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Sample records for kuiper airborne observatory

  1. Molecular spectroscopy from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beckwith, S.

    1985-01-01

    Interstellar and circumstellar molecules are investigated through medium-resolution infrared spectrosocpy of the vibration-rotation and pure rotational transitions. A primary goal was the construction and improvement of instrumentation for the near and middle infrared regions, wavelengths between 2 and 10 microns. The main instrument was a cooled grating spectrometer with an interchangeable detector focal plane which could be used on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) for airborne observations, and also at ground-based facilities. Interstellar shock waves were investigated by H2 emission from the Orion Nebula, W51, and the proto-planetary nebulae CRL 2688 and CRL 618. The observations determined the physical conditions in shocked molecular gas near these objects. From these it was possible to characterize the energetic history of mass loss from both pre- and post-main sequence stars in the regions.

  2. Far-Infrared Astronomy with The Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Roger, H.

    1997-01-01

    This report summarizes work made possible by NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The results of the work have appeared in over 80 papers. The publications fall in three main areas: instrumentation, observations, and analysis. Although there is considerable overlap between these categories it will be convenient to group them separately.

  3. Test of IR arrays on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, R. W.; Rossano, G. S.; Lynch, D. K.; Colon-Bonet, G. T.; Hackwell, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, which is a C-141 transport aircraft equipped with a 90-cm, all-reflective altazimuth telescope, has been engaged in the Kuiper Infrared Technology Experiment. Attention is presently given to the Experiment's flight series for state-of-the-art two-dimensional, 500-element arrays that use either blocked impurity band or bulk silicon devices. The switched FET readout scheme used on the three arrays flown thus far yields exceptionally low crosstalk. System sensitivities are found to be sufficient for the detection of both pointlike and extended sources; several of each type have been used in staring and scanning experiments.

  4. A 100-micron polarimeter for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Novak, G.; Gonatas, D.P.; Hildebrand, R.H.; Platt, S.R.

    1989-02-01

    Consideration is given to the design and performance of the 100-micron polarimeter proposed for use on the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The polarimeter specifications are listed. The polarimeter design and data reduction techniques are based on the work of Hildebrand et al. (1984) and Dragovan (1986). The polarimeter has an improved signal-to-noise ratio and systematic measurement errors below 0.2 percent. 20 refs.

  5. A 100-micron polarimeter for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, G.; Gonatas, D. P.; Hildebrand, R. H.; Platt, S. R.

    1989-01-01

    Consideration is given to the design and performance of the 100-micron polarimeter proposed for use on the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The polarimeter specifications are listed. The polarimeter design and data reduction techniques are based on the work of Hildebrand et al. (1984) and Dragovan (1986). The polarimeter has an improved signal-to-noise ratio and systematic measurement errors below 0.2 percent.

  6. Analysis of Polarization Data from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Roger H.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this grant was to complete the analysis of data obtained with the polarimeter, Hertz, on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. This has enabled us to complete and publish two student theses (one on Sgr B2 and one on Orion) and a paper on the first results on the far-infrared polarization-spectrum. In addition it has enabled us to analyze data for two additional papers (one on W3 and the other a complete archive of KAO polarization data) which have reached the stage of complete drafts but still need checking and editing before final submission.

  7. Testing of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory 91-CM telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parks, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    The 91 cm telescope of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory was tested for optical figure errors in the surface of the mirrors and misalignment of the optical components. When the present set of optical components are installed in the telescope in proper alignment, the telescope produces an image with 80% of the energy in a circle of 1.50 arc seconds in diameter; that is, a 0.11 mm spot diameter in the focal plane. The primary mirror, an f/2 parabola, was tested against a flat and has a quality that puts 80% of the energy in a 0.51 arc second diameter spot. Two principal sources account for the residual error: the tertiary folding flat and the chopping secondary. It appears that the method of mounting the folding flat causes some distortion and that the secondary mirror has some residual spherical aberration in its figure.

  8. Far-Infrared Polarimetry of Galactic Clouds from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Davidson, Jacqueline; Dowell, C. Darren; Schleuning, David A.; Hildebrand, Roger H.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper we present a complete summary of the data obtained with the far-infrared polarimeter, Stokes, in flights of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. We have observed 12 Galactic clouds and have made over 1100 individual measurements at 100 micrometer and 60 micrometer. The median P for all of the 60 micrometer and 100 micrometer measurements is 3.6% and 2.6% respectively. We also present flux maps obtained simultaneously with the polarimetry.

  9. Real Time Data/Video/Voice Uplink and Downlink for Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, Doyal A.

    1997-01-01

    LFS was an educational outreach adventure which brought the excitement of astronomical exploration on NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) to a nationwide audience of children, parents and children through live, interactive television, broadcast from the KAO at an altitude of 41,000 feet during an actual scientific observing mission. The project encompassed three KAO flights during the fall of 1995, including a short practice mission, a daytime observing flight between Moffett Field, California to Houston, Texas, and a nighttime mission from Houston back to Moffett Field. The University of Chicago infrared research team participated in planning the program, developing auxiliary materials including background information and lesson plans, developing software which allowed students on the ground to control the telescope and on-board cameras via the Internet from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and acting as on-camera correspondents to explain and answer questions about the scientific research conducted during the flights.

  10. A hardware/software simulation for the video tracking system of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boozer, G. A.; Mckibbin, D. D.; Haas, M. R.; Erickson, E. F.

    1984-01-01

    This simulator was created so that C-141 Kuiper Airborne Observatory investigators could test their Airborne Data Acquisition and Management System software on a system which is generally more accessible than the ADAMS on the plane. An investigator can currently test most of his data acquisition program using the data computer simulator in the Cave. (The Cave refers to the ground-based computer facilities for the KAO and the associated support personnel.) The main Cave computer is interfaced to the data computer simulator in order to simulate the data-Exec computer communications. However until now, there has been no way to test the data computer interface to the tracker. The simulator described here simulates both the KAO Exec and tracker computers with software which runs on the same Hewlett-Packard (HP) computer as the investigator's data acquisition program. A simulator control box is hardwired to the computer to provide monitoring of tracker functions, to provide an operator panel similar to the real tracker, and to simulate the 180 deg phase shifting of the chopper squre-wave reference with beam switching. If run in the Cave, one can use their Exec simulator and this tracker simulator.

  11. Kuiper Airborne Observatory's Telescope Stabilization System: Disturbance Sensitivity Reduction Via Velocity Loop Feedback

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawrence, David P.; Tsui, K. C.; Tucker, John; Mancini, Ronald E. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In July of 1994 the Kuiper Airborne Observatory's (KAO) Telescope Stabilization System (TSS) was upgraded to meet performance goals necessary to view the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet collision with Jupiter. The KAO is a modified C-141 Aircraft supporting a 36 inch Infrared telescope used to gather and analyze astronomical data. Before the upgrade, the TSS exhibited approximately a 10 arc-second resolution pointing accuracy. The majority of the inaccuracy was attributable to aircraft vibration and wind buffeting entering through the aircraft's telescope door opening; in other words, the TSS was overly sensitive to external disturbances. Because of power limitations and noise requirements, improving the pointing accuracy of the telescope required more sophistication than simply raising the bandwidth as some classical control strategies might suggest. Instead, relationships were developed between the disturbance sensitivity and closed loop transfer functions. These relationships suggested that employing velocity feedback along with an increase in current loop gain would dramatically improve the pointing resolution of the TSS by decreasing the control system's sensitivity to external disturbances. With the implementation of some classical control techniques and the above philosophy, the KAO's TSS's resolution was improved to approximately 2-3 arc-seconds.

  12. 100-micron array polarimetry from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory - Instrumentation, techniques, and first results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Platt, S. R.; Hildebrand, R. H.; Pernic, R. J.; Davidson, J. A.; Novak, G.

    1991-01-01

    The University of Chicago far-infrared array polarimeter, 'STOKES', is the first multiple-beam polarimeter for far-infrared astronomy. Observations are made from the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Two orthogonal components of linear polarization are detected simultaneously by corresponding pairs of bolometers in two 32-detector arrays. Novel observing and data-analysis techniques are used to overcome the inherent difficulties of array polarimetry. Results from the first observing flights with the new instrument are reported for the molecular clouds W3 and W51. The measurements show that the magnetic-field structure in both clouds is nonuniform on the scale of 0.5-1.5 pc. This is consistent with molecular line and Zeeman observations that indicate the presence of turbulent velocities and significant small-scale structure. Preliminary results from the second flight series have yielded approximately 40 new measurements in the Sgr A complex. These results indicate that modifications made since the first flights have significantly improved the performance of STOKES.

  13. Airborne Astronomy Symposium. A symposium commemorating the tenth anniversary of operations of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronson, H. A., Jr. (Editor); Erickson, E. F. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Airborne infrared astronomy is discussed with respect to observations of the solar system, stars, star formation, and the interstellar medium. Far infrared characteristics of the Milky Way, its center, and other galaxies are considered. The instrumentation associated with IR astronomy is addressed.

  14. The Planet Mercury Surface Spectroscopy and Analysis from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and Analysis and Modeling to Determine Surface Composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sprague, Ann

    1997-01-01

    We had two successful flights to observe Mercury from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) using High-efficiency Infrared Faint-Object Grating Spectrograph (HIFOGS). Flights were May 8, 1995 (eastern elongation) and July 6, 1995 (western elongation) For the observations one half of the primary mirror was covered to prevent sunlight from entering the telescope. All equipment and the airplane and its crew performed well. These flights were historical firsts for the KAO and for spectroscopy of Mercury in that it was the first time any spectroscopic observations of Mercury from above the Earth's atmosphere had been made. It was the first time the KAO had been used to @bserve an object less than 30 degrees from the Sun. Upon completion of the basic data reduction it became obvious that extensive modeling and analysis would be required to understand the data. It took three years of a graduate student's time and part time the PI to do the thermal modeling and the spectroscopic analysis. This resulted in a lengthy publication. A copy of this publication is attached and has all the data obtained in both KAO flights and the results clearly presented. Notable results are: (1) The observations found an as yet unexplained 5 micron emission enhancement that we think may be a real characteristic of Mercury's surface but could have an instrumental cause; (2) Ground-based measurements or an emission maximum at 7.7 microns were corroborated. The chemical composition of Mercury's surface must be feldspathic in order to explain spectra features found in the data obtained during the KAO flights.

  15. Molecular Shocks Associated with Massive Young Stars: CO Line Images with a New Far-Infrared Spectroscopic Camera on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Dan M.

    1997-01-01

    Under the terms of our contract with NASA Ames Research Center, the University of Rochester (UR) offers the following final technical report on grant NAG 2-958, Molecular shocks associated with massive young stars: CO line images with a new far-infrared spectroscopic camera, given for implementation of the UR Far-Infrared Spectroscopic Camera (FISC) on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), and use of this camera for observations of star-formation regions 1. Two KAO flights in FY 1995, the final year of KAO operations, were awarded to this program, conditional upon a technical readiness confirmation which was given in January 1995. The funding period covered in this report is 1 October 1994 - 30 September 1996. The project was supported with $30,000, and no funds remained at the conclusion of the project.

  16. Photometer dewar system for NASA C141 airborne telescope (Kuiper Flying Observatory). [design analysis/performance tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ney, E. P.

    1974-01-01

    The design, calibration, and testing of a photometer to be used in an airborne telescope is described. A description of the cryogenics of the photometer is given, and photographs and blueprints of the photometer are included. The photometer is designed with a focal plane beam switching system so that the airplane telescope can be used in a normal optical mode at the bent Cassegrain focus and with the photometer operating in the pressurized cabin of the airplane. The concept was to produce a system which could be used in almost the same manner as ground based infrared photometers and dewars of the O'Brien Observatory at the University of Minnesota.

  17. SOFIA: The Next Generation Airborne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, E. F.

    1995-10-01

    The United States and German Space Agencies (NASA and DARA) are collaborating in plans for SOFIA — The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. It is a 2.5 meter telescope to be installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 45,000 feet. It will permit routine measurement of infrared radiation absorbed by the atmosphere at lower altitudes, and observation of astronomical objects and transient events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 20 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA would replace. SOFIA will complement the capabilities of other future space missions, and will enable scientists to make observations which would otherwise be made from space.

  18. Radon measurements aboard the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kritz, Mark A.; Rosner, Stefan W.

    1995-01-01

    We have carried out three (piggyback) radon-related projects aboard the KAO. The first, which was limited to upper tropospheric measurements while in level flight, revealed the systematic occurrence of unexpectedly high radon concentrations in this region of the atmosphere. The second project was an instrument development project, which led to the installation of an automatic radon measurement system aboard the NASA ER-2 High Altitude Research Aircraft. In the third, we installed a new system capable of collecting samples during the normal climb and descent of the KAO. The results obtained in these projects have resulted in significant contributions to our knowledge of atmospheric transport processes, and are currently playing a key role in the validation of global circulation and transport models.

  19. SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) with Telescope Configuration Changes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) with Telescope Configuration Changes Artwork. Concepts: Based on 18 Years of Experience of Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) Operation, Characteristics, Operations and Science

  20. Comprehension and retrieval of failure cases in airborne observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alvarado, Sergio J.; Mock, Kenrick J.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes research dealing with the computational problem of analyzing and repairing failures of electronic and mechanical systems of telescopes in NASA's airborne observatories, such as KAO (Kuiper Airborne Observatory) and SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). The research has resulted in the development of an experimental system that acquires knowledge of failure analysis from input text, and answers questions regarding failure detection and correction. The system's design builds upon previous work on text comprehension and question answering, including: knowledge representation for conceptual analysis of failure descriptions, strategies for mapping natural language into conceptual representations, case-based reasoning strategies for memory organization and indexing, and strategies for memory search and retrieval. These techniques have been combined into a model that accounts for: (a) how to build a knowledge base of system failures and repair procedures from descriptions that appear in telescope-operators' logbooks and FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis) manuals; and (b) how to use that knowledge base to search and retrieve answers to questions about causes and effects of failures, as well as diagnosis and repair procedures. This model has been implemented in FANSYS (Failure ANalysis SYStem), a prototype text comprehension and question answering program for failure analysis.

  1. Comprehension and retrieval of failure cases in airborne observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarado, Sergio J.; Mock, Kenrick J.

    1995-05-01

    This paper describes research dealing with the computational problem of analyzing and repairing failures of electronic and mechanical systems of telescopes in NASA's airborne observatories, such as KAO (Kuiper Airborne Observatory) and SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). The research has resulted in the development of an experimental system that acquires knowledge of failure analysis from input text, and answers questions regarding failure detection and correction. The system's design builds upon previous work on text comprehension and question answering, including: knowledge representation for conceptual analysis of failure descriptions, strategies for mapping natural language into conceptual representations, case-based reasoning strategies for memory organization and indexing, and strategies for memory search and retrieval. These techniques have been combined into a model that accounts for: (a) how to build a knowledge base of system failures and repair procedures from descriptions that appear in telescope-operators' logbooks and FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis) manuals; and (b) how to use that knowledge base to search and retrieve answers to questions about causes and effects of failures, as well as diagnosis and repair procedures. This model has been implemented in FANSYS (Failure ANalysis SYStem), a prototype text comprehension and question answering program for failure analysis.

  2. The FOSTER Project: Flying Teachers On NASA's Airborne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, D.; Gillespie, C.; Devore, E.; Morrow, C.

    1993-12-01

    An educational outreach pilot project is underway at NASA Ames Research Center. The FOSTER (Flight Opportunities for Science Teacher EnRichment) project goal is to provide an educationally enriching experience for elementary and high school science teachers. The project consists of a summer workshop where the selected teachers receive insight into contemporary astrophysics, curriculum supplement materials and an orientation to their upcoming science flight. During the academic year they return to NASA/Ames when they are introduced to and fly with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory investigators as the team conducts its observing program. It is anticipated that the first-hand experience of the scientific process (its excitement, hardships, challenges, discoveries, teamwork, social relevance and educational value) will provide an enriching experience that the teachers can take back into their classrooms and use to help with their teaching.

  3. SOFIA, an airborne observatory for infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbe, Alfred; Mehlert, Dörte; Röser, Hans-Peter; Scorza, Cecilia

    2013-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German project operating a 2.7 m infrared airborne telescope onboard a modified Boeing 747-SP in the stratosphere at altitudes up to 13.7 km. SOFIA covers a spectral range from 0.3 µm to 1.6 mm, with an average atmospheric transmission greater than 80%. After successfully completing its commissioning, SOFIA commenced regular astronomical observation in spring 2013, and will ramp up to more than one hundred 8 to 10 h flights per year by 2015. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid 2030s. SOFIA's initial complement of seven focal plane instruments includes broadband imagers, moderate-resolution spectrographs and high-resolution spectrometers. SOFIA also includes an elaborate program for Education and Public Outreach. We describe the SOFIA facility together with its first light instrumentation and include some of its first scientific results. In addition, the education and public outreach program is presented.

  4. NASA’s Sense of Snow: the Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Video Gallery

    Water is a critical resource in the western U.S. NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory is giving California water agencies the first complete measurements of the water available in the Sierra snowpack ...

  5. SOFIA's Choice: Scheduling Observations for an Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, Jeremy; Kurklu, Elif; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We describe the problem of scheduling observations for an airborne observatory. The problem is more complex than traditional scheduling problems in that it incorporates complex constraints relating the feasibility of an astronomical observation to the position and time of a mobile observatory, as well as traditional temporal constraints and optimization criteria. We describe the problem, its proposed solution and the empirical validation of that solution.

  6. ASTROPLANE - A European airborne observatory for infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosmovici, C. B.

    The history, goals, and design concepts of Astroplane, a proposed European airborne IR and submillimeter observatory, are discussed. The various proposals advanced since 1979 are summarized, and the need for an airborne observatory to complement ground and satellite observations and to offer European astronomers observing opportunities like those provided by the NASA KAO in the U.S. is stressed. The effects of the atmosphere on IR transmission, some typical NASA airborne results, and the observability of different atomic species (from ground, air, or satellite) are documented in tables. The importance of airborne IR observations of Halley's comet during its 1986 perihelion is shown. The Astroplane design proposed by DFVLR is described: a circular 120-cm Cassegrain telescope carried to an altitude of about 13 km by a modified Challenger CL-601 aircraft. It is found in an overall cost comparison that the DFVLR Astroplane, with a life of 20 years and 600 observing hours per year, would cost only one seventh as much per observing hour as either balloon or satellite (IRAS) observatories.

  7. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) for Planetary Science and the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, W. T.

    2011-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA [1]) is a 2.5 meter telescope on a modified 747SP aircraft. The program is managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). Operations are supported by NASA and DLR in a partnership, with an 80/20 split per international Memorandum of Understanding.

  8. Pushing the limits of spatial resolution with the Kuiper Airborne observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lester, Daniel

    1994-01-01

    The study of astronomical objects at high spatial resolution in the far-IR is one of the most serious limitations to our work at these wavelengths, which carry information about the luminosity of dusty and obscured sources. At IR wavelengths shorter than 30 microns, ground based telescopes with large apertures at superb sites achieve diffraction-limited performance close to the seeing limit in the optical. At millimeter wavelengths, ground based interferometers achieve resolution that is close to this. The inaccessibility of the far-IR from the ground makes it difficult, however, to achieve complementary resolution in the far-IR. The 1983 IRAS survey, while extraordinarily sensitive, provides us with a sky map at a spatial resolution that is limited by detector size on a spatial scale that is far larger than that available in other wavelengths on the ground. The survey resolution is of order 4 min in the 100 micron bandpass, and 2 min at 60 microns (IRAS Explanatory Supplement, 1988). Information on a scale of 1' is available on some sources from the CPC. Deconvolution and image resolution using this database is one of the subjects of this workshop.

  9. Quick Look Analysis of Broadband Aeronautical Data Obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Satorius, Edgar; Abbe, Brian; Agan, Martin

    1996-01-01

    The ACTS aeronautical experiments include these purposes: (1) To test the viability of speech/data transmission at: 2.4, 4.8, 9.6, and 64, kbps; (2) To test the viability of high rate transmissions at 512, and 768 kbps; and (3) To test the viability of high data rate transmissions to/from turbojet up to 384 bps.

  10. Calibration of the National Ecological Observatory Network's Airborne Imaging Spectrometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leisso, N.; Kampe, T. U.; Karpowicz, B. M.

    2014-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is currently under construction by the National Science Foundation. NEON is designed to collect data on the causes and responses to change in the observed ecosystem. The observatory will combine site data collected by terrestrial, instrumental, and aquatic observation systems with airborne remote sensing data. The Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) is designed to collect high-resolution aerial imagery, waveform and discrete LiDAR, and high-fidelity imaging spectroscopic data over the NEON sites annually at or near peak-greenness. Three individual airborne sensor packages will be installed in leased Twin Otter aircraft and used to the collect the NEON sites as NEON enters operations. A key driver to the derived remote sensing data products is the calibration of the imaging spectrometers. This is essential to the overall NEON mission to detect changes in the collected ecosystems over the 30-year expected lifetime. The NEON Imaging Spectrometer (NIS) is a Visible and Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) grating spectrometer designed by NASA JPL. Spectroscopic data is collected at 5-nm intervals from 380-2500-nm. A single 480 by 640 pixel HgCdTe Focal Plane Array collects dispersed light from a grating tuned for efficiency across the solar-reflective utilized in a push-broom configuration. Primary calibration of the NIS consists of the characterizing the FPA behavior, spectral calibration, and radiometric calibration. To this end, NEON is constructing a Sensor Test Facility to calibrate the NEON sensors. This work discusses the initial NIS laboratory calibration and verification using vicarious calibration techniques during operations. Laboratory spectral calibration is based on well-defined emission lines in conjunction with a scanning monochromator to define the individual spectral response functions. A NIST traceable FEL bulb is used to radiometrically calibrate the imaging spectrometer. An On-board Calibration (OBC) system

  11. Automated long-term scheduling for the SOFIA airborne observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civeit, Thomas

    The NASA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German project to develop and operate a gyro-stabilized 2.5-meter telescope in a Boeing 747SP. SOFIA's first science observations were made in December 2010. During 2011, SOFIA accomplished 30 flights in the “ Early Science” program as well as a deployment to Germany. The next observing period, known as Cycle 1, is scheduled to begin in late fall 2012. It includes 46 science flights grouped in four multi-week observing campaigns spread through a 13-month span. Automation of the flight scheduling process offers a major challenge to the SOFIA mission operations. First because it is needed to mitigate its relatively high cost per unit observing time compared to space-borne missions. Second because automated scheduling techniques available for ground-based and space-based telescopes are inappropriate for an airborne observatory. Although serious attempts have been made in the past to solve part of the problem, until recently mission operations staff was still manually scheduling flights. We present in this paper a new automated solution for generating SOFIA's long-term schedules. We describe the constraints that should be satisfied to solve the SOFIA scheduling problem in the context of real operations. We establish key formulas required to efficiently calculate the aircraft course over ground when evaluating flight schedules. We describe the foundations of the SOFIA long-term scheduler, the constraint representation, and the random search based algorithm that generates observation and instrument schedules. Finally, we report on how the new long-term scheduler has been used in operations to date.

  12. Automated Long - Term Scheduling for the SOFIA Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Civeit, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German project to develop and operate a gyro-stabilized 2.5-meter telescope in a Boeing 747SP. SOFIA's first science observations were made in December 2010. During 2011, SOFIA accomplished 30 flights in the "Early Science" program as well as a deployment to Germany. The new observing period, known as Cycle 1, is scheduled to begin in 2012. It includes 46 science flights grouped in four multi-week observing campaigns spread through a 13-month span. Automation of the flight scheduling process offers a major challenge to the SOFIA mission operations. First because it is needed to mitigate its relatively high cost per unit observing time compared to space-borne missions. Second because automated scheduling techniques available for ground-based and space-based telescopes are inappropriate for an airborne observatory. Although serious attempts have been made in the past to solve part of the problem, until recently mission operations staff was still manually scheduling flights. We present in this paper a new automated solution for generating SOFIA long-term schedules that will be used in operations from the Cycle 1 observing period. We describe the constraints that should be satisfied to solve the SOFIA scheduling problem in the context of real operations. We establish key formulas required to efficiently calculate the aircraft course over ground when evaluating flight schedules. We describe the foundations of the SOFIA long-term scheduler, the constraint representation, and the random search based algorithm that generates observation and instrument schedules. Finally, we report on how the new long-term scheduler has been used in operations to date.

  13. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.

    1993-01-01

    SOFIA, (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a planned 2.5 meter telescope to be installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 46,000 feet. It will permit routine measurement of infrared radiation inaccessible from the ground-based sites, and observation of astronomical objects and transient events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 18 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA would replace.

  14. An analysis of water in galactic infrared sources using the NASA Lear Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, L. L.; Hilgeman, T.

    1979-01-01

    The Michelson interferometer system on the NASA Lear Jet Airborne Observatory is described as well as the data reduction procedures. The objects observed (standard stars, M stars, a nebula, planets, and the moon) are discussed and the observing parameters are listed for each flight date. The spectra obtained from these data flights are presented, grouped by class of object.

  15. Progress in the development of airborne remote sensing instrumentation for the National Ecological Observatory Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kampe, Thomas U.; McCorkel, Joel; Hamlin, Louise; Green, Robert O.; Krause, Keith S.; Johnson, Brian R.

    2011-09-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a planned facility of the National Science Foundation with the mission to enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. Airborne remote sensing plays a critical role by providing measurements at the scale of individual shrubs and larger plants over hundreds of square kilometers. The NEON Airborne Observation Platform is designed to bridge scales from organism and stand scales, as captured by plot and tower observations, to the scale of satellite based remote sensing. Fused airborne spectroscopy and waveform LiDAR is used to quantify vegetation composition and structure. Panchromatic photography at better than 30 cm resolution will retrieve fine-scale information on land use, roads, impervious surfaces, and built structures. NEON will build three airborne systems to allow for regular coverage of NEON sites and the capacity to respond to investigator requests for specific projects. The system design achieves a balance between performance and development cost and risk, taking full advantage of existing commercial airborne LiDAR and camera components. To reduce risk during NEON construction, an imaging spectrometer design verification unit is being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to demonstrate that operational and performance requirements can be met. As part of this effort, NEON is also focusing on science algorithm development, computing hardware prototyping and early airborne test flights with similar technologies. This paper presents an overview of the development status of the NEON airborne instrumentation in the context of the NEON mission.

  16. The Caltech airborne submillimeter SIS receiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zmuidzinas, Jonas; Carlstrom, J.; Miller, D.; Ugras, N. G.

    1995-01-01

    We have constructed a sensitive submillimeter receiver for the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) which at present operates in the 500-750 GHz band. The DSB receiver noise temperature is about 5 h nu/k(sub B) over the 500-700 GHz range. This receiver has been used to detect H2O(18)O, HCl, and CH in interstellar molecular clouds, and also to search for C(+) emission from the highly redshifted galaxy (z = 2.3) IRAS 10214.

  17. NASA Airborne Snow Observatory: Measuring Spatial Distribution of Snow Water Equivalent and Snow Albedo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, M.; Painter, T. H.; Mattmann, C. A.; Ramirez, P.; Laidlaw, R.; Bormann, K. J.; Skiles, M.; Richardson, M.; Berisford, D. F.

    2015-12-01

    The two most critical properties for understanding snowmelt runoff and timing are the spatial and temporal distributions of snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow albedo. Despite their importance in controlling volume and timing of runoff, snowpack albedo and SWE are still largely unquantified in the US and not at all in most of the globe, leaving runoff models poorly constrained. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, has developed the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), an imaging spectrometer and scanning LiDAR system, to quantify SWE and snow albedo, generate unprecedented knowledge of snow properties for cutting edge cryospheric science, and provide complete, robust inputs to water management models and systems of the future. This poster will describe the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory, its outputs and their uses and applications, along with recent advancements to the system and plans for the project's future. Specifically, we will look at how ASO uses its imaging spectrometer to quantify spectral albedo, broadband albedo, and radiative forcing by dust and black carbon in snow. Additionally, we'll see how the scanning LiDAR is used to determine snow depth against snow-free acquisitions and to quantify snow water equivalent when combined with in-situ constrained modeling of snow density.

  18. Photometry of Galactic and Extragalactic Far-Infrared Sources using the 91.5 cm Airborne Infrared Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, D. A.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this grant was to construct a series of far infrared photometers, cameras, and supporting systems for use in astronomical observations in the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The observations have included studies of galaxies, star formation regions, and objects within the Solar System.

  19. SOFIA: The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Roger H.; Davidson, Jacqueline A.

    1990-01-01

    SOFIA, an airborne observatory intended to be carried aboard a Boeing 747 high performance aircraft, is described. The observatory is predicted to provide a threefold greater aperture than that of the Kuiper telescope. The Boeing aircraft will carry the 2.5 diameter telescope and its observers to altitudes of 14,000 and above where the atmosphere is very nearly transparent at all wavelengths. Various aspects and specific missions of the SOFIA project, a cooperative venture of the U.S. and Germany, are described.

  20. NASA Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program Evaluation Results To Date

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harman, Pamela K.; Backman, Dana E.; Clark, Coral

    2015-08-01

    SOFIA is an airborne observatory, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes, and inspires instrumention development.SOFIA is an 80% - 20% partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), consisting of a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a diameter of 2.5 meters (100 inches) reflecting telescope. The SOFIA aircraft is based at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Building 703, in Palmdale, California. The Science Program Office and Outreach Office is located at NASA Ames Research center. SOFIA is one of the programs in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Astrophysics Division.SOFIA will be used to study many different kinds of astronomical objects and phenomena, including star birth and death, formation of new solar systems, identification of complex molecules in space, planets, comets and asteroids in our solar system, nebulae and dust in galaxies, and ecosystems of galaxies.Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program:The SOFIA Education and Communications program exploits the unique attributes of airborne astronomy to contribute to national goals for the reform of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and to the elevation of public scientific and technical literacy.SOFIA’s Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) effort is a professional development program aspiring to improve teaching, inspire students, and inform the community. To date, 55 educators from 21 states; in three cohorts, Cycles 0, 1 and 2; have completed their astronomy professional development and their SOFIA science flight experience. Cycle 3 cohort of 28 educators will be completing their flight experience this fall. Evaluation has confirmed the program’s positive impact on the teacher participants, on their students, and in their communities. Teachers have incorporated content knowledge and specific components of their experience into their curricula, and have given hundreds of presentations and

  1. Receptor modeling of globally circulating airborne particles collected at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Hermann, D.M.

    1988-01-01

    Weekly airborne particle samples were collected at Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO), Hawaii from February 1979 through May 1985. Receptor models were used to identify sources of airborne particles at MLO, determine compositions of particles from these sources, and assess the relative impacts of them. Major sources of ambient particles at MLO include Asian continental material, oceanic biological production of Se and SO{sub 4} species, marine particles, Asian anthropogenic material, local volcanic emissions, and basalt. Source composition profiles were developed for each component. The Asian continental component represents particles transported from Eastern Asia to the North Pacific, and the component consists of crustal material contaminated by anthropogenic emissions. To account for variations in the relative strengths of anthropogenic and crustal sources, a separate Asian anthropogenic component was also developed. During the dust season, Asian continental material accounts for 80% of total suspended particulate material (TSP) at MLO, oceanic productions of Se and SO{sub 4} 11%, marine particles 2.8%, basalt 1.9%, volcanic emissions 1.7%, and Asian anthropogenic material in excess of Asian continental material 3.2%. During the clean season, the oceanic biological production of Se and SO{sub 4} contributes 62% of TSP at MLO. Continental material contributes 22%, marine particles 6.4%, basalt 2.7%, volcanic emissions 2.4%, and anthropogenic materials in excess of continental material 4.3%.

  2. A Compute Perspective: Delivering Decision Support Products in 24 Hours from the Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, P.; Mattmann, C. A.; Painter, T. H.; Seidel, F. C.; Trangsrud, A.; Hart, A. F.; Goodale, C. E.; Boardman, J. W.; Heneghan, C.; Verma, R.; Khudikyan, S.; Boustani, M.; Zimdars, P. A.; Horn, J.; Neely, S.

    2013-12-01

    The JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) must process 100s of GB of raw data to 100s of Terabytes of derived data in 24 hour Near Real Time (NRT) latency in a geographically distributed mobile compute and data-intensive processing setting. ASO provides meaningful information to water resource managers in the Western US letting them know how much water to maintain; or release, and what the prospectus of the current snow season is in the Sierra Nevadas. Providing decision support products processed from airborne data in a 24 hour timeframe is an emergent field and required the team to develop a novel solution as this process is typically done over months. We've constructed a system that combines Apache OODT; with Apache Tika; with the Interactive Data Analysis (IDL)/ENVI programming environment to rapidly and unobtrusively generate, distribute and archive ASO data as soon as the plane lands near Mammoth Lakes, CA. Our system is flexible, underwent several redeployments and reconfigurations, and delivered this critical information to stakeholders during the recent "Snow On" campaign March 2013 - June 2013. This talk will take you through a day in the life of the compute team from data acquisition, delivery, processing, and dissemination. Within this context, we will discuss the architecture of ASO; the open source software we used; the data we stored; and how it was delivered to its users. Moreover we will discuss the logistics, system engineering, and staffing that went into the developing, deployment, and operation of the mobile compute system.

  3. Calibration and Validation of the National Ecological Observatory Network's Airborne Imaging Spectrometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leisso, N.

    2015-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is being constructed by the National Science Foundation and is slated for completion in 2017. NEON is designed to collect data to improve the understanding of changes in observed ecosystems. The observatory will produce data products on a variety of spatial and temporal scales collected from individual sites strategically located across the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Data sources include standardized terrestrial, instrumental, and aquatic observation systems in addition to three airborne remote sensing observation systems installed into leased Twin Otter aircraft. The Airborne Observation Platforms (AOP) are designed to collect 3-band aerial imagery, waveform and discrete LiDAR, and high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy data over the NEON sites annually at or near peak-greenness. The NEON Imaging Spectrometer (NIS) is a Visible and Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) sensor designed by NASA JPL for ecological applications. Spectroscopic data is collected at 5-nm intervals across the solar-reflective spectral region (380-nm to 2500-nm) in a 34-degree FOV swath. A key uncertainty driver to the derived remote sensing NEON data products is the calibration of the imaging spectrometers. In addition, the calibration and accuracy of the higher-level data product algorithms is essential to the overall NEON mission to detect changes in the collected ecosystems over the 30-year expected lifetime. The typical calibration workflow of the NIS consists of the characterizing the focal plane, spectral calibration, and radiometric calibration. Laboratory spectral calibration is based on well-defined emission lines in conjunction with a scanning monochromator to define the individual spectral response functions. The radiometric calibration is NIST traceable and transferred to the NIS with an integrating sphere calibrated through the use of transfer radiometers. The laboratory calibration is monitored and maintained through

  4. Airborne Astronomy Symposium on the Galactic Ecosystem: From Gas to Stars to Dust, volume 73

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haas, Michael R. (Editor); Davidson, Jacqueline A. (Editor); Erickson, Edwin F. (Editor)

    1995-01-01

    This symposium was organized to review the science related to NASA's Airborne Astronomy Program on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). The theme selected, 'The Galactic Ecosystem: From Gas to Stars to Dust,' was considered to capture the underlying commonality of much of the research discussed. The 8 sessions were as follows: The Interstellar Medium; The Life Cycle of the ISM in Other Galaxies; Star and Planetary System Formation; Our Planetary System: The Solar System; The Enrichment of the Interstellar Medium; The Galactic Center: A Unique Region of the Galactic Ecosystem; Instrumentation for Airborne Astronomy; KAO History and Education; and Missions and the Future of Infrared Astronomy.

  5. Revisiting Runoff Model Calibration: Airborne Snow Observatory Results Allow Improved Modeling Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGurk, B. J.; Painter, T. H.

    2014-12-01

    Deterministic snow accumulation and ablation simulation models are widely used by runoff managers throughout the world to predict runoff quantities and timing. Model fitting is typically based on matching modeled runoff volumes and timing with observed flow time series at a few points in the basin. In recent decades, sparse networks of point measurements of the mountain snowpacks have been available to compare with modeled snowpack, but the comparability of results from a snow sensor or course to model polygons of 5 to 50 sq. km is suspect. However, snowpack extent, depth, and derived snow water equivalent have been produced by the NASA/JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) mission for spring of 20013 and 2014 in the Tuolumne River basin above Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. These high-resolution snowpack data have exposed the weakness in a model calibration based on runoff alone. The U.S. Geological Survey's Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) calibration that was based on 30-years of inflow to Hetch Hetchy produces reasonable inflow results, but modeled spatial snowpack location and water quantity diverged significantly from the weekly measurements made by ASO during the two ablation seasons. The reason is that the PRMS model has many flow paths, storages, and water transfer equations, and a calibrated outflow time series can be right for many wrong reasons. The addition of a detailed knowledge of snow extent and water content constrains the model so that it is a better representation of the actual watershed hydrology. The mechanics of recalibrating PRMS to the ASO measurements will be described, and comparisons in observed versus modeled flow for both a small subbasin and the entire Hetch Hetchy basin will be shown. The recalibrated model provided a bitter fit to the snowmelt recession, a key factor for water managers as they balance declining inflows with demand for power generation and ecosystem releases during the final months of snow melt runoff.

  6. Airborne infrared investigation of water in the coma of Halley's Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, Harold A.; Mumma, Michael J.; Larson, Harold P.; Davis, D. Scott

    1986-01-01

    An infrared Fourier transform spectrometer on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) was used to obtain high resolution spectra of the intense, solar-pumped infrared fluorescent emission in the (001 to 000) band of H2O near 2.6 microns. Differences between the observed H2O excitation and original expectations are discussed, and KAO water production rates are compared to those derived from International Ultraviolet Explorer observations. Possible future directions for high resolution IR spectroscopy of comets are discussed.

  7. Airborne Submillimeter Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zmuidzinas, J.

    1998-01-01

    This is the final technical report for NASA-Ames grant NAG2-1068 to Caltech, entitled "Airborne Submillimeter Spectroscopy", which extended over the period May 1, 1996 through January 31, 1998. The grant was funded by the NASA airborne astronomy program, during a period of time after the Kuiper Airborne Observatory was no longer operational. Instead. this funding program was intended to help develop instrument concepts and technology for the upcoming SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) project. SOFIA, which is funded by NASA and is now being carried out by a consortium lead by USRA (Universities Space Research Association), will be a 747 aircraft carrying a 2.5 meter diameter telescope. The purpose of our grant was to fund the ongoing development of sensitive heterodyne receivers for the submillimeter band (500-1200 GHz), using sensitive superconducting (SIS) detectors. In 1997 July we submitted a proposal to USRA to construct a heterodyne instrument for SOFIA. Our proposal was successful [1], and we are now continuing our airborne astronomy effort with funding from USRA. A secondary purpose of the NAG2-1068 grant was to continue the anaIN'sis of astronomical data collected with an earlier instrument which was flown on the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). The KAO instrument and the astronomical studies which were carried out with it were supported primarily under another grant, NAG2-744, which extended over October 1, 1991 through Januarv 31, 1997. For a complete description of the astronomical data and its anailysis, we refer the reader to the final technical report for NAG2-744, which was submitted to NASA on December 1. 1997. Here we report on the SIS detector development effort for SOFIA carried out under NAG2-1068. The main result of this effort has been the demonstration of SIS mixers using a new superconducting material niobium titanium nitride (NbTiN), which promises to deliver dramatic improvements in sensitivity in the 700

  8. Stressed detector arrays for airborne astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stacey, G. J.; Beeman, J. W.; Haller, E. E.; Geis, N.; Poglitsch, A.; Rumitz, M.

    1989-01-01

    The development of stressed Ge:Ga detector arrays for far-infrared astronomy from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) is discussed. Researchers successfully constructed and used a three channel detector array on five flights from the KAO, and have conducted laboratory tests of a two-dimensional, 25 elements (5x5) detector array. Each element of the three element array performs as well as the researchers' best single channel detector, as do the tested elements of the 25 channel system. Some of the exciting new science possible with far-infrared detector arrays is also discussed.

  9. G. P. Kuiper's Early Studies of Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.

    2005-08-01

    Gerard P. Kuiper was born on December 7, 1905; this is his centennial year. While he had an early interest in Solar System bodies, writing an extensive review about Mars for the popular Dutch astronomy journal, Hemel en Dampkring in 1931, Kuiper's first important observations began in 1944, when he discovered the atmosphere of Titan. In a letter dated February 29, 1944, to Lick Observatory director Joseph H. Moore, Kuiper noted that, ``The only reason I happened to observe the planets and the 10 brightest satellites was that they were nicely lined up in a region of the sky where I had run out of program stars (stars of large proper motion and parallax)." These spectroscopic observations were obtained with the new McDonald 82-inch telescope during a break from Kuiper's war-time work at Harvard's Radio Research Laboratory. In a letter of congratulations, his friend S. Chandrasekhar wrote, ``It is only on the impact of such discoveries that one realizes afresh the permanent value of science which no war -- not even of Hitler's -- can truly undermine. And it must be of satisfaction to you that if you took a vacation from war-work, it was only to make a fundamental discovery!" Using detectors declassified at the end of World War II, Kuiper began a study of the infrared spectra of planets and stars (with the first publication in 1947) that continued to the time of his death (December 24, 1973). Early in this work, on March 2, 1948, he wrote a lengthy letter to Henry Norris Russell in which he succinctly and enthusiastically summarized his observations and discoveries. Details in this letter give a fascinating perspective on some of the earliest physical studies of Solar System bodies, such as the detection of water ice on Saturn's rings and in the polar cap of Mars, spectral and photometric measurements of Mars' surface and atmospheric haze, and the discovery of Miranda.

  10. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) system concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiltsee, Christopher B.; Brooks, Walter F.

    1989-01-01

    The system concept for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), as developed by NASA Ames Research Center is described. The SOFIA facility is a 3-meter class optical/infrared/submillimeter telescope mounted in an open cavity in the forebody of a Boeing 747 aircraft, to be operational in 1992. It represents the next generation of Ames' existing airborne IR facilities, and is about ten times more sensitive than the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) with 3 times better angular resolution, and able to detect all the far-infrared point sources discovered by IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) survey in 1983. Major requirements and design attributes of the SOFIA telescope are presented, along with a brief description of the Ground Support/Operations System.

  11. Kuiper Belt Mapping Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, A.; Nilsen, E.

    2001-01-01

    Since their initial discovery in 1992, to date only a relatively small number of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO's) have been discovered. Current detection techniques rely on frame-to-frame comparisons of images collected by optical telescopes such as Hubble, to detect KBO's as they move against the background stellar field. Another technique involving studies of KBO's through occultation of known stars has been proposed. Such techniques are serendipitous, not systematic, and may lead to an inadequate understanding of the size, range, and distribution of KBO's. In this paper, a future Kuiper Belt Mapping Radar is proposed as a solution to the problem of mapping the size distribution, extent, and range of KBO's. This approach can also be used to recover radar albedo and object rotation rates. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  12. Infrared Kuiper Belt Constraints

    SciTech Connect

    Teplitz, V.L.; Stern, S.A.; Anderson, J.D.; Rosenbaum, D.; Scalise, R.J.; Wentzler, P.

    1999-05-01

    We compute the temperature and IR signal of particles of radius {ital a} and albedo {alpha} at heliocentric distance {ital R}, taking into account the emissivity effect, and give an interpolating formula for the result. We compare with analyses of {ital COBE} DIRBE data by others (including recent detection of the cosmic IR background) for various values of heliocentric distance {ital R}, particle radius {ital a}, and particle albedo {alpha}. We then apply these results to a recently developed picture of the Kuiper belt as a two-sector disk with a nearby, low-density sector (40{lt}R{lt}50{endash}90 AU) and a more distant sector with a higher density. We consider the case in which passage through a molecular cloud essentially cleans the solar system of dust. We apply a simple model of dust production by comet collisions and removal by the Poynting-Robertson effect to find limits on total and dust masses in the near and far sectors as a function of time since such a passage. Finally, we compare Kuiper belt IR spectra for various parameter values. Results of this work include: (1) numerical limits on Kuiper belt dust as a function of ({ital R}, {ital a}, {alpha}) on the basis of four alternative sets of constraints, including those following from recent discovery of the cosmic IR background by Hauser et al.; (2) application to the two-sector Kuiper belt model, finding mass limits and spectrum shape for different values of relevant parameters including dependence on time elapsed since last passage through a molecular cloud cleared the outer solar system of dust; and (3) potential use of spectral information to determine time since last passage of the Sun through a giant molecular cloud. {copyright} {ital {copyright} 1999.} {ital The American Astronomical Society}

  13. A knowledge-based expert system for scheduling of airborne astronomical observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nachtsheim, P. R.; Gevarter, W. B.; Stutz, J. C.; Banda, C. P.

    1985-01-01

    The Kuiper Airborne Observatory Scheduler (KAOS) is a knowledge-based expert system developed at NASA Ames Research Center to assist in route planning of a C-141 flying astronomical observatory. This program determines a sequence of flight legs that enables sequential observations of a set of heavenly bodies derived from a list of desirable objects. The possible flight legs are constrained by problems of observability, avoiding flyovers of warning and restricted military zones, and running out of fuel. A significant contribution of the KAOS program is that it couples computational capability with a reasoning system.

  14. A knowledge-based expert system for scheduling of airborne astronomical observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nachtsheim, P. R.; Gevarter, W. B.; Stutz, J. C.; Banda, C. P.

    1986-01-01

    KAOS (Kuiper Airborne Observatory Scheduler) is a knowledge-based expert system developed at NASA Ames Research Center to assist in route planning of a C-141 flying astronomical observatory. This program determines a sequence of flight legs that enables sequential observations of a set of heavenly bodies derived from a list of desirable objects. The possible flight legs are constrained by problems of observability, avoiding flyovers of warning and restricted military zones, and running out of fuel. A significant contribution of the KAOS program is that it couples computational capability with a reasoning system.

  15. Analysis of Snow Albedo, Grain Size and Radiative Forcing based on the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) Imaging Spectroscopy Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, F. C.; Painter, T. H.

    2013-12-01

    Climate is expected to be most vulnerable in mountainous and arctic regions where the atmosphere and the hydrosphere are directly linked to the cryosphere. A combination of modeling and large-scale observational efforts is required to investigate related scientific questions. NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory addresses some of these needs by establishing new quantitative observational capabilities in regional mapping of mountain snow properties. In addition, ASO's key products showed that we are able to achieve societal benefits by improving water resources management. We will show the first analysis of snow optical products (albedo, grain size, and radiative forcing) from the spring 2013 ASO campaign in the Sierra Nevada, CA, USA. In addition, we will present the retrieval methods used to derive these products based on airborne imaging spectroscopy, LiDAR, as well as radiative transfer models. The preliminary findings provide new important insights into the temporal and spatial aspects of Western US mountain snow and its melt.

  16. Weekly LiDAR snow depth mapping for operational snow hydrology - the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deems, J. S.; Painter, T. H.; McGurk, B. J.

    2013-12-01

    Operational hydrologic simulation and forecasting in snowmelt-dominated watersheds currently relies on indices of snow accumulation and melt from measurements at a small number of point locations or geographically-limited manual surveys. These data sources cannot adequately characterize the spatial distribution of snow depth/water equivalent, which is the primary determinant of snowpack volume and runoff rates. The NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory's airborne laser scanning system maps snow depth at high spatial and temporal resolutions, providing an unprecedented snowpack monitoring capability and enabling a new operational paradigm. In the Spring of 2013, the ASO mapped snow depth in the Tuolumne River Basin in California's Yosemite National Park on a nominally weekly basis, and provided fast-turnaround spatial snow depth and water equivalent maps to the operators of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the water supply for 2.5 million people on the San Francisco peninsula. These products enabled more accurate runoff simulation and optimal reservoir management in a year of very low snow accumulation. We present the initial results from this new application of multi-temporal LiDAR mapping in operational snow hydrology.

  17. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the great astronomical observatories both space and land based that are now operational. It shows the history of the development of SOFIA, from its conception in 1986 through the contract awards in 1996 and through the planned first flight in 2007. The major components of the observatory are shown and there is a comparison of the SOFIA with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which is the direct predecessor to SOFIA. The development of the aft ramp of the KAO was developed as a result of the wind tunnel tests performed for SOFIA development. Further slides show the airborne observatory layout and the telescope's optical layout. Included are also vies of the 2.5 Meter effective aperture, and the major telescope's components. The presentations reviews the technical challenges encountered during the development of SOFIA. There are also slides that review the wind tunnel tests, and CFD modeling performed during the development of SOFIA. Closing views show many views of the airplane, and views of SOFIA.

  18. SOFIA: The future of airborne astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.; Davidson, Jacqueline A.

    1995-01-01

    For the past 20 years, the 91 cm telescope in NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) has enabled scientists to observe infrared sources which are obscured by the earth's atmosphere at ground-based sites, and to observe transient astronomical events from anywhere in the world. To augment this capability, the United States and German Space Agencies (NASA and DARA) are collaborating in plans to replace the KAO with a 2.5 meter telescope installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft: SOFIA - The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. SOFIA's large aperture, wide wavelength coverage, mobility, accessibility, and sophisticated instruments will permit a broad range of scientific studies, some of which are described here. Its unique features complement the capabilities of other future space missions. In addition, SOFIA has important potential as a stimulus for development of new technology and as a national resource for education of K-12 teachers. If started in 1996, SOFIA will be flying in the year 2000.

  19. SOFIA: The future of airborne astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.; Davidson, Jacqueline A.

    For the past 20 years, the 91 cm telescope in NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) has enabled scientists to observe infrared sources which are obscured by the earth's atmosphere at ground-based sites, and to observe transient astronomical events from anywhere in the world. To augment this capability, the United States and German Space Agencies (NASA and DARA) are collaborating in plans to replace the KAO with a 2.5 meter telescope installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft: SOFIA - The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. SOFIA's large aperture, wide wavelength coverage, mobility, accessibility, and sophisticated instruments will permit a broad range of scientific studies, some of which are described here. Its unique features complement the capabilities of other future space missions. In addition, SOFIA has important potential as a stimulus for development of new technology and as a national resource for education of K-12 teachers. If started in 1996, SOFIA will be flying in the year 2000.

  20. Planet Imager Discovers Young Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-07-01

    A debris disk just discovered around a nearby star is the closest thing yet seen to a young version of the Kuiper belt. This disk could be a key to better understanding the interactions between debris disks and planets, as well as how our solar system evolved early on in its lifetime. Hunting for an analog The best way to understand how the Kuiper belt — home to Pluto and thousands of other remnants of early icy planet formation in our solar system — developed would be to witness a similar debris disk in an earlier stage of its life. But before now, none of the disks we've discovered have been similar to our own: the rings are typically too large, the central star too massive, or the stars exist in regions very unlike what we think our Sun's birthplace was like. A collaboration led by Thayne Currie (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) has changed this using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), part of a new generation of extreme adaptive-optics systems. The team discovered a debris disk of roughly the same size as the Kuiper belt orbiting the star HD 115600, located in the nearest OB association. The star is only slightly more massive than our Sun, and it lives in a star-forming region similar to the early Sun's environment. HD 115600 is different in one key way, however: it is only 15 million years old. This means that observing it gives us the perfect opportunity to observe how our solar system might have behaved when it was much younger. A promising future GPI's spatially-resolved spectroscopy, combined with measurements of the reflectivity of the disk, have led the team to suspect that the disk might be composed partly of water ice, just as the Kuiper belt is. The disk also shows evidence of having been sculpted by the motions of giant planets orbiting the central star, in much the same way as the outer planets of our solar system may have shaped the Kuiper belt. The observations of HD 115600 are some of the very first to emerge from GPI and the new

  1. A Rapid Turn-around, Scalable Big Data Processing Capability for the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattmann, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) is an integrated LIDAR and Spectrometer measuring snow depth and rate of snow melt in the Sierra Nevadas, specifically, the Tuolumne River Basin, Sierra Nevada, California above the O'Shaughnessy Dam of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, and the Uncompahgre Basin, Colorado, amongst other sites. The ASO data was delivered to water resource managers from the California Department of Water Resources in under 24 hours from the time that the Twin Otter aircraft landed in Mammoth Lakes, CA to the time disks were plugged in to the ASO Mobile Compute System (MCS) deployed at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) near the airport. ASO performed weekly flights and each flight took between 500GB to 1 Terabyte of raw data, which was then processed from level 0 data products all the way to full level 4 maps of Snow Water Equivalent, albedo mosaics, and snow depth from LIDAR. These data were produced by Interactive Data analysis Language (IDL) algorithms which were then unobtrusively and automatically integrated into an Apache OODT and Apache Tika based Big Data processing system. Data movement was both electronic and physical including novel uses of LaCie 1 and 2 TeraByte (TB) data bricks and deployment in rugged terrain. The MCS was controlled remotely from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL) in Pasadena, California on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Communication was aided through the use of novel Internet Relay Chat (IRC) command and control mechanisms and through the use of the Notifico open source communication tools. This talk will describe the high powered, and light-weight Big Data processing system that we developed for ASO and its implications more broadly for airborne missions at NASA and throughout the government. The lessons learned from ASO show the potential to have a large impact in the development of Big Data processing systems in the years

  2. The SOFIA Airborne Infrared Observatory - first science highlights and future science potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinnecker, H.

    2014-10-01

    SOFIA, short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft with a 2.7m telescope flying as high as 45000 ft in the stratosphere above 99 percent of the precipitable water vapor. SOFIA normally operates from its base in Palmdale, California, and a typical observing flight lasts for 10 hours before returning to base. SOFIA has started astronomical observations in Dec 2010 and has completed some 30 early science flights in 2011, delivering a number of exciting results and discoveries, both in mid-infrared imaging (5-40mu) and in far-infrared (THz) heterodyne high-resolution spectroscopy which were published in mid-2012 in special issues of ApJ Letters and A & A, respectively. Meanwhile, in July 2013, as part of Cycle 1, SOFIA has deployed to New Zealand for a total of 9 flights (all of them successful) and has observed key targets in the southern hemisphere at THz frequencies, including star forming regions in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. In this talk, I will present a few highlights of SOFIA early science and its future potential, when the full suite of 7 instruments will be implemented by the time of full operations in 2015. As Herschel ran out of cryogens in April 2013, SOFIA will be the premier FIR-astronomical facility for many years to come. Synergies with ALMA and CCAT must be explored. SOFIA is a major bilateral project between NASA and the German Space Agency (DLR), however as an international observatory it offers observing time to the whole astronomical community world-wide, not only to the US and German primary partners.

  3. Integrating snow albedo from the Airborne Snow Observatory into the distributed energy balance snowmelt model iSnobal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skiles, M.; Painter, T. H.; Marks, D. G.; Hedrick, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Since 2013 the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) has been measuring spatial and temporal distribution of both snow water equivalent and snow albedo, the two most critical properties for understanding snowmelt runoff and timing, across key basins in the Western US. It is generally understood that net solar radiation (as controlled by variations in snow albedo and irradiance) provides the energy available for melt in almost all snow-covered environments. Until now, sparse measurements have restricted the ability to utilize measured net solar radiation in energy balance models, and current process simulations and model prediction of albedo evolution rely on oversimplifications of the processes. Data from ASO offers the unprecedented opportunity to utilize weekly measurements of spatially extensive spectral snow albedo to constrain and update snow albedo in a distributed snowmelt model for the first time. Here, we first investigate the sensitivity of the snow energy balance model SNOBAL to prescribed changes in snow albedo at two instrumented alpine catchments: at the point scale across 10 years at Senator Beck Basin Study Area in the San Juan Mountains, southwestern Colorado, and at the distributed scale across 25 years at Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Idaho. We then compare distributed energy balance and snowmelt results across the ASO measurement record in the Tuolumne Basin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, for model runs with and without integrated snow albedo from ASO.

  4. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) science rationale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Jacqueline A.; Erickson, Edwin F.

    1989-01-01

    SOFIA, a proposed 3-meter class telescope in a Boeing 747 aircraft, would have the ability to make astronomical observations over a wavelength range from 0.3 microns to 1.6mm. Relative to the KAO (Kuiper Airborne Observatory) the larger telescope on SOFIA would provide a factor of 10 improvement in sensitivity for compact sources and a factor of 3 improvement in (diffraction-limited) angular resolution at wavelengths beyond 30 microns. In addition, SOFIA will retain the major features of the KAO which have made the airborne astronomy program so successful. Among these are continuous in-flight access to focal plane instruments while flying at or above 41,000 ft altitude; pointing stability of 0.2 arcseconds; and mobility and scheduling flexibility to accommodate targets of opportunity such as comets, eclipses, occultations, and novae.

  5. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.

    1989-01-01

    SOFIA will be a three meter class telescope operating in a Boeing 747, offering astronomers routine access to infrared wavelengths unavailable from the ground, and with the means to observe transient astronomical events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 15 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA will replace in the mid 1990's. SOFIA's wavelength range covers nearly four decades of the electromagnetic spectrum: from the visible, throughout the infrared and submillimeter, to the microwave region. Relative to the KAO, SOFIA will be roughly ten times more sensitive for compact sources, enabling observations of fainter objects and measurements at higher spectral resolution. Also, it will have three times the angular resolving power for wavelengths greater than 30 microns, permitting more detailed imaging at far infrared wavelengths.

  6. NASA's Airborne Astronomy Program - Lessons For SOFIA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.

    2007-07-01

    Airborne astronomy was pioneered and has evolved at NASA Ames Research Center near San Francisco, California, since 1965. Nowhere else in the world has a similar program been implemented. Its many unique features deserve description, especially for the benefit of planning the operation of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, and in particular since NASA Headquarters’ recent decision to base SOFIA operations at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California instead of at Ames. The history of Ames’ airborne astronomy program is briefly summarized. Discussed in more detail are the operations and organization of the 21-year Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) program, which provide important lessons for SOFIA. The KAO program is our best prototype for planning effective SOFIA operations. Principal features of the KAO program which should be retained on SOFIA are: unique science, innovative new science instruments and technologies, training of young scientists, an effective education and public outreach program, flexibility, continuous improvement, and efficient operations with a lean, well integrated team. KAO program features which should be improved upon with SOFIA are: (1) a management structure that is dedicated primarily to safely maximizing scientific productivity for the resources available, headed by a scientist who is the observatory director, and (2) stimuli to assure prompt distribution and accessibility of data to the scientific community. These and other recommendations were recorded by the SOFIA Science Working Group in 1995, when the KAO was decommissioned to start work on SOFIA. Further operational and organizational factors contributing to the success of the KAO program are described. Their incorporation into SOFIA operations will help assure the success of this new airborne observatory. SOFIA is supported by NASA in the U.S. and DLR (the German Aerospace Center) in Germany.

  7. Converting Snow Depth to SWE: The Fusion of Simulated Data with Remote Sensing Retrievals and the Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bormann, K.; Marks, D. G.; Painter, T. H.; Hedrick, A. R.; Deems, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Snow cover monitoring has greatly benefited from remote sensing technology but, despite their critical importance, spatially distributed measurements of snow water equivalent (SWE) in mountain terrain remain elusive. Current methods of monitoring SWE rely on point measurements and are insufficient for distributed snow science and effective management of water resources. Many studies have shown that the spatial variability in SWE is largely controlled by the spatial variability in snow depth. JPL's Airborne Snow Observatory mission (ASO) combines LiDAR and spectrometer instruments to retrieve accurate and very high-resolution snow depth measurements at the watershed scale, along with other products such as snow albedo. To make best use of these high-resolution snow depths, spatially distributed snow density data are required to leverage SWE from the measured snow depths. Snow density is a spatially and temporally variable property that cannot yet be reliably extracted from remote sensing techniques, and is difficult to extrapolate to basin scales. However, some physically based snow models have shown skill in simulating bulk snow densities and therefore provide a pathway for snow depth to SWE conversion. Leveraging model ability where remote sensing options are non-existent, ASO employs a physically based snow model (iSnobal) to resolve distributed snow density dynamics across the basin. After an adjustment scheme guided by in-situ data, these density estimates are used to derive the elusive spatial distribution of SWE from the observed snow depth distributions from ASO. In this study, we describe how the process of fusing model data with remote sensing retrievals is undertaken in the context of ASO along with estimates of uncertainty in the final SWE volume products. This work will likely be of interest to those working in snow hydrology, water resource management and the broader remote sensing community.

  8. The Airborne Snow Observatory: fusion of imaging spectrometer and scanning lidar for studies of mountain snow cover (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, T. H.; Andreadis, K.; Berisford, D. F.; Goodale, C. E.; Hart, A. F.; Heneghan, C.; Deems, J. S.; Gehrke, F.; Marks, D. G.; Mattmann, C. A.; McGurk, B. J.; Ramirez, P.; Seidel, F. C.; Skiles, M.; Trangsrud, A.; Winstral, A. H.; Kirchner, P.; Zimdars, P. A.; Yaghoobi, R.; Boustani, M.; Khudikyan, S.; Richardson, M.; Atwater, R.; Horn, J.; Goods, D.; Verma, R.; Boardman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    Snow cover and its melt dominate regional climate and water resources in many of the world's mountainous regions. However, we face significant water resource challenges due to the intersection of increasing demand from population growth and changes in runoff total and timing due to climate change. Moreover, increasing temperatures in desert systems will increase dust loading to mountain snow cover, thus reducing the snow cover albedo and accelerating snowmelt runoff. The two most critical properties for understanding snowmelt runoff and timing are the spatial and temporal distributions of snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow albedo. Despite their importance in controlling volume and timing of runoff, snowpack albedo and SWE are still poorly quantified in the US and not at all in most of the globe, leaving runoff models poorly constrained. Recognizing this need, JPL developed the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), an imaging spectrometer and imaging LiDAR system, to quantify snow water equivalent and snow albedo, provide unprecedented knowledge of snow properties, and provide complete, robust inputs to snowmelt runoff models, water management models, and systems of the future. Critical in the design of the ASO system is the availability of snow water equivalent and albedo products within 24 hours of acquisition for timely constraint of snowmelt runoff forecast models. In spring 2013, ASO was deployed for its first year of a multi-year Demonstration Mission of weekly acquisitions in the Tuolumne River Basin (Sierra Nevada) and monthly acquisitions in the Uncompahgre River Basin (Colorado). The ASO data were used to constrain spatially distributed models of varying complexities and integrated into the operations of the O'Shaughnessy Dam on the Hetch Hetchy reservoir on the Tuolumne River. Here we present the first results from the ASO Demonstration Mission 1 along with modeling results with and without the constraint by the ASO's high spatial resolution and spatially

  9. Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Phase A: System concept description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Infrared astronomers have made significant discoveries using the NASA/Ames Research Center C-141 Kuiper airborne Observatory (KAO) with its 0.91-meter telescope. The need for a 3-meter class airborne observatory has been established to improve astronomy data gathering capability. The new system envisioned by NASA and the international community of astronomers will be known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The platform of choice for SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP. SOFIA is viewed as a logical progression from the KAO. Potentially, a 3-meter telescope operating at the altitude achievable by the 747SP aircraft can be 11 times more sensitive than the KAO, can have 3.3 times better angular resolution, and will allow observations of compact sources in a volume of space up to 36 times that of the KAO. The KAO has enabled detection of about 15 percent of the far infrared IRAS survey point-sources; SOFIA should be able to detect them all. This document presents the results of in-house ARC and contracted concept definition studies for SOFIA. Using the ARC-based Kuiper Airborne Observatory as a basis for both SOFIA design and operations concepts, the SOFIA system concept has been developed with a view toward demonstrating mission and technical feasibility, and preparing preliminary cost estimates. The reference concept developed is not intended to represent final design, and should be treated accordingly. The most important products of this study, other than demonstration of system feasibility, are the understanding of system trade-offs and the development of confidence in the technology base that exists to move forward with a program leading to implementation of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

  10. Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Phase A: System concept description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Infrared astronomers have made significant discoveries using the NASA/Ames Research Center C-141 Kuiper airborne Observatory (KAO) with its 0.91-meter telescope. The need for a 3-meter class airborne observatory has been established to improve astronomy data gathering capability. The new system envisioned by NASA and the international community of astronomers will be known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The platform of choice for SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP. SOFIA is viewed as a logical progression from the KAO. Potentially, a 3-meter telescope operating at the altitude achievable by the 747SP aircraft can be 11 times more sensitive than the KAO, can have 3.3 times better angular resolution, and will allow observations of compact sources in a volume of space up to 36 times that of the KAO. The KAO has enabled detection of about 15 percent of the far infrared IRAS survey point-sources; SOFIA should be able to detect them all. This document presents the results of in-house ARC and contracted concept definition studies for SOFIA. Using the ARC-based Kuiper Airborne Observatory as a basis for both SOFIA design and operations concepts, the SOFIA system concept has been developed with a view toward demonstrating mission and technical feasibility, and preparing preliminary cost estimates. The reference concept developed is not intended to represent final design, and should be treated accordingly. The most important products of this study, other than demonstration of system feasibility, are the understanding of system trade-offs and the development of confidence in the technology base that exists to move forward with a program leading to implementation of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

  11. Three Classes of Kuiper Belt Objects: Theory and Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holman, Mathew J.; Boyce, J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    As part of the Origins of Solar Systems program our team conducted a dynamically motivated search for three classes of Kuiper belt objects (distant comets near and beyond the orbit of Neptune). Our strategy has been to exploit variations in the sky density of Kuiper belt that result from the gravitational influence of Neptune. By searching two regions of the sky, one nearly 90 degrees from Neptune and one nearly opposite Neptune, and comparing the number of objects discovered in each region we are able to constrain the relative populations of resonant and non-resonant objects, a fundamental quantity in Kuiper belt formation models. In addition, by searching at a variety of angles above the plane of the solar system we have constrained the inclination distribution of Kuiper belt objects. We have conducted four searches for this program. One was in February 1999 and August 2000 at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (3.6-meter), and another was in May 1999 and Oct. 2000 at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (4-meter). In addition, a search for Uranian satellites was conducted.

  12. High resolution Michelson interferometer for airborne infrared astronomical observations. 2: System design.

    PubMed

    Langlet, A; Delage, C; Stefanovitch, D; Talureau, B; Tualy, J; Verveer, J; Fischer, W P; Gilles, J M; Scheper, R; Leblanc, J; Dambier, G

    1977-07-01

    A Michelson interferometer for high resolution (lambda/Deltalambda approximately 10(4)) spectroscopic observations of astronomical ir ionic line emission has been built and flown on the NASA 91-cm airborne ir telescope facility (G. P. Kuiper Airborne Observatory). In Part 1 of this paper the requirements for such a system were outlined, and the scientific basis for the choice of instrumental parameters and the rapid scan mode of operation were discussed. In this paper design details of the instrument are presented. These include the optics, control He-Ne laser interferometer, helium-cooled bolometer detector, and cooled passband filters. In addition, the on-line computer software which enables the operator to interact rapidly with the system to produce inflight spectra and control accordingly the observational parameters is described, as are elements of the electronics hardware developed specially for airborne observations. PMID:20168820

  13. Water Ice on Kuiper Belt Object 1996 TO66

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. H.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Pendleton, Y.

    1999-01-01

    The 1.40-2.40 micron spectrum of Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 1996 TO66 was measured at the Keck Observatory in September 1998. It's spectrum shows the strong absorptions near 1.5 and 2.0 micron characteristic of water ice--the first such detection on a Kuiper Belt object. The depth of the absorption bands and the continuum reflectance of 1996 TO66 also suggest the presence of a black to slightly blue-colored, spectrally featureless particulate material as a minority component mixed with the water ice. In addition, there is evidence that the intensity of the water bands in the spectrum of 1996 TO66 vary with rotational phase suggesting that it has a "patchy" surface.

  14. High fidelity remote sensing of snow properties from MODIS and the Airborne Snow Observatory: Snowflakes to Terabytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, T.; Mattmann, C. A.; Brodzik, M.; Bryant, A. C.; Goodale, C. E.; Hart, A. F.; Ramirez, P.; Rittger, K. E.; Seidel, F. C.; Zimdars, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    The response of the cryosphere to climate forcings largely determines Earth's climate sensitivity. However, our understanding of the strength of the simulated snow albedo feedback varies by a factor of three in the GCMs used in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, mainly caused by uncertainties in snow extent and the albedo of snow-covered areas from imprecise remote sensing retrievals. Additionally, the Western US and other regions of the globe depend predominantly on snowmelt for their water supply to agriculture, industry and cities, hydroelectric power, and recreation, against rising demand from increasing population. In the mountains of the Upper Colorado River Basin, dust radiative forcing in snow shortens snow cover duration by 3-7 weeks. Extended to the entire upper basin, the 5-fold increase in dust load since the late-1800s results in a 3-week earlier peak runoff and a 5% annual loss of total runoff. The remotely sensed dynamics of snow cover duration and melt however have not been factored into hydrological modeling, operational forecasting, and policymaking. To address these deficiencies in our understanding of snow properties, we have developed and validated a suite of MODIS snow products that provide accurate fractional snow covered area and radiative forcing of dust and carbonaceous aerosols in snow. The MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain size (MODSCAG) and MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS) algorithms, developed and transferred from imaging spectroscopy techniques, leverage the complete MODIS surface reflectance spectrum. The two most critical properties for understanding snowmelt runoff and timing are the spatial and temporal distributions of snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow albedo. We have created the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), an imaging spectrometer and scanning LiDAR system, to quantify SWE and snow albedo, generate unprecedented knowledge of snow properties, and provide complete

  15. The Scattered Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trujillo, C. A.; Jewitt, D. C.; Luu, J. X.

    1999-09-01

    We describe a continuing survey of the Kuiper Belt conducted at the 3.6-m Canada France Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The survey employs a 12288 x 8192 pixel CCD mosaic to image the sky to red magnitude 24. All detected objects are targeted for systematic follow-up observations, allowing us to determine their orbital characteristics. Three new members of the rare Scattered Kuiper Belt Object class have been identified, bringing the known population of such objects to four. The SKBOs are thought to have been scattered outward by Neptune, and are a potential source of the short-period comets. Using a Maximum Likelihood method, we place observational constraints on the total number and mass of the SKBOs.

  16. Comparison of airborne CO2 flask samples and measurements from the Mauna Loa Observatory during the HAMEC Project (June 1980)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herbert, G. A.; Harris, T. B.; Chin, J. F. S.

    1983-08-01

    A P3 aircraft has been used to measure meteorological variables upwind and downwind of the island of Hawaii in order to provide data for the evaluation of mesoscale models of airflow and cloud physics. An attempt was made to obtain flask samples upwind of the island which might confirm that the CO2 values gathered at the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) are representative of the free air at comparable altitudes. CO2 flask samples exposed aboard the aircraft at the altitude of the observatory and immediately above the trade inversion yielded flask pairs which were in reasonable agreement. The average difference between the aircraft measurements at the observatory altitude and the continuous CO2 record from the observatory over the same period was 0.8 mole fraction in ppm. Attention is given to measurement differences in light of prevailing meteorological conditions.

  17. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Trujillo, Chad

    2012-02-01

    Of the thousands of known objects beyond Neptune, only one has a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU, Sedna at 75 AU. Kuiper Belt surveys to date have not been optimized to survey beyond the Kuiper Belt edge at 50 AU. Most of these surveys either did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence to detect very slow moving objects or covered too small of an area of sky. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. In order to probe the Sedna like population of objects with moderate radii (100 km) we propose a medium wide-field outer solar system survey. This survey will allow us to determine if the objects beyond 50 AU are fainter than expected, if there is truly a dearth of objects, or if the Kuiper Belt continues again after some sizable gap possibly caused by a planet sized object. We will be able to examine the origin of Sedna and determine if this eccentric, distant body is unique (as once believed for Pluto) or just the first of a new class of object in the outer Solar System.

  18. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott

    2012-06-01

    Of the thousands of known objects beyond Neptune, only one has a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU, Sedna at 75 AU. Kuiper Belt surveys to date have not been optimized to survey beyond the Kuiper Belt edge at 50 AU. Most of these surveys either did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence to detect very slow moving objects or covered too small of an area of sky. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. In order to probe the Sedna like population of objects with moderate radii (100 km) we propose a deep wide-field outer solar system survey. This survey will allow us to determine if the objects beyond 50 AU are fainter than expected, if there is truly a dearth of objects, or if the Kuiper Belt continues again after some sizable gap possibly caused by a planet sized object. We will be able to examine the origin of Sedna and determine if this eccentric, distant body is unique (as once believed for Pluto) or just the first of a new class of object in the outer Solar System. We will also explore the Neptune Trojans and scattered disk populations through the survey.

  19. Spatial patterns of vegetation biomass and soil organic carbon acquired from airborne lidar and hyperspectral imagery at Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Will, R. M.; Li, A.; Glenn, N. F.; Benner, S. G.; Spaete, L.; Ilangakoon, N. T.

    2015-12-01

    Soil organic carbon distribution and the factors influencing this distribution are important for understanding carbon stores, vegetation dynamics, and the overall carbon cycle. Linking soil organic carbon (SOC) with aboveground vegetation biomass may provide a method to better understand SOC distribution in semiarid ecosystems. The Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory (RC CZO) in Idaho, USA, is approximately 240 square kilometers and is situated in the semiarid Great Basin of the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem. Full waveform airborne lidar data and Next-Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-ng) collected in 2014 across the RC CZO are used to map vegetation biomass and SOC and then explore the relationships between them. Vegetation biomass is estimated by identifying vegetation species, and quantifying distribution and structure with lidar and integrating the field-measured biomass. Spectral data from AVIRIS-ng are used to differentiate non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and soil, which are commonly confused in semiarid ecosystems. The information from lidar and AVIRIS-ng are then used to predict SOC by partial least squares regression (PLSR). An uncertainty analysis is provided, demonstrating the applicability of these approaches to improving our understanding of the distribution and patterns of SOC across the landscape.

  20. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Of the thousands of known objects beyond Neptune, only one has a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU, Sedna at 75 AU. Most Kuiper Belt surveys to date either did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence to detect very slow moving objects or covered too small of an area of sky to efficiently detect objects beyond 50 AU. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. In order to probe the Sedna like population of objects with moderate radii (100 km) we are conducting a deep wide-field outer solar system survey. This survey will allow us to determine if the objects beyond 50 AU are fainter than expected, if there is truly a dearth of objects, or if the Kuiper Belt continues again after some sizable gap possibly caused by a planet sized object. We will be able to examine the origin of Sedna and determine if it is unique (as once believed for Pluto) or one of a new class of object. We request one night in 2012B to recover interesting objects that will be discovered at Subaru in July 2012 and complete the sky coverage needed to constrain the Sedna-like population.

  1. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott

    2013-01-01

    Of the thousands of known objects beyond Neptune, only one has a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU, Sedna at 75 AU. Most Kuiper Belt surveys to date either did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence to detect very slow moving objects or covered too small of an area of sky to efficiently detect objects beyond 50 AU. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. In order to probe the Sedna like population of objects with moderate radii (100 km) we are conducting a deep wide-field outer solar system survey. This survey will allow us to determine if the objects beyond 50 AU are fainter than expected, if there is truly a dearth of objects, or if the Kuiper Belt continues again after some sizable gap possibly caused by a planet sized object. We will be able to examine the origin of Sedna and determine if it is unique (as once believed for Pluto) or one of a new class of object. We request one night in 2013B to recover a very interesting object that we discovered at Subaru in July 2012 and complete the sky coverage needed to constrain the Sedna-like population. This one night was awarded to us in 2012B but lost because of instrument problems.

  2. Airborne astronomy with a 150 micrometer - 500 micrometer heterodyne spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Betz, A. L.

    1991-01-01

    This report summarizes work done under NASA Grant NAG2-254 awarded to the University of California. The project goal was to build a far-infrared heterodyne spectrometer for NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), and to use this instrument to observe atomic and molecular spectral lines from the interstellar medium. This goal was successfully achieved; the spectrometer is now in routine use aboard the KAO. Detections of particular note have been the 370 micrometers line of neutral atomic carbon, the 158 micrometers transition of ionized carbon, many of the high-J rotational lines of 12CO and 13CO between J=9-8 and J=22-21, the 119 micron ground-state rotational line of OH, and the 219 micron ground-state rotational line of H2D(+). All of these lines were observed at spectral resolutions exceeding 1 part in 10(exp 6), thereby allowing accurate line shapes and Doppler velocities to be measured.

  3. Airborne Astronomy with a 150 microns - 400 microns Heterodyne Spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Betz, A. L.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes work done under NASA Grant NAG2-753 awarded to the University of Colorado. The project goal was to build a far-infrared heterodyne spectrometer for NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, and to use this instrument to observe atomic and molecular spectral lines from the interstellar medium. This goal was successfully achieved. Detections of particular note have been the 370 micron line of neutral atomic carbon, the 158 micron transition of ionized carbon, many of the high-J rotational lines of CO-12 and CO-13 between J=9-8 and J=22-21, the 119 micron and 163 micron rotational lines of OH, the 219 micron ground-state rotational line of H2D(+), and the 63 micron fine structure line of neutral atomic oxygen. All of these lines were observed at spectral resolutions exceeding 1 part in 10(exp 6) thereby allowing accurate line shapes and Doppler velocities to be measured.

  4. Gerard Kuiper and the Infrared Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sears, Derek

    2013-10-01

    The life and contributions of Gerard Kuiper have been documented by Dale Cruikshank in his National Academy of Sciences biography. I will argue that particularly important in this eventful life was Kuiper's war time experiences. Kuiper's wartime role evolved as the war unfolded, but towards the end he was charged by the US military with reporting German progress with war-related technologies and the activities of scientists under Nazi control. He interviewed a great many scientists, including his own PhD mentor (Ejnar Hertzsprung), and when Kuiper was the only person available, he interviewed concentration-camp victims. He carried briefing sheets that identified the technologies being sought by the allies and the major fraction of these involved infrared equipment. He sent back to the USA boxes of documents, and large amounts of equipment, and he stressed to the military his interest in these for his own research. It seems very likely that in this way an effective PbS infrared detector, so critical to Kuiper's career and the future of planetary science, came to the USA and to Robert Cashman's laboratory at Northwestern University. As the war was winding down, Cashman and Kuiper worked together to develop a practical infrared spectrometer for astronomical use. Within months, Kuiper discovered the C02 atmospheres on Mars and Venus.

  5. Collisions in the Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael

    2007-07-01

    For most of the 15 year history of observations of Kuiper belt objects, it has been speculated that impacts must have played a major role in shaping the physical and chemical characteristics of these objects, yet little direct evidence of the effects of such impacts has been seen. The past 18 months, however, have seen an explosion of major new discoveries giving some of the first insights into the influence of this critical process. From a diversity of observations we have been led to the hypotheses that: {1} satellite-forming impacts must have been common in the Kuiper belt; {2} such impacts led to significant chemical modification; and {3} the outcomes of these impacts are sufficiently predictable that we can now find and study these impact-derived systems by the chemical and physical attributes of both the satellites and the primaries. If our picture is correct, we now have in hand for the first time a set of incredibly powerful tools to study the frequency and outcome of collisions in the outer solar system. Here we propose three linked projects that would answer questions critical to the multiple prongs of our hypothesis. In these projects we will study the chemical effects of collisions through spectrophotometric observations of collisionally formed satellites and through the search for additional satellites around primaries with potential impact signatures, and we will study the physical effects of impacts through the examination of tidal evolution in proposed impact systems. The intensive HST program that we propose here will allow us to fully test our new hypotheses and will provide the ability to obtain the first extensive insights into outer solar system impact processes.

  6. Airborne Snow Observatory: measuring basin-wide seasonal snowpack with LiDAR and an imaging spectrometer to improve runoff forecasting and reservoir operation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGurk, B. J.; Painter, T. H.

    2013-12-01

    The Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) NASA-JPL demonstration mission collected detailed snow information for portions of the Tuolumne Basin in California and the Uncompahgre Basin in Colorado in spring of 2013. The ASO uses an imaging spectrometer and LiDAR sensors mounted in an aircraft to collect snow depth and extent data, and snow albedo. By combining ground and modeled density fields, the ~weekly flights over the Tuolumne produced both basin-wide and detailed sub-basin snow water equivalent (SWE) estimates that were used in a hydrologic simulation model to improve the accuracy and timing of runoff forecasting tools used to manage Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of 85% of the water supply for 2.5 million people on the San Francisco Peninsula. The USGS PRMS simulation model was calibrated to the 459 square mile basin and was updated with both weather forecast data and distributed snow information from ASO flights to inform the reservoir operators of predicted inflow volumes and timing. Information produced by the ASO data collection was used to update distributed SWE and albedo state variables in the PRMS model and improved inflow forecasts for Hetch Hetchy. Data from operational ASO programs is expected to improve the ability of reservoir operators to more efficiently allocate the last half of the recession limb of snowmelt inflow and be more assured of meeting operational mandates. This presentation will provide results from the project after its first year.

  7. Surface composition of Kuiper belt object 1993SC.

    PubMed

    Brown, R H; Cruikshank, D P; Pendleton, Y; Veeder, G J

    1997-05-01

    The 1.42- to 2.40-micrometer spectrum of Kuiper belt object 1993SC was measured at the Keck Observatory in October 1996. It shows a strongly red continuum reflectance and several prominent infrared absorption features. The strongest absorptions in 1993SC's spectrum occur near 1.62, 1.79, 1.95, 2.20, and 2.32 micrometers in wavelength. Features near the same wavelengths in the spectra of Pluto and Neptune's satellite Triton are due to CH4 on their surfaces, suggesting the presence of a simple hydrocarbon ice such as CH4, C2H6, C2H4, or C2H2 on 1993SC. In addition, the red continuum reflectance of 1993SC suggests the presence of more complex hydrocarbons. PMID:9163038

  8. Surface composition of Kuiper belt object 1993SC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. H.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Pendleton, Y.; Veeder, G. J.

    1997-01-01

    The 1.42- to 2.40-micrometer spectrum of Kuiper belt object 1993SC was measured at the Keck Observatory in October 1996. It shows a strongly red continuum reflectance and several prominent infrared absorption features. The strongest absorptions in 1993SC's spectrum occur near 1.62, 1.79, 1.95, 2.20, and 2.32 micrometers in wavelength. Features near the same wavelengths in the spectra of Pluto and Neptune's satellite Triton are due to CH4 on their surfaces, suggesting the presence of a simple hydrocarbon ice such as CH4, C2H6, C2H4, or C2H2 on 1993SC. In addition, the red continuum reflectance of 1993SC suggests the presence of more complex hydrocarbons.

  9. Assimilation of Airborne Snow Observatory Snow Water Equivalent to Improve Runoff Forecasting Model Performance and Reservoir Management During Warm and Dry Winters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGurk, B. J.; Painter, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    The Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) NASA-JPL demonstration mission has collected detailed snow information for portions of the Tuolumne Basin in California for three years, 2013 - 2015. Both 2014 and 2015 were low snow years, and 2015 was exceptionally warm and analogous to future years after climate change. The ASO uses an imaging spectrometer and LiDAR sensors mounted in an aircraft to collect snow depth and extent data, and snow albedo. By combining ground and modeled density fields, the ~weekly flights over the Tuolumne produced both basin-wide and detailed sub-basin snow water equivalent (SWE) estimates that were provided to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir operators. The data were also assimilated into an hydrologic simulation model in an attempt to improve the accuracy and timing of a runoff forecasting tool that can be used to improve the management of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of 85% of the water supply for 2.6 million people on the San Francisco Peninsula. The USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System was calibrated to the 1181 square kilometer basin and simulation results compared to observed runoff with and without assimilation of ASO data. Simulated and observed were also compared with observed with both single updates associated with each flight, and with sequential updates from each flight. Sequential updating was found to improve correlation between observed and simulated reservoir inflows, and there by improve the ability of reservoir operators to more efficiently allocate the last half of the recession limb of snowmelt inflow and be assured of filling the reservoir and minimizing ecologically-damaging late season spills.

  10. The state of knowledge concerning the Kuiper belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levison, Harold F.

    1992-01-01

    The arguments for and against the idea that most short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt are discussed. Observational constraints on the distribution of mass in the Kuiper belt are reviewed as well as a model of the physical conditions that now exist. Finally, predictions from this model about the detectability of the Kuiper belt are compared to optical surveys.

  11. Pluto's small satellites in the context of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, A. H.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Porter, S.; Spencer, J. R.; Olkin, C.; Howett, C.; Grundy, W. M.; Buie, M. W.

    2015-12-01

    New Horizons is now beyond Pluto and flying deeper into the Kuiper Belt. The small satellites in the Pluto system are the closest analogues to typical Kuiper Belt Objects yet observed at close-range by the spacecraft, and we will review these observations in the greater context of the Kuiper Belt and as they pertain to New Horizons' exploration of a similarly-sized classical Kuiper Belt target in late 2018 or early 2019. Finally, we will summarize the current state-of-knowledge regarding the potential long-range and close-range Kuiper Belt targets.

  12. High resolution Michelson interferometer for airborne infrared astronomical observations. 1: Concept and performance.

    PubMed

    Baluteau, J P; Anderegg, M; Moorwood, A F; Coron, N; Beckman, J E; Bussoletti, E; Hippelein, H H

    1977-07-01

    A Michelson interferometer has been built for use with the 91-cm telescope on NASA's Gerard P. Kuiper Airborne Observatory primarily to measure ir line emission from H 11 regions. Operation is in the rapid scan mode, and the achievable resolution is 0.02 cm(-1) in the wavelength range from 10 micro to around 300 micro. A minicomputer is used to provide on-line spectrum displays and to control and monitor the instrument performance. The design and use of the instrument is discussed, and a comparison is made between the theoretical performance and that actually achieved on the first flights when measurements of line emission from the Orion nebula and from the atmosphere were made. PMID:20168819

  13. Some 5-13 micrometer airborne observations of Comet Wilson 1986l: Preliminary results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, David K.; Russell, Ray W.; Witteborn, F. C.; Bregman, Jesse D.; Rank, D. M.; Cohen, M. C; Campins, Humberto C.

    1988-01-01

    Comet Wilson was observed from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory approximately 23.6 and 25.7 Apr. 1987, UT (approx. 3 to 5 days after perihelion) using the NASA-Ames Faint Object Grating Spectrometer. Spectrophotometric data were observed with a 21 inch aperture between 5 and 13 micrometer and with a spectral resolution of 50 to 100. Spectra of the inner coma and nucleus reveal a fairly smooth continuum with little evidence of silicate emission. The 5 to 8 micrometer color temperature of the comet was 300 + or - 15 K, approx. 15 percent higher than the equilibrium blackbody temperature. All three spectra of the nucleus show a new emission feature at approx. 12.25 micrometer approx. two channels (.22 micrometer) wide. Visual and photographic observations made during the time of these observations showed a broad faint, possible two component tail. No outburst activity was observed.

  14. Evidence for CO in Jupiter's atmosphere from airborne spectroscopic observations at 5 microns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, H. P.; Fink, U.; Treffers, R. R.

    1978-01-01

    High-altitude (12.4 km) spectra of Jupiter recorded at the Kuiper Airborne Observatory are analyzed for the presence of CO absorption lines. A line-by-line comparison of Jupiter's spectrum with that of carbon monoxide is presented, as well as a correlation analysis that includes the influence of other gases present in Jupiter's atmosphere (CH4, NH3, H2O, PH3, and GeH4). The resulting evidence points strongly to the presence of carbon monoxide in Jupiter's atmosphere, thus strengthening Beer's evidence for it. Possible explanations for the existence and observability of Jovian CO, including convection from hotter, deeper layers or decomposition of organic molecules, are explored. A recent suggestion that the Jovian CO is restricted to stratospheric levels is not supported by the observations.

  15. The "Science in the Stratosphere" Program: Developing a Role for Airborne Astronomy in Elementary Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lester, D.; Hemenway, M.; Stryker, P.; Willis, M.

    1993-05-01

    The Science in the Stratosphere program on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) is an opportunity for selected elementary and middle school teachers from the central Texas area to participate in airborne astronomy, working with researchers on the ground and in the air. Through their experiences, the excitement of hands-on space astronomy can be conveyed to their colleagues and students. These experiences serve as a vehicle for introducing many scientific concepts, as well as the planning, instrument development, cooperation and teamwork that are essential components of scientific research. The airborne setting instills this vignette of modern astronomical research with a spirit of exploration and excitement that inspires even the youngest school children. The inaugural session of this program was held during the summer of 1992. Two school teachers with science specialization were chosen, at grade levels (K and 8) that spanned those targeted by the program. These teachers spent more than a week working with KAO visiting scientists and staff, learning about the research being done, and the operation of this remarkable observatory. Presentations based on their work were made at several science teacher workshops in the months following their trip, and curriculum development is in progress. More so than any other NASA space astronomy facility, airborne telescopes are tangible, accessible, and highly visible. As space astronomy laboratories that are highly fault tolerant, such telescopes (the KAO now, to be followed by SOFIA later) are equipped with instrumentation that is at the leading edge of technology, and thus serve well as educational flagships for modern astronomy. This program receives funds from the NASA Astrophysics AGSE program, and is sponsored by the McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas.

  16. SOFIA'S Challenge: Scheduling Airborne Astronomy Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, Jeremy

    2005-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is NASA's next generation airborne astronomical observatory, and will commence operations in 2005. The facility consists of a 747-SP modified to accommodate a 2.5 meter telescope. SOFIA is expected to fly an average of 140 science flights per year over its 20 year lifetime. Depending on the nature of the instrument used during flight, 5-15 observations per flight are expected. The SOFIA telescope is mounted aft of the wings on the port side of the aircraft and is articulated through a range of 20deg to 60deg of elevation. The telescope has minimal lateral flexibility; thus, the aircraft must turn constantly to maintain the telescope's focus on an object during observations. A significant problem in future SOFIA operations is that of scheduling flights in support of observations. Investigators are expected to propose small numbers of observations, and many observations must be grouped together to make up single flights. Flight planning for the previous generation airborne observatory, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), was done by hand; planners had to choose takeoff time, observations to perform, and decide on setup-actions (called "dead-legs") to position the aircraft prior to observing. This task frequently required between 6-8 hours to plan one flight The scope of the flight planning problem for supporting GI observations with the anticipated flight rate for SOFIA makes the manual approach for flight planning daunting. In response, we have designed an Automated Flight Planner (AFP) that accepts as input a set of requested observations, designated flight days, weather predictions and fuel limitations, and searches automatically for high-quality flight plans that satisfy all relevant aircraft and astronomer specified constraints. The AFP can generate one candidate flight plan in 5-10 minutes, of computation time, a feat beyond the capabilities of human flight planners. The rate at which the AFP can

  17. QUAOAR: A ROCK IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, Wesley C.; Brown, Michael E.

    2010-05-10

    Here we report Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 observations of the Quaoar-Weywot Kuiper Belt binary. From these observations, we find that Weywot is on an elliptical orbit with an eccentricity of 0.14 {+-} 0.04, a period of 12.438 {+-} 0.005 days, and a semimajor axis of 1.45 {+-} 0.08 x 10{sup 4} km. The orbit reveals a surprisingly high-Quaoar-Weywot system mass of (1.6 {+-} 0.3) x 10{sup 21} kg. Using the surface properties of the Uranian and Neptunian satellites as a proxy for Quaoar's surface, we reanalyze the size estimate from Brown and Trujillo. We find, from a mean of available published size estimates, a diameter for Quaoar of 890 {+-} 70 km. We find Quaoar's density to be {rho} = 4.2 {+-} 1.3gcm{sup -3}, possibly the highest density in the Kuiper Belt.

  18. IDENTIFYING COLLISIONAL FAMILIES IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Marcus, Robert A.; Ragozzine, Darin; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Holman, Matthew J.

    2011-05-20

    The identification and characterization of numerous collisional families-clusters of bodies with a common collisional origin-in the asteroid belt has added greatly to the understanding of asteroid belt formation and evolution. More recent study has also led to an appreciation of physical processes that had previously been neglected (e.g., the Yarkovsky effect). Collisions have certainly played an important role in the evolution of the Kuiper Belt as well, though only one collisional family has been identified in that region to date, around the dwarf planet Haumea. In this paper, we combine insights into collisional families from numerical simulations with the current observational constraints on the dynamical structure of the Kuiper Belt to investigate the ideal sizes and locations for identifying collisional families. We find that larger progenitors (r {approx} 500 km) result in more easily identifiable families, given the difficulty in identifying fragments of smaller progenitors in magnitude-limited surveys, despite their larger spread and less frequent occurrence. However, even these families do not stand out well from the background. Identifying families as statistical overdensities is much easier than characterizing families by distinguishing individual members from interlopers. Such identification seems promising, provided the background population is well known. In either case, families will also be much easier to study where the background population is small, i.e., at high inclinations. Overall, our results indicate that entirely different techniques for identifying families will be needed for the Kuiper Belt, and we provide some suggestions.

  19. The gravitational sculpting of the Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levison, H. F.; Duncan, M. J.

    1993-03-01

    Results are presented of numerical integrations over billion year time scales of the orbital evolution of more than one thousand test particles on initially low-inclination, low-eccentricity orbits within the proposed Kuiper belt beyond Neptune. Particles which eventually crossed Neptune's orbit often showed long periods (up to several billion years) of relatively low-eccentricity oscillations punctuated by a very rapid jump to Neptune-crossing eccentricity. This flux may be the ultimate source of present-day short-period comets. It is found here that there exists a correlation between Liapunov and crossing times in the Kuiper belt. None of the particles in the study with Liapunov time scales greater than about 1 Myr actually became a Neptune-crosser in 4 Gyr. An intricate structure to the region between 35 and 45 AU is found at the end of the billion year simulation. Implications for the origins of short-period comets and the detectability of objects currently in the Kuiper belt are discussed.

  20. The Kuiper Belt of Four Gigayears Ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Renu

    2008-09-01

    The Kuiper belt is largely dynamically stable on gigayear timescales, but weak orbital instabilities - also known as chaotic diffusion - have eroded its population by several tens of percent over the past 4 gigayears. Each of the dynamical subclasses in the Kuiper belt has slightly different loss rates. In this paper, I reconstruct the populations of the different subclasses as they were 4 gigayears ago, an epoch when the presently observed dynamical structure is thought to have been established. This exercise shows that the resonant/classical population ratio was significantly higher in the past, as also the scattered/classical population ratio; the resonant Twotino/Plutino population ratio was also much greater in the past. Such a historical projection is necessary for testing and constraining theories for the origin of the dynamical structure of the Kuiper belt. The differential loss rates of the various KB dynamical classes are also of interest for understanding the sources of impactors that are recorded in the impact craters on solid planetary bodies, as well as for establishing the provenance of transient small bodies, such as the Centaurs and the Jupiter family comets. This research was supported in part by grants from NASA's Origins of Solar Systems and Outer Planets Research programs.

  1. CHAOTIC DIFFUSION OF RESONANT KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.; Malhotra, Renu

    2009-09-15

    We carried out extensive numerical orbit integrations to probe the long-term chaotic dynamics of the two strongest mean-motion resonances of Neptune in the Kuiper Belt, the 3:2 (Plutinos) and 2:1 (Twotinos). Our primary results include a computation of the relative volumes of phase space characterized by large- and small-resonance libration amplitudes, and maps of resonance stability measured by mean chaotic diffusion rate. We find that Neptune's 2:1 resonance has weaker overall long-term stability than the 3:2-only {approx}15% of Twotinos are projected to survive for 4 Gyr, compared to {approx}27% of Plutinos, based on an extrapolation from our 1-Gyr integrations. We find that Pluto has only a modest effect, causing a {approx}4% decrease in the Plutino population that survives to 4 Gyr. Given current observational estimates, and assuming an initial distribution of particles proportional to the local phase-space volume in the resonance, we conclude that the primordial populations of Plutinos and Twotinos formerly made up more than half the population of the classical and resonant Kuiper Belt. We also conclude that Twotinos were originally nearly as numerous as Plutinos; this is consistent with predictions from early models of smooth giant planet migration and resonance sweeping of the Kuiper Belt and provides a useful constraint for more detailed models.

  2. PROPERTIES OF THE DISTANT KUIPER BELT: RESULTS FROM THE PALOMAR DISTANT SOLAR SYSTEM SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Brown, Michael E.; Rabinowitz, David L.; Ragozzine, Darin

    2010-09-10

    We present the results of a wide-field survey using the 1.2 m Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. This survey was designed to find the most distant members of the Kuiper Belt and beyond. We searched {approx}12,000 deg{sup 2} down to a mean limiting magnitude of 21.3 in R. A total number of 52 Kuiper Belt objects and Centaurs have been detected, 25 of which were discovered in this survey. Except for the redetection of Sedna, no additional Sedna-like bodies with perihelia greater than 45 AU were detected despite sensitivity out to distances of 1000 AU. We discuss the implications for a distant Sedna-like population beyond the Kuiper Belt, focusing on the constraints we can place on the embedded stellar cluster environment the early Sun may be have been born in, where the location and distribution of Sedna-like orbits sculpted by multiple stellar encounters is indicative of the birth cluster size. We also report our observed latitude distribution and implications for the size of the plutino population.

  3. Euclid Asteroseismology and Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew; Huber, Daniel; Stello, Dennis

    2016-02-01

    Euclid, which is primarily a dark-energy/cosmology mission, may have a microlensing component, consisting of perhaps four dedicated one-month campaigns aimed at the Galactic bulge. We show that such a program would yield excellent auxilliary science, including asteroseismology detections for about 100,000 giant stars, and detection of about 1000 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), down to 2--2.5 mag below the observed break in the KBO luminosity function at I˜ 26. For the 400 KBOs below the break, Euclid will measure accurate orbits, with fractional period errors ≲ 2.5%.

  4. Comparison of airborne CO/sub 2/ flask samples and measurements from the Mauna Loa Observatory during the HAMEC project (June 1980)

    SciTech Connect

    Herbert, G.A.; Harris, T.B.; Chin, J.F.S.

    1983-08-20

    During June 1980, the Hawaii Mesoscale Energy and Climate Project (HAMEC) field program was conducted in the vicinity of the island of Hawaii. The objective of the program was to use the NOAA P3 aircraft to measure meteorological variables upwind and downwind of the island to provide data to evaluate mesoscale models of airflow and cloud physics. One specific objective was to obtain flask samples upwind of the island to confirm that the CO/sub 2/ values observed at the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) are representative of the free air at comparable altitudes. On 2 days, carbon dioxide flask samples were exposed aboard the aircraft at the altitude of the observatory and immediately above the trade inversion. Flask pairs in reasonable agreement were obtained on both occasions. During the same period the sampling conditions at MLO were free of obvious local contamination. The average difference between the aircraft measurements at the altitude of the observatory and the continuous CO/sub 2/ record from the observatory over the same period of time was 0.8 mole fraction in ppM. Differences in the individual measurements are discussed with respect to prevailing meteorological conditions. 11 references, 2 figures, 2 tables.

  5. WATER ICE IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Fraser, W. C.; Schaller, E. L.

    2012-06-15

    We examine a large collection of low-resolution near-infrared spectra of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and centaurs in an attempt to understand the presence of water ice in the Kuiper Belt. We find that water ice on the surface of these objects occurs in three separate manners: (1) Haumea family members uniquely show surfaces of nearly pure water ice, presumably a consequence of the fragmentation of the icy mantle of a larger differentiated proto-Haumea; (2) large objects with absolute magnitudes of H < 3 (and a limited number to H = 4.5) have surface coverings of water ice-perhaps mixed with ammonia-that appears to be related to possibly ancient cryovolcanism on these large objects; and (3) smaller KBOs and centaurs which are neither Haumea family members nor cold-classical KBOs appear to divide into two families (which we refer to as 'neutral' and 'red'), each of which is a mixture of a common nearly neutral component and either a slightly red or very red component that also includes water ice. A model suggesting that the difference between neutral and red objects due to formation in an early compact solar system either inside or outside, respectively, of the {approx}20 AU methanol evaporation line is supported by the observation that methanol is only detected on the reddest objects, which are those which would be expected to have the most of the methanol containing mixture.

  6. Population of the Scattered Kuiper Belt.

    PubMed

    Trujillo; Jewitt; Luu

    2000-02-01

    We present the discovery of three new scattered Kuiper Belt objects (SKBOs) from a wide-field survey of the ecliptic. This continuing survey has to date covered 20.2 deg2 to a limiting red magnitude of 23.6. We combine the data from this new survey with an existing survey conducted at the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope to constrain the number and mass of the SKBOs. The SKBOs are characterized by large eccentricities, perihelia near 35 AU, and semimajor axes greater than 50 AU. Using a maximum likelihood model, we estimate the total number of SKBOs larger than 100 km in diameter to be N=&parl0;3.1+1.9-1.3&parr0;x104 (1 sigma errors) and the total mass of SKBOs to be M approximately 0.05 M plus sign in circle, demonstrating that the SKBOs are similar in number and mass to the Kuiper Belt inside 50 AU. PMID:10622765

  7. Turning a remotely controllable observatory into a fully autonomous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swindell, Scott; Johnson, Chris; Gabor, Paul; Zareba, Grzegorz; Kubánek, Petr; Prouza, Michael

    2014-08-01

    We describe a complex process needed to turn an existing, old, operational observatory - The Steward Observatory's 61" Kuiper Telescope - into a fully autonomous system, which observers without an observer. For this purpose, we employed RTS2,1 an open sourced, Linux based observatory control system, together with other open sourced programs and tools (GNU compilers, Python language for scripting, JQuery UI for Web user interface). This presentation provides a guide with time estimates needed for a newcomers to the field to handle such challenging tasks, as fully autonomous observatory operations.

  8. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidouche, M.; Young, E.; Marcum, P.; Krabbe, A.

    2010-12-01

    We present one of the new generations of observatories, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This is an airborne observatory consisting of a 2.7-m telescope mounted on a modified Boeing B747-SP airplane. Flying at an up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, SOFIA will observe above more than 99 percent of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor allowing observations in the normally obscured far-infrared. We outline the observatory capabilities and goals. The first-generation science instruments flying on board SOFIA and their main astronomical goals are also presented.

  9. Effect of jet engine exhaust on SOFIA straylight performance. [Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St. Clair Dinger, Ann

    1993-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is being designed at NASA's Ames Research Center as a replacement for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). A 2.5-m Nasmyth telescope will be mounted in a Boeing 747 SP and flown at 41,000 ft, above most of the H2O in the earth's atmosphere. In the original SOFIA design, the telescope is located in front of the wings, as it is in the KAO. An alternative design with the telescope placed behind the wings is being studied as part of an effort to reduce cost and weight. In this location, the emission from the engines and the hot H2O molecules in the exhaust become significant straylight sources. The engines and exhaust radiate into the telescope cavity, and illuminate the primary and tertiary mirrors at low telescope elevation angles. The APART/PADE program was used to analyze the straylight at the SOFIA focal plane as a function of wavelength and telescope elevation angle. The emission from the engines and exhaust gas is compared to that from the earth and the telescope itself. Based on the results of this analysis, the SOFIA telescope has been moved behind the wings.

  10. SOFIA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors: An External Evaluation of Cycle 1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) represents a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The observatory itself is a Boeing 747 SP that has been modified to serve as the world's largest airborne research observatory. The SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program is a component of SOFIA's…

  11. Airborne spectrophotometry of SN 1987A from 1.7 to 12.6 microns - Time history of the dust continuum and line emission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Rank, David M.; Bregman, Jesse D.; Witteborn, Fred C.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Cohen, Martin; Pinto, Philip A.; Axelrod, Timothy S.

    1993-01-01

    Spectrophotometric observations of SN 1987A from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory are presented for five epochs at 60, 260, 415, 615, and 775 days after the explosion. The low-resolution (lambda/Delta lambda = 50-100) spectra of SN 1987A are combined with data from other wavelengths to model the continuum, subtract the continuum from the spectra to determine line strengths and reveal molecular bands, separate the atomic continuum radiation from the dust continuum, and derive constraints on the grain temperatures and optical depths. A scenario for the evolution of SN 1987A and that of the ejecta from which it arises is obtained on the basis of the analysis of the continuum emission.

  12. An investigation of the optimization of parameters affecting the implementation of fourier transform spectroscopy at 20-500 micron from the C-141 airborne infrared observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, R. I.; Erickson, E. F.

    1976-01-01

    A program for 20-500 micron spectroscopy from the NASA flying C141 infrared observatory is being carried out with a Michelson interferometer. The parameters affecting the performance of the instrument are studied and an optimal configuration for high performance on the C-141 aircraft is recommended. As each parameter is discussed the relative merits of the two modes of mirror motion (rapid scan or step and integrate) are presented.

  13. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto-Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    The science objective of this work is to identify objects in the Kuiper Belt which will, in the 5 years following Pluto encounter, be close to the flight path of NASA's Pluto Express. Our hope is that we will find a Kuiper Belt object or objects close enough that a spacecraft flyby will be possible. If we find a suitable object, the science yield of Pluto Express will be substantially enhanced. The density of objects in the Kuiper Belt is such that we are reasonably likely to find an object close enough to the flight path that on-board gas thrusters can effect a close encounter.

  14. The small numbers of large Kuiper Belt objects

    SciTech Connect

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Brown, Michael E.; Fraser, Wesley C.

    2014-01-01

    We explore the brightness distribution of the largest and brightest (m(R) < 22) Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). We construct a luminosity function of the dynamically excited or hot Kuiper Belt (orbits with inclinations >5°) from the very brightest to m(R) = 23. We find for m(R) ≲ 23, a single slope appears to describe the luminosity function. We estimate that ∼12 KBOs brighter than m(R) ∼ 19.5 are present in the Kuiper Belt today. With nine bodies already discovered this suggests that the inventory of bright KBOs is nearly complete.

  15. Into the Kuiper Belt: New Horizons Post-Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison Parker, Alex; Spencer, John; Benecchi, Susan; Binzel, Richard; Borncamp, David; Buie, Marc; Fuentes, Cesar; Gwyn, Stephen; Kavelaars, JJ; Noll, Keith; Petit, Jean-Marc; Porter, Simon; Showalter, Mark; Stern, S. Alan; Sterner, Ray; Tholen, David; Verbiscer, Anne; Weaver, Hal; Zangari, Amanda

    2015-11-01

    New Horizons is now beyond Pluto and flying deeper into the Kuiper Belt. In the summer of 2014, a Hubble Space Telescope Large Program identified two candidate Cold Classical Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that were within reach of New Horizons' remaining fuel budget. Here we present the selection of the Kuiper Belt flyby target for New Horizons' post-Pluto mission, our state of knowledge regarding this target and the potential 2019 flyby, the status of New Horizons' targeting maneuver, and prospects for near-future long-range observations of other KBOs.

  16. Spectroscopy of Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Brown, Robert H.; Pendleton, Y. J.; Veeder, Glenn J.

    1998-01-01

    Recent near-infrared spectroscopy of Kuiper Belt objects and Centaurs indicates considerable spectral diversity among them. Some have entirely bland spectra with no discernible spectral features (e.g., Chiron), while 5145 Pholus has a very active spectrum with absorption bands of H2O, CH3OH, and probably the mineral olivine present. In addition, the strong red color of Pholus indicates the presence of organic solids. Among the KBOs, 1993 SC has an active spectrum with the probably presence of hydrocarbons and possibly the ices of H2O and N2. The diversity among these spectra and the implications that such diversity has for models of the formation of the formation of the planets will be discussed.

  17. An Access To The Unknown Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roques, Francoise

    2007-10-01

    The size distribution in the Kuiper Belt is unknown for faint objects. Current differential size distribution estimates give a slope of 4.5+- 0.2 for large end until mR=26 (Petit et al., 2007) but the population of fainter objects (small and far) is unknown. Observations with the HST (Bernstein et al., 2004) with a limiting magnitude de 28.5 could indicate a very shallow size distribution for small KBOs. The estimated slope would much smaller than expected from collisional equilibrium. It would also be smaller than the estimation of small KBOs numbers deduced from analyse of Triton cratering (Stern and McKinnon, 2000). It will be very difficult to improve these contradictory results from direct observations. The next advance could come from occultations of background targets. Three independant observations have announced occultations detections of KBOs. Observations of the bright X target Scorpius X1 by the satellite RXTE reveals 12 events compatible with KBOs occultations (Chang et al. 2007). Several occultations detections have been announced by Georgevits et al. (2006). The conditions of these two observations do not allow to measure the distance of the occulting objects. Three events were detected by Roques et al, 2006 but none is in the known Kuiper region. Occultation is a non reproductible phenomenon. Reliable results can only be obtained from simultaneous detection from two nearby telescope, or by signature of diffraction (expected with a very small target star and good temporal definition of the light curve) or by statistical signature of a large events data set (correlation with direction of observation or with the ecliptic latitude). Moreover, it is very difficult to compare results from different instruments in differents configurations. Results from three research campaigns with Ultracam are presented with an attempt of comparison with other results and some remarks about instruments best adapted for occultations works.

  18. The Relative Sizes of Kuiper Belt Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noll, Keith S.; Grundy, W. M.; Levison, H. F.; Stephens, D. C.

    2006-09-01

    Nearly 40 binary and multiple systems are now known in the Kuiper Belt. Most of these consist of similar-sized components; for some it is problematic to define a primary and a secondary. Systems with faint companions do exist. In the Pluto system, the most extreme example known, the two newly identified satellites are approximately 9 magnitudes fainter than Pluto. Observational bias favors the detection of bright secondaries, especially in low or modest S/N observations, a common occurrence in the observation of transneptunian objects. Because of this bias, it has not been clear whether the apparent preference for similar-sized components in binaries is real or an observational artifact. In the last year we have made very deep observations of 61 Centaurs and TNOs using the Hubble Space Telescope High Resolution Camera. These observations have 3-sigma detection limits of visual magnitude 27.5 or fainter. This is the first large data set capable of assessing the relative frequency of symmetric (similar brightness) and asymmetric (large brightness differences) binaries. Our data show a clear and significant preference for companions that have a 1 magnitude or smaller difference compared to the primary. This result confirms the qualitative prediction of the chaos-assisted model for binary formation (Astakhov et al. 2005, MRAS 360, 401) and supports the contention that most of the bound systems in the Kuiper Belt formed via mutual capture. Asymmetric systems may, in contrast, be the result of collisional formation as is postulated for the Pluto system (Stern et al. 2006, Nature, 439, 946). Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope program #10514. Support for program #10514 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  19. INCLINATION MIXING IN THE CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Volk, Kathryn; Malhotra, Renu

    2011-07-20

    We investigate the long-term evolution of the inclinations of the known classical and resonant Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). This is partially motivated by the observed bimodal inclination distribution and by the putative physical differences between the low- and high-inclination populations. We find that some classical KBOs undergo large changes in inclination over gigayear timescales, which means that a current member of the low-inclination population may have been in the high-inclination population in the past, and vice versa. The dynamical mechanisms responsible for the time variability of inclinations are predominantly distant encounters with Neptune and chaotic diffusion near the boundaries of mean motion resonances. We reassess the correlations between inclination and physical properties including inclination time variability. We find that the size-inclination and color-inclination correlations are less statistically significant than previously reported (mostly due to the increased size of the data set since previous works with some contribution from inclination variability). The time variability of inclinations does not change the previous finding that binary classical KBOs have lower inclinations than non-binary objects. Our study of resonant objects in the classical Kuiper Belt region includes objects in the 3:2, 7:4, 2:1, and eight higher-order mean motion resonances. We find that these objects (some of which were previously classified as non-resonant) undergo larger changes in inclination compared to the non-resonant population, indicating that their current inclinations are not generally representative of their original inclinations. They are also less stable on gigayear timescales.

  20. Distribution of Dust from Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorkavyi, Nick N.; Ozernoy, Leonid; Taidakova, Tanya; Mather, John C.; Fisher, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Using an efficient computational approach, we have reconstructed the structure of the dust cloud in the Solar system between 0.5 and 100 AU produced by the Kuiper belt objects. Our simulations offer a 3-D physical model of the 'kuiperoidal' dust cloud based on the distribution of 280 dust particle trajectories produced by 100 known Kuiper belt objects; the resulting 3-D grid consists of 1.9 x 10' cells containing 1.2 x 10" particle positions. The following processes that influence the dust particle dynamics are taken into account: 1) gravitational scattering on the eight planets (neglecting Pluto); 2) planetary resonances; 3) radiation pressure; and 4) the Poynting-Robertson (P-R) and solar wind drags. We find the dust distribution highly non-uniform: there is a minimum in the kuiperoidal dust between Mars and Jupiter, after which both the column and number densities of kuiperoidal dust sharply increase with heliocentric distance between 5 and 10 AU, and then form a plateau between 10 and 50 AU. Between 25 and 45 AU, there is an appreciable concentration of kuiperoidal dust in the form of a broad belt of mostly resonant particles associated with Neptune. In fact, each giant planet possesses its own circumsolar dust belt consisting of both resonant and gravitationally scattered particles. As with the cometary belts simulated in our related papers, we reveal a rich and sophisticated resonant structure of the dust belts containing families of resonant peaks and gaps. An important result is that both the column and number dust density are more or less flat between 10 and 50 AU, which might explain the surprising data obtained by Pioneers 10 & 11 and Voyager that the dust number density remains approximately distance-independent in this region. The simulated kuiperoidal dust, in addition to asteroidal and cometary dust, might represent a third possible source of the zodiacal light in the Solar system.

  1. The 2011 June 23 Stellar Occultation by Pluto: Airborne and Ground Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, M. J.; Dunham, E. W.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Amrhein, D.; Sallum, S.; Tholen, D. J.; Collins, P.; Bida, T.; Taylor, B.; Bright, L.; Wolf, J.; Meyer, A.; Pfueller, E.; Wiedemann, M.; Roeser, H.-P.; Lucas, R.; Kakkala, M.; Ciotti, J.; Plunkett, S.; Hiraoka, N.; Best, W.; Pilger, E. J.; Micheli, M.; Springmann, A.; Hicks, M.; Thackeray, B.; Emery, J. P.; Tilleman, T.; Harris, H.; Sheppard, S.; Rapoport, S.; Ritchie, I.; Pearson, M.; Mattingly, A.; Brimacombe, J.; Gault, D.; Jones, R.; Nolthenius, R.; Broughton, J.; Barry, T.

    2013-10-01

    On 2011 June 23, stellar occultations by both Pluto (this work) and Charon (future analysis) were observed from numerous ground stations as well as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This first airborne occultation observation since 1995 with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory resulted in the best occultation chords recorded for the event, in three visible wavelength bands. The data obtained from SOFIA are combined with chords obtained from the ground at the IRTF, the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, and Leeward Community College to give the detailed state of the Pluto-Charon system at the time of the event with a focus on Pluto's atmosphere. The data show a return to the distinct upper and lower atmospheric regions with a knee or kink in the light curve separating them as was observed in 1988, rather than the smoothly transitioning bowl-shaped light curves of recent years. The upper atmosphere is analyzed by fitting a model to all of the light curves, resulting in a half-light radius of 1288 ± 1 km. The lower atmosphere is analyzed using two different methods to provide results under the differing assumptions of particulate haze and a strong thermal gradient as causes for the lower atmospheric diminution of flux. These results are compared with those from past occultations to provide a picture of Pluto's evolving atmosphere. Regardless of which lower atmospheric structure is assumed, results indicate that this part of the atmosphere evolves on short timescales with results changing the light curve structures between 1988 and 2006, and then reverting these changes in 2011 though at significantly higher pressures. Throughout these changes, the upper atmosphere remains remarkably stable in structure, again except for the overall pressure changes. No evidence of onset of atmospheric collapse predicted by frost migration models is seen, and the atmosphere appears to be remaining at a stable pressure level, suggesting it should persist

  2. THE 2011 JUNE 23 STELLAR OCCULTATION BY PLUTO: AIRBORNE AND GROUND OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Person, M. J.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Sallum, S.; Dunham, E. W.; Collins, P.; Bida, T.; Bright, L.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Amrhein, D.; Tholen, D. J.; Taylor, B.; Wolf, J.; Pfueller, E.; Meyer, A.; and others

    2013-10-01

    On 2011 June 23, stellar occultations by both Pluto (this work) and Charon (future analysis) were observed from numerous ground stations as well as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This first airborne occultation observation since 1995 with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory resulted in the best occultation chords recorded for the event, in three visible wavelength bands. The data obtained from SOFIA are combined with chords obtained from the ground at the IRTF, the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, and Leeward Community College to give the detailed state of the Pluto-Charon system at the time of the event with a focus on Pluto's atmosphere. The data show a return to the distinct upper and lower atmospheric regions with a knee or kink in the light curve separating them as was observed in 1988, rather than the smoothly transitioning bowl-shaped light curves of recent years. The upper atmosphere is analyzed by fitting a model to all of the light curves, resulting in a half-light radius of 1288 {+-} 1 km. The lower atmosphere is analyzed using two different methods to provide results under the differing assumptions of particulate haze and a strong thermal gradient as causes for the lower atmospheric diminution of flux. These results are compared with those from past occultations to provide a picture of Pluto's evolving atmosphere. Regardless of which lower atmospheric structure is assumed, results indicate that this part of the atmosphere evolves on short timescales with results changing the light curve structures between 1988 and 2006, and then reverting these changes in 2011 though at significantly higher pressures. Throughout these changes, the upper atmosphere remains remarkably stable in structure, again except for the overall pressure changes. No evidence of onset of atmospheric collapse predicted by frost migration models is seen, and the atmosphere appears to be remaining at a stable pressure level, suggesting it should

  3. The Whipple Mission: Exploring the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcock, C.; Brown, M. E.; Gauron, T.; Heneghan, C.; Holman, M. J.; Kenter, A.; Kraft, R.; Lee, R.; Livingston, J.; Mcguire, J.; Murray, S. S.; Murray-Clay, R.; Nulsen, P.; Payne, M. J.; Schlichting, H.; Trangsrud, A.; Vrtilek, J.; Werner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Whipple will characterize the small body populations of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud with a blind occultation survey, detecting objects when they briefly (~1 second) interrupt the light from background stars, allowing the detection of much more distant and/or smaller objects than can be seen in reflected sunlight. Whipple will reach much deeper into the unexplored frontier of the outer solar system than any other mission, current or proposed. Whipple will look back to the dawn of the solar system by discovering its most remote bodies where primordial processes left their imprint. Specifically, Whipple will monitor large numbers of stars at high cadences (~12,000 stars at 20 Hz to examine Kuiper Belt events; as many as ~36,000 stars at 5 Hz to explore deep into the Oort Cloud, where events are less frequent). Analysis of the detected events will allow us to determine the size spectrum of bodies in the Kuiper Belt with radii as small as ~1 km. This will allow the testing of models of the growth and later collisional erosion of planetesimals in the early solar system. Whipple will explore the Oort Cloud, detecting objects as far out as ~10,000 AU. This will be the first direct exploration of the Oort Cloud since the original hypothesis of 1950. Whipple is a Discovery class mission that will be proposed to NASA in response to the 2014 Announcement of Opportunity. The mission is being developed jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies, with telescope optics from L-3 Integrated Optical Systems.

  4. The Whipple Mission: Exploring the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcock, Charles; Brown, Michael; Gauron, Tom; Heneghan, Cate; Holman, Matthew; Kenter, Almus; Kraft, Ralph; Livingston, John; Murray, Stephen; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Nulsen, Paul; Payne, Matthew; Schlichting, Hilke; Trangsrud, Amy; Vrtilek, Jan; Werner, Michael

    2014-11-01

    Whipple will characterize the small body populations of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud with a blind occultation survey, detecting objects when they briefly 1 second) interrupt the light from background stars, allowing the detection of much more distant and/or smaller objects than can be seen in reflected sunlight. Whipple will reach much deeper into the unexplored frontier of the outer solar system than any other mission, current or proposed. Whipple will look back to the dawn of the solar system by discovering its most remote bodies where primordial processes left their imprint.Specifically, Whipple will monitor large numbers of stars at high cadences 12,000 stars at 20 Hz to examine Kuiper Belt events; as many as ~36,000 stars at 5 Hz to explore deep into the Oort Cloud, where events are less frequent). Analysis of the detected events will allow us to determine the size spectrum of bodies in the Kuiper Belt with radii as small as ~1 km. This will allow the testing of models of the growth and later collisional erosion of planetesimals in the early solar system. Whipple will explore the Oort Cloud, detecting objects as far out as ~10,000 AU. This will be the first direct exploration of the Oort Cloud since the original hypothesis of 1950.Whipple is a Discovery class mission that will be proposed to NASA in response to the 2014 Announcement of Opportunity. The mission is being developed jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies, with telescope optics from L-3 Integrated Optical Systems.

  5. The Whipple Mission: Exploring the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcock, Charles; Brown, Michael; Gauron, Tom; Heneghan, Cate; Holman, Matthew; Kenter, Almus; Kraft, Ralph; Livingstone, John; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Nulsen, Paul; Payne, Matthew; Schlichting, Hilke; Trangsrud, Amy; Vrtilek, Jan; Werner, Michael

    2015-11-01

    Whipple will characterize the small body populations of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud with a blind occultation survey, detecting objects when they briefly (~1 second) interrupt the light from background stars, allowing the detection of much more distant and/or smaller objects than can be seen in reflected sunlight. Whipple will reach much deeper into the unexplored frontier of the outer solar system than any other mission, current or proposed. Whipple will look back to the dawn of the solar system by discovering its most remote bodies where primordial processes left their imprint.Specifically, Whipple will monitor large numbers of stars at high cadences (~12,000 stars at 20 Hz to examine Kuiper Belt events; as many as ~36,000 stars at 5 Hz to explore deep into the Oort Cloud, where events are less frequent). Analysis of the detected events will allow us to determine the size spectrum of bodies in the Kuiper Belt with radii as small as ~1 km. This will allow the testing of models of the growth and later collisional erosion of planetesimals in the early solar system. Whipple will explore the Oort Cloud, potentially detecting objects as far out as ~10,000 AU. This will be the first direct exploration of the Oort Cloud since the original hypothesis of 1950.Whipple is a Discovery class mission that was proposed to NASA in response to the 2014 Announcement of Opportunity. The mission is being developed jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies, with telescope optics from L-3 Integrated Optical Systems and imaging sensors from Teledyne Imaging Sensors.

  6. The Whipple Mission: Exploring the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holman, Matthew J.; Alcock, Charles; Kenter, Almus T.; Kraft, Ralph P.; Nulsen, Paul; Payne, Matthew John; Vrtilek, Jan M.; Murray, Stephen S.; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Schlichting, Hilke; Brown, Michael E.; Livingston, John H.; Trangsrud, Amy R.; Werner, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Whipple will characterize the small body populations of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud with a blind occultation survey, detecting objects when they briefly (~1 second) interrupt the light from background stars, allowing the detection of much more distant and/or smaller objects than can be seen in reflected sunlight. Whipple will reach much deeper into the unexplored frontier of the outer solar system than any other mission, current or proposed. Whipple will look back to the dawn of the solar system by discovering its most remote bodies where primordial processes left their imprint.Specifically, Whipple will monitor large numbers of stars at high cadences (~12,000 stars at 20 Hz to examine Kuiper Belt events; as many as ~36,000 stars at 5 Hz to explore deep into the Oort Cloud, where events are less frequent). Analysis of the detected events will allow us to determine the size spectrum of bodies in the Kuiper Belt with radii as small as ~1 km. This will allow the testing of models of the growth and later collisional erosion of planetesimals in the earlysolar system. Whipple will explore the Oort Cloud, detecting objects as far out as ~10,000 AU. This will be the first direct exploration of the Oort Cloud since the original hypothesis of 1950.Whipple is a Discovery class mission that will be proposed to NASA in response to the upcoming Announcement of Opportunity. The mission is being developed jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies, with telescope optics from L-3 Integrated Optical Systems.

  7. Discovery of the candidate Kuiper belt object 1992 QB1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David; Luu, Jane

    1993-01-01

    The discovery of a new faint object in the outer solar system, 1992 QB1, moving beyond the orbit of Neptune is reported. It is suggested that the 1992 QB1 may represent the first detection of a member of the Kuiper belt (Edgworth, 1949; Kuiper, 1951), the hypothesized population of objects beyond Neptune and a possible source of the short-period comets, as suggested by Whipple (1964), Fernandez (1980), and Duncan et al. (1988).

  8. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1999-01-01

    The objective of this proposal was to mount a ground-based search for Kuiper Belt objects near the trajectory of the NASA Pluto Express spacecraft. The high density of Kuiper Belt objects established from work on Mauna Kea makes it probable that one or more bodies can be visited by Pluto Express after its encounter with Pluto. The work was funded during its first year through NASA HQ. The second year was funded through Goddard. The third year was never funded.

