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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. 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.

  4. Digital control of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccormack, Ann C.; Snyder, Philip K.

    1989-01-01

    The feasibility of using a digital controller to stabilize a telescope mounted in an airplane is investigated. The telescope is a 30 in. infrared telescope mounted aboard a NASA C-141 aircraft known as the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Current efforts to refurbish the 14-year-old compensation system have led to considering a digital controller. A typical digital controller is modeled and added into the telescope system model. This model is simulated on a computer to generate the Bode plots and time responses which determine system stability and performance parameters. Important aspects of digital control system hardware are discussed. A summary of the findings shows that a digital control system would result in satisfactory telescope performance.

  5. NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory 1974-1995 - Twenty One Years of Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.

    2017-01-01

    The Gerard P. Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) forged a unique record in the annals of astronomy. Teams of scientists developed and flew with their specialized, state-of-the-art instruments to make observations not possible from the ground, at wavelengths from 0.3 µm to 1.6 mm. The talk will describe the KAO and its legacy of scientific findings, infrared instrumentation technology, experience for young astronomers and their impact on the field of infrared astronomy - and the rationale for SOFIA.

  6. Determination of the Telluric Water Vapor Absorption Correction for Astronomical Data Obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Simpson, J. P.; Kuhn, P. M.; Stearns, L. P.

    1979-01-01

    The amount of telluric water vapor along the line of sight of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory telescope as obtained concommitantly on 23 flights is compared with the NASA-Ames Michelson interferometer and with the NOAA-Boulder radiometer. A strong correlation between the two determinations exists, and a method for computing the atmospheric transmission for a given radiometer reading is established.

  7. 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.

  8. The Kuiper Airborne Observatory As an Educational Tool-The FOSTER Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, D.; Hull, G.; Gillespie, C.; Devore, E.

    1993-05-01

    Each research flight of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) is a microcosm of the scientific method. A pilot project has been initiated to provide Flight Opportunities for Science Teacher EnRichment (FOSTER) on-board the KAO whereby each teacher will obtain first-hand experience of the scientific process: its excitement, hardships, challenges, discoveries, teamwork, social relevance and educational value. The FOSTER project is providing to each teacher a workshop on contemporary astrophysics and curriculum supplement materials as well as the flight opportunity. The objective is to provide an enriching experience that the teachers will then take back to the classroom, so that each student will have a more meaningful science education. The 1992-93 school year is the first year of the pilot program, which after five years should expand to the national level and be flying 50 teachers per year. The project is supported by the IDEA program of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters.

  9. 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.

  10. Fiber-coupled high resolution infrared array spectrometer for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glenar, D. A.; Reuter, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Chin, G.; Wiedemann, G.; Jennings, D.

    1990-07-01

    A novel cryogenic grating spectrometer (FCAS) is being designed for observations of volatiles in cometary and planetary atmospheres, and in newly forming planetary systems. The instrument features two-dimensional detector arrays coupled to a high-dispersion echelle by infrared fibers, and will achieve a spectral resolving power of about 40,000. The primary observational platform for this instrument will be the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, but it will also be configured for use at ground-based observatories. Initially, the spectrometer will use a 58 x 62, 1- to 5-micron InSb array. Larger-format IR arrays and arrays of different composition, will later be incorporated as they become available. The instrument will be used in two modes. The first uses a large format IR array in the spectral image plane for the customary one-dimensional spectral-one-dimensional spatial coverage. In the second mode, a massive, coherent bundle of infrared transmitting ZrF4 fibers will be installed after the dispersive element, to reformat the two-dimensional array into an elongated one-dimensional array for wide spectral coverage, allowing multiple lines to be measured in a single integration with high sensitivity. The overall instrument design is discussed, and the system sensitivity is estimated.

  11. Fiber-coupled high resolution infrared array spectrometer for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glenar, D. A.; Reuter, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Chin, G.; Wiedemann, G.; Jennings, D.

    1990-01-01

    A novel cryogenic grating spectrometer (FCAS) is being designed for observations of volatiles in cometary and planetary atmospheres, and in newly forming planetary systems. The instrument features two-dimensional detector arrays coupled to a high-dispersion echelle by infrared fibers, and will achieve a spectral resolving power of about 40,000. The primary observational platform for this instrument will be the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, but it will also be configured for use at ground-based observatories. Initially, the spectrometer will use a 58 x 62, 1- to 5-micron InSb array. Larger-format IR arrays and arrays of different composition, will later be incorporated as they become available. The instrument will be used in two modes. The first uses a large format IR array in the spectral image plane for the customary one-dimensional spectral-one-dimensional spatial coverage. In the second mode, a massive, coherent bundle of infrared transmitting ZrF4 fibers will be installed after the dispersive element, to reformat the two-dimensional array into an elongated one-dimensional array for wide spectral coverage, allowing multiple lines to be measured in a single integration with high sensitivity. The overall instrument design is discussed, and the system sensitivity is estimated.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 10 meter airborne observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; Ritter, Joseph M.

    2008-07-01

    Inside an aircraft fuselage there is little room for the mass of all the instrumentation of a ground-based observatory much less a primary objective aperture at the scale of 10 meters. We have proposed a solution that uses a primary objective grating (POG) which matches the considerable length of the aircraft, approximately 10 meters, and conforms to aircraft aerodynamics. Light collected by the POG is diffracted at an angle of grazing exodus inside the aircraft where it is disambiguated by an optical train that fits within to the interior tunnel. Inside the aircraft, light is focused by a parabolic mirror onto a spectrograph slit. The design has a special benefit in that all objects in the field-of-view of the free spectral range of the POG can have their spectra taken as the aircraft changes orientation. We suggest flight planes that will improve integration times, angular resolution and spectral resolution to acquire targets of high stellar magnitudes or alternatively increase the number of sources acquired per flight at the cost of sensitivity.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. Flowfield simulation about the SOFIA Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atwood, Christopher A.; Van Dalsem, William R.

    1992-01-01

    The Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations have been applied to Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) configurations. Comparisons between numerical and experimental results are made in two-dimensions for free shear layers and a rectangular cavity, and in three-dimensions for simplified SOFIA geometries. Dominant acoustic behaviour of the cavity flows compare well with experiment. The sensitivity of the solutions to changes in grid cell size and artificial dissipation levels are shown. Furthermore, optical path distortion due to the flow field is modelled using geometrical constructs. The results demonstrate the viability and usefulness of the present computational methods for this class unsteady applications.

  9. Kuiper: A Discovery-class Observatory for Giant Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, James F.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Brown, Michael E.; Clarke, John T.; Greenhagen, Benjamin T.; Hendrix, Amanda R.; Wong, Michael H.

    2014-11-01

    The recent Planetary Decadal identified important science goals for the study of the outer solar system. However, after the end of the Cassini and Juno missions in 2017, outer solar system science might face over a decade without new U.S. missions. The Survey thus noted the critical role that space-based telescopic observations, especially those enabling significant time-domain and target coverage, can play in advancing key planetary science questions. We propose a dedicated planetary space telescope, implementable in the Discovery program, to conduct three diverse investigations. Named after pioneering planetary astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper, the mission will address 9 of the 10 Decadal's Key Questions by studying 1) the giant planets, 2) their major satellites, and 3) the panoply of small bodies that populate the outer solar system. These three diverse investigations will enable significant advances in outer solar system science, through time-domain observations and substantial time on the targets. Advances in understanding the connections between weather and climate in giant planet atmospheres, as well as the interactions between giant planet atmospheres, satellites, and their external environments (e.g., auroral, solar wind, plumes, impacts), require consistent, well-calibrated, nearly-continuous observations spanning timescales from hours to years. Progress in understanding the ways that small outer solar system bodies can be used to understand the details of early giant planet migration requires compositional knowledge of statistically significant members of key dynamical populations. Observations with the required temporal coverage and fidelity needed to address these and many other important outer solar system Decadal science goals simply cannot be obtained from ground-based telescopes, or existing or planned space telescopes. Kuiper's combination of spatial resolution, spectral resolution, UV to near-IR coverage, and substantial time-domain sampling will

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Observations of H2(O-18) at 547 GHz with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wannier, P. G.; Frerking, M. A.; Gulkis, S.; Kuiper, T. B. H.; Pickett, H. M.; Wilson, W. J.; Pagani, L.; Encrenaz, P. J.; Lecacheux, A.

    1989-01-01

    The 1(10)-1(01) transition of H2(O-18) has been searched for in several sources without positive detection. However, in NGC 2264 and NGC 7538, possible emission features are suspected. Implications of these feataures, if confirmed, are discussed. The best upper limit obtained in Orion (0.9 K) indicates that in that cloud, the water abundance should not be more than 1 percent that of CO.

  14. 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.

  15. Snow Depth Depicted on Mt. Lyell by NASA Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-02

    A natural color image of Mt. Lyell, the highest point in the Tuolumne River Basin top image is compared with a three-dimensional color composite image of Mt. Lyell from NASA Airborne Snow Observatory depicting snow depth bottom image.

  16. The NASA Airborne Snow Observatory: Demonstration Mission 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, T. H.; Berisford, D. F.; Boardman, J. W.; Bormann, K.; Deems, J. S.; Gehrke, F.; Horn, J.; Marks, D. G.; Mattmann, C. A.; McGurk, B. J.; Ramirez, P.; Richardson, M.; Skiles, M.; Winstral, A. H.; Zimdars, P.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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. This talk presents results from the second Demonstration Mission that occurred during the intense California drought of spring 2014. With the acquisition of the new cutting edge lidar system, ASO was able to fly higher and as such acquire complete basin coverage for the Tuolumne, Merced, Lakes, and South Fork of Kings River Basins in the California Sierra Nevada. Despite the intensity of the California drought, several snowfalls occurred during the Demonstration Mission and we were able to uniquely map snowfall distribution, providing unprecedented capability to test our understanding of orographics and redistribution of snowfall. A new snow density model and analysis were integrated into the ASO data system. Despite a > 4-fold increase in data volume from the new lidar, the landing-to-data delivery remained at < 24 hrs. ASO SWE and albedo data are assimilated into models of varying complexity and results presented here. We use the ASO data in the Sierra Nevada to evaluate SWE simulations from the NWS SNODAS and SWE reconstruction models. Finally, the ASO data were watched carefully during the drought, suggesting that the Hetch Hetchy reservoir original infrastructure's forecast of falling well short of fill would be biased low and that the reservoir would come close to filling.

  17. Stellar Occultations from Airborne Platforms: 1988 to 2016

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosh, Amanda S.; Dunham, Edward W.; Zuluaga, Carlos; Levine, Stephen; Person, Michael J.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey E.

    2016-10-01

    Observing a stellar occultation by a solar system body with an airborne telescope requires precise positioning of the observer within the shadow cast onto the Earth. For small bodies like Pluto and Kuiper Belt objects, smaller than the Earth, the challenge is particularly intense, with the accuracy of the astrometric and flight planning determining whether the observation succeeds or fails. From our first airborne occultation by Pluto in 1988 aboard the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), to our most recent event by Pluto in 2015 aboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), we have refined our astrometric and flight planning systems to the point where we can now place an airborne observer into the small central flash zone. We will discuss the history of airborne observation of occultations while detailing the improvements in the astrometric processes. Support for this work was provided by NASA SSO grant NNX15AJ82G to Lowell Observatory.

  18. 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.

  19. Airborne Infrared Astronomical Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.

    2017-01-01

    A unique program of infrared astronomical observations from aircraft evolved at NASA’s Ames Research Center, beginning in the 1960s. Telescopes were flown on a Convair 990, a Lear Jet, and a Lockheed C-141 - the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) - leading to the planning and development of SOFIA: a 2.7 m telescope now flying on a Boeing 747SP. The poster describes these telescopes and highlights of some of the scientific results obtained from them.

  20. 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.

  1. Kuiper Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The Mariner 10 Television-Science Team has proposed the name 'Kuiper' for this very conspicuous bright Mercury crater (top center) on the rim of a larger older crater. Prof. Gerard P. Kuiper, a pioneer in planetary astronomy and a member of the Mariner 10 TV team, died December 23, 1973, while the spacecraft was enroute to Venus and Mercury. Mariner took this picture (FDS 27304) from 88,450 kilometers (55,000 miles) some 2 1/2 hours before it passed Mercury on March 29. The bright-floored crater, 41 kilometers (25 miles) in diameter, is the center of a very large bright are which could be seen in pictures sent from Mariner 10 while Mercury was more than two million miles distant. The larger crater is 80 kilometers (50 miles) across.

    The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.

    Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Northwestern University

  2. Thermal infrared spectroscopic observations of Mars from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO): Constraints on past climates and weathering products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roush, Ted L.; Pollack, James B.; Witteborn, Fred C.; Bregman, Jesse D.; Bell, James F., III; Sitton, Bradley

    1995-01-01

    Spectral observations providing evidence for the presence of volatile-bearing minerals on the surface of Mars were obtained in 1988 and 1990 from the KAO. The 1988 data suggest the presence of 1-3 weight percent (wt%) of carbonate/bicarbonate and 10-15 wt% sulfate/bisulfate associated with martian atmospheric dust. Estimates of the optical depths are approximately 0.60 and approximately 0.35 in 1988 and 1990, respectively.

  3. Stressed and unstressed Ge:Ga 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.

    1992-01-01

    The construction and operation of 2D arrays of both unstressed and stressed Ge:Ga photoconductive detectors for far-IR astronomy from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory is presented. The 25 element (5 x 5) arrays are designed for a new cryogenically cooled spectrometer. The 2D spatial array described has the advantage of absolute registry between pixels in a map.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, M.; Painter, T. H.; Ramirez, P.; Laidlaw, R.; Boardman, J. W.; Bormann, K. J.; Skiles, S. M.; Deems, J. S.; Berisford, D. F.; Richardson, M.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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%.

  10. 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.

  11. Measuring foliar chemistry alongside airborne observations in the National Ecological Observatory Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weintraub, S. R.; Meier, C. L.; Goulden, T.; Leisso, N.; Petroy, S. B.

    2016-12-01

    The chemical composition of canopy foliage mediates key ecosystem processes including productivity, herbivory and nutrient export. However, long-term datasets that can reveal directional change in canopy foliar traits in response to environmental drivers are scarce. Advances in imaging spectroscopy have enhanced our ability to remotely sense canopy reflectance, and a better understanding of links between observed reflectance and measured foliar constituents will enhance our ability to map unsampled regions and predict foliar chemical change over time. In this talk, I will present the current canopy foliage sampling plan for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON will analyze sun-lit canopy leaves and needles across all 47 terrestrial observation sites every 3-5 years throughout the 30-year lifetime of the observatory. Sampling will occur in plots adjacent to flux towers as well as those distributed across the landscape, with individuals targeted to represent locally dominant canopy species. Measured variables include leaf mass per area, chlorophyll content, carbon and nitrogen concentrations and stable isotopes, major and minor elements, and lignin. Sampling will coincide with overflights of the NEON Airborne Observation Platform in order to maximize the utility of ground-based observations for developing regressions with hyperspectral data, with algorithm development lead by the community. To demonstrate the kind of data that will be collected and made publicly available once the observatory becomes operational, results from three linked ground-aerial prototype campaigns from summer 2016 will be shown. Prototype data highlights strong taxonomic controls on foliar physical and chemical properties but also notable variation within species and genera across sites and environmental gradients. NEON's canopy sampling program will hopefully provide exciting, continental-scale opportunities to advance our understanding of the controls on foliar chemistry

  12. 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

  13. Fusion of multi-temporal Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) lidar data for mountainous vegetation ecosystems studies.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraz, A.; Painter, T. H.; Saatchi, S.; Bormann, K. J.

    2016-12-01

    Fusion of multi-temporal Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) lidar data for mountainous vegetation ecosystems studies The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), a coupled scanning lidar system and imaging spectrometer, to quantify the spatial distribution of snow volume and dynamics over mountains watersheds (Painter et al., 2015). To do this, ASO weekly over-flights mountainous areas during snowfall and snowmelt seasons. In addition, there are additional flights in snow-off conditions to calculate Digital Terrain Models (DTM). In this study, we focus on the reliability of ASO lidar data to characterize the 3D forest vegetation structure. The density of a single point cloud acquisition is of nearly 1 pt/m2, which is not optimal to properly characterize vegetation. However, ASO covers a given study site up to 14 times a year that enables computing a high-resolution point cloud by merging single acquisitions. In this study, we present a method to automatically register ASO multi-temporal lidar 3D point clouds. Although flight specifications do not change between acquisition dates, lidar datasets might have significant planimetric shifts due to inaccuracies in platform trajectory estimation introduced by the GPS system and drifts of the IMU. There are a large number of methodologies that address the problem of 3D data registration (Gressin et al., 2013). Briefly, they look for common primitive features in both datasets such as buildings corners, structures like electric poles, DTM breaklines or deformations. However, they are not suited for our experiment. First, single acquisition point clouds have low density that makes the extraction of primitive features difficult. Second, the landscape significantly changes between flights due to snowfall and snowmelt. Therefore, we developed a method to automatically register point clouds using tree apexes as keypoints because they are features that are supposed to experience little change

  14. Erik Lindbergh unveils a plaque commemorating his grandfather to dedicate the 747 Clipper Lindbergh, a NASA airborne infrared observatory known as SOFIA

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-05-21

    Erik Lindbergh, grandson of aviator Charles Lindbergh, unveiled a plaque commemorating his grandfather on the 80th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. The event was a dedication of the 747 Clipper Lindbergh, a NASA airborne infrared observatory that is beginning test flights in preparation for conducting world-class airborne astronomy. The project is known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.

  15. 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.

  16. Validating SWE reconstruction using Airborne Snow Observatory measurements in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bair, N.; Rittger, K.; Davis, R. E.; Dozier, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) program offers high resolution estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in several small basins across California during the melt season. Primarily, water managers use this information to model snowmelt runoff into reservoirs. Another, and potentially more impactful, use of ASO SWE measurements is in validating and improving satellite-based SWE estimates which can be used in austere regions with no ground-based snow or water measurements, such as Afghanistan's Hindu Kush. Using the entire ASO dataset to date (2013-2015) which is mostly from the Upper Tuolumne basin, but also includes measurements from 2015 in the Kings, Rush Creek, Merced, and Mammoth Lakes basins, we compare ASO measurements to those from a SWE reconstruction method. Briefly, SWE reconstruction involves downscaling energy balance forcings to compute potential melt energy, then using satellite-derived estimates of fractional snow covered area (fSCA) to estimate snow melt from potential melt. The snowpack can then be built in reverse, given a remotely-sensed date of snow disappearance (fSCA=0). Our model has improvements over previous iterations in that it: uses the full energy balance (compared to a modified degree-day) approach, models bulk and surface snow temperatures, accounts for ephemeral snow, and uses a remotely-sensed snow albedo adjusted for impurities. To check that ASO provides accurate snow measurements, we compare fSCA derived from ASO snow depth at 3 m resolution with fSCA from a spectral unmixing algorithm for LandSAT at 30 m, and from binary SCA estimates from Geoeye at 0.5 m from supervised classification. To conclude, we document how our reconstruction model has evolved over the years and provide specific examples where improvements have been made using ASO and other verification sources.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Kuipers in Node 1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-15

    ISS031-E-157791 (15 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, conducts a water sampling analysis in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  20. 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.

  1. NEON: the first continental-scale ecological observatory with airborne remote sensing of vegetation canopy biochemistry and structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brian R.; Kampe, Thomas U.; Kuester, Michele A.; Keller, Michael

    2009-08-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), being funded by the National Science Foundation, is a continental-scale research platform for discovering, understanding and forecasting the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on ecology. Local site-based flux tower and field measurements will be coordinated with high resolution, regional airborne remote sensing observations. The NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) consists of an aircraft platform carrying remote sensing instrumentation designed to achieve sub-meter to meter scale ground resolution to bridge scales from organism and stand scales to the scale of satellite based remote sensing. Data from the AOP will be openly available to the science community and will provide quantitative information on land use change, and changes in ecological structure and chemistry including the presence and effects of invasive species. Remote sensing instrumentation consists of an imaging spectrometer measuring surface reflectance over the continuous wavelength range from 400 to 2500 nm with 10 nm resolution, a scanning, small footprint waveform LiDAR for 3-D canopy structure measurements and a high resolution airborne digital camera. The AOP science objectives, key mission requirements, the conceptual design and development status are presented.

  2. NEON: the first continental-scale ecological observatory with airborne remote sensing of vegetation canopy biochemistry and structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kampe, Thomas U.; Johnson, Brian R.; Kuester, Michele; Keller, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ecological observation platform for discovering, understanding and forecasting the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. NEON will operate for 30 years and gather long-term data on ecological response changes and on feedbacks with the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Local ecological measurements at sites distributed within 20 ecoclimatic domains across the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will be coordinated with high resolution, regional airborne remote sensing observations. The Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) is an aircraft platform carrying remote sensing instrumentation designed to achieve sub-meter to meter scale ground resolution, bridging scales from organisms and individual stands to satellite-based remote sensing. AOP instrumentation consists of a VIS/SWIR imaging spectrometer, a scanning small-footprint waveform LiDAR for 3-D canopy structure measurements and a high resolution airborne digital camera. AOP data will be openly available to scientists and will provide quantitative information on land use change and changes in ecological structure and chemistry including the presence and effects of invasive species. AOP science objectives, key mission requirements, and development status are presented including an overview of near-term risk-reduction and prototyping activities.

  3. Airborne LiDAR and hyperspectral mapping of snow depth and albedo in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado, USA by the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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, and is paired with a hyperspectral imager to provide an unprecedented snowpack monitoring capability and enabling a new operational paradigm. We present the initial results from this new application of multi-temporal LiDAR and hyperspectral mapping. During the snowmelt seasons of 2013 and 2014, the ASO mapped snow depth and albedo in the Uncompahgre River Basin in Colorado's Upper Colorado River Basin on a nominally monthly basis. These products enable an assessment and comparison of spatial snow accumulation and melt processes in two years with very different snowmelt hydrographs.

  4. Calibration and Data Efforts of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Airborne Observation Platform during its Engineering Development Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, J.; Goulden, T.; Kampe, T. U.; Leisso, N.; Musinsky, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has collected airborne photographic, lidar, and imaging spectrometer data in 5 of 20 unique ecological climate regions (domains) within the United States. As part of its mission to detect and forecast ecological change at continental scales over multiple decades, NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) will aerially survey the entire network of 60 core and re-locatable terrestrial sites annually, each of which are a minimum of 10km-by-10km in extent. The current effort encompasses three years of AOP engineering test flights; in 2017 NEON will transition to full operational status in all 20 domains. To date the total airborne data collected spans 34 Terabytes, and three of the five sampled domain's L1 data are publically available upon request. The large volume of current data, and the expected data collection over the remaining 15 domains, is challenging NEON's data distribution plans, backup capability, and data discovery processes. To provide the public with the highest quality data, calibration and validation efforts of the camera, lidar, and spectrometer L0 data are implemented to produce L1 datasets. Where available, the collected airborne measurements are validated against ground reference points and surfaces and adjusted for instrumentation and atmospheric effects. The imaging spectrometer data is spectrally and radiometrically corrected using NIST-traceable procedures. This presentation highlights three years of flight operation experiences including:1) Lessons learned on payload re-configuration, data extraction, data distribution, permitting requirements, flight planning, and operational procedures2) Lidar validation through control data comparisons collected at the Boulder Municipal Airport (KBDU), the site of NEON's new hangar facility3) Spectrometer calibration efforts, to include both the laboratory and ground observations

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The flight crew of NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory includes (from left), Ulli Lampater Marty Trout, Bill Brockett Andres Reinacher and Frank Batteas.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-01-14

    The flight crew of NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory and DLR telescope engineers who operated the system during its visit to NASA Ames Research Center on Jan. 14, 2008 included (from left), DLR telescope engineer Ulli Lampater, flight engineer Marty Trout, pilot Bill Brockett, telescope engineer Andres Reinacher and pilot Frank Batteas.

