Grism and Imaging Modes of the Mid-IR Instrument FORCAST are commissioned on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

The mid-infrared camera (FORCAST) for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has been undergoing line operations and commissioning flights in preparation to support Cycle 1 science which begins later this month. NASA Ames Research Center researcher Kimberly Ennico has been supporting the grism (or spectroscopic) mode during the line operations and commissioning flights. Luke […]

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Zo Robot Returns To Chile’s Atacama Desert On NASA Mission To Search For Subsurface Life

Zoë Robot Returns To Chile's Atacama Desert On NASA Mission To Search For Subsurface Life

PITTSBURGH – The autonomous, solar-powered Zo , which became the first robot to map microbial life during a 2005 field expedition in Chile’s Atacama Desert, is heading back to the world’s driest desert this month on a NASA astrobiology mission led by Carnegie Mellon University and the SETI Institute. This time, Zo is equipped with […]

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Cassini Sees Precursors to Aerosol Haze on Titan

Cassini Sees Precursors to Aerosol Haze on Titan

Collaborating with a group of Spanish Astronomers, members of the Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Laboratory group found strong evidence for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Utilizing the wealth of PAH spectra available in the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database, they analyzed data obtained by […]

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Curiosity To Soon Start Journey To Mount Sharp

The AP (6/6, Chang) reports, “Ten months after Curiosity’s daring Mars landing, the NASA rover is finally about to pack up and head toward the base” of Mount Sharp, a “much-hyped drive” that has been put off for “discoveries and longer-than-expected scientific studies.” The rover is still expected to spend a few more weeks in […]

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Kepler Results Make Some Sci-Fi Concepts “Outdated.”

Alan Boyle at the NBC News (6/6) “Cosmic Log” blog interviews SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak about the possibility of intelligent aliens invading Earth like in sci-fi movies since results from the Kepler telescope indicate “that there could be billions upon billions of alien Earths and super-Earths out there.” Shostak thinks typical rationales used […]

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