  9. COLORS OF INNER DISK CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Romanishin, W.; Tegler, S. C.; Consolmagno, G. J. E-mail: Stephen.Tegler@nau.ed

    2010-07-15

    We present new optical broadband colors, obtained with the Keck 1 and Vatican Advanced Technology telescopes, for six objects in the inner classical Kuiper Belt. Objects in the inner classical Kuiper Belt are of interest as they may represent the surviving members of the primordial Kuiper Belt that formed interior to the current position of the 3:2 resonance with Neptune, the current position of the plutinos, or, alternatively, they may be objects formed at a different heliocentric distance that were then moved to their present locations. The six new colors, combined with four previously published, show that the ten inner belt objects with known colors form a neutral clump and a reddish clump in B-R color. Nonparametric statistical tests show no significant difference between the B-R color distribution of the inner disk objects compared to the color distributions of Centaurs, plutinos, or scattered disk objects. However, the B-R color distribution of the inner classical Kuiper Belt Objects does differ significantly from the distribution of colors in the cold (low inclination) main classical Kuiper Belt. The cold main classical objects are predominately red, while the inner classical belt objects are a mixture of neutral and red. The color difference may reveal the existence of a gradient in the composition and/or surface processing history in the primordial Kuiper Belt, or indicate that the inner disk objects are not dynamically analogous to the cold main classical belt objects.

  10. SOFIA Project: SOFIA-Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tseng, Ting

    2007-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on the SOFIA project is shown. The topics include: 1) Aircraft Information; 2) Major Components of SOFIA; 3) Aircraft External View; 4) Airborne Observatory Layout; 5) Telescope Assembly; 6) Uncoated Primary Mirror; 7) Airborne Astronomy; 8) Requirements & Specifications; 9) Technical Challenges; 10) Observatory Operation; and 11) SOFIA Flight Test.

  11. Integration of fuzzy logic and image analysis for the detection of gullies in the Calhoun critical zone observatory using airborne LiDAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastola, S.; Noto, L. V.; Dialynas, Y. G.; Bras, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    The entire Piedmont of the Southeastern United States, where the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory (CCZO) is located, experienced one of the most severe erosive events in the United States during last two centuries. Forested areas were cleared to cultivate cotton, tobacco and other crops during the nineteenth and early twentieth century and these land use change, together with intense rainfalls, initiated deep gullying. An accurate mapping of these landforms is important since, despite some gully stabilization and reforestation efforts, gullies are still major contributors of sediment to streams. Mapping gullies in the CCZO area is hindered by the presence of dense canopy which precludes the identification through aerial photogrammetry and other traditional remote sensing methods. Moreover, the wide spatial extent of the gullies makes detailed field surveys, for the identification and characterization of entire gullies, a very large and expensive proposition. This work aims to develop and assess an automated set of algorithms to detect and map gullies using morphological characteristics retrieved by very high resolution imagery (VHRI). A one-meter resolution LiDAR DEM is used to derive different morphometric indices whose combination, carried out using spatial analysis methods and fuzzy logic rules, are a tool to identify gullies. This spatial model has been calibrated using the reference perimeters of two gullies that we measured during a recent field survey. The entire procedure attempts to provide estimates of gully erosion patterns, which characterize the entire Calhoun CZO area and to develop and evaluate a method to measure characteristic features of gullies (i.e. depth and volume).

  12. The Warped Plane of the Classical Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Eugene; Choi, Hyomin

    2008-07-01

    By numerically integrating the orbits of the giant planets and of test particles over a period of four billion years, we follow the evolution of the location of the midplane of the Kuiper belt. The Classical Kuiper belt conforms to a warped sheet that precesses with a 1.9 Myr period. The present-day location of the Kuiper belt plane can be computed using linear secular perturbation theory: the local normal to the plane is given by the theory's forced inclination vector, which is specific to every semimajor axis. The Kuiper belt plane does not coincide with the invariable plane, but deviates from it by up to a few degrees in stable zones. For example, at a semimajor axis of 38 AU, the local Kuiper belt plane has an inclination of 1.9 degrees and a longitude of ascending node of 149.9 degrees when referred to the mean ecliptic and equinox of J2000. At a semimajor axis of 43 AU, the local plane has an inclination of 1.9 degrees and a nodal longitude of 78.3 degrees. Only at infinite semimajor axis does the Kuiper belt plane merge with the invariable plane, whose inclination is 1.6 degrees and nodal longitude is 107.7 degrees. A Classical Kuiper belt object keeps its inclination relative to the Kuiper belt plane nearly constant, even while the plane departs from the trajectory predicted by linear theory. The constancy of relative inclination reflects the undamped amplitude of free oscillation; that is, the homogeneous solution to the forced harmonic oscillator equation retains constant amplitude, even while the inhomogeneous solution cannot be written down accurately because the planetary forcing terms are chaotic. Current observations of Classical Kuiper belt objects are consistent with the plane being warped by the giant planets alone, but the sample size will need to increase by a few times before confirmation exceeds 3σ in confidence. In principle, differences between the theoretically expected plane and the observed plane could be used to infer as yet unseen

  13. Neptune's Eccentricity and the Nature of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, William R.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    1998-01-01

    The small eccentricity of Neptune may be a direct consequence of apsidal wave interaction with the trans-Neptune population of debris called the Kuiper belt. The Kuiper belt is subject to resonant perturbations from Neptune, so that the transport of angular momentum by density waves can result in orbital evolution of Neptune as well as changes in the structure of the Kuiper belt. In particular, for a belt eroded out to the vicinity of Neptune's 2:1 resonance at about 48 astronomical units, Neptune's eccentricity can damp to its current value over the age of the solar system if the belt contains slightly more than an earth mass of material out to about 75 astronomical units.

  14. Neptune's eccentricity and the nature of the kuiper belt

    PubMed

    Ward; Hahn

    1998-06-26

    The small eccentricity of Neptune may be a direct consequence of apsidal wave interaction with the trans-Neptune population of debris called the Kuiper belt. The Kuiper belt is subject to resonant perturbations from Neptune, so that the transport of angular momentum by density waves can result in orbital evolution of Neptune as well as changes in the structure of the Kuiper belt. In particular, for a belt eroded out to the vicinity of Neptune's 2:1 resonance at about 48 astronomical units, Neptune's eccentricity can damp to its current value over the age of the solar system if the belt contains slightly more than an earth mass of material out to about 75 astronomical units. PMID:9641913

  15. Collisional Evolution of Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, D. R.; Farinella, P.

    1997-01-01

    The Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt contains a population of objects ≈10 3times that of the main asteroid belt, spread over a volume ≈10 3larger and with relative speeds ≈10 times lower. As for the asteroids, the size distribution of Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects has been modified by mutual impacts over Solar System history. We have modeled this collisional evolution process using a numerical code developed originally to study asteroid collisional evolution but modified to reflect collision rates in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. Our numerical simulations show that collisional evolution is substantial in the inner part of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt, but its intensity decreases with increasing distance from the Sun. In the inner belt, objects with diameters D> 50-100 km are not depleted by disruptive collisions; hence they reflect the original (formative) population (many of them, however, may have been converted into "rubble piles"). On the other hand, smaller objects are mostly multigenerational fragments, although the original population must have contained a significant number of bodies down to at least a few tens of kilometers in size in order to initiate a collisional cascade. About 10 fragments, 1-10 km in size, are produced per year in the inner Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt, with a few percent of them inserted into chaotic resonant orbits. This is in rough agreement with the required influx rate of Jupiter-family comets. Both collisions and dynamical instabilities associated with resonances are processes that can inject comets into the "escape hatches," but our results indicate that most comets coming from the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt would be fragments from larger parent bodies, rather than primitive planetesimals. However, this does not apply to Chiron-sized ( D> 100 km) objects, which must be primordial and delivered to the outer Solar System by either dynamical processes or nondisruptive collisions.

  16. ARTIST'S VIEW OF KUIPER BELT OBJECT 1998 WW31

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is an artist's view of a Kuiper Belt binary object, called 1998 WW31. These icy bodies orbit each other at the fringe of our solar system. The illustration depicts one member of the duo in the foreground; its companion - the dark, round object - is in the background. The objects are about the same size. Both are illuminated from behind by the Sun [the white dot at upper left]. Like other Kuiper Belt objects, this duo orbits the Sun, completing a circuit every 301 years. The planet Pluto orbits the Sun every 248 years. Credit: NASA and G. Bacon (Space Telescope Science Institute)

  17. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David C.

    1998-01-01

    The science objective of this work was to identify objects in the Kuiper Belt which will, in the 5 years following Pluto encounter, be close to the flight path of NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Express. Currently, launch is scheduled for 2004 with a flight time of about 1 decade. Early identification of post-Pluto targets is important for mission design and orbit refinement. An object or objects close enough to the flight path can be visited and studied at high resolution, using only residual gas in the thrusters to affect a close encounter.

  18. Pointing control system for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaercher, Hans J.; Eisentraeger, Peter; Wandner, Karl; Nordmann, Rainer; Schoenhoff, Ulrich

    1998-05-01

    SOFIA, the successor of NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory KAO, is at present under development as a joint program of NASA and the German Space Agency DLR. SOFIA consists of a 2.5 m class IR telescope operated in a Boeing 747SP airplane at altitudes above 41,000 ft. The environment conditions of the telescope during operations in the open port of the aircraft are very harsh and not comparable with those of earthbound telescopes or space telescopes. The narrowness of the port, the disturbances by aircraft vibrations, aero- acoustic loads and wind, the low air pressure and temperatures, the airworthiness regulations, and the specified pointing accuracy of 0.2 arcsec are challenges for the telescope design, which need peculiar decisions. The SOFIA telescope concept takes up some essential features of the KAO telescope, but also acknowledges the technological progress and the increased mirror size. The optimal use of modern design and analysis methods- 'end-to-end- simulations', which combine the behavior of the optical, the structural, mechanical, and the control system and subdue it to the disturbances in the aircraft environment. The paper presents the principles design features of the proposed pointing control system for SOFIA and the latest result of the pointing simulations.

  19. Astronomical observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponomarev, D. N.

    1983-01-01

    The layout and equipment of astronomical observatories, the oldest scientific institutions of human society are discussed. The example of leading observatories of the USSR allows the reader to familiarize himself with both their modern counterparts, as well as the goals and problems on which astronomers are presently working.

  20. Ondrejov Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Ondrejov Observatory is located 20 miles from Prague in the village of Ondrejov. It was established in 1898 as a private observatory and donated to the state of Czechoslovakia in 1928. Since 1953 it has been part of the Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; there are 40 astronomers....

  1. Amateur Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavin, M.

    1997-08-01

    A roundup of amateur observatories in this country and abroad, with construction and location details, concluding with a detailed description and architect's drawing of the author's own observatory at Worcester Park, Surrey. The text of the 1996 Presidential Address to the British Astronomical Association.

  2. The binary Kuiper-belt object 1998 WW31.

    PubMed

    Veillet, Christian; Parker, Joel Wm; Griffin, Ian; Marsden, Brian; Doressoundiram, Alain; Buie, Marc; Tholen, David J; Connelley, Michael; Holman, Matthew J

    2002-04-18

    The recent discovery of a binary asteroid during a spacecraft fly-by generated keen interest, because the orbital parameters of binaries can provide measures of the masses, and mutual eclipses could allow us to determine individual sizes and bulk densities. Several binary near-Earth, main-belt and Trojan asteroids have subsequently been discovered. The Kuiper belt-the region of space extending from Neptune (at 30 astronomical units) to well over 100 AU and believed to be the source of new short-period comets-has become a fascinating new window onto the formation of our Solar System since the first member object, not counting Pluto, was discovered in 1992 (ref. 13). Here we report that the Kuiper-belt object 1998 WW31 is binary with a highly eccentric orbit (eccentricity e approximately 0.8) and a long period (about 570 days), very different from the Pluto/Charon system, which was hitherto the only previously known binary in the Kuiper belt. Assuming a density in the range of 1 to 2 g cm-3, the albedo of the binary components is between 0.05 and 0.08, close to the value of 0.04 generally assumed for Kuiper-belt objects. PMID:11961547

  3. 2002 Kuiper prize lecture: Dust Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grün, Eberhard; Srama, Ralf; Krüger, Harald; Kempf, Sascha; Dikarev, Valeri; Helfert, Stefan; Moragas-Klostermeyer, Georg

    2005-03-01

    Dust particles, like photons, carry information from remote sites in space and time. From knowledge of the dust particles' birthplace and their bulk properties, we can learn about the remote environment out of which the particles were formed. This approach is called "Dust Astronomy" which is carried out by means of a dust telescope on a Dust Observatory in space. Targets for a dust telescope are the local interstellar medium and nearby star forming regions, as well as comets and asteroids. Dust from interstellar and interplanetary sources is distinguished by accurately sensing their trajectories. Trajectory sensors may use the electric charge signals that are induced when charged grains fly through the detector. Modern in-situ dust impact detectors are capable of providing mass, speed, physical and chemical information of dust grains in space. A Dust Observatory mission is feasible with state-of-the-art technology. It will (1) provide the distinction between interstellar dust and interplanetary dust of cometary and asteroidal origin, (2) determine the elemental composition of impacting dust particles, and (3) monitor the fluxes of various dust components as a function of direction and particle masses.

  4. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, Eric

    2015-08-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, is now fully operational with cameras and spectrometers in the 1 to 240 micron region. It will be one of the major observatories for the next 20 years to observe the local ISM in this spectral region. We will give a brief overview of the SOFIA observatory, telescope, instrumentation and recent science. Future observing opportunities and participation in future instrument developments, over the lifetime of the SOFIA observatory will be discussed.

  5. THE COLLISIONAL DIVOT IN THE KUIPER BELT SIZE DISTRIBUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, Wesley C.

    2009-11-20

    This paper presents the results of collisional evolution calculations for the Kuiper Belt starting from an initial size distribution similar to that produced by accretion simulations of that region-a steep power-law large object size distribution that breaks to a shallower slope at r approx 1-2 km, with collisional equilibrium achieved for objects r approx< 0.5 km. We find that the break from the steep large object power law causes a divot, or depletion of objects at r approx 10-20 km, which, in turn, greatly reduces the disruption rate of objects with r approx> 25-50 km, preserving the steep power-law behavior for objects at this size. Our calculations demonstrate that the roll-over observed in the Kuiper Belt size distribution is naturally explained as an edge of a divot in the size distribution; the radius at which the size distribution transitions away from the power law, and the shape of the divot from our simulations are consistent with the size of the observed roll-over, and size distribution for smaller bodies. Both the kink radius and the radius of the divot center depend on the strength scaling law in the gravity regime for Kuiper Belt objects. These simulations suggest that the sky density of r approx 1 km objects is approx10{sup 6}-10{sup 7} objects per square degree. A detection of the divot in the size distribution would provide a measure of the strength of large Kuiper Belt objects, and constrain the shape of the size distribution at the end of accretion in the Kuiper Belt.

  6. Airborne Imagery Collections Barrow 2013

    DOE Data Explorer

    Cherry, Jessica; Crowder, Kerri

    2015-07-20

    The data here are orthomosaics, digital surface models (DSMs), and individual frames captured during low altitude airborne flights in 2013 at the Barrow Environmental Observatory. The orthomosaics, thermal IR mosaics, and DSMs were generated from the individual frames using Structure from Motion techniques.

  7. Taosi Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaochun

    Taosi observatory is the remains of a structure discovered at the later Neolithic Taosi site located in Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province, in north-central China. The structure is a walled enclosure on a raised platform. Only rammed-earth foundations of the structure remained. Archaeoastronomical studies suggest that this structure functioned as an astronomical observatory. Historical circumstantial evidence suggests that it was probably related to the legendary kingdom of Yao from the twenty-first century BC.

  8. A Search for 23rd Magnitude Kuiper Belt Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane

    1997-01-01

    The goal of the project was to identify a statistically significant sample of large (200 km-sized) Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), by covering 10 sq. degrees of the sky to a red limiting magnitude m(sub R) = 23. This work differs from, but builds on, previous surveys of the outer solar system in that it will cover a large area to a limiting magnitude that is deep enough to guarantee positive results. The proposed work should provide us with a significant number of 200 km-size KBOs (approx. 20 are expected) for subsequent studies. Such a sample is crucial if we are to investigate the statistical properties of the Belt and its members. It was modified the original research strategy to accommodate unanticipated problems such as the urgent need for follow-up observations,the original goal was still reached: we have substantially increased the number of Kuiper Belt Objects brighter than 23rd mag.

  9. The extreme Kuiper Belt binary 2001 QW322.

    PubMed

    Petit, J-M; Kavelaars, J J; Gladman, B J; Margot, J L; Nicholson, P D; Jones, R L; Parker, J Wm; Ashby, M L N; Bagatin, A Campo; Benavidez, P; Coffey, J; Rousselot, P; Mousis, O; Taylor, P A

    2008-10-17

    The study of binary Kuiper Belt objects helps to probe the dynamic conditions present during planet formation in the solar system. We report on the mutual-orbit determination of 2001 QW322, a Kuiper Belt binary with a very large separation whose properties challenge binary-formation and -evolution theories. Six years of tracking indicate that the binary's mutual-orbit period is approximately 25 to 30 years, that the orbit pole is retrograde and inclined 50 degrees to 62 degrees from the ecliptic plane, and, most surprisingly, that the mutual orbital eccentricity is <0.4. The semimajor axis of 105,000 to 135,000 kilometers is 10 times that of other near-equal-mass binaries. Because this weakly bound binary is prone to orbital disruption by interlopers, its lifetime in its present state is probably less than 1 billion years. PMID:18927391

  10. The Kuiper belt and the solar system's comet disk.

    PubMed

    Gladman, Brett

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system is embedded in a small-body disk of asteroids and comets, vestigial remnants of the original planetesimal population that formed the planets. Once formed, those planets dispersed most of the remaining small bodies. Outside of Neptune, this process has left our Kuiper belt and built the Oort cloud, as well as emplacing comets into several other identifiable structures. The orbits in these structures indicate that our outer solar system's comet disk was shaped by a variety of different physical processes, which teach us about how the giant planets formed. Recent work has shown that the scattered disk is the most likely source of short-period comets. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that the sculpting of the Kuiper belt region may have involved large-scale planetary migration, the presence of other rogue planetary objects in the disk, and/or the close passage of other stars in the Sun's birth cluster. PMID:15637267

  11. Corralling a Distant Planet with Extreme Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Renu; Volk, Kathryn; Wang, Xianyu

    2016-06-01

    The four longest period Kuiper Belt objects have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. A hypothetical planet with an orbital period of ˜17,117 years and a semimajor axis ˜665 au would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. The orbital geometries and dynamics of resonant orbits constrain the orbital plane, the orbital eccentricity, and the mass of such a planet as well as its current location in its orbital path.

  12. Corralling a Distant Planet with Extreme Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Renu; Volk, Kathryn; Wang, Xianyu

    2016-06-01

    The four longest period Kuiper Belt objects have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. A hypothetical planet with an orbital period of ∼17,117 years and a semimajor axis ∼665 au would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. The orbital geometries and dynamics of resonant orbits constrain the orbital plane, the orbital eccentricity, and the mass of such a planet as well as its current location in its orbital path.

  13. Collisional Time Scales in the Kuiper Disk and Their Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1995-01-01

    We explore the rate of collisions among bodies in the present-day Kuiper Disk as a function of the total mass and population size structure of the disk. We find that collisional evolution is an important evolutionary process in the disk as a whole, and indeed, that it is likely the dominant evolutionary process beyond approx. 42 AU, where dynamical instability time scales exceed the age of the solar system. Two key findings we report from this modeling work are: that unless the disk's population structure is sharply truncated for radii smaller than approx. 1-2 km, collisions between comets and smaller debris are occurring so frequently in the disk, and with high enough velocities, that the small body (i.e., KM-class object) population in the disk has probably developed into a collisional cascade, thereby implying that the Kuiper Disk comets may not all be primordial, and that the rate of collisions of smaller bodies with larger 100 less R less 400 km objects (like 1992QB(sub 1) and its cohorts) is so low that there appears to be a dilemma in explaining how QB(sub 1)s could have grown by binary accretion in the disk as we know it. Given these findings, it appears that either the present-day paradigm for the formation of Kuiper Disk is failed in some fundamental respect, or that the present-day disk is no longer representative of the ancient structure from which it evolved. This in turn suggests the intriguing possibility that the present-day Kuiper Disk evolved through a more erosional stage reminiscent of the disks around the stars Beta Pictorus, alpha PsA, and alpha Lyr.

  14. Cosmic Ray Mantle Visibility on Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Hill, Matt E.; Richardson, J. D.; Sturner, S. J.

    2006-01-01

    Optically red objects constitute the dynamically cold, old component of the Classical Kuiper Belt (40 - 47 AU) with heliocentric orbits of low eccentricity and inclination. The red colors likely arise from primordial mixed ices processed by irradiation to meters in surface depth over the past four billion years, since the time of giant planet migration and Kuiper Belt stirring, at relatively moderate dosages of 60 gigarads provided by galactic cosmic ray protons and heavier ions. The red cosmic ray mantle is uniformly visible on the cold classical objects beneath a minimally thin eroded layer of more neutrally colored material arising from cumulative effects of heliospheric particle irradiation. The radiation fluxes are lowest in the middle heliospheric region containing the Classical Kuiper Belt and increase from there both towards and away from the Sun. Despite increasing irradiation at various times of solar system history from increases in solar and interstellar ion fluxes, the red object region has apparently never reached sufficiently high dosage levels to neutralize in color the red mantle material. Erosion processes, including plasma sputtering and micrometeroid impacts, act continuously to reduce thickness of the upper neutral crust and expose the cosmic ray mantle. A deeper layer at tens of meters and more may consist of relatively unprocessed ices that can erupt to the surface by larger impacts or cryovolcanism and account for brighter surfaces of larger objects such as 2003 UB313. Surface colors among the Kuiper Belt and other icy objects of the outer solar system are then a function, assuming uniform primordial composition, of relative thickness for the three layers and of the resurfacing age dependent on the orbital and impact history of each object.

  15. From Kuiper Belt to Comet: The Shapes of the Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, D.; Sheppard, S.; Fernandez, Y.

    2003-05-01

    It is widely believed that escaped objects from the Kuiper Belt are the source of both the Centaurs and the nuclei of the Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs). If the JFC nuclei are produced by collisional breakup of parent objects in the Kuiper Belt, then it is reasonable to expect that their shape distribution should be consistent with those of fragments produced in disintegrative laboratory experiments, or with the small main-belt asteroids (which are produced collisionally). We test this idea using a sample of eleven well-observed cometary nuclei. Our main result is that the nuclei are, on average, much more elongated than either the collisionally produced small main-belt asteroids or the fragments created in laboratory impact experiments. Several interpretations of this systematic shape difference are possible (including the obvious one that the JFC nuclei are not, after all, produced collisionally in the Kuiper Belt). Our preferred explanation, however, is that the asphericities of the nuclei have been modified by one or more processes of mass loss. An implication of this interpretation is that the JFC nuclei in our sample are highly evolved, having lost a major part of their original mass. In turn, this implies that the angular momenta of the nuclei are also non-primordial: the JFC nuclei are highly physically evolved objects. We will discuss the evidence supporting these conclusions. This work has been recently published in Astronomical Journal, 125, 3366-3377 (2003).

  16. A HYPOTHESIS FOR THE COLOR DIVERSITY OF THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Fraser, W. C.; Schaller, E. L.

    2011-10-01

    We propose a chemical and dynamical process to explain the surface colors of the Kuiper belt. In our hypothesis, the initial bulk compositions of the bodies themselves can be quite diverse-as is seen in comets-but the early surface compositions are set by volatile evaporation after the objects are formed. Strong gradients in surface composition, coupled with UV and particle irradiation, lead to the surface colors that are seen today. The objects formed in the inner part of the primordial belt retain only H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} as the major ice species on their surfaces. Irradiation of these species plausibly results in the dark neutrally colored centaurs and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). Object formed further in the disk retain CH{sub 3}OH, which has been shown to lead to brighter redder surfaces after irradiation, as seen in the brighter redder centaurs and KBOs. Objects formed at the current location of the cold classical Kuiper belt uniquely retain NH{sub 3}, which has been shown to affect irradiation chemistry and could plausibly lead to the unique colors of these objects. We propose observational and experimental tests of this hypothesis.

  17. Crystalline water ice on the Kuiper belt object (50000) Quaoar.

    PubMed

    Jewitt, David C; Luu, Jane

    2004-12-01

    The Kuiper belt is a disk-like structure consisting of solid bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune. It is the source of the short-period comets and the likely repository of the Solar System's most primitive materials. Surface temperatures in the belt are low ( approximately 50 K), suggesting that ices trapped at formation should have been preserved over the age of the Solar System. Unfortunately, most Kuiper belt objects are too faint for meaningful compositional study, even with the largest available telescopes. Water ice has been reported in a handful of objects, but most appear spectrally featureless. Here we report near-infrared observations of the large Kuiper belt object (50000) Quaoar, which reveal the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate. Crystallinity indicates that the ice has been heated to at least 110 K. Both ammonia hydrate and crystalline water ice should be destroyed by energetic particle irradiation on a timescale of about 10(7) yr. We conclude that Quaoar has been recently resurfaced, either by impact exposure of previously buried (shielded) ices or by cryovolcanic outgassing, or by a combination of these processes. PMID:15592406

  18. OORT-Cloud and Kuiper-Belt Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1998-01-01

    This paper follows the broadly accepted theory that Oort-Cloud Comets originated in the Solar Nebula in the general region where the major planets, Jupiter and Saturn, were formed while the Kuiper-Belt Comets originated farther out where the temperatures were lower. The Oort-Cloud Comets are identified orbitally by long periods and random inclinations and, including the Halley-type comets, comets with a Tisserand Criterion less than 2.0. Kuiper-Belt comets are identified by short periods, usually much less than 200 years, and small inclinations to the ecliptic. Here two criteria for comet activity are found to separate the two classes of comets. These quantities NG1 and NG2, were intended to measure theoretical nongravitaional effects on comet orbits. They are only, mildly successful in correlations with observed cases of measured non-gravitational forces. But, in fact, their variations with perihelion distance separate the two classes of comets. The results are consistent with the theory that the activity or intrinsic brightness of Oort-Cloud Comets fall off faster with increasing perihelion distance that does the intrinsic brightness of short-period Kuiper-Belt Comets.

  19. Keele Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Albinson, James; Bagnall, Alan; Bryant, Lian; Caisley, Dave; Doody, Stephen; Johnson, Ian; Klimczak, Paul; Maddison, Ron; Robinson, StJohn; Stretch, Matthew; Webb, John

    2015-08-01

    Keele Observatory was founded by Dr. Ron Maddison in 1962, on the hill-top campus of Keele University in central England, hosting the 1876 Grubb 31cm refractor from Oxford Observatory. It since acquired a 61cm research reflector, a 15cm Halpha solar telescope and a range of other telescopes. Run by a group of volunteering engineers and students under directorship of a Keele astrophysicist, it is used for public outreach as well as research. About 4,000 people visit the observatory every year, including a large number of children. We present the facility, its history - including involvement in the 1919 Eddington solar eclipse expedition which proved Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity - and its ambitions to erect a radio telescope on its site.

  20. Photometry of cometary nuclei: rotation rates, colours and a comparison with Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snodgrass, C.; Lowry, S. C.; Fitzsimmons, A.

    2006-12-01

    We present time-series data on Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) 17P/Holmes, 47P/Ashbrook-Jackson and 137P/Shoemaker-Levy 2. In addition we also present results from `snap-shot' observations of comets 43P/Wolf-Harrington, 44P/Reinmuth 2, 103P/Hartley 2 and 104P/Kowal 2 taken during the same run. The comets were at heliocentric distances of between 3 and 7 au at this time. We present measurements of size and activity levels for the snap-shot targets. The time-series data allow us to constrain rotation periods and shapes, and thus bulk densities. We also measure colour indices (V - R) and (R - I) and reliable radii for these comets. We compare all of our findings to date with similar results for other comets and Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). We find that the rotational properties of nuclei and KBOs are very similar, that there is evidence for a cut-off in bulk densities at ~0.6 g cm-3 in both populations, and the colours of the two populations show similar correlations. For JFCs, there is no observational evidence for the optical colours being dependent on either position in the orbit or orbital parameters. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile. Proposal: ESO No. 74.C-0125. E-mail: csnodgra@eso.org

  1. Grand Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Eric W.

    2002-01-01

    Various concepts have been recently presented for a 100 m class astronomical observatory. The science virtues of such an observatory are many: resolving planets orbiting around other stars, resolving the surface features of other stars, extending our temporal reach back toward the beginning (at and before stellar and galactic development), improving on the Next Generation Space Telescope, and other (perhaps as yet) undiscovered purposes. This observatory would be a general facility instrument with wide spectral range from at least the near ultraviolet to the mid infrared. The concept espoused here is based on a practical, modular design located in a place where temperatures remain (and instruments could operate) within several degrees of absolute zero with no shielding or cooling. This location is the bottom of a crater located near the north or south pole of the moon, most probably the South Polar Depression. In such a location the telescope would never see the sun or the earth, hence the profound cold and absence of stray light. The ideal nature of this location is elaborated herein. It is envisioned that this observatory would be assembled and maintained remotely through the use of expert robotic systems. A base station would be located above the crater rim with (at least occasional) direct line-of-sight access to the earth. Certainly it would be advantageous, but not absolutely essential, to have humans travel to the site to deal with unexpected contingencies. Further, observers and their teams could eventually travel there for extended observational campaigns. Educational activities, in general, could be furthered thru extended human presence. Even recreational visitors and long term habitation might follow.

  2. Searching for Chips of Kuiper Belt Objects in Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Ohsumi, K.; Briani, G.; Gounelle, M.; Mikouchi, T.; Satake, W.; Kurihara, T.; Weisberg, M. K.; Le, L.

    2009-01-01

    The Nice model [1&2] describes a scenario whereby the Jovian planets experienced a violent reshuffling event approx.3:9 Ga the giant planets moved, existing small body reservoirs were depleted or eliminated, and new reservoirs were created in particular locations. The Nice model quantitatively explains the orbits of the Jovian planets and Neptune [1], the orbits of bodies in several different small body reservoirs in the outer solar system (e.g., Trojans of Jupiter [2], the Kuiper belt and scattered disk [3], the irregular satellites of the giant planets [4], and the late heavy bombardment on the terrestrial planets approx.3:9 Ga [5]. This model is unique in plausibly explaining all of these phenomena. One issue with the Nice model is that it predicts that transported Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) (things looking like D class asteroids) should predominate in the outer asteroid belt, but we know only about 10% of the objects in the outer main asteroid belt appear to be D-class objects [6]. However based upon collisional modeling, Bottke et al. [6] argue that more than 90% of the objects captured in the outer main belt could have been eliminated by impacts if they had been weakly-indurated objects. These disrupted objects should have left behind pieces in the ancient regoliths of other, presumably stronger asteroids. Thus, a derived prediction of the Nice model is that ancient regolith samples (regolith-bearing meteorites) should contain fragments of collisionally-destroyed Kuiper belt objects. In fact KBO pieces might be expected to be present in most ancient regolith- bearing meteorites [7&8].

  3. UNBIASED INCLINATION DISTRIBUTIONS FOR OBJECTS IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Gulbis, A. A. S.; Elliot, J. L.; Adams, E. R.; Benecchi, S. D.; Buie, M. W.; Trilling, D. E.; Wasserman, L. H. E-mail: jle@mit.ed E-mail: lhw@lowell.ed E-mail: buie@boulder.swri.ed

    2010-08-15

    Using data from the Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES), we investigate the inclination distributions of objects in the Kuiper Belt. We present a derivation for observational bias removal and use this procedure to generate unbiased inclination distributions for Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) of different DES dynamical classes, with respect to the Kuiper Belt plane. Consistent with previous results, we find that the inclination distribution for all DES KBOs is well fit by the sum of two Gaussians, or a Gaussian plus a generalized Lorentzian, multiplied by sin i. Approximately 80% of KBOs are in the high-inclination grouping. We find that Classical object inclinations are well fit by sin i multiplied by the sum of two Gaussians, with roughly even distribution between Gaussians of widths 2.0{sup +0.6}{sub -0.5}{sup 0} and 8.1{sup +2.6}{sub -2.1}{sup 0}. Objects in different resonances exhibit different inclination distributions. The inclinations of Scattered objects are best matched by sin i multiplied by a single Gaussian that is centered at 19.1{sup +3.9}{sub -3.6}{sup 0} with a width of 6.9{sup +4.1}{sub -2.7}{sup 0}. Centaur inclinations peak just below 20{sup 0}, with one exceptionally high-inclination object near 80{sup 0}. The currently observed inclination distribution of the Centaurs is not dissimilar to that of the Scattered Extended KBOs and Jupiter-family comets, but is significantly different from the Classical and Resonant KBOs. While the sample sizes of some dynamical classes are still small, these results should begin to serve as a critical diagnostic for models of solar system evolution.

  4. First ultraviolet reflectance measurements of several Kuiper Belt objects, Kuiper Belt object satellites, and new ultraviolet measurements of A Centaur

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, S. A.; Schindhelm, E.; Cunningham, N. J.

    2014-05-01

    We observed the 2600-3200 Å (hereafter, mid-UV) reflectance of two Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), two KBO satellites, and a Centaur, using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). Other than measurements of the Pluto system, these constitute the first UV measurements obtained of KBOs, and KBO satellites, and new HST UV measurements of the Centaur 2060 Chiron. We find significant differences among these objects, constrain the sizes and densities of Haumea's satellites, and report the detection of a possible spectral absorption band in Haumea's spectrum near 3050 Å. Comparisons of these objects to previously published UV reflectance measurements of Pluto and Charon are also made here.

  5. Forming the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt in a Light Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shannon, Andrew; Wu, Yanqin; Lithwick, Yoram

    2016-02-01

    Large Kuiper Belt objects are conventionally thought to have formed out of a massive planetesimal belt that is a few thousand times its current mass. Such a picture, however, is incompatible with multiple lines of evidence. Here, we present a new model for the conglomeration of Cold Classical Kuiper Belt objects, out of a solid belt only a few times its current mass, or a few per cent of the solid density in a Minimum Mass Solar Nebula. This is made possible by depositing most of the primordial mass in grains of centimeter size or smaller. These grains collide frequently and maintain a dynamically cold belt out of which large bodies grow efficiently: an order-unity fraction of the solid mass can be converted into large bodies, in contrast to the ∼ {10}-3 efficiency in conventional models. Such a light belt may represent the true outer edge of the solar system, and it may have effectively halted the outward migration of Neptune. In addition to the high efficiency, our model can also produce a mass spectrum that peaks at an intermediate size, similar to the observed Cold Classicals, if one includes the effect of cratering collisions. In particular, the observed power-law break observed at ∼ 30 {km} for Cold Classicals, one that has been interpreted as a result of collisional erosion, may be primordial in origin.

  6. A collisional family of icy objects in the Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    Brown, Michael E; Barkume, Kristina M; Ragozzine, Darin; Schaller, Emily L

    2007-03-15

    The small bodies in the Solar System are thought to have been highly affected by collisions and erosion. In the asteroid belt, direct evidence of the effects of large collisions can be seen in the existence of separate families of asteroids--a family consists of many asteroids with similar orbits and, frequently, similar surface properties, with each family being the remnant of a single catastrophic impact. In the region beyond Neptune, in contrast, no collisionally created families have hitherto been found. The third largest known Kuiper belt object, 2003 EL61, however, is thought to have experienced a giant impact that created its multiple satellite system, stripped away much of an overlying ice mantle, and left it with a rapid rotation. Here we report the discovery of a family of Kuiper belt objects with surface properties and orbits that are nearly identical to those of 2003 EL61. This family appears to be fragments of the ejected ice mantle of 2003 EL61. PMID:17361177

  7. Resonant and Secular Families of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, E. I.; Lovering, J. R.; Millis, R. L.; Buie, M. W.; Wasserman, L. H.; Meech, K. J.

    2003-06-01

    We review ongoing efforts to identify occupants of mean-motion resonances (MMRs) and collisional families in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. Direct integrations of trajectories of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) reveal the 1:1 (Trojan), 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 (Plutino), 5:3, 7:4, 9:5, 2:1 (Twotino), and 5:2 MMRs to be inhabited. Apart from the Trojan, resonant KBOs typically have large orbital eccentricities and inclinations. The observed pattern of resonance occupation is consistent with resonant capture and adiabatic excitation by a migratory Neptune; however, the dynamically cold initial conditions prior to resonance sweeping that are typically assumed by migration simulations are probably inadequate. Given the dynamically hot residents of the 5:2 MMR and the substantial inclinations observed in all exterior MMRs, a fraction of the primordial belt was likely dynamically pre-heated prior to resonance sweeping. A pre-heated population may have arisen as Neptune gravitationally scattered objects into trans-Neptunian space. The spatial distribution of Twotinos offers a unique diagnostic of Neptune's migration history. The Neptunian Trojan population may rival the Jovian Trojan population, and the former's existence is argued to rule out violent orbital histories for Neptune. Finally, lowest-order secular theory is applied to several hundred non-resonant KBOs with well-measured orbits to update proposals of collisional families. No convincing family is detected.

  8. Ice Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    blugerman, n.

    2015-10-01

    My project is to make ice observatories to perceive astral movements as well as light phenomena in the shape of cosmic rays and heat, for example.I find the idea of creating an observation point in space, that in time will change shape and eventually disappear, in consonance with the way we humans have been approaching the exploration of the universe since we started doing it. The transformation in the elements we use to understand big and small transformations, within the universe elements.

  9. Virtual Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genova, Françoise

    2011-06-01

    Astronomy has been at the forefront among scientific disciplines for the sharing of data, and the advent of the World Wide Web has produced a revolution in the way astronomers do science. The recent development of the concept of Virtual Observatory builds on these foundations. This is one of the truly global endeavours of astronomy, aiming at providing astronomers with seamless access to data and tools, including theoretical data. Astronomy on-line resources provide a rare example of a world-wide, discipline-wide knowledge infrastructure, based on internationally agreed interoperability standards.

  10. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becklin, Eric E.

    2001-01-01

    The joint U.S. and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is now well into development. First science flights will begin in 2004 with 20% of the observing time assigned to German investigators. The observatory is expected to operate for over 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics and science instrument complement are discussed. Present and future instrumentation will allow unique astrobiology experiments to be carried out. Several experiments related to organic molecules in space will be discussed.

  11. The color-magnitude distribution of small Kuiper Belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ian; Brown, Michael E.

    2015-11-01

    Occupying a vast region beyond the ice giants is an extensive swarm of minor bodies known as the Kuiper Belt. Enigmatic in their formation, composition, and evolution, these Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) lie at the intersection of many of the most important topics in planetary science. Improved instruments and large-scale surveys have revealed a complex dynamical picture of the Kuiper Belt. Meanwhile, photometric studies have indicated that small KBOs display a wide range of colors, which may reflect a chemically diverse initial accretion environment and provide important clues to constraining the surface compositions of these objects. Notably, some recent work has shown evidence for bimodality in the colors of non-cold classical KBOs, which would have major implications for the formation and subsequent evolution of the entire KBO population. However, these previous color measurements are few and mostly come from targeted observations of known objects. As a consequence, the effect of observational biases cannot be readily removed, preventing one from obtaining an accurate picture of the true color distribution of the KBOs as a whole.We carried out a survey of KBOs using the Hyper Suprime-Cam instrument on the 8.2-meter Subaru telescope. Our observing fields targeted regions away from the ecliptic plane so as to avoid contamination from cold classical KBOs. Each field was imaged in both the g’ and i’ filters, which allowed us to calculate the g’-i’ color of each detected object. We detected more than 500 KBOs over two nights of observation, with absolute magnitudes from H=6 to H=11. Our survey increases the number of KBOs fainter than H=8 with known colors by more than an order of magnitude. We find that the distribution of colors demonstrates a robust bimodality across the entire observed range of KBO sizes, from which we can categorize individual objects into two color sub-populations -- the red and very-red KBOs. We present the very first analysis of the

  12. Explaining the Kuiper Belt with a Jumping Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    A feature of the Kuiper Belt known as the kernel has yet to be adequately explained by solar system formation models. In a recent study, a theorist at the Southwest Research Institute proposes a new explanation for how Neptune arrived at its current orbit and how this planets migration in the early years of the solar system might have created the kernel.Orbital JumpThe kernel is a concentration of orbits within the Kuiper Belt that all have semimajor axes of roughly a 44 AU, low eccentricities, and low inclinations. How this collection of objects formed and why they exist where they do is difficult to explain with current models, however. Kernel objects arent in resonance with any of the larger bodies, so why are they concentrated at that specific distance? In this study, David Nesvorn proposes that the kernel resulted from Neptunes outward migration through the solar system.In the currently favored model of our solar systems formation, the outermost gas giant planets formed closer to the Sun and then migrated out to their current locations. Nesvorn ran a series of simulations of this migration to test the theory that a discontinuity in Neptunes movement outward i.e., a sudden jump in the planets orbital distance could explain the presence of the Kuiper Belts kernel.Results from a previous study, in which the authors evolved the four gas giant planets plus a fifth giant planet (blue) initially on an orbit between Saturn and Uranus. At 18.3 Myr, a close encounter with the fifth planet causes Neptunes orbit (pink) to jump outwards by ~0.4 AU, and the fifth planet is then ejected from the solar system by Jupiter. [Nesvorn 2015]Resonant PopulationNesvorn was successful in finding a model that reproduced the kernel, as well as other observed features of the solar system today. In his model, Neptune began its journey closer to the Sun, at a distance of roughly 24 AU, and it migrated fairly rapidly outward to about 28 AU. As it traveled, it swept up bodies in the outer

  13. Pluto/Kuiper Missions with Advanced Electric Propulsion and Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, S. R.; Patterson, M. J.; Schrieber, J.; Gefert, L. P.

    2001-01-01

    In response to a request by NASA Code SD Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research center performed a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power system was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class (EELV) as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow launch in any year and arrival in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With the nearly constant power available from the radioisotope power source such small ion propelled spacecraft could explore many of the outer planetary targets. Such studies are already underway. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Microlensing by Kuiper, Oort, and Free-Floating Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    Microlensing is generally thought to probe planetary systems only out to a few Einstein radii. Microlensing events generated by bound planets beyond about 10 Einstein radii generally do not yield any trace of their hosts, and so would be classified as free floating planets (FFPs). I show that it is already possible, using adaptive optics (AO), to constrain the presence of potential hosts to FFP candidates at separations comparable to the Oort Cloud. With next-generation telescopes, planets at Kuiper-Belt separations can be probed. Next generation telescopes will also permit routine vetting for all FFP candidates, simply by obtaining second epochs 4-8 years after the event.At present, the search for such hosts is restricted to within the ``confusion limit'' of θ_\\confus ˜ 0.25'' but future WFIRST (Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope) observations will allow one to probe beyond this confusion limit as well.

  15. Kuiper belt structure around nearby super-Earth host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Grant M.; Matrà, Luca; Marmier, Maxime; Greaves, Jane S.; Wyatt, Mark C.; Bryden, Geoffrey; Holland, Wayne; Lovis, Christophe; Matthews, Brenda C.; Pepe, Francesco; Sibthorpe, Bruce; Udry, Stéphane

    2015-05-01

    We present new observations of the Kuiper belt analogues around HD 38858 and HD 20794, hosts of super-Earth mass planets within 1 au. As two of the four nearby G-type stars (with HD 69830 and 61 Vir) that form the basis of a possible correlation between low-mass planets and debris disc brightness, these systems are of particular interest. The disc around HD 38858 is well resolved with Herschel and we constrain the disc geometry and radial structure. We also present a probable James Clerk Maxwell Telescope sub-mm continuum detection of the disc and a CO J = 2-1 upper limit. The disc around HD 20794 is much fainter and appears marginally resolved with Herschel, and is constrained to be less extended than the discs around 61 Vir and HD 38858. We also set limits on the radial location of hot dust recently detected around HD 20794 with near-IR interferometry. We present High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher upper limits on unseen planets in these four systems, ruling out additional super-Earths within a few au, and Saturn-mass planets within 10 au. We consider the disc structure in the three systems with Kuiper belt analogues (HD 69830 has only a warm dust detection), concluding that 61 Vir and HD 38858 have greater radial disc extent than HD 20794. We speculate that the greater width is related to the greater minimum planet masses (10-20 M⊕ versus 3-5 M⊕), arising from an eccentric planetesimal population analogous to the Solar system's scattered disc. We discuss alternative scenarios and possible means to distinguish among them.

  16. Formation of High Mass Hydrocarbons on Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Brant M.; Bennett, C.; Gu, X.; Kaiser, R.

    2012-10-01

    We present recent results from the newly established W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry regarding the formation of high molecular weight ( C15) hydrocarbons starting from pure, simple hydrocarbons ices upon interaction of these ices with ionizing radiation: methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8) and n-butane (C4H10). Specifically, we have utilized a novel application of reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometry coupled with soft vacuum ultraviolet photoionization to observe the nature of high mass hydro- carbons as a function of their respective sublimation temperature. The Kuiper Belt is estimated to consist of over 70,000 icy bodies, which extend beyond the orbit of Neptune at 30 AU. These bodies are thought to have maintained low temperatures (30-50 K) since the formation of the solar system and are regarded as frozen relics that may preserve a record of the primitive volatiles from which the solar system formed. In particular, methane has been detected on the surfaces of Sedna, Quaoar, Triton (thought to be a captured KBO) and Pluto along with ethane being tentatively assigned to on Quaoar, Pluto, and Orcus. The surfaces of these bodies have undergone 4.5 Gyr of chemical processing due to ionizing radiation from the solar wind and Galactic Cosmic Radiation. Our research has been focused on trying to understand how these ices have evolved over the age of our solar system by simulating the chemical processing via ionizing radiation in an ultrahigh vacuum chamber coupled with a variety of optical analytical spectroscopies (FT-IR, Raman, UV-Vis) and gas phase mass spectroscopy. Our results indicate that larger, more complex hydrocarbons up to C15 are formed easily under conditions relevant to the environment of Kuiper Belt Objects which may help elucidate part of the puzzle regarding the ‘colors’ of these objects along with the formation of carbonaceous material throughout the interstellar medium.

  17. Fourth Airborne Geoscience Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The focus of the workshop was on how the airborne community can assist in achieving the goals of the Global Change Research Program. The many activities that employ airborne platforms and sensors were discussed: platforms and instrument development; airborne oceanography; lidar research; SAR measurements; Doppler radar; laser measurements; cloud physics; airborne experiments; airborne microwave measurements; and airborne data collection.

  18. Airborne laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamberson, Steven E.

    2002-06-01

    The US Air Force Airborne Laser (ABL) is an airborne, megawatt-class laser system with a state-of-the-art atmospheric compensation system to destroy enemy ballistic missiles at long ranges. This system will provide both deterrence and defense against the use of such weapons during conflicts. This paper provides an overview of the ABL weapon system including: the notional operational concept, the development approach and schedule, the overall aircraft configuration, the technologies being incorporated in the ABL, and the risk reduction approach being utilized to ensure program success.

  19. Haystack Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Radio astronomy programs comprise three very-long-baseline interferometer projects, ten spectral line investigations, one continuum mapping in the 0.8 cm region, and one monitoring of variable sources. A low-noise mixer was used in mapping observations of 3C273 at 31 GHz and in detecting of a new methyl alcohol line at 36,169 MHz in Sgr B2. The new Mark 2 VLBI recording terminal was used in galactic H2O source observations using Haystack and the Crimean Observatory, USSR. One feature in W29 appears to have a diameter of 0.3 millisec of arc and a brightness temperature of 1.4 x 10 to the 15th power K. Geodetic baseline measurements via VLBI between Green Bank and Haystack are mutually consistent within a few meters. Radar investigations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Moon have continued. The favorable opposition of Mars and improvements in the radar permit measurements on a number of topographic features with unprecedented accuracy, including scarps and crater walls. The floor of Mare Serenitatis slopes upward towards the northeast and is also the location of a strong gravitational anomaly.

  20. The formation of the Kuiper belt by the outward transport of bodies during Neptune's migration.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2003-11-27

    The 'dynamically cold Kuiper belt' consists of objects on low-inclination orbits between approximately 40 and approximately 50 au from the Sun. It currently contains material totalling less than a tenth the mass of the Earth, which is surprisingly low because, according to accretion models, the objects would not have grown to their present size unless the cold Kuiper belt originally contained tens of Earth masses of solids. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to produce the observed mass depletion, they all have significant limitations. Here we show that the objects currently observed in the dynamically cold Kuiper belt were most probably formed within approximately 35 au and were subsequently pushed outward by Neptune's 1:2 mean motion resonance during its final phase of migration. Combining our mechanism with previous work, we conclude that the entire Kuiper belt formed closer to the Sun and was transported outward during the final stages of planet formation. PMID:14647375

  1. Airborne spectrograph for the thermal IR: Broadband Array Spectrograph System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Ray W.; Hackwell, John; Lynch, David; Mazuk, Ann

    1995-01-01

    Spectroscopic studies in the 'fingerprint' region of the thermal IR from 3 to 14 microns of celestial dust components and the overall energy distribution of the sources are best served by moderate spectral resolution (R = lambda/Delta lambda approximately 30 to 200), high sensitivity observations. Spectral purity and the reproducibility of the spectral shape are critical as well, when using the spectral shape to assign temperatures to dust grains or to gas clouds based on the wavelength and shape of molecular bands. These sensor attributes are also important to the use of wavelengths and ratios of solid state features to derive compositions of dust grains in celestial sources. The advent of high quality linear arrays of blocked impurity band (BIB) detectors of Si:As permitted the development of a state-of-the-art, patented, cooled prism spectrograph. Developed at The Aerospace Corporation largely with in-house funds, the Broadband Array Spectrograph System (BASS) has been used for a variety of remote sensing applications, but especially for IR astronomical studies on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). The attributes of the spectrograph, specifically having the pupil imaged onto the 2 linear 58 element detector arrays so that the effects of guiding errors are minimized, being able to maximally exploit the limited observing time by acquiring all 116 spectral channels simultaneously, and having all spectral channels imaged through the same aperture so that spectral mapping is readily and reliably accomplished, afford the scientist with a unique opportunity to conduct both surveys of examples of many different types of sources as well as in-depth studies of a given class of object by thoroughly sampling the class members. This duality was demonstrated with the BASS through a combination of KAO flights where spectral maps were obtained as part of in-depth studies of specific source regions (such as Orion and W3) and

  2. New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W.; Stern, S.; Weaver, H.; Young, L.; Olkin, C.; New Horizons Science Team

    2014-07-01

    NASA's New Horizons (NH) Pluto-Kuiper Belt (PKB) mission was selected for development in 2001 following a competitive selection process. New Horizons is the first mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt, and will complete the reconnaissance of the classical planets. The mission was launched on 19 January 2006 on a Jupiter Gravity Assist (JGA) trajectory toward the Pluto system, for a 14 July 2015 closest approach to Pluto; Jupiter closest approach occurred on 28 February 2007. The ˜400 kg spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments, including panchromatic and color imagers, UV and IR mapping spectrometers, radio science/radiometry, a plasma and particles suite, and a dust counter built by university students. These instruments are: Alice, an extreme to far-ultraviolet (50--180 nm) imaging spectrometer; Ralph, a combination of a) three panchromatic and four color imagers inside MVIC (Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) and b) a short-wavelength infrared (1.25--2.50 micron) composition mapping spectrometer, called LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array); REX (Radio science EXperiment), in which signal- processing electronics are integrated into the telecommunications system; LORRI (LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager), a panchromatic long focal length imager; SWAP (Solar Wind at Pluto), which will make energy (up to 6.5 keV) measurements of both the solar wind interaction with Pluto's atmosphere and of low energy pickup ions from Pluto; PEPSSI (Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation), which will determine the density, composition and nature of energetic (up to 1 MeV) particles escaping from Pluto's atmosphere; and the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (SDC), which has been tracing the dust density distribution across the entire Solar System for particles with masses as small as 1 pg. New Horizons will study the Pluto system over a 12-month period beginning in early 2015. Following that, NH plans to go on to reconnoiter one or

  3. Structure and Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects and Dwarf Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Prialnik, D.; Stern, S. A.; Coradini, A.

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) accreted from a mélange of volatile ices, carbonaceous matter, and rock of mixed interstellar and solar nebular provenance. The transneptunian region, where this accretion took place, was likely more radially compact than today. This and the influence of gas drag during the solar nebula epoch argue for more rapid KBO accretion than usually considered. Early evolution of KBOs was largely the result of heating due to radioactive decay, the most important potential source being 26Al, whereas long-term evolution of large bodies is controlled by the decay of U, Th, and 40K. Several studies are reviewed dealing with the evolution of KBO models, calculated by means of one-dimensional numerical codes that solve the heat and mass balance equations. It is shown that, depending on parameters (principally rock content and porous conductivity), KBO interiors may have reached relatively high temperatures. The models suggest that KBOs likely lost ices of very volatile species during early evolution, whereas ices of less-volatile species should be retained in cold, less-altered subsurface layers. Initially amorphous ice may have crystallized in KBO interiors, releasing volatiles trapped in the amorphous ice, and some objects may have lost part of these volatiles as well. Generally, the outer layers are far less affected by internal evolution than the inner part, which in the absence of other effects (such as collisions) predicts a stratified composition and altered porosity distribution. Kuiper belt objects are thus unlikely to be "the most pristine objects in the solar system," but they do contain key information as to how the early solar system accreted and dynamically evolved. For large (dwarf planet) KBOs, long-term radiogenic heating alone may lead to differentiated structures -- rock cores, ice mantles, volatile-ice-rich "crusts," and even oceans. Persistence of oceans and (potential) volcanism to the present day depends strongly on body size and

  4. Formation of High Mass Hydrocarbons on Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, B. M.; Bennett, C.; Gu, X.; Kaiser, R. I.

    2012-12-01

    Recent results from the newly established W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry are presented regarding the formation of high molecular weight (~ C15) hydrocarbons starting from pure, simple saturated hydrocarbons ices: methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8) and n-butane (C4H10) upon the interaction of these ices with ionizing radiation. Specifically, we have utilized a novel application of reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometry coupled with soft vacuum ultraviolet photoionization to observe the sublimation of the high mass hydrocarbons as a function of temperature. The Kuiper Belt is estimated to consist of over 70,000 icy bodies, which extend beyond the orbit of Neptune at 30 AU. These bodies are believed to have maintained low temperatures (30-50 K) since the formation of the solar system and are often regarded as frozen relics that may preserve a record of the primitive volatiles from which the solar system formed. In particular, methane has been detected on the surfaces of Sedna, Quaoar, Triton (thought to be a captured KBO) and Pluto along with ethane being tentatively assigned to on Quaoar, Pluto, and Orcus. Throughout the past 4.5 billion years, these surfaces have undergone significant chemical processing due to the barrage of ionizing radiation from solar wind and background Galactic Cosmic Rays. The main focus of our research has been elucidating how the outer planetary icy bodies have evolved over the age of the solar system by simulating the chemical changes induced from ionizing radiation in an ultrahigh vacuum chamber. These changes are monitored with a variety of optical analytical spectroscopies (FT-IR, Raman, UV-Vis) and gas phase mass spectroscopy coupled with soft vacuum ultraviolet photoionization of the subliming products at 10.5 eV. Our results indicate that larger, more complex hydrocarbons up to C15 are formed easily under conditions relevant to the environment of Kuiper Belt Objects which may help elucidate part of the

  5. Optical measurements of nasa/usaf crres high altitude rocket borne chemical release experiments in conjunction with the USAF airborne ionospheric observatory aircraft. Final report, 9 January 1991-30 September 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Boquist, W.P.; Ledley, B.G.

    1992-10-01

    In order to provide post experiment optical imagery data for correlation of airborne measurements of satellite signal modification from intervening chemical vapor clouds released in the upper atmosphere, Technology International Corporation provided and operated as part of the NASA/USAF PL/CRRES research program a ground optics station on Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean during June-July 1992. Optical data was acquired on the AA-1 event (approximately 95%) and the AA-7 event (approximately 60%). The third release (AA-2 event) occurred when the Grand Turk optics site was fully obscured by clouds for the duration of the normal period of visibility. All three rocket borne experiments were launched at morning twilight.

  6. Cold DUst around NEarby Stars (DUNES). First results. A resolved exo-Kuiper belt around the solar-like star ζ2 Ret

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiroa, C.; Fedele, D.; Maldonado, J.; González-García, B. M.; Rodmann, J.; Heras, A. M.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Augereau, J.-Ch.; Mora, A.; Montesinos, B.; Ardila, D.; Bryden, G.; Liseau, R.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Launhardt, R.; Solano, E.; Bayo, A.; Absil, O.; Arévalo, M.; Barrado, D.; Beichmann, C.; Danchi, W.; Del Burgo, C.; Ertel, S.; Fridlund, M.; Fukagawa, M.; Gutiérrez, R.; Grün, E.; Kamp, I.; Krivov, A.; Lebreton, J.; Löhne, T.; Lorente, R.; Marshall, J.; Martínez-Arnáiz, R.; Meeus, G.; Montes, D.; Morbidelli, A.; Müller, S.; Mutschke, H.; Nakagawa, T.; Olofsson, G.; Ribas, I.; Roberge, A.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Thébault, P.; Walker, H.; White, G. J.; Wolf, S.

    2010-07-01

    We present the first far-IR observations of the solar-type stars δ Pav, HR 8501, 51 Peg and ζ2 Ret, taken within the context of the DUNES Herschel open time key programme (OTKP). This project uses the PACS and SPIRE instruments with the objective of studying infrared excesses due to exo-Kuiper belts around nearby solar-type stars. The observed 100 μm fluxes from δ Pav, HR 8501, and 51 Peg agree with the predicted photospheric fluxes, excluding debris disks brighter than Ldust/Lstar 5 × 10-7 (1σ level) around those stars. A flattened, disk-like structure with a semi-major axis of 100 AU in size is detected around ζ2 Ret. The resolved structure suggests the presence of an eccentric dust ring, which we interpret as an exo-Kuiper belt with Ldust/Lstar ≈ 10-5. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  7. Volatile Loss and Classification of Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R. E.; Oza, A.; Young, L. A.; Volkov, A. N.; Schmidt, C.

    2015-08-01

    Observations indicate that some of the largest Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) have retained volatiles in the gas phase (e.g., Pluto), while others have surface volatiles that might support a seasonal atmosphere (e.g., Eris). Since the presence of an atmosphere can affect their reflectance spectra and thermal balance, Schaller & Brown examined the role of volatile escape driven by solar heating of the surface. Guided by recent simulations, we estimate the loss of primordial N2 for several large KBOs, accounting for escape driven by UV/EUV heating of the upper atmosphere as well as by solar heating of the surface. For the latter we present new simulations and for the former we scale recent detailed simulations of escape from Pluto using the energy limited escape model validated recently by molecular kinetic simulations. Unlike what has been assumed to date, we show that unless the N2 atmosphere is thin (<˜1018 N2 cm-2) and/or the radius small (<˜200-300 km), escape is primarily driven by the UV/EUV radiation absorbed in the upper atmosphere. This affects the discussion of the relationship between atmospheric loss and the observed surface properties for a number of the KBOs examined. Our long-term goal is to connect detailed atmospheric loss simulations with a model for volatile transport for individual KBOs.

  8. Collisional Grooming Models of the Kuiper Belt Dust Cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Stark, Christopher C.

    2010-01-01

    We modeled the three-dimensional structure of the Kuiper Belt (KB) dust cloud at four different dust production rates, incorporating both planet-dust interactions and grain-grain collisions using the collisional grooming algorithm. Simulated images of a model with a face-on optical depth of approximately 10 (exp -4) primarily show an azimuthally- symmetric ring at 40-47 AU in submillimeter and infrared wavelengths; this ring is associated with the cold classical KB. For models with lower optical depths (10 (exp -6) and 10 (exp-7)), synthetic infrared images show that the ring widens and a gap opens in the ring at the location of Neptune; this feature is caused by trapping of dust grains in Neptune's mean motion resonances. At low optical depths, a secondary ring also appears associated with the hole cleared in the center of the disk by Saturn. Our simulations, which incorporate 25 different grain sizes, illustrate that grain-grain collisions are important in sculpting today's KB dust, and probably other aspects of the solar system dust complex; collisions erase all signs of azimuthal asymmetry from the submillimeter image of the disk at every dust level we considered. The model images switch from being dominated by resonantly trapped small grains ("transport dominated") to being dominated by the birth ring ("collision dominated") when the optical depth reaches a critical value of r approximately v/c, where v is the local Keplerian speed.

  9. Dynamical implantation of objects in the Kuiper Belt

    SciTech Connect

    Brasil, P. I. O.

    2014-09-01

    Several models have been suggested in the past to describe the dynamical formation of hot Kuiper Belt objects (hereafter Hot Classicals or HCs for short). Here, we discuss a dynamical mechanism that allows orbits to evolve from the primordial planetesimal disk at ≲ 35 AU to reach the orbital region now occupied by HCs. We performed three different sets of numerical simulations to illustrate this mechanism. Two of these simulations were based on modern theories for the early evolution of the solar system (the Nice and jumping-Jupiter models). The third simulation was performed with the purpose of increasing the resolution at 41-46 AU. The common aspect of these simulations is that Neptune scatters planetesimals from ≲ 35 AU to >40 AU and then undergoes a long phase of slow residual migration. Our results show that to reach an HC orbit, a scattered planetesimal needs to be captured in a mean motion resonance (MMR) with Neptune where the perihelion distance rises due to the Kozai resonance (which occurs in MMRs even for moderate inclinations). Finally, while Neptune is still migrating, the planetesimal is released from the MMR on a stable HC orbit. We show that the orbital distribution of HCs expected from this process provides a reasonable match to observations. The capture efficiency and the mass deposited into the HC region appears to be sensitive to the maximum eccentricity reached by Neptune during the planetary instability phase. Additional work will be needed to resolve this dependency in detail.

  10. COLLISIONAL GROOMING MODELS OF THE KUIPER BELT DUST CLOUD

    SciTech Connect

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Stark, Christopher C. E-mail: starkc@umd.ed

    2010-10-15

    We modeled the three-dimensional structure of the Kuiper Belt (KB) dust cloud at four different dust production rates, incorporating both planet-dust interactions and grain-grain collisions using the collisional grooming algorithm. Simulated images of a model with a face-on optical depth of {approx}10{sup -4} primarily show an azimuthally symmetric ring at 40-47 AU in submillimeter and infrared wavelengths; this ring is associated with the cold classical KB. For models with lower optical depths (10{sup -6} and 10{sup -7}), synthetic infrared images show that the ring widens and a gap opens in the ring at the location of Neptune; this feature is caused by trapping of dust grains in Neptune's mean motion resonances. At low optical depths, a secondary ring also appears associated with the hole cleared in the center of the disk by Saturn. Our simulations, which incorporate 25 different grain sizes, illustrate that grain-grain collisions are important in sculpting today's KB dust, and probably other aspects of the solar system dust complex; collisions erase all signs of azimuthal asymmetry from the submillimeter image of the disk at every dust level we considered. The model images switch from being dominated by resonantly trapped small grains ('transport dominated') to being dominated by the birth ring ('collision dominated') when the optical depth reaches a critical value of {tau} {approx} v/c, where v is the local Keplerian speed.

  11. Chiron and the Centaurs: Escapees from the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Alan; Campins, Humberto

    1996-01-01

    The outer Solar System has long appeared to be a largely empty place, inhabited only by the four giant planets, Pluto and a transient population of comets. In 1977 however, a faint and enigmatic object - 2060 Chiron - was discovered moving on a moderately inclined, strongly chaotic 51-year orbit which takes it from just inside Saturn's orbit out almost as far as that of Uranus. It was not initially clear from where Chiron originated. these objects become temporarily trapped on Centaur-like orbits Following Chiron's discovery, almost 15 years elapsed before other similar objects were discovered; five more have now been identified. Based on the detection statistics implied by these discoveries, it has become clear that these objects belong to a significant population of several hundred (or possibly several thousand) large icy bodies moving on relatively short-lived orbits between the giant planets. This new class of objects, known collectively as the Centaurs, are intermediate in diameter between typical comets (1-20 km) and small icy planets such as Pluto (approx. 2,300 km) and Triton (approx. 2,700 km). Although the Centaurs are interesting in their own right, they have taken on added significance following the recognition that they most probably originated in the ancient reservoir of comets and larger objects located beyond the orbit of Neptune known as the Kuiper belt.

  12. Dynamics of the Most Distant Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Kathryn; Malhotra, Renu; Wang, Xianyu

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the evolution of the most distant known Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) under the secular and resonant effects of the known planets in the Solar System as well as under the influence of a massive, unseen distant planet. The orbits of these distant KBOs evolve on a wide range of timescales (from millions to billions of years); most important are the changes in the objects’ perihelion distances which can dramatically change the relative domination of secular or resonant effects on their orbital evolution. Motivated by the period ratios of the distant KBOs, which are near simple integer ratios, we examine the properties of mean motion resonances with a hypothetical, unseen planet; we discuss how the uncertainties in the observed objects’ orbits compare to the widths of these hypothesized resonances. We also examine the timescales for secular orbital evolution and the timescales for scattering through close encounters in the models with and without the hypothetical planet to assess the case for such a planet.

  13. The formation of Kuiper-belt binaries through exchange reactions.

    PubMed

    Funato, Yoko; Makino, Junichiro; Hut, Piet; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Kinoshita, Daisuke

    2004-02-01

    Recent observations have revealed that an unexpectedly high fraction--a few per cent--of the trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) that inhabit the Kuiper belt are binaries. The components have roughly equal masses, with very eccentric orbits that are wider than a hundred times the radius of the primary. Standard theories of binary asteroid formation tend to produce close binaries with circular orbits, so two models have been proposed to explain the unique characteristics of the TNOs. Both models, however, require extreme assumptions regarding the size distribution of the TNOs. Here we report a mechanism that is capable of producing binary TNOs with the observed properties during the early stages of their formation and growth. The only required assumption is that the TNOs were initially formed through gravitational instabilities in the protoplanetary dust disk. The basis of the mechanism is an exchange reaction in which a binary whose primary component is much more massive than the secondary interacts with a third body, whose mass is comparable to that of the primary. The low-mass secondary component is ejected and replaced by the third body in a wide but eccentric orbit. PMID:14765188

  14. Dynamical and collisional evolution of Kuiper belt binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunini, Adrián; Zanardi, Macarena

    2016-02-01

    We present numerical simulations of the evolution of synthetic transneptunian binaries (TNBs) under the influence of the solar perturbation, tidal friction, and collisions with the population of classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We show that these effects, acting together, have strongly sculpted the primordial population of TNBs. If the population of classical KBOs have a power-law size distribution as the ones that are inferred from recent observational surveys, the fraction of surviving binaries at present would be ˜70 per cent of the primordial population. The orbits of the surviving synthetic systems match reasonably well the observed sample. The collisional process excites the mutual orbital eccentricity of the binaries, acting against the effect of tides. Therefore only ˜10 per cent of the objects reach total orbital circularization (e ≤ 10-4). In addition, our results predict that the population of contact binaries in the transneptunian region should be small. Ultrawide binaries are naturally obtained by the combined action of Kozai cycles and tidal friction and collisional evolution, being the number and orbital distribution of them very similar to the ones of the observed population.

  15. 1999 KUIPER PRIZE LECTURE. Cometary Origin of the Biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delsemme, Armand H.

    2000-08-01

    Most of the biosphere was brought on the primitive Earth by an intense bombardment of comets. This included the atmosphere, the seawater and those volatile carbon compounds needed for the emergence of life. Comets were thrown into the inner Solar System by the strong perturbation induced by the growth of the giant planets' cores. The bulk of the Earth's bombardment came from those comets that accreted in Jupiter's zone, where the original deuterium enrichment had been diminished by steam coming from the hot, inner parts of the Solar System. This steam had condensed into icy chunks before their accretion into larger cometary nuclei. In contrast, comets that accreted in the zones of the outer giant planets kept their interstellar isotopic enrichments. Those comets contributed to the Earth's bombardment for a small amount only; they were mostly ejected into the Oort cloud and are the major source of the long-period comets observed today. The short-period comets, which come from the Kuiper Belt, should also have the same interstellar enrichment. The deuterium enrichment of seawater, accurately predicted by the previous scenario, has become one of the best telltales for the cometary origin of our biosphere. This cometary origin may have far-reaching cosmological consequences, in particular for the origin of life in other planetary systems.

  16. A SEARCH FOR OCCULTATIONS OF BRIGHT STARS BY SMALL KUIPER BELT OBJECTS USING MEGACAM ON THE MMT

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, F. B.; Lehner, M. J.; Protopapas, P.; McLeod, B. A.; Alcock, C. R.; Holman, M. J.

    2009-08-15

    We conducted a search for occultations of bright stars by Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) to estimate the density of subkilometer KBOs in the sky. We report here the first results of this occultation survey of the outer solar system conducted in 2007 June and 2008 June/July at the MMT Observatory using Megacam, the large MMT optical imager. We used Megacam in a novel shutterless continuous-readout mode to achieve high-precision photometry at 200 Hz, which with point-spread function convolution results in an effective sampling of {approx}30 Hz. We present an analysis of 220 star hours of data at a signal-to-noise ratio of 25 or greater, taken from images of fields within 3 deg. of the ecliptic plane. The survey efficiency is greater than 10% for occultations by KBOs of diameter d {>=} 0.7 km, and we report no detections in our data set. We set a new 95% confidence level upper limit for the surface density {sigma} {sub N}(d) of KBOs larger than 1 km: {sigma} {sub N}(d {>=} 1 km) {<=} 2.0 x 10{sup 8} deg{sup -2}, and for KBOs larger than 0.7 km {sigma} {sub N}(d {>=} 0.7 km) {<=} 4.8 x 10{sup 8} deg{sup -2}.

  17. THE SURFACE COMPOSITION OF LARGE KUIPER BELT OBJECT 2007 OR10

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Fraser, W. C.; Burgasser, A. J.

    2011-09-10

    We present photometry and spectra of the large Kuiper belt object 2007 OR10. The data show significant near-infrared absorption features due to water ice. While most objects in the Kuiper belt with water ice absorption this prominent have the optically neutral colors of water ice, 2007 OR10 is among the reddest Kuiper belt objects known. One other large Kuiper belt object-Quaoar-has similar red coloring and water ice absorption, and it is hypothesized that the red coloration of this object is due to irradiation of the small amounts of methane able to be retained on Quaoar. 2007 OR10, though warmer than Quaoar, is in a similar volatile retention regime because it is sufficiently larger that its stronger gravity can still retain methane. We propose, therefore, that the red coloration on 2007 OR10 is also caused by the retention of small amounts of methane. Positive detection of methane on 2007 OR10 will require spectra with higher signal to noise. Models for volatile retention on Kuiper belt objects appear to continue to do an excellent job reproducing all of the available observations.

  18. A single sub-kilometre Kuiper belt object from a stellar occultation in archival data.

    PubMed

    Schlichting, H E; Ofek, E O; Wenz, M; Sari, R; Gal-Yam, A; Livio, M; Nelan, E; Zucker, S

    2009-12-17

    The Kuiper belt is a remnant of the primordial Solar System. Measurements of its size distribution constrain its accretion and collisional history, and the importance of material strength of Kuiper belt objects. Small, sub-kilometre-sized, Kuiper belt objects elude direct detection, but the signature of their occultations of background stars should be detectable. Observations at both optical and X-ray wavelengths claim to have detected such occultations, but their implied abundances are inconsistent with each other and far exceed theoretical expectations. Here we report an analysis of archival data that reveals an occultation by a body with an approximately 500-metre radius at a distance of 45 astronomical units. The probability of this event arising from random statistical fluctuations within our data set is about two per cent. Our survey yields a surface density of Kuiper belt objects with radii exceeding 250 metres of 2.1(-1.7)(+4.8) x 10(7) deg(-2), ruling out inferred surface densities from previous claimed detections by more than 5sigma. The detection of only one event reveals a deficit of sub-kilometre-sized Kuiper belt objects compared to a population extrapolated from objects with radii exceeding 50 kilometres. This implies that sub-kilometre-sized objects are undergoing collisional erosion, just like debris disks observed around other stars. PMID:20016596

  19. On the Plutinos and Twotinos of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, E. I.; Jordan, A. B.

    2002-12-01

    We illuminate dynamical properties of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the 3:2 (Plutino) and 2:1 (``Twotino'') Neptunian resonances within the model of resonant capture and migration. We analyze a series of numerical integrations, each involving the four migratory giant planets and 400 test particles distributed throughout trans-Neptunian space, to measure the efficiencies of capture into the 3:2 and 2:1 resonances, the efficiencies of capture into Kozai-type secular resonances, and the libration centers and amplitudes of resonant particles, all as functions of the migration speed. We synthesize instantaneous snapshots of the spatial distribution of ~104 resonant KBOs, from which we derive the longitudinal variation of the sky density of each resonant family. Twotinos cluster +/-75° away from Neptune's longitude, while Plutinos cluster +/-90° away. Such longitudinal clustering persists even for surveys that are not volume limited in their ability to detect resonant KBOs. Remarkably, between -90° and -60° of Neptune's longitude we find the ratio of sky densities of Twotinos to Plutinos to be nearly unity, despite the greater average distance of Twotinos, assuming the two resonant populations are equal in number and share the same size, albedo, and inclination distributions. We couple our findings to observations to crudely estimate that the intrinsic Twotino population is within a factor of ~3 of the Plutino population. Most strikingly, the migration model predicts a possible asymmetry in the spatial distribution of Twotinos: more Twotinos may lie at longitudes behind that of Neptune than ahead of it. The magnitude of the asymmetry amplifies dramatically with faster rates of migration and can be as large as ~300%. A differential measurement of the sky density of 2:1 resonant objects behind and in front of Neptune's longitude would powerfully constrain the migration history of that planet.

  20. Interpreting the densities of the Kuiper belt's dwarf planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, Amy C.; Schwamb, Megan E.

    2016-08-01

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) with absolute magnitude less than 3 (radius ≳500 km), the dwarf planets, have a range of different ice/rock ratios, and are more rock-rich than their smaller counterparts. Many of these objects have moons, which suggests that collisions may have played a role in modifying their compositions. We show that the dwarf planets fall into two categories when analysed by their mean densities and satellite-to-primary size ratio. Systems with large moons, such as Pluto/Charon and Orcus/Vanth, can form in low-velocity grazing collisions in which both bodies retain their compositions. We propose that these systems retain a primordial composition, with a density of about 1.8 g cm-3. Triton, thought to be a captured KBO, could have lost enough ice during its early orbital evolution to explain its rock-enrichment relative to the primordial material. Systems with small moons, Eris, Haumea, and Quaoar, formed from a different type of collision in which icy material, perhaps a few tens of percent of the total colliding mass, is lost. The fragments would not remain in physical or dynamical proximity to the parent body. The ice loss process has not yet been demonstrated numerically, which could be due to the paucity of KBO origin simulations, or missing physical processes in the impact models. If our hypothesis is correct, we predict that large KBOs with small moons should be denser than the primordial material, and that the mean density of Orcus should be close to the primordial value.

  1. Size and Albedo of the Kuiper Belt Object 55636

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliot, James L.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Bosh, A. S.; Adams, E. R.; Brothers, T. C.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Lockhart, M.; Zangari, A. M.; Babcock, B. A.; DuPré, K.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Souza, S. P.; Rosing, W.; Secrest, N.

    2010-10-01

    Due to the small sizes and great distances of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), it is difficult to determine their diameters. We report multi-chord observations of a KBO stellar occultation, which occurred on 2009 October 9 (Elliot, J. L., et al. 2010, Nature, 465, 897). We set up a network of 21 telescopes at 18 stations, spanning a distance of 5920 km perpendicular to the predicted shadow path for the 2009 October 9 stellar occultation by the KBO 55636. Of these stations, seven could not observe due to weather, nine reported non-detections, and two observed an occultation, both in Hawai'i: the 2.0-m Faulkes North telescope at Haleakala and a 0.36-m portable telescope at the Visitor Information Station at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy on Mauna Kea (located at the Mauna Kea Mid Level). We find that 55636 (2002 TX300), which is a member of the water-ice rich Haumea KBO collisional family (Brown, M. E., et al. 2007, Nature, 446, 294), has a mean radius of 143 ± 5 km (for a circular solution). Allowing for possible elliptical shapes we find a geometric albedo of 0.88 +0.15/-0.06 in the V photometric band. This firmly establishes that 55636 is smaller than previously thought and like its parent body, Haumea, is among the most highly reflective objects in the Solar System. Dynamical calculations by two groups indicate that the collision that created 55636 occurred at least 1 Gyr ago (Ragozzine, D., & Brown, M. E. 2007, AJ, 134, 2160; Schlichting, H. E., & Sari, R. 2009, ApJ, 700, 1242), which implies either that 55636 has an active resurfacing mechanism, or that fresh water ice in the outer solar system can persist for Gyr timescales. This work was supported, in part by NASA Grants NNX10AB27G (MIT), NNX08AO50G (Williams College), and NNH08AI17I (USNO-FS).

  2. Interpreting the Densities of the Kuiper Belt's Dwarf Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, Amy C.; Schwamb, Megan E.

    2016-05-01

    Kuiper Belt objects with absolute magnitude less than 3 (radius ≳500 km), the dwarf planets, have a range of different ice/rock ratios, and are more rock-rich than their smaller counterparts. Many of these objects have moons, which suggests that collisions may have played a role in modifying their compositions. We show that the dwarf planets fall into two categories when analysed by their mean densities and satellite-to-primary size ratio. Systems with large moons, such as Pluto/Charon and Orcus/Vanth, can form in low-velocity grazing collisions in which both bodies retain their compositions. We propose that these systems retain a primordial composition, with a density of about 1.8 g/cm3. Triton, thought to be a captured KBO, could have lost enough ice during its early orbital evolution to explain its rock-enrichment relative to the primordial material. Systems with small moons, Eris, Haumea, and Quaoar, formed from a different type of collision in which icy material, perhaps a few tens of percent of the total colliding mass, is lost. The fragments would not remain in physical or dynamical proximity to the parent body. The ice loss process has not yet been demonstrated numerically, which could be due to the paucity of KBO origin simulations, or missing physical processes in the impact models. If our hypothesis is correct, we predict that large KBOs with small moons should be denser than the primordial material, and that the mean density of Orcus should be close to the primordial value.

  3. The New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, H. A.; Stern, S. A.; New Horizons Science; Engineering Team

    New Horizons, which initiates the NASA New Frontiers program of mid-sized missions, will provide the first scientific reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon system and is scheduled for launch in January 2006. An encounter with Jupiter at a flyby distance of ˜32-45 RJ about 13 months after launch provides a gravity boost for the spacecraft's journey to Pluto and practice for the Pluto encounter, in addition to providing an opportunity to perform a valuable set of scientific measurements within the jovian system. New Horizons carries a sophisticated suite of instruments to perform ultraviolet and infrared spectroscopy, panchromatic and color optical imaging, and charged particle and dust measurements, all within a spacecraft having a total mass of ˜465 kg and total power output of ˜210 W at the time of Pluto encounter in July 2015. The primary scientific objectives of the New Horizons are to characterize the global geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon, map the surface composition of Pluto and Charon, and characterize the neutral atmosphere and its escape rate, but many other important scientific objectives will be addressed as well. New Horizons has the capability to image Pluto with a resolution exceeding that provided by the Hubble Space Telescope for at least 90 days prior to closest approach at a distance of ˜10,000 km from the surface, at which time a resolution of ˜100 m will be achieved for selected regions near the terminator. After encounter, the spacecraft will pass through the shadows of both Pluto and Charon, which enables radio and ultraviolet occultation measurements of their atmospheres. If an extended mission phase is approved, the spacecraft will be re-targeted to encounter one or more Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), roughly 3 years after the Pluto encounter at a heliocentric distance of ˜42 AU. The scientific objectives for the KBO encounters are similar to those for the Pluto encounter.

  4. USING KUIPER BELT BINARIES TO CONSTRAIN NEPTUNE'S MIGRATION HISTORY

    SciTech Connect

    Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Schlichting, Hilke E.

    2011-04-01

    Approximately 10%-20% of all Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) occupy mean-motion resonances with Neptune. This dynamical configuration likely resulted from resonance capture as Neptune migrated outward during the late stages of planet formation. The details of Neptune's planetesimal-driven migration, including its radial extent and the concurrent eccentricity evolution of the planet, are the subject of considerable debate. Two qualitatively different proposals for resonance capture have been proposed-migration-induced capture driven by smooth outward evolution of Neptune's orbit and chaotic capture driven by damping of the planet's eccentricity near its current semi-major axis. We demonstrate that the distribution of comparable-mass, wide-separation binaries occupying resonant orbits can differentiate between these two scenarios. If migration-induced capture occurred, this fraction records information about the formation locations of different populations of KBOs. Chaotic capture, in contrast, randomizes the orbits of bodies as they are placed in resonance. In particular, if KBO binaries are formed by dynamical capture in a protoplanetary disk with a surface mass density typical of observed extrasolar disks, then migration-induced capture produces the following signatures. The 2:1 resonance should contain a dynamically cold component, with inclinations less than 5{sup 0}-10{sup 0}, having a binary fraction comparable to that among cold classical KBOs. If the 3:2 resonance also hosts a cold component, its binary fraction should be 20%-30% lower than in the cold classical belt. Among cold 2:1 (and if present 3:2) KBOs, objects with eccentricities e < 0.2 should have a binary fraction {approx}20% larger than those with e>0.2. Other binary formation scenarios and disk surface density profiles can generate analogous signatures but produce quantitatively different results. Searches for cold components in the binary fractions of resonant KBOs are currently practical. The

  5. Exploration of the Kuiper Belt by serendipitous occultations using Ultraphot and MeFos instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roques, F.; Guinouard, I.; Doressoundiram, A.; Felenbok, P.; Boissel, Y.; Sicardy, B.

    2008-09-01

    The exploration of the Kuiper Belt is possible using serendipitous stellar occultations [1]. We conducted observations with a multi-photometer instrument at the Pic du Midi Bernard-Lyot 2-m telescope, with Ultracam at the William-Herschel Telescope (WHT) and ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) [2]. We detected three events. We also worked on the possibility to use the ESO guiding cameras. Tests were done on ESO's 3.6-m, 2.2-m and NTT telescopes. An Australian team [3] used the fibers spectrograph 6df in straight-through mode on the UK Schmidt telescope (UKST) with the approach of the French analysis. These observations demonstrate that a multi-fibers instrument coupled with fast acquisition is the best tool for exploring the small object population in the Outer Solar System. The optimal configuration for recording several targets simultaneously is the coupling of a fiber set on a large field, with a camera in fast photometry mode. The Paris Observatory team has pushed forward a plan in two steps : (1) The first step is to upgrade MEFOS[5], a 29 fibers spectrograph which has equipped the ESO 3.6-m telescope during 100 nights in 1993. The project is to design a new fiber link and to replace the spectrograph with a fast camera and mount it on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute Provence (South of France). This will provide at very short term a multi image fibre photometric instrument, at very low cost, in the Northern hemisphere. (2) The second step is to build a dedicated instrument, UltraPhot, for the UT2 unit of ESO's Very Large Telescope. This project will provide, also at short term, a very performant instrument for multi-object fast photometry in the Southern hemisphere. The association of fast photometry with a multi-fiber instrument and a 8-meters telescope provides a unique possibility to perform fast precise photometry on several targets in a large field. UltraPhot would use the same fiber positioning system as for FLAMES, a multi-object spectrograph

  6. A Low Density for Binary Kuiper Belt Object (26308) 1998 SM165

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, John R.; Stansberry, J. A.; Grundy, W. M.; Noll, K. S.

    2006-09-01

    The densities of Kuiper Belt objects provide valuable clues to their composition, internal structure, and origin. To extend our limited knowledge of KBO densities, we have been attempting to obtain radiometric diameters for binary KBOs, which have masses determined from the satellite orbits, using the MIPS mid-IR imager on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Due to higher than expected KBO albedos, and MIPS's lower than expected 70 µm sensitivity, our 2006 campaign concentrated on long exposures on a single target, (26308) 1998 SM165, one of the brightest and warmest known KBO binaries. 7.5 hour integration times at both 24 and 70 µm yielded monochromatic fluxes of 0.11 ± 0.01 mJy at 23.7 microns and 6.1 ± 1.1 mJy at 71.4 microns. From these we derive a relatively model-independent diameter of 287 ± 36 km for the primary and 96 ± 12 km for the satellite, assuming similar albedos. The derived V geometric albedo (using HV = 6.13, Romanishin and Tegler 2006 Icarus 179 523) is 0.07 ± 0.02. The system mass from HST (Margot et al. 2004, DPS 36, 08.03) then yields a system density of 0.51 +0.29 -0.14 g cm-3, comparable to that for KBO (47171) 1999 TC36 (Stansberry et al. 2006, Ap. J. 643, 556). This density is also comparable to that of the similarly-sized planetary satellites Amalthea (D=200 km, ρ=0.86) and Hyperion (D=250 km, ρ=0.6), but much lower than the density of Phoebe (D=200 km, ρ=1.63), and suggests both high porosity and a dominantly water ice composition for this KBO, despite its low albedo and red color. Supporting visible-wavelength lightcurve observations obtained at Lowell Observatory also yielded a revised rotation rate of 8.40 ± 0.05 hours for 1998 SM165.

  7. An Icy Kuiper-Belt Around the Young Solar-Type Star HD 181327

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lebreton, J.; Augereau, J.-C.; Thi, W.-F.; Roberge, A.; Donaldson, J.; Schneider, G.; Maddison, S. T.; Menard, F.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.; Mathews, G. S.; Kamp, I.; Pinte, C.; Dent, W. R. F.; Barrado, D.; Duchene, G.; Gonzalez, J.-F.; Grady, C. A.; Meeus, G.; Pantin, E.; Williams, J. P.; Woitke, P.

    2011-01-01

    HD 181327 is a young Main Sequence F5/F6 V star belonging to the Beta Pictoris moving group (age approx 12 Myr). It harbors an optically thin belt of circumstellar material at approx90 AU, presumed to result from collisions in a populat.ion of unseen planetesimals. Aims. We aim to study the dust properties in the belt in great details, and to constrain the gas-to-dust ratio. Methods. We obtained far-IR photometric observations of HD 181327 with the PACS instrument onboard the Herschel Space Observatory, complemented by new 3.2 nun observations carried with the ATCA array. The geometry of the belt is constrained with newly reduced HST /NICMOS scattered light images that break the degeneracy between the disk geometry and the dust properties. We then use the radiative transfer code GRaTer to compute a large grid of dust models, and we apply a Bayesian inference method to identify the grain models that best reproduce the SED. We attempt to detect the oxygen and ionized carbon fine-structure lines with Herschel/PACS spectroscopy, providing observables to our photochemical code ProDiMo. Results. The HST observations confirm that the dust is confined in a narrow belt. The continuum is detected with Herschel/PACS completing nicely the SED in the far-infrared. The disk is marginally resolved with both PACS and ATCA. A medium integration of the gas spectral lines only provides upper limits on the [OI] and [CII] line fluxes. We show that the HD 181327 dust disk consists of micron-sized grains of porous amorphous silicates and carbonaceous material surrounded by an import.ant layer of ice for a total dust mass of approx 0.05 stellar Mass. We discuss evidences that the grains consists of fluffy aggregates. The upper limits on the gas atomic lines do not provide unambiguous constraints: only if the PAH abundance is high, the gas mass must be lower than approx 17 Stellar Mass Conclusions. Despite the weak constraints on the gas disk, the age of HD 181327 and the properties of the

  8. An Icy Kuiper Belt Around the Young Solar-type Star HD 181327

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lebreton, J.; Augereau, J.-C.; Thi, W.-F.; Roberge, A.; Donaldson, J; Schneider, G.; Maddison, S. T.; Menard, F.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.; Matthews, G. S.; Kamp, I.; Pinte, C.; Dent, W. R. F.; Barrado, D.; Duchene, G.; Gonzalez, J.-F.; Grady C. A.; Meeus,G.; Pantin, E.; Williams, J. P.; Woitke, P.

    2012-01-01

    Context. HD 181327 is a young main sequence F5/F6 V star belonging to the Beta Pictoris moving group (age approx.. 12 Myr). It harbors an optically thin belt of circumstellar material at radius approx.. 90 AU, presumed to result from collisions in a population of unseen planetesimals. Aims. We aim to study the dust properties in the belt in details, and to constrain the gas-to-dust ratio. Methods. We obtained far-infrared photometric observations of HD 181327 with the PACS instrument onboard the Herschel Space Observatory, complemented by new 3.2 mm observations carried with the ATCA array. The geometry of the belt is constrained with newly reduced HST/NICMOS scattered light images that allow the degeneracy between the disk geometry and the dust properties to be broken. We then use the radiative transfer code GRaTeR to compute a large grid of models, and we identify the grain models that best reproduce the spectral energy distribution (SED) through a Bayesian analysis. We attempt to detect the oxygen and ionized carbon fine-structure lines with Herschel/PACS spectroscopy, providing observables to our photochemical code ProDiMo. Results. The HST observations confirm that the dust is confined in a narrow belt. The continuum is detected with Herschel/PACS completing nicely the SED in the far-infrared. The disk is marginally resolved with both PACS and ATCA. A medium integration of the gas spectral lines only provides upper limits on the [OI] and [CII] line fluxes.We show that the HD 181327 dust disk consists of micron-sized grains of porous amorphous silicates and carbonaceous material surrounded by an important layer of ice, for a total dust mass of approx.. 0.05 Solar Mass (in grains up to 1 mm). We discuss evidences that the grains consists of fluffy aggregates. The upper limits on the gas atomic lines do not provide unambiguous constraints: only if the PAH abundance is high, the gas mass must be lower than approx. 17 Solar Mass. Conclusions. Despite the weak

  9. Kuiper Belt Dust Grains as a Source of Interplanetary Dust Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liou, Jer-Chyi; Zook, Herbert A.; Dermott, Stanley F.

    1996-01-01

    The recent discovery of the so-called Kuiper belt objects has prompted the idea that these objects produce dust grains that may contribute significantly to the interplanetary dust population. In this paper, the orbital evolution of dust grains, of diameters 1 to 9 microns, that originate in the region of the Kuiper belt is studied by means of direct numerical integration. Gravitational forces of the Sun and planets, solar radiation pressure, as well as Poynting-Robertson drag and solar wind drag are included. The interactions between charged dust grains and solar magnetic field are not considered in the model. Because of the effects of drag forces, small dust grains will spiral toward the Sun once they are released from their large parent bodies. This motion leads dust grains to pass by planets as well as encounter numerous mean motion resonances associated with planets. Our results show that about 80% of the Kuiper belt grains are ejected from the Solar System by the giant planets, while the remaining 20% of the grains evolve all the way to the Sun. Surprisingly, the latter dust grains have small orbital eccentricities and inclinations when they cross the orbit of the Earth. This makes them behave more like asteroidal than cometary-type dust particles. This also enhances their chances of being captured by the Earth and makes them a possible source of the collected interplanetary dust particles; in particular, they represent a possible source that brings primitive/organic materials from the outer Solar System to the Earth. When collisions with interstellar dust grains are considered, however, Kuiper belt dust grains around 9 microns appear likely to be collisionally shattered before they can evolve toward the inner part of the Solar System. The collision destruction can be applied to Kuiper belt grains up to about 50 microns. Therefore, Kuiper belt dust grains within this range may not be a significant part of the interplanetary dust complex in the inner Solar

  10. The NASA Airborne Astronomy Program: A perspective on its contributions to science, technology, and education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Harold P.

    1995-01-01

    The scientific, educational, and instrumental contributions from NASA's airborne observatories are deduced from the program's publication record (789 citations, excluding abstracts, involving 580 authors at 128 institutions in the United States and abroad between 1967-1990).

  11. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy - A New Tool for Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruzek, M. J.; Becklin, E.; Burgdorf, M. J.; Reach, W.

    2010-12-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German effort to fly a 2.5 meter telescope on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft at stratospheric altitudes where the atmosphere is largely transparent at infrared wavelengths. Key goals of the observatory include understanding the formation of stars and planets; the origin and evolution of the interstellar medium; the star formation history of galaxies; and planetary science. SOFIA offers the convenient accessibility of a ground-based observatory coupled with performance advantages of a space-based telescope. SOFIA’s scientific instruments can be exchanged regularly for repairs, to accommodate changing scientific requirements, and to incorporate new technologies. SOFIA’s portability will enable specialized observations of transient and location-specific events such as stellar occultations of Trans-Neptunian Objects. Unlike many spaceborne observatories, SOFIA can observe bright planets and moons directly, and can observe objects closer to the sun than Earth, e.g. comets in their most active phase, and the planet Venus. SOFIA’s first generation instruments cover the spectral range of .3 to 240 microns and have been designed with planetary science in mind. The High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO) is designed to measure occultations of stars by Kuiper Belt Objects, with SOFIA flying into the predicted shadows and timing the occultation ingress and egress to determine the size of the occulting body. HIPO will also enable transit observations of extrasolar planets. The Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) and the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC) will enable mid-infrared and far-infrared (respectively) imaging with a wide range of filters for comets and giant planets, and colorimetric observations of small, unresolved bodies to measure the spectral energy distribution of their thermal emission. The German Receiver for Astronomy at

  12. FORMATION OF KUIPER BELT BINARIES BY GRAVITATIONAL COLLAPSE

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorny, David; Youdin, Andrew N.; Richardson, Derek C.

    2010-09-15

    A large fraction of {approx}100 km class low-inclination objects in the classical Kuiper Belt (KB) are binaries with comparable masses and a wide separation of components. A favored model for their formation is that they were captured during the coagulation growth of bodies in the early KB. However, recent studies have suggested that large, {approx}>100 km objects can rapidly form in the protoplanetary disks when swarms of locally concentrated solids collapse under their own gravity. Here, we examine the possibility that KB binaries formed during gravitational collapse when the excess of angular momentum prevented the agglomeration of available mass into a solitary object. We find that this new mechanism provides a robust path toward the formation of KB binaries with observed properties, and can explain wide systems such as 2001 QW{sub 322} and multiples such as (47171) 1999 TC{sub 36}. Notably, the gravitational collapse is capable of producing {approx}100% binary fraction for a wide range of the swarm's initial angular momentum values. The binary components have similar masses ({approx}80% have a secondary-over-primary radius ratio >0.7) and their separation ranges from {approx}1000 to {approx}100,000 km. The binary orbits have eccentricities from e = 0 to {approx}1, with the majority having e < 0.6. The binary orbit inclinations with respect to the initial angular momentum of the swarm range from i = 0 to {approx}90{sup 0}, with most cases having i < 50{sup 0}. The total binary mass represents a characteristic fraction of the collapsing swarm's total initial mass, M{sub tot}, suggesting M{sub tot} equivalent to that of a radius {approx}100-250 km compact object. Our binary formation mechanism also implies that the primary and secondary components in each binary pair should have identical bulk composition, which is consistent with the current photometric data. We discuss the applicability of our results to the Pluto-Charon, Orcus-Vanth, (617) Patroclus

  13. Volatile Loss and Classification of Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Robert E.; Oza, Apurva; Young, Leslie A.; Volkov, Alexey N.; Schmidt, Carl A.

    2014-11-01

    Some of the largest Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) appear to have retained volatiles which affect their spectra, thermal energy balance, and atmospheres. Schaller & Brown (2007) (SB) estimated atmospheric escape rates from KBOs using Jeans escape from the surface, which they suggested gives a lower limit to the net atmospheric loss, and Levi & Podolak (2009) (LP) used a hydrodynamic model driven by the surface temperature. Based on recent molecular kinetic simulations, the SB escape rates are not necessarily lower limits and can be hugely in error, while the LP rates are valid only for KBOs with very small Jeans parameters (Volkov et al., 2011a,b). In addition, unless the atmosphere is thin or the body very small, escape can be driven primarily by the UV/EUV radiation absorbed in the upper atmosphere. Here we estimate the N2 loss from several KBOs, guided by recent molecular kinetic simulations that include thermal energy balance at the surface and heating of the upper atmosphere by UV/EUV irradiance. For the latter effect, we extrapolate simulations of escape from Pluto (Erwin et al., 2013; Zhu et al. 2014) using an energy limited escape model, which we have recently validated via molecular kinetic simulations (Johnson et al., 2013). In this way, we improve on current estimates of atmospheric retention and use the results to interpret the spectral differences observed. The longer-term goal is to connect detailed atmospheric loss mechanisms with a model for volatile transport (e.g., Young, 2014) in order to better describe recent KBO observations.ReferencesJohnson, R.E., A.N. Volkov and J.T. Erwin, Astrophys J. Lett. 768:L4, 2013.Levi, A. and M. Podolak, Icarus 202,681-693, 2009.Schaller, E.L. and M. E. Brown Astrophys. J., 659: L61-L64, 2007Volkov, A.N., R.E. Johnson, O.J. Tucker, J.T. Erwin, Astrophys. J. Lett. 729: L24, 2011a.Volkov, A.N, O.J. Tucker, J.T. Erwin, R.E. Johnson, Phys. of Fluids 23, 066601, 2011b.Young, L.A. , Icarus 221, 80-88, 2014Zhu, X., Strobel, D

  14. NEP for a Kuiper Belt Object Rendezvous Mission

    SciTech Connect

    HOUTS,MICHAEL G.; LENARD,ROGER X.; LIPINSKI,RONALD J.; PATTON,BRUCE; POSTON,DAVID I.; WRIGHT,STEVEN A.

    1999-11-03

    Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are a recently-discovered set of solar system bodies which lie at about the orbit of Pluto (40 AU) out to about 100 astronomical units (AU). There are estimated to be about 100,000 KBOS with a diameter greater than 100 km. KBOS are postulated to be composed of the pristine material which formed our solar system and may even have organic materials in them. A detailed study of KBO size, orbit distribution, structure, and surface composition could shed light on the origins of the solar system and perhaps even on the origin of life in our solar system. A rendezvous mission including a lander would be needed to perform chemical analysis of the surface and sub-surface composition of KBOS. These requirements set the size of the science probe at around a ton. Mission analyses show that a fission-powered system with an electric thruster could rendezvous at 40 AU in about 13.0 years with a total {Delta}V of 46 krnk. It would deliver a 1000-kg science payload while providing ample onboard power for relaying data back to earth. The launch mass of the entire system (power, thrusters, propellant, navigation, communication, structure, science payload, etc.) would be 7984 kg if it were placed into an earth-escape trajectory (C=O). Alternatively, the system could be placed into a 700-km earth orbit with more propellant,yielding a total mass in LEO of 8618 kg, and then spiral out of earth orbit to arrive at the KBO in 14.3 years. To achieve this performance, a fission power system with 100 kW of electrical power and a total mass (reactor, shield, conversion, and radiator) of about 2350 kg. Three possible configurations are proposed: (1) a UZrH-fueled, NaK-cooled reactor with a steam Rankine conversion system, (2) a UN-fueled gas-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system, and (3) a UN-fueled heatpipe-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system. (Boiling and condensation in the Rankine system is a technical risk at present

  15. The absolute magnitude distribution of Kuiper Belt objects

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, Wesley C.; Brown, Michael E.; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Parker, Alex; Batygin, Konstantin

    2014-02-20

    Here we measure the absolute magnitude distributions (H-distribution) of the dynamically excited and quiescent (hot and cold) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and test if they share the same H-distribution as the Jupiter Trojans. From a compilation of all useable ecliptic surveys, we find that the KBO H-distributions are well described by broken power laws. The cold population has a bright-end slope, α{sub 1}=1.5{sub −0.2}{sup +0.4}, and break magnitude, H{sub B}=6.9{sub −0.2}{sup +0.1} (r'-band). The hot population has a shallower bright-end slope of, α{sub 1}=0.87{sub −0.2}{sup +0.07}, and break magnitude H{sub B}=7.7{sub −0.5}{sup +1.0}. Both populations share similar faint-end slopes of α{sub 2} ∼ 0.2. We estimate the masses of the hot and cold populations are ∼0.01 and ∼3 × 10{sup –4} M {sub ⊕}. The broken power-law fit to the Trojan H-distribution has α{sub 1} = 1.0 ± 0.2, α{sub 2} = 0.36 ± 0.01, and H {sub B} = 8.3. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test reveals that the probability that the Trojans and cold KBOs share the same parent H-distribution is less than 1 in 1000. When the bimodal albedo distribution of the hot objects is accounted for, there is no evidence that the H-distributions of the Trojans and hot KBOs differ. Our findings are in agreement with the predictions of the Nice model in terms of both mass and H-distribution of the hot and Trojan populations. Wide-field survey data suggest that the brightest few hot objects, with H{sub r{sup ′}}≲3, do not fall on the steep power-law slope of fainter hot objects. Under the standard hierarchical model of planetesimal formation, it is difficult to account for the similar break diameters of the hot and cold populations given the low mass of the cold belt.

  16. The TAOS Robotic Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehner, Matthew; Wen, C.-Y.; Wang, J.-H.; Marshall, S. L.; Schwamb, M. E.; Zhang, Z.-W.; Bianco, F. B.; Gimmarco, J.; Porrata, R.; Alcock, C.; Axelrod, T.; Byun, Y.-I.; Chen, W. P.; Cook, K. H.; Dave, R.; Kim, D.-W.; King, S.-K.; Lee, T.; Lin, H.-C.; Wang, S.-Y.; Yen, W.-L.; Rice, J. A.; de Pater, I.; Szentgyorgyi, A.; Geary, J.; Norton, T.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.

    2011-03-01

    The Taiwanese-American Occultation survey (TAOS) operate four small telescopes in central Taiwan to search for occultations by small (~1 km diameter) Kuiper Belt Objects. The system is fully robotic, requiring human intervention only in the event of hardware failures. However, the status of the system during observations is monitored remotely via smart-phone. A successor survey, the Transneptunian Automated Occultation Survey (TAOS II) is currently being constructed. This next generation survey will be more than one hundred times as sensitive as the earlier survey. In this paper, we summarize the science goals of the surveys, describe the two surveys, and discuss the lessons learned in automating the TAOS observations.

  17. Kenneth Essex Edgeworth—Victorian polymath and founder of the Kuiper belt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFarland, John

    This article is a biographical note on Kenneth Essex Edgeworth (1880-1972), Army officer, engineer, economist and independent theoretical astronomer. Abibliography of Edgeworth's known papers is incorporated, and his interesting cosmogonic theories are highlighted, in particular his postulation in 1943 of a source of potential comets occupying the region of the solar system beyond Neptune, recently termed the Kuiper belt.

  18. New Constraints on the Small Kuiper Belt Object Population from High-Resolution Images of Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Schenk, P. M.; Stern, S. A.

    Triton serves as an effective witness plate for Kuiper belt objects due to Triton's proximity to the Kuiper Belt and relatively young surface. Stern and McKinnon (LPSC XXX, abs. #1766, 1999; AJ 119, 945-952, 2000) showed Triton's crater populations to be consistent with a population of sub-km Kuiper belt objects with an approximately b = -3 differential power-law size index, dominance of KBO over Oort cloud impactors, and surface ages under 0.5 Ga. Here we update these findings based on the 10-frame highest resolution image sequence taken by Voyager 2 in 1989, not included in our earlier work. These images suffer degrees of image smear due to uncompensated spacecraft motion, but with careful processing and analysis, meaningful crater counts can be extracted. We focus on regions of abundant and easily discriminated primary craters, such as Cipango Planum (10o N, 35o E), a nearly featureless, rolling volcanic plain. There, craters can be confidently identified down to 1 km diameter, implying Kuiper Belt impactors below 100 m in diameter. The corresponding crater size-frequency index in the 1-to-6 km diameter range is similar to slightly steeper than that for more global counts at larger sizes, but remains consistent with b = -3.

  19. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.

    1997-08-01

    The joint US and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5 meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP began earlier this year. Universities Space Research Association (USRA), teamed with Raytheon E systems and United Airlines, was selected by NASA to develop and operate SOFIA. The 2.5 meter telescope will be designed and built by a consortium of German companies lead by MAN-GHH. Work on the aircraft and the primary mirror has started. First science flights will begin in 2001, and the observatory is expected to operate for over 20 years. The specifications, instruments and science potential of SOFIA are discussed.

  20. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Gehrz, R. D.; Roellig, T. L.

    2012-10-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a program to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, has obtained first science with the FORCAST camera in the 5 to 40 micron spectral region and the GREAT heterodyne spectrometer in the 130 to 240 micron spectral region. We briefly review the characteristics and status of the observatory. Spectacular science results on regions of star formation will be discussed. The FORCAST images show several discoveries and the potential for determining how massive stars form in our Galaxy. The GREAT heterodyne spectrometer has made mapping observations of the [C II] line at 158 microns, high J CO lines, and other molecular lines including SH. The HIPO high speed photometer and the high speed camera FDC were used to observe the 2011 June 23 UT stellar occultation by Pluto.

  1. INTERMAGNET and magnetic observatories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Chulliat, Arnaud

    2012-01-01

    A magnetic observatory is a specially designed ground-based facility that supports time-series measurement of the Earth’s magnetic field. Observatory data record a superposition of time-dependent signals related to a fantastic diversity of physical processes in the Earth’s core, mantle, lithosphere, ocean, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and, even, the Sun and solar wind.

  2. The Norwegian Naval Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersen, Bjørn Ragnvald

    2007-07-01

    Archival material has revealed milestones and new details in the history of the Norwegian Naval Observatories. We have identified several of the instrument types used at different epochs. Observational results have been extracted from handwritten sources and an extensive literature search. These allow determination of an approximate location of the first naval observatory building (1842) at Fredriksvern. No physical remains exist today. A second observatory was established in 1854 at the new main naval base at Horten. Its location is evident on military maps and photographs. We describe its development until the Naval Observatory buildings, including archives and instruments, were completely demolished during an allied air bomb raid on 23 February 1945. The first director, C.T.H. Geelmuyden, maintained scientific standards at the the Observatory between 1842 and 1870, and collaborated with university astronomers to investigate, develop, and employ time-transfer by telegraphy. Their purpose was accurate longitude determination between observatories in Norway and abroad. The Naval Observatory issued telegraphic time signals twice weekly to a national network of sites, and as such served as the first national time-service in Norway. Later the Naval Observatory focused on the particular needs of the Navy and developed into an internal navigational service.

  3. Beijing Ancient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    The Beijing Ancient Observatory is now the only complete example of an observatory from the seventeenth century in the world. It is a monument to the prosperity of astronomy in traditional China. Its instruments are emblems of the encounter and amalgamation of Chinese and European Science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  4. Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about the Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year, a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to their required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  5. Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to the required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  6. The North Pole Environmental Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morison, J.; Aagaard, K.; Falkner, K.; Heiberg, A.; McPhee, M.; Moritz, D.; Overland, J.; Perovich, D.; Richter-Menge, J.; Shimada, K.; Steele, M.; Takizawa, T.; Woodgate, R.

    2001-12-01

    The Arctic environment is changing. The North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO) was established as a type of program of long-term observations required to understand Arctic change. The North Pole region was chosen because it is central to observed changes, there is a reasonable past history of measurements, and there is often a large gap there in the coverage of surface measurements. NPEO has three main components, (1) an automated drifting station composed of several buoys to measure atmospheric, upper ocean, and ice variables, (2) a sub-surface mooring at the Pole measuring ocean properties and ice draft, and (3) an airborne hydrographic survey that provides a snapshot spatial description of upper ocean properties. The first observatory was established at the Pole in April 2000 by aircraft flying out of Alert. The drifting station portion consisted of ocean ice and meteorological buoys. Over one year the drifting station passed south through Fram Strait and stopped operating in the Greenland Sea. The airborne hydrographic survey made 6 stations between Alert, the Pole, and beyond. The sub-surface mooring was not deployed. In 2001 the drifting station was similar, but the operation was expanded to deploy a 4000-m mooring at the Pole. The mooring includes current meters, C-T sensors, ADCP, and an ice draft-profiling sonar. It will be recovered in 2002. The hydrographic survey covered a new line from the Pole to 85N, 170W. The 2000 hydrographic survey showed that the changes characterizing the Pole region in the 1990s persist, but with some deepening and some slight retreat toward climatology. The section from Alert shows that upper ocean conditions near the coast have become much like the Western Arctic with low mixed layer salinity and a secondary shallow temperature maximum. The observations indicate a general counterclockwise shift in water mass locations. Among other things, the NPEO 2000 drifting station data indicate the cold halocline is still thinner

  7. Solar System Sleuth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryden, Barbara

    2005-11-01

    One of the great astronomers of the last century, Gerhard Peter Kuiper, was born 100 years ago this year. He is considered the father of modern planetary science and an expert on binary and white dwarf stars. Kuiper was recruited by Otto Struve to the Yerkes Observatory and used the 82-inch Telescope at McDonald Observatory for groundbreaking studies of Mars and the giant moons in the outer solar system. Later, he became the founding director of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. Kuiper predicted that a vast number of asteroid-like objects lie beyond the orbit of Pluto; this was later substantiated and called the Kuiper Belt. Late in life, Kuiper pioneered the use of infrared telescopes and instruments aboard aircraft and the NASA's original flying observatory was named the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in his honor.

  8. Strasbourg's "Academy" observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2011-08-01

    The observing post located on the roof of Strasbourg's 19th-century "Academy" is generally considered as the second astronomical observatory of the city: a transitional facility between the (unproductive) turret lantern at the top of the Hospital Gate and the German (Wilhelminian) Observatory. The current paper reviews recent findings from archives (blueprints, inventories, correspondence, decrees and other documents) shedding some light on this observatory of which virtually nothing was known to this day. While being, thanks to Chrétien Kramp (1760-1826), an effective attempt to establish an actual observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation, the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. A meridian instrument with a Cauchoix objective doublet was however recovered by the German observatory and is still existing.

  9. The Diameter of Pluto: A Re-Analysis of Kuiper's Disk Meter Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcialis, R. L.; Merline, W. J.

    1998-09-01

    In 1948--1950, G.P. Kuiper (1950. PASP 62, 133--137) used a disk meter to ``measure'' the diameter of Pluto. This instrument (Camichel, 1944. Comptes Rendus 219, 21--22) is designed to produce an artificial luminous disk of controllable brightness, color, and diameter, allowing the user to estimate angular diameters. Kuiper's result, 0\\farcs 23 (0.46 d_⊕ or 5 870 km), stood as the definitive diameter determination for over a quarter century. We now know that at the time of the 1950 observation, Pluto's disk actually was 0.('') 0445, with 0.('') 0248 Charon offset by (rho , theta ) = (0.('') 6767, 46.(deg) 6). Most people have discounted the observation as faulty, in spite of the fact that Kuiper and Humason repeatedly measured 0.('') 23 for Pluto, and 0.('') 11 for a nearby mag 11 star. Can the result be reconciled with what they actually observed? Surprisingly, it can! We have run numerical simulations of the experiment. The ``realistic'' CCD model of Merline and Howell (1995. Exp. Astron. 6, 163--210) was modified to simulate the human eye. Synthetic images were generated for a wide variety of conditions (seeing, sky brightness, eye response, Pluto/Charon brightness ratio, etc.). A double-blind experiment was then performed. Under the assumption of a radially-symmetric point spread function (i.e., a single source), widths (FWHM) of these simulated images were extracted for both the Pluto--Charon blend and the nearby comparison star. We conclude that, although Charon was not resolved, it did indeed have an unanticipated, but understandable effect on Kuiper's measurement. The result of our modelling confirms that Kuiper should have seen approximately what was measured. It is not necessary to invoke changes in seeing between Pluto and star measurements. Kuiper's result is further consistent with a Pluto/Charon light ratio of ≈> 8.2:1. This compares favorably to the ratio required for no stellar occultation in 1965 (Halliday et al. 1966. PASP 78, 113

  10. The Virtual Observatory: I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2014-11-01

    The concept of the Virtual Observatory arose more-or-less simultaneously in the United States and Europe circa 2000. Ten pages of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium: Panel Reports (National Academy Press, Washington, 2001), that is, the detailed recommendations of the Panel on Theory, Computation, and Data Exploration of the 2000 Decadal Survey in Astronomy, are dedicated to describing the motivation for, scientific value of, and major components required in implementing the National Virtual Observatory. European initiatives included the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory at the European Southern Observatory, the AstroGrid project in the United Kingdom, and the Euro-VO (sponsored by the European Union). Organizational/conceptual meetings were held in the US at the California Institute of Technology (Virtual Observatories of the Future, June 13-16, 2000) and at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany (Mining the Sky, July 31-August 4, 2000; Toward an International Virtual Observatory, June 10-14, 2002). The nascent US, UK, and European VO projects formed the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) at the June 2002 meeting in Garching, with yours truly as the first chair. The IVOA has grown to a membership of twenty-one national projects and programs on six continents, and has developed a broad suite of data access protocols and standards that have been widely implemented. Astronomers can now discover, access, and compare data from hundreds of telescopes and facilities, hosted at hundreds of organizations worldwide, stored in thousands of databases, all with a single query.

  11. Using Intermediate-Luminosity Optical Transients (ILOTs) to reveal extended extra-solar Kuiper belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam

    2016-07-01

    We suggest that in the rare case of an Intermediate-Luminosity Optical Transient (ILOT) event, evaporation of extra-solar Kuiper belt objects (ExtraKBOs) at distances of d ≈ 500 – 10 000 AU from the ILOT can be detected. If the ILOT lasts for 1 month to a few years, enough dust might be ejected from the ExtraKBOs for the infrared (IR) emission to be detected. Because of the large distance of the ExtraKBOs, tens of years will pass before the ILOT wind disperses the dust. We suggest that after an ILOT outburst, there is a period of months to several years during which IR excess emission might hint at the existence of a Kuiper belt analog (ExtraK-Belt).

  12. KUIPER BELT OBJECT OCCULTATIONS: EXPECTED RATES, FALSE POSITIVES, AND SURVEY DESIGN

    SciTech Connect

    Bickerton, S. J.; Welch, D. L.; Kavelaars, J. J. E-mail: welch@physics.mcmaster.ca

    2009-05-15

    A novel method of generating artificial scintillation noise is developed and used to evaluate occultation rates and false positive rates for surveys probing the Kuiper Belt with the method of serendipitous stellar occultations. A thorough examination of survey design shows that (1) diffraction-dominated occultations are critically (Nyquist) sampled at a rate of 2 Fsu{sup -1}, corresponding to 40 s{sup -1} for objects at 40 AU, (2) occultation detection rates are maximized when targets are observed at solar opposition, (3) Main Belt asteroids will produce occultations light curves identical to those of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) if target stars are observed at solar elongations of: 116{sup 0} {approx}< {epsilon} {approx}< 125 deg., or 131 deg. {approx}< {epsilon} {approx}< 141 deg., and (4) genuine KBO occultations are likely to be so rare that a detection threshold of {approx}>7-8{sigma} should be adopted to ensure that viable candidate events can be disentangled from false positives.

  13. Studies of extra-solar Oort clouds and the Kuiper disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1996-01-01

    We are conducting research designed to enhance our understanding of the evolution and detectability of comet clouds and disks. According to 'standard' theory, both the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud are (at least in part) natural products of the planetary accumulation stage of solar system formation. One expects such assemblages to be a common attribute of other solar systems. Therefore, searches for comet disks and clouds orbiting other stars offer a new method for inferring the presence of planetary systems. This project consists of two efforts: (1) observational work to predict and search for the signatures of Oort Clouds and comet disks around other stars; and (2) modelling studies of the formation and evolution of the Kuiper Belt (KB) and similar assemblages that may reside around other stars, including beta Pic.

  14. Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Dankanich, John; Colozza, Anthony; Schmitz, Paul; Khan, Omair; Drexler, Jon; Fittje, James

    2011-01-01

    A joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.

  15. The Penllergare Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birks, J. L.

    2005-12-01

    This rather picturesque and historically important Victorian observatory was built by the wealthy John Dillwyn Llewelyn near to his mansion, some four miles north-west of Swansea, Wales. He had many scientific interests, in addition to astronomy, and was a notable pioneer of photography in Wales. Together with his eldest daughter, Thereza, (who married the grandson of the fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne), he took some early photographs of the Moon from this site. This paper describes the construction of the observatory, and some of those primarily involved with it. Despite its having undergone restoration work in 1982, the state of the observatory is again the cause for much concern.

  16. New Horizons Science Photos from NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

    DOE Data Explorer

    DOE provided the power supply for NASA's New Horizons Mission, a mission to the Pluto and Charon, a double-planet system, and the Kuiper Belt. There are science photos posted on the New Horizons website, along with mission photos, spacecraft images, launch photos, posters and renderings that are both scientific and artistic. The images can be searched by keywords, by date, or by subject topic. They can also be browsed as an entire list. Each image has a detailed description.

  17. A SOUTHERN SKY AND GALACTIC PLANE SURVEY FOR BRIGHT KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Udalski, Andrzej; Kubiak, Marcin; Pietrzynski, Grzegorz; Poleski, Radoslaw; Soszynski, Igor; Szymanski, Michal K.; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2011-10-15

    About 2500 deg{sup 2} of sky south of declination -25{sup 0} and/or near the Galactic Plane were surveyed for bright outer solar system objects. This survey is one of the first large-scale southern sky and Galactic Plane surveys to detect dwarf planets and other bright Kuiper Belt Objects in the trans-Neptunian region. The survey was able to obtain a limiting R-band magnitude of 21.6. In all, 18 outer solar system objects were detected, including Pluto which was detected near the Galactic center using optimal image subtraction techniques to remove the high stellar density background. Fourteen of the detections were previously unknown trans-Neptunian objects, demonstrating that the southern sky had not been well searched to date for bright outer solar system objects. Assuming moderate albedos, several of the new discoveries from this survey could be in hydrostatic equilibrium and thus could be considered dwarf planets. Combining this survey with previous surveys from the northern hemisphere suggests that the Kuiper Belt is nearly complete to around 21st magnitude in the R band. All the main dynamical classes in the Kuiper Belt are occupied by at least one dwarf-planet-sized object. The 3:2 Neptune resonance, which is the innermost well-populated Neptune resonance, has several large objects while the main outer Neptune resonances such as the 5:3, 7:4, 2:1, and 5:2 do not appear to have any large objects. This indicates that the outer resonances are either significantly depleted in objects relative to the 3:2 resonance or have a significantly different assortment of objects than the 3:2 resonance. For the largest objects (H < 4.5 mag), the scattered disk population appears to have a few times more objects than the main Kuiper Belt (MKB) population, while the Sedna population could be several times more than that of the MKB.

  18. A POSSIBLE DIVOT IN THE SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF THE KUIPER BELT'S SCATTERING OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Shankman, C.; Gladman, B. J.; Kaib, N.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, J. M.

    2013-02-10

    Via joint analysis of a calibrated telescopic survey, which found scattering Kuiper Belt objects, and models of their expected orbital distribution, we explore the scattering-object (SO) size distribution. Although for D > 100 km the number of objects quickly rise as diameters decrease, we find a relative lack of smaller objects, ruling out a single power law at greater than 99% confidence. After studying traditional ''knees'' in the size distribution, we explore other formulations and find that, surprisingly, our analysis is consistent with a very sudden decrease (a divot) in the number distribution as diameters decrease below 100 km, which then rises again as a power law. Motivated by other dynamically hot populations and the Centaurs, we argue for a divot size distribution where the number of smaller objects rises again as expected via collisional equilibrium. Extrapolation yields enough kilometer-scale SOs to supply the nearby Jupiter-family comets. Our interpretation is that this divot feature is a preserved relic of the size distribution made by planetesimal formation, now ''frozen in'' to portions of the Kuiper Belt sharing a ''hot'' orbital inclination distribution, explaining several puzzles in Kuiper Belt science. Additionally, we show that to match today's SO inclination distribution, the supply source that was scattered outward must have already been vertically heated to the of order 10 Degree-Sign .

  19. A Possible Divot in the Size Distribution of the Kuiper Belt's Scattering Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shankman, C.; Gladman, B. J.; Kaib, N.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, J. M.

    2013-02-01

    Via joint analysis of a calibrated telescopic survey, which found scattering Kuiper Belt objects, and models of their expected orbital distribution, we explore the scattering-object (SO) size distribution. Although for D > 100 km the number of objects quickly rise as diameters decrease, we find a relative lack of smaller objects, ruling out a single power law at greater than 99% confidence. After studying traditional "knees" in the size distribution, we explore other formulations and find that, surprisingly, our analysis is consistent with a very sudden decrease (a divot) in the number distribution as diameters decrease below 100 km, which then rises again as a power law. Motivated by other dynamically hot populations and the Centaurs, we argue for a divot size distribution where the number of smaller objects rises again as expected via collisional equilibrium. Extrapolation yields enough kilometer-scale SOs to supply the nearby Jupiter-family comets. Our interpretation is that this divot feature is a preserved relic of the size distribution made by planetesimal formation, now "frozen in" to portions of the Kuiper Belt sharing a "hot" orbital inclination distribution, explaining several puzzles in Kuiper Belt science. Additionally, we show that to match today's SO inclination distribution, the supply source that was scattered outward must have already been vertically heated to the of order 10°.

  20. Studies of extra-solar Oort Clouds and the Kuiper Disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1994-01-01

    The March 1994 Semi-Annual report for Studies of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds and the Kuiper Disk is presented. We are conducting research designed to enhance our understanding of the evolution and detectability of comet clouds and disks. This area holds promise for also improving our understanding of outer solar system formation, the bombardment history of the planets, the transport of volatiles and organics from the outer solar system to the inner planets, and to the ultimate fate of comet clouds around the Sun and other stars. According to 'standard' theory, both the Kuiper Disk and Oort Cloud are (at least in part) natural products of the planetary accumulation stage of solar system formation. One expects such assemblages to be a common attribute of other solar systems. Therefore, searches for comet disks and clouds orbiting other stars offer a new method for inferring the presence of planetary systems. Our three-year effort consists of two major efforts: observational work to predict and search for the signatures of Oort Clouds and comet disks around other stars; and modeling studies of the formation and evolution of the Kuiper Disk (KD) and similar assemblages that may reside around other stars, including beta Pic.

  1. The Phase Space Structure Near Neptune Resonances in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malhotra, Renu

    1996-01-01

    The Solar system beyond Neptune is believed to house a population of small primordial bodies left over from the planet formation process. The region up to heliocentric distance -50 AU (a.k.a. the Kuiper Belt) may be the source of the observed short-period comets. In this region, the phase space structure near orbital resonances with Neptune is of special interest for the long-term stability of orbits. There is reason to believe that a significant fraction (perhaps most) of the Kuiper Belt objects reside preferentially in these resonance locations. This paper describes the dynamics of small objects near the major orbital resonances with Neptune. Estimates of the widths of stable resonance zones as well as the properties of resonant orbits are obtained from the circular, planar restricted three-body model. Although this model does not contain the full complexity of the long-term orbital dynamics of Kuiper Belt objects subject to the full N-body perturbations of all the planets, it does provide a baseline for the phase space structure and properties of resonant orbits in the trans-Neptunian Solar system.

  2. Formation of Kuiper-belt binaries by dynamical friction and three-body encounters.

    PubMed

    Goldreich, Peter; Lithwick, Yoram; Sari, Re'em

    2002-12-12

    The Kuiper belt is a disk of icy bodies that orbit the Sun beyond Neptune; the largest known members are Pluto and its companion Charon. A few per cent of Kuiper-belt bodies have recently been found to be binaries with wide separations and mass ratios of the order of unity. Collisions were too infrequent to account for the observed number of binaries, implying that these binaries formed through collisionless interactions mediated by gravity. These interactions are likely to have been most effective during the period of runaway accretion, early in the Solar System's history. Here we show that a transient binary forms when two large bodies penetrate one another's Hill sphere (the region where their mutual forces are larger than the tidal force of the Sun). The loss of energy needed to stabilize the binary orbit can then occur either through dynamical friction from surrounding small bodies, or through the gravitational scattering of a third large body. Our estimates slightly favour the former mechanism. We predict that five per cent of Kuiper-belt objects are binaries with apparent separations greater than 0.2 arcsec, and that most are in tighter binaries or systems of higher multiplicity. PMID:12478286

  3. Searching for Extreme Kuiper Belt Objects and Inner Oort Cloud Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chad; Tholen, Dave

    2015-11-01

    Since late 2012 we have been performing the largest and deepest survey for distant solar system objects. In the nearly one thousand square degrees we have covered so far we have discovered the object with the most distant perihelion known (2012 VP113), several extreme Kuiper Belt objects with moderate perihelia and large eccentricities, one of the top ten intrinsically brightest Trans-Neptunian objects, an ultra-wide Kuiper Belt binary, one of the most distant known active comets and two active asteroids in the main belt of asteroids. The Kuiper Belt population has an outer edge at about 50 AU. Sedna and our recent discovery, 2012 VP113, are the only known objects with perihelia significantly beyond this edge at about 80 AU. These inner Oort cloud objects obtained their orbits when the solar system was vastly different from now. Thus the dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. We will discuss the most recent results of our survey.