  8. This inflight photo was taken during the first flight of the NASA and German Aerospace Center SOFIA airborne infrared observatory 747SP on April 26, 2007

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-04-26

    Christened "Clipper Lindbergh" when it flew for Pan American Airways in the 1970s, the SOFIA 747SP shows evidence of modification to its aft fuselage contours to accommodate a 16-foot-tall opening for a 45,000-pound infrared telescope. This inflight photo was taken on SOFIA's first flight since its modification to become an airborne observatory.

  9. Early algorithm development efforts for the National Ecological Observatory Network Airborne Observation Platform imaging spectrometer and waveform lidar instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, Keith S.; Kuester, Michele A.; Johnson, Brian R.; McCorkel, Joel; Kampe, Thomas U.

    2011-10-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will be the first observatory network of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales over multiple decades. NEON will collect data at sites distributed at 20 ecoclimatic domains across the United States on the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. The NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) is an aircraft platform carrying remote sensing instrumentation designed to achieve sub-meter to meter scale ground resolution, bridging the scales from organisms and individual stands to satellite-based remote sensing. AOP instrumentation consists of a VIS/SWIR imaging spectrometer, a scanning small-footprint waveform LiDAR, and a high resolution airborne digital camera. AOP data will provide quantitative information on land use change and changes in ecological structure and chemistry including the presence and effects of invasive species. A Pathfinder Flight Campaign was conducted over a two week period during late August to early September 2010 in order to collect representative AOP data over one NEON domain site. NASA JPL flew the AVIRIS imaging spectrometer and NCALM flew an Optech Gemini waveform LiDAR over the University of Florida Ordway-Swisher Biological Station and Donaldson tree plantation near Gainesville Florida. The pathfinder data are discussed in detail along with how the data are being used for early algorithm and product development prototyping activities. The data collected during the campaign and prototype products are openly available to scientists to become more familiar with representative NEON AOP data.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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}

  15. Long wavelength photoconductive detectors for airborne and orbital infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houck, J. R.

    1983-01-01

    Seven gallium doped germanium (Ge:Ga) photoconductive infrared detectors were fabricated and mounted in integrating cavities. In addition, a cold preamplifier package consisting of J230 junction field effect transistors (JFETs) was produced. Tests of the system under low photon background conditions indicated that sensitivity was limited by the Johnson noise of the load resistor. The detectors were mounted in the Ames cooled grating spectrometer, and flown on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Good quality astronomical data were obtained during the flight of 7 July 1983.

  16. The NASA Langley High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO) - Advancements in Airborne DIAL Measurements of CH4 and H2O

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nehrir, A. R.; Hair, J. W.; Ferrare, R. A.; Hostetler, C. A.; Notari, A.; Collins, J. E., Jr.; Hare, R. J.; Harper, D. B.; Antill, C.; Cook, A. L.; Young, J.; Chuang, T.; Welch, W.

    2016-12-01

    Atmospheric methane (CH4) has the second largest radiative forcing of the long-lived greenhouse gasses (GHG) after carbon dioxide. However, methane's much shorter atmospheric lifetime and much stronger warming potential make its radiative forcing equivalent to that for CO2 over a 20-year time horizon which makes CH4 a particularly attractive target for mitigation strategies. Similar to CH4, water vapor (H2O) is the most dominant of the short-lived GHG in the atmosphere and plays a key role in many atmospheric processes. Atmospheric H2O concentrations span over four orders of magnitude from the planetary boundary layer where high impact weather initiates to lower levels in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere where water vapor has significant and long term impacts on the Earth's radiation budget. Active remote sensing employing the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) technique enables scientific assessments of both natural and anthropogenic sources and sinks of CH4 with high accuracy and precision as well as and its impacts on the climate. The DIAL technique also allows for profiling of tropospheric water vapor for weather and climate applications with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. NASA Langley is developing the High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO) lidar system to address the observational needs of NASA's weather, climate, carbon cycle, and atmospheric composition focus areas. HALO is a multi-function airborne lidar being developed to measure atmospheric H2O and CH4 mixing ratios and aerosol and cloud optical properties using the DIAL and High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) techniques, respectively. HALO is designed as an airborne simulator for future space based DIAL missions and will serve as test bed for risk reduction of key technologies required of future space based GHG DIAL missions. A system level overview and up-to-date progress of the HALO lidar will be presented. Simulations on the expected accuracy and precision of HALO CH4

  17. Constraining Annual Water Balance Estimates with Basin-Scale Observations from the Airborne Snow Observatory during the Current Californian Drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    One of the great unknowns in mountain hydrology is how much water is stored within a seasonal snowpack at the basin scale. Quantifying mountain water resources is critical for assisting with water resource management, but has proven elusive due to high spatial and temporal variability of mountain snow cover, complex terrain, accessibility constraints and limited in-situ networks. The Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO, aso.jpl.nasa.gov) uses coupled airborne LiDAR and spectrometer instruments for high resolution snow depth retrievals which are used to derive unprecedented basin-wide estimates of snow water mass (snow water equivalent, SWE). ASO has been operational over key basins in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California since 2013. Each operational year has been very dry, with precipitation in 2013 at 75% of average, 2014 at 50% of average and 2015 - the lowest snow year on record for the region. With vastly improved estimates of the snowpack water content from ASO, we can now for the first time conduct observation-based mass balance accounting of surface water in snow-dominated basins, and reconcile these estimates with observed reservoir inflows. In this study we use ASO SWE data to constrain mass balance accounting of basin annual water storages to quantify the water contained within the snowpack above the Hetch Hetchy water supply reservoir (Tuolumne River basin, California). The analysis compares and contrasts annual snow water volumes from observed reservoir inflows, snow water volume estimates from ASO, a physically based model that simulates the snowpack from meteorological inputs and a semi-distributed hydrological model. The study provides invaluable insight to the overall volume of water contained within a seasonal snowpack during a severe drought and how these quantities are simulated in our modelling systems. We envisage that this research will be of great interest to snowpack modellers, hydrologists, dam operators and water managers worldwide.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Mercury: The Kuiper Melt

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Date acquired: April 05, 2013 This striking image of Kuiper shows the crater in a new perspective. This image highlights the crater's smooth impact melt and central peaks. Kuiper, first seen by Mariner 10, is an easily identifiable feature on Mercury's surface due to its bright rays, similar to Hokusai. This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week. The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Kuiper-Belt-Object

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Zuckerman, B.; Dufour, P.; Young, E. D.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.

    2017-02-01

    The Kuiper Belt of our solar system is a source of short-period comets that may have delivered water and other volatiles to Earth and the other terrestrial planets. However, the distribution of water and other volatiles in extrasolar planetary systems is largely unknown. We report the discovery of an accretion of a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog onto the atmosphere of the white dwarf WD 1425+540. The heavy elements C, N, O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni are detected, with nitrogen observed for the first time in extrasolar planetary debris. The nitrogen mass fraction is ∼2%, comparable to that in comet Halley and higher than in any other known solar system object. The lower limit to the accreted mass is ∼1022 g, which is about one hundred thousand times the typical mass of a short-period comet. In addition, WD 1425+540 has a wide binary companion, which could facilitate perturbing a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog into the white dwarf’s tidal radius. This finding shows that analogs to objects in our Kuiper Belt exist around other stars and could be responsible for the delivery of volatiles to terrestrial planets beyond the solar system. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among Caltech, the University of California and NASA. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  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. How Much Water is in That Snowpack? Improving Basin-wide Snow Water Equivalent Estimates from the Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bormann, K.; Painter, T. H.; Marks, D. G.; Kirchner, P. B.; Winstral, A. H.; Ramirez, P.; Goodale, C. E.; Richardson, M.; Berisford, D. F.

    2014-12-01

    In the western US, snowmelt from the mountains contribute the vast majority of fresh water supply, in an otherwise dry region. With much of California currently experiencing extreme drought, it is critical for water managers to have accurate basin-wide estimations of snow water content during the spring melt season. At the forefront of basin-scale snow monitoring is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO). With combined LiDAR /spectrometer instruments and weekly flights over key basins throughout California, the ASO suite is capable of retrieving high-resolution basin-wide snow depth and albedo observations. To make best use of these high-resolution snow depths, spatially distributed snow density data are required to leverage snow water equivalent (SWE) from the measured depths. Snow density is a spatially and temporally variable property and is difficult to estimate at basin scales. Currently, ASO uses a physically based snow model (iSnobal) to resolve distributed snow density dynamics across the basin. However, there are issues with the density algorithms in iSnobal, particularly with snow depths below 0.50 m. This shortcoming limited the use of snow density fields from iSnobal during the poor snowfall year of 2014 in the Sierra Nevada, where snow depths were generally low. A deeper understanding of iSnobal model performance and uncertainty for snow density estimation is required. In this study, the model is compared to an existing climate-based statistical method for basin-wide snow density estimation in the Tuolumne basin in the Sierra Nevada and sparse field density measurements. The objective of this study is to improve the water resource information provided to water managers during ASO operation in the future by reducing the uncertainty introduced during the snow depth to SWE conversion.

  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. 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.

  10. Validating reconstruction of snow water equivalent in California's Sierra Nevada using measurements from the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bair, Edward H.; Rittger, Karl; Davis, Robert E.; Painter, Thomas H.; Dozier, Jeff

    2016-11-01

    Accurately estimating basin-wide snow water equivalent (SWE) is the most important unsolved problem in mountain hydrology. Models that rely on remotely sensed inputs are especially needed in ranges with few surface measurements. The NASA Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) provides estimates of SWE at 50 m spatial resolution in several basins across the Western U.S. during the melt season. Primarily, water managers use this information to forecast snowmelt runoff into reservoirs; another impactful use of ASO measurements lies in validating and improving satellite-based snow estimates or models that can scale to whole mountain ranges, even those without ground-based measurements. We compare ASO measurements from 2013 to 2015 to four methods that estimate spatially distributed SWE: two versions of a SWE reconstruction method, spatial interpolation from snow pillows and courses, and NOAA's Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS). SWE reconstruction downscales energy forcings to compute potential melt, then multiplies those values by satellite-derived estimates of fractional snow-covered area to calculate snowmelt. The snowpack is then built in reverse from the date the snow is observed to disappear. The two SWE reconstruction models tested include one that employs an energy balance calculation of snowmelt, and one that combines net radiation and degree-day approaches to estimate melt. Our full energy balance model, without ground observations, performed slightly better than spatial interpolation from snow pillows, having no systematic bias and 26% mean absolute error when compared to SWE from ASO. Both reconstruction models and interpolation were more accurate than SNODAS.

  11. 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).

  12. Kuipers in the Node 1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-03

    ISS030-E-117506 (3 Feb. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, is pictured near fruit floating freely in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  13. Kuipers in the Node 1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-02

    ISS030-E-116840 (2 Feb. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, is pictured near fruit floating freely in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  14. Kuipers exercises on the ARED

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-06-05

    ISS031-E-157839 (5 June 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, exercises using the advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

  15. The Color of the Kuiper-Belt Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulbis, A. A. S.; Elliot, J. L.; Kane, J. F.

    2004-11-01

    The Kuiper belt is thought to be the least thermally modified region in the Solar System and thus provides unique insight into its formation and evolution. Subsets of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) can be distinguished by correlations between dynamical characteristics and physical properties. This may lead to the identification of a grouping of objects that have undergone minimal processing and are representative of primitive material. Using recent results from the Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES), in which the plane of the Kuiper belt has been calculated (see the abstract by Elliot et al.), we search for correlations between KBO dynamical properties and colors. As a function of inclination with respect to the Kuiper-belt plane, there are distinct ``core" and ``halo" populations -- similar to the hot and cold populations proposed by others (e.g. Brown Astron. J. 121, 2804, 2001; Levison & Stern Astron. J. 121, 1730, 2001). The core objects are represented by a strong peak in object poles located within a few degrees of the pole of the Kuiper-belt plane, while the halo objects have a shallower distribution extending to inclinations beyond 30o. We use previously published data, along with new observations from the 6.5-m Clay telescope at Las Campanas Observatory, to investigate the colors of the core KBOs. We find that non-resonant objects having inclinations less than approximately 1.2o from the Kuiper-belt plane are distinctly redder than the general population. Correlations between color and perihelion distance, and color and inclination for ``Classical" KBOs, have been previously noted (e.g. Tegler et al. Astrophys. J. 599, L49, 2003; Trujillo & Brown Astrophys. J. 566, L125, 2002). However, the core sample contains ``Scattered" objects with low perihelion distances (q < 40) and high eccentricities. Funding for this research is provided by NASA Grant NAG04GF25G and NSF Grant AST-0073447.

  16. The NASA Airborne Snow Observatory: Demonstration Mission-3 and the Path Forward to a Broader ASO Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    The NASA 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. This talk presents results from the third Demonstration Mission that occurred during the intense California drought of spring 2015, a snow year far worse than the previously worst snow year on record of 2014, and an overview of the various analyses that are finally available due to the uniqueness of the ASO data. In 2015, ASO provided complete basin coverage for the Tuolumne, Merced, Lakes, Rush Creek, and Middle+South Forks of Kings River Basins in the California Sierra Nevada and the Upper Rio Grande, Conejos, and Uncompahgre Basins in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. ASO performed its first wintertime acquisitions in the Tuolumne Basin in response to water managers' needs to quantify SWE volume in what was already realized as dire conditions. Analyses show that with ASO data, river flows and reservoir inflows from the ASO acquisition date to 1 July can be estimated with uncertainties of less than 2%. These results provide enormous value in management operational flexibility for the diversity of needs, and provide strong scientific constraints on the physical processes controlling snowmelt runoff. Snowmelt runoff models are markedly better constrained due to the now accurate knowledge of the distribution of snow water equivalent. With the ASO high-resolution spectrometer and lidar data for a snow-free acquisition, we can determine surface classifications, vegetation heights, and river networks. These data allow runoff models to be accurately and rapidly developed with unprecedented accuracy. These data are now being used to constrain models of varying complexity. Finally, we discuss the path forward on expanding ASO to cover the entire Sierra Nevada and the

  17. Expanded science and management utllity of SWE and albedo data from the NASA/JPL Airborne Snow Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, T. H.; Deems, J. S.; Marks, D. G.; Hedrick, A. R.; Bormann, K.; Skiles, S. M.; Boardman, J. W.; Graham, C. B.; McGurk, B. J.; Gehrke, F.; Berisford, D. F.; Ferraz, A.; Saatchi, S.; Schimel, D.

    2016-12-01

    The NASA 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. This talk presents results from the fourth year of the ASO program, 2016, and the now four years of data record in the Western United States. Following on the heels of the most intense, sustained drought in California history, 2016 held promise of a large snowfall year due to an intense El Nino anomaly. Ultimately, the year had approximately 85% of average peak SWE. In the Sierra Nevada, ASO measured 10x greater SWE than near peak in the dramatic 2015 drought year, and twice that of the more moderate drought year of 2013. Water managers in the Sierra were using these data regularly and extending the dynamic range of newly established relationships between accumulated runoff (circa April through July runoff) and ASO total basin SWE acquisitions. ASO also participated in the NASA OLYMPEX project by flying the entire snow-covered reghions of the Olympic Peninsula for distributed SWE. These data are now being used to validate snowfall estimates from modeling and accumulation patterns as inferred from the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM). The ASO snow program expanded to acquire data in the McKenzie and Deschutes Rivers of Oregon in participation with university and state/federal agencies; Sagehen and Lee Vining basins in the Sierra Nevada, California; the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in Idaho; and the East River, in the Colorado River Basin. These regions extend the existing program flying the Tuolumne, Merced, Lakes, Rush Creek, and Middle+South Forks of Kings River Basins in the California Sierra Nevada and the Upper Rio Grande, Conejos, and Uncompahgre Basins in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.The ASO SWE and albedo data are now being

  18. Airborne spectrophotometry of P/Halley from 16 to 30 microns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herter, T.; Gull, G. E.; Campins, H.

    1986-01-01

    Comet Halley was observed in the 16 to 30 micron region using the Cornell University 7-channel spectrometer (resolution = 0.02) on board the Kuiper Airborne Observatory on 1985 Dec. 14.2. A 30-arcsec aperture (FWHM) was used. Measurements centered on the nuclear condensation micron indicate that if present, the 20 micron silicate feature is very weak, and that a relatively narrow strong feature centered at 28.4 microns possibly exists. However, this feature may be an artifact of incomplete correction for telluric water vapor absorption.

  19. The distant Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladman, B.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, J. M.; Morbidelli, A.; Holman, M.; Loredo, T.

    2000-10-01

    We present results from a series of deep imaging surveys designed to look for very faint objects in the outer solar system. We find roughly 10-20 percent of our detections outside a heliocentric distance of 48 AU, a much larger fraction than all previously published surveys. The implications of this result for the radial structure of the Kuiper Belt will be discussed, as well as how it interacts with various theories regarding the sculpting of the orbital distribution of the trans-Neptunian region. We find a luminosity function with a continuing steep slope down to the limit of our detections at about 26th magnitude, implying that observations are just on the threshold of reaching the level where the TNO size distribution is exptected to `roll over' to a shallower collisional slope. The size distribution in the observed region is expected to hold information about the time scale and physics of planetesimal building in the early outer Solar System. This work has been supported by a Henri Chretien international research grant (AAS), by NASA Origins grants NAG5-8198 and NAG5-9678, by an ACI Jeune award from the French Research Ministry, and an Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur BQR grant.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The SOFIA flight crew descends the stairs after ferrying the 747SP airborne observatory from Waco, TX, to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-05-31

    The SOFIA flight crew, consisting of Co-pilot Gordon Fullerton; DFRC, Pilot Bill Brocket; DFRC, Test Conductor Marty Trout; DFRC, Test Engineer Don Stonebrook; L-3, and Flight Engineer Larry Larose; JSC, descend the stairs after ferrying the 747SP airborne observatory from Waco, Texas, to its new home at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. on May 31, 2007. The heavily modified Boeing 747SP was ferried to Dryden from Waco, Texas, where L-3 Communications Integrated Systems installed a German-built 2.5-meter infrared telescope and made other major modifications over the past several years. SOFIA is scheduled to undergo installation and integration of mission systems and a multi-phase flight test program at Dryden over the next three years that is expected to lead to a full operational capability to conduct astronomy missions in about 2010. During its expected 20-year lifetime, SOFIA will be capable of "Great Observatory" class astronomical science, providing astronomers with access to the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum with optimized performance in the mid-infrared to sub-millimeter range.

  3. NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory lands at Edwards AFB after being flown from Waco, Texas to NASA Dryden for systems installation, integration and flight test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-05-31

    NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory lands at Edwards AFB after being flown from Waco, Texas to NASA Dryden for systems installation, integration and flight test. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. on May 31, 2007. The heavily modified Boeing 747SP was ferried to Dryden from Waco, Texas, where L-3 Communications Integrated Systems installed a German-built 2.5-meter infrared telescope and made other major modifications over the past several years. SOFIA is scheduled to undergo installation and integration of mission systems and a multi-phase flight test program at Dryden over the next three years that is expected to lead to a full operational capability to conduct astronomy missions in about 2010. During its expected 20-year lifetime, SOFIA will be capable of "Great Observatory" class astronomical science, providing astronomers with access to the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum with optimized performance in the mid-infrared to sub-millimeter range.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Kuipers performs Water Sample Analysis

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-15

    ISS031-E-084619 (15 May 2012) --- After collecting samples from the Water Recovery System (WRS), European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, processes the samples for chemical and microbial analysis in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  7. 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.

  8. NEON: the first continental-scale ecological observatory with airborne remote sensing of vegetation canopy biochemistry and structure

    Treesearch

    Thomas U. Kampe; Brian R. Johnson; Michele Kuester; Michael. Keller

    2010-01-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ecological observation platform for discovering, understanding and forecasting the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. NEON will operate for 30 years and gather long-term data on ecological response changes and on feedbacks with the geosphere, hydrosphere...

  9. Current Status and Future Plans of the NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP): Data Products, Observatory Requirements and Opportunities for the Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petroy, S. B.; Leisso, N.; Goulden, T.; Gulbransen, T.

    2016-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation platform designed to collect and disseminate data that contributes to understanding and forecasting the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on ecology. NEON will collect in-situ and airborne data over 81 sites across the US, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) group within the NEON project operates a payload suite that includes a waveform LiDAR, imaging spectrometer (NIS) and high resolution RGB camera. Data from this sensor suite will be collected annually over each site and processed into a set of standard data products, generally following the processing levels used by NASA (Level 1 through Level 3). We will present a summary of the first operational flight campaign (2016), where AOP flew 42 of the 81 planned NEON sites, our operational plans for 2017, and how we will ramp up to full operations by 2018. We will also describe the final set of AOP data products to be delivered as part of NEON construction and those field (observational) data products collected concurrently on the ground, that may be used to support validation efforts of algorithms for deriving vegetation characteristics from airborne data (e.g. Plant foliar physical/chemical properties, Digital Hemispherical Photos, Plant Diversity, etc.). Opportunities for future enhancements to data products or algorithms will be facilitated via NEON's cyberinfrastructure, which is designed to support wrapping/integration of externally-developed code. And finally, we will present NEON's plans for the third AOP Sensor Suite as an assignable asset and the intent of NSF to provide research opportunities to the community for developing higher level AOP data products that were removed from the NEON project in 2015.

  10. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott

    2011-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) at the SOFIA Science Center: engineering and scientific contributions to the airborne observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Jürgen; Colditz, Sebastian; Lachenmann, Michael; Pfüller, Enrico; Schindler, Karsten; Wiedemann, Manuel; Zinnecker, Hans; Krabbe, Alfred

    2016-09-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5-meter infrared telescope built into a Boeing 747SP. In 2014 SOFIA reached its "Full Operational Capability" milestone and nowadays takes off about three times a week to observe the infrared sky from altitudes above most of the atmosphere's water vapor content. Despite reaching this major milestone, efforts to improve the observatory's performance are continuing in many areas. The team of the Deutsches SOFIA Institut, DSI (German SOFIA Institute) at the SOFIA Science Center in Moffett Field, CA works in several engineering areas to improve the observatory's performance and its efficiency. DSI supports the allocation process of SOFIA's observation time for guest observers, provides and supports two facility science instruments and conducts an observing program of stellar occultations by small objects of the solar system. This paper summarizes results and ongoing work on a spare secondary mirror made of aluminum, the new and improved Focal Plane Imager (FPI+) that has become a facility science instrument, the Field-Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS), new cameras and optics for the Fine Field and Wide Field Imagers (FFI+ and WFI+), real-time astrometric solution of star field images, ground support equipment and astronomical observations.

