This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: Humanity’s First Mission To Touch the Sun
Humanity’s first mission to touch the Sun … Administrator Bridenstine visits Kennedy Space Center … and historic California wildfires seen from space … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
Humanity’s First Mission to Touch the Sun
Our Parker Solar Probe spacecraft will be the first mission to fly directly through the Sun’s corona – the hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation in the Sun’s atmosphere that is visible during an eclipse. The extreme flybys – as close as about 3.8 million miles from the Sun’s surface – will gather data to help revolutionize our understanding of the Sun and how it changes the space environment.
NASA’s Associate Administrator for Science, Thomas Zurbuchen:
Administrator Bridenstine visits Kennedy Space Center
Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited our Kennedy Space Center on Aug. 6 and 7 – his first official visit to KSC as the agency’s administrator. Bridenstine met with employees and toured various NASA and commercial partner facilities at the multi-user spaceport. He also met with the media following an Industry Roundtable hosted by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and Space Florida.
California’s Largest-Ever Complex of Wildfires Seen from Space
Imagery from our Aqua satellite and from the International Space Station shows billowing smoke from the series of wildfires raging across Northern California – including the Mendocino Complex – which has become the largest wildfire in the state’s history. This complex consists of two separate fires that have burned more than 290,000 acres in the region north of San Francisco.
Ultrahot Jupiter WASP-121b
These are computer simulated views of a planet outside our solar system known as WASP-121b, a so-called “ultrahot Jupiter.” These planets reflect almost no light – but get so hot that they produce their own glow, like an ember of charcoal. The dayside temperatures of these planets can top 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. Observations of WASP-121b were conducted using our Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes.
NASA’s Planet-Hunting TESS Catches a Comet Before Starting Science
This sequence of images captured by our planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or (TESS), shows the movement of a comet – some 29 million miles away – orbiting the Sun. The images, taken over the course of 17 hours before TESS started science operations, demonstrate the satellite’s ability to collect a series of stable images covering a broad region of the sky — a critical factor in finding transiting planets orbiting nearby stars.
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