  4. Studies of extra-solar OORT clouds and the Kuiper disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1993-01-01

    This is the second report for NAGW-3023, Studies of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds and the Kuiper Disk. We are conducting research designed to enhance our understanding of the evolution and detectability of comet clouds and disks. This area holds promise for also improving our understanding of outer solar system formation, the bombardment history of the planets, the transport of volatiles and organics from the outer solar system to the inner planets, and the ultimate fate of comet clouds around the Sun and other stars. According to 'standard' theory, both the Kuiper Disk and Oort Cloud are (at least in part) natural products of the planetary accumulation stage of solar system formation. One expects such assemblages to be a common attribute of other solar systems. Therefore, searches for comet disks and clouds orbiting other stars offer a new method for infering the presence of planetary systems. Our three-year effort consists of two major efforts: (1) observational work to predict and search for the signatures of Oort Clouds and comet disks around other stars; and (2) modelling studies of the formation and evolution of the Kuiper Disk (KD) and similar assemblages that may reside around other stars, including Beta Pic. These efforts are referred to as Task 1 and 2, respectively.

  5. Studies of extra-solar Oort Clouds and the Kuiper Disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Alan

    1995-01-01

    This is the September 1995 Semi-Annual report for Studies of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds and the Kuiper Disk. We are conducting research designed to enhance our understanding of the evolution and detectability of comet clouds and disks. This area holds promise for also improving our understanding of outer solar system formation the bombardment history of the planets, the transport of volatiles and organics from the outer solar system to the inner planets, and to the ultimate fate of comet clouds around the Sun and other stars. According to 'standard' theory, both the Kuiper Disk and the Oort Cloud are (at least in part) natural products of the planetary accumulation stage of solar system formation. One expects such assemblages to be a common attribute of other solar systems. Therefore, searches for comet disks and clouds orbiting other stars offer a new method for inferring the presence of planetary systems. This project consists of two major efforts: (1) observational work to predict and search for the signatures of Oort Clouds and comet disks around other stars; and (2) modelling studies of the formation and evolution of the Kuiper Disk (KD) and similar assemblages that may reside around other stars, including beta Pic. These efforts are referred to as Task 1 and 2.

  6. Global Health Observatory (GHO)

    MedlinePlus

    ... repository Reports Country statistics Map gallery Standards Global Health Observatory (GHO) data Monitoring health for the SDGs ... relevant web pages on the theme. Monitoring the health goal: indicators of overall progress Mortality and global ...

  7. Observatory Improvements for SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peralta, Robert A.; Jensen, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the German Space Agency. SOFIA is based in a Boeing 747 SP and flown in the stratosphere to observe infrared wavelengths unobservable from the ground. In 2007 Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) inherited and began work on improving the plane and its telescope. The improvements continue today with upgrading the plane and improving the telescope. The Observatory Verification and Validation (V&V) process is to ensure that the observatory is where the program says it is. The Telescope Status Display (TSD) will provide any information from the on board network to monitors that will display the requested information. In order to assess risks to the program, one must work through the various threats associate with that risk. Once all the risks are closed the program can work towards improving the observatory.

  8. Big Bear Solar Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) is located at the end of a causeway in a mountain lake more than 2 km above sea level. The site has more than 300 sunny days a year and a natural inversion caused by the lake which makes for very clean images. BBSO is the only university observatory in the US making high-resolution observations of the Sun. Its daily images are posted at http://www.bbso.njit.e...

  9. 2007 TY430: A COLD CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT TYPE BINARY IN THE PLUTINO POPULATION

    SciTech Connect

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Ragozzine, Darin; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2012-03-15

    Kuiper Belt object 2007 TY430 is the first wide, equal-sized, binary known in the 3:2 mean motion resonance with Neptune. The two components have a maximum separation of about 1 arcsec and are on average less than 0.1 mag different in apparent magnitude with identical ultra-red colors (g - i = 1.49 {+-} 0.01 mag). Using nearly monthly observations of 2007 TY430 from 2007 to 2011, the orbit of the mutual components was found to have a period of 961.2 {+-} 4.6 days with a semi-major axis of 21000 {+-} 160 km and eccentricity of 0.1529 {+-} 0.0028. The inclination with respect to the ecliptic is 15.68 {+-} 0.22 deg and extensive observations have allowed the mirror orbit to be eliminated as a possibility. The total mass for the binary system was found to be 7.90 {+-} 0.21 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 17} kg. Equal-sized, wide binaries and ultra-red colors are common in the low-inclination 'cold' classical part of the Kuiper Belt and likely formed through some sort of three-body interactions within a much denser Kuiper Belt. To date 2007 TY430 is the only ultra-red, equal-sized binary known outside of the classical Kuiper Belt population. Numerical simulations suggest 2007 TY430 is moderately unstable in the outer part of the 3:2 resonance and thus 2007 TY430 is likely an escaped 'cold' classical object that later got trapped in the 3:2 resonance. Similar to the known equal-sized, wide binaries in the cold classical population, the binary 2007 TY430 requires a high albedo and very low density structure to obtain the total mass found for the pair. For a realistic minimum density of 0.5 g cm{sup -3} the albedo of 2007 TY430 would be greater than 0.17. For reasonable densities, the radii of either component should be less than 60 km, and thus the relatively low eccentricity of the binary is interesting since no tides should be operating on the bodies at their large distances from each other. The low prograde inclination of the binary also makes it unlikely that the Kozai

  10. 2007 TY430: A Cold Classical Kuiper Belt Type Binary in the Plutino Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Ragozzine, Darin; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2012-03-01

    Kuiper Belt object 2007 TY430 is the first wide, equal-sized, binary known in the 3:2 mean motion resonance with Neptune. The two components have a maximum separation of about 1 arcsec and are on average less than 0.1 mag different in apparent magnitude with identical ultra-red colors (g - i = 1.49 ± 0.01 mag). Using nearly monthly observations of 2007 TY430 from 2007 to 2011, the orbit of the mutual components was found to have a period of 961.2 ± 4.6 days with a semi-major axis of 21000 ± 160 km and eccentricity of 0.1529 ± 0.0028. The inclination with respect to the ecliptic is 15.68 ± 0.22 deg and extensive observations have allowed the mirror orbit to be eliminated as a possibility. The total mass for the binary system was found to be 7.90 ± 0.21 × 1017 kg. Equal-sized, wide binaries and ultra-red colors are common in the low-inclination "cold" classical part of the Kuiper Belt and likely formed through some sort of three-body interactions within a much denser Kuiper Belt. To date 2007 TY430 is the only ultra-red, equal-sized binary known outside of the classical Kuiper Belt population. Numerical simulations suggest 2007 TY430 is moderately unstable in the outer part of the 3:2 resonance and thus 2007 TY430 is likely an escaped "cold" classical object that later got trapped in the 3:2 resonance. Similar to the known equal-sized, wide binaries in the cold classical population, the binary 2007 TY430 requires a high albedo and very low density structure to obtain the total mass found for the pair. For a realistic minimum density of 0.5 g cm-3 the albedo of 2007 TY430 would be greater than 0.17. For reasonable densities, the radii of either component should be less than 60 km, and thus the relatively low eccentricity of the binary is interesting since no tides should be operating on the bodies at their large distances from each other. The low prograde inclination of the binary also makes it unlikely that the Kozai mechanism could have altered the orbit

  11. The AAS ``Semi-centennial" Meeting: Northwestern University and Yerkes Observatory, September 1947

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    1999-05-01

    The AAS celebrated its "semi-centennial" fifty-two years ago! It was actually the fiftieth anniversary of the "First Conference" of astronomers and astrophysicists held at the dedication of Yerkes Observatory in 1897, which led to the actual formation of the Society two years later. Otto Struve, president of the AAS, was publicizing the fiftieth anniversary of his Yerkes Observatory in 1947, and he simply announced it was also the semi-centennial of the Society. Joel Stebbins, the grand old man of the AAS who had joined it as a graduate student in 1900, and held nearly every office in the Society from councilor to president, supported Struve's early celebration of the anniversary, probably largely because he was to retire himself in 1948. The meeting was held at Northwestern University and at Yerkes. There were then 625 AAS members. About 140 of them attended the meeting, and presented some 50 papers, all oral, with no parallel sessions. Struve organized a symposium on stellar atmospheres, with 5 invited speakers, and the great majority of the contributed papers were also on stars, a few on nebulae and interstellar matter, one on galaxies, and none on cosmology. Not to be outdone, Gerard P. Kuiper, who had recently succeeded Struve as director of Yerkes Observatory, organized a second symposium on the atmospheres of the planets, held at Yerkes immediately after the AAS meeting. After two days of sessions at Evanston, the members had driven to Williams Bay for the closing session Saturday, at which Struve and Stebbins gave their versions of the history of the observatory and of the Society. The two symposia formed the bases for two important books, Astrophysics: A Topical Symposium, and The Atmospheres of the Earth and the Planets, edited by J. Allen Hynek and Kuiper respectively.

  12. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Gehrz, R. D.

    2009-12-01

    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5 m infrared telescope in a Boeing 747SP. Flying at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, it will enable 0.3 μm- 1.6 mm observations with an average transmission of ≥ 80%. We describe the key role that Tom Phillips played in the early days of airborne astronomy that culminated in the development of SOFIA. The facility design and status are described. Nine first generation instruments that will fly on SOFIA include broadband imaging cameras, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving emission features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematical studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km s-1 resolution. World-wide deployments will provide access to the entire sky and enable timely observations of transient events. SOFIA's sensitivity for imaging and spectroscopy is similar to that of the space observatory ISO. Its telescope is diffraction-limited beyond 25μm, making its images 3 times sharper than those obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope at these wavelengths. We describe the characteristics of the observatory and give several examples of science opportunities with SOFIA.

  13. Creating Griffith Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Griffith Observatory has been the iconic symbol of the sky for southern California since it began its public mission on May 15, 1935. While the Observatory is widely known as being the gift of Col. Griffith J. Griffith (1850-1919), the story of how Griffith’s gift became reality involves many of the people better known for other contributions that made Los Angeles area an important center of astrophysics in the 20th century. Griffith began drawing up his plans for an observatory and science museum for the people of Los Angeles after looking at Saturn through the newly completed 60-inch reflector on Mt. Wilson. He realized the social impact that viewing the heavens could have if made freely available, and discussing the idea of a public observatory with Mt. Wilson Observatory’s founder, George Ellery Hale, and Director, Walter Adams. This resulted, in 1916, in a will specifying many of the features of Griffith Observatory, and establishing a committee managed trust fund to build it. Astronomy popularizer Mars Baumgardt convinced the committee at the Zeiss Planetarium projector would be appropriate for Griffith’s project after the planetarium was introduced in Germany in 1923. In 1930, the trust committee judged funds to be sufficient to start work on creating Griffith Observatory, and letters from the Committee requesting help in realizing the project were sent to Hale, Adams, Robert Millikan, and other area experts then engaged in creating the 200-inch telescope eventually destined for Palomar Mountain. A Scientific Advisory Committee, headed by Millikan, recommended that Caltech Physicist Edward Kurth be put in charge of building and exhibit design. Kurth, in turn, sought help from artist Russell Porter. The architecture firm of John C. Austin and Fredrick Ashley was selected to design the project, and they adopted the designs of Porter and Kurth. Philip Fox of the Adler Planetarium was enlisted to manage the completion of the Observatory and become its

  14. News and Views: Diamond is new head of SKA; Did you read our `A&G' mobile issue? BBC writer wins astro journalism prize; Kavli prize recognizes work on Kuiper Belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2012-10-01

    Philip Diamond will become director general of the Square Kilometre Array this month, moving from Australia to the new SKA headquarters at Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory. Technology writer Katia Moskvitch has won the first European Astronomy Journalism Prize for her series of articles on the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. Moskvitch will be the guest of the ESO at the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the Atacama desert in March 2013. The 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between David C Jewitt (University of California, USA), Jane X Luu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory, USA), and Michael E Brown (California Institute of Technology, USA) “for discovering and characterizing the Kuiper Belt and its largest members, work that led to a major advance in the understanding of the history of our planetary system”.

  15. NASA'S Great Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Why are space observatories important? The answer concerns twinkling stars in the night sky. To reach telescopes on Earth, light from distant objects has to penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Although the sky may look clear, the gases that make up our atmosphere cause problems for astronomers. These gases absorb the majority of radiation emanating from celestial bodies so that it never reaches the astronomer's telescope. Radiation that does make it to the surface is distorted by pockets of warm and cool air, causing the twinkling effect. In spite of advanced computer enhancement, the images finally seen by astronomers are incomplete. NASA, in conjunction with other countries' space agencies, commercial companies, and the international community, has built observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory to find the answers to numerous questions about the universe. With the capabilities the Space Shuttle provides, scientist now have the means for deploying these observatories from the Shuttle's cargo bay directly into orbit.

  16. Everyday astronomy @ Sydney Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parello, S. L.

    2008-06-01

    Catering to a broad range of audiences, including many non-English speaking visitors, Sydney Observatory offers everything from school programmes to public sessions, day care activities to night observing, personal interactions to web-based outreach. With a history of nearly 150 years of watching the heavens, Sydney Observatory is now engaged in sharing the wonder with everybody in traditional and innovative ways. Along with time-honoured tours of the sky through two main telescopes, as well as a small planetarium, Sydney Observatory also boasts a 3D theatre, and offers programmes 363 days a year - rain or shine, day and night. Additionally, our website neversleeps, with a blog, YouTube videos, and night sky watching podcasts. And for good measure, a sprinkling of special events such as the incomparable Festival of the Stars, for which most of northern Sydney turns out their lights. Sydney Observatory is the oldest working observatory in Australia, and we're thrilled to be looking forward to our 150th Anniversary next year in anticipation of the International Year of Astronomy immediately thereafter.

  17. Airborne oceanographic lidar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bressel, C.; Itzkan, I.; Nunes, J. E.; Hoge, F.

    1977-01-01

    The characteristics of an Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) are given. The AOL system is described and its potential for various measurement applications including bathymetry and fluorosensing is discussed.

  18. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOPHIA) Mirror Coating Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Ed

    The joint US and German project, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), to develop and operate a 2.5 meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP began late last year. Universities Space Research Association (USRA), teamed with Raytheon E-Systems and United Airlines, was selected by NASA to develop and operate SOPHIA. The 2.5 meter telescope will be designed and built by a consortium of German companies. The observatory is expected to operate for over 29 years with the first science flights beginning in 2001. The SOPHIA Observatory will fly at and above 12.5 km, where the telescope will collect radiation in the wavelength range from 0.3 micrometers to a 1.6 millimeters. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) with support from NASA is currently evaluating methods of recoating the primary mirror in preparation for procurement of mirror coating equipment. The decision analysis technique, decision criteria and telescope specifications will be discussed.

  19. WFIRST Observatory Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kruk, Jeffrey W.

    2012-01-01

    The WFIRST observatory will be a powerful and flexible wide-field near-infrared facility. The planned surveys will provide data applicable to an enormous variety of astrophysical science. This presentation will provide a description of the observatory and its performance characteristics. This will include a discussion of the point spread function, signal-to-noise budgets for representative observing scenarios and the corresponding limiting sensitivity. Emphasis will be given to providing prospective Guest Observers with information needed to begin thinking about new observing programs.

  20. Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Lowenstern, Jacob

    2008-01-01

    Eruption of Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone hosts the world's largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features, which are the surface expression of magmatic heat at shallow depths in the crust. The Yellowstone system is monitored by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and the University of Utah. YVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Yellowstone and YVO at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo.

  1. Dynamics of the Trans-Neptune Region: Apsidal Waves in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, William R.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    1998-01-01

    The role of apsidal density waves propagating in a primordial trans-Neptune disk (i.e., Kuiper belt) is investigated. It is shown that Neptune launches apsidal waves at its secular resonance near 40 AU that propagate radially outward, deeper into the particle disk. The wavelength of apsidal waves is considerably longer than waves that might be launched at Lindblad resonances, because the pattern speed, g(sub s), resulting from the apsis precession of Neptune is much slower than its mean motion, Omega(sub s). If the early Kuiper belt had a sufficient surface density, sigma, the disk's wave response to Neptune's secular perturbation would have spread the disturbing torque radially over a collective scale lambda(sub *) approx. = r(2(mu)(sub d)Omega/ absolute value of r dg/dr)(sup 1/2), where mu(sub d)equivalent pi(sigma)r(exp 2)/(1 solar mass) and Omega(r) and g(r) are respectively the mean motion and precession frequency of the disk particles. This results in considerably smaller eccentricities at resonance than had the disk particles been treated as noninteracting test particles. Consequently, particles are less apt to be excited into planet-crossing orbits, implying that the erosion timescales reported by earlier test-particle simulations of the Kuiper belt may be underestimated. It is also shown that the torque the disk exerts upon the planet (due to its gravitational attraction for the disk's spiral wave pattern) damps the planet's eccentricity and further inhibits the planet's ability to erode the disk. Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics - comets: general minor planets, asteroids

  2. A Magnitude Limited Survey of the Rotational Properties of Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokotanekova, R.; Lacerda, P.; Snodgrass, C.; Lockhart, M.; Lorek, S.; Peixinho, N.; Thirouin, A.; Carry, B.; Davidsson, B.; Fornasier, S.; Wyatt, M.; Hainaut, O.

    2015-10-01

    We will present the first results from a magnitudelimited survey of over 60 Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) observed within a Large Program at the 3.6-m ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT). The multi-band observations are used to obtain lightcurves for targets from all KBO dynamical classes. We are aiming to derive the individual targets' physical and rotational characteristics as well as to use the bulk properties of the different KBO populations as sources of information for their formation mechanisms and collisional history.

  3. Water Ice in 2060 Chiron and Its Implications for Centaurs and Kuiper Belt Objects.

    PubMed

    Luu; Jewitt; Trujillo

    2000-03-10

    We report the detection of water ice in the Centaur 2060 Chiron, based on near-infrared spectra (1.0-2.5 µm) taken with the 3.8 m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and the 10 m Keck Telescope. The appearance of this ice is correlated with the recent decline in Chiron's cometary activity: the decrease in the coma cross section allows previously hidden solid-state surface features to be seen. We predict that water ice is ubiquitous among Centaurs and Kuiper Belt objects, but its surface coverage varies from object to object and thus determines its detectability and the occurrence of cometary activity. PMID:10688775

  4. The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    Alan Stern, S

    2003-08-01

    Comets are remnants from the time when the outer planets formed, approximately 4-4.5 billion years ago. They have been in storage since then in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt-distant regions that are so cold and sparsely populated that it was long thought that comets approaching the Sun were pristine samples from the time of Solar System formation. It is now recognized, however, that a variety of subtle but important evolutionary mechanisms operate on comets during their long storage, so they can no longer be regarded as wholly pristine. PMID:12904784

  5. Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Torun Center for Astronomy is located at Piwnice, 15 km north of Torun, Poland. A part of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the Nicolaus Copernicus University, it was created by the union of Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory (TRAO) and the Institute of Astronomy on 1 January 1997....

  6. Strasbourg's "First" astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2011-08-01

    The turret lantern located at the top of the Strasbourg Hospital Gate is generally considered as the first astronomical observatory of the city, but such a qualification must be treated with caution. The thesis of this paper is that the idea of a tower-observatory was brought back by a local scholar, Julius Reichelt (1637-1717), after he made a trip to Northern Europe around 1666 and saw the "Rundetårn" (Round Tower) recently completed in Copenhagen. There, however, a terrace allowed (and still allows) the full viewing of the sky, and especially of the zenith area where the atmospheric transparency is best. However, there is no such terrace in Strasbourg around the Hospital Gate lantern. Reichelt had also visited Johannes Hevelius who was then developing advanced observational astronomy in Gdansk, but nothing of the kind followed in Strasbourg. Rather, the Hospital Gate observatory was built essentially for the prestige of the city and for the notoriety of the university, and the users of this observing post did not make any significant contributions to the progress of astronomical knowledge. We conclude that the Hospital Gate observatory was only used for rudimentary viewing of bright celestial objects or phenomena relatively low on the horizon.

  7. Armenian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    Vast amount of information continuously accumulated in astronomy requires finding new solutions for its efficient storage, use and dissemination, as well as accomplishing new research projects. Virtual Observatories (VOs) have been created in a number of countries to set up a new environment for these tasks. Based on them, the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) was created in 2002, which unifies 19 VO projects, including Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO) founded in 2005. ArVO is a project of Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) aimed at construction of a modern system for data archiving, extraction, acquisition, reduction, use and publication. ArVO technical and research projects are presented, including the Global Spectroscopic Database, which is being built based on Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS). Quick optical identification of radio, IR or X-ray sources will be possible by plotting their positions in the DFBS or other spectroscopic plate and matching all available data. Accomplishment of new projects by combining data is so important that the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) recently created World Data System (WDS) for unifying data coming from all science areas, and BAO has also joined it.

  8. High Energy Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An overview of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory 2 contributions to X-ray astronomy is presented along with a brief description of the satellite and onboard telescope. Observations relating to galaxies and galactic clusters, black holes, supernova remnants, quasars, and cosmology are discussed.

  9. Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    This Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory is a unit of the Adam Mickiewicz University, located in Poznan acute, Poland. From its foundation in 1919, it has specialized in astrometry and celestial mechanics (reference frames, dynamics of satellites and small solar system bodies). Recently, research activities have also included planetary and stellar astrophysics (asteroid photometry, catalysmic b...

  10. Arecibo Observatory for All

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartus, P.; Isidro, G. M.; La Rosa, C.; Pantoja, C. A.

    2007-01-01

    We describe new materials available at the Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, explains some basic terms used in radio astronomy, and lists frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. Our interest is in enabling…

  11. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2009-06-01

    SOFIA is a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that will begin will begin science flights in mid-2009. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA will be used to conduct spectroscopic and imaging observations throughout the infrared and sub-mm region with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. The SOFIA first-generation instrument complement includes broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. The characteristics and status of the observatory and its instrumentation will be briefly reviewed. SOFIA`s operations schedule and opportunities for observers and instrument developers will be described.

  12. The Las Cumbres Observatory (LCOGT) Network for NEO and Solar System Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lister, Tim; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gomez, Edward; Christensen, Eric J.; Larson, Stephen M.

    2016-01-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) has deployed a homogeneous telescope network of nine 1-meter telescopes to four locations in the northern and southern hemispheres, with a planned network size of twelve 1-meter telescopes at 6 locations. This 1-meter network is in addition to the two 2-meter Faulkes Telescopes that have been operating since 2005. This network is very versatile and is designed to respond rapidly to target of opportunity events and also to perform long term monitoring of slowly changing astronomical phenomena. The global coverage of the network and the apertures of telescope available make LCOGT ideal for follow-up and characterization of Solar System objects e.g. Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), comets, asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects and also for the discovery of new objects.LCOGT has completed the first phase of the deployment with the installation and commissioning of the nine 1-meter telescopes at McDonald Observatory (Texas), Cerro Tololo (Chile), SAAO (South Africa) and Siding Spring Observatory (Australia). The telescope network has been fully operational since 2014 May, and observations are being executed remotely and robotically. Future expansion to sites in the Canary Islands and Tibet are planned for 2016-2017.I will describe the Solar System science research that is being carried out using the LCOGT Network with highlights from the LCOGT NEO Follow-up Network, long-term monitoring of the Rosetta spacecraft target comet 67P and comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) and work on Kuiper Belt Object occultation targets, including Pluto.

  13. The Las Cumbres Observatory (LCOGT) Network for NEO and Solar System Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lister, Tim; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gomez, Edward; Christensen, Eric; Larson, Stephen

    2015-11-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) has deployed a homogeneous telescope network of nine 1-meter telescopes to four locations in the northern and southern hemispheres, with a planned network size of twelve 1-meter telescopes at 6 locations. This 1-meter network is in addition to the two 2-meter Faulkes Telescopes that have been operating since 2005. This network is very versatile and is designed to respond rapidly to target of opportunity events and also to perform long term monitoring of slowly changing astronomical phenomena. The global coverage of the network and the apertures of telescope available make LCOGT ideal for follow-up and characterization of Solar System objects e.g. Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), comets, asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects and also for the discovery of new objects.LCOGT has completed the first phase of the deployment with the installation and commissioning of the nine 1-meter telescopes at McDonald Observatory (Texas), Cerro Tololo (Chile), SAAO (South Africa) and Siding Spring Observatory (Australia). The telescope network has been fully operational since 2014 May, and observations are being executed remotely and robotically. Future expansion to sites in the Canary Islands and Tibet are planned for 2016-2017.I will describe the Solar System science research that is being carried out using the LCOGT Network with highlights from the LCOGT NEO Follow-up Network, long-term monitoring of the Rosetta spacecraft target comet 67P and comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) and work on Kuiper Belt Object occultation targets, including Pluto.

  14. Constraints on impact rates in the pluto-charon system and the population of the Kuiper comet belt

    SciTech Connect

    Weissman, P.R. ); Dobrovolskis, A.R. ); Stern, S.A. )

    1989-11-01

    Impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system are dominated by comets from the proposed Kuiper Belt, 30 to 50 AU from the Sun. Such collisions excite the eccentricity of Charon's orbit, which then decays due to tidal dissipation. Charon's eccentricity approaches a quasi-steady state, which can be used to constrain the total number and mass of comets in the Kuiper Belt. Unfortunately, the current upper limit on Charon's orbital eccentricity must be reduced by more than a factor of ten before useful constraints can be set.

  15. Constraints on impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system and the population of the Kuiper comet belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.; Stern, S. Alan

    1989-01-01

    Impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system are dominated by comets from the proposed Kuiper Belt, 30 to 50 AU from the sun. Such collisions excite the eccentricity of Charon's orbit, which then decays due to tidal dissipation. Charon's eccentricity approaches a quasi-steady state, which can be used to constrain the total number and mass of comets in the Kuiper Belt. Unfortunately, the current upper limit on Charon's orbital eccentricity must be reduced by more than a factor of ten before useful constraints can be set.

  16. Origin of the peculiar eccentricity distribution of the inner cold Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morbidelli, A.; Gaspar, H. S.; Nesvorny, D.

    2014-04-01

    Dawson and Murray-Clay (Dawson and Murray-Clay [2012]. Astrophys. J., 750, 43) pointed out that the inner part of the cold population in the Kuiper belt (that with semi major axis a<43.5 AU) has orbital eccentricities significantly smaller than the limit imposed by stability constraints. Here, we confirm their result by looking at the orbital distribution and stability properties in proper element space. We show that the observed distribution could have been produced by the slow sweeping of the 4/7 mean motion resonance with Neptune that accompanied the end of Neptune’s migration process. The orbital distribution of the hot Kuiper belt is not significantly affected in this process, for the reasons discussed in the main text. Therefore, the peculiar eccentricity distribution of the inner cold population cannot be unequivocally interpreted as evidence that the cold population formed in situ and was only moderately excited in eccentricity; it can simply be the signature of Neptune’s radial motion, starting from a moderately eccentric orbit. We discuss how this agrees with a scenario of giant planet evolution following a dynamical instability and, possibly, with the radial transport of the cold population.

  17. Size and albedo of Kuiper belt object 55636 from a stellar occultation.

    PubMed

    Elliot, J L; Person, M J; Zuluaga, C A; Bosh, A S; Adams, E R; Brothers, T C; Gulbis, A A S; Levine, S E; Lockhart, M; Zangari, A M; Babcock, B A; Dupré, K; Pasachoff, J M; Souza, S P; Rosing, W; Secrest, N; Bright, L; Dunham, E W; Sheppard, S S; Kakkala, M; Tilleman, T; Berger, B; Briggs, J W; Jacobson, G; Valleli, P; Volz, B; Rapoport, S; Hart, R; Brucker, M; Michel, R; Mattingly, A; Zambrano-Marin, L; Meyer, A W; Wolf, J; Ryan, E V; Ryan, W H; Morzinski, K; Grigsby, B; Brimacombe, J; Ragozzine, D; Montano, H G; Gilmore, A

    2010-06-17

    The Kuiper belt is a collection of small bodies (Kuiper belt objects, KBOs) that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune and which are believed to have formed contemporaneously with the planets. Their small size and great distance make them difficult to study. KBO 55636 (2002 TX(300)) is a member of the water-ice-rich Haumea KBO collisional family. The Haumea family are among the most highly reflective objects in the Solar System. Dynamical calculations indicate that the collision that created KBO 55636 occurred at least 1 Gyr ago. Here we report observations of a multi-chord stellar occultation by KBO 55636, which occurred on 9 October 2009 ut. We find that it has a mean radius of 143 +/- 5 km (assuming a circular solution). Allowing for possible elliptical shapes, we find a geometric albedo of in the V photometric band, which establishes that KBO 55636 is smaller than previously thought and that, like its parent body, it is highly reflective. The dynamical age implies either that KBO 55636 has an active resurfacing mechanism, or that fresh water-ice in the outer Solar System can persist for gigayear timescales. PMID:20559381

  18. Size and albedo of Kuiper belt object 55636 from a stellar occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliot, J. L.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Bosh, A. S.; Adams, E. R.; Brothers, T. C.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Lockhart, M.; Zangari, A. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Dupré, K.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Souza, S. P.; Rosing, W.; Secrest, N.; Bright, L.; Dunham, E. W.; Sheppard, S. S.; Kakkala, M.; Tilleman, T.; Berger, B.; Briggs, J. W.; Jacobson, G.; Valleli, P.; Volz, B.; Rapoport, S.; Hart, R.; Brucker, M.; Michel, R.; Mattingly, A.; Zambrano-Marin, L.; Meyer, A. W.; Wolf, J.; Ryan, E. V.; Ryan, W. H.; Morzinski, K.; Grigsby, B.; Brimacombe, J.; Ragozzine, D.; Montano, H. G.; Gilmore, A.

    2010-06-01

    The Kuiper belt is a collection of small bodies (Kuiper belt objects, KBOs) that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune and which are believed to have formed contemporaneously with the planets. Their small size and great distance make them difficult to study. KBO 55636 (2002 TX300) is a member of the water-ice-rich Haumea KBO collisional family. The Haumea family are among the most highly reflective objects in the Solar System. Dynamical calculations indicate that the collision that created KBO 55636 occurred at least 1Gyr ago. Here we report observations of a multi-chord stellar occultation by KBO 55636, which occurred on 9 October 2009 UT. We find that it has a mean radius of 143+/-5km (assuming a circular solution). Allowing for possible elliptical shapes, we find a geometric albedo of in the V photometric band, which establishes that KBO 55636 is smaller than previously thought and that, like its parent body, it is highly reflective. The dynamical age implies either that KBO 55636 has an active resurfacing mechanism, or that fresh water-ice in the outer Solar System can persist for gigayear timescales.

  19. NEPTUNE ON TIPTOES: DYNAMICAL HISTORIES THAT PRESERVE THE COLD CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Wolff, Schuyler; Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A. E-mail: rdawson@cfa.harvard.edu

    2012-02-20

    The current dynamical structure of the Kuiper Belt was shaped by the orbital evolution of the giant planets, especially Neptune, during the era following planet formation when the giant planets may have undergone planet-planet scattering and/or planetesimal-driven migration. Numerical simulations of this process, while reproducing many properties of the Belt, fail to generate the high inclinations and eccentricities observed for some objects while maintaining the observed dynamically 'cold' population. We present the first of a three-part parameter study of how different dynamical histories of Neptune sculpt the planetesimal disk. Here we identify which dynamical histories allow an in situ planetesimal disk to remain dynamically cold, becoming today's cold Kuiper Belt population. We find that if Neptune undergoes a period of elevated eccentricity and/or inclination, it secularly excites the eccentricities and inclinations of the planetesimal disk. We demonstrate that there are several well-defined regimes for this secular excitation, depending on the relative timescales of Neptune's migration, the damping of Neptune's orbital inclination and/or eccentricity, and the secular evolution of the planetesimals. We model this secular excitation analytically in each regime, allowing for a thorough exploration of parameter space. Neptune's eccentricity and inclination can remain high for a limited amount of time without disrupting the cold classical belt. In the regime of slow damping and slow migration, if Neptune is located (for example) at 20 AU, then its eccentricity must stay below 0.18 and its inclination below 6 Degree-Sign .

  20. 1998 SM165: A large Kuiper belt object with an irregular shape

    PubMed Central

    Romanishin, W.; Tegler, S. C.; Rettig, T. W.; Consolmagno, G.; Botthof, B.

    2001-01-01

    The recent discovery of an ancient reservoir of icy bodies at and beyond the orbit of Neptune—the Kuiper belt—has opened a new frontier in astronomy. Measurements of the physical and chemical nature of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) can constrain our ideas of the processes of planet formation and evolution. Our 1.8-m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and charge-coupled device camera observations of the KBO 1998 SM165 indicate its brightness periodically varies by 0.56 magnitudes over a 4-h interval. If we assume a uniform albedo of 0.04, which is typical of values found in the literature for a handful of KBOs, and an “equator-on” aspect, we find 1998 SM165 has axes of length 600 × 360 km. If our assumptions are correct, such dimensions put 1998 SM165 among the largest elongated objects known in our solar system. Perhaps long ago, two nearly spherical KBOs of comparable size coalesced to form a compound object, or perhaps 1998 SM165 is the residual core of a catastrophic fragmentation of a larger precursor. PMID:11572937

  1. 1998 SM165: a large Kuiper belt object with an irregular shape.

    PubMed

    Romanishin, W; Tegler, S C; Rettig, T W; Consolmagno, G; Botthof, B

    2001-10-01

    The recent discovery of an ancient reservoir of icy bodies at and beyond the orbit of Neptune-the Kuiper belt-has opened a new frontier in astronomy. Measurements of the physical and chemical nature of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) can constrain our ideas of the processes of planet formation and evolution. Our 1.8-m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and charge-coupled device camera observations of the KBO 1998 SM(165) indicate its brightness periodically varies by 0.56 magnitudes over a 4-h interval. If we assume a uniform albedo of 0.04, which is typical of values found in the literature for a handful of KBOs, and an "equator-on" aspect, we find 1998 SM(165) has axes of length 600 x 360 km. If our assumptions are correct, such dimensions put 1998 SM(165) among the largest elongated objects known in our solar system. Perhaps long ago, two nearly spherical KBOs of comparable size coalesced to form a compound object, or perhaps 1998 SM(165) is the residual core of a catastrophic fragmentation of a larger precursor. PMID:11572937

  2. NASA's Great Observatories: Paper Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    This educational brief discusses observatory stations built by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for looking at the universe. This activity for grades 5-12 has students build paper models of the observatories and study their history, features, and functions. Templates for the observatories are included. (MVL)

  3. ESO's Two Observatories Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-02-01

    On February 1, 2005, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has merged its two observatories, La Silla and Paranal, into one. This move will help Europe's prime organisation for astronomy to better manage its many and diverse projects by deploying available resources more efficiently where and when they are needed. The merged observatory will be known as the La Silla Paranal Observatory. Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's Director General, comments the new development: "The merging, which was planned during the past year with the deep involvement of all the staff, has created unified maintenance and engineering (including software, mechanics, electronics and optics) departments across the two sites, further increasing the already very high efficiency of our telescopes. It is my great pleasure to commend the excellent work of Jorge Melnick, former director of the La Silla Observatory, and of Roberto Gilmozzi, the director of Paranal." ESO's headquarters are located in Garching, in the vicinity of Munich (Bavaria, Germany), and this intergovernmental organisation has established itself as a world-leader in astronomy. Created in 1962, ESO is now supported by eleven member states (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). It operates major telescopes on two remote sites, all located in Chile: La Silla, about 600 km north of Santiago and at an altitude of 2400m; Paranal, a 2600m high mountain in the Atacama Desert 120 km south of the coastal city of Antofagasta. Most recently, ESO has started the construction of an observatory at Chajnantor, a 5000m high site, also in the Atacama Desert. La Silla, north of the town of La Serena, has been the bastion of the organization's facilities since 1964. It is the site of two of the most productive 4-m class telescopes in the world, the New Technology Telescope (NTT) - the first major telescope equipped with active optics - and the 3.6-m, which hosts HARPS

  4. Airborne gravity is here

    SciTech Connect

    Hammer, S.

    1982-01-11

    After 20 years of development efforts, the airborne gravity survey has finally become a practical exploration method. Besides gravity data, the airborne survey can also collect simultaneous, continuous records of high-precision magneticfield data as well as terrain clearance; these provide a topographic contour map useful in calculating terrain conditions and in subsequent planning and engineering. Compared with a seismic survey, the airborne gravity method can cover the same area much more quickly and cheaply; a seismograph could then detail the interesting spots.

  5. Alaska Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Murray, Tom; Read, Cyrus

    2008-01-01

    Steam plume from the 2006 eruption of Augustine volcano in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Explosive ash-producing eruptions from Alaska's 40+ historically active volcanoes pose hazards to aviation, including commercial aircraft flying the busy North Pacific routes between North America and Asia. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) monitors these volcanoes to provide forecasts of eruptive activity. AVO is a joint program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAFGI), and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS). AVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Augustine volcano and AVO at http://www.avo.alaska.edu.

  6. Mount Wilson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Mount Wilson Observatory, located in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, California, was founded in 1904 by George Ellery Hale with financial support from Andrew Carnegie. In the 1920s and 1930s, working at the 2.5 m Hooker telescope, Edwin Hubble made two of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy: first, that `nebulae' are actually island universes—galaxies—each with bil...

  7. Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, a government research institute founded in 1972, is located close to the villa where Galileo spent the last 11 years of his life. Under the directorship of Giorgio Abetti (1921-53) it became the growth point of Italian astrophysics with emphasis on solar physics; a tradition continued by his successor Guglielmo Righini (1953-78). Since 1978 the activities ha...

  8. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, Robert; Becklin, Eric; Young, Erick; Krabbe, Alfred; Marcum, Pamela; Roellig, Thomas

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint U.S./German Project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that flies in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 and is capable of observations from 0.3 microns to 1.6 mm with an average transmission greater than 80 percent. SOFIA will be staged out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA and the SOFIA Science Mission Operations Center (SSMOC) will be located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. First science flights will begin in 2010, and the number of flights will ramp up annually with a flight rate of over 100 8 to 10 hour flights per year expected by 2014. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid 2030's. SOFIA will initially fly with eight focal plane instruments that include broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs that will resolve broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers capable of studying the kinematics of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. We describe the SOFIA facility and outline the opportunities for observations by the general scientific community and future instrumentation developments. The operational characteristics of the SOFIA first-generation instruments are summarized and we give several specific examples of the types of scientific studies to which these instruments are expected to make fundamental scientific contributions.

  9. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2011-06-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5- meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that began science flights in 2010. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA can conduct photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations at wavelengths from 0.3 microns to 1.6 millimeters with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. SOFIA is staged out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA and the SOFIA Science Mission Operations Center (SSMOC) is located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. SOFIA's first-generation instrument complement includes high speed photometers, broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. About 100 eight to ten hour flights per year are expected by 2014, and the observatory will operate until the mid 2030's. We will review the status of the SOFIA facility, its initial complement of science instruments, and the opportunities for advanced instrumentation.

  10. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, Robert

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is in its final stages of development. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA enables observations throughout the infrared and submillimeter region with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. SOFIA has a wide instrument complement including broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. The first generation and future instruments will enable SOFIA to make unique contributions to a broad array of science topics. SOFIA began its post-modification test flight series on April 26, 2007 in Waco, Texas. The test flight series continues at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, California. SOFIA will be staged out of Dryden's new aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA starting in December, 2007. First science flights will begin in 2009, the next instrument call and the first General Observer science call will be in 2010, and a full operations schedule of about 120 flights per year will be reached by 2014. The observatory is expected to operate for more than 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics, science instrument complement, future instrument opportunities and examples of first light science will be discussed.

  11. Megalithic observatory Kokino

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cenev, Gj.

    2006-05-01

    In 2001, on the footpath of a mountain peak, near the village of Kokino, archeologist Jovica Stankovski discovered an archeological site from The Bronze Age. The site occupies a large area and is scaled in two levels. Several stone seats (thrones) are dominant in this site and they are pointing towards the east horizon. The high concentration of the movable archeological material found on the upper platform probably indicates its use in a function containing still unknown cult activities. Due to precise measurements and a detailed archaeoastronomical analysis of the site performed in the past three years by Gjore Cenev, physicist from the Planetarium in Skopje, it was shown that the site has characteristics of a sacred site, but also of a Megalithic Observatory. The markers found in this observatory point on the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes. It can be seen that on both sides of the solstice markers, that there are markers for establishing Moon's positions. The markers are crafted in such a way that for example on days when special rites were performed (harvest rites for example) the Sun filled a narrow space of the marker and special ray lighted the man sitting on only one of the thrones, which of course had a special meaning. According to the positions of the markers that are used for Sun marking, especially on the solstice days, it was calculated that this observatory dates from 1800 B.C.

  12. Sierra Remote Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ringwald, Fred; Morgan, G. E.; Barnes, F. S., III; Goldman, D. S.; Helm, M. R.; Mortfield, P.; Quattrocchi, K. B.; Van Vleet, L.

    2009-05-01

    We report the founding of a new facility for astrophotography and small-telescope science. Sierra Remote Observatories are eight small observatories at 4610' altitude in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The sky brightness during New Moon typically rates 3 on the Bortle scale. Typical seeing is 1.2", with a one-sigma range between 1.0" and 1.6", measured during 2007 June-September. All eight observatories are operated by remote control over the Internet, from as far away as Toronto and South Carolina. The telescopes range in aperture from 106 mm to 16 inches. Color images have so far been published in several magazines (Astronomy, Practical Astronomer, and Sky & Telescope) and on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Science programs include time-resolved photometry of cataclysmic variables including the discovery of a 3.22-hour periodicity in the light curve of the nova-like V378 Pegasi, the serendipitous discovery of a previously undesignated spherical bubble in Cygnus, the discovery of three asteroids, and monitoring of Comet Lulin.

  13. The Russian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Kilpio, A. A.; Kilpio, E. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Sat, L. A.

    The Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) will be an integral component of the International Virtual Observatory (IVO). The RVO has the main goal of integrating resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions (databases, archives, digitized glass libraries, bibliographic data, a remote access system to information and technical resources of telescopes etc.), and providing transparent access for scientific and educational purposes to the distributed information and data services that comprise its content. Another goal of the RVO is to provide Russian astronomers with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been, and will continue to be, produced by astronomical survey projects. Centre for Astronomical Data (CAD), among other Russian institutions, has had the greatest experience in collecting and distributing astronomical data for more than 20 years. Some hundreds of catalogs and journal tables are currently available from the CAD repository. More recently, mirrors of main astronomical data resources (VizieR, ADS, etc) are now maintained in CAD. Besides, CAD accumulates and makes available for the astronomical community information on principal Russian astronomical resources.

  14. Toolsets for Airborne Data

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2015-04-02

    article title:  Toolsets for Airborne Data     View larger image The ... limit of detection values. Prior to accessing the TAD Web Application ( https://tad.larc.nasa.gov ) for the first time, users must ...

  15. The airborne laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamberson, Steven; Schall, Harold; Shattuck, Paul

    2007-05-01

    The Airborne Laser (ABL) is an airborne, megawatt-class laser system with a state-of-the-art atmospheric compensation system to destroy enemy ballistic missiles at long ranges. This system will provide both deterrence and defense against the use of such weapons during conflicts. This paper provides an overview of the ABL weapon system including: the notional operational concept, the development approach and schedule, the overall aircraft configuration, the technologies being incorporated in the ABL, and the current program status.

  16. INITIAL PLANETESIMAL SIZES AND THE SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Schlichting, Hilke E.; Fuentes, Cesar I.; Trilling, David E.

    2013-08-01

    The Kuiper Belt is a remnant from the early solar system and its size distribution contains many important constraints that can be used to test models of planet formation and collisional evolution. We show, by comparing observations with theoretical models, that the observed Kuiper Belt size distribution is well matched by coagulation models, which start with an initial planetesimal population with radii of about 1 km, and subsequent collisional evolution. We find that the observed size distribution above R {approx} 30 km is primordial, i.e., it has not been modified by collisional evolution over the age of the solar system, and that the size distribution below R {approx} 30 km has been modified by collisions and that its slope is well matched by collisional evolution models that use published strength laws. We investigate in detail the resulting size distribution of bodies ranging from 0.01 km to 30 km and find that its slope changes several times as a function of radius before approaching the expected value for an equilibrium collisional cascade of material strength dominated bodies for R {approx}< 0.1 km. Compared to a single power-law size distribution that would span the whole range from 0.01 km to 30 km, we find in general a strong deficit of bodies around R {approx} 10 km and a strong excess of bodies around 2 km in radius. This deficit and excess of bodies are caused by the planetesimal size distribution left over from the runaway growth phase, which left most of the initial mass in small planetesimals while only a small fraction of the total mass is converted into large protoplanets. This excess mass in small planetesimals leaves a permanent signature in the size distribution of small bodies that is not erased after 4.5 Gyr of collisional evolution. Observations of the small Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) size distribution can therefore test if large KBOs grew as a result of runaway growth and constrained the initial planetesimal sizes. We find that results from

  17. THE COLOR DIFFERENCES OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS IN RESONANCE WITH NEPTUNE

    SciTech Connect

    Sheppard, Scott S.

    2012-12-01

    The optical colors of 58 objects in mean motion resonance with Neptune were obtained. The various Neptune resonant populations were found to have significantly different surface color distributions. The 5:3 and 7:4 resonances have semimajor axes near the middle of the main Kuiper Belt and both are dominated by ultra-red material (spectral gradient: S {approx}> 25). The 5:3 and 7:4 resonances have statistically the same color distribution as the low-inclination 'cold' classical belt. The inner 4:3 and distant 5:2 resonances have objects with mostly moderately red colors (S {approx} 15), similar to the scattered and detached disk populations. The 2:1 resonance, which is near the outer edge of the main Kuiper Belt, has a large range of colors with similar numbers of moderately red and ultra-red objects at all inclinations. The 2:1 resonance was also found to have a very rare neutral colored object showing that the 2:1 resonance is really a mix of all object types. The inner 3:2 resonance, like the outer 2:1, has a large range of objects from neutral to ultra-red. The Neptune Trojans (1:1 resonance) are only slightly red (S {approx} 9), similar to the Jupiter Trojans. The inner 5:4 resonance only has four objects with measured colors but shows equal numbers of ultra-red and moderately red objects. The 9:5, 12:5, 7:3, 3:1, and 11:3 resonances do not have reliable color distribution statistics since few objects have been observed in these resonances, though it appears noteworthy that all three of the measured 3:1 objects have only moderately red colors, similar to the 4:3 and 5:2 resonances. The different color distributions of objects in mean motion resonance with Neptune are likely a result from the disruption of the primordial Kuiper Belt from the scattering and migration of the giant planets. The few low-inclination objects known in the outer 2:1 and 5:2 resonances are mostly only moderately red. This suggests if the 2:1 and 5:2 have a cold low-inclination component

  18. THE SIZE, DENSITY, AND FORMATION OF THE ORCUS-VANTH SYSTEM IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Ragozzine, D.; Fraser, W. C.; Stansberry, J.

    2010-06-15

    The Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Orcus and its satellite Vanth form an unusual system in the Kuiper Belt. While most large KBOs have small satellites in circular orbits and smaller KBOs and their satellites tend to be much closer in size, Orcus sits in between these two regimes. Orcus is among the largest objects known in the Kuiper Belt, but the relative size of Vanth is much larger than that of the tiny satellites of the other large objects. Here, we characterize the physical and orbital characteristics of the Orcus-Vanth system in an attempt to distinguish discuss possible formation scenarios. From Hubble Space Telescope observations, we find that Orcus and Vanth have different visible colors and that Vanth does not share the water ice absorption feature seen in the infrared spectrum of Orcus. We also find that Vanth has a nearly face-on circular orbit with a period of 9.5393 {+-} 0.0001 days and semimajor axis of 8980 {+-} 20 km, implying a system mass of (6.32 {+-} 0.01) x 10{sup 20} kg or 3.8% the mass of dwarf planet Eris. From Spitzer Space Telescope observations, we find that the thermal emission is consistent with a single body with diameter 940 {+-} 70 km and a geometric albedo of 0.28 {+-} 0.04. Assuming equal densities and albedos, this measurement implies sizes of Orcus and Vanth of 900 and 280 km, respectively, and a mass ratio of 33. Assuming a factor of 2 lower albedo for the non-icy Vanth, however, implies sizes of 860 km and 380 km and a mass ratio of 12. The measured density depends on the assumed albedo ratio of the two objects but is approximately 1.5 {+-} 0.3 g cm{sup -3}, midway between typical densities measured for larger and smaller objects. The orbit and mass ratio is consistent with formation from a giant impact and subsequent outward tidal evolution, and even consistent with the system having now achieved a double synchronous state. Because of the large angle between the plane of the heliocentric orbit of Orcus and the plane of the orbit

  19. Data Management Challenges for Airborne NASA Earth Venture Sub-Orbital Investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, A.; Lindsley, C.; Wright, D.; Cook, R. B.; Santhana Vannan, S. K.

    2015-12-01

    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) is developing technology infrastructure to archive airborne remote sensing observations from two of NASA's Earth Venture Sub-orbital Missions. The two missions are CARVE (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment) and AirMOSS (Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface). These missions collected over 140 TB of data from extensive ground-based and airborne instruments. The metadata and documentation requirements necessary for proper archive and dissemination of such transect-based, and often 3-dimensional, airborne data are quite different from traditional field campaign data and satellite remote sensing data streams. Staff at the ORNL DAAC have developed a metadata and data infrastructure for airborne data that enables spatial or keyword-based search and discovery, integration of related satellite- or ground-based data sets, and subsetting and visualization tools for both CARVE and AirMOSS. Here we discuss challenges, progress, and lessons learned.

  20. Distributed Observatory Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godin, M. A.; Bellingham, J. G.

    2006-12-01

    A collection of tools for collaboratively managing a coastal ocean observatory have been developed and used in a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary field experiment. The Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network program created these tools to support the Adaptive Sampling and Prediction (ASAP) field experiment that occurred in Monterey Bay in the summer of 2006. ASAP involved the day-to-day participation of a large group of researchers located across North America. The goal of these investigators was to adapt an array of observational assets to optimize data collection and analysis. Achieving the goal required continual interaction, but the long duration of the observatory made sustained co-location of researchers difficult. The ASAP team needed a remote collaboration tool, the capability to add non-standard, interdisciplinary data sets to the overall data collection, and the ability to retrieve standardized data sets from the collection. Over the course of several months and "virtual experiments," the Ocean Observatory Portal (COOP) collaboration tool was created, along with tools for centralizing, cataloging, and converting data sets into common formats, and tools for generating automated plots of the common format data. Accumulating the data in a central location and converting the data to common formats allowed any team member to manipulate any data set quickly, without having to rely heavily on the expertise of data generators to read the data. The common data collection allowed for the development of a wide range of comparison plots and allowed team members to assimilate new data sources into derived outputs such as ocean models quickly. In addition to the standardized outputs, team members were able to produce their own specialized products and link to these through the collaborative portal, which made the experimental process more interdisciplinary and interactive. COOP was used to manage the ASAP vehicle program from its start in July 2006. New summaries were

  1. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna

    2014-05-01

    During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, four well-equipped government observatories were maintained in Australia - in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. These institutions conducted astronomical observations, often in the course of providing a local time service, and they also collected and collated meteorological data. As well, some of these observatories were involved at times in geodetic surveying, geomagnetic recording, gravity measurements, seismology, tide recording and physical standards, so the term "observatory" was being used in a rather broad sense! Despite the international renown that once applied to Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories, relatively little has been written by modern-day scholars about astronomical activities at these observatories. This research is intended to rectify this situation to some extent by gathering, cataloguing and analysing the published astronomical output of the two Observatories to see what contributions they made to science and society. It also compares their contributions with those of Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Observatories. Overall, Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories produced a prodigious amount of material on astronomy in scientific and technical journals, in reports and in newspapers. The other observatories more or less did likewise, so no observatory of those studied markedly outperformed the others in the long term, especially when account is taken of their relative resourcing in staff and equipment.

  2. Portable coastal observatories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frye, Daniel; Butman, Bradford; Johnson, Mark; von der Heydt, Keith; Lerner, Steven

    2000-01-01

    Ocean observational science is in the midst of a paradigm shift from an expeditionary science centered on short research cruises and deployments of internally recording instruments to a sustained observational science where the ocean is monitored on a regular basis, much the way the atmosphere is monitored. While satellite remote sensing is one key way of meeting the challenge of real-time monitoring of large ocean regions, new technologies are required for in situ observations to measure conditions below the ocean surface and to measure ocean characteristics not observable from space. One method of making sustained observations in the coastal ocean is to install a fiber optic cable from shore to the area of interest. This approach has the advantage of providing power to offshore instruments and essentially unlimited bandwidth for data. The LEO-15 observatory offshore of New Jersey (yon Alt et al., 1997) and the planned Katama observatory offshore of Martha's Vineyard (Edson et al., 2000) use this approach. These sites, along with other cabled sites, will play an important role in coastal ocean science in the next decade. Cabled observatories, however, have two drawbacks that limit the number of sites that are likely to be installed. First, the cable and the cable installation are expensive and the shore station needed at the cable terminus is often in an environmentally sensitive area where competing interests must be resolved. Second, cabled sites are inherently limited geographically to sites within reach of the cable, so it is difficult to cover large areas of the coastal ocean.

  3. The PS1 Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, Nick; Morgan, J.; Pier, E.; Chambers, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) will use gigapixel cameras on multi-aperture telescopes to survey the sky in the visible and near-infrared bands. The first surveys will begin in 2008 using a single telescope system (PS1) has been deployed on Haleakala, Maui. This facility is currently undergoing commissioning tests. The PS1 telescope is a 1.8-m f/4 Richey-Chretien design that employs three 50 cm diameter correcting lens. The optical system produces a 3 degree diameter field of view at the focal plane. Images will be recorded on a 1.4 gigapixel CCD camera (described in an accompanying poster presentation). The survey programs will be conducted using g, r, i, and z filters which closely approximate the band-pass and response of those used in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. These filters will be supplemented with a y band filter further to the infrared of z and a wide w filter for solar system observations. The images from the PS1 camera are supplemented by an Imaging Sky Probe that will provide co-pointed photometric calibration images of each target field. An all-sky camera at the observatory monitors sky conditions and transparency. The operation of the PS1 telescope is supported by the Observatory, Telescope, and Instrument Software (OTIS) system. The OTIS software interfaces the telescope control software provided by the vendor and the CCD camera computer systems. OTIS also records and archives environmental metadata from the dome and the observatory weather station.

  4. ESO's Two Observatories Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-02-01

    On February 1, 2005, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has merged its two observatories, La Silla and Paranal, into one. This move will help Europe's prime organisation for astronomy to better manage its many and diverse projects by deploying available resources more efficiently where and when they are needed. The merged observatory will be known as the La Silla Paranal Observatory. Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's Director General, comments the new development: "The merging, which was planned during the past year with the deep involvement of all the staff, has created unified maintenance and engineering (including software, mechanics, electronics and optics) departments across the two sites, further increasing the already very high efficiency of our telescopes. It is my great pleasure to commend the excellent work of Jorge Melnick, former director of the La Silla Observatory, and of Roberto Gilmozzi, the director of Paranal." ESO's headquarters are located in Garching, in the vicinity of Munich (Bavaria, Germany), and this intergovernmental organisation has established itself as a world-leader in astronomy. Created in 1962, ESO is now supported by eleven member states (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). It operates major telescopes on two remote sites, all located in Chile: La Silla, about 600 km north of Santiago and at an altitude of 2400m; Paranal, a 2600m high mountain in the Atacama Desert 120 km south of the coastal city of Antofagasta. Most recently, ESO has started the construction of an observatory at Chajnantor, a 5000m high site, also in the Atacama Desert. La Silla, north of the town of La Serena, has been the bastion of the organization's facilities since 1964. It is the site of two of the most productive 4-m class telescopes in the world, the New Technology Telescope (NTT) - the first major telescope equipped with active optics - and the 3.6-m, which hosts HARPS

  5. NASA's Heliophysics System Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Steven

    2016-04-01

    NASA formulates and implements a national research program for understanding the Sun and its interactions with the Earth and the solar system and how these phenomena impact life and society. This research provides theory, data, and modeling development services to national and international space weather efforts utilizing a coordinated and complementary fleet of spacecraft, called the Heliophysics System Observatory (HSO), to understand the Sun and its interactions with Earth and the solar system, including space weather. This presentation will focus on NASA's role in space weather research and the contributions the agency continues to provide to the science of space weather, leveraging inter-agency and international collaborations for the benefit of society.

  6. Next Generation Virtual Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, P.; McGuinness, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    Virtual Observatories (VO) are now being established in a variety of geoscience disciplines beyond their origins in Astronomy and Solar Physics. Implementations range from hydrology and environmental sciences to solid earth sciences. Among the goals of VOs are to provide search/ query, access and use of distributed, heterogeneous data resources. With many of these goals being met and usage increasing, new demands and requirements are arising. In particular there are two of immediate and pressing interest. The first is use of VOs by non-specialists, especially for information products that go beyond the usual data, or data products that are sought for scientific research. The second area is citation and attribution of artifacts that are being generated by VOs. In some sense VOs are re-publishing (re-packaging, or generating new synthetic) data and information products. At present only a few VOs address this need and it is clear that a comprehensive solution that includes publishers is required. Our work in VOs and related semantic data framework and integration areas has lead to a view of the next generation of virtual observatories which the two above-mentioned needs as well as others that are emerging. Both of the needs highlight a semantic gap, i.e. that the meaning and use for a user or users beyond the original design intention is very often difficult or impossible to bridge. For example, VOs created for experts with complex, arcane or jargon vocabularies are not accessible to the non-specialist and further, information products the non-specialist may use are not created or considered for creation. In the second case, use of a (possibly virtual) data or information product (e.g. an image or map) as an intellectual artifact that can be accessed as part of the scientific publication and review procedure also introduces terminology gaps, as well as services that VOs may need to provide. Our supposition is that formalized methods in semantics and semantic web

  7. Strasbourg Observatory Archives Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, A.

    2002-12-01

    Official talks in France and Germany after World War I were generally of hatred and revenge. Strasbourg Observatory had just changed nationality (from Prussian to French) for the first time (this would happen again at the outbreak of WWII and after the conflict). Documents show that astronomers did not share the general attitude. For example the inventory book started in German was continued in French after 1918. It is moving to see those different handwritings in two different languages on the same pages -- making of that book a unique document in various respects, but also reminding us that the native language of the region was in fact Alsacian.

  8. Acquirement of the observatory code of Langkawi National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loon, Chin Wei; Zainuddin, Mohd. Zambri; Ahmad, Nazhatulshima; Shukor, Muhammad Shamim; Tahar, Muhammad Redzuan

    2015-04-01

    Observatory code was assigned by The International Astronomical Union (IAU) Minor Planet Center (MPC) for a permanent observatory that intended to do astrometric CCD-observing program of minor planet or comets in solar system. The purpose of acquiring an observatory code is to document specific details about a particular observation site and the types of instruments used within the observatory. In addition, many astronomical centers and stations worldwide will know there is an active observatory at the particular location and international cooperation program in astronomy observation is possible. The Langkawi National Observatory has initiated an observation program to monitor minor planet, specifically those Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that may bring potentially hazardous to the Earth. In order to fulfil the requirement that stated by MPC for undertaking astrometric CCD-observing program, an observatory code was required. The instruments and methods that applied to obtain the observatory code will be discussed. The Langkawi National Observatory is now coded as O43 and listed in the MPC system, the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of major planets.

  9. Insolation and Resulting Surface Temperatures of the Kuiper-Rudaki Study Region on Mercury.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Karin E.; Hiesinger, Harald; D'Amore, Mario; Helbert, Jörn; Weinauer, Julia

    2016-04-01

    The imaging spectrometer MERTIS (Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer) is part of the payload of ESA's BepiColombo mission, which is scheduled for launch in 2017 [1]. The instrument consists of an IR-spectrometer and radiometer, which observe the surface in the wavelength range of 7-14 and 7-40μm, respectively. The four scientific objectives are to a) study Mercury's surface composition, b) identify rock-forming minerals, c) globally map the surface mineralogy and d) study surface temperature and thermal inertia [1, 2]. In preparation of the MERTIS experiment, we performed detailed thermal models of the lunar surface, which we extrapolated to Mercury. In order to calculate insolation and surface temperatures, we use a numerical model, which has been described by [7]. Surface temperatures are dependent on the surface and subsurface bulk thermophysical properties, such as bulk density, heat capacity, thermal conductivity, emissivity, topography, and albedo. Lunar and Mercurian surface temperatures show the same general characteristics. Both have very steep temperature gradients at sunrise and sunset, due to the lack of an atmosphere. However, there are major differences due to the orbital characteristics. On Mercury the 3:2 resonant rotation rate and the eccentric orbit causes local noon at longitudes 0° and 180° to coincide with perihelion, which leads to "hot poles". At longitudes 90° and 270° , local noon coincides with aphelion, which results in "cold poles" [8]. At these longitudes brief secondary sunrises and sunsets are visible, when Mercury's orbital angular velocity exceeds the spin rate during perihelion [8]. Here we present diurnal temperature curves of the Kuiper-Rudaki study region, based on thermophysical estimates and MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging [9]) albedo data with a resolution of 1000m/px. Our study region spans more than 90° along the equator, thus allowing us to study both, hot and

  10. Co1lisional Grooming Models of the Kuiper Belt Dust Cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Debris disks around other stars, like the disks around Fomalhaut, Vega, and Epsilon Eridani, are often described as more massive versions of the Kuiper Belt. But for a long time, it's been hard to test this notion, because grain-grain collisions limit the grain lifetimes and we lacked the tools to model the effects of these collisions on the appearance of the disks. I'll describe a new breakthrough that has allowed us to make 3-D models of grain-grain collisions in debris disks for the first time, and I'll show the latest supercomputer simulations of these systems, illustrating how planets and collisions together sculpt the TNO dust.

  11. SKARPS: The Search for Kuiper Belts around Radial-Velocity Planet Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryden, Geoffrey; Marshall, Jonathan; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Su, Kate; Wyatt, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The Search for Kuiper belts Around Radial-velocity Planet Stars - SKARPS -is a Herschel survey of solar-type stars known to have orbiting planets. When complete, the 100-star SKARPS sample will be large enough for a meaningful statistical comparison against stars not known to have planets. (This control sample has already been observed by Herschel's DUst around NEarby Stars - DUNES - key program). Initial results include previously known disks that are resolved for the first time and newly discovered disks that are fainter and colder than those typically detected by Spitzer. So far, with only half of the sample in hand, there is no measured correlation between inner RV planets and cold outer debris. While this is consistent with the results from Spitzer, it is in contrast with the relationship suggested by the prominent debris disks in imaged-planet systems.