  14. Airborne stellar spectrophotometry from 1.2 to 5.5 microns - Absolute calibration and spectra of stars earlier than M3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strecker, D. W.; Erickson, E. F.; Witteborn, F. C.

    1979-01-01

    Airborne infrared spectrophotometry (1.2-5.5 microns, 1.5% resolution) is presented for 13 stars which have been extensively used as infrared calibration objects: alpha Lyr, alpha CMA, alpha UMi, beta Dra, and mu Her; the K giants beta Gem, alpha UMa, alpha Boo, gamma-1 And, and alpha Tau; and the M giants beta And, beta Peg, and alpha Cet. These spectra, obtained using NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory and Lear Jet Observatory, are virtually free of the interfering effects of terrestrial absorptions. Absolute calibration of the spectrophotometry was based on the theoretical model of alpha Lyr by Schild, Peterson, and Oke (1971), which fits photometric measurements at shorter wavelengths. The resulting flux densities are compared with previous ground-based photometry.

  15. Airborne and groundbased spectrophotometry of comet P/Halley from 5-13 micrometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bregman, J. D.; Witteborn, F. C.; Allamandola, L. J.; Campins, H.; Wooden, D. H.; Rank, D. M.; Cohen, M.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    1987-01-01

    Spectrophotometry of comet Halley from 5-13 microns was obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and from the Lick Observatory Nickel Telescope, revealing a strong broad emission band at 10 microns and a weak feature at 6.8 microns. The 10-micron band is identified with silicate materials, and the primary component of the silicate emission is suggested to be due to olivine. The 6.8 micron feature may be due either to carbonates or the C-H deformation mode in organic molecules. The data indicate that small particles are abundant in the coma and that the dust contains at least two physically separate components. Significant spatial and temporal variations are also noted in the spectrum.

  16. Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) System Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiltsee, Christopher B.; Brooks, Walter F.

    1988-04-01

    This paper describes the system concept for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), as developed by in-house (Ames Research Center) Phase A level studies of the Telescope System and Ground Support/Operations System, and by contracted studies of the Aircraft System performed by the Boeing Military Airplane Company. The SOFIA facility will be 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, including the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which is a 0.91 meter telescope flown on a Lockheed C-141 aircraft. The SOFIA telescope will be about 10 times more sensitive than the KAO, will have 3 times better angular resolution, and will be able to detect all of the far-infrared point sources discovered by the IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) survey in 1983. We first present an overview of the SOFIA Phase A Telescope System concept, including its major requirements and design attributes. The Telescope System consists of the Telescope Assembly (optical train and support structures) and the Consoles and Electronics Subsystem, which provides the system's command, control, displays and communications. The major requirements and concept for the Aircraft System are next described, including the cavity modification and its supporting subsystems such as the cavity doors and shear layer control devices. Finally, a brief description of the Ground Support/Operations System is provided, including the ground-based facilities and equipment needed to support the airborne observatory, in addition to an overview of the operational scenarios and organization.

  17. 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.

  18. Airborne spectrophotometry of Comet Halley from 5 to 9 microns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campins, H.; Bregman, J. D.; Witteborn, F. C.; Wooden, D. H.; Rank, D. M.; Cohen, M.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.

    1986-01-01

    Spectrophotometry from 5 to 9 microns (resolution = 0.02) of comet Halley was obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory on 1985 Dec. 12.1 and 1986 April 8.6 and 10.5 UT. Two spectral features are apparent in all the observations, one from 5.24 to 5.6 microns, and the silicate emission feature which has an onset between 7 and 8 microns. There is no evidence for the 7.5 microns feature observed by the Vega 1 spacecraft; the large difference between the areal coverage viewed from the spacecraft and the airplane may explain the discrepancy. Color temperatures significantly higher than a blackbody indicate that small particles are abundant in the coma. Significant spatial and temporal variations in the spectrum show trends similar to those observed from the ground.

  19. Airborne Astronomy with a 150 micron - 400 micron 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 microns 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of PALSAR-2 Interferometric Estimates of Snow Water Equivalent, Airborne Snow Observatory Snow Depths, and Results from a Distributed Energy Balance Snow Model (iSnobal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeb, E. J.; Marshall, H. P.; Painter, T. H.; Marks, D. G.; Hedrick, A. R.; Havens, S.; Forster, R. R.; Siqueira, P.

    2016-12-01

    The interferometric approach to estimating snow water equivalent (SWE) leverages the fact that at relatively low frequencies ( 1 GHz, L-Band), differences in snow microstructure and layering do not significantly affect the radar backscatter of dry snow. At these frequencies, the main contribution of the radar backscatter is the snow/ground interface, and the difference in the timing of the radar propagation through the snowpack is controlled by snow depth, density and liquid water content. While engineering limitations prevent direct measurement of absolute radar travel-time, interferometric phase shift between acquisitions can be used to monitor changes in radar travel-time, caused by changes in snow properties. PALSAR-2 is a L-Band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) ALOS-2 satellite. Launched in 2014, PALSAR-2 interferometric pairs geographically and temporally overlap data collected by the NASA/JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) which provides spatial distribution of snow depths across basins (e.g. Tuolumne, CA and Grand Mesa, CO) identified as contributing significantly to NASA's multi-year airborne SnowEx campaign. As part of ASO's operational requirements, a spatially distributed energy balance snow model (iSnobal) is run over these domains estimating density (and other snow properties) and providing SWE products for water resource managers as well as other cryospheric science applications. This effort identifies PALSAR-2 satellite pairs closely coincident with ASO collections, processes interferometric products of coherence and phase change, and compares these results with the spatially distributed snow depths from ASO and modeled snow densities from iSnobal. Moreover, for satellite acquisitions not temporally matching the ASO collections, the modeled snow properties (depths and densities) from iSnobal are used for comparison with interferometric estimates of SWE. The integration of ground measurements

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Observing with FIFI-LS on SOFIA: time estimates and strategies to use a field imaging spectrometer on an airborne observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christian; Bryant, Aaron; Beckmann, Siman; Colditz, Sebastian; Fumi, Fabio; Geis, Norbert; Henning, Thomas; Hönle, Rainer; Iserlohe, Christof; Klein, Randolf; Krabbe, Alfred; Looney, Leslie W.; Poglitsch, Albrecht; Raab, Walfried; Rebell, Felix; Trinh, Christopher

    2016-07-01

    Observing on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) requires a strategy that takes the specific circumstances of an airborne platform into account. Observations of a source cannot be extended or shortened on the spot due to flight path constraints. Still, no exact prediction of the time on source is available since there are always wind and weather conditions, and sometimes technical issues. Observations have to be planned to maximize the observing efficiency while maintaining full flexibility for changes during the observation. The complex nature of observations with FIFI-LS - such as the interlocking cycles of the mechanical gratings, telescope nodding and dithering - is considered in the observing strategy as well. Since SOFIA Cycle 3 FIFI-LS is available to general investigators. Therefore general investigators must be able to define the necessary parameters simply, without being familiar with the instrument, still resulting in efficient and flexible observations. We describe the observing process with FIFI-LS including the integration time estimate, the mapping and dithering setup and aspects of the scripting for the actual observations performed in flight. We also give an overview of the observing scenarios, which have proven to be useful for FIFI-LS.

  6. Using Airborne Snow Observatory distributed snow water equivalent to predict seasonal inflow volumes and inform management decisions at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, C. B.; Painter, T. H.; Mazurkiewicz, A.

    2015-12-01

    Traditionally, estimates of seasonal streamflow volumes have been determined using statistical relationships to precipitation and snow depth measurements taken at widely spaced while geographically clustered gauges. While strong statistical relationships have been identified in some locations, these relationships are susceptible to breaking down during extreme conditions such as droughts or extremely wet years. The Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) is a program where airplane mounted lidar is used to create snow-on and snow-off DEMs, yielding distributed estimates of snow water equivalent at the catchment scale. These estimates allow us, for the first time, to compare basin wide snow water equivalent to seasonal streamflow volumes. At the Tuolumne River basin in Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, the ASO estimates of basin wide SWE are shown to be tightly correlated to seasonal streamflow volumes. These estimates are further improved when combined with precipitation measurements. These estimates appear to be more robust than traditional statistical methods, and have been used to improve predictions of inflows at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the primary water source for the City and County of San Francisco and surrounding areas.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Kuipers during Glovebox Health Check in Columbus

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-18

    ISS031-E-140316 (18 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, supports a ground-conducted health check on ESA’s Biolab Glovebox in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station.

  10. Kuipers during Glovebox Health Check in Columbus

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-18

    ISS031-E-140311 (18 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, supports a ground-conducted health check on ESA’s Biolab Glovebox in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station.

  11. Kuipers during Glovebox Health Check in Columbus

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-18

    ISS031-E-140314 (18 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, supports a ground-conducted health check on ESA’s Biolab Glovebox in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station.

  12. Kuipers works in the ATV-3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-06

    ISS030-E-210896 (6 April 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, works in the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) currently docked with the International Space Station.

  13. Kuipers floats through the ATV-3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-06

    ISS030-E-210842 (6 April 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, floats into the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) currently docked with the International Space Station.

  14. Kuipers near food containers in the SM

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-28

    ISS030-E-178069 (28 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, is pictured near food storage containers in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station.

  15. Kuipers performs Potable Water Sample Collection

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-15

    ISS031-E-079015 (15 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, collects a sample from the Water Recovery System (WRS) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

  16. Kuipers performs Potable Water Sample Collection

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-15

    ISS031-E-157783 (15 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, collects a water sample from the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

  17. Surface composition of Kuiper belt object 1993SC.

    PubMed

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

    1997-05-09

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Airborne spectroscopy and spacecraft radiometry of Venus in the far infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aumann, H. H.; Martonchik, J. V.; Orton, G. S.

    1982-02-01

    The first spectral observations of the Venus disk in the 110 to 270 per cm spectral range are reported, made from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in mid-March 1979, some three months following the start of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission. The instrumentation and its differences from earlier flight hardware is discussed. The brightness temperature was 275 K near 110/cm, dropping to 230 K near 270/cm. Radiance calculations, using temperature and cloud structure formation from the Pioneer Venus mission and including gaseous absorption by the collision-induced dipole of CO2, yield results consistently brighter than the observations. The atmospheric environment is reviewed with regard to the FIR opacity and possible particle distribution modifications are discussed. It is concluded that the most likely possibility for supplementing the FIR opacity is a population of large particles in the upper cloud with number densities less than one particle per cu cm which has remained undetected by in situ measurements.

  1. Airborne spectrophotometry of P/Halley from 20 to 65 microns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaccum, W.; Moseley, S. H.; Campins, H.; Loewenstein, R. F.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous 20 to 65 microns spectrometry and 100 microns photometry of P/Halley obtained on board the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) in 1985 Dec. and 1986 April are discussed. Spectra with resolution 30 to 50 were obtained with the NASA/Goddard 24 channel grating spectrometer. Measurements were made on the nucleus as well as 5 points along and perpendicular to the Sun-tail direction. The observations reveal the absence of any strong spectral features. The color temperature of the dust varies over time scales as short as 2 days, but is higher than that expected for a rapidly rotating blackbody at the same distance from the Sun. The color temperature does not vary within 1 arcmin of the nucleus, but the coma is brighter on the sunward side than on the antisunward side.

  2. 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.

  3. Spectrophotometry of Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lederer, S. M.; Vilas, F.

    2002-09-01

    We present an ongoing study of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Centaurs. We acquired broadband (UBVRI) and medium band photometry with the 4m Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak and the 1.8m Perkins telescope at Lowell Observatory. We present broadband colors of these objects and discuss the results of our search for absorption bands in the visible spectral region. Vilas (Icarus, 111) demonstrated that the existence of the 0.7um absorption feature in asteroids with solar-like colors was strongly correlated with the presence of the 3.0um water of hydration feature. The broad 0.7um absorption band is attributed to a charge-transfer in Fe-bearing hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates), which are a product of aqueous alteration. For aqueous alteration to take place, one must have water ice present in an object, and an energy source to heat the water ice to a liquid water phase. Water ice has already been discovered in some Centaurs (Luu et al. ApJ, 531; Brown AJ, 119), and Durda and Stern (Icarus, 145) estimate that KBOs experience collisional processing regularly throughout their lifetimes. The estimated impact energies are high enough to induce aqueous alteration. We undertook this study to search for evidence of the 0.7um feature in KBOs and Centaurs. We employed medium band Windhorst filters, located at 0.527, 0.666, 0.705, 0.755 and 0.848 um in conjunction with the Mosaic CCD to search for this absorption band, which extends from 0.57-0.83um. Initial analysis suggests that an absorption feature exists near 0.7um in the greyer objects but not the redder objects, following the correlations observed in asteroids. These data are consistent with the absorption band detected near 0.7um by de Bergh et al. (ACM 2002, Berlin) in visible spectra of 2000 EB173 and 2000 GN171. However, further analysis is required to confirm whether the absorption we see is due to phyllosilicates or another source. We will present the results from this analysis. This research was supported through the

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Kuipers works with Stowage in ATV3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-15

    ISS031-E-084591 (15 May 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 31 flight engineer, is pictured during cargo operations in ESA?s "Edoardo Amaldi" Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3) currently docked with the International Space Station.

  8. Kuipers and Kononenko in the Node 1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-12-27

    ISS030-E-033361 (27 Dec. 2011) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers (left) and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, both Expedition 30 flight engineers, are pictured near food containers floating freely at the galley in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  9. Planetary Migration and Kuiper Belt Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Renu

    The Kuiper belt holds memory of the dynamical processes that shaped the architecture of the solar system, including the orbital migration history of the giant planets. We propose studies of the orbital dynamics of the Kuiper Belt in order to understand the origin of its complex dynamical structure and its link to the orbital migration history of the giant planets. By means of numerical simulations, statistical tests, as well as analytical calculations we will (1) investigate the origin of resonant Kuiper belt objects to test alternative scenarios of Neptune's migration history, (2) investigate the long term dynamical evolution of the Haumea family of Kuiper Belt objects in order to improve the age estimate of this family, and (3) investigate resonance-sticking behavior and the Kozai-Lidov mechanism and its role in the origin of the extended scattered disk. These studies directly support the goals of the NASA-OSS program by improving our understanding of the origin of the solar system's architecture. Our results will provide constraints on the nature and timing of the dynamical excitation event that is thought to have occurred in early solar system history and to have determined the architecture of the present-day solar system; our results will also provide deeper theoretical understanding of sticky mean motion resonances which contribute greatly to the longevity of many small bodies, improve our understanding of dynamical transport of planetesimals in planetary systems, and help interpret observations of other planetary systems.

  10. Quaoar: A Rock in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, Wesley C.; Brown, Michael E.

    2010-05-01

    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 × 104 km. The orbit reveals a surprisingly high-Quaoar-Weywot system mass of (1.6 ± 0.3) × 1021 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 & 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 ρ = 4.2 ± 1.3gcm-3, possibly the highest density in the Kuiper Belt.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Properties of the Distant Kuiper Belt: Results from the Palomar Distant Solar System Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

    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 ~12,000 deg2 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. The Bimodal Color Distribution of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ian; Brown, Michael E.

    2017-04-01

    We conducted a two-night photometric survey of small Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) near opposition using the wide-field Hyper Suprime-Cam instrument on the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope. The survey covered about 90 deg2 of sky, with each field imaged in the g and i bands. We detected 356 KBOs, ranging in absolute magnitude from 6.5 to 10.4. Filtering for high-inclination objects within the hot KBO population, we show that the g ‑ i color distribution is strongly bimodal, indicative of two color classes—the red and very red subpopulations. After categorizing objects into the two subpopulations by color, we present the first dedicated analysis of the magnitude distributions of the individual color subpopulations and demonstrate that the two distributions are roughly identical in shape throughout the entire size range covered by our survey. Comparing the color distribution of small hot KBOs with that of Centaurs, we find that they have similar bimodal shapes, thereby providing strong confirmation of previous explanations for the attested bimodality of Centaurs. We also show that the magnitude distributions of the two KBO color subpopulations and the two color subpopulations observed in the Jupiter Trojans are statistically indistinguishable. Finally, we discuss a hypothesis describing the origin of the KBO color bimodality based on our survey results. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  3. Two Color Populations of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    We present new optical colors for 64 Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and Centaur objects measured with the 1.8-meter Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) and the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). By combining these new colors with our previously published colors, we increase the sample size of our survey to 154 objects. Our survey is unique in that the uncertainties in our color measurements are less than half the uncertainties in the color measurements reported by other researchers in the literature. Small uncertainties are essential for discerning between a unimodal and a bimodal distribution of colors for these objects as well as detecting correlations between colors and orbital elements. From our survey, it appears red Centaurs have a broader color distribution than grey Centaurs. We find red Centaurs have a smaller orbital inclination angle distribution than grey Centaurs at the 99.3% confidence level. Furthermore, we find that our entire sample of KBOs and Centaurs exhibits bimodal colors at the 99.4% confidence level. KBOs and Centaurs with HV > 7.0 have bimodal colors at the 99.96% confidence level and KBOs with HV < 6.0 have bimodal colors at the 96.3% confidence level.We are grateful to the NASA Solar System Observations Program for support, NAU for joining the Discovery Channel Telescope Partnership, and the Vatican Observatory for the consistent allocation of telescope time over the last 12 years of this project.

  4. Exo-Kuiper Belts around Sun-like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koerner, David

    We propose SOFIA/HAWC+ observations of debris disks around two nearby G-type stars. Our goals are to characterize the spectral distribution and temperature of circumstellar dust with photometric observations at wavelengths of 53, 89, 154, and 214 microns (HAWC+ bands A, C, D, and E) and to resolve the dust morphology in the smaller beams of the two shortest wavelengths. Spitzer/MIPS observations of each target revealed strong excess infrared emission (> 200 mJy) at 70 microns but none at 24 microns. These properties strongly indicate that each star is surrounded by a cold outer disk. Neither target was observed at longer wavelengths or with higher resolution by Herschel Space Observatory, so details about ring dimensions and thermal properties are lacking. The cold temperature of the dust (T < 70 K) and proximity of the targets (d < 25 pc) suggest they each possess a large outer ring that could be resolved by SOFIA at 53 and 89 microns. If so, the rings may show evidence of the gravitational influence of an outermost giant planet by analogy with the Kuiper Belt in our solar system and offset rings seen around a small number of other stars with Hubble Space Telescope. HAWC+ is the only instrument currently available to image thermal emission from the rings at wavelengths of peak dust emission and with angular resolution needed to identify spatial structure.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Detection of Small Kuiper Belt Objects by Stellar Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgevits, George

    2006-09-01

    We present here the results for the first attempt to survey the sub-kilometre radius KBO population by stellar occultation. Using the unique capabilities of the 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope (Anglo Australian Observatory, Australia), in conjunction with the 6df Spectrograph, by simultaneously monitoring 100 suitably selected stars, we were able to embark upon an occultation observation program which yielded 7,000 hours of stellar light curves, with 10 millisecond resolution. Initial data reduction indicates that we have captured many events which resemble occultation events, in so far as the light curves of recorded events typically match that which may be expected when a small KBO occults a distant star. Logged events are spread over many pixels, with 10 pixels (corresponding to 100 milliseconds) being the typical event duration. By simultaneously monitoring many stars in the same field, false events are eliminated. Most runs monitored blue stars located at 2kpcs. As a sanity check, one night's observing monitored close F and G class stars in the same field. The event statistics for the distant and the close star cases are consistent with occultations caused by KBO's. As an additional confirmation, it was found that the observation results at 30o and 60o past opposition give the expected 50% fall in event rate due to the change in observing geometry. It is estimated that many of the events logged correspond to occultations which would be caused by objects down to 300m radius. As the next step, it is hoped to construct a purpose-built 2,000 fibre instrument and to conduct a complete survey of the Kuiper Belt. We wish to express our thanks to the Anglo Australian Observatory for their technical assistance and telescope time.

  8. 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.

  9. Kuipers trims his hair in the Node 3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-12-30

    ISS030-E-033548 (30 Dec. 2011) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, trims his hair in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station. Kuipers used hair clippers fashioned with a vacuum device to garner freshly cut hair.

  10. Kuipers trims his hair in the Node 3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-12-30

    ISS030-E-033523 (30 Dec. 2011) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, trims his hair in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station. Kuipers used hair clippers fashioned with a vacuum device to garner freshly cut hair.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Optical measurements of NASA/USAF CRRES high altitude rocket borne chemical release experiments in conjunction with the USAF airborne ionospheric observatory aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Airborne 20-65 micron spectrophotometry of Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaccum, William; Moseley, S. H.; Campins, Humberto C.; Loewenstein, R. F.

    1988-01-01

    Observations of Comet Halley with a grating spectrometer on board the Kuiper Airborne Observatory on four nights in Dec. 1985 to Apr. 1986 are reported. Low resolution 20 to 65 micrometer spectra of the nucleus with a 40 arcsec FWHM beam was obtained on 17 Dec. 1985, and on 15 and 17 Apr. 1986. On 20 Dec. 1985, only a 20 to 35 micrometer spectrum was obtained. Most of the data have been discussed in a paper where the continuum was dealt with. In that paper, models were fit to the continuum that showed that more micron sized particles of grain similar to amorphous carbon were needed to fit the spectrum than were allowed by the Vega SP-2 mass distribution, or that a fraction of the grains had to be made out of a material whose absorption efficiency fell steeper than lambda sup -1 for lambda greater than 20 micrometers. Spectra was also presented taken at several points on the coma on 15 Apr. which showed that the overall shape to the spectrum is the same in the coma. Tabulated values of the data and calibration curves are available. The spectral features are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamical studies of the Kuiper belt and the Centaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Kathryn Margaret

    The Kuiper belt is a population of small bodies located outside Neptune's orbit. The observed Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) can be divided into several subclasses based on their dynamical structure. I construct models for these subclasses and use numerical integrations to investigate their long-term evolution. I use these models to quantify the connection between the Kuiper belt and the Centaurs (objects whose orbits cross the orbits of the giant planets) and the short-period comets in the inner solar system. I discuss how these connections could be used to determine the physical properties of KBOs and what future observations could conclusively link the comets and Centaurs to specific Kuiper belt subclasses. The Kuiper belt's structure is determined by a combination of long-term evolution and its formation history. The large eccentricities and inclinations of some KBOs and the prevalence of KBOs in mean motion resonances with Neptune are evidence that much of the Kuiper belt's structure originated during the solar system's epoch of giant planet migration; planet migration can sculpt the Kuiper belt's scattered disk, capture objects into mean motion resonances, and dynamically excite KBOs. Different models for planet migration predict different formation locations for the subclasses of the Kuiper belt, which might result in different size distributions and compositions between the subclasses; the high-inclination portion of the classical Kuiper belt is hypothesized to have formed closer to the Sun than the low-inclination classical Kuiper belt. I use my model of the classical Kuiper belt to show that these two populations remain largely dynamically separate over long timescales, so primordial physical differences could be maintained until the present day. The current Kuiper belt is much less massive than the total mass required to form its largest members. It must have undergone a mass depletion event, which is likely related to planet migration. The Haumea

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto-Express Path

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, David C.

    1997-11-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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)

    Noto, Leonardo V.; Bastola, Satish; Dialynas, Yannis G.; Arnone, Elisa; Bras, Rafael L.

    2017-04-01

    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 of the 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 changes, 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 the identification and characterization of entire gullies through field surveys a very large and expensive proposition. This work aims to develop a methodology to automatically detect and map gullies based on a set of algorithms and morphological characteristics retrieved by very high resolution (VHR) imagery. A one-meter resolution LiDAR Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is used to derive different morphometric indices, which are combined by using spatial analysis methods and fuzzy logic rules, building up a tool able to automatically identify gullies. This spatial model has been calibrated using, as reference, the perimeters of two relatively large gullies that have been measured during a recent field survey. The entire procedure aims to provide estimates of gully erosion patterns, which characterize the entire CCZO area, and to develop an objective method to measure characteristic features of gullies (i.e., depth and volume).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Kuipers using communication equipment in the U.S. Laboratory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-24

    ISS030-E-250651 (24 April 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, uses a communication system near a robotic workstation in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

  11. Kuipers configures the GCP in the ATV-3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-06

    ISS030-E-210810 (6 April 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, configures the Gas Control Panel (GCP) in the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) currently docked with the International Space Station.

  12. Kuipers holds Velocicalc Meter in the Node 3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-28

    ISS030-E-166606 (28 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, uses an instrument to measure air velocity in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

  13. Kuipers lubricates and cleans the beverage adapter on the PWD

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-23

    ISS030-E-156300 (23 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, lubricates and cleans the beverage adapter on the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) in the Harmony node of the International Space Station.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Carnegie Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Carnegie Observatories were founded in 1902 by George Ellery Hale. Their first facility was the MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY, located in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, California. Originally a solar observatory, it moved into stellar, galactic and extragalactic research with the construction of the 60 in (1.5 m), and 100 in (2.5 m) telescopes, each of which was the largest in the world...

  19. The color of the Kuiper belt Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulbis, Amanda A. S.; Elliot, J. L.; Kane, Julia F.

    2006-07-01

    Recent dynamical analyses of the Kuiper belt have introduced a rigorous classification scheme, determined the mean orbital plane, and identified "Core" and "Halo" populations as a function of inclination with respect to this plane (Elliot, J.L., Kern, S.D., Clancy, K.B., Gulbis, A.A.S., Millis, R.L., Buie, M.W., Wasserman, L.H., Chiang, E.I., Jordan, A.B., Trilling, D.E., Meech, K.J., 2005. Astron. J. 129, 1117-1162). Here, we use new observations and existing data to investigate the colors of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) within this framework. With respect to the bulk KBO color distribution (all objects for which we have B-V and V-R colors; median B-R=1.56), we find that the population of objects classified following (Elliot, J.L., Kern, S.D., Clancy, K.B., Gulbis, A.A.S., Millis, R.L., Buie, M.W., Wasserman, L.H., Chiang, E.I., Jordan, A.B., Trilling, D.E., Meech, K.J., 2005. Astron. J. 129, 1117-1162) as Classical tends to be red ( B-R>1.56) while the Scattered Near population is mostly neutral ( B-R<1.56). Colors of Scattered Extended and Resonant objects are consistent with the bulk distribution. Separating objects into specific resonances demonstrates that the color of the Resonant sample is dominated by KBOs in the 3:2 resonance, which is consistent with previous findings. Unlike the objects in the 3:2 resonance, however, the majority of objects in the 5:2 resonance are neutral and all but one of the objects in the 4:3, 5:3, 7:4, 2:1, and 7:3 resonances are red. In particular, the objects in the 7:4 resonance are remarkably red. We find that the colors of KBOs in the Core (low-inclination) and Halo (high-inclination) are statistically different, with Core objects being primarily red and Halo objects having a slight tendency to be neutral. Notably, virtually all of the non-Resonant Core objects are red. This combination of low inclination, unperturbed orbits and red colors in the Core may be indicative of a relic grouping of objects.

  20. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, M. L.; Becklin, E. E.

    2015-09-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), project has been operating airborne astronomy flights from Palmdale, California since 2011. The observatory consists of a modified 747sp aircraft with a 2.5meter telescope in the tail section. In addition to observing flights out of Palmdale, Ca. this airborne observatory has been able to take advantage of its mobility to observe in the southern hemisphere (New Zealand), to perform multi-wavelength observations of the Super Novae (SN 2014b) in 2014, and to intersect the track of a Pluto Occultation in the southern hemisphere just a few weeks prior to the New Horizons mission fly by of the planet in summer 2015. Science results, observatory operations, current instrument status and participation in future instrument developments, over the lifetime of the observatory will be discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. Observatories: History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisciunas, K.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    An astronomical OBSERVATORY is a building, installation or institution dedicated to the systematic and regular observation of celestial objects for the purpose of understanding their physical nature, or for purposes of time reckoning and keeping the calendar. At a bona fide observatory such work constitutes a main activity, not just an incidental one. While the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Chi...

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Wise Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Wise Observatory, in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, is owned and operated by Tel Aviv University, and has a well-equipped 1 m telescope. Since construction in 1971, the large percentage of clear nights at its desert site and its unique longitude have made the observatory particularly useful for long-term monitoring projects (e.g. reverberation mapping of quasars and active galaxies), and as a part of glo...

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. HST observations of Kuiper Belt binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, J. L.; Brown, M. E.; Trujillo, C. A.; Sari, R.

    2004-11-01

    We report preliminary results from a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) program designed to characterize the orbital and physical properties of six confirmed KBO binaries [Margot et al. 2003]. Our results show that KBOs in our sample have much smaller sizes and larger albedos than expected, possibly requiring continuous collisional resurfacing and implying a Kuiper Belt that is less massive than previously assumed. Table 1 describes a subset of four KBO binaries that can be clearly resolved only with HST (1999 TC36, 1998 SM165, 2001 QC298, 1997 CQ29). The orbital period P and semi-major axis a yield the total mass of the binary M. Uncertainties listed are three times the formal errors of the fit or 1%, whichever is greater. The primary to secondary radius ratio Rp/R_s is based on flux measurements in HST's F606W filter. We used the absolute magnitudes as reported by JPL's Horizons system, assumed that binary components have identical albedos and densities, and derived the densities corresponding to geometric albedos of 5%, 10%, and 20%. Most KBOs in our sample must have albedos in excess of the radiometric average of 8% [Altenhoff et al., 2004] otherwise their density would be implausibly low. For unit density, the primary radii/geometric albedos are (147 km, 23%), (116 km, 15%), (117 km, 7.6%), and (42 km, 41%). Detection of such small KBOs in the IR/mm is challenging. \\begin{tabular}[h]{rrrrrrrr} & P [days] & a [km] & M [1018 kg]& (Rp)/(R_s) & ρ 5 & ρ 10 & ρ 20 TC& 50.38 ± 0.5 & 7640 ± 460 & 13.9 ± 2.5 & 2.7 & 0.1 & 0.3 & 0.8 SM& 130.1 ± 1 & 11310 ± 110 & 6.78 ± 0.24 & 3.0 & 0.2 & 0.5 & 1.5 QC& 19.23 ± 0.2 & 3690 ± 70 & 10.8 ± 0.7 & 1.2 & 0.5 & 1.5 & 4.3 CQ& 309.2 ± 3 & 8320 ± 240 & 0.48 ± 0.04 & 1.2 & - & 0.1 & 0.3 References Margot, Brown, Trujillo, Sari, HST General Observer Prgm 9746, 2003. Altenhoff, Bertoldi, Menten, A&A 415, 2004.

  14. All planetesimals born near the Kuiper belt formed as binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, Wesley C.; Bannister, Michele T.; Pike, Rosemary E.; Marsset, Michael; Schwamb, Megan E.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Lacerda, Pedro; Nesvorný, David; Volk, Kathryn; Delsanti, Audrey; Benecchi, Susan; Lehner, Matthew J.; Noll, Keith; Gladman, Brett; Petit, Jean-Marc; Gwyn, Stephen; Chen, Ying-Tung; Wang, Shiang-Yu; Alexandersen, Mike; Burdullis, Todd; Sheppard, Scott; Trujillo, Chad

    2017-04-01

    The cold classical Kuiper belt objects have low inclinations and eccentricities1,2 and are the only Kuiper belt population suspected to have formed in situ3. Compared with the dynamically excited populations, which exhibit a broad range of colours and a low binary fraction of ∼10%4 cold classical Kuiper belt objects typically have red optical colours5 with ∼30% of the population found in binary pairs6; the origin of these differences remains unclear7,8. We report the detection of a population of blue-coloured, tenuously bound binaries residing among the cold classical Kuiper belt objects. Here we show that widely separated binaries could have survived push-out into the cold classical region during the early phases of Neptune's migration9. The blue binaries may be contaminants, originating at ∼38 au, and could provide a unique probe of the formative conditions in a region now nearly devoid of objects. The idea that the blue objects, which are predominantly binary, are the products of push-out requires that the planetesimals formed entirely as multiples. Plausible formation routes include planetesimal formation via pebble accretion10 and subsequent binary production through dynamic friction11 and binary formation during the collapse of a cloud of solids12.

  15. Kuipers during replacement of the Marangoni Surface Fluid Dynamics Experiment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-15

    ISS030-E-142827 (15 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, works to remove the Marangoni Surface fluid physics experiment from the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  16. Kuipers works to remove the Marangoni Suface Fluid Physics Experiment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-15

    ISS030-E-142785 (15 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, works to remove the Marangoni Surface fluid physics experiment from the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  17. Kuipers works to remove the Marangoni Suface Fluid Physics Experiment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-15

    ISS030-E-142784 (15 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, works to remove the Marangoni Surface fluid physics experiment from the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  18. Kuipers exercises on teh COL BERT in the Node 3

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-18

    ISS030-E-049576 (18 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

  19. 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.

  20. Exploration Missions to the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. A.; McKinnon, W. B.; Moore, J. M.; Buie, M. W.; Zangari, A.; Spencer, J. R.; Parker, A. H.; McNutt, R. L.

    2017-02-01

    The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud offer deep insights into the origin of our solar system and the workings of small planets. The exploration of these regions beckons for new missions exploring new worlds and returning to explore Pluto in more detail.

  1. Kuipers during second orbital NEUROSPAT Session in the Columbus Module

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-14

    ISS030-E-116907 (13 Feb. 2012) --- Wearing an Electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode cap, European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, performs a NeuroSpat science session in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. NeuroSpat investigates the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional visual & space perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness.

  2. Kuipers during second orbital NEUROSPAT Session in the Columbus Module

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-14

    ISS030-E-116908 (13 Feb. 2012) --- Wearing an Electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode cap, European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, performs a NeuroSpat science session in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. NeuroSpat investigates the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional visual & space perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness.

  3. Kuipers prepares to insert biological samples in the MELFI

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-09

    ISS030-E-116886 (9 Feb. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares to insert biological samples in the Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI-1) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  4. Kuipers works at the MELFI-1 in the JPM

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-12-24

    ISS030-E-033272 (24 Dec. 2011) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares to insert ESA Role of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression 2 (ROALD-2) experiment samples into a Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI-1) dewar tray located in the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory.

  5. Kuipers prepares to insert biological samples in the MELFI

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-09

    ISS030-E-116879 (9 Feb. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares to insert biological samples in the Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI-1) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  6. Kuipers prepares to insert biological samples in the MELFI

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-09

    ISS030-E-116878 (9 Feb. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares to insert biological samples in the Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI-1) in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

  7. Pettit and Kuipers in a run of the SPHERES ZR

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-23

    ISS030-E-047176 (23 Jan. 2012) --- In the International Space Station?s Kibo laboratory, NASA astronaut Don Pettit (left) and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, both Expedition 30 flight engineers, support competing students on the ground in a run of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) experiment.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Dudley Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Dudley Observatory, in Schenectady, New York, is a private foundation supporting research and education in astronomy, astrophysics and the history of astronomy. Chartered in 1852, it is the oldest organization in the US, outside academia and government, dedicated to the support of astronomical research. For more than a century it was a world leader in astrometry, with such achievements as pub...

  11. Grand Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Elliot, James; Kern, Susan; Zuluaga, Carlos; Gulbis, Amanda

    2008-08-01

    In order to observe an occultation of a bright star by a Kuiper Belt object the event must first be predicted as to where and when it will happen. These predictions require precise astrometry every few months of the largest Kuiper Belt objects. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and possible tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This promises to be a completely new and powerful way of exploring the KBOs. We propose to continue to obtain very precise astrometry on the known brightest KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions. In addition, we must also obtain accurate astrometry on faint field stars that the KBOs of interest may occult.

  13. Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Elliot, James; Kern, Susan; Zuluaga, Carlos; Gulbis, Amanda

    2010-02-01

    In order to observe an occultation of a bright star by a Kuiper Belt object the event must first be predicted as to where and when it will happen. These predictions require precise astrometry every few months of the largest Kuiper Belt objects. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and possible tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This promises to be a completely new and powerful way of exploring the KBOs. We propose to continue to obtain very precise astrometry on the known brightest KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions. In addition, we must also obtain accurate astrometry on faint field stars that the KBOs of interest may occult. On October 9, 2009 we predict KBO 55636 will occult a 13th magnitude star and this will be our first attempt to observe such an event.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gladman, Brett

    2005-01-07

    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.

  17. The Kuiper Belt and the Solar System's Comet Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Surface Color Frequencies and Ratios Within the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan Elizabeth; Fraser, Wesley Cristopher; Bannister, Michele T.; Pike, Rosemary E.; Marsset, Michael; Kavelaars, J. J.; Benecchi, Susan D.; Delsanti, Audrey C.; Lehner, Matthew; Wang, Shiang-Yu; Thirouin, Audrey; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurelie; Peixinho, Nuno; Vernazza, Pierre; Nesvorny, David

    2016-10-01

    We have an understanding of the surface properties for the largest Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) which retain their primordial inventory of volatile ices. The vast majority of the known dwarf-planet sized bodies are bright enough to be studied through optical and infrared spectroscopy. For the typically smaller > 22 mag KBO, we must rely instead on what colors reveal by proxy; yet this picture remains incomplete. Most KBO physical property studies examine the hodgepodge set of objects discovered by various surveys with different and varying detection biases that make it difficult if not impossible to accurately estimate the sizes of the different surface color groups residing in the modern-day Kupier belt. The Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (Col-OSSOS) probes the surface properties within the Kuiper belt primarily through near simultaneous g,r and J colors with the Gemini North Telescope. The survey targets KBOs brighter than 23.6 r‧ mag found by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS). With Col-OSSOS, we have a sample of KBO colors measured for a set of objects detected in a brightness limited survey, with a well-measured detection efficiency. This affords the first opportunity to explore the true frequency of surface colors within the Kuiper belt, subdivided by dynamical classification.Using the ~30 KBOs studied from the first complete OSSOS block, we present the observed and debiased ratio of neutral to red KBOs. We also measure the populations of the three color KBO subgroups (the red and neutral dynamically excited population and the red cold classical belt). Additionally, Kuiper belt formation models predict that the dynamically excited KBOs (hot classical belt, resonant orbits, and scattered disk) were implanted during Neptune's migration. With the true frequency of neutral to red bodies from Col-OSSOS, we examine the implications for the radial color distribution in the primordial planetesimal disk from which the excited KBOs

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jewitt, David C; Luu, Jane

    2004-12-09

    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.

  5. Ramifications of a Divot in the Kuiper Belt's Size Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladman, Brett; Shankman, C.; Kaib, N.; Kavelaars, J.; Petit, J.

    2012-10-01

    Our recent detection (see Shankman et al., this meeting) of a divot in the distribution of numbers of Scattering TNOs as a function of absolute magnitude would, if extended to all Kuiper Belt sub-populations, simultaneously explain several outstanding curiosities in the literature. We examine these puzzles in the context of our proposed divot scenario and provide a cohesive picture of the "hot" Trans-Neptunian populations (the scattering, inner belt, hot main belt, outer/detached, and resonant populations). We explore the observed rollover in the Kuiper Belt's luminosity function, the "missing" Neptune Trojans, the source of the Jupiter Family Comets, and patterns seen in the hot/cold ratio as a function of magnitude. Our interpretation is that a detected divot is a preserved relic of the size distribution made by planetesimal formation, now "frozen in" to portions of the Kuiper Belt which share a "hot" orbital inclination distribution. This research was supported by the Canadian National Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

  6. 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.

  7. Airborne Transparencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horne, Lois Thommason

    1984-01-01

    Starting from a science project on flight, art students discussed and investigated various means of moving in space. Then they made acetate illustrations which could be used as transparencies. The projection phenomenon made the illustrations look airborne. (CS)

  8. Orbital Inclinations of Kuiper Belt Objects: Results from the Deep Ecliptic Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliot, J. L.; Kern, S. D.; Millis, R. L.; Buie, M. W.; Wasserman, L. H.; Wagner, R. M.

    2000-10-01

    One reason to expect a trans-Neptunian disk population as the source of the short period comets is that the orbits of the short period comets have small inclinations compared with the distribution of orbital inclinations that would be expected from an Oort-cloud source (Duncan, Quinn & Tremaine, 1988, ApJL 328, L69). Hence one of the objectives of our deep ecliptic survey with the Mosaic cameras at KPNO and CTIO (Millis et al., this conference) is the determination of the inclination distribution for Kuiper Belt Objects, in order to compare it with that of the short period comets. Although most of our survey has occurred within a few degrees of the ecliptic, orbits of all inclinations pass through this region. We have confirmed discoveries of KBOs with a variety of inclinations (the greatest being 31 degrees), and confirmed discoveries of KBOs by others with inclinations as high as 40 degrees have been reported to the Minor Planet Center. A body in an orbit of high inclination, of course, spends a small fraction of its period near the ecliptic, but this observational bias can be removed. We shall present the unbiased orbital-inclination distribution for the KBOs discovered by our survey. This work has been supported, in part, by NASA Grants NAG5-8990 to Lowell Observatory, and NAG5-3940 to MIT.

  9. How many FGK stars of the solar neighbourhood have a Kuiper belt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesinos, B.; Eiroa, C.; Dunes Consortium

    2017-03-01

    In previous scientific meetings of the SEA we showed preliminary results of the DUNES (DUst around NEarby Stars) project, carried out with data from the ESA Herschel space observatory. The main objective of the project was to study main-sequence (MS) FGK stars of the solar neighbourhood in the far infrared, seeking for structures similar to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt of our Solar System. These structures are the result of the evolution of protoplanetary discs made of gas and dust around pre-MS stars, which are transformed into gas-poor, tenuous and dust-dominated discs as the gas is dispersed and the dust is reprocessed through collisions of planetesimals, forming the so-called ''debris discs''. These discs are essential for understanding the formation of planetary systems. We present here the main results derived from the analysis of the full sample of objects studied in DUNES, which can be summarized in one number: 22% of MS FGK stars within 15 pc have debris discs.

  10. The absolute magnitude distribution of cold classical Kuiper belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, Jean-Marc; Bannister, Michele T.; Alexandersen, Mike; Chen, Ying-Tung; Gladman, Brett; Gwyn, Stephen; Kavelaars, JJ; Volk, Kathryn

    2016-10-01

    We report measurements of the low inclination component of the main Kuiper Belt showing a size freqency distribution very steep for sizes larger than H_r ~ 6.5-7.0 and then a flattening to shallower slope that is still steeper than the collisional equilibrium slope.The Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) is ongoing and is expected to detect over 500 TNOs in a precisely calibrated and characterized survey. Combining our current sample with CFEPS and the Alexandersen et al. (2015) survey, we analyse a sample of ~180 low inclination main classical (cold) TNOs, with absolute magnitude H_r (SDSS r' like flter) in the range 5 to 8.8. We confirm that the H_r distribution can be approximated by an exponential with a very steep slope (>1) at the bright end of the distribution, as has been recognized long ago. A transition to a shallower slope occurs around H_r ~ 6.5 - 7.0, an H_r mag identified by Fraster et al (2014). Faintward of this transition, we find a second exponential to be a good approximation at least until H_r ~ 8.5, but with a slope significantly steeper than the one proposed by Fraser et al. (2014) or even the collisional equilibrium value of 0.5.The transition in the cold TNO H_r distribution thus appears to occur at larger sizes than is observed in the high inclination main classical (hot) belt, an important indicator of a different cosmogony for these two sub-components of the main classical Kuiper belt. Given the largish slope faintward of the transition, the cold population with ~100 km diameter may dominate the mass of the Kuiper belt in the 40 AU < a < 47 au region.

  11. 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].

  12. 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.

  13. The Curiously Warped Mean Plane of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Kathryn; Malhotra, Renu

    2017-08-01

    We measured the mean plane of the Kuiper Belt as a function of semimajor axis. For the classical Kuiper Belt as a whole (the nonresonant objects in the semimajor axis range 42-48 au), we find a mean plane of inclination {i}m=1\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} {8}-0\\buildrel{\\circ\\over{.} 4}+0\\buildrel{\\circ\\over{.} 7} and longitude of ascending node {{{Ω }}}m=77{^\\circ }-{14^\\circ }+{18^\\circ } (in the J2000 ecliptic-equinox coordinate system), in accord with theoretical expectations of the secular effects of the known planets. With finer semimajor axis bins, we detect a statistically significant warp in the mean plane near semimajor axes 40-42 au. Linear secular theory predicts a warp near this location due to the {ν }18 nodal secular resonance; however, the measured mean plane for the 40.3-42 au semimajor axis bin (just outside the {ν }18) is inclined ˜ 13^\\circ to the predicted plane, a nearly 3σ discrepancy. For the more distant Kuiper Belt objects of semimajor axes in the range 50-80 au, the expected mean plane is close to the invariable plane of the solar system, but the measured mean plane deviates greatly from this: it has inclination {i}m=9\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} {1}-3\\buildrel{\\circ\\over{.} 8}+6\\buildrel{\\circ\\over{.} 6} and longitude of ascending node {{{Ω }}}m=227{^\\circ }-{44^\\circ }+{18^\\circ }. We estimate this deviation from the expected mean plane to be statistically significant at the ˜97%-99% confidence level. We discuss several possible explanations for this deviation, including the possibility that a relatively close-in (a≲ 100 au), unseen, small planetary-mass object in the outer solar system is responsible for the warping.

  14. Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Person, Michael; Zuluaga, Carlos; Bosh, Amanda

    2011-08-01

    Occultations by Kuiper Belt objects remain elusive events, requiring precision astrometry for these faint bodies in the outer solar system. Monthly astrometry provides data that are crucial for our KBO ephemeris correction models, which then allow accurate shadow track predictions. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This promises to be a powerful way of exploring the KBOs. We propose to obtain very precise astrometry on 20 of the brightest known KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions.

  15. Geological mapping of the Kuiper quadrangle (H06) of Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giacomini, Lorenza; Massironi, Matteo; Galluzzi, Valentina

    2017-04-01

    Kuiper quadrangle (H06) is located at the equatorial zone of Mercury and encompasses the area between longitudes 288°E - 360°E and latitudes 22.5°N - 22.5°S. The quadrangle was previously mapped for its most part by De Hon et al. (1981) that, using Mariner10 data, produced a final 1:5M scale map of the area. In this work we present the preliminary results of a more detailed geological map (1:3M scale) of the Kuiper quadrangle that we compiled using the higher resolution of MESSENGER data. The main basemap used for the mapping is the MDIS (Mercury Dual Imaging System) 166 m/pixel BDR (map-projected Basemap reduced Data Record) mosaic. Additional datasets were also taken into account, such as DLR stereo-DEM of the region (Preusker et al., 2016), global mosaics with high-incidence illumination from the east and west (Chabot et al., 2016) and MDIS global color mosaic (Denevi et al., 2016). The preliminary geological map shows that the western part of the quadrangle is characterized by a prevalence of crater materials (i.e. crater floor, crater ejecta) which were distinguished into three classes on the basis of their degradation degree (Galluzzi et al., 2016). Different plain units were also identified and classified as: (i) intercrater plains, represented by densely cratered terrains, (ii) intermediate plains, which are terrains with a moderate density of superposed craters, and (iii) smooth plains, which are poorly cratered volcanic deposits emplaced mainly on the larger crater floors. Finally, several structures were mapped all over the quadrangle. Most of these features are represented by thrusts, some of which appear to form systematic alignments. In particular, two main thrust systems have been identified: i) the "Thakur" system, a 1500 km-long system including several scarps with a NNE-SSW orientation, located at the edge between the Kuiper and Beethoven (H07) quadrangles; ii) the "Santa Maria" system, located at the centre of the quadrangle. It is a 1700 km

  16. Pettit and Kuipers conducting RoBoT Simulator Session

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-11

    ISS030-E-235593 (11 April 2012) --- In the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Don Pettit (foreground) and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, both Expedition 30 flight engineers, conduct the first of three sessions on the ROBoT simulator in preparation for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon. Slated for liftoff on April 30, 2012, at 12:22 (EDT) from the Kennedy Space Center, the goal of Dragon’s planned 21-day mission will be to test the unpiloted capsule’s ability to rendezvous with the space station.

  17. Pettit and Kuipers conducting RoBoT Simulator Session

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-11

    ISS030-E-235592 (11 April 2012) --- In the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Don Pettit (right) and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, both Expedition 30 flight engineers, conduct the first of three sessions on the ROBoT simulator in preparation for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon. Slated for liftoff on April 30, 2012, at 12:22 (EDT) from the Kennedy Space Center, the goal of Dragon’s planned 21-day mission will be to test the unpiloted capsule’s ability to rendezvous with the space station.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Formation and Collisional Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, S. J.; Bromley, B. C.; O'Brien, D. P.; Davis, D. R.

    This chapter summarizes analytic theory and numerical calculations for the formation and collisional evolution of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) at 20-150 AU. We describe the main predictions of a baseline self-stirring model and show how dynamical perturbations from a stellar flyby or stirring by a giant planet modify the evolution. Although robust comparisons between observations and theory require better KBO statistics and more comprehensive calculations, the data are broadly consistent with KBO formation in a massive disk followed by substantial collisional grinding and dynamical ejection. However, there are important problems reconciling the results of coagulation and dynamical calculations. Contrasting our current understanding of the evolution of KBOs and asteroids suggests that additional observational constraints, such as the identification of more dynamical families of KBOs (like the 2003 EL61 family), would provide additional information on the relative roles of collisional grinding and dynamical ejection in the Kuiper belt. The uncertainties also motivate calculations that combine collisional and dynamical evolution, a "unified" calculation that should give us a better picture of KBO formation and evolution.

  3. 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.

  4. Airborne physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Featonby, David

    2007-01-01

    Flying is still a mystery to many, whether we explain it in terms of Bernoulli, or Coanda, and a massive jet becoming airborne can still be a source of wonder. Travelling by air has become a frequent occurrence and this provides an ideal opportunity to carry out experiments that are not possible in the school laboratory. The aircraft is a unique laboratory as it accelerates and later becomes a giant reduced pressure laboratory. The following selection will, I hope, both inspire fliers and get everyone thinking about what else could be tried safely whilst airborne.

  5. Photometry of the Kuiper-Belt object 1999 TD10 at different phase angles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousselot, P.; Petit, J.-M.; Poulet, F.; Lacerda, P.; Ortiz, J.

    2003-09-01

    We present photometric observations of the Kuiper-Belt object 1999 TD10 at different phase angles and for three different broad band filters (B, V and R). This object was observed with the Danish 1.54-m telescope of ESO in Chile during six different observing nights corresponding to a phase angle of 0.30, 0.37, 0.92, 3.43, 3.48 and 3.66 degr. Extra observations were obtained in September 2002 with the VLT UT1/FORS1 combination to confirm that 1999 TD10 does not exhibit any cometary activity, and in October 2001 with the Sierra Nevada Observatory 1.50-m telescope in order to add relative magnitudes to improve the determination of the rotation period. The observations are compatible with a single-peaked rotational lightcurve with a 7h41.5min+/-0.1 min period or a double-peaked lightcurve with a 15h22.9min+/-0.1 min period. If a single-peaked rotational lightcurve is assumed the amplitude is 0.51+/- 0.03, 0.49+/- 0.05 and 0.60+/- 0.09 mag for the R, V and B bands, respectively. We present the phase curve obtained when assuming that the lightcurve is single-peaked. This phase curve reveals clearly an increase of about 0.3 mag and of similar importance for the three bands when phase angle decreases from 3.7 degr to 0.3 degr. The phase curve reveals a linear increase of the brightness with the decreasing phase angle and, consequently, does not permit a modeling of the opposition surge. Neverthless the poor repartition of the observational data does not permit a firm conclusion concerning the presence or absence of an opposition surge on the phase angle range covered by our data. Complementary observations are needed. Tables 3, 4 and 5 are also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130 . 79 . 128 . 5) or via http:/ /cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/407/1139 Based on observations obtained at the La Silla and the Very Large Telescope VLT observatories of the European Southern Observatory ESO in Chile.

  6. Airborne Imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    ATM (Airborne Thematic Mapper) was developed for NSTL (National Space Technology Companies) by Daedalus Company. It offers expanded capabilities for timely, accurate and cost effective identification of areas with prospecting potential. A related system is TIMS, Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner. Originating from Landsat 4, it is also used for agricultural studies, etc.

  7. Airborne Particles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ojala, Carl F.; Ojala, Eric J.

    1987-01-01

    Describes an activity in which students collect airborne particles using a common vacuum cleaner. Suggests ways for the students to convert their data into information related to air pollution and human health. Urges consideration of weather patterns when analyzing the results of the investigation. (TW)

  8. New features in the structure of the classical Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladman, Brett; Bannister, Michele T.; Alexandersen, Mike; Chen, Ying-Tung; Gwyn, Stephen; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, Jean-Marc; Volk, Kathryn; OSSOS Collaboration

    2016-10-01

    We report fascinating new dynamical structures emerging from a higher precision view of the classical Kuiper belt (the plentiful non-resonant orbits with semimajor axes in roughly the a=35-60 au range). The classical Kuiper Belt divides into multiple sub-populations: an 'inner' classical belt (a small group of non-resonant objects with a<39.4 au where the 3:2 resonance is located), an abundant 'main' classical belt (between the 3:2 and the 2:1 at a=47.4 au), and a difficult to study outer classical belt beyond the 2:1. We examine the dynamical structure, as precisely revealed in the detections from OSSOS (the Outer Solar System Origin's Survey); the data set is of superb quality in terms of orbital element and numbers of detections (Kavelaars et al, this meeting).The previous CFEPS survey showed that the main classical belt requires a complex dynamical substructure that goes beyond a simple 'hot versus cold' division based primarily on orbital inclination; the 'cold' inclination component requires two sub-components in the semimajor axis and perihelion distance q space (Petit et al 2011). CFEPS modelled this as a 'stirred' component present at all a=40-47 AU semimajor axes, with a dense superposed 'kernel' near a=44 AU at low eccentricity; the first OSSOS data release remained consistent with this (Bannister et al 2016). As with the main asteroid belt, as statistics and orbital quality improve we see additional significant substructure emerging in the classical belt's orbital distribution.OSSOS continues to add evidence that the cold stirred component extends smoothly beyond the 2:1 (Bannister et al 2016). Unexpectedly, the data also reveal the clear existence of a paucity of orbits just beyond the outer edge of the kernel; there are significantly fewer TNOs in the narrow semimajor axis band from a=44.5-45.0 AU. This may be related to the kernel population's creation, or it may be an independent feature created by planet migration as resonances moved in the

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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

  11. 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

  12. Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Person, Michael; Zuluaga, Carlos; Bosh, Amanda

    2012-08-01

    Occultations by Kuiper Belt objects remain elusive events, requiring precision astrometry for these faint bodies in the outer solar system. Routine astrometry provides data that are crucial for our KBO ephemeris correction models, which then allow accurate shadow track predictions. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This is a powerful way to determine the physical characteristics of the KBOs. We propose to obtain very precise astrometry on 20 of the brightest known KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions. We also require telescope time to obtain precise astrometry on possible stars that will be occulted by a KBO in the future.

  13. Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott; Person, Michael; Zuluaga, Carlos; Bosh, Amanda

    2013-02-01

    Occultations by Kuiper Belt objects remain elusive events, requiring precision astrometry for these faint bodies in the outer solar system. Routine astrometry provides data that are crucial for our KBO ephemeris correction models, which then allow accurate shadow track predictions. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This is a powerful way to determine the physical characteristics of the KBOs. We propose to obtain very precise astrometry on 10 of the brightest known KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions. We also require telescope time to obtain precise astrometry on possible stars that will be occulted by a KBO in the future.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Young, E. T.; Savage, M. L.

    2016-09-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), project has been operating airborne astronomy flights from Palmdale, California since 2011. The observatory consists of a modified 747-SP aircraft with a 2.5-meter telescope in its aft section. SOFIA has a suite of eight science instruments spanning visible to far-infrared wavelengths. For the majority of the year SOFIA operates out of the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, giving access to Northern Hemisphere targets. SOFIA's mobility also allows observations in the Southern Hemisphere (Christchurch, New Zealand), of objects such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the Galactic Center, and Eta Carinae In 2016, SOFIA added polarimetry capability on SOFIA, with HAWC+ commissioning flights. Selected science results, current instrument suite status, new capabilities, and some expectations of future instrument developments over the lifetime of the observatory will be discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Physical Characterization of the Binary Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Object 2001 QT297

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osip, David J.; Kern, S. D.; Elliot, J. L.

    2003-06-01

    Following our discovery of 2001 QT297 as the second known binary Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Object (EKBO) in October of 2001 [IAUC 7733], we have carried out additional high spatial resolution ground based imaging in October and November of 2001 and July, August, and September of 2002. Using the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Magellan Instant Camera (MagIC) on the Baade and Clay 6.5 m telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, we have obtained accurate astrometric and photometric measurements in the Sloan r', i', and g' filters. Superb seeing conditions and PSF fitting allow an accurate determination of the binary component separation and position angle over time as well as a detailed study of color and temporal variability of the individual components. Here we present a physical characterization of the individual components of 2001 QT297 based on these astrometric, color and variability measurements. We find the primary to exhibit colors about 0.3 magnitudes redder than solar with no evidence for variability. The secondary component, however, exhibits strong variability (~0.6 magnitudes) with a best fit period of 4.7526 +/- 0.0007 h for a single peak lightcurve or 9.505 +/- 0.001 h for a dual peaked lightcurve. The colors measured for the secondary also suggest variability. Based on a preliminary orbit fit for the pair using observations spanning a one year arc, we are able to estimate a system mass of ~ 3.2 × 1018 kg and provide constraints to the surface albedo of 9-14% for assumed densities between 1 and 2 g/cm3.

  1. Kuipers conducts a leak check in the SM Transfer Tunnel/ATV Vestibule

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-29

    ISS030-E-177373 (29 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, conducts a leak check in the Zvezda Service Module transfer tunnel/ATV vestibule of the International Space Station.

  2. Kuipers performs routine in-flight maintenance on EMU in the A/L

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-13

    ISS030-E-148284 (13 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, performs routine in-flight maintenance on Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) equipment in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station.

  3. Kuipers retrieves a food locker at mealtime in the SM during EXP 8 / EXP 9

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-04-22

    ISS008-E-22009 (22 April 2004) --- European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands is pictured near food storage containers in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station (ISS).

  4. Kuipers works with DSC Hardware in the U.S. Laboratory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-16

    ISS030-E-155917 (16 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares to place Diffusion Soret Coefficient (DSC) hardware in stowage containers in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

  5. 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.

  6. Expedition 30 crew member and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers training in SSTF

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-09-01

    DATE: 9-1-11 LOCATION: Bldg. 5south, SSTF SUBJECT: Expedition 30 crew member and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers training in SSTF near Columbia module on laptops with trainer Michaela Benda. PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Harnett

  7. Kuipers watches food and drink packets float in the Node 1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-30

    ISS030-E-166649 (30 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, is pictured near food and beverage packages floating freely in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

  8. 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

  9. Private Observatories in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rijsdijk, C.

    2016-12-01

    Descriptions of private observatories in South Africa, written by their owners. Positions, equipment descriptions and observing programmes are given. Included are: Klein Karoo Observatory (B. Monard), Cederberg Observatory (various), Centurion Planetary and Lunar Observatory (C. Foster), Le Marischel Observatory (L. Ferreira), Sterkastaaing Observatory (M. Streicher), Henley on Klip (B. Fraser), Archer Observatory (B. Dumas), Overbeek Observatory (A. Overbeek), Overberg Observatory (A. van Staden), St Cyprian's School Observatory, Fisherhaven Small Telescope Observatory (J. Retief), COSPAR 0433 (G. Roberts), COSPAR 0434 (I. Roberts), Weltevreden Karoo Observatory (D. Bullis), Winobs (M. Shafer)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Queen Jadwiga Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wszołek, Bogdan

    2016-06-01

    Private Astronomical Observatory was open in June 2015. The main aim of the observatory is to provide and share astronomical and space knowledge. It collects research instruments and expands didactic infrastructure. Continuously, there is an open call for specialists to join the Honorary Staff of the Observatory.

  14. The Boulder magnetic observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.; Pedrie, Kolby L.; Blum, Cletus C.

    2015-08-14

    The Boulder magnetic observatory has, since 1963, been operated by the Geomagnetism Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in accordance with Bureau and national priorities. Data from the observatory are used for a wide variety of scientific purposes, both pure and applied. The observatory also supports developmental projects within the Geomagnetism Program and collaborative projects with allied geophysical agencies.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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).

  18. A spherical lamellar grating interferometer for airborne astronomical observations of far infrared objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pipher, J. L.; Savedoff, M. P.; Duthie, J. G.

    1976-01-01

    A lamellar grating has been developed to be used for very far infrared observations on the airborne observatory. The design characteristics and performance during laboratory testing and initial observations of Jupiter at wavelengths between 50 and 500 microns are presented.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Ninth Planet Would Produce a Distinctly Different Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawler, Samantha; Shankman, Cory; Kaib, Nathan A.; Bannister, Michele T.; Gladman, Brett; Kavelaars, J. J.

    2016-10-01

    The orbital element distribution of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) with large pericenters has been suggested to be influenced by the presence of an undetected, large planet at 200 or more AU from the Sun. We perform 4 Gyr N-body simulations with the currently known Solar System planetary architecture, plus a 10 Earth mass planet with similar orbital parameters to those suggested by Batygin and Brown (2016) or Trujillo and Sheppard (2014), and a hundred thousand test particles in an initial planetesimal disk. We find that including a distant superearth-mass ninth planet produces a substantially different orbital distribution for the scattering and detached TNOs, raising the pericenters and inclinations of moderate semimajor axis (50 < a < 500 AU) objects. We test whether this signature is detectable via a simulator with the observational characteristics of four precisely characterized TNO surveys. We find that the qualitatively very distinct Solar System models that include a ninth planet are essentially observationally indistinguishable from an outer Solar System produced solely by the four giant planets. We also find that the mass of the Kuiper Belt's current scattering and detached populations is required be 3-10 times larger in the presence of an additional planet. Wide-field, deep surveys targeting inclined high-pericenter objects will be required to distinguish between these different scenarios.

  3. 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.

  4. VOLATILE LOSS AND CLASSIFICATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-10

    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 and Brown examined the role of volatile escape driven by solar heating of the surface. Guided by recent simulations, we estimate the loss of primordial N{sub 2} 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 N{sub 2} atmosphere is thin (<∼10{sup 18} N{sub 2} cm{sup −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.

  5. Atmospheres on Volatile-Bearing Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Leslie; McKinnon, W. B.

    2013-10-01

    Seven large bodies in the outer solar system have volatiles ices detected or inferred on their surfaces (Pluto, Triton, Eris, Makemake, 2007 OR10, Quaoar, and Sedna; Brown et al. 2011, ApJ 738, L26), which may lead to atmospheres over some or most of their orbits (Stern & Trafton 2008, Sol. Sys. Beyond Neptune, 365-380). We have investigated the role of internal heat (e.g., McKinnon et al. 1997, Pluto and Charon, 295-343) and thermal inertia on the seasonally varying surface temperatures and atmospheres. We quantify when atmospheres are global (Pluto-like, with similar pressures over the surface), local but collisional (Io-like, with large pressure gradients), or non-collisional. We conclude that four bodies (Pluto, Triton, Eris and Quaoar) should be global over some or all of their orbits, and that 2007 OR10 should be global near perihelion only for low thermal inertia. Five bodies (Pluto, Triton, Eris, Makemake and Quaoar) should be global or local-collisional over their entire orbits. 2007 OR10 reaches non-collisional pressures at aphelion for low thermal inertia. Sedna is non-collisional for most of its orbit, but may be collisional near perihelion for low thermal inertia. Long-lived radiogenic heat can be important for the atmospheres of larger and/or more distant Kuiper belt objects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-02-05

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A Possible Icy Kuiper Belt around HD 181327

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Christine H.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Smith, Paul S.

    2008-12-01

    We have obtained a Gemini South T-ReCS Qa-band (18.3 μm) image and a Spitzer MIPS SED-mode observation of HD 181327, an F5/F6 V member of the ~12 Myr old β Pictoris moving group. We resolve the disk in thermal emission for the first time and find that the northern arm of the disk is 1.4 times brighter than the southern arm. In addition, we detect a broad peak in the combined Spitzer IRS and MIPS spectra at 60-75 μm that may be produced by emission from crystalline water ice. We model the IRS and MIPS data using a size distribution of amorphous olivine and water ice grains (dn/da propto a-2.25, with amin consistent with the minimum blowout size and amax = 20 μm) located at a distance of 86.3 AU from the central star, as observed in previously published scattered-light images. Since the photodesorption lifetime for the icy particles is ~1400 yr, significantly less than the estimated ~12 Myr age of the system, we hypothesize that we have detected debris that may be steadily replenished by collisions among icy Kuiper Belt object-like parent bodies in a newly forming planetary system.

  10. 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.

  11. Searching for Widely Separated Asymmetric Binaries in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, Elizabeth A.; Noll, K. S.

    2007-10-01

    We have searched for widely separated transneptunian binaries in dithered observations using the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys High Resolution Channel. In order to automate the combining of images, we have have developed a pipeline of several scripts, utilizing the power of Python to drive the MultiDrizzle PyRAF task within STSDAS and the accessiblity of IDL to interact with the graphical display. We rely on MultiDrizzle to geometrically correct, sub-pixel shift, and drizzle multiple images of target objects. This process removes cosmic rays; with four images we find no artifacts from multiple cosmic ray hits in the drizzled images. We have examined the drizzled images for possible faint companions that would be missed in cosmic-ray impacted images. However, there are numerous image artifacts that require additional investigation to rule out possible close companions. Searching for distant, faint secondaries allows us to better understand transneptunian populations, since the fraction of binaries is a fundamental and characteristic quality. Asymmetric systems, that is, systems with a large brightness difference between primary and secondary, are common among the brightest (largest) Kuiper Belt objects (Brown et al. 2006, Brown and Suer 2007), and may be the result of collisions. Small satellites appear to be absent among the fainter (smaller) objects. A detailed search, like the one we are performing, can further constrain the roles of collisions and capture in forming binaries among the small body populations of the solar system.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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}.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Kuiper belt objects: radionuclide impact on internal structure dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchuko, Oleg; Shchuko, Svetlana; Kartashov, Daniil; Orosei, Roberto

    2010-05-01

    The process of Kuiper Belt objects (KBO) matter formation and its internal structure evolution is investigate as dependent on the factors affecting the intensity of radiogenic heating sources. A solid dust aluminosilicate substance of fringe protosolar cloud regions and amorphous ice H2O have been supposed to be the building material of the KBO matter formation. Radionuclides 26Al, 40K, 232Th, 235U and 238U embedded in solid dust matter particles have been main sources of radiogenic heat for the KBO life time. A spherically symmetric celestial body was being created as a result of accretion. The body's internal structure was determined by the composition and the properties of the accretion material and the evolution of the structure - by internal thermal processes. The dependence of the forming body interior composition and structure on the accretion process rate, on the specific gravities of dust matter and amorphous ice as well as on the possible variations of these parameters along the forming body orbit, has been studied. Parameter variation domains have been determined at which the formed celestial body has its present-day sizes and average density. The impact of the heat-and-power potentials of radiogenic heat sources on H2O phase transition dynamics in the celestial body matter has been investigated. The parameter variation domains of these potentials have been found at which there can be formed areas partly or fully filled with H2O of different phase states. In addition, the dynamic boundaries of areas have been determined where the ice component is presented by amorphous ice or cubic and hexagonal crystal ice. The parameter domains of celestial body accretion and radiogenic heat processes have been determined where the body evolution may have a catastrophic scenario up to its complete destruction.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.; hide

    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

  3. 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.; hide

    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

  4. 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.

  5. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A.; Melsheimer, T.; Rideout, C.; Vanlew, K.

    1998-12-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is believed to be the first observatory built as part of a high school and accessible to other schools remotely, via the Internet. This observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction is nearly completed and first light is planned for fall 1998. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations will have prioritized access to the telescope, and there will also be opportunities for public viewing. After midnight, the telescope will be open to world-wide use by schools via the Internet following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. That telescope has been in use for the past four years by up to 50 schools per month. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. We have applied for an IDEAS grant to provide teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  6. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A.; Melsheimer, T.; Sackett, C.

    1999-05-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is believed to be the first observatory built as part of a high school and accessible to other schools remotely, via the Internet. This observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction of the building and dome has been completed, and first light is planned for spring 1999. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations will have prioritized access to the telescope, and there will also be opportunities for public viewing. After midnight, the telescope will be open to world-wide use by schools via the Internet following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. We have received an IDEAS grant to provide teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  7. Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE) comprises the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) of the PARTICLE PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY RESEARCH COUNCIL, and the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy....

  8. The long-term dynamical behavior of small bodies in the Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levison, Harold F.

    1991-08-01

    The results are presented from a new numerical technique to determine the long-term dynamical behavior of objects in the Kuiper belt. According to this model, it is possible for some objects that formed in a well-defined region of the Kuiper belt to have lifetimes of approximately 5 x 10 to the 9th yr, after which they leave the region between 30 and 100 AU. Therefore, the Kuiper belt can be the source of short-period comets. Objects tend to diffuse through a region 70 AU in extent on timescales that are on the order of the age of the solar system. Objects that form close to the orbit of Neptune have a significant chance of evolving to orbits with a greater than 100 AU. These objects can be effectively stored in these orbits for a very long time.

  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. Carter National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Carter National Observatory is situated in the Botanic Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand. Opened in 1941, the observatory is equipped with a 41 cm Boller and Chivens, an historic 23 cm Cooke photo-visual refractor and a 36 seat Zeiss planetarium. The staff are involved in research, school and tertiary education programs....

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahcall, J. N.; Odell, C. R.

    1979-01-01

    A convenient guide to the expected characteristics of the Space Telescope Observatory for astronomers and physicists is presented. An attempt is made to provide enough detail so that a professional scientist, observer or theorist, can plan how the observatory may be used to further his observing programs or to test theoretical models.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Orbiting Carbon Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-29

    Anna Michalak, an Orbiting Carbon Observatory science team member from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, speaks during a media briefing to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, Harold; Grundy, William; Stern, Alan; Young, Leslie; Bagenal, Fran; Binzel, Richard; Buratti, Bonnie; Cheng, A.; Cruikshan, Dale; Gladstone, Randy; Hinson, David; Horanyi, Mihaly; Jennings, Don; Linscott, Ivan; McComas, Dave; McKinnon, William; McNutt, R.; Moore, Jeffrey; Murchie, S.; Olkin, Cathy; Porco, Carolyn; Reitsema, Harold; Reuter, Dennis; Slater, Dave; Spencer, John; Strobel, Darrell; Summers, Michael; Tyler, Len

    New Horizons (NH) is a NASA mission that will provide the first in situ reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra. The NH spacecraft was launched on 2006 January 19, received a gravity assist from Jupiter during closest approach on 2007 February 28 at a distance of ˜32 RJ, and is currently heading for a flyby encounter with the Pluto system. Among the many science results at Jupiter were a detection of planet-wide mesoscale waves, eruptions of atmospheric ammonia clouds, unprecedented views of Io's volcanic plumes and Jupiter's tenuous ring system, the first close-up view of the Little Red Spot (LRS), the discovery of polar lightning, and the first trip down the tail of the magnetosphere. In 2015, NH will conduct a seven-month investigation of the Pluto system culminating in a closest approach some 12,500 km from Pluto's surface on 2014 July 14. Planning is presently underway for the Pluto encounter with special emphasis on long-identified science goals of studying the terrain, geology, and composition of the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, examining the composition and structure of Pluto's atmosphere, searching for an atmosphere on Charon, and characterizing Pluto's ionosphere and solar wind interaction. Detailed investigations will also be performed of the smaller satellites Nix and Hydra. Additionally, NH will characterize energetic particles in Pluto's environment, refine the bulk properties of Pluto and Charon, and search for additional satellites and rings. If approved for an extended mission phase after the Pluto encounter, NH will continue on to a flyby encounter with one or more Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). The NH spacecraft and its instruments have continued to perform nominally, as verified by annual checkout (ACO) activities conducted each year. Serendipitously, NH the spacecraft will be occulted by Earth's Moon four different times during 2011-2012, allowing for an in-flight test of the radio uplink occultation technique that will be

  3. 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.

  4. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A. E.; VanLew, K.; Melsheimer, T.; Sackett, C.

    1999-12-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction of the dome and the remote control system has been completed, and the telescope is now on-line and operational over the Internet. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations have prioritized access to the telescope, and there are monthly opportunities for public viewing. In the future, the telescope will be open after midnight to world-wide use by schools following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. With funding from an IDEAS grant, we have begun teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  5. DIRECT IMAGING AND SPECTROSCOPY OF A YOUNG EXTRASOLAR KUIPER BELT IN THE NEAREST OB ASSOCIATION

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Lisse, Carey M.; Kuchner, Marc; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Kenyon, Scott J.; Thalmann, Christian; Carson, Joseph; Debes, John

    2015-07-01

    We describe the discovery of a bright, young Kuiper belt–like debris disk around HD 115600, a ∼1.4–1.5 M{sub ⊙}, ∼15 Myr old member of the Sco–Cen OB Association. Our H-band coronagraphy/integral field spectroscopy from the Gemini Planet Imager shows the ring has a (luminosity-scaled) semimajor axis of (∼22 AU) ∼ 48 AU, similar to the current Kuiper belt. The disk appears to have neutral-scattering dust, is eccentric (e ∼ 0.1–0.2), and could be sculpted by analogs to the outer solar system planets. Spectroscopy of the disk ansae reveal a slightly blue to gray disk color, consistent with major Kuiper belt chemical constituents, where water ice is a very plausible dominant constituent. Besides being the first object discovered with the next generation of extreme adaptive optics systems (i.e., SCExAO, GPI, SPHERE), HD 115600's debris ring and planetary system provide a key reference point for the early evolution of the solar system, the structure, and composition of the Kuiper belt and the interaction between debris disks and planets.

  6. Kuipers during photo documentation of the fluid and electrical interfaces on the UIA

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-27

    ISS030-E-156468 (27 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, is pictured in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station during photo documentation of the fluid and electrical interfaces on the Umbilical Interface Assembly (UIA) Connector Shelf.

  7. Kuipers sets up the CSA-CP in the U.S. Laboratory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-26

    ISS030-E-156455 (26 Jan. 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, sets up the Compound Specific Analyzer - Combustion Products (CSA-CP) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. The purpose of the analyzer is to measure the concentrations of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and oxygen.

  8. Kuipers sets up the EHS/TEPC Spectrometer and Detector Assembly in the SM

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-12

    ISS030-E-177101 (12 March 2012) --- European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, sets up the Environmental Health System / Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (EHS/TEPC) spectrometer and detector assembly on panel 327 in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. The TEPC detector assembly is the primary radiation measurement tool on the space station.

  9. Exploration at the Edge of the Solar System: The Pluto-Kuiper Express Mission (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrile, R. J.

    1999-09-01

    The Pluto-Kuiper Express mission is one component of the Outer Planets/Solar Probe Project which is part of the exploration strategy laid out in the Solar System Exploration Roadmap. The first three missions of this project are the Europa Orbiter, Pluto-Kuiper Express and the Solar Probe. All require challenging new technologies and the ability to operate in deep space and at Jupiter. Use of common management and design approaches, avionics, and mission software is planned to reduce the costs of the three missions. The Pluto-Kuiper Express mission is planned to launch in 2004 and is designed to provide the first reconnaissance of the Solar System's most distant planet, Pluto, and it, moon Charon. A gravity assist from Jupiter will allow an 8-year flight time to Pluto and the possibility of encountering one or more Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects after the Pluto encounter. The primary science objectives for the mission include characterizing the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, mapping their surface composition and characterizing Pluto's neutral atmosphere and its escape rate. This mission is currently soliciting scientific investigations through a NASA Announcement of Opportunity.

  10. Padalka and Kuipers review a procedures book in Node 1 during EXP 9 / EXP 8

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-04-22

    ISS008-E-21991 (22 April 2004) --- Cosmonaut Gennady I. Padalka (left), Expedition 9 commander, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands, work with one of experiments of the Dutch Expedition for Life Science, Technology and Atmospheric (DELTA) Research in the Unity node of the International Space Station (ISS). Padalka represents Russia’s Federal Space Agency.

  11. Kuipers holds the Plasma-03 experiment container as Foale looks on during Expedition 9 / Expedition 8

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-04-29

    ISS008-E-22393 (29 April 2004) --- European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands, holds a Complex “Plasma-03” canister in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station (ISS). Astronaut C. Michael Foale, Expedition 8 commander and NASA ISS science officer, is at right.

  12. Kuipers installs and routes RCS Video Cables in the U.S. Laboratory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-01

    ISS030-E-060117 (1 Feb. 2012) --- In the International Space Station?s Destiny laboratory, European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, routes video cable for the High Rate Communication System (HRCS). HRCS will allow for two additional space-to-ground audio channels and two additional downlink video channels.

  13. Optical Instrumentation Support for the Airborne Ionospheric Observatory

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-10-25

    Keo Consultants 27 Irving St., Brookline, MA 02146 25 October, 1989 DTIC Final Report ELECTE 12 March 1986 - 30 September 1989 FEB 13199011 Approved...LABORATORY 6C. ADDRESS (City, State, ard ZIPCode) 7b. ADDRESS (City, State, and ZIP Code) 27 IRVING ST. HANSCOM AFB MA 01731-5000 BROOKLINE MA 02146 8a

  14. The Color Distribution in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doressoundiram, A.; Peixinho, N.; de Bergh, C.; Fornasier, S.; Thébault, P.; Barucci, M. A.; Veillet, C.

    2002-10-01

    In 1997 we began the Meudon Multicolor Survey of Outer Solar System Objects with the aim of collecting a large and homogeneous set of color data for trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs. Here we present our latest B-V, V-R, and R-I color measurements obtained with the CFH12K mosaic camera of the 3.6 m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. With the colors of 30 objects reported in this work, we have a combined sample of 52 B-R color measurements for eight Centaurs, 22 classical TNOs, 13 Plutinos, eight scattered objects, and one object of unidentified dynamical class. This is the largest single and homogeneous data set published to date, and it is large enough to search for compositional structures, interrelations between dynamical classes of objects, and correlations with physical and orbital parameters. The color-color diagrams show that all the classes of objects share the same wide color diversity. No significant correlations are seen for the whole population of TNOs and Centaurs, or for individual subpopulations, except for the classical objects. Indeed, we found a significant and strong correlation of the colors of classical TNOs with inclination, eccentricity, and perihelion, but nothing with semimajor axis and absolute magnitude. Most of these results are common to previous works and do not seem to be due to sampling bias. Moreover, a strong correlation with mean excitation velocity [VK(e2+i2)1/2] points toward a space weathering or impact origin for the color diversity. However, thorough modeling of the collisional/dynamical environment in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt needs to be done in order to confirm this scenario. We found also that the classical TNOs are made up of a superposition of two distinct populations: the dynamically cold classical TNOs (red colors, low i, small sizes) and the dynamically hot classical TNOs (diverse colors, moderate and high i, larger sizes). Furthermore, the latter population displays a strong correlation between color and mean

  15. Primary Accretion of Asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuzzi, Jeff

    thresholds with our cascade models recently led us to the relative abundance of primary planetesimals as a function of mass - their "initial mass function" - and a rough estimate of their production rate. The theory also makes testable predictions about variance of chondrule ages in a parent body. The model is applicable not only to asteroids, but also to Kuiper Belt Objects in the 16-30AU region. We propose to carry this work forward. To test and refine the scenario, we propose to (a) include the self-gravity of dense particle clumps in complete 3D turbulent models, to assess their stability and mutual interactions; (b) validate the key elements of the cascade model, including the scaling properties of the process; (c) study the settling of dense clumps in the vertical component of solar gravity, which increases the local density of chondrule-size components in regions near the midplane; (d) refine our timescale estimates for primary accretion; and (e) collaborate in new observational studies of meteoritical evidence for or against aerodynamical sorting.

  16. 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.

  17. Transient Astrophysics Observatory (TAO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racusin, J. L.; TAO Team

    2016-10-01

    The Transient Astrophysics Observatory (TAO) is a NASA MidEx mission concept (formerly known as Lobster) designed to provide simultaneous wide-field gamma-ray, X-ray, and near-infrared observations of the sky.

  18. 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.

  19. Orbiting Carbon Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-29

    Charles Miller talks during a media briefing to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  20. Orbiting Carbon Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-29

    Panelists are seen during a media briefing to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  1. Orbiting Carbon Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-29

    Ralph Basilio talks during a media briefing to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  2. Orbiting Carbon Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-29

    Eric Ianson speaks during a media briefing to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  3. Global Health Observatory (GHO)

    MedlinePlus

    ... UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank), other UN organizations - including the UN Statistics Division ... data systems Country statistics Regional Health Observatories Africa Americas South-East Asia Europe Eastern Mediterranean Western Pacific ...

  4. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Orr, Tim R.

    2008-01-01

    Lava from Kilauea volcano flowing through a forest in the Royal Gardens subdivision, Hawai'i, in February 2008. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitors the volcanoes of Hawai'i and is located within Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. HVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Kilauea and HVO at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

  5. Advancing the Gemini Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammel, Heidi B.; Levenson, Nancy A.

    2012-11-01

    Gemini Science and User Meeting; San Francisco, California, 17-20 July 2012 More than 100 astronomers gathered in San Francisco to discuss results from the Gemini Observatory and to plan for its future. The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1 meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on mountaintops in Hawai'i and Chile. Gemini was built and is operated by an international partnership that currently includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina.

  6. The Pierre Auger Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Hojvat, C.

    1997-03-01

    The Pierre Auger Observatory is an international collaboration for the detailed study of the highest energy cosmic rays. It will operate at two similar sites, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. The Observatory is designed to collect a statistically significant data set of events with energies greater than 10{sup 19} eV and with equal exposures for the northern and southern skies.

  7. Observatories and Telescopes of Modern Times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leverington, David

    2016-11-01

    Preface; Part I. Optical Observatories: 1. Palomar Mountain Observatory; 2. The United States Optical Observatory; 3. From the Next Generation Telescope to Gemini and SOAR; 4. Competing primary mirror designs; 5. Active optics, adaptive optics and other technical innovations; 6. European Northern Observatory and Calar Alto; 7. European Southern Observatory; 8. Mauna Kea Observatory; 9. Australian optical observatories; 10. Mount Hopkins' Whipple Observatory and the MMT; 11. Apache Point Observatory; 12. Carnegie Southern Observatory (Las Campanas); 13. Mount Graham International Optical Observatory; 14. Modern optical interferometers; 15. Solar observatories; Part II. Radio Observatories: 16. Australian radio observatories; 17. Cambridge Mullard Radio Observatory; 18. Jodrell Bank; 19. Early radio observatories away from the Australian-British axis; 20. The American National Radio Astronomy Observatory; 21. Owens Valley and Mauna Kea; 22. Further North and Central American observatories; 23. Further European and Asian radio observatories; 24. ALMA and the South Pole; Name index; Optical observatory and telescope index; Radio observatory and telescope index; General index.

  8. 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

  9. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge: Sednoids and the Inner Oort Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, C.

    2013-10-01

    The Kuiper Belt is thought to be a relic from the original protoplanetary disk. This region contains some of the least processed material in the solar system and is the suspected source of the Centaurs and short period comets. Currently there are over one thousand Kuiper Belt objects known with perihelion between about 30 and 50 AU. Only one object is known to have a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU (Sedna at 76 AU) even though shallow surveys to date should have found many such Sednoids if the size distribution beyond this ``edge'' is similar to what has been seen elsewhere in the Kuiper Belt. The strong size and heliocentric distance dependence of the flux density of sunlight scattered from an object requires a survey to obtain very faint magnitudes in order to access the population of objects of size 100 km and less beyond 50 AU. Kuiper Belt surveys to date have not been optimized to survey beyond the Kuiper Belt edge at 50 AU as they have either covered large areas but been to shallow depths (less than 23rd mag), have gone deep but covered a very small area of sky (a few square degrees), or do not have the required cadence to detect the ultra slow moving Sednoids or inner Oort cloud objects that are well beyond 50 AU. We are performing an ultra-deep wide-field outer solar system survey with the wide-field imagers on the large class Magellan 6.5 m and Subaru 8 m telescopes 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. This survey is the widest deepest survey for such distant objects ever obtained. We will constrain 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.

  10. Making the cold Kuiper belt in a planetary instability migration model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes, Rodney S.

    2017-06-01

    Numerical integrations of the equations of motion of Jupiter, Saturn, three ice cores and a disk of planetesimals are undertaken. Two of the ice planets stand for Uranus and Neptune and a third one is expected to be ejected from the solar system. The planets start in compact cold orbits and each one is in mean motion resonance with its neighbor(s). The disk of planetesimals is placed just outside the outermost planet and is extended to 45 au. Five hundred integrations are done for each of four masses assigned to the disk, which are 25, 30, 35 and 40 Earth masses. The integrations are extended to 100 My. After that, I choose the successful runs in which there are four planets left in closed orbits around the Sun and I separate the good runs among the successful ones, defined by semi-major axes ranges around and not too far from the real ones. Among these good runs, I further choose by visual inspection those that yield an orbital distribution of planetesimals at the Kuiper belt region that resembles the real cold Kuiper belt. I extend these runs to 1 Gy and, after that, to 4.5 Gy. These last integrations for 3.5 Gy are done after replacing the orbits of the planets in the end of the 1 Gy integrations by their current orbits, changing the semi-major axes of the planetesimals so as to keep the same mean motion ratio with Neptune and assigning null masses for the planetesimals. Orbital distributions of the cold Kuiper belt obtained in some of the runs at 4.5 Gy are quite similar to that of the real cold Kuiper belt. The mass in the Kuiper belt region can be dynamically eroded to up to 90% of the original mass. The main conclusion is that the cold Kuiper belt is compatible with a past planetary instability phase even though in some of these runs Neptune's semi-major axis and eccentricity attained values simultaneously larger than 20 au and 0.2 for over 1 My.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Arecibo Observatory and the National Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojalvo, Isobel

    2006-12-01

    The United States Virtual Observatoryw as established in 2001 to provide worldwide access to data acquired by U.S. observatories, including Arecibo Observatory at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center in Puerto Rico. Arecibo's 7-element L-band Feed Array (ALFA) is being used to survey line and continuum radiation over large areas of the 21cm-wavelength sky. Two surveys were the focus of this project: the Galactic interstellar medium HI 21cm line survey (GALFA) and the Arecibo Galaxy Environment HI Survey (AGES). Both surveys are producing large volumes of data in ``cubes'' of intensity as a function of right ascension, declination, and line-of-sight doppler velocity. An essential objective of both GALFA and AGES is to make the data available over the World Wide Web. This will require a user interface that returns the appropriate cube for a given set of coordinates, or computes a new cube on the fly covering a desired coordinate range. To implement this service, computationally efficient processing and serving methods are required. This presentation will discuss the current methods used for remote data access as well as new methods that can be used to analyze data cubes online with web tools. This work has been supported by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program of the National Science Foundation and by the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center operated by Cornell University under Cooperative Agreement with the NSF.

  15. Toward a green observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weilenmann, Ueli; Ramírez, Christian; Vanderheyden, Pierre

    2010-07-01

    Many of the modern observatories are located at remote sites, far from larger cities and away from infrastructure like power grids, water supplies and roads. On-site power generation in island mode is often the only choice to provide electricity to an observatory. During the 2008 petrol price rally, conventional power generation has received special attention and alternatives are being studied now in many organisations to keep energy prices at bay. This paper shall outline the power generation at the ESO VLT/VLTI observatory at Paranal as it is now and a plan for a possible way out of the dependency on fossil fuels in the near future. A discussion of several alternatives including wind energy, solar energy and heat recovery from a conventional power plant shall be analysed and compared. Finally, a project is being proposed to equip the VLT/VLTI with a modern alternative energy supply, based on a novel concept: Solar cooling.

  16. Iranian National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosroshahi, H. G.; Danesh, A.; Molaeinezhad, A.

    2016-09-01

    The Iranian National Observatory is under construction at an altitude of 3600m at Gargash summit 300km southern Tehran. The site selection was concluded in 2007 and the site monitoring activities have begun since then, which indicates a high quality of the site with a median seeing of 0.7 arcsec through the year. One of the major observing facilities of the observatory is a 3.4m Alt-Az Ritchey-Chretien optical telescope which is currently under design. This f/11 telescope will be equipped with high resolution medium-wide field imaging cameras as well as medium and high resolution spectrographs. In this review, I will give an overview of astronomy research and education in Iran. Then I will go through the past and present activities of the Iranian National Observatory project including the site quality, telescope specifications and instrument capabilities.

  17. Wendelstein Observatory control software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snigula, Jan M.; Gössl, Claus; Kodric, Mihael; Riffeser, Arno; Wegner, Michael; Schlichter, Jörg

    2016-07-01

    LMU Munchen operates an astrophysical observatory on Mt. Wendelstein1. The 2m Fraunhofer telescope2, 3 is equipped with a 0.5 x 0.5 square degree field-of-view wide field camera4 and a 3 channel optical/NIR camera5, 6. Two fiber coupled spectrographs7-9 and a wavefront sensor will be added in the near future. The observatory hosts a multitude of supporting hardware, i.e. allsky cameras, webcams, meteostation, air conditioning etc. All scientific hardware can be controlled through a single, central "Master Control Program" (MCP). At the last SPIE astronomy venue we presented the overall Wendelstein Observatory software concept10. Here we explain concept and implementation of the MCP as a multi-threaded Python daemon in the area of conflict between debuggability and Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY).

  18. Arecibo Observatory for All

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

    We describe new materials available at Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, some basic terms used in radio astronomy and frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. We are interested that blind visitors can participate of the excitement of the visit to the worlds largest radio telescope. We would like to thank the "Fundacion Comunitaria de Puerto Rico" for the scholarship that allowed GMI to work on this project. We would like to express our gratitude to the Arecibo Observatory/NAIC for their support.

  19. 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.

  20. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boger, J.; Hahn, R. L.; Rowley, J. K.; Carter, A. L.; Hollebone, B.; Kessler, D.; Blevis, I.; Dalnoki-Veress, F.; DeKok, A.; Farine, J.; Grant, D. R.; Hargrove, C. K.; Laberge, G.; Levine, I.; McFarlane, K.; Mes, H.; Noble, A. T.; Novikov, V. M.; O'Neill, M.; Shatkay, M.; Shewchuk, C.; Sinclair, D.; Clifford, E. T. H.; Deal, R.; Earle, E. D.; Gaudette, E.; Milton, G.; Sur, B.; Bigu, J.; Cowan, J. H. M.; Cluff, D. L.; Hallman, E. D.; Haq, R. U.; Hewett, J.; Hykawy, J. G.; Jonkmans, G.; Michaud, R.; Roberge, A.; Roberts, J.; Saettler, E.; Schwendener, M. H.; Seifert, H.; Sweezey, D.; Tafirout, R.; Virtue, C. J.; Beck, D. N.; Chan, Y. D.; Chen, X.; Dragowsky, M. R.; Dycus, F. W.; Gonzalez, J.; Isaac, M. C. P.; Kajiyama, Y.; Koehler, G. W.; Lesko, K. T.; Moebus, M. C.; Norman, E. B.; Okada, C. E.; Poon, A. W. P.; Purgalis, P.; Schuelke, A.; Smith, A. R.; Stokstad, R. G.; Turner, S.; Zlimen, I.; Anaya, J. M.; Bowles, T. J.; Brice, S. J.; Esch, E.-I.; Fowler, M. M.; Goldschmidt, A.; Hime, A.; McGirt, A. F.; Miller, G. G.; Teasdale, W. A.; Wilhelmy, J. B.; Wouters, J. M.; Anglin, J. D.; Bercovitch, M.; Davidson, W. F.; Storey, R. S.; Biller, S.; Black, R. A.; Boardman, R. J.; Bowler, M. G.; Cameron, J.; Cleveland, B.; Ferraris, A. P.; Doucas, G.; Heron, H.; Howard, C.; Jelley, N. A.; Knox, A. B.; Lay, M.; Locke, W.; Lyon, J.; Majerus, S.; Moorhead, M.; Omori, M.; Tanner, N. W.; Taplin, R. K.; Thorman, M.; Wark, D. L.; West, N.; Barton, J. C.; Trent, P. T.; Kouzes, R.; Lowry, M. M.; Bell, A. L.; Bonvin, E.; Boulay, M.; Dayon, M.; Duncan, F.; Erhardt, L. S.; Evans, H. C.; Ewan, G. T.; Ford, R.; Hallin, A.; Hamer, A.; Hart, P. M.; Harvey, P. J.; Haslip, D.; Hearns, C. A. W.; Heaton, R.; Hepburn, J. D.; Jillings, C. J.; Korpach, E. P.; Lee, H. W.; Leslie, J. R.; Liu, M.-Q.; Mak, H. B.; McDonald, A. B.; MacArthur, J. D.; McLatchie, W.; Moffat, B. A.; Noel, S.; Radcliffe, T. J.; Robertson, B. C.; Skensved, P.; Stevenson, R. L.; Zhu, X.; Gil, S.; Heise, J.; Helmer, R. L.; Komar, R. J.; Nally, C. W.; Ng, H. S.; Waltham, C. E.; Allen, R. C.; Bühler, G.; Chen, H. H.; Aardsma, G.; Andersen, T.; Cameron, K.; Chon, M. C.; Hanson, R. H.; Jagam, P.; Karn, J.; Law, J.; Ollerhead, R. W.; Simpson, J. J.; Tagg, N.; Wang, J.-X.; Alexander, C.; Beier, E. W.; Cook, J. C.; Cowen, D. F.; Frank, E. D.; Frati, W.; Keener, P. T.; Klein, J. R.; Mayers, G.; McDonald, D. S.; Neubauer, M. S.; Newcomer, F. M.; Pearce, R. J.; de Water, R. G. V.; Berg, R. V.; Wittich, P.; Ahmad, Q. R.; Beck, J. M.; Browne, M. C.; Burritt, T. H.; Doe, P. J.; Duba, C. A.; Elliott, S. R.; Franklin, J. E.; Germani, J. V.; Green, P.; Hamian, A. A.; Heeger, K. M.; Howe, M.; Drees, R. M.; Myers, A.; Robertson, R. G. H.; Smith, M. W. E.; Steiger, T. D.; Wechel, T. V.; Wilkerson, J. F.

    2000-07-01

    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a second-generation water Cherenkov detector designed to determine whether the currently observed solar neutrino deficit is a result of neutrino oscillations. The detector is unique in its use of D2O as a detection medium, permitting it to make a solar model-independent test of the neutrino oscillation hypothesis by comparison of the charged- and neutral-current interaction rates. In this paper the physical properties, construction, and preliminary operation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are described. Data and predicted operating parameters are provided whenever possible.

  1. Cascades Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Driedger, Carolyn; Pallister, John

    2008-01-01

    Washington's Mount St. Helens volcano reawakens explosively on October 1, 2004, after 18 years of quiescence. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) study and observe Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California that hold potential for future eruptions. CVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Mount St. Helens and CVO at http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/.

  2. 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.

  3. Long Valley Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Hill, David

    2008-01-01

    The ~300-year-old lava on Paoha Island in Mono Lake was produced by the most recent eruption in the Long Valley Caldera area in east-central California. The Long Valley Caldera was formed by a massive volcanic eruption 760,000 years ago. The region is monitored by the Long Valley Observatory (LVO), one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about the Long Valley Caldera region and LVO at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo.

  4. Large Solar Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhary, Debi Prasad

    2003-01-01

    This article summarizes the scientific aim, design considerations and observatory site of a large optical solar telescope. The day time "seeing" is better on the islands, surrounded by large body of water, compared to the mountain sites. Therefore, in order to obtain the solar images with sub-arcsec resolution, the observatory site should be preferably located on an island. A list of potential sites on Himalayas and surrounding region is given. A brief description of the telescope design, enclosure and back-end instruments are also presented.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A Southern Sky and Galactic Plane Survey for Bright Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    About 2500 deg2 of sky south of declination -25° 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Foale and Kuipers work at the MSG during EXP 8 / EXP 9

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-04-22

    ISS008-E-21999 (22 April 2004) --- Astronaut C. Michael Foale (foreground), Expedition 8 commander and NASA ISS science officer, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands work with the HEAT experiment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station (ISS). The main aim of the HEAT technology demonstration is the characterization of the heat transfer performance of a grooved heat pipe in weightlessness.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The impact of accretion material composition and properties on interior structure dynamics of Kuiper belt objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchuko, Oleg; Shchuko, Svetlana D.; Kartashov, Daniil; Orosei, Roberto

    The building material of the forming Kuiper belt objects is supposed in the model to consist of solid dust material of protosolar cloud fringe regions and H2 O amorphous ice. A spheri-cally symmetric celestial body was being created as a result of accretion. The body's internal structure was determined by the composition and the properties of the accretion material and the evolution of the structure -by internal thermal processes. The accretion material compo-sition and structure have been studied, which provide now the existence of large icy Kuiper belt objects. Radionuclides 26 Al, 40 K, 232 Th, 235 U and 238 U embedded in solid dust matter particles have been main sources of radiogenic heat for the Kuiper belt object life time. The impact of the heat-and-power potentials of radiogenic heat sources on H2 O phase transition dynamics in the celestial body matter has been investigated. The parameter variation domains of these potentials have been found at which there can be formed areas partly or fully filled with H2 O of different phase states. In addition, the dynamic boundaries of areas have been determined where the ice component is presented by amorphous ice or cubic and hexagonal crystal ice. The parameter domains of celestial body accretion and radiogenic heat processes have been determined where the body evolution may have a catastrophic scenario up to its complete destruction.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 .

  18. 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.

  19. Observational Bias and the Clustering of Distant Eccentric Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael E.

    2017-08-01

    The hypothesis that a massive Planet Nine exists in the outer solar system on a distant eccentric orbit was inspired by observations showing that the objects with the most distant eccentric orbits in the Kuiper Belt have orbits that are physically aligned, that is, they are clustered in longitude of perihelion and have similar orbital planes. Questions have remained, however, about the effects of observational bias on these observations, particularly on the longitudes of perihelion. Specifically, distant eccentric Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) tend to be faint and only observable near their perihelia, suggesting that the longitudes of perihelion of the known distant objects could be strongly biased by the limited number of locations in the sky where deep surveys have been carried out. We have developed a method to rigorously estimate the bias in longitude of perihelion for Kuiper Belt observations. We find that the probability that the 10 known KBOs with semimajor axis beyond 230 au are drawn from a population with uniform longitude of perihelion is 1.2%. Combined with the observation that the orbital poles of these objects are also clustered, the overall probability of detecting these two independent clusterings in a randomly distributed sample is 0.025%. While observational bias is clearly present in these observations, it is unlikely to explain the observed alignment of the distant eccentric KBOs.

  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 Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. 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....

  3. Improving Arecibo Observatory's Hardware

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Rooy, Paula; Whitlow, Dana; Seymour, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    The Puerto-rican Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (PUPPI) is a key backend for time-domain observations at Arecibo Observatory. PUPPI enables pulsar timing used for gravitational wave studies, single pulse studies of pulsars, searches for new pulsars, and allows in depth studies of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). Unfortunately, PUPPI is presently restricted to only certain Arecibo receivers due to its input frequency and bandwidth requirements. Here we present the design process, building, bench testing, and updates on the implementation of a one-channel breadboard of a new frequency mixer at the Arecibo Observatory. The function of the frequency mixer design is to translate a 1.1-1.9 GHz band to 0.8 - 1.6 GHz band, where PUPPI samples the data at the second Nyquist zone. When this seemingly simple device is fully implemented, it will allow for the further expansion of the abilities of PUPPI. Mainly it will expand PUPPI's frequency agility to higher frequencies from 4 to 10 GHz, by enabling it to work with many more of Arecibo's receivers. We hope this becomes particularly useful, now that a FRB has been detected at these higher frequencies. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana, and the Universities Space Research Association. The Arecibo Observatory REU is funded under grant AST-1559849 to Universidad Metropolitana

  4. The IT Observatory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kent, Kai Iok Tong; Sousa, Antonio C. M.

    1999-01-01

    Describes the IT Observatory, a service of the Macau Productivity and Technology center (CPTTM) that provides information on demand using information technology. The CPTTM is a nonprofit organization funded by the Macau government and private businesses to enhance the productivity of Macau businesses by introducing new technologies and new…

  5. 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…

  6. The Baksan Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzminov, V. V.

    2012-09-01

    An overall view of the history of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory INR RAS creation is presented. Ground-based and underground facilities used to study cosmic rays, rare nuclear reactions and decays, register solar neutrinos, observe various geophysical phenomena are described. Some main results obtained with these facilities are given.

  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. Trieste Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Founded in 1866 as the Austrian K. u. K. Maritimes Observatorium, in 1898 the Trieste Astronomical Observatory became an independent institute for research in astronomy. Now it is part of INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) and the Italian council for research in astrophysics. Staff include 20 researchers and 42 technicians and administrators. Research fields are extragalactic, stellar physi...

  9. 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.

  10. Observatory of Shiraz University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordbar, G. H.; Bahrani, F.

    2016-12-01

    Here we write about the observatory of Shiraz University, which has the largest active telescope in Iran but now, because of problems like light pollution of the nearby city and exhaustion of its largest telescope we need a plan for modernization and automatization in a new place.

  11. 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…

  12. Solar Dynamics Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-01-21

    Richard Fisher, Heliophysics Division Director at NASA Headquarters, left, speaks during a briefing to discuss the upcoming launch of NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory, or SDO, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, as Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO Program Scientist looks on at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The mission is to study the Sun and its dynamic behavior. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  13. Solar Dynamics Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-01-21

    Richard Fisher, Heliophysics Division Director at NASA Headquarters, speaks during a briefing to discuss the upcoming launch of NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory, or SDO, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The mission is to study the Sun and its dynamic behavior. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  14. Solar Dynamics Observatory Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-01-21

    Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO Program Scientist, speaks during a briefing to discuss the upcoming launch of NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory, or SDO, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The mission is to study the Sun and its dynamic behavior. Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

  15. 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.

  16. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Hime, A.

    1996-09-01

    A report is given on the status of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, presently under construction in the Creighton nickel mine near Sudbury, Ontario in Canada. Focus is upon the technical factors involving a measurement of the charged-current and neutral-current interactions of solar neutrinos on deuterium.

  17. Sampling for Airborne Radioactivity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-01

    compared to betas, gammas and neutrons. For an airborne radioactivity detection system, it is most important to be able to detect alpha particles and... Airborne radioactive particles may emit alpha, beta, gamma or neutron radiation, depending on which radioisotope is present. From a health perspective...

  18. 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

  19. 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”.

  20. Cultural heritage of astronomical observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    2011-06-01

    We present the results of the ICOMOS international symposium ``Cultural Heritage of Astronomical Observatories (around 1900) - From Classical Astronomy to Modern Astrophysics'' (Oct. 2008). The objective of the symposium was to discuss the relevance of modern observatories to the cultural heritage of humankind and to select partner observatories which, due to the date of their construction or to their architectural or scientific importance are comparable to Hamburg Observatory, as international cooperation partners for a serial trans-national application.

  1. 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)

  2. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1978-01-01

    Managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center and built by TRW, the second High Energy Astronomy Observatory was launched November 13, 1978. The observatory carried the largest X-ray telescope ever built and was renamed the Einstein Observatory after achieving orbit.

  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. 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.

  5. The Ultimate Private Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aymond, J.

    2009-03-01

    An amateur astronomer from Washington Parish, Southeast Louisiana, USA has designed and built an amazing observatory. It is not only an astronomical observatory, but a home theater, and tornado shelter designed to take a direct hit from an F5 tornado. The facility is fully equipped and automated, with a hydraulically driven roof that weighs 20,571 lbs., which lifts up, then rolls away to the end of the tracks. This leaves the user sitting inside of four 14-foot high walls open to the night sky. It has two premium quality telescopes for viewing deep space and objects inside the solar system. The chair that the observer sits on is also hydraulically driven.

  6. 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.

  7. Expanding the HAWC Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Mori, Johanna

    2016-08-17

    The High Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory is expanding its current array of 300 water tanks to include 350 outrigger tanks to increase sensitivity to gamma rays above 10 TeV. This involves creating and testing hardware with which to build the new tanks, including photomultiplier tubes, high voltage supply units, and flash analog to digital converters. My responsibilities this summer included preparing, testing and calibrating that equipment.

  8. 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...

  9. Arecibo Observatory for All

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 blind visitors to participate in the excitement of visiting the world's largest radio telescope.

  10. Jodrell Bank Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Jodrell Bank Observatory is part of the University of Manchester and was founded by Bernard Lovell in December 1945. Its prime instrument, the 76 m, MK1 radio-telescope, was completed in 1957. It was given a major upgrade in 1971 and is now known as the Lovell Telescope. In its early years it pioneered the technique of long baseline interferometry which led to the discovery of quasars. A majo...

  11. Calar Alto Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Calar Alto Observatory, or `Centro Astronomico Hispano-Aleman', is located at an altitude of 2168 m in the `Sierra de los Filabres', in southern Spain. Its construction on Calar Alto mountain began in 1973. It is operated jointly by the MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUT FÜR ASTRONOMIE in Heidelberg (MPIA), Germany, and the `Comision Nacional de Astronomia'. The MPIA provides four telescopes of diameters 3....

  12. Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory began operating in 1959, and joined the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL in 1970. It became part of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in 1975. The site near Penticton, BC has a 26 m radio telescope, a seven-antenna synthesis telescope on a 600 m baseline and two telescopes dedicated to monitoring the solar radio flux at 10.7 cm. This part of the Institu...

  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 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, C. R.

    1978-01-01

    The larger system of the earth environment is controlled externally by electromagnetic and particle energy from the sun. Recent studies have shown that the sun is a variable star with changes in its radiation which produce significant effects in the earth's climate and weather. The study of the solar-terrestrial system requires simultaneous, long-duration observations of the different elements or 'links' in the solar-terrestrial chain. Many investigations must be conducted in space from a vantage point above the earth's atmosphere where all of the sun's emissions can be observed free from atmospheric distortion, where the magnetospheric particles and fields can be measured directly, and where the atmosphere can be observed on a global scale. The extension of the Shuttle on-orbit capability in connection with the development of the power module will offer an important near-term step in an evolutionary process leading toward a permanent manned Solar Terrestrial Observatory capability in low-earth orbit. Attention is given to the required solar-terrestrial measurements, the operation of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory, and an evolutionary approach to the Solar Terrestrial Observatory.

  18. 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.

  19. Building International Space Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tananbaum, Harvey

    2013-04-01

    In this brief presentation I will focus on international collaborations for building x-ray observatories. Two primary approaches seem relevant for discussion: 1. Contribution of an instrument by one Agency to a mission led by another 2. Substantial participation by 2 or more Agencies in designing and building an Observatory - close to equal partnerships. Most of our experience in x-ray astronomy falls into the first category, and I will illustrate by briefly summarizing Chandra. The second case will be assessed by reviewing the community's and Agencies' efforts on the International X-ray Observatory (IXO). What can we distill from the successes and difficulties encountered over the past several years? Thoughts about how we might proceed in the future will be shared during the subsequent Panel Discussion. Independent of the development approach, we seem to have general agreement that the bulk of the observing time should be open to scientists world-wide through Peer Review to optimize the science return.

  20. Comparative KBOlogy: Using surface spectra of Triton, Pluto, and Charon to investigate atmospheric, surface, and interior processes on Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holler, Bryan Jason

    This thesis presents analyses of the surface compositions of the icy outer Solar System objects Triton, Pluto, and Charon. Pluto and its satellite Charon are Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) while Triton, the largest of Neptune's satellites, is a former member of the KBO population. Near-infrared spectra of Triton and Pluto were obtained over the previous 10+ years with the SpeX instrument at the IRTF and of Charon in Summer 2015 with the OSIRIS instrument at Keck. The Charon data were reduced by spectrophotometry using code that I wrote for this purpose. I present evidence of short-term volatile transport and the presence of the non-methane hydrocarbon ethane on Pluto and Triton, as well as uniform temperature and ammonia ice distributions on Charon. Based on previous laboratory work and the results of my analysis, I conclude that cryovolcanism is not necessary to explain the high percentage of crystalline water ice on Charon. The three "geologic" bodies, those previously visited by spacecraft, provide context for understanding the larger population of KBOs, the "astronomical" bodies that may never be visited by spacecraft. Observations of the geologic bodies can be used to better understand the atmospheric, surface, and interior processes on all KBOs through what I term "comparative KBOlogy." Next-generation observatories, both in space and on the ground, will further contribute to our knowledge of the dominant processes that shape the surface evolution of KBOs.

  1. Airborne bistatic radar applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, James A.

    1987-09-01

    Applications of bistatic radar when one or both of the units are airborne are discussed. Scenarios that merit deeper consideration are covert strike and head-on SAR using a stand-off illuminator, either airborne or space-based; area air defense with passive ground-based receivers and stand-off illuminators; an airborne picket line to detect stealth aircraft and missiles; AWACS aircraft providing mutual support in ECM environments; and passive surveillance of hostile air space using illuminators of opportunity and an airborne receiver. Scenarios considered impractical are bistatic air-to-air missile guidance using an aircraft other than the launch aircraft as illuminator; passive interdiction using illuminators of opportunity; and scenarios involving a ground based illuminator and an aircraft as the receiver.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A Kuiper Belt Pair? Artist's Concept of 2014 MU69 as a Binary Object

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-08-03

    This is one artist's concept of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, the next flyby target for NASA's New Horizons mission. This binary concept is based on telescope observations made at Patagonia, Argentina, on July 17, 2017, when MU69 passed in front of a star. New Horizons scientists theorize that it could be a single body with a large chunk taken out of it, or two bodies that are close together or even touching. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21867

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Alan Stern, S

    2003-08-07

    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.

  7. Cold Disks around Nearby Stars. A Search for Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiroa, Carlos

    DUNES (DUst disks around NEarby Stars) is a sensitivity-limited survey programme taking advantage of the unique capabilities of Herschel to detect and characterize with cold disks as faint as Ldust/Lstar 10-6 and temperatures of the order of 30 - 40K, i.e., faint exo-solar analogues to the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. DUNES will observe a statistically significant, volume limit 20pc)sample, only constrained by background confusion, of 133 FGK nearby stars. No further biases limit the planets and/or Spitzer-discovered faint debris disks up to larger distances, d < 25pc, are also included in the sample.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Unesco's Global Ethics Observatory

    PubMed Central

    Have, H ten; Ang, T W

    2007-01-01

    The Global Ethics Observatory, launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in December 2005, is a system of databases in the ethics of science and technology. It presents data on experts in ethics, on institutions (university departments and centres, commissions, councils and review boards, and societies and associations) and on teaching programmes in ethics. It has a global coverage and will be available in six major languages. Its aim is to facilitate the establishment of ethical infrastructures and international cooperation all around the world. PMID:17209103

  11. 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.

  12. DSN Transient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuiper, T. B. H.; Monroe, R. M.; White, L. A.; Miro, C. Garcia; Levin, S. M.; Majid, W. A.; Soriano, M.

    2016-03-01

    The Deep Space Network (DSN) Transient Observatory (DTO) is a signal processing facility that can monitor up to four DSN downlink bands for astronomically interesting signals. The monitoring is done commensally with reception of deep space mission telemetry. The initial signal processing is done with two CASPERa ROACH1 boards, each handling one or two baseband signals. Each ROACH1 has a 10 GBe interface with a GPU-equipped Debian Linux workstation for additional processing. The initial science programs include monitoring Mars for electrostatic discharges, radio spectral lines, searches for fast radio bursts and pulsars and SETI. The facility will be available to the scientific community through a peer review process.

  13. The HAWC observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeYoung, Tyce; HAWC Collaboration

    2012-11-01

    The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is a new very high energy water Cherenkov gamma ray telescope, now under construction at 4100 m altitude at Sierra Negra, Mexico. Due to its increased altitude, larger surface area and improved design, HAWC will be about 15 times more sensitive than its predecessor, Milagro. With its wide field of view and high duty factor, HAWC will be an excellent instrument for the studies of diffuse gamma ray emission, the high energy spectra of Galactic gamma ray sources, and transient emission from extragalactic objects such as GRBs and AGN, as well as surveying a large fraction of the VHE sky.

  14. The Gamma Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kniffen, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

    The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), scheduled for launch by the Space Shuttle in April 1991, weighs 35,000 lbs and will offer 10 to 20 times better sensitivity than any previous gamma ray mission. The four instruments aboard GRO are described. The Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) will continuously monitor the entire sky for transient gamma-ray events using eight identical, wide-field detectors capable of measuring brightness variations lasting only milliseconds at energies from about 50,000 to 600,000 eV. The Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) will make comprehensive observations of discrete sources at energies from 100,000 to 10 million eV, where many radioactive elements have emission lines. The observatory's Imaging Compton Telescope will conduct a deep survey of the entire sky at gamma-ray energies between 1 and 30 MeV. The Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope will cover a broad high-energy spectral range, from about 20 million to 30 billion eV and conduct a sensitive all-sky survey with a wide field of view and good angular resolution.

  15. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

    This booklet is devoted to NAS RA V. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and is aimed at people interested in astronomy and BAO, pupils and students, BAO visitors and others. The booklet is made as a visiting card and presents concise and full information about BAO. A brief history of BAO, the biography of the great scientist Viktor Ambartsumian, brief biographies of 13 other deserved scientists formerly working at BAO (B.E. Markarian, G.A. Gurzadyan, L.V. Mirzoyan, M.A. Arakelian, et al.), information on BAO telescopes (2.6m, 1m Schmidt, etc.) and other scientific instruments, scientific library and photographic plate archive, Byurakan surveys (including the famous Markarian Survey included in the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register), all scientific meetings held in Byurakan, international scientific collaboration, data on full research staff of the Observatory, as well as former BAO researchers, who have moved to foreign institutions are given in the booklet. At the end, the list of the most important books published by Armenian astronomers and about them is given.

