This week’s round-up will be a quick one – we just got back from attending the Blogworld & New Media Expo, and our brains are exploding with ideas for new things to do for Blueshift! But plenty of news-worthy things happened while we were gone, because astronomical discoveries wait for no one! We’ll kick off with this dramatic new trailer for the James Webb Space Telescope! It’s going back… to the beginning!
Posts tagged: Fermi
Last week, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope team announced that they had spotted something that had never been seen before – gamma rays coming from a nova. Back in March, Japanese amateur astronomers saw a dramatic change in a star in Cygnus and informed the professional astronomy community. Swift took a look, then Fermi, and they figured out the reason for the sudden increase in brightness: V407 Cyg, the white dwarf in a binary star system, erupted in an enormous thermonuclear explosion. It took a few months to examine the data and confirm their results, but now scientists are ready to share their discovery. Check out the animation above!
The evening of November 2, 2009 was the world premiere of “Cosmic Reflection,” an orchestral composition inspired by one of NASA’s satellites, in Washington, DC. This opus began as a simple prelude inspired by (and performed by a brass quintet at) the launch of the GLAST mission. To celebrate the first birthday of this satellite (since renamed Fermi), composer Dr. Nolan Gasser wrote a symphony which uses music to aurally portray the history of the universe.
We were able to go backstage at the Kennedy Center on the day of the performance to speak to a few of the people involved in this project, including the composer, the producer, a NASA scientist, and the “voice” of Cosmic Reflection.
It’s easy to think of a satellite as a fancy digital camera – just point, shoot, and look at the pretty picture that emerges. But it’s not that simple. Astronomical data has a far longer journey to make it from the satellite to end users. Bounced between satellites, sent to Earth, processed, networked, and archived… each observation has to pass through several steps before it can be analyzed by scientists. And that’s not even considering the further effort required to make a pretty picture!
This episode follows data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope on its odyssey from space to Earth, interviewing key personnel along the way.
NASA is famous for its acronyms and technical jargon. If you’ve ever watched a rocket launch or a spacewalk, you’ve heard some of them. Blueshift is produced by the ASD EPO team at NASA GSFC – that is, the Astrophysics Science Division Education and Public Outreach team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Do we need to spell out NASA, too?
In this episode, we explore NASA mission names and where they come from. And we make a very special dedication – this one’s for you, Stephen Colbert!
If you’ve visited Blueshift before, you’re probably wondering… hey, where have you been for the last year? We released six podcasts in 2007 but got a lot of mixed feedback from listeners about the content and structure. We decided to take some time off to re-think and get a better handle on our Blueshift audience and what they wanted. We asked questions – a lot of questions – and finally felt like we knew what you wanted us to create!
After taking some time off to seek listener feedback and consider the future direction of our podcast, Blueshift is back with a new episode to kick off 2009! For our re-launch, we’ve focused our first episode on another recently launched NASA project – the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope – and the exciting gamma-ray bursts that it observes.
We produced a segment in our second episode of 2007 about gamma-ray bursts, mysterious and powerful explosions visable across the Universe. With the launch of Fermi, our observations and understandings of these events is rapidly growing.
This episode features the voices of five scientists in the field of gamma-ray astronomy, exploring how – and why – they study gamma-ray bursts.
Welcome to the December 2007 episode of Blueshift, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We’re celebrating the new year with a look at the typical life cycle of NASA missions and the typical day of our science staff.
We’ll start with a look back at the FUSE mission, which ceased operations earlier this year. Then we’ll give you an inside look at what it takes to make a mission happen – from the birth of ideas to the day-to-day operation of a satellite after launch.