely separated radio dishes to produce exquisite images of celestial radio sources – and space VLBI allows … Continue Reading →


The James Webb Space Telescope's Mirror

Why not study all wavelengths of light with one telescope?

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • July 20, 2016
  • Comments Off on Why not study all wavelengths of light with one telescope?

I was recently asked why the James Webb Space Telescope (a large infrared observatory) won’t have X-ray or gamma-ray detectors on board. Wouldn’t it be good for such a telescope to be able to see more than just infrared? In order to see the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum, … Continue Reading →


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