This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: New Details about Interstellar Asteroid
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New data reveal that the interstellar asteroid that recently zipped through our solar system is rocky, cigar-shaped, and has a somewhat reddish hue. It’s the first confirmed object from another star observed in our solar system, and was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope team, funded by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program. The telescope team named it ‘Oumuamua (oh MOO-uh MOO-uh) – Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first.” The unusually-shaped asteroid, which is up to a quarter mile long and perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide, may provide new clues into how other solar systems formed.
“… And liftoff of Delta II and NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1.”
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday, November 18. JPSS-1 is designed to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts out to seven days – using the most advanced technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar-orbiting satellite to capture more precise observations than ever of our atmosphere, land and waters.
Our James Webb Space Telescope recently completed its final phase of cryogenic testing at our Johnson Space Center in Houston – a significant milestone in the telescope’s journey to the launch pad. Expected to launch in 2019, Webb will study every phase in the history of our Universe, starting with the first luminous glows following the Big Bang. The nearly 100 days of tests inside Johnson’s historic Chamber A vacuum facility was designed to ensure the telescope functioned as expected in an extremely cold, airless environment akin to that of space.
Dark features on Mars previously thought to be evidence for subsurface flowing of water, may actually be caused by flowing grains of sand and dust slipping downhill, according to new research published Nov. 20 in the journal Nature Geoscience. These features, called “recurring slope lineae” or RSL, have evoked fascination and controversy since their 2011 discovery, as possible markers for unexpected liquid water or brine on an otherwise dry planet. Evidence still suggests there are large deposits of water ice under the Martian surface…but not likely at or near the surface of the Red Planet.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station shared a traditional Thanksgiving meal in their unique home away from home.
Randy Bresnik, NASA Astronaut:
Though far away from their families back on Earth, they shared their special meal in an extraordinarily special place.(c)2017 NASA | SCVTV