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Cassini’s Legacy September 11, 2017

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro, Science.
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As the Cassini mission comes to an end, NASA and JPL ponder what its legacy will be.

When the mission started, I had just recently started working as the outreach coordinator for Michigan Astronomy, and the presentations I did about it were some of the first of my career here.

My how the time flies.

Celebrating a year at the comet / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA August 6, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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Celebrating a year at the comet / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.

Can you believe it’s been a year since Rosetta arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko?? Such fantastic images, and the comet is nearing perihelion now, so there’s so much going on!

Guess I’d better put “update the comet lab” on my to-do list again!

News | NASA Hosts Media Telecon About Latest Kepler Discoveries July 21, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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It’s been 20 years since the first confirmed exoplanet discovery.  Now, nearly 2000 are known, mostly thanks to the Kepler space telescope.

Get the latest update Wednesday July 23, 2015 at noon EDT:

News | NASA Hosts Media Telecon About Latest Kepler Discoveries.

New Horizons on NASA TV July 9, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, Science.
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If you’re a space exploration enthusiast, things are very exciting right now. We are getting our first real look at Pluto and those distant, peculiar worlds.

Pluto has a lighter colored, heart shaped feature

Turns out: Pluto may be the Solar System’s biggest Valentine

If you’d like to follow the coverage live on NASA TV, here’s the latest plan (excepted from an email from the media relations office)

Highlights of the current coverage schedule, all in Eastern time, include:
July 8 – 12 – mission updates on NASA TV at 11:30 a.m.
Monday, July 13
11 a.m. to noon – Media briefing: Mission Status and What to Expect; live on NASA TV

Tuesday, July 14
7:30 to 8 a.m. – Arrival at Pluto Countdown Program; live on NASA TV

At approximately 7:49 a.m., New Horizons is scheduled to be as close as the spacecraft will get to Pluto, approximately 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) above the surface, after a journey of more than nine years and three billion miles. For much of the day, New Horizons will be out of communication with mission control as it gathers data about Pluto and its moons.

The moment of closest approach will be marked during the live NASA TV broadcast that includes a countdown and discussion of what’s expected next as New Horizons makes its way past Pluto and potentially dangerous debris.

8 to 9 a.m. – Media briefing, image release; live on NASA TV

8:30 to 9:15 p.m. – NASA TV program, Phone Home, broadcast from APL Mission Control

NASA TV will share the suspenseful moments of this historic event with the public and museums around the world. The New Horizons spacecraft will send a preprogrammed signal after the closest approach. The mission team on Earth should receive the signal by about 9:02 p.m. When New Horizons “phones home,” there will be a celebration of its successful flyby and the anticipation of data to come in the days and months ahead.

9:30 to 10 p.m. – Media Briefing: New Horizons Health and Mission Status; live on NASA TV

Wednesday, July 15 

3 to 4 p.m. – Media Briefing: Seeing Pluto in a New Light; live on NASA TV

Release of close-up images of Pluto’s surface and moons, along with initial science team reactions.

To Watch: 

Other ways to follow and engage:

The public can follow the path of the spacecraft in coming days in real time with a visualization of the actual trajectory data, using NASA’s online Eyes on Pluto.

Follow the New Horizons mission on Twitter and use the hashtag #PlutoFlyby to join the conversation. Live updates will be available on the mission Facebook page.

For more information on the New Horizons mission, including fact sheets, schedules, video and images, visit: