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IceCube Neutrino Observatory
The human need for exploration and strong curiosity that drives us, is evidenced in the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in the Antarctic ice. It has been about 25 years since the idea of detecting neutrinos in ice was pioneered and it seems we have obtained first results from that idea. According to the IceCube Collaboration, 28 very high-energy particle events have been observed which constitute the first solid evidence for astrophysical neutrinos from cosmic accelerators.
Neutrinos can carry information about the workings of the highest-energy and most distant phenomena in the universe and rarely interact with matter. Most neutrinos that pass through Earth originate either in the sun or in the Earth's atmosphere. It's extremely rare to have neutrinos from beond our galaxy. In theory, those far away neutrinos can provide isnights into the cosmic objects with high-energy cosmic rays such as supernovas, black holes, pulsars, and such...
"IceCube is a wonderful and unique astrophysical telescope -it is deployed deep in the Antarctic ice but looks over the entire universe, detecting neutrinos coming through the Earth from the northern skies, as well from around the southern skies," says Vladimir Papitashvili of the NSF Division of Polar Programs.
"The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has opened a new era in neutrino astophysical observations. It is in the forefront of the entire field of neutrino astronomy, now delivering observations that have been long-awaited by both theorists and experimentalists," adds Jim Whitmore of the NSF's Physics Dvision.
To learn more, about the world's largest particle detector and the first high-energy neutrinos from the cosmos, please visit:
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CubeSat Launch initiative
NASA's CubeSat Launch initiative (CSLI) provides opportunities for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned for upcoming launches. These CubeSats are flown as auxiliary payloads on previously planned missions.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. To participate in the CSLI program, CubeSat investigations should be consistent with NASAs Strategic Plan and the Education Strategic Coordination Framework. The research should address aspects of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.
NASA has confirmation that 11 CubeSats, including the first developed by high school students, that were launched November 19, are operating as planned.
As the miniature satellites come online, the teams responsible for them are beginning to receive signals. Although it could take several more days for full confirmation, all of the cubesats appear to be doing well in their new home in low-Earth orbit.
Also sent into orbit was PhoneSat 2.4, a second-generation smartphone cubesat mission sponsored by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. PhoneSat 2.4 will test the smartphone's capability as communication technology for nanonsatellites and as hardware to manage pointing, taking images and software execution.
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Coninuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on November 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its closest approach to the sun.
As ISON appeared to dim and fizzle in several observatories and later could not be seen at all by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory or by ground based solar observatories, many scientists believed it had disintegrated completely. However, a streak of bright material streaming away from the sun appeared in the European Space Agency and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory later in the evening. The question remains whether it is merely debris from the comet, or if some portion of the comet's nucleus survived, but late-night analysis from scientists with NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaing suggest that there is at least a small nucleus intact.
Throughout the year that researchers have watched Comet ISON – and especially during its final approach to the sun – the comet brightened and dimmed in unexpected ways. Such brightness changes usually occur in response to material boiling off the comet, and different material will do so at different temperatures thus providing clues as to what the comet is made of. Analyzing this pattern will help scientists understand the composition of ISON, which contains material assembled during the very formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago.
To see pictures and videos relating to this article, please visit:
For more information on Comet ISON:
For more recent ISON imagery:
For a simulation of ISON 's path past Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury: