Acting Branch Chief: Mark Fonda
Assistant Chief: Christine Martinez
Branch Office: 650.604.5528
Observations, Instrument Development, and Experiments
We perform observations from ground-based and space-born telescopes to better understand the origin of stars and planetary systems and support space missions. We had more successful Spitzer space telescope proposals than any other organization, we have performed observations from the Hubble space telescope and space mission spectrometers such as Cassini VIMS, and our scientists are so well respected that they chair and sit on observatory time allocation committees.
The SOFIA water vapor monitor
We develop instruments and detectors to improve the capabilities of ground based and airborn telescopes. This is possible thanks to our scientists expertise in IR observations and our highly specialized instrument development shop tailored to producing scientific equipment and rapid prototyping which has produced flight hardware for airborne and space use. The team of technicians has extensive expertise with high vacuum systems, cryogenics, and optics. But that’s not all…
Ice Spectroscopy and photo-chemistry:
Facilities include High-vacuum cryogenic equipment to simulate space ices, from interstellar grains at 10 K to icy surfaces of planets, comets, and satellites in the outer Solar System.
Alexandrite, Nd/YAG, and dye lasers and associated optical instrumentation for the vaporization, and photo-luminescence, and spectroscopic analysis of materials.
Chromatography for the analysis of organic molecules from meteorites and simulation experiments.
Code SSA Highlights
Tom Roellig and Tom Greene attended a meeting of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) science team in Palo Alto, CA on December 14 and 15. NIRCam is gearing up for testing its engineering unit in Palo Alto. Both are also working on defining NIRCam guaranteed time observations of extragalactic objects, young […]
As chair of the AAS Working Group on Laboratory Astrophysics (WGLA), Farid Salama (SSA), has co-authored and coordinated five distinct white papers for the National Academies ASTRO2010 decadal survey. A white paper centered on laboratory astrophysics was submitted by the WGLA to each of the five Science Frontiers Panels in the ASAC Subcommittee on Science. […]
Tom Greene attended a meeting of the Keck Observatory Science Steering Committee (SSC) in Waimea, HI on February 18 and 19. He and Rachel Akeson, the other NASA Keck SSC representative, are drafting a white paper for the Astro2010 Decadal Survey on “The importance of Keck to NASA.” Tom Greene also completed the science requirements […]
Farid Salama has affirmed his appointment as a member of an Astro2010 Infrastructure Study Group. […]
Dr. Salama (SSA), chair of the AAS Working Group on Laboratory Astrophysics (WGLA), has co-authored a white paper for the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Academies on “The Role and Scope of Mission-Enabling Activities in NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions”. […]
On Friday, March 27, 2009, Dr. Andrew Mattioda conducted a tour of the Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Laboratory for Professor Edmund Wilson, Harding University, Searcy, AR, and two undergraduate students. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, a NASA EPSCoR program. The students were given a presentation of the abundance of organic […]
Scientists from NASA-Ames’ Astrochemistry Laboratory, Scott Sandford, Stefanie Milam, and Michel Nuevo, were coauthors on a paper entitled “The impact and recovery of asteroid 2008 TC3” that appeared in the 26 March 2009 issue of Nature. The paper’s authors describe the discovery of a small asteroid, 2008 TC3, on 6 October 2008, the subsequent collision […]
Pasquale Temi awarded ROSES2009 NASA research grant (3 years, $479K): “Dusty Feedback and Star Formation in Early-type Galaxies: Probes of Galaxy Formation” Submitted revised First Author paper to the Astrophysical Journal: “SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF PASSIVE AND STAR FORMING EARLY-TYPE GALAXIES: AN INFRARED COLOR-COLOR SEQUENCE” […]
Dr. Scott Sandford gave an invited talk on “Interstellar and Early Solar System Organics in Samples from Comet 81P/Wild 2” at the SETI Institute on February 25, 2009. During his talk he provided a review of the Stardust mission and discussed the latest results of studies of the samples returned from Comet 81P/Wild 2 by […]
Farid Salama (SSA) was invited to serve on the Science Organizing Committee (SOC) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 10th International Colloquium on Atomic Spectra and Oscillator Strengths (ASOS) for Astrophysical and Laboratory Plasmas to be held in Berkeley in August 2010. The ASOS meeting has been held once every three years since […]