  16. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, A. B.; SNO Collaboration

    1999-12-01

    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is a 1,000 tonne heavy water Cerenkov detector situated 2,000 meters underground in INCO's Creighton mine near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The project is a Canadian, US and UK collaboration. Through the use of heavy water SNO will be able to detect a number of neutrino reactions, including one sensitive specifically to solar electron neutrinos and another to all active neutrino types. With these two reactions the detector will be able to search for neutrino flavor change without the requirement of electron neutrino flux normalization by solar model calculations. It will have a relatively high counting rate, on the order of 10 per day for solar neutrinos, and will also provide unusual sensitivity for measurements of other solar neutrino properties, atmospheric neutrinos and suprenova neutrinos. For supernova neutrinos, SNO will have high sensitivity for muon and tau neutrinos and anti-neutrinos as well as specific sensitivity for electron neutrinos and anti-neutrinos. It will have excellent timing and moderate directional sensitivity. The observatory has been in almost continuous operation since May, 1999. SNO Collaboration: Queen's University, University of British Columbia, CRPP at Carleton University, University of Guelph, Laurentian University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, Oxford University.

  17. The HAWC Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Andrew

    2009-05-01

    The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is a proposed, large field of view (˜2 sr), high duty cycle (>95%) TeV gamma-ray detector to be constructed using a dense array of water tanks covering an area greater than 25,000m^2. HAWC will be located at an elevation of 4100m near the Sierra Negra mountain in Mexico. The instrument will use 900 photomultiplier tubes to observe the relativistic particles and secondary gamma rays in extensive air showers. This technique has been used successfully by the Milagro observatory to detect known, as well as new, TeV sources. The PMTs and much of the data acquisition system of Milagro will be reused for HAWC, resulting in a cost effective detector that can be built quickly (2-3 years). The improvements of HAWC will give 15 times the sensitivity of Milagro. I will present the results of recent detector optimization and engineering studies for HAWC as well as present a detailed analysis of the flux and energy sensitivity of the proposed instrument.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1978-11-13

    The launch of an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle is shown in this photograph. The Atlas/Centaur, launched on November 13, 1978, carried the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2 into the required orbit. The second observatory, the HEAO-2 (nicknamed the Einstein Observatory in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein) carried the first telescope capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects.

  1. The Conrad Observatory Research Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenhardt, W.; Melichar, P.

    2009-04-01

    The Conrad Observatory in Austria belongs to the group of most modern geophysical observatories worldwide. The observatory is situated 55 km SW of Vienna in the Eastern Alps. Since 2002 - when the observatory was officially opened - several research tasks, projects, training courses and workshops were carried out at this venue. The site is also magnetically very quiet - one of the requirements for establishing the second part of the observatory, which will serve as the magnetic base observatory for Austria in the future. So far, a tunnel of 145 m length equipped with seismometers, 3 boreholes of 100 m depth and one borehole of 50 m depth, as well as a laboratory, where the gravity is continuously moni-tored, are in operation. In addition an outside station has been built according to Austrian standards for reasons of comparison. Refraction profiles and borehole seismic was used to describe the subsurface conditions for H/V measurements and other scientific tasks. The underground observatory provides ex-cellent conditions to test seismometers under controlled conditions, and a newly developed calibration table assists in the determination of the generator constants of seismometers. Internet connection is available together with a re-distributed GPS-timing signal in the observatory. The NERIES Transnational Access activity TA-5 has attracted already project teams from Germany, Slovenia and The Netherlands to conduct specific instrument tests and comparisons between sensors. See also www.zamg.ac.at/conrad_observatory.

  2. GPM Core Observatory Launch Animation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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....

  3. Impact Craters on Pluto and Charon Indicate a Deficit of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Kelsi N.; McKinnon, William B.; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gladman, Brett; Parker, Alex Harrison; Robbins, Stuart J.; Schenk, Paul M.; Stern, S. Alan; Bray, Veronica; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Beyer, Ross A.; Young, Leslie; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Binzel, Richard; Grundy, William M.; New Horizons Geology Geophysics and Imaging Science Theme Team, The New Horizons MVIC and LORRI Teams

    2016-10-01

    The impact craters observed during the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system currently provide the most extensive empirical constraints on the size-frequency distribution of smaller impactors in the Kuiper belt. These craters also help us understand the surface ages and geologic evolution of the Pluto system bodies. Pluto's terrains display a diversity of crater retention ages and terrain types, indicating ongoing geologic activity and a variety of resurfacing styles including both exogenic and endogenic processes. Charon's informally named Vulcan Planum did experience early resurfacing, but crater densities suggest this is also a relatively ancient surface. We will present and compare the craters mapped across all of the relevant New Horizons LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) datasets of Pluto and Charon. We observe a paucity of small craters on all terrains (there is a break to a shallower slope for craters below 10 km in diameter), despite adequate resolution to observe them. This lack of small craters cannot be explained by geological resurfacing alone. In particular, the main area of Charon's Vulcan Planum displays no obviously embayed or breached crater rims, and may be the best representation of a production population since the emplacement of the plain. The craters on Pluto and Charon are more consistent with Kuiper belt and solar system evolution models producing fewer small objects.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  4. Neptune on Tiptoes: Dynamical Histories that Preserve the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Schuyler; Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.

    2012-02-01

    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°.

  5. 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

  6. 1998 SM165: a large Kuiper belt object with an irregular shape.

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-09

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 .

  9. Using Near Infrared Observations and Models to Analyze Surface Compositions of Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, Ryan

    Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are primordial icy objects in the outer solar system. Compositional information for KBOs helps us understand the original environment of the solar system as well as identify objects that are compositionally anomalous. Due to the faint nature of KBOs, very few spectroscopic observations have been made of them. Instead, photometric observations at infrared wavelengths are made to partially construct their spectra. I calculate near infrared reflectances for 12 objects using photometric observations from the Gemini North telescope. I combine these near infrared reflectances with data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. This combination of Gemini and Spitzer photometry along with compositional model analysis allows us to find the surface composition (organics, H2O, CO2, CH4, and other hydrated silicates) for these 12 objects. I found that my objects fit into one of four taxonomic classes found in the Kuiper Belt. We have found using the color analysis, that Haumea has water on its surface and Eris is most likely to have methane on its surface. By analyzing this data we measure the compositional mixing in the outer solar system.

  10. Searching for Kuiper Belt Object Flyby Targets for the New Horizons Spacecraft.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kavelaars, J. J.; Spencer, J. R.; Benecchi, S. D.; Binzel, R. P.; Borncamp, D.; Buie, M. W.; DeMeo, F. E.; Fabbro, S.; Fuentes, C. I.; Gay, P. L.; Gwyn, S. D. J.; Holman, M. J.; McLeod, B. A.; Osip, D. J.; Parker, A. H.; Sheppard, S. S.; Stern, S. A.; Tholen, D. J.; Trilling, D. E.; Ragozzine, D. A.; Wasserman, L. H.; Hunters, Ice

    2012-10-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto in July 2015 and then continue deeper into the Kuiper Belt, providing an opportunity to encounter one or more small ( 50 km) KBOs. This first flyby of a typical KBO would revolutionize our understanding of these bodies, providing information that can be extrapolated to hundreds of thousands of similar objects in the Kuiper Belt. Statistically, we expect several KBOs with ground based V magnitude less than 26.0 to be accessible with the delta-V available onboard New Horizons. At this point, however, no known KBOs are reachable by the spacecraft. We have therefore begun a dedicated search for suitable targets, using the Subaru, Magellan, and CFHT telescopes. The search is complicated by the fact that targetable objects are currently in the Milky Way, so search depth is limited by confusion with background stars unless seeing is exceptional. As of mid-2012, we have discovered 24 KBOs near the spacecraft trajectory, none of which are accessible to the spacecraft. Several of the targets could be reached with less than twice the available delta-V, and much of the accessible volume has not yet been searched to sufficient depth. Several objects already discovered will be observable at long range from New Horizons, providing opportunities for (for example) searches for binarity with much higher spatial resolution than is possible from Earth. The search has already yielded the second known trailing Neptune Trojan (Parker et al., this conference).

  11. Long-Term Dynamics and the Orbital Inclinations of the Classical Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Brown, Michael E.; Holman, Matthew

    2002-08-01

    We numerically integrated the orbits of 1458 particles in the region of the classical Kuiper belt (41 AU<=a<=47 AU) to explore the role of dynamical instabilities in sculpting the inclination distribution of the classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We find that the selective removal of low-inclination objects by overlapping secular resonances (ν17 and ν18) acts to raise the mean inclination of the surviving population of particles over 4 billion yr of interactions with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, though these long-term dynamical effects do not themselves appear to explain the discovery of KBOs with inclinations near 30°. Our integrations also imply that after 3 billion yr of interaction with the massive planets, high-inclination KBOs more efficiently supply Neptune-encountering objects, the likely progenitors of short-period comets, Centaurs, and scattered KBOs. The secular resonances at low inclinations may indirectly cause this effect by weeding out objects unprotected by mean motion resonances during the first 3 billion yr.

  12. 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.

  13. Neptune's Migration into a Stirred-Up Kuiper Belt: A Detailed Comparison of Simulations to Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Joseph M.; Malhotra, Renu

    2005-11-01

    We use N-body simulations to examine the consequences of Neptune's outward migration into the Kuiper Belt, with the simulated end states being compared rigorously and quantitatively to the observations. These simulations confirm the 2003 findings of Chiang and coworkers, who showed that Neptune's migration into a previously stirred-up Kuiper Belt can account for the Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) known to librate at Neptune's 5:2 resonance. We also find that capture is possible at many other weak, high-order mean-motion resonances, such as 11:6, 13:7, 13:6, 9:4, 7:3, 12:5, 8:3, 3:1, 7:2, and 4:1. The more distant of these resonances, such as the 9:4, 7:3, 5:2, and 3:1, can also capture particles in stable, eccentric orbits beyond 50 AU, in the region of phase space conventionally known as the ``Scattered Disk.'' Indeed, 90% of the simulated particles that persist over the age of the solar system in the Scattered-Disk zone never had a close encounter with Neptune but instead were promoted into these eccentric orbits by Neptune's resonances during the migration epoch. This indicates that the observed Scattered Disk might not be so scattered. This model also produced only a handful of Centaurs, all of which originated at Neptune's mean-motion resonances in the Kuiper Belt. However, a noteworthy deficiency of the migration model considered here is that it does not account for the observed abundance of Main Belt KBOs having inclinations higher than 15°. In order to rigorously compare the model end state with the observed Kuiper Belt in a manner that accounts for telescopic selection effects, Monte Carlo methods are used to assign sizes and magnitudes to the simulated particles that survive over the age of the solar system. If the model considered here is indeed representative of the outer solar system's early history, then the following conclusions are obtained: (1) The observed 3:2 and 2:1 resonant populations are both depleted by a factor of ~20 relative to model

  14. 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.

  15. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Fraser; SNO Collaboration

    2000-12-01

    Located 2,000 meters below the surface of the earth in the Creighton Nickel Mine near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, is the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO). Operational for almost a year now, SNO is a 1000 tonne heavy water Cerenkov detector designed to observe solar neutrinos. The use of heavy water allows SNO to detect neutrinos with an interaction sensitive only to electron neutrinos and with another interaction that is sensitive to all neutrino flavors. SNO's unique ability to separately measure the total solar neutrino flux and electron neutrino fluxes allows the experiment to make a search for flavor oscillations in solar neutrinos in a model independent fashion. The status of the experiment will be described.

  16. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    DOE PAGES

    Bellerive, Alain; Klein, J. R.; McDonald, A. B.; ...

    2016-04-27

    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. Thismore » review summarizes the results from three phases of solar neutrino detection as well as other physics results obtained from analyses of the SNO data.« less

  17. LCOGT network observatory operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickles, Andrew; Hjelstrom, Annie; Boroson, Todd; Burleson, Ben; Conway, Patrick; De Vera, Jon; Elphick, Mark; Haworth, Brian; Rosing, Wayne; Saunders, Eric; Thomas, Doug; White, Gary; Willis, Mark; Walker, Zach

    2014-08-01

    We describe the operational capabilities of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. We summarize our hardware and software for maintaining and monitoring network health. We focus on methodologies to utilize the automated system to monitor availability of sites, instruments and telescopes, to monitor performance, permit automatic recovery, and provide automatic error reporting. The same jTCS control system is used on telescopes of apertures 0.4m, 0.8m, 1m and 2m, and for multiple instruments on each. We describe our network operational model, including workloads, and illustrate our current tools, and operational performance indicators, including telemetry and metrics reporting from on-site reductions. The system was conceived and designed to establish effective, reliable autonomous operations, with automatic monitoring and recovery - minimizing human intervention while maintaining quality. We illustrate how far we have been able to achieve that.

  18. Virtual Observatory Science Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGlynn, Tom

    2005-01-01

    Many Virtual-Observatory-based applications are now available to astronomers for use in their research. These span data discovery, access, visualization and analysis. Tools can quickly gather and organize information from sites around the world to help in planning a response to a gamma-ray burst, help users pick filters to isolate a desired feature, make an average template for z=2 AGN, select sources based upon information in many catalogs, or correlate massive distributed databases. Using VO protocols, the reach of existing software tools and packages can be greatly extended, allowing users to find and access remote information almost as conveniently as local data. The talk highlights just a few of the tools available to scientists, describes how both large and small scale projects can use existing tools, and previews some of the new capabilities that will be available in the next few years.

  19. Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    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 January 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 {sup 37}Cl and {sup 71}Ga 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Rolloff Roof Observatory Construction (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulowetz, J. H.

    2015-12-01

    (Abstract only) Lessons learned about building an observatory by someone with limited construction experience, and the advantages of having one for imaging and variable star studies. Sample results shown of composite light curves for cataclysmic variables UX UMa and V1101 Aql with data from my observatory combined with data from others around the world.

  4. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1977-08-01

    This picture is of an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle, carrying the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-1, on Launch Complex 36 at the Air Force Eastern Test Range prior to launch on August 12, 1977. The Kennedy Space Center managed the launch operations that included a pre-aunch checkout, launch, and flight, up through the observatory separation in orbit.

  5. Kuiper Crater

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1999-10-08

    NASA Mariner 10 took this picture some 2 1/2 hours before it passed Mercury on March 29, 1974. The bright-floored crater is the center of a very large bright area which could be seen in pictures from more than two million miles distant

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. NASA’s Hubble Telescope Finds Potential Kuiper Belt Targets for New Horizons Pluto Mission

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    This is an artist’s impression of a Kuiper Belt object (KBO), located on the outer rim of our solar system at a staggering distance of 4 billion miles from the Sun. A HST survey uncovered three KBOs that are potentially reachable by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after it passes by Pluto in mid-2015. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI) --- Peering out to the dim, outer reaches of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015. The KBOs were detected through a dedicated Hubble observing program by a New Horizons search team that was awarded telescope time for this purpose. “This has been a very challenging search and it’s great that in the end Hubble could accomplish a detection – one NASA mission helping another,” said Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission. The Kuiper Belt is a vast rim of primordial debris encircling our solar system. KBOs belong to a unique class of solar system objects that has never been visited by spacecraft and which contain clues to the origin of our solar system. The KBOs Hubble found are each about 10 times larger than typical comets, but only about 1-2 percent of the size of Pluto. Unlike asteroids, KBOs have not been heated by the sun and are thought to represent a pristine, well preserved deep-freeze sample of what the outer solar system was like following its birth 4.6 billion years ago. The KBOs found in the Hubble data are thought to be the building blocks of dwarf planets such as Pluto. Read more: 1.usa.gov/1vzUcyK NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The Color Differences of Kuiper Belt Objects in Resonance with Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 >~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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, the objects likely

  12. A Detailed Comparison of Simulations of Neptune's Migration to Observations of the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, J. M.; Malhotra, R.

    2004-11-01

    Nbody simulations are used to examine Neptune's outwards migration and its subsequent dynamical erosion of the Kuiper Belt. Monte Carlo methods are then used to assign sizes and magnitudes so that the simulated and observed Kuiper Belts can be compared in a manner that accounts for telescopic biases. From this comparison we infer that the Belt is inhabited by N ˜ 2 x 105 KBOs orbiting interior to 50 AU with radii > 50 km having a total mass of M ˜ 0.08d(p/0.04)-1.5 earth masses, assuming these bodies have a density d in cgs units and an albedo p. Another interesting result is that the observed KBO populations at the 2:1 and the 3:2 resonances are both underabundant by a factor of ˜ 20 relative to model predictions; this depletion of the resonances is possibly due to unmodeled effects, such as perturbations by large planetesimals. Estimates of the abundances of the Belt's various subpopulations (Main Belt, resonant KBOs, Trojans, Centaurs, etc.) will be reported, as well as upper limits on distant KBOs orbiting beyond 50 AU with e ˜ 0.1. We also confirm the findings of Chiang et. al. (2003), who showed that Neptune's migration into a stirred-up Kuiper Belt having eccentricities of e 0.1 facilitates particle trapping at Neptune's 5:2. In addition, we find that trapping is possible at many other weak resonances, like the 11:6, 13:7, 13:6, 9:4, 7:3, 12:5, 8:3, 3:1, 7:2, and 4:1. The more distant of these resonances, the 9:4, 7:3, 5:2, and 3:1, can also promote KBOs beyond 50 AU into eccentric orbits that reside in the zone known as the Scattered Disk. However 90% of such particles in our simulation never had a close encounter with Neptune; rather they were placed there by Neptune's migrating resonances. This suggests that the so--called Scattered Disk might not be so scattered.

  13. A possible divot in the Kuiper belt's scattered-object size distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shankman, C.; Kavelaars, J.; Gladman, B.; Petit, J.

    2014-07-01

    The formation and evolution history of the Solar System, while not directly accessible, has measurable signatures in the present-day size distributions of the Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) populations. The form of the size distribution is modelled as a power law with number going as size to some characteristic slope. Recent works have shown that a single power law does not match the observations across all sizes; the power law breaks to a different form [1, 2, 3]. The large- size objects record the accretion history, while the small-size objects record the collision history. The changes of size-distribution shape and slope as one moves from 'large' to 'medium' to 'small' KBOs are the signature needed to constrain the formation and collision history of the Solar System. The scattering TNOs are those TNOs undergoing strong (scattering) interactions Neptune. The scattering objects can come to pericentre in the giant planet region. This close-in pericentre passage allows for the observation of smaller objects, and thus for the constraint of the small-size end of the size distribution. Our recent analysis of the Canada France Ecliptic Plane Survey's (CFEPS) scattering objects revealed an exciting potential form for the scattering object size distribution - a divot (see Figure). Our divot (a sharp drop in the number of objects per unit size which then returns at a potentially different slope) matches our observations well and can simultaneously explain observed features in other inclined (so-called "hot") Kuiper Belt populations. In this scenario all of the hot populations would share the same source and have been implanted in the outer solar system through scattering processes. If confirmed, our divot would represent a new exciting paradigm for the formation history of the Kuiper Belt. Here we present the results of an extension of our previous work to include a new, deeper, Kuiper Belt survey. By the addition of two new faint scattering objects from this survey which

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. Airborne asbestos in buildings.

    PubMed

    Lee, R J; Van Orden, D R

    2008-03-01

    The concentration of airborne asbestos in buildings nationwide is reported in this study. A total of 3978 indoor samples from 752 buildings, representing nearly 32 man-years of sampling, have been analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The buildings that were surveyed were the subject of litigation related to suits alleging the general building occupants were exposed to a potential health hazard as a result the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). The average concentration of all airborne asbestos structures was 0.01structures/ml (s/ml) and the average concentration of airborne asbestos > or = 5microm long was 0.00012fibers/ml (f/ml). For all samples, 99.9% of the samples were <0.01 f/ml for fibers longer than 5microm; no building averaged above 0.004f/ml for fibers longer than 5microm. No asbestos was detected in 27% of the buildings and in 90% of the buildings no asbestos was detected that would have been seen optically (> or = 5microm long and > or = 0.25microm wide). Background outdoor concentrations have been reported at 0.0003f/ml > or = 5microm. These results indicate that in-place ACM does not result in elevated airborne asbestos in building atmospheres approaching regulatory levels and that it does not result in a significantly increased risk to building occupants.

  19. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewan, G. T.

    1992-04-01

    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) detector is a 1000 ton heavy water (D2O) Cherenkov detector designed to study neutrinos from the sun and other astrophysical sources. The use of heavy water allows both electron neutrinos and all other types of neutrinos to be observed by three complementary reactions. The detector will be sensitive to the electron neutrino flux and energy spectrum shape and to the total neutrino flux irrespective of neutrino type. These measurements will provide information on both vacuum neutrino oscillations and matter-enhanced oscillations, the MSW effect. In the event of a supernova it will be very sensitive to muon and tau neutrinos as well as the electron neutrinos emitted in the initial burst, enabling sensitive mass measurements as well as providing details of the physics of stellar collapse. On behalf of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Collaboration : H.C . Evans, G.T . Ewan, H.W. Lee, J .R . Leslie, J .D. MacArthur, H .-B . Mak, A.B . McDonald, W. McLatchie, B.C . Robertson, B. Sur, P. Skensved (Queen's University) ; C.K . Hargrove, H. Mes, W.F. Davidson, D. Sinclair, 1 . Blevis, M. Shatkay (Centre for Research in Particle Physics) ; E.D. Earle, G.M. Milton, E. Bonvin, (Chalk River Laboratories); J .J . Simpson, P. Jagam, J . Law, J .-X . Wang (University of Guelph); E.D . Hallman, R.U. Haq (Laurentian University); A.L. Carter, D. Kessler, B.R . Hollebone (Carleton University); R. Schubank . C.E . Waltha m (University of British Columbia); R.T. Kouzes, M.M. Lowry, R.M. Key (Princeton University); E.W. Beier, W. Frati, M. Newcomer, R. Van Berg (University of Penn-sylvania), T.J . Bowles, P.J . Doe, S.R . Elliott, M.M. Fowler, R.G.H. Robertson, D.J . Vieira, J .B . Wilhelmy, J .F. Wilker-son, J .M. Wouters (Los Alamos National Laboratory) ; E. Norman, K. Lesko, A. Smith, R. Fulton, R. Stokstad (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory), N.W. Tanner, N. JCIILY, P. Trent, J . Barton, D.L . Wark (University of Oxford).

  20. Photoreactivation in Airborne Mycobacterium parafortuitum

    PubMed Central

    Peccia, Jordan; Hernandez, Mark

    2001-01-01

    Photoreactivation was observed in airborne Mycobacterium parafortuitum exposed concurrently to UV radiation (254 nm) and visible light. Photoreactivation rates of airborne cells increased with increasing relative humidity (RH) and decreased with increasing UV dose. Under a constant UV dose with visible light absent, the UV inactivation rate of airborne M. parafortuitum cells decreased by a factor of 4 as RH increased from 40 to 95%; however, under identical conditions with visible light present, the UV inactivation rate of airborne cells decreased only by a factor of 2. When irradiated in the absence of visible light, cellular cyclobutane thymine dimer content of UV-irradiated airborne M. parafortuitum and Serratia marcescens increased in response to RH increases. Results suggest that, unlike in waterborne bacteria, cyclobutane thymine dimers are not the most significant form of UV-induced DNA damage incurred by airborne bacteria and that the distribution of DNA photoproducts incorporated into UV-irradiated airborne cells is a function of RH. PMID:11526027