On Monday, August 2nd, 2010, the Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory released the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database with accompanying tools on the web at http://www.astrochem.org/pahdb. This is the world's largest collection of PAH infrared (IR) spectra and was created to understand the carriers and molecular physics behind the family of infrared emission bands that were discovered in the 1980's and that now, thanks to the Spitzer Space Telescope, are known to be widespread across the Universe.
Dr. Scott Sandford has recently returned from back-to-back trips to Australia and Japan where he had participated in the reentry, recovery, and opening of the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) of the Japanese Hayabusa (“Falcon”) Asteroid Sample Return Mission.He was present at the Woomera Protected Area in Australia when the capsule reentered the Earth’s atmosphere on June 14, 2010.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint program by NASA and the German Aerospace Center, achieved a major milestone May 26, with its first in-flight night observations.
"With this flight, SOFIA begins a 20-year journey that will enable a wide variety of astronomical science observations not possible from other Earth and space-borne observatories," said Jon Morse, Astrophysics Division director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It clearly sets expectations that SOFIA will provide us with "Great Observatory"-class astronomical science."
The NASA Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory dominated the talks at Thursday, March 25th, 2010 session of the Special Symposium on Observational and Experimental Astrochemistry at the 239th National American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. Everyone shone brightly with each talk ended with more questions from the audience than time allowed.