NASA Visualization Explorer New Opportunities for iPad

The NASA Visualization Explorer is now delivering new opportunities to explore NASA’s research of the sun, planetary bodies, Earth and the universe to your iPad. Since July 2011, the Visualization Explorer iPad app, NASA Viz for short, has delivered two stories each week with a strong focus on Earth science. That two story per week schedule will continue, but now with stories that cover the breadth of the agency’s science mission and continue to highlight NASA’s artful data visualization. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is organized into four disciplines: Heliophysics, Planetary, Astrophysics and Earth science.

RXCaptures Thermonuclear Behavior of Unique Neutron Star

In October 2010, a neutron star near the center of our galaxy erupted with hundreds of X-ray bursts that were powered by a barrage of thermonuclear explosions on the star’s surface. On October 10, 2010, the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite detected a transient X-ray source in the direction of Terzan 5, a globular star cluster about 25,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. The object, dubbed IGR J17480–2446, is classed as a low-mass X-ray binary system, in which the neutron star orbits a star much like the sun and draws a stream of matter from it.

Two More Solar Flares Erupted from the Sun on March 10

Two new solar flares erupted from the sun on March 10, blasting streams of plasma and charged particles into space. The outbursts were both categorized as M-class solar flares, and exploded from the surface of the sun at 12:27 a.m. EST(0527 GMT) and 12:44 p.m. EST (1744 GMT), respectively, according to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
These two flares came from the same Active Region (AR) on the sun, designated number 1429, that has already produced three X-class and numerous M-class flares over the past week.

Powerful Solar Storm Triggered Weaker than Expected Disruptions

As scientists say powerful solar storm that slammed into Earth on March 8 triggered weaker than expected disruptions, but may still have a few more tricks up its sleeve. Two huge X-class solar flares that are the most powerful type of sun storm erupted from the sun late on March 6, hurling a wave of plasma and energetic particles toward Earth. This blast, called a coronal mass ejection, reached Earth at around 5:45 a.m. EST (1045 GMT) on March 8, according to officials at the Space Weather Prediction Center, which is jointly managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service.

NASA Going to Lunch 5 Rockets to Study Jet Stream

The small suborbital rockets form the core of Nasa’s Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX), which is scheduled to blast off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on March 14, according to a mission profile. The mission will gather information about the high-altitude jet stream, which whistles along 60 to 65 miles (97 to 105 kilometers) above our planet’s surface. If all goes as planned, the five ATREX sounding rockets will launch within 320 seconds, releasing chemical tracers into the high-altitude jet stream.

Researchers Study Explosions on Venus

A new study finds strange, gigantic explosions fueled by solar energy detonate just above the surface of Venus.The huge eruptions, known as hot flow anomalies (HFAs), have been seen before near Earth, Saturn and possibly Mars. According to researchers the new observation is the first unambiguous confirmation of the phenomenon on Venus. It also shows that HFAs there are far different than what happens near our planet, which has a strong magnetic field.

Study Show Sea Ice Decline Driving Rise in Arctic Air Pollutants

According to a new NASA-led study Drastic reductions in Arctic sea ice in the last decade may be intensifying the chemical release of bromine into the atmosphere, resulting in ground-level ozone depletion and the deposit of toxic mercury in the Arctic. The connection between changes in the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover and bromine chemical processes is determined by the interaction between the salt in sea ice, frigid temperatures and sunlight. When these mix, the salty ice releases bromine into the air and starts a cascade of chemical reactions called a “bromine explosion.”

Black Holes Gas Clouds May Dictate the Pace of Star Formation

According to new study newfound clouds of gas that stream from gigantic black holes may dictate the pace of star formation in the galaxies around them and the growth of the black holes themselves. These outflows of gas appear to feed on matter that would otherwise fall into an expanding supermassive black hole, halting its growth.As they travel outward, the clouds may also sweep away the raw materials that form new stars in a vast, roughly spherical area known as the galaxy’s bulge, slowing the pace of star formation in the process.

Sun Unleashed 5 Solar Eruptions in 2 Days

Sun unleashed five solar eruptions in only two days last week. The solar storms flared up between February 23 and 24 and exploded from nearly all areas of the star, including the top, bottom, left and right sides of the solar disk as seen by space-based observatories, according to NASA scientists. In fact, four of these outbursts came within a single 24-hour period. One of the eruptions churned out an impressive magnetic filament in the early hours of February 24. This triggered the first of two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that were blasted toward Earth.

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