  12. The Kuiper Belt, Exozodiacal Dust, Debris Disks: It's All About Collisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Debris disks around other stars, like the disks around Fomalhaut, Vega, and Epsilon Eridani, are often described as more massive versions of the Kuiper Belt. But for a long time, it's been hard to test this notion, because grain-grain collisions dominate the grain lifetimes and we lacked the tools to model the effect of collisions on the appearance of the disks. I'll describe a new breakthrough that has allowed us to make 3-D models of collisions in debris disks and exozodiacal clouds for the first time, and I'll show the latest supercomputer simulations of these systems, illustrating the effects of planets and collisions in sculpting these disks. These models will be the key to interpreting debris disk images from HST, Herschel, SOFIA, JWST, and ALMA, as well as understanding the exozodiacal dust backgrounds for direct imaging of exo-Earths.

  13. New Horizons: Long-Range Kuiper Belt Targets Observed by the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benecchi, S. D.; Noll, K. S.; Weaver, H. A.; Spencer, J. R.; Stern, S. A.; Buie, M. W.; Parker, A. H.

    2014-01-01

    We report on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of three Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), discovered in our dedicated ground-based search campaign, that are candidates for long-range observations from the New Horizons spacecraft: 2011 epochY31, 2011 HZ102, and 2013 LU35. Astrometry with HST enables both current and future critical accuracy improvements for orbit precision, required for possible New Horizons observations, beyond what can be obtained from the ground. Photometric colors of all three objects are red, typical of the Cold Classical dynamical population within which they reside; they are also the faintest KBOs to have had their colors measured. None are observed to be binary with HST above separations of approx. 0.02 arcsec (approx. 700 km at 44 AU) and delta m less than or equal to 0.5.

  14. Near-Infrared Colors of the Binary Kuiper Belt Object 1998 WW31

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takato, Naruhisa; Fuse, Tetsuharu; Gaessler, Wolfgang; Goto, Miwa; Kanzawa, Tomio; Kobayashi, Naoto; Minowa, Yosuke; Oya, Shin; Pyo, Tae-Soo; Saint-Jacque, D.; Takami, Hideki; Terada, Hiroshi; Hayano, Yutaka; Iye, Masanori; Kamata, Yukiko; Tokunaga, A. T.

    2003-06-01

    We have measured near-infrared colors of the binary Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 1998 WW31 using the Subaru Telescope with adaptive optics. The satellite was detected near its perigee and apogee (0.18'' and 1.2'' apart from the primary). The primary and the satellite have similar H-K colors, while the satellite is redder than the primary in J-H. Combined with the R band magnitude previously published by Veillet et al., 2002, the color of the primary is consistent with that of optically red KBOs. The satellite's R-, J-, H-colors suggest the presence of ~1 μm absorption band due to rock-forming minerals. If the surface of the satellite is mainly composed by olivine, the satellite's albedo is higher value than the canonically assumed value of 4%.

  15. Will New Horizons See Dust Clumps in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitense, Christian; Krivov, Alexander V.; Löhne, Torsten

    2014-06-01

    Debris disks are thought to be sculptured by neighboring planets. The same is true for the Edgeworth-Kuiper debris disk, yet no direct observational evidence for signatures of giant planets in the Kuiper Belt dust distribution has been found so far. Here we model the dust distribution in the outer solar system to reproduce the dust impact rates onto the dust detector on board the New Horizons spacecraft measured so far and to predict the rates during the Neptune orbit traverse. To this end, we take a realistic distribution of trans-Neptunian objects to launch a sufficient number of dust grains of different sizes and follow their orbits by including radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag, as well as the perturbations of four giant planets. In a subsequent statistical analysis, we calculate number densities and lifetimes of the dust grains in order to simulate a collisional cascade. In contrast to the previous work, our model not only considers collisional elimination of particles but also includes production of finer debris. We find that particles captured in the 3:2 resonance with Neptune build clumps that are not removed by collisions, because the depleting effect of collisions is counteracted by production of smaller fragments. Our model successfully reproduces the dust impact rates measured by New Horizons out to ≈23 AU and predicts an increase of the impact rate of about a factor of two or three around the Neptune orbit crossing. This result is robust with respect to the variation of the vaguely known number of dust-producing scattered disk objects, collisional outcomes, and the dust properties.

  16. A PHOTOMETRIC SYSTEM FOR DETECTION OF WATER AND METHANE ICES ON KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Trujillo, Chadwick A.; Sheppard, Scott S.; Schaller, Emily L. E-mail: sheppard@dtm.ciw.edu

    2011-04-01

    We present a new near-infrared photometric system for detection of water ice and methane ice in the solar system. The system consists of two medium-band filters in the K-band region of the near-infrared, which are sensitive to water ice and methane ice, plus continuum observations in the J band and Y band. The primary purpose of this system is to distinguish between three basic types of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs)-those rich in water ice, those rich in methane ice, and those with little absorbance. In this work, we present proof-of-concept observations of 51 KBOs using our filter system, 21 of which have never been observed in the near-infrared spectroscopically. We show that our custom photometric system is consistent with previous spectroscopic observations while reducing telescope observing time by a factor of {approx}3. We use our filters to identify Haumea collisional family members, which are thought to be collisional remnants of a much larger body and are characterized by large fractions of water ice on their surfaces. We add 2009 YE{sub 7} to the Haumea collisional family based on our water ice band observations (J - H{sub 2}O = -1.03 {+-} 0.27) which indicate a high amount of water ice absorption, our calculated proper orbital elements, and the neutral optical colors we measured, V - R = 0.38 {+-} 0.04, which are all consistent with the rest of the Haumea family. We identify several objects dynamically similar to Haumea as being distinct from the Haumea family as they do not have water ice on their surfaces. In addition, we find that only the largest KBOs have methane ice, and Haumea itself has significantly less water ice absorption than the smaller Haumea family members. We find no evidence for other families in the Kuiper Belt.

  17. The secular evolution of the Kuiper belt after a close stellar encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Punzo, D.; Capuzzo-Dolcetta, R.; Portegies Zwart, S.

    2014-11-01

    We show the effects of the perturbation caused by a passing by star on the Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) of our Solar system. The dynamics of the Kuiper belt (KB) is followed by direct N-body simulations. The sampling of the KB has been done with N up to 131 062, setting the KBOs on initially nearly circular orbits distributed in a ring of surface density Σ ˜ r-2. This modellization allowed us to investigate the secular evolution of the KB upon the encounter with the perturbing star. Actually, the encounter itself usually leads towards eccentricity and inclination distributions similar to observed ones, but tends also to excite the low-eccentricity population (e ≲ 0.1 around a ˜ 40 au from the Sun), depleting this region of low eccentricities. The following long-term evolution shows a `cooling' of the eccentricities repopulating the low-eccentricity area. In dependence on the assumed KBO mass spectrum and sampled number of bodies, this repopulation takes place in a time that goes from 0.5 to 100 Myr. Due to the unavoidable limitation in the number of objects in our long-term simulations (N ≤ 16 384), we could not consider a detailed KBO mass spectrum, accounting for low-mass objects, thus our present simulations are not reliable in constraining correlations among inclination distribution of the KBOs and other properties, such as their size distribution. However, our high-precision long-term simulations are a starting point for future larger studies on massively parallel computational platforms which will provide a deeper investigation of the secular evolution (˜100 Myr) of the KB over its whole mass spectrum.

  18. Interpretation of the Near-IR Spectra of the Kuiper Belt Object

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eluszkiewicz, Janusz; Cady-Pereira, Karen; Brown, Michael E.; Stansberry, John A.

    2007-01-01

    Visible and near-IR observations of the Kuiper Belt Object (136472) 2005 FY(9) have indicated the presence of unusually long (1 cm or more) optical path lengths in a layer of methane ice. Using microphysical and radiative transfer modeling, we show that even at the frigid temperatures in the outer reaches of the solar system, a slab of low porosity methane ice can indeed form by pressureless sintering of micron-sized grains, and it can qualitatively reproduce the salient features of the measured spectra. A good semiquantitative match with the near-IR spectra can be obtained with a realistic slab model, provided the spectra are scaled to a visible albedo of 0.6, at the low end of the values currently estimated from Spitzer thermal measurements. Consistent with previous modeling studies, matching spectra scaled to higher albedos requires the incorporation of strong backscattering effects. The albedo may become better constrained through an iterative application of the slab model to the analysis of the thermal measurements from Spitzer and the visible/near-IR reflectance spectra. The slab interpretation offers two falsifiable predictions (1) Absence of an opposition surge, which is commonly attributed to the fluffiness of the optical surface. This prediction is best testable with a spacecraft, as Earth-based observations at true opposition will not be possible until early next century. (2) Unlikelihood of the simultaneous occurrence of very long spectroscopic path lengths in both methane and nitrogen ice on the surface of any Kuiper Belt Object, as the more volatile nitrogen would hinder densification in methane ice.

  19. Will new horizons see dust clumps in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt?

    SciTech Connect

    Vitense, Christian; Krivov, Alexander V.; Löhne, Torsten

    2014-06-01

    Debris disks are thought to be sculptured by neighboring planets. The same is true for the Edgeworth-Kuiper debris disk, yet no direct observational evidence for signatures of giant planets in the Kuiper Belt dust distribution has been found so far. Here we model the dust distribution in the outer solar system to reproduce the dust impact rates onto the dust detector on board the New Horizons spacecraft measured so far and to predict the rates during the Neptune orbit traverse. To this end, we take a realistic distribution of trans-Neptunian objects to launch a sufficient number of dust grains of different sizes and follow their orbits by including radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag, as well as the perturbations of four giant planets. In a subsequent statistical analysis, we calculate number densities and lifetimes of the dust grains in order to simulate a collisional cascade. In contrast to the previous work, our model not only considers collisional elimination of particles but also includes production of finer debris. We find that particles captured in the 3:2 resonance with Neptune build clumps that are not removed by collisions, because the depleting effect of collisions is counteracted by production of smaller fragments. Our model successfully reproduces the dust impact rates measured by New Horizons out to ≈23 AU and predicts an increase of the impact rate of about a factor of two or three around the Neptune orbit crossing. This result is robust with respect to the variation of the vaguely known number of dust-producing scattered disk objects, collisional outcomes, and the dust properties.

  20. NEPTUNE'S WILD DAYS: CONSTRAINTS FROM THE ECCENTRICITY DISTRIBUTION OF THE CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth

    2012-05-01

    Neptune's dynamical history shaped the current orbits of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), leaving clues to the planet's orbital evolution. In the 'classical' region, a population of dynamically 'hot' high-inclination KBOs overlies a flat 'cold' population with distinct physical properties. Simulations of qualitatively different histories for Neptune, including smooth migration on a circular orbit or scattering by other planets to a high eccentricity, have not simultaneously produced both populations. We explore a general Kuiper Belt assembly model that forms hot classical KBOs interior to Neptune and delivers them to the classical region, where the cold population forms in situ. First, we present evidence that the cold population is confined to eccentricities well below the limit dictated by long-term survival. Therefore, Neptune must deliver hot KBOs into the long-term survival region without excessively exciting the eccentricities of the cold population. Imposing this constraint, we explore the parameter space of Neptune's eccentricity and eccentricity damping, migration, and apsidal precession. We rule out much of parameter space, except where Neptune is scattered to a moderately eccentric orbit (e > 0.15) and subsequently migrates a distance {Delta}a{sub N} = 1-6 AU. Neptune's moderate eccentricity must either damp quickly or be accompanied by fast apsidal precession. We find that Neptune's high eccentricity alone does not generate a chaotic sea in the classical region. Chaos can result from Neptune's interactions with Uranus, exciting the cold KBOs and placing additional constraints. Finally, we discuss how to interpret our constraints in the context of the full, complex dynamical history of the solar system.

  1. Structure and Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects: The Case for Compositional Classes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, William B.; Prialnik, D.; Stern, S. A.

    2007-10-01

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) accreted from a mélange of ices, carbonaceous matter, and rock of mixed interstellar and solar nebular provenance. The transneptunian region, where this accretion took place, was likely more radially compact than today. This and the influence of gas drag during the solar nebula epoch argue for more rapid KBO accretion than usually considered. Early evolution of KBOs was largely the result of radiogenic heating, with both short-term and long-term contributions being potentially important. Depending on rock content and porous conductivity, KBO interiors may have reached relatively high temperatures. Models suggest that KBOs likely lost very volatile ices during early evolution, whereas less volatile ices should be retained in cold, less altered subsurface layers; initially amorphous ice may have crystallized in the interior as well, releasing trapped volatiles. Generally, KBOs should be stratified in terms of composition and porosity, albeit subject to impact disruption and collisional stripping. KBOs are thus unlikely to be "the most pristine objects in the Solar System.” Large (dwarf planet) KBOs may be fully differentiated. KBO surface color and compositional classes are usually discussed in terms of "nature vs. nurture,” i.e., a generic primordial composition vs. surface processing, but the true nature of KBOs also depends on how they have evolved. The broad range of albedos now found in the Kuiper belt, deep water-ice absorptions on some objects, evidence for differentiation of Pluto and 2003 EL61, and a range of densities incompatible with a single, primordial composition and variable porosity strongly imply significant, intrinsic compositional differences among KBOs. The interplay of formation zone (accretion rate), body size, and dynamical (collisional) history may yield KBO compositional classes (and their spectral correlates) that recall the different classes of asteroids in the inner Solar System, but whose members are

  2. The Asiago Observatory's reflectogoniometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasier, S.; Pernechele, C.; Barbieri, C.

    1999-09-01

    We present the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory reflectogoniometer, a useful instrument which allows to perform laboratory studies of transmitted and diffuse light. In particular the instrument allows a complete characterization of the Bidirectional Reflectance Function (BDRF) for spherical shape samples and of the Transmittance Function for plane samples. The instrument is placed in an optical laboratory of the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory. Data are acquired by a CCD camera, equipped with its own frame grabber card, and analysed by a pc. Image calibration, i.e. the procedure that converts the value of each pixel of a CCD frame in a radiometric quantity, follows the standard sequence used for remote sensing application (bias, dark, flat fielding, distortion corrections, reflectogoniometric calibration, using a reflectometric standard), and it is implemented in a data reduction pipeline. The instrument tests performed until now have confirm that the imaging-goniophotometer is an instrument suitable for the quick characterization of diffusing surfaces in all the tree possible configuration: transmittance measurements (translucent plates), partial reflectance measurements (diffusing sheets), and bidirectional function characterization (coatings and paints). The goniophotometer may have different astronomical and industrial applications: it can be used for the characterization of absorbance properties of paints for baffling in spatial missions, of diffusive properties of flat field panels, of trasmittance properties of different glasses type and of reflective properties of rocks surfaces, like, for example, meteorites samples.

  3. Wendelstein Observatory Operations Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gössl, C. A.; Snigula, J. M.; Munzert, T.

    2014-05-01

    LMU München operates an astrophysical observatory on Mt. Wendelstein which has been equipped with a modern 2m-class telescope recently. The new Fraunhofer telescope is starting science operations now with a 64 Mpixel, 0.5°×0.5° FoV wide field camera and will successively be equipped with a three channel optical/NIR camera and two fibre coupled spectrographs (IFU spectrograph VIRUSW already in operation at the 2.7m McDonald, Texas and an upgraded Echelle spectrograph FOCES formerly operated at Calar Alto oberservatory, Spain). All instruments will be mounted simultaneously and can be activated within a minute. The observatory also operates a small 40cm telescope with a CCD-camera and a simple fibre coupled spectrograph for students lab and photometric monitoring as well as a large number of support equipment like a meteo station, allsky cameras, a multitude of webcams, in addition to a complex building control system environment. Here we describe the ongoing effort to build a centralised controlling interface for all. This includes remote/robotic operation, visualisation via browser technologies, and data processing and archiving.

  4. Wendelstein Observatory control software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gössl, Claus; Snigula, Jan; Kodric, Mihael; Riffeser, Arno; Munzert, Tobias

    2014-07-01

    LMU München operates an astrophysical observatory on Mt. Wendelstein1 which has been equipped with a modern 2m-class telescope2, 3 recently. The new Fraunhofer telescope has started science operations in autumn 2013 with a 64 Mpixel, 0:5 x 0:5 square degree FoV wide field camera,4 and will successively be equipped with a 3 channel optical/NIR camera5 and 2 fibre coupled spectrographs (IFU spectrograph VIRUSW6 already in operation at the 2.7 McDonald, Texas and an upgraded Echelle spectrograph FOCES7, 8 formerly operated at Calar Alto oberservatory, Spain). All instruments will be mounted simultaneously and can be activated within a minute. The observatory also operates a small 40cm telescope with a CCD-camera and a simple fibre coupled spectrograph for students lab and photometric monitoring as well as a large number of support equipment like a meteo station, allsky cameras, a multitude of webcams, in addition to a complex building control system environment. Here we describe the ongoing effort to build a centralised controlling interface for all hardware. This includes remote/robotic operation, visualisation via web browser technologies, and data processing and archiving.

  5. GPM Core Observatory Launch Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation depicts the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The launch is currently scheduled for Feb. 27, 2014....

  6. Robert G. Aitken and His ADS: Double Star Oberver, Cataloguer, Statistician, and Observatory Director

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    2000-05-01

    Robert G. Aitken was a dynamical astronomer of the old school, a long-time visual double star observer. He was born in 1864 in Jackson, California, a small town in the Gold Country midway between Yosemite and Sacramento. His education at Williams College under Truman Safford; his early teaching career at Livermore College and the University of the Pacific; his simultaneous graduate reading course in mathematics; and his becoming a professional astronomer under the tutelage of Edward S. Holden and Edward E. Barnard at Lick Observatory will be described. Aitken made a systematic survey of the entire sky north of -30 degrees for double stars, joined by William J. Hussey for a time. It produced important new information on binary and multiple stars and their orbits. His book The Binary Stars and his New General Catalogue of Double Stars (ADS) were his monuments. Aitken was associate director of Lick Observatory from 1923 until 1930, while W. W. Campbell was simultaneously director and president of the University of California. Then Aitken was director himself from 1930 until he retired in 1935 and moved to Berkeley, where he continued writing until his death in 1951. Aitken was editor of the PASP for 51 years. He hoped that Gerard P. Kuiper would succeed him as the double star observer at Lick Observatory, but that was not to be. Aitken at various times held every office in the ASP, and was vice president, then president, of the AAS.

  7. The Airborne Laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamberson, Steven E.

    2002-09-01

    The US Air Force Airborne Laser (ABL) is an airborne, megawatt-class laser system with a state-of-the-art atmospheric compensation system to destroy enemy ballistic missiles at long ranges. This system will provide both deterrence and defense against the use of such weapons during conflicts. This paper provides an overview of the ABL weapon system including: the notional operational concept, the development approach and schedule, the overall aircraft configuration, the technologies being incorporated in the ABL, and the risk reduction approach being utilized to ensure program success.

  8. Airborne oceanographic lidar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Specifications and preliminary design of an Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) system, which is to be constructed for installation and used on a NASA Wallops Flight Center (WFC) C-54 research aircraft, are reported. The AOL system is to provide an airborne facility for use by various government agencies to demonstrate the utility and practicality of hardware of this type in the wide area collection of oceanographic data on an operational basis. System measurement and performance requirements are presented, followed by a description of the conceptual system approach and the considerations attendant to its development. System performance calculations are addressed, and the system specifications and preliminary design are presented and discussed.

  9. Observatory ends scientific investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Peter M.

    The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-3), which was instrumental in the discovery of the first suspected black hole, wound up its scientific investigation at the end of 1980. Spacecraft science operations were terminated after 8½ years of operation. Named Copernicus, OAO-3 performed consistently beyond design specifications and 7½ years beyond project requirements. Its performance profile, according to the NASA-Goddard engineers and scientists, was ‘astonishing.’While formal scientific investigations were ended December 31, a series of engineering tests are still being made until February 15. At that time, all contact with the spacecraft will end. Project engineers are uncertain whether Copernicus will orient itself permanently toward the sun, begin a permanent orbital tumbling action, or a variation of both.

  10. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellerive, A.; Klein, J. R.; McDonald, A. B.; Noble, A. J.; Poon, A. W. P.

    2016-07-01

    This review paper provides a summary of the published results of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment that was carried out by an international scientific collaboration with data collected during the period from 1999 to 2006. By using heavy water as a detection medium, the SNO experiment demonstrated clearly that solar electron neutrinos from 8B decay in the solar core change into other active neutrino flavors in transit to Earth. The reaction on deuterium that has equal sensitivity to all active neutrino flavors also provides a very accurate measure of the initial solar flux for comparison with solar models. This review summarizes the results from three phases of solar neutrino detection as well as other physics results obtained from analyses of the SNO data.

  11. Orbiting Carbon Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Charles E.

    2005-01-01

    Human impact on the environment has produced measurable changes in the geological record since the late 1700s. Anthropogenic emissions of CO2 today may cause the global climate to depart for its natural behavior for many millenia. CO2 is the primary anthropogenic driver of climate change. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory goals are to help collect measurements of atmospheric CO2, answering questions such as why the atmospheric CO2 buildup varies annually, the roles of the oceans and land ecosystems in absorbing CO2, the roles of North American and Eurasian sinks and how these carbon sinks respond to climate change. The present carbon cycle, CO2 variability, and climate uncertainties due atmospheric CO2 uncertainties are highlighted in this presentation.

  12. The virtual observatory registry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demleitner, M.; Greene, G.; Le Sidaner, P.; Plante, R. L.

    2014-11-01

    In the Virtual Observatory (VO), the Registry provides the mechanism with which users and applications discover and select resources-typically, data and services-that are relevant for a particular scientific problem. Even though the VO adopted technologies in particular from the bibliographic community where available, building the Registry system involved a major standardisation effort, involving about a dozen interdependent standard texts. This paper discusses the server-side aspects of the standards and their application, as regards the functional components (registries), the resource records in both format and content, the exchange of resource records between registries (harvesting), as well as the creation and management of the identifiers used in the system based on the notion of authorities. Registry record authors, registry operators or even advanced users thus receive a big picture serving as a guideline through the body of relevant standard texts. To complete this picture, we also mention common usage patterns and open issues as appropriate.

  13. NASA Airborne Lidar July 1991

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2016-05-26

    NASA Airborne Lidar July 1991 Data from the 1991 NASA Langley Airborne Lidar flights following the eruption of Pinatubo in July ... and Osborn [1992a, 1992b]. Project Title:  NASA Airborne Lidar Discipline:  Field Campaigns ...

  14. NASA Airborne Lidar May 1992

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2016-05-26

    NASA Airborne Lidar May 1992 An airborne Nd:YAG (532 nm) lidar was operated by the NASA Langley Research Center about a year following the June 1991 eruption of ... Osborn [1992a, 1992b].  Project Title:  NASA Airborne Lidar Discipline:  Field Campaigns ...

  15. Global geodetic observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, Claude; Pearlman, Mike; Sarti, Pierguido

    2015-01-01

    Global geodetic observatories (GGO) play an increasingly important role both for scientific and societal applications, in particular for the maintenance and evolution of the reference frame and those applications that rely on the reference frame for their viability. The International Association of Geodesy (IAG), through the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS), is fully involved in coordinating the development of these systems and ensuring their quality, perenniality and accessibility. This paper reviews the current role, basic concepts, and some of the critical issues associated with the GGOs, and advocates for their expansion to enhance co-location with other observing techniques (gravity, meteorology, etc). The historical perspective starts with the MERIT campaign, followed by the creation of international services (IERS, IGS, ILRS, IVS, IDS, etc). It provides a basic definition of observing systems and observatories and the build up of the international networks and the role of co-locations in geodesy and geosciences and multi-technique processing and data products. This paper gives special attention to the critical topic of local surveys and tie vectors among co-located systems in sites; the agreement of space geodetic solutions and the tie vectors now place one of the most significant limitations on the quality of integrated data products, most notably the ITRF. This topic focuses on survey techniques, extrapolation to instrument reference points, computation techniques, systematic biases, and alignment of the individual technique reference frames into ITRF. The paper also discusses the design, layout and implementation of network infrastructure, including the role of GGOS and the benefit that would be achieved with better standardization and international governance.

  16. Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, E. W.

    1992-03-01

    This document is a technical progress report on work performed at the University of Pennsylvania during the current year on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory project. The motivation for the experiment is the measurement of neutrinos emitted by the sun. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is a second generation dedicated solar neutrino experiment which will extend the results of our work with the Kamiokande II detector by measuring three reactions of neutrinos rather than the single reaction measured by the Kamiokande experiment. The collaborative project includes physicists from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Full funding for the construction of this facility was obtained in Jan. 1990, and its construction is estimated to take five years. The motivation for the SNO experiment is to study the fundamental properties of neutrinos, in particular the mass and mixing parameters, which remain undetermined after decades of experiments in neutrino physics utilizing accelerators and reactors as sources of neutrinos. To continue the study of neutrino properties it is necessary to use the sun as a neutrino source. The long distance to the sun makes the search for neutrino mass sensitive to much smaller mass than can be studied with terrestrial sources. Furthermore, the matter density in the sun is sufficiently large to enhance the effects of small mixing between electron neutrinos and mu or tau neutrinos. This experiment, when combined with the results of the radiochemical Cl-37 and Ga-71 experiments and the Kamiokande II experiment, should extend our knowledge of these fundamental particles, and as a byproduct, improve our understanding of energy generation in the sun.

  17. Global Ionosphere Radio Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galkin, I. A.; Reinisch, B. W.; Huang, X. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Global Ionosphere Radio Observatory (GIRO) comprises a network of ground-based high-frequency vertical sounding sensors, ionosondes, with instrument installations in 27 countries and a central Lowell GIRO Data Center (LGDC) for data acquisition and assimilation, including 46 real-time data streams as of August 2014. The LGDC implemented a suite of technologies for post-processing, modeling, analysis, and dissemination of the acquired and derived data products, including: (1) IRI-based Real-time Assimilative Model, "IRTAM", that builds and publishes every 15-minutes an updated "global weather" map of the peak density and height in the ionosphere, as well as a map of deviations from the classic IRI climate; (2) Global Assimilative Model of Bottomside Ionosphere Timelines (GAMBIT) Database and Explorer holding 15 years worth of IRTAM computed maps at 15 minute cadence;. (3) 17+ million ionograms and matching ionogram-derived records of URSI-standard ionospheric characteristics and vertical profiles of electron density; (4) 10+ million records of the Doppler Skymaps showing spatial distributions over the GIRO locations and plasma drifts; (5) Data and software for Traveling Ionospheric Disturbance (TID) diagnostics; and (6) HR2006 ray tracing software mated to the "realistic" IRTAM ionosphere. In cooperation with the URSI Ionosonde Network Advisory Group (INAG), the LGDC promotes cooperative agreements with the ionosonde observatories of the world to accept and process real-time data of HF radio monitoring of the ionosphere, and to promote a variety of investigations that benefit from the global-scale, prompt, detailed, and accurate descriptions of the ionospheric variability.

  18. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

    It is quite common, when reading popular books on astronomy, to see a place referred to as "the oldest observatory in the world". In addition, numerous books on archaeoastronomy, of various levels of quality, frequently refer to the existence of "prehistoric" or "ancient" observatories when describing or citing monuments that were certainly not built with the primary purpose of observing the skies. Internet sources are also guilty of this practice. In this chapter, the different meanings of the word observatory will be analyzed, looking at how their significances can be easily confused or even interchanged. The proclaimed "ancient observatories" are a typical result of this situation. Finally, the relevance of the concept of the ancient observatory will be evaluated.

  19. Airborne antenna pattern calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knerr, T. J.; Schaffner, P. R.; Mielke, R. R.; Gilreath, M. C.

    1980-01-01

    A procedure for numerically calculating radiation patterns of fuselage-mounted airborne antennas using the Volumetric Pattern Analysis Program is presented. Special attention is given to aircraft modeling. An actual case study involving a large commercial aircraft is included to illustrate the analysis procedure.

  20. Recognizing Airborne Hazards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Christian M.

    1990-01-01

    The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in older buildings often do not adequately handle air-borne contaminants. Outlines a three-stage Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessment and describes a case in point at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, school. (MLF)

  1. Airborne Fraunhofer Line Discriminator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gabriel, F. C.; Markle, D. A.

    1969-01-01

    Airborne Fraunhofer Line Discriminator enables prospecting for fluorescent materials, hydrography with fluorescent dyes, and plant studies based on fluorescence of chlorophyll. Optical unit design is the coincidence of Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum occurring at the characteristic wavelengths of some fluorescent materials.

  2. Airborne Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    NASA imaging technology has provided the basis for a commercial agricultural reconnaissance service. AG-RECON furnishes information from airborne sensors, aerial photographs and satellite and ground databases to farmers, foresters, geologists, etc. This service produces color "maps" of Earth conditions, which enable clients to detect crop color changes or temperature changes that may indicate fire damage or pest stress problems.

  3. International Symposium on Airborne Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogi, Toru; Ito, Hisatoshi; Kaieda, Hideshi; Kusunoki, Kenichiro; Saltus, Richard W.; Fitterman, David V.; Okuma, Shigeo; Nakatsuka, Tadashi

    2006-05-01

    Airborne geophysics can be defined as the measurement of Earth properties from sensors in the sky. The airborne measurement platform is usually a traditional fixed-wing airplane or helicopter, but could also include lighter-than-air craft, unmanned drones, or other specialty craft. The earliest history of airborne geophysics includes kite and hot-air balloon experiments. However, modern airborne geophysics dates from the mid-1940s when military submarine-hunting magnetometers were first used to map variations in the Earth's magnetic field. The current gamut of airborne geophysical techniques spans a broad range, including potential fields (both gravity and magnetics), electromagnetics (EM), radiometrics, spectral imaging, and thermal imaging.

  4. Consequences of planetary migration: Kuiper belt dynamics and atmospheric escape from hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray-Clay, Ruth Ann

    The current resonance structure of the Kuiper belt suggests that during the late stages of planet formation, Neptune migrated outward as it scattered residual planetesimal debris. Extrasolar planetary systems also show evidence for planetary migration. Approximately 1/5 of the extrasolar planets discovered to date are "hot Jupiters," which likely exchanged angular momentum with gas disks, migrating large distances inward to reach their current semi-major axes of ~0.05 AU. In this thesis, I discuss three consequences of planetary migration. (1) During its migration, Neptune captured Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) into mean motion resonances. The current spatial distribution of KBOs in a particular resonance, the 2:1, acts as a celestial speedometer--fast planetary migration generates a larger population of 2:1 resonant KBOs trailing rather than leading Neptune on the sky. We provide an explanation of this phenomenon for the first time. Central to our understanding is how planetary migration shifts the equilibrium points of the superposed direct and indirect potentials felt by a KBO. The currently observed distribution of 2:1 KBOs excludes total migration times < 20 Myr with >99.65% confidence and is statistically consistent with the even population generated by slow migration. However, these observations are beset by systematic uncertainties. Observations with new telescopes such as PanSTARRS or LSST will tell us how quickly Neptune could have migrated. (2) Neptune's migration, powered by scattering planetesimal debris, was stochastic ("noisy"). Extreme stochasticity defeats resonance capture. We construct a theory analogous to Brownian motion for how a planet's orbital semi-major axis fluctuates in response to random planetesimal scatterings. The degree of stochasticity in Neptune's migration depends both on the sizes of the planetesimals driving migration and on their orbital elements and cannot currently be computed using N-body simulations. We find that capture of

  5. THE DENSITY OF MID-SIZED KUIPER BELT OBJECT 2002 UX25 AND THE FORMATION OF THE DWARF PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.

    2013-12-01

    The formation of the largest objects in the Kuiper belt, with measured densities of ∼1.5 g cm{sup –3} and higher, from the coagulation of small bodies, with measured densities below 1 g cm{sup –3}, is difficult to explain without invoking significant porosity in the smallest objects. If such porosity does occur, measured densities should begin to increase at the size at which significant porosity is no longer supported. Among the asteroids, this transition occurs for diameters larger than ∼350 km. In the Kuiper belt, no density measurements have been made between ∼350 km and ∼850 km, the diameter range where porosities might first begin to drop. Objects in this range could provide key tests of the rock fraction of small Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). Here we report the orbital characterization, mass, and density determination of the 2002 UX25 system in the Kuiper belt. For this object, with a diameter of ∼650 km, we find a density of 0.82 ± 0.11 g cm{sup –3}, making it the largest solid known object in the solar system with a measured density below that of pure water ice. We argue that the porosity of this object is unlikely to be above ∼20%, suggesting a low rock fraction. If the currently measured densities of KBOs are a fair representation of the sample as a whole, creating ∼1000 km and larger KBOs with rock mass fractions of 70% and higher from coagulation of small objects with rock fractions as low as those inferred from 2002 UX25 is difficult.

  6. Structure of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt (EKB) Dust Disk and Implications for Extrasolar Planet(s) epsilon Eridani

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liou, J. -C.; Zook, H. A.; Greaves, J. S.; Holland, W. S.; Boehnhardt, H.; Hahn, J. M.

    2000-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the orbital evolution of dust particles from Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt (EKB) objects show that the three giant planets, Neptune, Jupiter, and Saturn impose distinct and dramatic signatures on the overall distribution of EKB dust particles. The features are very similar to those observed in the dust disk around the nearby star Eridani. Numerical simulations of dust particles in the epsilon Eridani system show that planetary perturbations may be responsible for the observed features

  7. Missions to the Outer Solar System and Beyond - Concept Study for a Kuiper Belt Sample-Return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganapathy, Rohan M.

    The exploration of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) might deliver crucial data for answering questions about the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. Whereas the current New Horizons mission performs a flyby at KBOs, an in-depth exploration of the Kuiper belt requires an orbiter, lander or even a sample return. In this paper, we present a range of potential mission architectures for a Kuiper belt sample return mission. We use the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) for the necessary modeling and the systems engineering tool MagicDraw. A process similar to the NASA Rapid Mission Architecture approach was used. We start with a rationale a KBO sample return, dene science objectives, high-level requirements and select a strawman payload. From a key trade-matrix, mission architecture options are generated. Finally, necessary technologies and prerequisites for the mission are identied. We conclude that one of the dwarf planets Pluto, Haumea, Orcus or Quaoar and their moons should be considered as a target for the mission. The samples should be collected from the dwarf planet of choice or from its moon(s), which omits the rather high velocity requirements for a landing and departure from the dwarf planet itself. Attractive mission architectures include radioisotopic electric propulsion-based missions, missions with a combination of a solar electric propulsion stage and radioisotopic electric propulsion, or missions using nuclear electric propulsion.

  8. A CHANGE IN THE LIGHT CURVE OF KUIPER BELT CONTACT BINARY (139775) 2001 QG{sub 298}

    SciTech Connect

    Lacerda, Pedro

    2011-09-15

    New observations show that the light curve of Kuiper Belt contact binary (139775) 2001 QG{sub 298} has changed substantially since the first observations in 2003. The 2010 light curve has a peak-to-peak photometric range of {Delta}m{sub 2010} = 0.7 {+-} 0.1 mag, significantly lower than in 2003, {Delta}m{sub 2003} = 1.14 {+-} 0.04 mag. This change is most simply interpreted if 2001 QG{sub 298} has an obliquity near 90{sup 0}. The observed decrease in {Delta}m is caused by a change in viewing geometry, from equator-on in 2003 to nearly 16{sup 0} (the orbital angular distance covered by the object between the observations) off the equator in 2010. The 2003 and 2010 light curves have the same rotation period and appear in phase when shifted by an integer number of full rotations, also consistent with high obliquity. Based on the new 2010 light curve data, we find that 2001 QG{sub 298} has an obliquity of {epsilon} = 90{sup 0} {+-} 30{sup 0}. Current estimates of the intrinsic fraction of contact binaries in the Kuiper Belt are debiased assuming that these objects have randomly oriented spins. If, as 2001 QG2{sub 98}, Kuiper Belt Object contact binaries tend to have large obliquities, a larger correction is required. As a result, the abundance of contact binaries may be larger than previously believed.

  9. RETENTION OF A PRIMORDIAL COLD CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT IN AN INSTABILITY-DRIVEN MODEL OF SOLAR SYSTEM FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Batygin, Konstantin; Brown, Michael E.; Fraser, Wesley C.

    2011-09-01

    The cold classical population of the Kuiper Belt exhibits a wide variety of unique physical characteristics, which collectively suggest that its dynamical coherence has been maintained throughout the solar system's lifetime. Simultaneously, the retention of the cold population's relatively unexcited orbital state has remained a mystery, especially in the context of a solar system formation model, that is driven by a transient period of instability, where Neptune is temporarily eccentric. Here, we show that the cold belt can survive the instability, and its dynamical structure can be reproduced. We develop a simple analytical model for secular excitation of cold Kuiper Belt objects and show that comparatively fast apsidal precession and nodal recession of Neptune, during the eccentric phase, are essential for preservation of an unexcited state in the cold classical region. Subsequently, we confirm our results with self-consistent N-body simulations. We further show that contamination of the hot classical and scattered populations by objects of similar nature to that of cold classicals has been instrumental in shaping the vast physical diversity inherent to the Kuiper Belt.

  10. Final Technical Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, D. A.

    1997-01-01

    Support for reduction and analysis of observations made with the Yorkes Observatory 60-channel far infrared camera on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory was funded through Federal Grant. Data was reduced and made available to the research group at Yorkes and guest observers, The reduced date is indexed on the World Wide Web. Portion of the data have been reported in the attached references.

  11. Klimovskaya: A new geomagnetic observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soloviev, A. A.; Sidorov, R. V.; Krasnoperov, R. I.; Grudnev, A. A.; Khokhlov, A. V.

    2016-05-01

    In 2011 Geophysical Center RAS (GC RAS) began to deploy the Klimovskaya geomagnetic observatory in the south of Arkhangelsk region on the territory of the Institute of Physiology of Natural Adaptations, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IPNA UB RAS). The construction works followed the complex of preparatory measures taken in order to confirm that the observatory can be constructed on this territory and to select the optimal configuration of observatory structures. The observatory equipping stages are described in detail, the technological and design solutions are described, and the first results of the registered data quality control are presented. It has been concluded that Klimovskaya observatory can be included in INTERMAGNET network. The observatory can be used to monitor and estimate geomagnetic activity, because it is located at high latitudes and provides data in a timely manner to the scientific community via the web-site of the Russian-Ukrainian Geomagnetic Data Center. The role of ground observatories such as Klimovskaya remains critical for long-term observations of secular variation and for complex monitoring of the geomagnetic field in combination with low-orbiting satellite data.

  12. The Solar Dynamics Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, William D.

    2008-01-01

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first Space Weather Mission in NASA's Living With a Star Program. SDO's main goal is to understand, driving towards a predictive capability, those solar variations that influence life on Earth and humanity's technological systems. The past decade has seen an increasing emphasis on understanding the entire Sun, from the nuclear reactions at the core to the development and loss of magnetic loops in the corona. SDO's three science investigations (HMI, AIA, and EVE) will determine how the Sun's magnetic field is generated and structured, how this stored magnetic energy is released into the heliosphere and geospace as the solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance. SDO will return full-disk Dopplergrams, full-disk vector magnetograms, full-disk images at nine EIUV wavelengths, and EUV spectral irradiances, all taken at a rapid cadence. This means you can 'observe the database' to study events, but we can also move forward in producing quantitative models of what the Sun is doing today. SDO is scheduled to launch in 2008 on an Atlas V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite will fly in a 28 degree inclined geosynchronous orbit about the longitude of New Mexico, where a dedicated Ka-band ground station will receive the 150 Mbps data flow. How SDO data will transform the study of the Sun and its affect on Space Weather studies will be discussed.

  13. Architecture of Chinese Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Chen-Zhou; Zhao, Yong-Heng

    2004-06-01

    Virtual Observatory (VO) is brought forward under the background of progresses of astronomical technologies and information technologies. VO architecture design embodies the combination of above two technologies. As an introduction of VO, principle and workflow of Virtual Observatory are given firstly. Then the latest progress on VO architecture is introduced. Based on the Grid technology, layered architecture model and service-oriented architecture model are given for Chinese Virtual Observatory. In the last part of the paper, some problems on architecture design are discussed in detail.

  14. Development of Mykolaiv Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazhaev, A.; Protsyuk, Yu.

    Results obtained in 2010-2013 on the development of astronomical databases and web services are presented. Mykolaiv Virtual Observatory (MVO) is a part of the Ukrainian Virtual Observatory (UkrVO). At present, MVO consists of three major databases containing data on: astrometric catalogues, photographic plates, CCD observations. The databases facilitate the process of data mining and provide easy access to the textual and graphic information on the results of observations and their reduction obtained during the whole history of Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO).

  15. OSO-6 Orbiting Solar Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The description, development history, test history, and orbital performance analysis of the OSO-6 Orbiting Solar Observatory are presented. The OSO-6 Orbiting Solar Observatory was the sixth flight model of a series of scientific spacecraft designed to provide a stable platform for experiments engaged in the collection of solar and celestial radiation data. The design objective was 180 days of orbital operation. The OSO-6 has telemetered an enormous amount of very useful experiment and housekeeping data to GSFC ground stations. Observatory operation during the two-year reporting period was very successful except for some experiment instrument problems.

  16. Three steps toward understanding the dynamical structure of the Kuiper belt (and what it means for Neptune's migration)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorny, David

    2015-11-01

    Much of the dynamical structure of the Kuiper belt can be explained if Neptune migrated over several AU, and/or if Neptune was scattered to an eccentric orbit during planetary instability.Step 1: An outstanding problem with the previous migration/instability models is that the distribution of orbital inclinations they predict is narrower than the one inferred from observations. Here we perform numerical simulations of the Kuiper belt formation starting from an initial state with Neptune at 20Kuiper belt in the simulations. We find that the inclination constraint implies that Neptune's migration was slow (tau > 10 Myr) and long range (a_N < 25 AU).Step 2: A particularly puzzling and up-to-now unexplained feature of the Kuiper belt is the so-called `kernel', a concentration of orbits with semimajor axes a=44 AU, eccentricities e=0.05, and inclinations i<5 deg. Here we show that the Kuiper belt kernel can be explained if Neptune's migration was interrupted by a discontinuous change of Neptune's semimajor axis when Neptune reached 28 AU (jumping-Neptune model).Step 3: The existing migration/instability models invariably predict an excessively large resonant population, while observations show that the non-resonant orbits are in fact more common (e.g., Plutinos in the 3:2 resonance represent only ~1/3 of the main belt population). Here we show that the observed population statistic implies that Neptune's migration was grainy, as expected from scattering encounters of Neptune with massive planetesimals. Our preferred fit to observations suggests that the outer planetesimal disk below 30 AU contained ~2000 bodies with mass comparable to that of Pluto.Together, these results imply that Neptune's migration was slow, long-range and grainy

  17. THE CANADA-FRANCE ECLIPTIC PLANE SURVEY-L3 DATA RELEASE: THE ORBITAL STRUCTURE OF THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Kavelaars, J. J.; Jones, R. L.; Murray, I.; Gladman, B. J.; Petit, J.-M.; Van Laerhoven, C.; Parker, Joel Wm.; Bieryla, A.; Nicholson, P.; Margot, J. L.; Rousselot, P.; Mousis, O.; Scholl, H.; Marsden, B.; Benavidez, P.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Doressoundiram, A.; Veillet, C.

    2009-06-15

    We report the orbital distribution of the trans-Neptunian comets discovered during the first discovery year of the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS). CFEPS is a Kuiper Belt object survey based on observations acquired by the Very Wide component of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (LS-VW). The first year's detections consist of 73 Kuiper Belt objects, 55 of which have now been tracked for three years or more, providing precise orbits. Although this sample size is small compared to the world-wide inventory, because we have an absolutely calibrated and extremely well-characterized survey (with known pointing history) we are able to de-bias our observed population and make unbiased statements about the intrinsic orbital distribution of the Kuiper Belt. By applying the (publically available) CFEPS Survey Simulator to models of the true orbital distribution and comparing the resulting simulated detections to the actual detections made by the survey, we are able to rule out several hypothesized Kuiper Belt object orbit distributions. We find that the main classical belt's so-called 'cold' component is confined in semimajor axis (a) and eccentricity (e) compared to the more extended 'hot' component; the cold component is confined to lower e and does not stretch all the way out to the 2:1 resonance but rather depletes quickly beyond a = 45 AU. For the cold main classical belt population we find a robust population estimate of N(H{sub g} < 10) = 50 {+-} 5 x 10{sup 3} and find that the hot component of the main classical belt represents {approx}60% of the total population. The inner classical belt (sunward of the 3:2 mean-motion resonance) has a population of roughly 2000 trans-Neptunian objects with absolute magnitudes H{sub g} < 10, and may not share the inclination distribution of the main classical belt. We also find that the plutino population lacks a cold low-inclination component, and so, the population is somewhat larger than recent estimates

  18. Migration of Matter from the Edgeworth-Kuiper and Main Asteroid Belts to the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ipatov. S. I.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The main asteroid belt (MAB), the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt (EKB), and comets belong to the main sources of dust in the Solar System. Most of Jupiter-family comets came from the EKB. Comets can be distracted due to close encounters with planets and the Sun, collisions with small bodies, a nd internal forces. We support the Eneev's idea that the largest objects in the ELB and MAB could be formed directly by the compression of rarefied dust condensations of the protoplanetary cloud but not by the accretion of small (for example, 1-km) planetesimals. The total mass of planetesimals that entered the EKB from the feeding zone of the giant planets during their accumulation could exceed tens of Earth's masses. These planetesimals increased eccentricities of 'local' trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and swept most of these TNOs. A small portion of such planetesimals could left beyond Neptune's orbit in highly eccentric orbits. The results of previous investigations of migration and collisional evolution of minor bodies were summarized. Mainly our recent results are presented.

  19. Orbital clustering of distant Kuiper belt objects by hypothetical Planet 9. Secular or resonant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beust, H.

    2016-05-01

    Context. Statistical analysis of the orbits of distant Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) has led to the suggestion that an additional planet should reside in the solar system. According to recent models, the secular action of this body should cause orbital alignment of the KBOs. Aims: It was recently claimed that the KBOs affected by these dynamics are presumably trapped in mean-motion resonances with the suspected planet. I reinvestigate here the secular model underlying this idea. Methods: The original analysis was carried out by expanding and truncating the secular Hamiltonian. I show that this is inappropriate, as the series expansion is not convergent. I present a study based on numerical computation of the Hamiltonian with no expansion. Results: I show in phase-space diagrams the existence of apsidally anti-aligned, high eccentricity libration islands that were not present in the original modelling, but match numerical simulations. These island were claimed to correspond to bodies trapped in mean-motion resonances with the hypothetical planet and match the characteristics of the distant KBOs observed. Conclusions: My main result is that regular secular dynamics can account for the anti-aligned particles itself as well as mean-motion resonances. I also perform a semi-analytical study of resonant motion and show that some resonance are actually capable of producing the same libration islands. I then discuss the relative importance of both mechanisms.

  20. Growth of asteroids, planetary embryos, and Kuiper belt objects by chondrule accretion

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Anders; Low, Mordecai-Mark Mac; Lacerda, Pedro; Bizzarro, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas drag–assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo runaway accretion of chondrules within ~3 My, forming planetary embryos up to Mars’s size along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of millimeter-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disc lifetime outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is minor. In contrast, planetesimal accretion and chondrule accretion play more equal roles in the formation of Moon-sized embryos in the terrestrial planet formation region. These embryos are isolated from each other and accrete planetesimals only at a low rate. However, the continued accretion of chondrules destabilizes the oligarchic configuration and leads to the formation of Mars-sized embryos and terrestrial planets by a combination of direct chondrule accretion and giant impacts. PMID:26601169

  1. Nature or nurture of coplanar Tatooines: the aligned circumbinary Kuiper belt analogue around HD 131511

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Grant M.

    2015-02-01

    A key discovery of the Kepler mission is of the circumbinary planets known as `Tatooines', which appear to be well aligned with their host stars' orbits. Whether this alignment is due to initially coplanar circumbinary planet-forming discs (i.e. nature), or subsequent alignment of initially misaligned discs by warping the inner disc or torquing the binary (i.e. nurture), is not known. Tests of which scenario dominates may be possible by observing circumbinary Kuiper belt analogues (`debris discs'), which trace the plane of the primordial disc. Here, the 140 au diameter circumbinary debris disc around HD 131511 is shown to be aligned to within 10° of the plane of the near edge-on 0.2 au binary orbit. The stellar equator is also consistent with being in this plane. If the primordial disc was massive enough to pull the binary into alignment, this outcome should be common and distinguishing nature versus nurture will be difficult. However, if only the inner disc becomes aligned with the binary, the HD 131511 system was never significantly misaligned. Given an initial misalignment, the ˜ Gyr main-sequence lifetime of the star allows secular perturbations to align the debris disc out to 100 au at the cost of an increased scaleheight. The observed debris disc scaleheight limits any misalignment to less than 25°. With only a handful known, many more such systems need to be characterized to help test whether the alignment of circumbinary planets is nature or nurture.

  2. Targeted Recovery of 2014A Candidate Kuiper Belt Objects for New Horizons Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Alex; Spencer, John; Buie, Marc; Stern, S. Alan; Tholen, David; Trilling, David; Fuentes, Cesar

    2014-08-01

    We propose to recover up to three Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) discovered as part of a survey searching for candidate KBO targets for NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to visit after the 2015 Pluto encounter. The first flyby of a small ( 50km) KBO would revolutionize out understanding of this population, and the environment they are embedded in. Our survey has been allocated substantial time in 2014A on Magellan and Subaru to search for faint encounter candidates (r 26-26.4). Discovery observations will be insufficient to identify true encounter candidates, and follow-up observations in the 2014B semester will be required to refine candidate KBOs' orbital properties sufficiently to determine if New Horizons can reach a given object with its remaining fuel. Given expected discovery astrometry, we can robustly rank candidates for follow-up, and selecting three candidates for follow-up observations will be sufficient to recover one true encounter candidate at greater than 99% confidence. Here we propose for 6 hours of TOO time for this targeted follow-up of our highest-priority 2014A discoveries using GMOS on Gemini North. These follow-up observations will increase the precision and accuracy of our orbit measurements, and will refine the sample of candidate KBOs by improving our ability to discriminate between accessible and non-accessible objects.

  3. Prerequisites for explosive cryovolcanism on dwarf planet-class Kuiper belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neveu, M.; Desch, S. J.; Shock, E. L.; Glein, C. R.

    2015-01-01

    Explosive extrusion of cold material from the interior of icy bodies, or cryovolcanism, has been observed on Enceladus and, perhaps, Europa, Triton, and Ceres. It may explain the observed evidence for a young surface on Charon (Pluto's surface is masked by frosts). Here, we evaluate prerequisites for cryovolcanism on dwarf planet-class Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We first review the likely spatial and temporal extent of subsurface liquid, proposed mechanisms to overcome the negative buoyancy of liquid water in ice, and the volatile inventory of KBOs. We then present a new geochemical equilibrium model for volatile exsolution and its ability to drive upward crack propagation. This novel approach bridges geophysics and geochemistry, and extends geochemical modeling to the seldom-explored realm of liquid water at subzero temperatures. We show that carbon monoxide (CO) is a key volatile for gas-driven fluid ascent; whereas CO2 and sulfur gases only play a minor role. N2, CH4, and H2 exsolution may also drive explosive cryovolcanism if hydrothermal activity produces these species in large amounts (a few percent with respect to water). Another important control on crack propagation is the internal structure: a hydrated core makes explosive cryovolcanism easier, but an undifferentiated crust does not. We briefly discuss other controls on ascent such as fluid freezing on crack walls, and outline theoretical advances necessary to better understand cryovolcanic processes. Finally, we make testable predictions for the 2015 New Horizons flyby of the Pluto-Charon system.

  4. TAOS: Taiwan-American Occultation Survey of Comet-Sized Objects in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Several dozen minor planets with radii greater than 100 km have been detected beyond Neptune using large telescopes. The TAOS project is to measure directly the number of these KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) down to the typical size of cometary nuclei (a few km) and out as far as approximately 100 AU from the Sun. Because of their large distance, small sizes and presumed low albedos, these target objects are extremely faint. Three 50 cm wide field robotic telescopes with 2048 x 2048 CCD cameras will be deployed along a 7 km east-west baseline in or near Jade Mountain National Park in Taiwan. They will monitor approximately 3000 stars for occultations by KBOs in a coincidence mode, so that the sequence and timing of the three separate blinkings can be used to distinguish real events from false alarms. Follow-up imaging observations using large telescopes will yield albedos and orbits for some of the larger objects detected by TAOS. A fourth telescope on a north-south spur to refine the size information on occulting GABON is also being contemplated.

  5. Growth of asteroids, planetary embryos, and Kuiper belt objects by chondrule accretion.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Anders; Low, Mordecai-Mark Mac; Lacerda, Pedro; Bizzarro, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas drag-assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo runaway accretion of chondrules within ~3 My, forming planetary embryos up to Mars's size along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of millimeter-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disc lifetime outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is minor. In contrast, planetesimal accretion and chondrule accretion play more equal roles in the formation of Moon-sized embryos in the terrestrial planet formation region. These embryos are isolated from each other and accrete planetesimals only at a low rate. However, the continued accretion of chondrules destabilizes the oligarchic configuration and leads to the formation of Mars-sized embryos and terrestrial planets by a combination of direct chondrule accretion and giant impacts. PMID:26601169

  6. ON A POSSIBLE SIZE/COLOR RELATIONSHIP IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Pike, R. E.; Kavelaars, J. J.

    2013-10-01

    Color measurements and albedo distributions introduce non-intuitive observational biases in size-color relationships among Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that cannot be disentangled without a well characterized sample population with systematic photometry. Peixinho et al. report that the form of the KBO color distribution varies with absolute magnitude, H. However, Tegler et al. find that KBO color distributions are a property of object classification. We construct synthetic models of observed KBO colors based on two B-R color distribution scenarios: color distribution dependent on H magnitude (H-Model) and color distribution based on object classification (Class-Model). These synthetic B-R color distributions were modified to account for observational flux biases. We compare our synthetic B-R distributions to the observed ''Hot'' and ''Cold'' detected objects from the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey and the Meudon Multicolor Survey. For both surveys, the Hot population color distribution rejects the H-Model, but is well described by the Class-Model. The Cold objects reject the H-Model, but the Class-Model (while not statistically rejected) also does not provide a compelling match for data. Although we formally reject models where the structure of the color distribution is a strong function of H magnitude, we also do not find that a simple dependence of color distribution on orbit classification is sufficient to describe the color distribution of classical KBOs.

  7. The size and albedo of the Kuiper-belt object (20000) Varuna.

    PubMed

    Jewitt, D; Aussel, H; Evans, A

    2001-05-24

    Observations over the last decade have revealed the existence of a large number of bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune. Known as the Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs), they are believed to be formed in the outer reaches of the protoplanetary disk around the young Sun, and have been little altered since then. They are probably the source of short-period comets. The KBOs are, however, difficult objects to study because of their distance from earth, so even basic physical properties such as their sizes and albedos remain unknown. Previous size estimates came from assuming an albedo with the canonical value being 0.04. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermal emission and reflected optical light of the bright KBO (20000) Varuna, which allow us to determine independently both the size and the albedo. Varuna has an equivalent circular diameter of D = 900+129-145 km and a red geometric albedo of pR = 0.070+0.030-0.017. Its surface is darker than Pluto's, suggesting that it is largely devoid of fresh ice, but brighter than previously assumed for KBOs. PMID:11373669

  8. Dispersal of Disks Around Young Stars: Constraints on Kuiper Belt Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, David; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We review the evidence pertaining to the lifetimes of planet-forming disks and discuss possible disk dispersal mechanisms: 1) viscous accretion of material onto the central source; 2) close stellar encounters; 3) stellar winds; and 4) photoevaporation by ultraviolet radiation. We focus on 3) and 4) and describe the quasi-steady state appearance and the overall evolution of disks under the influence of winds and radiation from the central star and of radiation from external OB stars. Viscous accretion likely dominates disk dispersal in the inner disk (r approx. <= 10 AU), while photoevaporation is the principal process of disk dispersal outside of r approx. >= 10 AU for low mass stars. Disk dispersal timescales are compared and discussed in relation to theoretical estimates for planet formation timescales. Photoevaporation may explain the large differences in the hydrogen content of the giant planets in the solar system. The commonly held belief that our early sun's stellar wind dispersed the solar nebula is called into question. Finally, we study the constraints that the evaporation of the outer disk has on the formation of Kuiper belts in extrasolar planetary systems.

  9. A giant impact origin for Pluto's small moons and satellite multiplicity in the Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    Stern, S A; Weaver, H A; Steffl, A J; Mutchler, M J; Merline, W J; Buie, M W; Young, E F; Young, L A; Spencer, J R

    2006-02-23

    The two newly discovered satellites of Pluto (P1 and P2) have masses that are small compared to both Pluto and Charon-that is, between 5 x 10(-4) and 1 x 10(-5) of Pluto's mass, and between 5 x 10(-3) and 1 x 10(-4) of Charon's mass. This discovery, combined with the constraints on the absence of more distant satellites of Pluto, reveal that Pluto and its moons comprise an unusual, highly compact, quadruple system. These facts naturally raise the question of how this puzzling satellite system came to be. Here we show that P1 and P2's proximity to Pluto and Charon, the fact that P1 and P2 are on near-circular orbits in the same plane as Pluto's large satellite Charon, along with their apparent locations in or near high-order mean-motion resonances, all probably result from their being constructed from collisional ejecta that originated from the Pluto-Charon formation event. We also argue that dust-ice rings of variable optical depths form sporadically in the Pluto system, and that rich satellite systems may be found--perhaps frequently--around other large Kuiper belt objects. PMID:16495992

  10. Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU.

    PubMed

    Tegler, S C; Romanishin, W

    2000-10-26

    Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are an ancient reservoir of comets beyond Neptune's orbit. Some of these objects were recently found to have the reddest optical colours in the Solar System, but the number of objects for which accurate colours were available was too small for any correlation to be discerned between colour and physical or dynamical properties, which might shed light on the origin of these objects. Here we report that all nine of the KBOs in our survey on near-circular (low-eccentricity) orbits with perihelion distances larger than 40 AU have extremely red surfaces, thereby connecting an observable property with a dynamical class. Of the objects with orbital eccentricities greater than 0.1, about half are also very red, while the rest have colours similar to the Sun, meaning that reflected sunlight is not strongly modified by the objects' surface properties. In addition, of the 13 'classical' KBOs (those with semimajor axis a approximately 45 AU and eccentricity e < 0.15), the ten that are very red are in orbits with small angles of inclination to the ecliptic, whereas the three with solar colours are all in high-inclination orbits. We suggest that these three 'grey' classical KBOs may be part of a dynamical group that is separate from the 'red' classical KBOs. PMID:11069171

  11. Dynamical Heating Induced by Dwarf Planets on Cold Kuiper Belt–like Debris Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, M. A.; Pichardo, B.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.; Peimbert, A.

    2015-10-01

    With the use of long-term numerical simulations, we study the evolution and orbital behavior of cometary nuclei in cold Kuiper belt–like debris disks under the gravitational influence of dwarf planets (DPs); we carry out these simulations with and without the presence of a Neptune-like giant planet. This exploratory study shows that in the absence of a giant planet, 10 DPs are enough to induce strong radial and vertical heating on the orbits of belt particles. On the other hand, the presence of a giant planet close to the debris disk, acts as a stability agent reducing the radial and vertical heating. With enough DPs, even in the presence of a Neptune-like giant planet some radial heating remains; this heating grows steadily, re-filling resonances otherwise empty of cometary nuclei. Specifically for the solar system, this secular process seems to be able to provide material that, through resonant chaotic diffusion, increase the rate of new comets spiraling into the inner planetary system, but only if more than the ∼10 known DP sized objects exist in the trans-Neptunian region.

  12. A Chemical and Dynamical Link Between Red Centaur Objects and the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegler, Stephen C.; Romanishin, William; Consolmagno, Guy

    2015-11-01

    We present new B-V, V-R, and B-R colors for 32 Centaurs objects using the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) near Happy Jack, AZ and the 1.8-meter Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mt. Graham, AZ. Combining these new colors with our previously reported colors, we now have optical broad-band colors for 58 Centaur objects.Application of the non-parametric Dip Test to our previous sample of only 26 objects showed Centaurs split into gray and red groups at the 99.5% confidence level, and application of the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test to the same sample showed that red Centaurs have a higher median albedo than gray Centaurs at the 99% confidence level (Tegler et al., 2008, Solar System Beyond Neptune, U Arizona Press, pp. 105-114).Here we report application of the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test to our sample of 58 Centaurs. We confirm red Centaurs have a higher median albedo than gray Centaurs at the 99.7% level. In addition, we find that red Centaurs have a lower median inclination angle than gray Centaurs at the 99.5% confidence level. Because of their red colors and lower inclination angles, we suggest red Centaurs originate in the cold classical Kuiper belt. We thank the NASA Solar System Observations Program for its support.

  13. Environmental Impact Specification for Direct Space Weathering of Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.

    2010-01-01

    The Direct Space Weathering Project of NASA's Outer Planets Research Program addresses specification of the plasma and energetic particle environments for irradiation and surface chemical processing of icy bodies in the outer solar system and the local interstellar medium. Knowledge of the radiation environments is being expanded by ongoing penetration of the twin Voyager spacecraft into the heliosheath boundary region of the outer heliosphere and expected emergence within the next decade into the very local interstellar medium. The Voyager measurements are being supplemented by remote sensing from Earth orbit of energetic neutral atom emission from this boundary region by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Although the Voyagers long ago passed the region of the Classical Kuiper Belt, the New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto in 2015 and thereafter explore one or more KBOs, meanwhile providing updated measurements of the heliospheric radiation environment in this region. Modeling of ion transport within the heliosphere allows specification of time-integrated irradiation effects while the combination of Voyager and IBEX data supports projection of the in-situ measurements into interstellar space beyond the heliosheath. Transformation of model ion flux distributions into surface sputtering and volume ionization profiles provides a multi-layer perspective for space weathering impact on the affected icy bodies and may account for some aspects of color and compositional diversity. Other important related factors may include surface erosion and gardening by meteoritic impacts and surface renewal by cryovolcanism. Chemical products of space weathering may contribute to energy resources for the latter.

  14. [Air-borne disease].

    PubMed

    Lameiro Vilariño, Carmen; del Campo Pérez, Victor M; Alonso Bürger, Susana; Felpeto Nodar, Irene; Guimarey Pérez, Rosa; Pérez Alvarellos, Alberto

    2003-11-01

    Respiratory protection is a factor which worries nursing professionals who take care of patients susceptible of transmitting microorganisms through the air more as every day passes. This type of protection covers the use of surgical or hygienic masks against the transmission of infection by airborne drops to the use of highly effective masks or respirators against the transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis or SARS, a recently discovered disease. The adequate choice of this protective device and its correct use are fundamental in order to have an effective protection for exposed personnel. The authors summarize the main protective respiratory devices used by health workers, their characteristics and degree of effectiveness, as well as the circumstances under which each device is indicated for use. PMID:14705591

  15. Airborne forest fire research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattingly, G. S.

    1974-01-01

    The research relating to airborne fire fighting systems is reviewed to provide NASA/Langley Research Center with current information on the use of aircraft in forest fire operations, and to identify research requirements for future operations. A literature survey, interview of forest fire service personnel, analysis and synthesis of data from research reports and independent conclusions, and recommendations for future NASA-LRC programs are included.

  16. MLS airborne antenna research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, C. L.; Burnside, W. D.

    1975-01-01

    The geometrical theory of diffraction was used to analyze the elevation plane pattern of on-aircraft antennas. The radiation patterns for basic elements (infinitesimal dipole, circumferential and axial slot) mounted on fuselage of various aircrafts with or without radome included were calculated and compared well with experimental results. Error phase plots were also presented. The effects of radiation patterns and error phase plots on the polarization selection for the MLS airborne antenna are discussed.

  17. History of the Marseille Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prévot, Marie-Louise; Caplan, James

    The Marseille Observatory was founded in 1702 by the Jesuit order. It was located near the Vieux Port until the 1860s, when it was taken over as an annex to the Paris Observatory, directed by Le Verrier, and moved to its present location on the Plateau Longchamp. It again became independent in 1873. For information on the early history of the observatory we are largely indebted to F.X. von Zach, who spent several years in Marseille, and who was a good friend of J. Thulis, director from 1801 to 1810. Some aspects of the foundation and early history of the observatory, and of the lives of some of the astronomers who worked there, are presented and illustrated. Our collection of old instruments and documents are described.

  18. Haystack Observatory Technology Development Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaudoin, Chris; Corey, Brian; Niell, Arthur; Cappallo, Roger; Whitney, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Technology development at MIT Haystack Observatory were focused on four areas in 2012: VGOS developments at GGAO; Digital backend developments and workshop; RFI compatibility at VLBI stations; Mark 6 VLBI data system development.

  19. Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    This chapter is a brief survey of astronomical instruments being used and developed in Islamic territories from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries as well as a concise account of major observatories and observational programs in this period.

  20. The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helou, George; Kessler, Martin F.

    1995-01-01

    ISO, scheduled to launch in 1995, will carry into orbit the most sophisticated infrared observatory of the decade. Overviews of the mission, instrument payload and scientific program are given, along with a comparison of the strengths of ISO and SOFIA.

  1. Airborne field strength monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bredemeyer, J.; Kleine-Ostmann, T.; Schrader, T.; Münter, K.; Ritter, J.

    2007-06-01

    In civil and military aviation, ground based navigation aids (NAVAIDS) are still crucial for flight guidance even though the acceptance of satellite based systems (GNSS) increases. Part of the calibration process for NAVAIDS (ILS, DME, VOR) is to perform a flight inspection according to specified methods as stated in a document (DOC8071, 2000) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). One major task is to determine the coverage, or, in other words, the true signal-in-space field strength of a ground transmitter. This has always been a challenge to flight inspection up to now, since, especially in the L-band (DME, 1GHz), the antenna installed performance was known with an uncertainty of 10 dB or even more. In order to meet ICAO's required accuracy of ±3 dB it is necessary to have a precise 3-D antenna factor of the receiving antenna operating on the airborne platform including all losses and impedance mismatching. Introducing precise, effective antenna factors to flight inspection to achieve the required accuracy is new and not published in relevant papers yet. The authors try to establish a new balanced procedure between simulation and validation by airborne and ground measurements. This involves the interpretation of measured scattering parameters gained both on the ground and airborne in comparison with numerical results obtained by the multilevel fast multipole algorithm (MLFMA) accelerated method of moments (MoM) using a complex geometric model of the aircraft. First results will be presented in this paper.

  2. Mutagenicity of airborne particles.

    PubMed

    Chrisp, C E; Fisher, G L

    1980-09-01

    The physical and chemical properties of airborne particles are important for the interpretation of their potential biologic significance as genotoxic hazards. For polydisperse particle size distributions, the smallest, most respirable particles are generally the most mutagenic. Particulate collection for testing purposes should be designed to reduce artifact formation and allow condensation of mutagenic compounds. Other critical factors such as UV irradiation, wind direction, chemical reactivity, humidity, sample storage, and temperature of combustion are important. Application of chemical extraction methods and subsequent class fractionation techniques influence the observed mutagenic activity. Particles from urban air, coal fly ash, automobile and diesel exhaust, agricultural burning and welding fumes contain primarily direct-acting mutagens. Cigarette smoke condensate, smoke from charred meat and protein pyrolysates, kerosene soot and cigarette smoke condensates contain primarily mutagens which require metabolic activation. Fractionation coupled with mutagenicity testing indicates that the most potent mutagens are found in the acidic fractions of urban air, coal fly ash, and automobile diesel exhaust, whereas mutagens in rice straw smoke and cigarette smoke condensate are found primarily in the basic fractions. The interaction of the many chemical compounds in complex mixtures from airborne particles is likely to be important in determining mutagenic or comutagenic potentials. Because the mode of exposure is generally frequent and prolonged, the presence of tumor-promoting agents in complex mixtures may be a major factor in evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of airborne particles. PMID:7005667

  3. Airborne wireless communication systems, airborne communication methods, and communication methods

    DOEpatents

    Deaton, Juan D.; Schmitt, Michael J.; Jones, Warren F.

    2011-12-13

    An airborne wireless communication system includes circuitry configured to access information describing a configuration of a terrestrial wireless communication base station that has become disabled. The terrestrial base station is configured to implement wireless communication between wireless devices located within a geographical area and a network when the terrestrial base station is not disabled. The circuitry is further configured, based on the information, to configure the airborne station to have the configuration of the terrestrial base station. An airborne communication method includes answering a 911 call from a terrestrial cellular wireless phone using an airborne wireless communication system.

  4. Sofia Observatory Performance and Characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Temi, Pasquale; Miller, Walter; Dunham, Edward; McLean, Ian; Wolf, Jurgen; Becklin, Eric; Bida, Tom; Brewster, Rick; Casey, Sean; Collins, Peter; Jakob, Holger; Killebrew, Jana; Lampater, Ulrich; Mandushev, Georgi; Marcum, Pamela; Meyer, Allan; Pfueller, Enrico; Reinacher, Andreas; Roeser, Hans-Peter; Savage, Maureen; Teufel, Stefan; Wiedemann, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has recently concluded a set of engineering flights for Observatory performance evaluation. These in-flight opportunities have been viewed as a first comprehensive assessment of the Observatory's performance and will be used to address the development activity that is planned for 2012, as well as to identify additional Observatory upgrades. A series of 8 SOFIA Characterization And Integration (SCAI) flights have been conducted from June to December 2011. The HIPO science instrument in conjunction with the DSI Super Fast Diagnostic Camera (SFDC) have been used to evaluate pointing stability, including the image motion due to rigid-body and flexible-body telescope modes as well as possible aero-optical image motion. We report on recent improvements in pointing stability by using an Active Mass Damper system installed on Telescope Assembly. Measurements and characterization of the shear layer and cavity seeing, as well as image quality evaluation as a function of wavelength have been performed using the HIPO+FLITECAM Science Instrument configuration (FLIPO). A number of additional tests and measurements have targeted basic Observatory capabilities and requirements including, but not limited to, pointing accuracy, chopper evaluation and imager sensitivity. SCAI activities included in-flight partial Science Instrument commissioning prior to the use of the instruments as measuring engines. This paper reports on the data collected during the SCAI flights and presents current SOFIA Observatory performance and characterization.

  5. NASA's Earth Venture-1 (EV-1) Airborne Science Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guillory, A.; Denkins, T.; Allen, B. Danette; Braun, Scott A.; Crawford, James H.; Jensen, Eric J.; Miller, Charles E.; Moghaddam, Mahta; Maring, Hal

    2011-01-01

    In 2010, NASA announced the first Earth Venture (EV-1) selections in response to a recommendation made by the National Research Council for low-cost investigations fostering innovation in Earth science. The five EV-1 investigations span the Earth science focus areas of atmosphere, weather, climate, water and energy and, carbon and represent earth science researchers from NASA as well as other government agencies, academia and industry from around the world. The EV-1 missions are: 1) Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS), 2) Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), 3) Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), 4) Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ), and 5) Hurricane And Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3). The Earth Venture missions are managed out of the Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program Office (Allen, et. al. 2010b)

  6. EARLY SCIENCE WITH SOFIA, THE STRATOSPHERIC OBSERVATORY FOR INFRARED ASTRONOMY

    SciTech Connect

    Young, E. T.; Becklin, E. E.; De Buizer, J. M.; Andersson, B.-G.; Casey, S. C.; Helton, L. A.; Marcum, P. M.; Roellig, T. L.; Temi, P.; Herter, T. L.; Guesten, R.; Dunham, E. W.; Backman, D.; Burgdorf, M.; Caroff, L. J.; Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.; Gehrz, R. D.; Harper, D. A.; Harvey, P. M.; and others

    2012-04-20

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is an airborne observatory consisting of a specially modified Boeing 747SP with a 2.7 m telescope, flying at altitudes as high as 13.7 km (45,000 ft). Designed to observe at wavelengths from 0.3 {mu}m to 1.6 mm, SOFIA operates above 99.8% of the water vapor that obscures much of the infrared and submillimeter. SOFIA has seven science instruments under development, including an occultation photometer, near-, mid-, and far-infrared cameras, infrared spectrometers, and heterodyne receivers. SOFIA, a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft und-Raumfahrt, began initial science flights in 2010 December, and has conducted 30 science flights in the subsequent year. During this early science period three instruments have flown: the mid-infrared camera FORCAST, the heterodyne spectrometer GREAT, and the occultation photometer HIPO. This Letter provides an overview of the observatory and its early performance.

  7. The Carl Sagan solar and stellar observatories as remote observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saucedo-Morales, J.; Loera-Gonzalez, P.

    In this work we summarize recent efforts made by the University of Sonora, with the goal of expanding the capability for remote operation of the Carl Sagan Solar and Stellar Observatories, as well as the first steps that have been taken in order to achieve autonomous robotic operation in the near future. The solar observatory was established in 2007 on the university campus by our late colleague A. Sánchez-Ibarra. It consists of four solar telescopes mounted on a single equatorial mount. On the other hand, the stellar observatory, which saw the first light on 16 February 2010, is located 21 km away from Hermosillo, Sonora at the site of the School of Agriculture of the University of Sonora. Both observatories can now be remotely controlled, and to some extent are able to operate autonomously. In this paper we discuss how this has been accomplished in terms of the use of software as well as the instruments under control. We also briefly discuss the main scientific and educational objectives, the future plans to improve the control software and to construct an autonomous observatory on a mountain site, as well as the opportunities for collaborations.

  8. Applying Squeaky-Wheel Optimization Schedule Airborne Astronomy Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, Jeremy; Kuerklue, Elif

    2004-01-01

    We apply the Squeaky Wheel Optimization (SWO) algorithm to the problem of scheduling astronomy observations for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, an airborne observatory. The problem contains complex constraints relating the feasibility of an astronomical observation to the position and time at which the observation begins, telescope elevation limits, special use airspace, and available fuel. Solving the problem requires making discrete choices (e.g. selection and sequencing of observations) and continuous ones (e.g. takeoff time and setting up observations by repositioning the aircraft). The problem also includes optimization criteria such as maximizing observing time while simultaneously minimizing total flight time. Previous approaches to the problem fail to scale when accounting for all constraints. We describe how to customize SWO to solve this problem, and show that it finds better flight plans, often with less computation time, than previous approaches.

  9. MEASURING THE ABUNDANCE OF SUB-KILOMETER-SIZED KUIPER BELT OBJECTS USING STELLAR OCCULTATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Schlichting, Hilke E.; Ofek, Eran O.; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Sari, Re'em; Nelan, Edmund P.; Livio, Mario; Wenz, Michael; Muirhead, Philip; Javanfar, Nikta

    2012-12-20

    We present here the analysis of about 19,500 new star hours of low ecliptic latitude observations (|b| {<=} 20 Degree-Sign ) obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope's Fine Guidance Sensors over a time span of more than nine years, which is in addition to the {approx}12, 000 star hours previously analyzed by Schlichting et al. Our search for stellar occultations by small Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) yielded one new candidate event corresponding to a body with a 530 {+-} 70 m radius at a distance of about 40 AU. Using bootstrap simulations, we estimate a probability of Almost-Equal-To 5% that this event is due to random statistical fluctuations within the new data set. Combining this new event with the single KBO occultation reported by Schlichting et al. we arrive at the following results: (1) the ecliptic latitudes of 6. Degree-Sign 6 and 14. Degree-Sign 4 of the two events are consistent with the observed inclination distribution of larger, 100-km-sized KBOs. (2) Assuming that small, sub-kilometer-sized KBOs have the same ecliptic latitude distribution as their larger counterparts, we find an ecliptic surface density of KBOs with radii larger than 250 m of N(r > 250 m) = 1.1{sup +1.5}{sub -0.7} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} deg{sup -2}; if sub-kilometer-sized KBOs have instead a uniform ecliptic latitude distribution for -20 Degree-Sign < b < 20 Degree-Sign then N(r > 250 m) = 4.4{sup +5.8}{sub -2.8} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} deg{sup -2}. This is the best measurement of the surface density of sub-kilometer-sized KBOs to date. (3) Assuming the KBO size distribution can be well described by a single power law given by N(> r){proportional_to}r{sup 1-q}, where N(> r) is the number of KBOs with radii greater than r, and q is the power-law index, we find q = 3.8 {+-} 0.2 and q = 3.6 {+-} 0.2 for a KBO ecliptic latitude distribution that follows the observed distribution for larger, 100-km-sized KBOs and a uniform KBO ecliptic latitude distribution for -20 Degree

  10. Dynamic Tensile Strength of Low Temperature Ice and Kuiper Belt Size Distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; Fat'yanov, O. V.; Engelhardt, H.; Fraser, W. C.

    2009-09-01

    We model mutual gravitationally driven impact interactions in a nearly gas-free environment of the Kuiper belt (KB) and use low-temperature (< 100 K) ice dynamic strength dependent collisional out-come (accretion vs. erosion and fragmentation) models. These lead to theoretically predictable distributions of object number density, vs. mass distributions. These derived mass distributions are comparable to the now rapidly growing KB survey data. Tensional failure of single and polycrystalline ice in the temperature range from 263 to 128 K was measured for high strain rate, c.a. 104 s-1, dynamic loading conditions. Experiments, similar to Lange and Ahrens(1991)(LA), were conducted using a gas gun launched Lexan projectile. The liquid nitrogen cooled ice target approaching KB-like temperatures was partially confined, rather than using the LA confined geometry. Another set of experiments used a drop tube projectile launcher within the 263 K Caltech Ice Laboratory and at 163 K in a liquid nitrogen cooled chamber. New experiments give tensile strengths of 7.6±1.5 MPa at 263 K and 9.1±1.5 MPa at 163 K for unconfined, free of visual initial defects and measurable imperfections ice samples. The new strengths are lower than the earlier LA data ( 17 MPa). The major differences arise from ice target assembly. LA used polycrystalline ice samples confined in annular stainless steel target rings. New measurements were partially confined, in not initially contacting concentric target rings. Later shots used unconfined configurations with ice pellets affixed to aluminum foil. Circumferential confinement is known to increase the material damage threshold upon both compression and tensile loading. Previous confinement in LA is the main cause of the above discrepancy. Present tensile strengths are only a few times higher than 0.7 - 3.0 MPa summarized in Petrovic (2003) for quasistatic tension at 10-7 to 10-3 s-1 strain rate.

  11. Comet-like mineralogy of olivine crystals in an extrasolar proto-Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    de Vries, B L; Acke, B; Blommaert, J A D L; Waelkens, C; Waters, L B F M; Vandenbussche, B; Min, M; Olofsson, G; Dominik, C; Decin, L; Barlow, M J; Brandeker, A; Di Francesco, J; Glauser, A M; Greaves, J; Harvey, P M; Holland, W S; Ivison, R J; Liseau, R; Pantin, E E; Pilbratt, G L; Royer, P; Sibthorpe, B

    2012-10-01

    Some planetary systems harbour debris disks containing planetesimals such as asteroids and comets. Collisions between such bodies produce small dust particles, the spectral features of which reveal their composition and, hence, that of their parent bodies. A measurement of the composition of olivine crystals (Mg(2-2x)Fe(2x)SiO(4)) has been done for the protoplanetary disk HD 100546 (refs 3, 4) and for olivine crystals in the warm inner parts of planetary systems. The latter compares well with the iron-rich olivine in asteroids (x ≈ 0.29). In the cold outskirts of the β Pictoris system, an analogue to the young Solar System, olivine crystals were detected but their composition remained undetermined, leaving unknown how the composition of the bulk of Solar System cometary olivine grains compares with that of extrasolar comets. Here we report the detection of the 69-micrometre-wavelength band of olivine crystals in the spectrum of β Pictoris. Because the disk is optically thin, we can associate the crystals with an extrasolar proto-Kuiper belt a distance of 15-45 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Sun-Earth distance), determine their magnesium-rich composition (x = 0.01 ± 0.001) and show that they make up 3.6 ± 1.0 per cent of the total dust mass. These values are strikingly similar to those for the dust emitted by the most primitive comets in the Solar System, even though β Pictoris is more massive and more luminous and has a different planetary system architecture. PMID:23038467

  12. OBSERVED BINARY FRACTION SETS LIMITS ON THE EXTENT OF COLLISIONAL GRINDING IN THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorny, David; Vokrouhlicky, David; Bottke, William F.; Levison, Harold F.; Noll, Keith

    2011-05-15

    The size distribution in the cold classical Kuiper Belt (KB) can be approximated by two idealized power laws: one with steep slope for radii R > R* and one with shallow slope for R < R*, where R* {approx} 25-50 km. Previous works suggested that the size frequency distribution (SFD) rollover at R* can be the result of extensive collisional grinding in the KB that led to the catastrophic disruption of most bodies with R < R*. Here, we use a new code to test the effect of collisions in the KB. We find that the observed rollover could indeed be explained by collisional grinding provided that the initial mass in large bodies was much larger than the one in the present KB and was dynamically depleted. In addition to the size distribution changes, our code also tracks the effects of collisions on binary systems. We find that it is generally easier to dissolve wide binary systems, such as the ones existing in the cold KB today, than to catastrophically disrupt objects with R {approx} R*. Thus, the binary survival sets important limits on the extent of collisional grinding in the KB. We find that the extensive collisional grinding required to produce the SFD rollover at R* would imply a strong gradient of the binary fraction with R and separation, because it is generally easier to dissolve binaries with small components and/or those with wide orbits. The expected binary fraction for R {approx}< R* is {approx}<0.1. The present observational data do not show such a gradient. Instead, they suggest a large binary fraction of {approx}0.4 for R = 30-40 km. This may indicate that the rollover was not produced by disruptive collisions, but is instead a fossil remnant of the KB object formation process.

  13. SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY OBSERVATIONS OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS: COLORS AND VARIABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Ofek, Eran O.

    2012-04-10

    Colors of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are used to study the evolutionary processes of bodies in the outskirts of the solar system and to test theories regarding their origin. Here I describe a search for serendipitous Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) observations of known TNOs and Centaurs. I present a catalog of SDSS photometry, colors, and astrometry of 388 measurements of 42 outer solar system objects. I find weak evidence, at the Almost-Equal-To 2{sigma} level (per trial), for a correlation between the g - r color and inclination of scattered disk objects and hot classical Kuiper Belt objects. I find a correlation between the g - r color and the angular momentum in the z direction of all the objects in this sample. These findings should be verified using larger samples of TNOs. Light curves as a function of phase angle are constructed for 13 objects. The steepness of the slopes of these light curves suggests that the coherent backscatter mechanism plays a major role in the reflectivity of outer solar system small objects at small phase angles. I find weak evidence for an anticorrelation, significant at the 2{sigma} confidence level (per trial), between the g-band phase-angle slope parameter and the semimajor axis, as well as the aphelion distance, of these objects (i.e., they show a more prominent 'opposition effect' at smaller distances from the Sun). However, this plausible correlation should be verified using a larger sample. I discuss the origin of this possible correlation and argue that if this correlation is real it probably indicates that 'Sedna'-like objects have a different origin than other classes of TNOs. Finally, I identify several objects with large variability amplitudes.

  14. GEOSCOPE Observatory Recent Developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, N.; Pardo, C.; Bonaime, S.; Stutzmann, E.; Maggi, A.

    2010-12-01

    The GEOSCOPE observatory consists of a global seismic network and a data center. The 31 GEOSCOPE stations are installed in 19 countries, across all continents and on islands throughout the oceans. They are equipped with three component very broadband seismometers (STS1 or STS2) and 24 or 26 bit digitizers, as required by the Federation of Seismic Digital Network (FDSN). In most stations, a pressure gauge and a thermometer are also installed. Currently, 23 stations send data in real or near real time to GEOSCOPE Data Center and tsunami warning centers. In 2009, two stations (SSB and PPTF) have been equipped with warpless base plates. Analysis of one year of data shows that the new installation decreases long period noise (20s to 1000s) by 10 db on horizontal components. SSB is now rated in the top ten long period stations for horizontal components according to the LDEO criteria. In 2010, Stations COYC, PEL and RER have been upgraded with Q330HR, Metrozet electronics and warpless base plates. They have been calibrated with the calibration table CT-EW1 and the software jSeisCal and Calex-EW. Aluminum jars are now installed instead of glass bells. A vacuum of 100 mbars is applied in the jars which improves thermal insulation of the seismometers and reduces moisture and long-term corrosion in the sensor. A new station RODM has just been installed in Rodrigues Island in Mauritius with standard Geoscope STS2 setup: STS2 seismometer on a granite base plate and covered by cooking pot and thermal insulation, it is connected to Q330HR digitizer, active lightning protection, Seiscomp PC and real-time internet connection. Continuous data of all stations are collected in real time or with a delay by the GEOSCOPE Data Center in Paris where they are validated, archived and made available to the international scientific community. Data are freely available to users by different interfaces according data types (see : http://geoscope.ipgp.fr) - Continuous data in real time coming

  15. PHARUS airborne SAR concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snoeij, Paul; Pouwels, Henk; Koomen, Peter J.; Hoogeboom, Peter

    1995-11-01

    PHARUS (phased array universal SAR) is an airborne SAR concept which is being developed in the Netherlands. The PHARUS system differs from other airborne SARs by the use of a phased array antenna, which provides both for the flexibility in the design as well as for a compact, light-weight instrument that can be carried on small aircraft. The concept allows for the construction of airborne SAR systems on a common generic basis but tailored to specific user needs and can be seen as a preparation for future spaceborne SAR systems using solid state transmitters with electronically steerable phased array antenna. The whole approach is aimed at providing an economic and yet technically sophisticated solution to remote sensing or surveying needs of a specific user. The solid state phased array antenna consists of a collection of radiating patches; the design flexibility for a large part resides in the freedom to choose the number of patches, and thereby the essential radar performance parameters such as resolution and swath width. Another consequence of the use of the phased array antenna is the system's compactness and the possibility to rigidly mount it on a small aircraft. The use of small aircraft of course considerably improves the cost/benefit ratio of the use of airborne SAR. Flight altitude of the system is flexible between about 7,000 and 40,000 feet, giving much operational freedom within the meteo and airspace control limits. In the PHARUS concept the airborne segment is complemented by a ground segment, which consists of a SAR processor, possibly extended by a matching image processing package. (A quick look image is available in real-time on board the aircraft.) The SAR processor is UNIX based and runs on easily available hardware (SUN station). Although the additional image processing software is available, the SAR processing software is nevertheless designed to be able to interface with commercially available image processing software, as well as being able

  16. Airborne radioactive contamination monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Whitley, C.R.; Adams, J.R.; Bounds, J.A.; MacArthur, D.W.

    1996-03-01

    Current technologies for the detection of airborne radioactive contamination do not provide real-time capability. Most of these techniques are based on the capture of particulate matter in air onto filters which are then processed in the laboratory; thus, the turnaround time for detection of contamination can be many days. To address this shortcoming, an effort is underway to adapt LRAD (Long-Range-Alpha-Detection) technology for real-time monitoring of airborne releases of alpa-emitting radionuclides. Alpha decays in air create ionization that can be subsequently collected on electrodes, producing a current that is proportional to the amount of radioactive material present. Using external fans on a pipe containing LRAD detectors, controlled samples of ambient air can be continuously tested for the presence of radioactive contamination. Current prototypes include a two-chamber model. Sampled air is drawn through a particulate filter and then through the first chamber, which uses an electrostatic filter at its entrance to remove ambient ionization. At its exit, ionization that occurred due to the presence of radon is collected and recorded. The air then passes through a length of pipe to allow some decay of short-lived radon species. A second chamber identical to the first monitors the remaining activity. Further development is necessary on air samples without the use of particulate filtering, both to distinguish ionization that can pass through the initial electrostatic filter on otherwise inert particulate matter from that produced through the decay of radioactive material and to separate both of these from the radon contribution. The end product could provide a sensitive, cost-effective, real-time method of determining the presence of airborne radioactive contamination.

  17. Observatory Bibliographies as Research Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rots, Arnold H.; Winkelman, S. L.

    2013-01-01

    Traditionally, observatory bibliographies were maintained to provide insight in how successful a observatory is as measured by its prominence in the (refereed) literature. When we set up the bibliographic database for the Chandra X-ray Observatory (http://cxc.harvard.edu/cgi-gen/cda/bibliography) as part of the Chandra Data Archive ((http://cxc.harvard.edu/cda/), very early in the mission, our objective was to make it primarily a useful tool for our user community. To achieve this we are: (1) casting a very wide net in collecting Chandra-related publications; (2) including for each literature reference in the database a wealth of metadata that is useful for the users; and (3) providing specific links between the articles and the datasets in the archive that they use. As a result our users are able to browse the literature and the data archive simultaneously. As an added bonus, the rich metadata content and data links have also allowed us to assemble more meaningful statistics about the scientific efficacy of the observatory. In all this we collaborate closely with the Astrophysics Data System (ADS). Among the plans for future enhancement are the inclusion of press releases and the Chandra image gallery, linking with ADS semantic searching tools, full-text metadata mining, and linking with other observatories' bibliographies. This work is supported by NASA contract NAS8-03060 (CXC) and depends critically on the services provided by the ADS.

  18. Airborne Raman lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heaps, Wm. S.; Burris, J.

    1996-12-01

    We designed and tested an airborne lidar system using Raman scattering to make simultaneous measurements of methane, water vapor, and temperature in a series of flights on a NASA-operated C-130 aircraft. We present the results for methane detection, which show that the instrument has the requisite sensitivity to atmospheric trace gases. Ultimately these measurements can be used to examine the transport of chemically processed air from within the polar vortex to mid-latitudinal regions and the exchange of stratospheric air between tropical and mid-latitudinal regions.

  19. Airborne Oceanographic Lidar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bressel, C.; Itzkan, I.; Nunes, J. E.; Hoge, F.

    1977-01-01

    The Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL), a spatially scanning range-gated device installed on board a NASA C-54 aircraft, is described. The AOL system is capable of measuring topographical relief or water depth (bathymetry) with a range resolution of plus or minus 0.3 m in the vertical dimension. The system may also be used to measure fluorescent spectral signatures from 3500 to 8000 A with a resolution of 100 A. Potential applications of the AOL, including sea state measurements, water transparency assessments, oil spill identification, effluent identification and crop cover assessment are also mentioned.

  20. THE ROTATION PERIOD AND LIGHT-CURVE AMPLITUDE OF KUIPER BELT DWARF PLANET 136472 MAKEMAKE (2005 FY9)

    SciTech Connect

    Heinze, A. N.; DeLahunta, Daniel E-mail: ddelahun@mail.rochester.edu

    2009-08-15

    Kuiper Belt dwarf planet 136472 Makemake, formerly known as 2005 FY9, is currently the third-largest known object in the Kuiper Belt, after the dwarf planets Pluto and Eris. It is currently second only to Pluto in apparent brightness, due to Eris' much larger heliocentric distance. Makemake shows very little photometric variability, which has prevented confident determination of its rotation period until now. Using extremely precise time-series photometry, we find that the rotation period of Makemake is 7.7710 {+-} 0.0030 hr, where the uncertainty is a 90% confidence interval. An alias period is detected at 11.41 hr, but is determined with approximately 95% confidence not to be the true period. Makemake's 7.77 hr rotation period is in the typical range for Kuiper Belt objects, consistent with Makemake's apparent lack of a substantial satellite to alter its rotation through tides. The amplitude of Makemake's photometric light curve is 0.0286 {+-} 0.0016 mag in V. This amplitude is about 10 times less than Pluto's, which is surprising given the two objects' similar sizes and spectral characteristics. Makemake's photometric variability is instead similar to that of Eris, which is so small that no confident rotation period has yet been determined. It has been suggested that dwarf planets such as Makemake and Eris, both farther from the Sun and colder than Pluto, exhibit lower photometric variability because they are covered with a uniform layer of frost. Such a frost is probably the correct explanation for Eris. However, it may be inconsistent with the spectrum of Makemake, which resembles reddish Pluto more than neutrally colored Eris. Makemake may instead be a more Pluto-like object that we observe at present with a nearly pole-on viewing geometry-a possibility that can be tested with continuing observations over the coming decades.

  1. Airborne concentrations of peanut protein.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Rodney M; Barnes, Charles S

    2013-01-01

    Food allergy to peanut is a significant health problem, and there are reported allergic reactions to peanuts despite not eating or having physical contact with peanuts. It is presumed that an allergic reaction may have occurred from inhalation of airborne peanut allergens. The purpose of this study was to detect the possible concentrations of airborne peanut proteins for various preparations and during specific activities. Separate Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 monoclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and a polyclonal sandwich enzyme immunoassay for peanuts were used to detect the amount of airborne peanut protein collected using a Spincon Omni 3000 air collector (Sceptor Industries, Inc., Kansas City, MO) under different peanut preparation methods and situations. Air samples were measured for multiple peanut preparations and scenarios. Detectable amounts of airborne peanut protein were measured using a whole peanut immunoassay when removing the shells of roasted peanut. No airborne peanut allergen (Ara h 1 or Ara h 2) or whole peanut protein above the LLD was measured in any of the other peanut preparation collections. Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and polyclonal peanut proteins were detected from water used to boil peanuts. Small amounts of airborne peanut protein were detected in the scenario of removing shells from roasted peanuts; however, Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 proteins were unable to be consistently detected. Although airborne peanut proteins were detected, the concentration of airborne peanut protein that is necessary to elicit a clinical allergic reaction is unknown. PMID:23406937

  2. Airborne ballistic camera tracking systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redish, W. L.

    1976-01-01

    An operational airborne ballistic camera tracking system was tested for operational and data reduction feasibility. The acquisition and data processing requirements of the system are discussed. Suggestions for future improvements are also noted. A description of the data reduction mathematics is outlined. Results from a successful reentry test mission are tabulated. The test mission indicated that airborne ballistic camera tracking systems are feasible.

  3. Analytic gravitational-force calculations for models of the Kuiper Belt, with application to the Pioneer anomaly

    SciTech Connect

    Nieto, Michael Martin

    2005-10-15

    We use analytic techniques to study the gravitational force that would be produced by different Kuiper-Belt mass distributions. In particular, we study the 3-dimensional rings (and wedge) whose densities vary as the inverse of the distance, as a constant, as the inverse-squared of the distance, as well as that which varies according to the Boss-Peale model. These analytic calculations yield physical insight into the physics of the problem. They also verify that physically viable models of this type can produce neither the magnitude nor the constancy of the Pioneer anomaly.

  4. Magdalena Ridge Observatory Project Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laubscher, Bryan E.; Buscher, David F.; Chang, Mark J.; Cobb, Michael L.; Haniff, Chris A.; Horton, Richard F.; Jorgensen, Anders M.; Klinglesmith, Dan; Loos, Gary; Nemzek, Robert J.

    The Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) is a project with the goal of building a state of the art observatory on Magdalena Ridge west of Socorro New Mexico. This observatory will be sited above 3700 meters and will consist of a 10-element 400-meter baseline optical/infrared imaging interferometer and a separate 2.4-meter telescope with fast response capability. The MRO consortium members include New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology University of Puerto Rico Mew Mexico Highlands University New Mexico State University and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The University of Cambridge is a joint participant in the current design phase of the interferometer and expects to join the consortium. We will present an overview of the optical interferometer and single telescope designs and review their instrumentation and science programs

  5. Visits to La Plata Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feinstein, A.

    1985-03-01

    La Plata Observatory will welcome visitors to ESO-La Silla that are willing to make a stop at Buenos Aires on their trip to Chile or on their way back. There is a nice guesthouse at the Observatory that can be used, for a couple of days or so, by astronomers interested in visiting the Observatory and delivering talks on their research work to the Argentine colleagues. No payments can, however, be made at present. La Plata is at 60 km from Buenos Aires. In the same area lie the Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica dei Espacio (IAFE), in Buenos Aires proper, and the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomia (IAR). about 40 km from Buenos Aires on the way to La Plata. Those interested should contacl: Sr Decano Prof. Cesar A. Mondinalli, or Dr Alejandro Feinstein, Observatorio Astron6mico, Paseo dei Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. Telex: 31216 CESLA AR.

  6. Technology progress of Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng; Zhao, Gang; Zhang, Yanxia

    2002-12-01

    The project of Virtual Observatory (VO) is the result of breakthroughs in telescope, detector, computer and Internet technologies. The combination with the new information technology is the major characteristic of the VO development. Extensible markup language (XML) and Grid as two trends of information technology will be adopted widely in the VO. The VO architecture is based upon the standard layered architecture of Grid. In the paper, technologies related in each layer of the VO architecture are introduced. The global Virtual Observatory provides new chances for Chinese astronomy. Using the abundant resources in the Internet and chances provided by open-source software, Chinese astronomers should cooperate with national IT experts and push the Virtual Observatory projects of China as soon as possible.

  7. Airborne transmission of lyssaviruses.

    PubMed

    Johnson, N; Phillpotts, R; Fooks, A R

    2006-06-01

    In 2002, a Scottish bat conservationist developed a rabies-like disease and subsequently died. This was caused by infection with European bat lyssavirus 2 (EBLV-2), a virus closely related to Rabies virus (RABV). The source of this infection and the means of transmission have not yet been confirmed. In this study, the hypothesis that lyssaviruses, particularly RABV and the bat variant EBLV-2, might be transmitted via the airborne route was tested. Mice were challenged via direct introduction of lyssavirus into the nasal passages. Two hours after intranasal challenge with a mouse-adapted strain of RABV (Challenge Virus Standard), viral RNA was detectable in the tongue, lungs and stomach. All of the mice challenged by direct intranasal inoculation developed disease signs by 7 days post-infection. Two out of five mice challenged by direct intranasal inoculation of EBLV-2 developed disease between 16 and 19 days post-infection. In addition, a simple apparatus was evaluated in which mice could be exposed experimentally to infectious doses of lyssavirus from an aerosol. Using this approach, mice challenged with RABV, but not those challenged with EBLV-2, were highly susceptible to infection by inhalation. These data support the hypothesis that lyssaviruses, and RABV in particular, can be spread by airborne transmission in a dose-dependent manner. This could present a particular hazard to personnel exposed to aerosols of infectious RABV following accidental release in a laboratory environment. PMID:16687600

  8. The Compton Observatory Science Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shrader, Chris R. (Editor); Gehrels, Neil (Editor); Dennis, Brian (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    The Compton Observatory Science Workshop was held in Annapolis, Maryland on September 23-25, 1991. The primary purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among scientists with interests in various areas of high energy astrophysics, with emphasis on the scientific capabilities of the Compton Observatory. Early scientific results, as well as reports on in-flight instrument performance and calibrations are presented. Guest investigator data products, analysis techniques, and associated software were discussed. Scientific topics covered included active galaxies, cosmic gamma ray bursts, solar physics, pulsars, novae, supernovae, galactic binary sources, and diffuse galactic and extragalactic emission.

  9. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    This is an artist's concept describing the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO). The HEAO project involved the launching of three unmarned scientific observatories into low Earth orbit between 1977 and 1979 to study some of the most intriguing mysteries of the universe; pulsars, black holes, neutron stars, and super nova. This concept was painted by Jack Hood of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Hardware support for the imaging instruments was provided by American Science and Engineering. The HEAO spacecraft were built by TRW, Inc. under project management of the MSFC.

  10. Tools for Coordinated Planning Between Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Jeremy; Fishman, Mark; Grella, Vince; Kerbel, Uri; Maks, Lori; Misra, Dharitri; Pell, Vince; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    With the realization of NASA's era of great observatories, there are now more than three space-based telescopes operating in different wavebands. This situation provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to simultaneously observe with multiple observatories. Yet scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously is highly inefficient when compared to observations using only one single observatory. Thus, programs using multiple observatories are limited not due to scientific restrictions, but due to operational inefficiencies. At present, multi-observatory programs are conducted by submitting observing proposals separately to each concerned observatory. To assure that the proposed observations can be scheduled, each observatory's staff has to check that the observations are valid and meet all the constraints for their own observatory; in addition, they have to verify that the observations satisfy the constraints of the other observatories. Thus, coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among the observatory staff at each observatory. Due to the lack of automated tools for coordinated observations, this process is time consuming, error-prone, and the outcome of the requests is not certain until the very end. To increase observatory operations efficiency, such manpower intensive processes need to undergo re-engineering. To overcome this critical deficiency, Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch is developing a prototype effort called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of the VOLT project is to provide visual tools to help automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories, as well as to increase the scheduling probability of all observations.

  11. Simulated MERTIS observation of the Rudaki-Kuiper craters area on Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amore, M.; Helbert, J.; Maturilli, A.; Ferrari, S.; Bauch, K.; D'Incecco, P.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W.; Holsclaw, G. M.; Lorin, D. D.; Denevi, B. W.; Stockstill-Cahill, K. R.

    2013-12-01

    The MErcury Radiometer and Thermal infrared Imaging Spectrometer (MERTIS) is part of the payload of the BepiColombo mission. The mission is scheduled for launch in 2015 with arrival at Mercury in 2021. To achieve MERTIS's scientific goals the instrument maps the surface of Mercury with a spatial resolution of 500m for the spectrometer channel and 2km for the radiometer channel. MERTIS spans wavelength ranges of 7-14 and 7-40 μm with its two channels. Among it scientific goals, MERTIS will infer rock-forming minerals, map surface composition, and study surface temperature variations on Mercury with an uncooled microbolometer detector. To exploit the full potential of the unique MERTIS dataset, an extensive calibration campaign has been performed. This includes radiometric, spectral, and geometric calibration. In addition we have performed measurement of analog materials at temperatures of up to 500°C - similar to the peak temperatures expected at Mercury - with the MERTIS qualification model in the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory. These measurements allow for the evaluation of the MERTIS performance in direct comparison with the laboratory spectrometer. They also enable the creation of synthetic MERTIS datasets. For this purpose we use data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft as baseline. MESSENGER can provide geological information as well as spectral information in the UV, visible and near-infrared wavelengths range. For a first test we have selected the Kuiper-Rudaki region. The region has been extensively covered by measurements from the MESSENGER spacecraft. Recent analysis of observations by the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) instrument on the MESSENGER spacecraft with an unsupervised hierarchical clustering method shows at global scales two major units: a Polar region (PR) spectrally flat and redder than the equatorial region (ER). The study area is primarily

  12. SYSTEMATIC BIASES IN THE OBSERVED DISTRIBUTION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECT ORBITS

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, R. L.; Parker, J. Wm.; Bieryla, A.; Marsden, B. G.; Gladman, B.; Kavelaars, JJ.; Petit, J.-M.

    2010-06-15

    The orbital distribution of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) provides important tests of solar system evolution models. However, our understanding of this orbital distribution can be affected by many observational biases. An important but difficult to quantify bias results from tracking selection effects; KBOs are recovered or lost depending on assumptions made about their orbital elements when fitting the initial (short) observational arc. Quantitatively studying the effects and significance of this bias is generally difficult, because only the objects where the assumptions were correct are recovered and thus available to study 'the problem', and because different observers use different assumptions and methods. We have used a sample of 38 KBOs that were discovered and tracked, bias-free, as part of the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey to evaluate the potential for losing objects based on the two most common orbit and ephemeris prediction sources: the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and the Bernstein and Khushalani (BK) orbit fitting code. In both cases, we use early discovery and recovery astrometric measurements of the objects to generate ephemeris predictions that we then compare to later positional measurements; objects that have large differences between the predicted and actual positions would be unlikely to be recovered and are thus considered 'lost'. We find systematic differences in the orbit distributions which would result from using the two orbit-fitting procedures. In our sample, the MPC-derived orbit solutions lost slightly fewer objects (five out of 38) due to large ephemeris errors at one year recovery, but the objects which were lost belonged to more 'unusual' orbits such as scattering disk objects or objects with semimajor axes interior to the 3:2 resonance. Using the BK code, more objects (seven out of 38) would have been lost due to ephemeris errors, but the lost objects came from a range of orbital regions, primarily the classical belt region. We also

  13. Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redmond, Jay; Kodak, Charles

    2001-01-01

    This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the Very Long Base Interferometry (VLBI) system at the fundamental station Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO). It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the previous year. The outlook lists the outstanding tasks to improve the performance of GGAO.

  14. ISS images for Observatory protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez de Miguel, Alejandro; Zamorano, Jaime

    2015-08-01

    Light pollution is the main factor of degradation of the astronomical quality of the sky along the history. Astronomical observatories have been monitoring how the brightness of the sky varies using photometric measures of the night sky brightness mainly at zenith. Since the sky brightness depends in other factors such as sky glow, aerosols, solar activity and the presence of celestial objects, the continuous increase of light pollution in these enclaves is difficult to trace except when it is too late.Using models of light dispersion on the atmosphere one can determine which light pollution sources are increasing the sky brightness at the observatories. The input satellite data has been provided by DMSP/OLS and SNPP/VIIRS. Unfortunately their panchromatic bands (color blinded) are not useful to detect in which extension the increase is due to the dramatic change produced by the irruption of LED technology in outdoor lighting. The only instrument in the space that is able to distinguish between the various lighting technologies are the DSLR cameras used by the astronauts onboard the ISS.Current status for some astronomical observatories that have been imaged from the ISS is presented. We are planning to send an official request to NASA with a plan to get images for the most important astronomical observatories. We ask support for this proposal by the astronomical community and especially by the US-based researchers.

  15. Planetary research at Lowell Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baum, William A.

    1988-01-01

    Scientific goals include a better determination of the basic physical characteristics of cometary nuclei, a more complete understanding of the complex processes in the comae, a survey of abundances and gas/dust ratios in a large number of comets, and measurement of primordial (12)C/(13)C and (14)N/(15)N ratios. The program also includes the observation of Pluto-Charon mutual eclipses to derive dimensions. Reduction and analysis of extensive narrowband photometry of Comet Halley from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Perth Observatory, Lowell Observatory, and Mauna Kea Observatory were completed. It was shown that the 7.4-day periodicity in the activity of Comet Halley was present from late February through at least early June 1986, but there is no conclusive evidence of periodic variability in the preperihelion data. Greatly improved NH scalelengths and lifetimes were derived from the Halley data which lead to the conclusion that the abundance of NH in comets is much higher than previously believed. Simultaneous optical and thermal infrared observations were obtained of Comet P/Temple 2 using the MKO 2.2 m telescope and the NASA IRTF. Preliminary analysis of these observations shows that the comet's nucleus is highly elongated, very dark, and quite red.

  16. The Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomczyk, S.; Landi, E.; Zhang, J.; Lin, H.; DeLuca, E. E.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of coronal and chromospheric magnetic fields are arguably the most important observables required for advances in our understanding of the processes responsible for coronal heating, coronal dynamics and the generation of space weather that affects communications, GPS systems, space flight, and power transmission. The Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO) is a proposed ground-based suite of instruments designed for routine study of coronal and chromospheric magnetic fields and their environment, and to understand the formation of coronal mass ejections (CME) and their relation to other forms of solar activity. This new facility will be operated by the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (HAO/NCAR) with partners at the University of Michigan, the University of Hawaii and George Mason University in support of the solar and heliospheric community. It will replace the current NCAR Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (http://mlso.hao.ucar.edu). COSMO will enhance the value of existing and new observatories on the ground and in space by providing unique and crucial observations of the global coronal and chromospheric magnetic field and its evolution. The design and current status of the COSMO will be reviewed.

  17. The gamma-ray observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    An overview is given of the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) mission. Detection of gamma rays and gamma ray sources, operations using the Space Shuttle, and instruments aboard the GRO, including the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE), the Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE), the Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL), and the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) are among the topics surveyed.

  18. The Virtual Observatory in Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2006-07-01

    In the past several years, the Virtual Observatory has progressed from concept to implementation. There is now a well-established International Virtual Observatory Alliance {http://ivoa.net/} with formal processes for the development and promotion of technical standards. The national VO projects have developed science applications layered on the core technologies, and these applications are providing new research opportunities for the astronomy community. The VO projects are also actively engaging the community through technical training programs such as the EuroVO Workshop (June 2005), AstroGrid Workshop (July 2005), and the US National Virtual Observatory Summer School (September 2005). As the research community begins to adopt VO tools and technology and rely on VO services, the VO projects need to prepare for something akin to routine observatory operations. System integration and testing, revision tracking, version/platform support, documentation, resource allocation, service reliability, metadata curation, and user support all need to be taken seriously in an environment/system that is inherently distributed, uncentralized, and undergoing continuing enhancements to the infrastructure.

  19. Lunar astronomical observatories - Design studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Stewart W.; Burns, Jack O.; Chua, Koon Meng; Duric, Nebojsa; Gerstle, Walter H.

    1990-01-01

    The best location in the inner solar system for the grand observatories of the 21st century may be the moon. A multidisciplinary team including university students and faculty in engineering, astronomy, physics, and geology, and engineers from industry is investigating the moon as a site for astronomical observatories and is doing conceptual and preliminary designs for these future observatories. Studies encompass lunar facilities for radio astronomy and astronomy at optical, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although there are significant engineering challenges in design and construction on the moon, the rewards for astronomy can be great, such as detection and study of earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and the task for engineers promises to stimulate advances in analysis and design, materials and structures, automation and robotics, foundations, and controls. Fabricating structures in the reduced-gravity environment of the moon will be easier than in the zero-gravity environment of earth orbit, as Apollo and space-shuttle missions have revealed. Construction of observatories on the moon can be adapted from techniques developed on the earth, with the advantage that the moon's weaker gravitational pull makes it possible to build larger devices than are practical on earth.

  20. MICROWAVE EMISSION FROM THE EDGEWORTH-KUIPER BELT AND THE ASTEROID BELT CONSTRAINED FROM THE WILKINSON MICROWAVE ANISOTROPY PROBE

    SciTech Connect

    Ichikawa, Kazuhide; Fukugita, Masataka

    2011-08-01

    Objects in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt and the main asteroid belt should emit microwaves that may give rise to extra anisotropy signals in the multipole of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment. Constraints are derived from the absence of positive detection of such anisotropies for l {approx}< 50, meaning the total mass of Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects is smaller than 0.2 M{sub +}. This limit is consistent with the mass extrapolated from the observable population with the size of a {approx}> 15 km, assuming that the small-object population follows the power law in size dN/da {approx} a{sup -q} with the canonical index expected for collisional equilibrium, q {approx_equal} 3.5, with which 23% of the mass is ascribed to objects smaller than are observationally accessible down to grains. A similar argument applied to the main asteroid belt indicates that the grain population should not increase more quickly than q {approx_equal} 3.6 toward smaller radii, if the grain population follows the power law that continues to observed asteroids with larger radii. Both cases are at or only slightly above the limit that can be physically significant, implying the importance of further tightening the CMB anisotropy limit, which may be attained with observation at higher radio frequencies.

  1. Depth of faulting and ancient heat flows in the Kuiper region of Mercury from lobate scarp topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egea-González, Isabel; Ruiz, Javier; Fernández, Carlos; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Márquez, Álvaro; Lara, Luisa M.

    2012-01-01

    Mercurian lobate scarps are interpreted to be the surface expressions of thrust faults formed by planetary cooling and contraction, which deformed the crust down to the brittle-ductile transition (BDT) depth at the time of faulting. In this work we have used a forward modeling procedure in order to analyze the relation between scarp topography and fault geometries and depths associated with a group of prominent lobate scarps (Santa Maria Rupes and two unnamed scarps) located in the Kuiper region of Mercury for which Earth-based radar altimetry is available. Also a backthrust associated with one of the lobate scarps has been included in this study. We have obtained best fits for depths of faulting between 30 and 39 km; the results are consistent with the previous results for other lobate scarps on Mercury. The so-derived fault depths have been used to calculate surface heat flows for the time of faulting, taking into account crustal heat sources and a heterogeneous surface temperature due to the variable insolation pattern. Deduced surface heat flows are between 19 and 39 mW m-2 for the Kuiper region, and between 22 and 43 mW m-2 for Discovery Rupes. Both BDT depths and heat flows are consistent with the predictions of thermal history models for the range of time relevant for scarp formation.

  2. Layered Model for Radiation-Induced Chemical Evolution of Icy Surface Composition on Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Hill, Matthew E.; Richardson, John D.; Sturner, Steven J.

    2010-01-01

    The diversity of albedos and surface colors on observed Kuiper Belt and Inner Oort Cloud objects remains to be explained in terms of competition between primordial intrinsic versus exogenic drivers of surface and near-surface evolution. Earlier models have attempted without success to attribute this diversity to the relations between surface radiolysis from cosmic ray irradiation and gardening by meteoritic impacts. A more flexible approach considers the different depth-dependent radiation profiles produced by low-energy plasma, suprathermal, and maximally penetrating charged particles of the heliospheric and local interstellar radiation environments. Generally red objects of the dynamically cold (low inclination, circular orbit) Classical Kuiper Belt might be accounted for from erosive effects of plasma ions and reddening effects of high energy cosmic ray ions, while suprathermal keV-MeV ions could alternatively produce more color neutral surfaces. The deepest layer of more pristine ice can be brought to the surface from meter to kilometer depths by larger impact events and potentially by cryovolcanic activity. The bright surfaces of some larger objects, e.g. Eris, suggest ongoing resurfacing activity. Interactions of surface irradiation, resultant chemical oxidation, and near-surface cryogenic fluid reservoirs have been proposed to account for Enceladus cryovolcanism and may have further applications to other icy irradiated bodies. The diversity of causative processes must be understood to account for observationally apparent diversities of the object surfaces.

  3. Layered Model for Radiation-Induced Chemical Evolution of Icy Surface Composition on Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, John F.; Hill, M. E.; Richardson, J. D.; Sturner, S. J.

    2010-10-01

    The diversity of albedos and surface colors on observed Kuiper Belt and Inner Oort Cloud objects remains to be explained in terms of competition between primordial intrinsic versus exogenic drivers of surface and near-surface evolution. Earlier models have attempted without success to attribute this diversity to the relations between surface radiolysis from cosmic ray irradiation and gardening by meteoritic impacts. A more flexible approach considers the different depth-dependent radiation profiles produced by low-energy plasma, suprathermal, and maximally penetrating charged particles of the heliospheric and local interstellar radiation environments. Generally red objects of the dynamically cold (low inclination, circular orbit) Classical Kuiper Belt might be accounted for from erosive effects of plasma ions and reddening effects of high energy cosmic ray ions, while suprathermal keV-MeV ions could alternatively produce more color neutral surfaces. The deepest layer of more pristine ice can be brought to the surface from meter to kilometer depths by larger impact events and potentially by cryovolcanic activity. The bright surfaces of some larger objects, e.g. Eris, suggest ongoing resurfacing activity. Interactions of surface irradiation, resultant chemical oxidation, and near-surface cryogenic fluid reservoirs have been proposed to account for Enceladus cryovolcanism (Cooper et al., Plan. Sp. Sci., 2009) and may have further applications to other icy irradiated bodies. The diversity of causative processes must be understood to account for observationally apparent diversities of the object surfaces.

  4. A Cyberinfrastructure for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimel, D.; Berukoff, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an NSF-funded project designed to provide physical and information infrastructure to support the development of continental-scale, quantitative ecological sciences. The network consists of sixty sites located in the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, each site hosting terrestrial and aquatic sensors and observational apparati that acquire data across multiple ecoclimatic domains. As well, an airborne remote sensing platform provides spectral and LiDAR data, and acquisition of data sets from external agencies allows for land-use studies. Together, this data is ingested, vetted, processed, and curated by a standards-based, provenance-driven, metadata-rich cyberinfrastructure, which will provide not only access to but discovery and manipulation of NEON data, and the construction of integrative data products and inputs for ecological forecasting that address fundamental processual questions in climate change, land use change, and invasive species.

  5. Tools for Coordinating Planning Between Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, J.; Maks, L.; Fishman, M.; Grella, V.; Kerbel, U.; Misra, D.; Pell, V.

    With the realization of NASA's era of great observatories, there are now more than three space-based telescopes operating in different wave bands. This situation provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to simultaneously observe with multiple observatories. Yet scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously is highly inefficient when compared to observations using only a single observatory. Thus, programs using multiple observatories are limited not by scientific restrictions, but by operational inefficiencies. At present, multi-observatory programs are initiated by submitting observing proposals separately to each concerned observatory. To assure that the proposed observations can be scheduled, each observatory's staff has to check that the observations are valid and meet all constraints for their own observatory; in addition, they have to verify that the observations satisfy the constraints of the other observatories. Thus, coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among staffs at each observatory. Due to the lack of automated tools for coordinated observations, this process is time consuming and error-prone, and the outcome of requests is not certain until the very end. To increase multi-observatory operations efficiency, such resource intensive processes need to be re-engineered. To overcome this critical deficiency, Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch is developing a prototype called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of VOLT is to provide visual tools to help automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories, as well as to increase the probability of scheduling all observations.

  6. Processor architecture for airborne SAR systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glass, C. M.

    1983-01-01

    Digital processors for spaceborne imaging radars and application of the technology developed for airborne SAR systems are considered. Transferring algorithms and implementation techniques from airborne to spaceborne SAR processors offers obvious advantages. The following topics are discussed: (1) a quantification of the differences in processing algorithms for airborne and spaceborne SARs; and (2) an overview of three processors for airborne SAR systems.

  7. Evaluation of meteorological airborne Doppler radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, P. H.; Mueller, C. K.

    1984-01-01

    This paper will discuss the capabilities of airborne Doppler radar for atmospheric sciences research. The evaluation is based on airborne and ground based Doppler radar observations of convective storms. The capability of airborne Doppler radar to measure horizontal and vertical air motions is evaluated. Airborne Doppler radar is shown to be a viable tool for atmospheric sciences research.

  8. Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferré, Bénédicte; Mienert, Jürgen; Winther, Svein; Hageberg, Anne; Rune Godoe, Olav; Partners, Noon

    2010-05-01

    The Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON) is led by the University of Tromsø and collaborates with the Universities of Oslo and Bergen, UniResearch, Institute of Marine Research, Christian Michelsen Research and SINTEF. It is supported by the Research Council of Norway and oil and gas (O&G) industries like Statoil to develop science, technology and new educational programs. Main topics relate to ocean climate and environment as well as marine resources offshore Norway from the northern North Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean. NOON's vision is to bring Norway to the international forefront in using cable based ocean observatory technology for marine science and management, by establishing an infrastructure that enables real-time and long term monitoring of processes and interactions between hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere. This activity is in concert with the EU funded European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap and European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observation (EMSO) project to attract international leading research developments. NOON envisions developing towards a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Beside, the research community in Norway already possesses a considerable marine infrastructure that can expand towards an international focus for real-time multidisciplinary observations in times of rapid climate change. PIC The presently established cable-based fjord observatory, followed by the establishment of a cable-based ocean observatory network towards the Arctic from an O&G installation, will provide invaluable knowledge and experience necessary to make a successful larger cable-based observatory network at the Norwegian and Arctic margin (figure 1). Access to large quantities of real-time observation from the deep sea, including high definition video, could be used to provide the public and future recruits to science a fascinating insight into an almost unexplored part of the Earth beyond the Arctic Circle

  9. Airborne agent concentration analysis

    DOEpatents

    Gelbard, Fred

    2004-02-03

    A method and system for inferring airborne contaminant concentrations in rooms without contaminant sensors, based on data collected by contaminant sensors in other rooms of a building, using known airflow interconnectivity data. The method solves a least squares problem that minimizes the difference between measured and predicted contaminant sensor concentrations with respect to an unknown contaminant release time. Solutions are constrained to providing non-negative initial contaminant concentrations in all rooms. The method can be used to identify a near-optimal distribution of sensors within the building, when then number of available sensors is less than the total number of rooms. This is achieved by having a system-sensor matrix that is non-singular, and by selecting that distribution which yields the lowest condition number of all the distributions considered. The method can predict one or more contaminant initial release points from the collected data.

  10. Airborne Wind Turbine

    SciTech Connect

    2010-09-01

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: Makani Power is developing an Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) that eliminates 90% of the mass of a conventional wind turbine and accesses a stronger, more consistent wind at altitudes of near 1,000 feet. At these altitudes, 85% of the country can offer viable wind resources compared to only 15% accessible with current technology. Additionally, the Makani Power wing can be economically deployed in deep offshore waters, opening up a resource which is 4 times greater than the entire U.S. electrical generation capacity. Makani Power has demonstrated the core technology, including autonomous launch, land, and power generation with an 8 meter wingspan, 20 kW prototype. At commercial scale, Makani Power aims to develop a 600 kW, 28 meter wingspan product capable of delivering energy at an unsubsidized cost competitive with coal, the current benchmark for low-cost power.

  11. Airborne Cloud Computing Environment (ACCE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hardman, Sean; Freeborn, Dana; Crichton, Dan; Law, Emily; Kay-Im, Liz

    2011-01-01

    Airborne Cloud Computing Environment (ACCE) is JPL's internal investment to improve the return on airborne missions. Improve development performance of the data system. Improve return on the captured science data. The investment is to develop a common science data system capability for airborne instruments that encompasses the end-to-end lifecycle covering planning, provisioning of data system capabilities, and support for scientific analysis in order to improve the quality, cost effectiveness, and capabilities to enable new scientific discovery and research in earth observation.

  12. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Eric; Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The contents include: 1) Heritage & History; 2) Level 1 Requirements; 3) Top Level Overview of the Observatory; 4) Development Challenges; and 5) Highlight Photos.

  13. SOFIA - Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The contents include: 1) Heritage & History; 2) Level 1 Requirements; 3) Top Level Overview of the Observatory; 4) Development Challenges; and 5) Highlight Photos.

  14. The Magnetic Observatory Buildings at the Royal Observatory, Cape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, I. S.

    2015-10-01

    During the 1830s there arose a strong international movement, promoted by Carl Friedrich Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt, to characterise the earth's magnetic field. By 1839 the Royal Society in London, driven by Edward Sabine, had organised a "Magnetic Crusade" - the establishment of a series of magnetic and meteorological observatories around the British Empire, including New Zealand, Australia, St Helena and the Cape. This article outlines the history of the latter installation, its buildings and what became of them.

  15. The MicroObservatory Net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.

    1994-12-01

    A group of scientists, engineers and educators based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has developed a prototype of a small, inexpensive and fully integrated automated astronomical telescope and image processing system. The project team is now building five second generation instruments. The MicroObservatory has been designed to be used for classroom instruction by teachers as well as for original scientific research projects by students. Probably in no other area of frontier science is it possible for a broad spectrum of students (not just the gifted) to have access to state-of-the-art technologies that would allow for original research. The MicroObservatory combines the imaging power of a cooled CCD, with a self contained and weatherized reflecting optical telescope and mount. A microcomputer points the telescope and processes the captured images. The MicroObservatory has also been designed to be used as a valuable new capture and display device for real time astronomical imaging in planetariums and science museums. When the new instruments are completed in the next few months, they will be tried with high school students and teachers, as well as with museum groups. We are now planning to make the MicroObservatories available to students, teachers and other individual users over the Internet. We plan to allow the telescope to be controlled in real time or in batch mode, from a Macintosh or PC compatible computer. In the real-time mode, we hope to give individual access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an "on-site" operator. Users would sign up for a specific period of time. In the batch mode, users would submit jobs for the telescope. After the MicroObservatory completed a specific job, the images would be e-mailed back to the user. At present, we are interested in gaining answers to the following questions: (1) What are the best approaches to scheduling real-time observations? (2) What criteria should be used

  16. Polarimetry from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaillancourt, J.; Andersson, B.; Young, E.; Ruzek, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP that operates in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet (14 km). A joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), SOFIA can conduct photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations at wavelengths from 0.3 micron to 1.6 millimeters with an average atmospheric transmission greater than 80 percent across that range. The first-generation instruments span the range from 0.3 to 240 microns. SOFIA's ability to regularly update its instrument complement over its 20-year lifetime will allow for polarimeters with imaging and spectroscopic capabilities; a second-generation imaging polarimeter is currently planned for far-infrared wavelengths. We discuss a sample of possible investigations of interest to the field of planetary science which can be carried out with an airborne polarimeter in SOFIA's near- and mid-infrared wavelength range including studies of comets, asteroids, and proto-stellar disks. A third-generation instrument call, where new polarimetric capabilities may be proposed, is currently planned for Fiscal Year 2014.

  17. Astronomical observatory for shuttle. Phase A study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guthals, D. L.

    1973-01-01

    The design, development, and configuration of the astronomical observatory for shuttle are discussed. The characteristics of the one meter telescope in the spaceborne observatory are described. A variety of basic spectroscopic and image recording instruments and detectors which will permit a large variety of astronomical observations are reported. The stDC 37485elines which defined the components of the observatory are outlined.

  18. The NASA airborne astronomy program - A perspective on its contributions to science, technology, and education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Harold P.

    1992-01-01

    The publication records from NASA's airborne observatories are examined to evaluate the contribution of the airborne astronomy program to technological development and scientific/educational progress. The breadth and continuity of program is detailed with reference to its publication history, discipline representation, literature citations, and to the ability of such a program to address nonrecurring and unexpected astronomical phenomena. Community involvement in the airborne-observation program is described in terms of the number of participants, institutional affiliation, and geographic distribution. The program utilizes instruments including heterodyne and grating spectrometers, high-speed photometers, and Fabry-Perot spectrometers with wide total spectral ranges, resolutions, and numbers of channels. The potential of the program for both astronomical training and further scientific, theoretical, and applied development is underscored.

  19. A Synergistic Approach to Atmospheric Compensation of Neon's Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery Utilizing an Airborne Solar Spectral Irradiance Radiometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, L.; Karpowicz, B. M.; Kindel, B. C.; Schmidt, S.; Leisso, N.; Kampe, T. U.; Pilewskie, P.

    2014-12-01

    A wide variety of critical information regarding bioclimate, biodiversity, and biogeochemistry is embedded in airborne hyperspectral imagery. Most, if not all of the primary signal relies upon first deriving the surface reflectance of land cover and vegetation from measured hyperspectral radiance. This places stringent requirements on terrain, and atmospheric compensation algorithms to accurately derive surface reflectance properties. An observatory designed to measure bioclimate, biodiversity, and biogeochemistry variables from surface reflectance must take great care in developing an approach which chooses algorithms with the highest accuracy, along with providing those algorithms with data necessary to describe the physical mechanisms that affect the measured at sensor radiance. The Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) part of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is developing such an approach. NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation platform designed to collect and disseminate data to enable the understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on ecology. The instrumentation package used by the AOP includes a visible and shortwave infrared hyperspectral imager, waveform LiDAR, and high resolution (RGB) digital camera. In addition to airborne measurements, ground-based CIMEL sun photometers will be used to help characterize atmospheric aerosol loading, and ground validation measurements with field spectrometers will be made at select NEON sites. While the core instrumentation package provides critical information to derive surface reflectance of land surfaces and vegetation, the addition of a Solar Spectral Irradiance Radiometer (SSIR) is being investigated as an additional source of data to help identify and characterize atmospheric aerosol, and cloud contributions contributions to the radiance measured by the hyperspectral imager. The addition of the SSIR provides the opportunity to

  20. New Geophysical Observatory in Uruguay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez Bettucci, L.; Nuñez, P.; Caraballo, R. R.; Ogando, R.

    2013-05-01

    In 2011 began the installation of the first geophysical observatory in Uruguay, with the aim of developing the Geosciences. The Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory Aiguá (OAGA) is located within the Cerro Catedral Tourist Farm (-34 ° 20 '0 .89 "S/-54 ° 42 '44.72" W, h: 270m). This has the distinction of being located in the center of the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly. Geologically is emplaced in a Neoproterozoic basement, in a region with scarce anthropogenic interference. The OAGA has, since 2012, with a GSM-90FD dIdD v7.0 and GSM-90F Overhauser, both of GEM Systems. In addition has a super-SID receiver provided by the Stanford University SOLAR Center, as a complement for educational purposes. Likewise the installation of a seismograph REF TEK-151-120A and VLF antenna is being done since the beginning of 2013.

  1. Boscovich and the Brera Observatory .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonello, E.

    In the mid 18th century both theoretical and practical astronomy were cultivated in Milan by Barnabites and Jesuits. In 1763 Boscovich was appointed to the chair of mathematics of the University of Pavia in the Duchy of Milan, and the following year he designed an observatory for the Jesuit Collegium of Brera in Milan. The Specola was built in 1765 and it became quickly one of the main european observatories. We discuss the relation between Boscovich and Brera in the framework of a short biography. An account is given of the initial research activity in the Specola, of the departure of Boscovich from Milan in 1773 and his coming back just before his death.

  2. International ultraviolet explorer observatory operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains the Final Report for the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) Observatory Operations contract, NAS5-28787. The report summarizes the activities of the IUE Observatory over the 13-month period from November 1985 through November 1986 and is arranged in sections according to the functions specified in the Statement of Work (SOW) of the contract. In order to preserve numerical correspondence between the technical SOW elements specified by the contract and the sections of this report, project management activities (SOW element 0.0.) are reported here in Section 7, following the reports of technical SOW elements 1.0 through 6.0. Routine activities have been summarized briefly whenever possible; statistical compilations, reports, and more lengthy supplementary material are contained in the Appendices.

  3. The Role of the Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robson, I.

    2005-12-01

    Observatories are the engine room of astronomical outreach. They provide the tools that allow research discoveries to be made in addition to employing many of the research astronomers and public information officers (PIOs). Where accessible, they provide a natural venue for public visits and centres of excellence. They engage in a wide variety of outreach activities in their own right with varying degrees of success, often linked to funding. In all of this, the enthusiasm and high calibre activities of individuals can never be overestimated. We review the above and report the results from a 'health of stock' survey conducted of a large sample of mainly ground-based observatories refl ecting their overall activities and experiences.

  4. International Ultraviolet Explorer Observatory operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    This volume contains the final report for the International Ultraviolet Explorer IUE Observatory Operations contract. The fundamental operational objective of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) program is to translate competitively selected observing programs into IUE observations, to reduce these observations into meaningful scientific data, and then to present these data to the Guest Observer in a form amenable to the pursuit of scientific research. The IUE Observatory is the key to this objective since it is the central control and support facility for all science operations functions within the IUE Project. In carrying out the operation of this facility, a number of complex functions were provided beginning with telescope scheduling and operation, proceeding to data processing, and ending with data distribution and scientific data analysis. In support of these critical-path functions, a number of other significant activities were also provided, including scientific instrument calibration, systems analysis, and software support. Routine activities have been summarized briefly whenever possible.

  5. Ny-Alesund Geodetic Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sieber, Moritz

    2013-01-01

    In 2012 the 20-m telescope at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, operated by the Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA), took part in 163 out of 168 scheduled sessions of the IVS program. Since spring, all data was transferred by network, and the receiver monitoring computer was replaced by a bus-coupler. In autumn, the NMA received building permission for a new observatory from the Governor of Svalbard. The bidding process and first construction work for the infrastructure will start in 2013.

  6. Planetary Science Virtual Observatory architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erard, S.; Cecconi, B.; Le Sidaner, P.; Berthier, J.; Henry, F.; Chauvin, C.; André, N.; Génot, V.; Jacquey, C.; Gangloff, M.; Bourrel, N.; Schmitt, B.; Capria, M. T.; Chanteur, G.

    2014-11-01

    In the framework of the Europlanet-RI program, a prototype of Virtual Observatory dedicated to Planetary Science was defined. Most of the activity was dedicated to the elaboration of standards to retrieve and visualize data in this field, and to provide light procedures to teams who wish to contribute with on-line data services. The architecture of this VO system and selected solutions are presented here, together with existing demonstrators.

  7. High Energy Astrophysical Observatory (HEAO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Series of three NASA orbital observatories. HEAO-1, launched in August 1977, successfully completed the most accurate all-sky survey of x-ray sources up to that time. Discovered the `Cygnus Superbubble' created by a series of supernovae. HEAO-2 (later known as EINSTEIN), launched in 1978, was the first true x-ray astronomy satellite. HEAO-3, launched in September 1979, carried a gamma ray spectro...

  8. Airborne Particulate Threat Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Patrick Treado; Oksana Klueva; Jeffrey Beckstead

    2008-12-31

    Aerosol threat detection requires the ability to discern between threat agents and ambient background particulate matter (PM) encountered in the environment. To date, Raman imaging technology has been demonstrated as an effective strategy for the assessment of threat agents in the presence of specific, complex backgrounds. Expanding our understanding of the composition of ambient particulate matter background will improve the overall performance of Raman Chemical Imaging (RCI) detection strategies for the autonomous detection of airborne chemical and biological hazards. Improving RCI detection performance is strategic due to its potential to become a widely exploited detection approach by several U.S. government agencies. To improve the understanding of the ambient PM background with subsequent improvement in Raman threat detection capability, ChemImage undertook the Airborne Particulate Threat Assessment (APTA) Project in 2005-2008 through a collaborative effort with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), under cooperative agreement number DE-FC26-05NT42594. During Phase 1 of the program, a novel PM classification based on molecular composition was developed based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature. In addition, testing protocols were developed for ambient PM characterization. A signature database was developed based on a variety of microanalytical techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR microspectroscopy, optical microscopy, fluorescence and Raman chemical imaging techniques. An automated particle integrated collector and detector (APICD) prototype was developed for automated collection, deposition and detection of biothreat agents in background PM. During Phase 2 of the program, ChemImage continued to refine the understanding of ambient background composition. Additionally, ChemImage enhanced the APICD to provide improved autonomy, sensitivity and specificity. Deliverables included a Final Report detailing our

  9. Vibration budget for observatory equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacMartin, Douglas G.; Thompson, Hugh

    2015-07-01

    Vibration from equipment mounted on the telescope and in summit support buildings has been a source of performance degradation at existing astronomical observatories, particularly for adaptive optics performance. Rather than relying only on best practices to minimize vibration, we present here a vibration budget that specifies allowable force levels from each source of vibration in the observatory (e.g., pumps, chillers, cryocoolers, etc.). This design tool helps ensure that the total optical performance degradation due to vibration is less than the corresponding error budget allocation and is also useful in design trade-offs, specifying isolation requirements for equipment, and tightening or widening individual equipment vibration specifications as necessary. The vibration budget relies on model-based analysis of the optical consequences that result from forces applied at different locations and frequencies, including both image jitter and primary mirror segment motion. We develop this tool here for the Thirty Meter Telescope but hope that this approach will be broadly useful to other observatories, not only in the design phase, but for verification and operations as well.

  10. ALOHA Cabled Observatory: Early Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, B. M.; Lukas, R.; Duennebier, F. K.

    2011-12-01

    The ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO) was installed 6 June 2011, extending power, network communications and timing to a seafloor node and instruments at 4726 m water depth 100 km north of Oahu. The system was installed using ROV Jason operated from the R/V Kilo Moana. Station ALOHA is the field site of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program that has investigated temporal dynamics in biology, physics, and chemistry since 1988. HOT conducts near monthly ship-based sampling and makes continuous observations from moored instruments to document and study climate and ecosystem variability over semi-diurnal to decadal time scales. The cabled observatory system will provide the infrastructure for continuous, interactive ocean sampling enabling new measurements as well as a new mode of ocean observing that integrates ship and cabled observations. The ACO is a prototypical example of a deep observatory system that uses a retired first-generation fiber-optic telecommunications cable. Sensors provide live video, sound from local and distant sources, and measure currents, pressure, temperature, and salinity. Preliminary results will be presented and discussed.

  11. Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Timothy M.; Rosing, W.; Pickles, A.; Howell, D. A.

    2009-05-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) is a privately-funded observatory dedicated to time-domain astronomy. Our main observing tool will be a homogeneous world-wide network of 12 x 1m optical telescopes, each equipped for both imaging and spectroscopy. We will also continue to operate 2m telscopes in Hawaii and Australia, and we plan to deploy a few tens of 0.4m imaging telescopes for education and for bright-object research. LCOGT has membership in the Pan-STARRS1 consortium, in the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), and in LSST. In accord with these affiliations, our staff's scientific interests are concentrated in (but not restricted to) the areas of extrasolar planets, extragalactic transients (especially SNe), and pulsating stars. In this poster we describe the observatory in general terms, including its research agenda, its telescope deployment plans and schedule, its notable technical challenges, and its anticipated methods of working with the wider astronomical community. For more detailed information about LCOGT's aims and projects, please see the related posters in this session.

  12. Solar initiative at Oukaimeden Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benkaldoun, Zouhair; Makela, Jonathan J.; Meriwether, John W.

    2013-07-01

    The solar research program at Oukaimeden Observatory started in 1988 with the helioseimological IRIS network. The Moroccan researchers involved in this research have analyzed solar observations in order to detect and characterize the solar sphere modes of oscillations. In the coming year, the researchers at the Oukaimeden Observatory will add new research capabilities by joining the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI), installing a suite of optical instruments, comprising a Remote Equatorial Nighttime Observatory of Ionospheric Regions (RENOIR). The scope and objectives to be achieved in this proposed project are to: • deploy a Fabry-Perot interferometer and wide-angle imaging system to the Observatoire Astronomique Universitaire de LOukaimeden; • train students and researchers from Cadi Ayyad University on the operation of the equipment and related analysis techniques; • collect and analyze data from the equipment to study properties of upper-atmospheric winds and temperatures and how they relate to the occurrence of space weather; and • develop an international collaboration network with other researchers using similar instrumentation in Brazil and Peru. We will present here the plan we intend to develop for the Moroccan solar program in connection with ISWI.

  13. De-biased Populations of Kuiper Belt Objects from the Deep Ecliptic Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, E. R.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Elliot, J. L.; Benecchi, S. D.; Buie, M. W.; Trilling, D. E.; Wasserman, L. H.

    2014-09-01

    The Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES) was a survey project that discovered hundreds of Kuiper Belt objects from 1998 to 2005. Extensive follow-up observations of these bodies has yielded 304 objects with well-determined orbits and dynamical classifications into one of several categories: Classical, Scattered, Centaur, or 16 mean-motion resonances with Neptune. The DES search fields are well documented, enabling us to calculate the probability on each frame of detecting an object with its particular orbital parameters and absolute magnitude at a randomized point in its orbit. The detection probabilities range from a maximum of 0.32 for the 3:2 resonant object 2002 GF 32 to a minimum of 1.5 × 10-7 for the faint Scattered object 2001 FU 185. By grouping individual objects together by dynamical classes, we can estimate the distributions of four parameters that define each class: semimajor axis, eccentricity, inclination, and object size. The orbital element distributions (a, e, and i) were fit to the largest three classes (Classical, 3:2, and Scattered) using a maximum likelihood fit. Using the absolute magnitude (H magnitude) as a proxy for the object size, we fit a power law to the number of objects versus H magnitude for eight classes with at least five detected members (246 objects). The Classical objects are best fit with a power-law slope of α = 1.02 ± 0.01 (observed from 5 <= H <= 7.2). Six other dynamical classes (Scattered plus five resonances) have consistent magnitude distribution slopes with the Classicals, provided that the absolute number of objects is scaled. Scattered objects are somewhat more numerous than Classical objects, while there are only a quarter as many 3:2 objects as Classicals. The exception to the power law relation is the Centaurs, which are non-resonant objects with perihelia closer than Neptune and therefore brighter and detectable at smaller sizes. Centaurs were observed from 7.5 < H < 11, and that population is best fit by a power law

  14. De-biased populations of Kuiper belt objects from the deep ecliptic survey

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, E. R.; Benecchi, S. D.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Elliot, J. L.; Buie, M. W.; Trilling, D. E.; Wasserman, L. H.

    2014-09-01

    The Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES) was a survey project that discovered hundreds of Kuiper Belt objects from 1998 to 2005. Extensive follow-up observations of these bodies has yielded 304 objects with well-determined orbits and dynamical classifications into one of several categories: Classical, Scattered, Centaur, or 16 mean-motion resonances with Neptune. The DES search fields are well documented, enabling us to calculate the probability on each frame of detecting an object with its particular orbital parameters and absolute magnitude at a randomized point in its orbit. The detection probabilities range from a maximum of 0.32 for the 3:2 resonant object 2002 GF {sub 32} to a minimum of 1.5 × 10{sup –7} for the faint Scattered object 2001 FU {sub 185}. By grouping individual objects together by dynamical classes, we can estimate the distributions of four parameters that define each class: semimajor axis, eccentricity, inclination, and object size. The orbital element distributions (a, e, and i) were fit to the largest three classes (Classical, 3:2, and Scattered) using a maximum likelihood fit. Using the absolute magnitude (H magnitude) as a proxy for the object size, we fit a power law to the number of objects versus H magnitude for eight classes with at least five detected members (246 objects). The Classical objects are best fit with a power-law slope of α = 1.02 ± 0.01 (observed from 5 ≤ H ≤ 7.2). Six other dynamical classes (Scattered plus five resonances) have consistent magnitude distribution slopes with the Classicals, provided that the absolute number of objects is scaled. Scattered objects are somewhat more numerous than Classical objects, while there are only a quarter as many 3:2 objects as Classicals. The exception to the power law relation is the Centaurs, which are non-resonant objects with perihelia closer than Neptune and therefore brighter and detectable at smaller sizes. Centaurs were observed from 7.5 < H < 11, and that population is best

  15. GAIA - A Virtual Auroral Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donovan, E.; Spanswick, E.; Syrj M; Marple, S.; Jackel, B.; Kauristie, K.; Honary, F.; Mende, S.; Weatherwax, A.; Moen, J.; Sandahl, I.

    2005-12-01

    Advancements in computer, communications, and instrument technologies have spawned an explosion of activity in ground-based geospace observations. There is increasing interest in the development of virtual observatories as we approach the International Polar and Heliosphysical Years and the electronic Geophysical Year, and are faced with burgeoning data sets from arrays of different instrument types the world over. We are developing a virtual observatory for dealing with data from geospace optical and riometer systems. While these two classes of instruments are very different in their observational technique, they are close relatives in what they observe, which is primarily auroral precipitation. The GAIA (Global Auroral Imaging Access) Project is a network-based set of tools for browsing summary data from All-Sky Imagers (ASIs), Meridian Scanning Photometers (MSPs), and riometers worldwide, and that provides indexes for direct access to data at PI institutes. This program is the virtual observatory component of the IPY Auroral Optical Network (AON) and GLORIA (Global Riometer Imaging Array) projects, and falls under the ICESTAR IPY grouping. As well, GAIA is being developed so as to be fully consistent with the data policies described in the `Declaration of the eGY'. We demonstrate the GAIA concept with ASI data from Canada and Finland, MSP data from Canada, and riometer data from Canada and Scandinavia. We explore the requirements that such a system must meet in order to be successful, which include ease of use, credit to data providers, ability for data providers to monitor usage, and reliance on software rather than hardware. The latter is consistent with our concept of a summary data set consisting of keograms, time series, and thumbnail images, a fully peer to peer data access system, and a relational data base that allows for easy grouping of and linkages between data. We describe how we are ensuring that GAIA is compatible with larger efforts such as SPIDR

  16. Airborne GLM Simulator (FEGS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quick, M.; Blakeslee, R. J.; Christian, H. J., Jr.; Stewart, M. F.; Podgorny, S.; Corredor, D.

    2015-12-01

    Real time lightning observations have proven to be useful for advanced warning and now-casting of severe weather events. In anticipation of the launch of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) onboard GOES-R that will provide continuous real time observations of total (both cloud and ground) lightning, the Fly's Eye GLM Simulator (FEGS) is in production. FEGS is an airborne instrument designed to provide cal/val measurements for GLM from high altitude aircraft. It consists of a 5 x 5 array of telescopes each with a narrow passband filter to isolate the 777.4 nm neutral oxygen emission triplet radiated by lightning. The telescopes will measure the optical radiance emitted by lightning that is transmitted through the cloud top with a temporal resolution of 10 μs. When integrated on the NASA ER-2 aircraft, the FEGS array with its 90° field-of-view will observe a cloud top area nearly equal to a single GLM pixel. This design will allow FEGS to determine the temporal and spatial variation of light that contributes to a GLM event detection. In addition to the primary telescope array, the instrument includes 5 supplementary optical channels that observe alternate spectral emission features and will enable the use of FEGS for interesting lightning physics applications. Here we present an up-to-date summary of the project and a description of its scientific applications.

  17. Airborne rescue system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haslim, Leonard A. (Inventor)

    1991-01-01

    The airborne rescue system includes a boom with telescoping members for extending a line and collar to a rescue victim. The boom extends beyond the tip of the helicopter rotor so that the victim may avoid the rotor downwash. The rescue line is played out and reeled in by winch. The line is temporarily retained under the boom. When the boom is extended, the rescue line passes through clips. When the victim dons the collar and the tension in the line reaches a predetermined level, the clips open and release the line from the boom. Then the rescue line can form a straight line between the victim and the winch, and the victim can be lifted to the helicopter. A translator is utilized to push out or pull in the telescoping members. The translator comprises a tape and a rope. Inside the telescoping members the tape is curled around the rope and the tape has a tube-like configuration. The tape and rope are provided from supply spools.

  18. Impact of Universal Plasma and Energetic Particle Processes on Icy Bodies of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Richardson, J. D.; Hill, M. E.; Sturner, S. J.

    2008-01-01

    Modeling of space plasma and energetic particle interactions with icy bodies of the outer solar system is simplified when there is commonality of the underlying source, acceleration, and transport processes in spatially distinct regions from the supersonic heliosphere through the heliosheath into the local interstellar medium (LISM). Current trends in the Voyager heliosheath measurements suggest strong commonality to processes in the LISM. The Fisk-Gloeckler "universal" spectrum at suprathermal energies apparently plays a strong role in coupling the plasma and high energy particle regimes in the spatial and energetic transitions from the outer heliosphere to the LISM. Dominant processes in consecutive energy regimes project to varying effects versus irradiation depth on exposed upper surfaces of airless small icy bodies and to upper atmospheres of larger bodies such as Titan and Pluto. Relative absence of the universal suprathermal spectrum in the mid-heliospheric region of the classical Kuiper Belt may profoundly affect surface color diversity of icy bodies in this region.

  19. Numerical Simulations Of Catastrophic Disruption Of Porous Bodies: Application To Dark-type Asteroids And Kuiper-belt Family Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Patrick; Jutzi, M.; Richardson, D. C.; Benz, W.

    2010-10-01

    Asteroids of dark (e.g. C, D) taxonomic classes as well as Kuiper Belt objects and comets are believed to have high porosity, not only in the form of large voids but also in the form of micro-pores. The presence of such microscale porosity introduces additional physics in the impact process. We have enhanced our 3D SPH hydrocode, used to simulate catastrophic breakups, with a model of porosity [1] and validated it at small scale by comparison with impact experiments on pumice targets [2]. Our model is now ready to be applied to a large range of problems. In particular, accounting for the gravitational phase of an impact, we can study the formation of dark-type asteroid families, such as Veritas, and Kuiper-Belt families, such as Haumea. Recently we characterized for the first time the catastrophic impact energy threshold, usually called Q*D, as a function of the target's diameter, porosity, material strength and impact speed [3]. Regarding the mentioned families, our preliminary results show that accounting for porosity leads to different outcomes that may better represent their properties and constrain their definition. In particular, for Veritas, we find that its membership may need some revision [4]. The parameter space is still large, many interesting families need to be investigated and our model will be applied to a large range of cases. PM, MJ and DCR acknowledge financial support from the French Programme National de Planétologie, NASA PG&G "Small Bodies and Planetary Collisions" and NASA under Grant No. NNX08AM39G issued through the Office of Space Science, respectively. [1] Jutzi et al. 2008. Icarus 198, 242-255; [2] Jutzi et al. 2009. Icarus 201, 802-813; [3] Jutzi et al. 2010. Fragment properties at the catastrophic disruption threshold: The effect of the parent body's internal structure, Icarus 207, 54-65; [4] Michel et al. 2010. Icarus, submitted.

  20. EQUILIBRIUM CONFIGURATIONS OF SYNCHRONOUS BINARIES: NUMERICAL SOLUTIONS AND APPLICATION TO KUIPER BELT BINARY 2001 QG{sub 298}

    SciTech Connect

    Gnat, Orly; Sari, Re'em

    2010-08-20

    We present numerical computations of the equilibrium configurations of tidally locked homogeneous binaries rotating in circular orbits. Unlike the classical Roche approximations, we self-consistently account for the tidal and rotational deformations of both components, and relax the assumptions of ellipsoidal configurations and Keplerian rotation. We find numerical solutions for mass ratios q between 10{sup -3} and 1, starting at a small angular velocity for which tidal and rotational deformations are small, and following a sequence of increasing angular velocities. Each series terminates at an appropriate 'Roche limit', above which no equilibrium solution can be found. Even though the Roche limit is crossed before the 'Roche lobe' is filled, any further increase in the angular velocity will result in mass-loss. For close, comparable-mass binaries, we find that local deviations from ellipsoidal forms may be as large as 10%-20%, and departures from Keplerian rotation are significant. We compute the light curves that arise from our equilibrium configurations, assuming their distance is >>1 AU (e.g., in the Kuiper Belt). We consider both backscatter (proportional to the projected area) and diffuse (Lambert) reflections. Backscatter reflection always yields two minima of equal depths. Diffuse reflection, which is sensitive to the surface curvature, generally gives rise to unequal minima. We find detectable intensity differences of up to 10% between our light curves and those arising from the Roche approximations. Finally, we apply our models to Kuiper Belt binary 2001 QG{sub 298}, and find a nearly edge-on binary with a mass ratio q = 0.93{sup +0.07}{sub -0.03}, angular velocity {omega}{sup 2}/G{rho} = 0.333 {+-} 0.001 (statistical errors only), and pure diffuse reflection. For the observed period of 2001 QG{sub 298}, these parameters imply a bulk density {rho} = 0.72 {+-} 0.04 g cm{sup -3}.

  1. On the use of Video Camera Systems in the Detection of Kuiper Belt Objects by Stellar Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subasinghe, Dilini

    2012-10-01

    Due to the distance between us and the Kuiper Belt, direct detection of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) is not currently possible for objects less than 10 km in diameter. Indirect methods such as stellar occultations must be employed to remotely probe these bodies. The size, shape, as well as atmospheric properties and ring system information of a body (if any), can be collected through observations of stellar occultations. This method has been previously used with some success - Roques et al. (2006) detected 3 Trans-Neptunian objects; Schlichting et al. (2009) detected a single object in archival data. However, previous assessments of KBO occultation detection rates have been calculated only for telescopes - we extend this method to video camera systems. Building on Roques & Moncuquet (2000), we present a derivation that can be applied to any video camera system, taking into account camera specifications and diffraction effects. This allows for a determination of the number of observable KBO occultations per night. Example calculations are presented for some of the automated meteor camera systems currently in use at the University of Western Ontario. The results of this project will allow us to refine and improve our own camera system, as well as allow others to enhance their systems for KBO detection. Roques, F., Doressoundiram, A., Dhillon, V., Marsh, T., Bickerton, S., Kavelaars, J. J., Moncuquet, M., Auvergne, M., Belskaya, I., Chevreton, M., Colas, F., Fernandez, A., Fitzsimmons, A., Lecacheux, J., Mousis, O., Pau, S., Peixinho, N., & Tozzi, G. P. (2006). The Astronomical Journal, 132(2), 819-822. Roques, F., & Moncuquet, M. (2000). Icarus, 147(2), 530-544. Schlichting, H. E., Ofek, E. O., Wenz, M., Sari, R., Gal-Yam, A., Livio, M., Nelan, E., & Zucker, S. (2009). Nature, 462(7275), 895-897.

  2. Observation and Analysis of a Single-Chord Stellar Occultation by Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Allen B.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S.; Naranjo, O. A.; Navas, G. R.; Gulbis, A.; Winters, J. G.; Bianco, F.

    2014-01-01

    The Williams-MIT collaboration (www.stellaroccultations.info) predicted and observed a stellar occultation of 2UCAC 26260847 (mag 14.35) by KBO 50000 Quaoar (mag 18.9) on 8/9 July 2013. Observations were attempted from a total of five sites in Chile, Venezuela, and Massachusetts. Only one site, Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory in Venezuela, had a positive detection of the occultation, giving us a single chord on Quaoar. All other sites were cloudy. The light curve from the 8/9 July 2013 event has been analyzed with the assumption that Quaoar is ellipsoidal or spherical, placing bounds on some of Quaoar’s properties: diameter (> 1138 ± 25 km), density (< 1.82 ± 0.28 g cm-3), and albedo (< 0.14 ± 0.10). An independent prediction of the occultation’s shadow path by Fraser, Gwyn, et al. (2013) suggests that the chord is near-equatorial, which means that our bounds on Quaoar’s properties are closer to estimates. We will compare our result with that of the 11 February 2011 single-chord occultation detected by Sallum et al. (2011) and Person et al. (2011). A subsequent attempt to observe a second Quaoar occultation, that of 12/13 July 2013 in South Africa, failed because of cloudy weather. This work was supported in part by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNX08AO50G and NNH11ZDA001N to Williams College, NNX10AB27G to MIT, and USRA grant #8500-98-003 to Lowell Observatory. We thank Steven P. Souza at Williams, and other collaborators in planning and carrying out the various observations: including Libardo Zerpa, Joresly Villarreal, Richard Rojas, and Jorge Moreno at Llano del Hato, and Patricio Rojo and Matias Jones at Cerro Calan/U. Chile.

  3. Airborne Laser Polar Nephelometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grams, Gerald W.

    1973-01-01

    A polar nephelometer has been developed at NCAR to measure the angular variation of the intensity of light scattered by air molecules and particles. The system has been designed for airborne measurements using outside air ducted through a 5-cm diameter airflow tube; the sample volume is that which is common to the intersection of a collimated source beam and the detector field of view within the airflow tube. The source is a linearly polarized helium-neon laser beam. The optical system defines a collimated field-of-view (0.5deg half-angle) through a series of diaphragms located behind a I72-mm focal length objective lens. A photomultiplier tube is located immediately behind an aperture in the focal plane of the objective lens. The laser beam is mechanically chopped (on-off) at a rate of 5 Hz; a two-channel pulse counter, synchronized to the laser output, measures the photomultiplier pulse rate with the light beam both on and off. The difference in these measured pulse rates is directly proportional to the intensity of the scattered light from the volume common to the intersection of the laser beam and the detector field-of-view. Measurements can be made at scattering angles from 15deg to 165deg with reference to the direction of propagation of the light beam. Intermediate angles are obtained by selecting the angular increments desired between these extreme angles (any multiple of 0.1deg can be selected for the angular increment; 5deg is used in normal operation). Pulses provided by digital circuits control a stepping motor which sequentially rotates the detector by pre-selected angular increments. The synchronous photon-counting system automatically begins measurement of the scattered-light intensity immediately after the rotation to a new angle has been completed. The instrument has been flown on the NASA Convair 990 airborne laboratory to obtain data on the complex index of refraction of atmospheric aerosols. A particle impaction device is operated simultaneously

  4. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-05-01

    Forget the headphones you saw in the Warner Brothers thriller Contact, as well as the guttural throbs emanating from loudspeakers at the Very Large Array in that 1997 movie. In real life, radio telescopes aren't used for "listening" to anything - just like visible-light telescopes, they are used primarily to make images of astronomical objects. Now, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) wants to encourage astronomers to use radio-telescope data to make truly compelling images, and is offering cash prizes to winners of a new image contest. Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio-optical composite image of giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316, showing the galaxy (center), a smaller companion galaxy being cannibalized by NGC 1316, and the resulting "lobes" (orange) of radio emission caused by jets of particles spewed from the core of the giant galaxy Click on image for more detail and images CREDIT: Fomalont et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF "Astronomy is a very visual science, and our radio telescopes are capable of producing excellent images. We're sponsoring this contest to encourage astronomers to make the extra effort to turn good images into truly spectacular ones," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. The contest, offering a grand prize of $1,000, was announced at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The image contest is part of a broader NRAO effort to make radio astronomical data and images easily accessible and widely available to scientists, students, teachers, the general public, news media and science-education professionals. That effort includes an expanded image gallery on the observatory's Web site. "We're not only adding new radio-astronomy images to our online gallery, but we're also improving the organization and accessibility of the images," said Mark Adams, head of education and public outreach (EPO) at NRAO. "Our long-term goal is to make the NRAO Image Gallery an international resource for radio astronomy imagery

  5. The CEOS Recovery Observatory Pilot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosford, S.; Proy, C.; Giros, A.; Eddy, A.; Petiteville, I.; Ishida, C.; Gaetani, F.; Frye, S.; Zoffoli, S.; Danzeglocke, J.

    2015-04-01

    Over the course of the last decade, large populations living in vulnerable areas have led to record damages and substantial loss of life in mega-disasters ranging from the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Haiti earthquake of 2010; the catastrophic flood damages of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Tohoku tsunami of 2011, and the astonishing extent of the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2009. These major catastrophes have widespread and long-lasting impacts with subsequent recovery and reconstruction costing billions of euros and lasting years. While satellite imagery is used on an ad hoc basis after many disasters to support damage assessment, there is currently no standard practice or system to coordinate acquisition of data and facilitate access for early recovery planning and recovery tracking and monitoring. CEOS led the creation of a Recovery Observatory Oversight Team, which brings together major recovery stakeholders such as the UNDP and the World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, value-adding providers and leading space agencies. The principal aims of the Observatory are to: 1. Demonstrate the utility of a wide range of earth observation data to facilitate the recovery and reconstruction phase following a major catastrophic event; 2. Provide a concrete case to focus efforts in identifying and resolving technical and organizational obstacles to facilitating the visibility and access to a relevant set of EO data; and 3. Develop dialogue and establish institutional relationships with the Recovery phase user community to best target data and information requirements; The paper presented here will describe the work conducted in preparing for the triggering of a Recovery Observatory including support to rapid assessments and Post Disaster Needs Assessments by the EO community.

  6. Swift Observatory Space Simulation Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espiritu, Mellina; Choi, Michael K.; Scocik, Christopher S.

    2004-01-01

    The Swift Observatory is a Middle-Class Explorer (MIDEX) mission that is a rapidly re-pointing spacecraft with immediate data distribution capability to the astronomical community. Its primary objectives are to characterize and determine the origin of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) and to use the collected data on GRB phenomena in order to probe the universe and gain insight into the physics of black hole formation and early universe. The main components of the spacecraft are the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT), X-Ray Telescope (XRT), and Optical Bench (OB) instruments coupled with the Swift spacecraft (S/C) bus. The Swift Observatory will be tested at the Space Environment Simulation (SES) chamber at the Goddard Space Flight Center from May to June 2004 in order to characterize its thermal behavior in a vacuum environment. In order to simulate the independent thermal zones required by the BAT, XRT, UVOT, and OB instruments, the spacecraft is mounted on a chariot structure capable of maintaining adiabatic interfaces and enclosed in a modified, four section MSX fixture in order to accommodate the strategic placement of seven cryopanels (on four circuits), four heater panels, and a radiation source burst simulator mechanism. There are additionally 55 heater circuits on the spacecraft. To mitigate possible migration of silicone contaminants from BAT to the XRT and UVOT instruments, a contamination enclosure is to be fabricated around the BAT at the uppermost section of the MSX fixture. This paper discuses the test requirements and implemented thermal vacuum test configuration for the Swift Observatory.

  7. The Arecibo Observatory Space Academy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Zambrano-Marin, Luisa; Petty, Bryan M.; Sternke, Elizabeth; Ortiz, Andrew M.; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.

    2015-11-01

    The Arecibo Observatory Space Academy (AOSA) is a ten (10) week pre-college research program for students in grades 9-12. Our mission is to prepare students for academic and professional careers by allowing them to receive an independent and collaborative research experience on topics related to space and aide in their individual academic and social development. Our objectives are to (1) Supplement the student’s STEM education via inquiry-based learning and indirect teaching methods, (2) Immerse students in an ESL environment, further developing their verbal and written presentation skills, and (3) To foster in every student an interest in science by exploiting their natural curiosity and knowledge in order to further develop their critical thinking and investigation skills. AOSA provides students with the opportunity to share lectures with Arecibo Observatory staff, who have expertise in various STEM fields. Each Fall and Spring semester, selected high school students, or Cadets, from all over Puerto Rico participate in this Saturday academy where they receive experience designing, proposing, and carrying out research projects related to space exploration, focusing on four fields: Physics/Astronomy, Biology, Engineering, and Sociology. Cadets get the opportunity to explore their topic of choice while practicing many of the foundations of scientific research with the goal of designing a space settlement, which they present at the NSS-NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest. At the end of each semester students present their research to their peers, program mentors, and Arecibo Observatory staff. Funding for this program is provided by NASA SSERVI-LPI: Center for Lunar Science and Exploration with partial support from the Angel Ramos Visitor Center through UMET and management by USRA.

  8. Quantifying Urban Groundwater in Environmental Field Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, C.; Miller, A. J.; Belt, K.; Smith, J. A.; Band, L. E.; Groffman, P.; Scanlon, T.; Warner, J.; Ryan, R. J.; Yeskis, D.; McGuire, M. P.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the growing footprint of urban landscapes and their impacts on hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles, comprehensive field studies of urban water budgets are few. The cumulative effects of urban infrastructure (buildings, roads, culverts, storm drains, detention ponds, leaking water supply and wastewater pipe networks) on temporal and spatial patterns of groundwater stores, fluxes, and flowpaths are poorly understood. The goal of this project is to develop expertise and analytical tools for urban groundwater systems that will inform future environmental observatory planning and that can be shared with research teams working in urban environments elsewhere. The work plan for this project draws on a robust set of information resources in Maryland provided by ongoing monitoring efforts of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), USGS, and the U.S. Forest Service working together with university scientists and engineers from multiple institutions. A key concern is to bridge the gap between small-scale intensive field studies and larger-scale and longer-term hydrologic patterns using synoptic field surveys, remote sensing, numerical modeling, data mining and visualization tools. Using the urban water budget as a unifying theme, we are working toward estimating the various elements of the budget in order to quantify the influence of urban infrastructure on groundwater. Efforts include: (1) comparison of base flow behavior from stream gauges in a nested set of watersheds at four different spatial scales from 0.8 to 171 km2, with diverse patterns of impervious cover and urban infrastructure; (2) synoptic survey of well water levels to characterize the regional water table; (3) use of airborne thermal infrared imagery to identify locations of groundwater seepage into streams across a range of urban development patterns; (4) use of seepage transects and tracer tests to quantify the spatial pattern of groundwater fluxes to the drainage network in selected subwatersheds; (5

  9. Gravity research at Cottrell observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tuman, V. S.; Anderson, J. D.; Lau, E. L.

    1977-01-01

    The Cottrell gravity research observatory and work in progress are described. Equipment in place and equipment to be installed, the cryogenic gravity meter (CGM), concrete pads to support the vertical seismometer, CGM, and guest experiments, techniques of data analysis, and improvements needed in the CGM are discussed. Harmonic earth eigenvibrations with multipole moments are examined and their compatibility with a fictitious black hole binary system (of which the primary central mass is assigned a value one million solar masses) located 400 light-years away is shown by calculations.

  10. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Charles E.

    2005-01-01

    CO2 is the principal human generated driver of climate change. Accurate forecasting of future climate requires an improved understanding of the global carbon cycle and its interaction with the climate system. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will make global, space-based observations of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to understand sources and sinks. OCO data will provide critical information for decision makers including the scientific basis for policy formulation, guide for carbon management strategies and treaty monitoring.

  11. the Large Aperture GRB Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Bertou, Xavier

    2009-04-30

    The Large Aperture GRB Observatory (LAGO) aims at the detection of high energy photons from Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) using the single particle technique (SPT) in ground based water Cherenkov detectors (WCD). To reach a reasonable sensitivity, high altitude mountain sites have been selected in Mexico (Sierra Negra, 4550 m a.s.l.), Bolivia (Chacaltaya, 5300 m a.s.l.) and Venezuela (Merida, 4765 m a.s.l.). We report on the project progresses and the first operation at high altitude, search for bursts in 6 months of preliminary data, as well as search for signal at ground level when satellites report a burst.

  12. Status report of Virtual Observatory at the National Central University of China Taipei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, C. K.; Ko, C. M.; Kinoshita, D.

    2007-08-01

    The idea of virtual observatory (VO) has started to get some attention in Taiwan. However, in order to join the VO community with minimum resources, we identify ourselves as a VO user instead of a developer. We implement the JVO skynode package to create a 2MASS star count map. According to level 6 Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM), the sky was divided into 32768 leaves with approximately 1 square degree resolution. We can study Galactic structure and initial mass function with this map. Our next goal is to publish a rather unique light curve data. National Central University is part of Taiwan-America Occultation Survey (TAOS) team. TAOS project will conduct a census of the number of Kuiper belt objects down to a few km size by monitoring chance stellar occultations by these cometary nuclei. Owing to a special observation strategy, called Zipped mode observation, TAOS can have sub-second photometry. We would like to publish this rather unique light curve database to the VO world.

  13. Data Management Challenges for Airborne NASA Earth Venture Sub-Orbital (EVS-1) Investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, A.; Cook, R. B.; Santhana Vannan, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The ORNL DAAC is developing a technology infrastructure to archive airborne remote sensing observations from two Earth System Science Pathfinder Missions. The two missions are CARVE: Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment and AirMOSS: Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface. The two missions are collecting over 140 TB of data from extensive ground-based and airborne instruments. The metadata and documentation requirements necessary for proper archive and dissemination of such transect-based, and often 3-dimensional, airborne data are quite different from the traditional field campaign and satellite remote sensing data streams. Staff at the ORNL DAAC are currently working with the CARVE and AirMOSS teams as well as investigating cyberinfrastructures from other DAACs to develop a metadata and data infrastructure for airborne data that will enable spatial, flight-line, or keyword-based search and discovery, integration as needed of related satellite- and ground-based data sets, and subsetting and visualization tools for both CARVE and AirMOSS. We discuss challenges, progress, and lessons learned.

  14. An airborne isothermal haze chamber

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hindman, E. E.

    1981-01-01

    Thermal gradient diffusion cloud chambers (TGDCC) are used to determine the concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) with critical supersaturations greater than or equal to about 0.2%. The CCN concentrations measured with the airborne IHC were lower than theoretically predicted by factors ranging between 7.9 and 9.0. The CCN concentrations measured with the airborne IHC were lower than the concentrations measured with the larger laboratory IHC's by factors ranging between 3.9 and 7.5. The bounds of the supersaturation ranges of the airborne IHC and the CSU-Mee TGDCC do not overlap. Nevertheless, the slopes of the interpolated data between the bounds agree favorably with the theoretical slopes.

  15. Airborne laser topographic mapping results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabill, W. B.; Collins, J. G.; Link, L. E.; Swift, R. N.; Butler, M. L.

    1984-01-01

    The results of terrain mapping experiments utilizing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) over forested areas are presented. The flight tests were conducted as part of a joint NASA/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CE) investigation aimed at evaluating the potential of an airborne laser ranging system to provide cross-sectional topographic data on flood plains that are difficult and expensive to survey using conventional techniques. The data described in this paper were obtained in the Wolf River Basin located near Memphis, TN. Results from surveys conducted under winter 'leaves off' and summer 'leaves on' conditions, aspects of day and night operation, and data obtained from decidous and coniferous tree types are compared. Data processing techniques are reviewed. Conclusions relative to accuracy and present limitations of the AOL, and airborne lidar systems in general, to terrain mapping over forested areas are discussed.

  16. WESTERN AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS ASSESSMENT PROJECT RESEARCH PLAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of the Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP) is to assess the deposition of airborne contaminants in Western National Parks, providing regional and local information on exposure, accumulation, impacts, and probable sources. This project is being desig...

  17. Some Central Asian observatories for the WET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meistas, E.

    1993-01-01

    The Mt. Maidanak Observatory, one of several observatories in the former Soviet Central Asia, is located at an important longitude to fill in the gap in the WET (Whole Earth Telescope) network. The Lithuanian astronomical station on Mt. Maidanak was successfully tested in May 1992 for future WET campaigns. In the September 1992 campaign it provided some useful data for the WET. In February 1993 the observatory was nationalized by the Uzbekistan government, and almost all astronomical activities there have stopped. The future use of this observatory for the WET campaigns is uncertain, but there are some signs that the situation is improving. We have examined the possibility of using other Central Asian observatories for the WET. A contact was established with the Fesenkov Astronomical Institute in Alma-Ata, and in October 1993 WET observations were made at the Assy-Turgen Observatory in Kazakhstan.

  18. Protection of the Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, E.; Carraminana, A. P.

    The Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory, with a 2m telescope, is one of only two professional observatories in Mexico. The observatory, run by the InstitutoNacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (INAOE), is located in the north of Mexico, in Cananea, Sonora. Since 1995 the observatory has faced the potential threat of pollution by an open cast mine to be opened at 3kms from the observatory. In the absence of national or regional laws enforcing protection to astronomical sites in Mexico, considerable effort has been needed to guarantee the conditions of the site. We present the studies carried out to ensure the protection of the Guillermo Haro Observatory from pollution due to dust, light and vibrations.

  19. The magnetic field structure in high-mass star formation regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Jacqueline A.; Schleuning, D.; Dotson, J. L.; Dowell, C. Darren; Hildebrand, Roger H.

    1995-01-01

    We present a preliminary analysis of far-IR polarimetric observations, which were made to study the magnetic field structure in the high-mass star formation regions of M42, NGC2024, and W3. These observations were made from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), using the University of Chicago far-IR polarimeter, Stokes.

  20. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrels, N.; Chipman, E.; Kniffen, D.

    1994-06-01

    The Arthur Holly Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Compton) is the second in NASA's series of great Observatories. Launched on 1991 April 5, Compton represents a dramatic increase in capability over previous gamma-ray missions. The spacecraft and scientific instruments are all in good health, and many significant discoveries have already been made. We describe the capabilities of the four scientific instruments, and the observing program of the first 2 years of the mission. Examples of early discoveries by Compton are enumerated, including the discovery that gamma-ray bursts are isotropic but spatially inhomogeneous in their distribution; the discovery of a new class of high-energy extragalacatic gamma-ray sources, the gamma-ray AGNs; the discovery of emission from SN 1987A in the nuclear line of Co-57; and the mapping of emission from Al-26 in the interstellar medium (ISM) near the Galactic center. Future observations will include deep surveys of selected regions of the sky, long-tem studies of individual objects, correlative studies of objects at gamma-ray and other energies, a Galactic plane survey at intermediate gamma-ray energies, and improved statistics on gamma-ray bursts to search for small anisotropies. After completion of the all-sky survey, a Guest Investigator program is in progress with guest observers' time share increasing from 30% upward for the late mission phases.

  1. EMSO: European multidisciplinary seafloor observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo; Beranzoli, Laura

    2009-04-01

    EMSO has been identified by the ESFRI Report 2006 as one of the Research Infrastructures that European members and associated states are asked to develop in the next decades. It will be based on a European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the aim of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes, providing long time series data for the different phenomenon scales which constitute the new frontier for study of Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry, and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on past EU projects and is supported by several EU initiatives, such as the on-going ESONET-NoE, aimed at strengthening the ocean observatories' scientific and technological community. The EMSO development relies on the synergy between the scientific community and industry to improve European competitiveness with respect to countries such as USA, Canada and Japan. Within the FP7 Programme launched in 2006, a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) was issued in order to support the foundation of the legal and organisational entity in charge of building up and managing the infrastructure, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. The EMSO-PP project, coordinated by the Italian INGV with participation by 11 institutions from as many European countries, started in April 2008 and will last four years.

  2. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, N.; Chipman, E.; Kniffen, D.

    1994-01-01

    The Arthur Holly Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Compton) is the second in NASA's series of great Observatories. Launched on 1991 April 5, Compton represents a dramatic increase in capability over previous gamma-ray missions. The spacecraft and scientific instruments are all in good health, and many significant discoveries have already been made. We describe the capabilities of the four scientific instruments, and the observing program of the first 2 years of the mission. Examples of early discoveries by Compton are enumerated, including the discovery that gamma-ray bursts are isotropic but spatially inhomogeneous in their distribution; the discovery of a new class of high-energy extragalacatic gamma-ray sources, the gamma-ray AGNs; the discovery of emission from SN 1987A in the nuclear line of Co-57; and the mapping of emission from Al-26 in the interstellar medium (ISM) near the Galactic center. Future observations will include deep surveys of selected regions of the sky, long-tem studies of individual objects, correlative studies of objects at gamma-ray and other energies, a Galactic plane survey at intermediate gamma-ray energies, and improved statistics on gamma-ray bursts to search for small anisotropies. After completion of the all-sky survey, a Guest Investigator program is in progress with guest observers' time share increasing from 30% upward for the late mission phases.

  3. A National Solar Digital Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, F.

    2000-05-01

    The continuing development of the Internet as a research tool, combined with an improving funding climate, has sparked new interest in the development of Internet-linked astronomical data bases and analysis tools. Here I outline a concept for a National Solar Digital Observatory (NSDO), a set of data archives and analysis tools distributed in physical location at sites which already host such systems. A central web site would be implemented from which a user could search all of the component archives, select and download data, and perform analyses. Example components include NSO's Digital Library containing its synoptic and GONG data, and the forthcoming SOLIS archive. Several other archives, in various stages of development, also exist. Potential analysis tools include content-based searches, visualized programming tools, and graphics routines. The existence of an NSDO would greatly facilitate solar physics research, as a user would no longer need to have detailed knowledge of all solar archive sites. It would also improve public outreach efforts. The National Solar Observatory is operated by AURA, Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  4. Worldwide R&D of Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, C. Z.; Zhao, Y. H.

    2008-07-01

    Virtual Observatory (VO) is a data intensive online astronomical research and education environment, taking advantages of advanced information technologies to achieve seamless and uniform access to astronomical information. The concept of VO was introduced in the late 1990s to meet the challenges brought up with data avalanche in astronomy. In the paper, current status of International Virtual Observatory Alliance, technical highlights from world wide VO projects are reviewed, a brief introduction of Chinese Virtual Observatory is given.

  5. NASA Airborne Lidar 1982-1984 Flights

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2016-05-26

    NASA Airborne Lidar 1982-1984 Flights Data from the 1982 NASA Langley Airborne Lidar flights following the eruption of El Chichon ... continuing to January 1984. Transcribed from the following NASA Tech Reports: McCormick, M. P., and M. T. Osborn, Airborne lidar ...

  6. The Uncertain Future of Arecibo Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altschuler, D. R.

    2009-05-01

    After forty years of existence, Arecibo Observatory has an uncertain future. On November 3th, 2006 the ``Senior Review'' (SR), an advisory panel, recommended to the astronomy division of NSF that the anual budget destinated to astronomy in the Observatory, should be reduced from US10.5 million annual to US8 million during the first 3 years. The SR also indicated that the Observatory have to be closed in 2011, if an external financial source is not found. The SR panel was called to find near US30 million in savings (approximately 25% of total budget of the five national observatories, including Arecibo) to redirect them to operate new future projects.

  7. SOFIA Observatory Obtains 'First Light' Images

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, successfully obtained its "First Light"" images during an overnight flight May 26. Scientists are now processing the data gathered...

  8. A new Magnetic Observatory in Pantanal - Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siqueira, F.; Pinheiro, K.; Linthe, H.

    2013-05-01

    The aim of a Magnetic Observatory is to register the variations of the Earth's magnetic field in a long temporal scale. Using this data it is possible to study field variations of both external and internal origins. The external variations concern interactions between the magnetosphere and the solar wind, in general are measured in a short time scale. The internal field generated by convection of a high electrical conductivity fluid in the external core by a mechanism known as the geodynamo. Usually the internal field time variations are longer than in the external field and are called secular variations. Measurements carried out over the last century suggest that field intensity is decreasing rapidly. The decreasing of the field's intensity is not the same around the globe, especially at the SAMA (South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly) regions, where this reduction is occurring faster. The global distribution of magnetic observatories is uneven, with few observatories in South America. In Brazil, there are three magnetic observatories, but only Vassouras Observatory (VSS- RJ) is part of the INTERMAGNET network. The National Observatory has plans to install seven new observatories in Brazil. Pantanal was the chosen location for installing the first observatory because of its privileged location, close to the SAMA region, and its data can contribute to more information about its origin. We followed the procedures suggested by the IAGA to build this observatory. The first step is to perform a magnetic survey in order to avoid strong magnetic gradients in the location where the absolute and variometers houses will be installed. The next step, the construction of the observatory, includes the selection of special non-magnetic material for the variometer and absolute houses. All materials used were previously tested using a proton magnetometer GSM-19. After construction of the whole infrastructure, the equipment was installed. This Project is a cooperation between Brazilian

  9. NASA capabilities roadmap: advanced telescopes and observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feinberg, Lee D.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Advanced Telescopes and Observatories (ATO) Capability Roadmap addresses technologies necessary for NASA to enable future space telescopes and observatories collecting all electromagnetic bands, ranging from x-rays to millimeter waves, and including gravity-waves. It has derived capability priorities from current and developing Space Missions Directorate (SMD) strategic roadmaps and, where appropriate, has ensured their consistency with other NASA Strategic and Capability Roadmaps. Technology topics include optics; wavefront sensing and control and interferometry; distributed and advanced spacecraft systems; cryogenic and thermal control systems; large precision structure for observatories; and the infrastructure essential to future space telescopes and observatories.

  10. Astronomical Site Characterization at the Canarian Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Varela, A. M.; Castro-Almazán, J. A.

    2015-04-01

    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma) and Teide Observatory (Tenerife) are prime astronomical sites, as confirmed by more than 30 years of intensive site-testing campaigns. The IAC has long been aware of the importance of promoting initiatives for the characterization and protection of the Canarian Observatories. For this purpose, in the late ’80s a Sky Team was created to measure the atmospheric parameters relating to astronomical observations, to design and develop new instruments and techniques for astronomical site testing, and to improve and maintain a high level of instrumentation in site characterization. New instruments and techniques are welcomed by the Observatories.

  11. Calculation of Precipitable Water for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Aircraft (SOFIA): Airplane in the Night Sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

    Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is the new generation airborne observatory station based at NASA s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, Palmdale, CA, to study the universe. Since the observatory detects infrared energy, water vapor is a concern in the atmosphere due to its known capacity to absorb infrared energy emitted by astronomical objects. Although SOFIA is hoping to fly above 99% of water vapor in the atmosphere it is still possible to affect astronomical observation. Water vapor is one of the toughest parameter to measure in the atmosphere, several atmosphere modeling are used to calculate water vapor loading. The water vapor loading, or Precipitable water, is being calculated by Matlab along the planned flight path. Over time, these results will help SOFIA to plan flights to regions of lower water vapor loading and hopefully improve the imagery collection of these astronomical features.

  12. Iridium enrichment in airborne particles from kilauea volcano: january 1983.

    PubMed

    Zoller, W H; Parrington, J R; Kotra, J M

    1983-12-01

    Airborne particulate matter from the January 1983 eruption of Kilauea volcano was inadvertently collected on air filters at Mauna Loa Observatory at a sampling station used to observe particles in global circulation. Analyses of affected samples revealed unusually large concentrations of selenium, arsenic, indium, gold, and sulfur, as expected for volcanic emissions. Strikingly large concentrations of iridium were also observed, the ratio of iridium to aluminum being 17,000 times its value in Hawaiian basalt. Since iridium enrichments have not previously been observed in volcanic emissions, the results for Kilauea suggest that it is part of an unusual volcanic system which may be fed by magma from the mantle. The iridium enrichment appears to be linked with the high fluorine content of the volcanic gases, which suggests that the iridium is released as a volatile IrF(6). PMID:17747384

  13. Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Lal, Nand; McGuire, Robert E.; Szabo, Adam; Narock, Thomas W.; Armstrong, Thomas P.; Manweiler, Jerry W.; Patterson, J. Douglas; Hill, Matthew E.; Vandergriff, Jon D.; McKibben, Robert B.; Lopate, Clifford; Tranquille, Cecil

    2008-01-01

    The Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO) focuses on improved discovery, access, and usability of heliospheric energetic particle and ancillary data products from selected spacecraft and sub-orbital instruments of the heliophysics data environment. The energy range of interest extends over the full range of particle acceleration from keV energies of suprathermal seed particles to GeV energies of galactic cosmic ray particles. Present spatial coverage is for operational and legacy spacecraft operating from the inner to the outer heliosphere, e.g. from measurements by the two Helios spacecraft to 0.3 AU to the inner heliosheath region now being traversed by the two Voyager spacecraft. This coverage will eventually be extended inward to ten solar radii by the planned NASA solar probe mission and at the same time beyond the heliopause into the outer heliosheath by continued Voyager operations. The geospace fleet of spacecraft providing near-Earth interplanetary measurements, selected magnetospheric spacecraft providing direct measurements of penetrating interplanetary energetic particles, and interplanetary cruise measurements from planetary spacecraft missions further extend VEPO resources to the domain of geospace and planetary interactions. Ground-based (e.g., neutron monitor) and high-altitude suborbital measurements can expand coverage to the highest energies of galactic cosmic rays affected by heliospheric interaction and of solar energetic particles. Science applications include investigation of solar flare and coronal mass ejection events. acceleration and transport of interplanetary particles within the inner heliosphere, cosmic ray interactions with planetary surfaces and atmospheres, sources of suprathermal and anomalous cosmic ray ions in the outer heliosphere, and solar cycle modulation of galactic cosmic rays. Robotic and human exploration, and eventual habitation, of planetary and space environments beyond the Earth require knowledge of radiation

  14. Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, J. F.; Lal, N.; McGuire, R. E.; Szabo, A.; Narock, T. W.; Armstrong, T. P.; Manweiler, J. W.; Patterson, J. D.; Hill, M. E.; Vandergriff, J. D.; McKibben, R. B.; Lopate, C.; Tranquille, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO) focuses on improved discovery, access, and usability of heliospheric energetic particle and ancillary data products from selected spacecraft and sub-orbital instruments of the heliophysics data environment. The energy range of interest extends over the full range of particle acceleration from keV energies of suprathermal seed particles to GeV energies of galactic cosmic ray particles. Present spatial coverage is for operational and legacy spacecraft operating from the inner to the outer heliosphere, e.g. from measurements by the two Helios spacecraft to 0.3 AU to the inner heliosheath region now being traversed by the two Voyager spacecraft. This coverage will eventually be extended inward to ten solar radii by the planned NASA solar probe mission and at the same time beyond the heliopause into the outer heliosheath by continued Voyager operations. The geospace fleet of spacecraft providing near-Earth interplanetary measurements, selected magnetospheric spacecraft providing direct measurements of penetrating interplanetary energetic particles, and interplanetary cruise measurements from planetary spacecraft missions further extend VEPO resources to the domain of geospace and planetary interactions. Ground-based (e.g., neutron monitor) and high-altitude suborbital measurements can expand coverage to the highest energies of galactic cosmic rays affected by heliospheric interaction and of solar energetic particles. Science applications include investigation of solar flare and coronal mass ejection events, acceleration and transport of interplanetary particles within the inner heliosphere, cosmic ray interactions with planetary surfaces and atmospheres, sources of suprathermal and anomalous cosmic ray ions in the outer heliosphere, and solar cycle modulation of galactic cosmic rays. Robotic and human exploration, and eventual habitation, of planetary and space environments beyond the Earth require knowledge of radiation

  15. The TAOS Project: Upper Bounds on the Population of Small Kuiper Belt Objects and Tests of Models of Formation and Evolution of the Outer Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, F. B.; Zhang, Z.-W.; Lehner, M. J.; Mondal, S.; King, S.-K.; Giammarco, J.; Holman, M. J.; Coehlo, N. K.; Wang, J.-H.; Alcock, C.; Axelrod, T.; Byun, Y.-I.; Chen, W. P.; Cook, K. H.; Dave, R.; de Pater, I.; Kim, D.-W.; Lee, T.; Lin, H.-C.; Lissauer, J. J.; Marshall, S. L.; Protopapas, P.; Rice, J. A.; Schwamb, M. E.; Wang, S.-Y.; Wen, C.-Y.

    2010-04-01

    We have analyzed the first 3.75 years of data from the Taiwanese American Occultation Survey (TAOS). TAOS monitors bright stars to search for occultations by Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). This data set comprises 5 × 105 star hours of multi-telescope photometric data taken at 4 or 5 Hz. No events consistent with KBO occultations were found in this data set. We compute the number of events expected for the Kuiper Belt formation and evolution models of Pan & Sari, Kenyon & Bromley, Benavidez & Campo Bagatin, and Fraser. A comparison with the upper limits we derive from our data constrains the parameter space of these models. This is the first detailed comparison of models of the KBO size distribution with data from an occultation survey. Our results suggest that the KBO population is composed of objects with low internal strength and that planetary migration played a role in the shaping of the size distribution.

  16. THE TAOS PROJECT: UPPER BOUNDS ON THE POPULATION OF SMALL KUIPER BELT OBJECTS AND TESTS OF MODELS OF FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, F. B.; Zhang, Z.-W.; King, S.-K.; Wang, J.-H.; Lee, T.; Lin, H.-C.; Lehner, M. J.; Mondal, S.; Giammarco, J.; Holman, M. J.; Alcock, C.; Coehlo, N. K.; Axelrod, T.; Byun, Y.-I.; Kim, D.-W.; Chen, W. P.; Cook, K. H.; Dave, R.; De Pater, I.; Lissauer, J. J.

    2010-04-15

    We have analyzed the first 3.75 years of data from the Taiwanese American Occultation Survey (TAOS). TAOS monitors bright stars to search for occultations by Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). This data set comprises 5 x 10{sup 5} star hours of multi-telescope photometric data taken at 4 or 5 Hz. No events consistent with KBO occultations were found in this data set. We compute the number of events expected for the Kuiper Belt formation and evolution models of Pan and Sari, Kenyon and Bromley, Benavidez and Campo Bagatin, and Fraser. A comparison with the upper limits we derive from our data constrains the parameter space of these models. This is the first detailed comparison of models of the KBO size distribution with data from an occultation survey. Our results suggest that the KBO population is composed of objects with low internal strength and that planetary migration played a role in the shaping of the size distribution.

  17. A Technical Overview and Description of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides a technical overview of SOFIA, a unique airborne observatory, from an engineering perspective. It will do this by describing several of the systems of this observatory that are common with mountain top ground based observatories but mostly emphasize those more unique features and systems that are required to facilitate world class astronomy from a highly modified Boeing 747-SP flying at Mach 0.84 in the Stratosphere. This paper provides a technical overview of SOFIA by reviewing each of the performance specifications (the level one requirements for development) and describing some of the technical advancements for the telescope as well as the platform required to achieve these performance specifications. The technical advancements involved include mirror technologies, control system features, the telescope suspension system, and the aircraft open port cavity with associated cavity door that opens in flight and tracks the telescope elevation angle. For background this paper will provide a brief programmatic overview of the SOFIA project including the joint project arrangement between the US and Germany (NASA and DLR). Additionally, this paper will describe the up to date status of the development of SOFIA as the Observatory nears the date of the first test flight in the summer of 2004.

  18. Airborne fungi--a resurvey

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, G.H.; Prince, H.E.; Raymer, W.J.

    1983-07-01

    A 15-month survey of airborne fungi at 14 geographical stations was conducted to determine the incidence of different fungal genera. Five of these stations were surveyed 25 years earlier. A comparison between previous studies and present surveys revealed similar organisms at each station with slight shifts in frequency of dominant genera.

  19. Tropospheric and Airborne Emission Spectrometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavich, Thomas; Beer, Reinhard

    1996-01-01

    X This paper describes the development of two related instruments, the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the Airborne Emission Spectrometer (AES). Both instruments are infrared imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometers, used for measuring the state of the lower atmosphere, and in particular the measurement of ozone and ozone sources and sinks.

  20. AARD - Autonomous Airborne Refueling Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewers, Dick

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph document reviews the Autonomous Airborne Refueling Demonstration program, and NASA Dryden's work in the program. The primary goal of the program is to make one fully automatic probe-to-drogue engagement using the AARD system. There are pictures of the aircraft approaching to the docking.