segunda-feira, 2 de julho de 2012

Cassini Finds Likely Subsurface Ocean on Saturn Moon

News release: 2012-190                                                                    June 28, 2012

Cassini Finds Likely Subsurface Ocean on Saturn Moon

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:

PASADENA, Calif. -- Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed Saturn's moon Titan likely harbors a layer of liquid water under its ice shell.

Researchers saw a large amount of squeezing and stretching as the moon orbited Saturn. They deduced that if Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn would cause bulges, or solid "tides," on the moon only 3 feet (1 meter) in height. Spacecraft data show Saturn creates solid tides approximately 30 feet (10 meters) in height, which suggests Titan is not made entirely of solid rocky material. The finding appears in today's edition of the journal Science.

"Cassini's detection of large tides on Titan leads to the almost inescapable conclusion that there is a hidden ocean at depth," said Luciano Iess, the paper's lead author and a Cassini team member at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. "The search for water is an important goal in solar system exploration, and now we've spotted another place where it is abundant."

Titan takes only 16 days to orbit Saturn, and scientists were able to study the moon's shape at different parts of its orbit. Because Titan is not spherical, but slightly elongated like a football, its long axis grew when it was closer to Saturn. Eight days later, when Titan was farther from Saturn, it became less elongated and more nearly round. Cassini measured the gravitational effect of that squeeze and pull.

Scientists were not sure Cassini would be able to detect the bulges caused by Saturn's pull on Titan. By studying six close flybys of Titan from Feb. 27, 2006, to Feb. 18, 2011, researchers were able to determine the moon's internal structure by measuring variations in the gravitational pull of Titan using data returned to NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN).

"We were making ultrasensitive measurements, and thankfully Cassini and the DSN were able to maintain a very stable link," said Sami Asmar, a Cassini team member at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The tides on Titan pulled up by Saturn aren't huge compared to the pull the biggest planet, Jupiter, has on some of its moons. But, short of being able to drill on Titan's surface, the gravity measurements provide the best data we have of Titan's internal structure."

An ocean layer does not have to be huge or deep to create these tides. A liquid layer between the external, deformable shell and a solid mantle would enable Titan to bulge and compress as it orbits Saturn. Because Titan's surface is mostly made of water ice, which is abundant in moons of the outer solar system, scientists infer Titan's ocean is likely mostly liquid water.

On Earth, tides result from the gravitational attraction of the moon and sun pulling on our surface oceans. In the open oceans, those can be as high as two feet (60 centimeters). While water is easier to move, the gravitational pulling by the sun and moon also causes Earth's crust to bulge in solid tides of about 20 inches (50 centimeters).

The presence of a subsurface layer of liquid water at Titan is not itself an indicator for life. Scientists think life is more likely to arise when liquid water is in contact with rock, and these measurements cannot tell whether the ocean bottom is made up of rock or ice. The results have a bigger implication for the mystery of methane replenishment on Titan.

"The presence of a liquid water layer in Titan is important because we want to understand how methane is stored in Titan's interior and how it may outgas to the surface," said Jonathan Lunine, a Cassini team member at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "This is important because everything that is unique about Titan derives from the presence of abundant methane, yet the methane in the atmosphere is unstable and will be destroyed on geologically short timescales."

A liquid water ocean, "salted" with ammonia, could produce buoyant ammonia-water liquids that bubble up through the crust and liberate methane from the ice. Such an ocean could serve also as a deep reservoir for storing methane.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. DSN, also managed by JPL, is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions. Cassini's radio science team is based at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about the mission, visit: and .

Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington

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Astronomers Spot Rare Arc From Hefty Galaxy Cluster


News release: 2012-187                                                                     June 26, 2012

Astronomers Spot Rare Arc From Hefty Galaxy Cluster

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:

PASADENA, Calif. -- Seeing is believing, except when you don't believe what you see. Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found a puzzling arc of light behind an extremely massive cluster of galaxies residing 10 billion light-years away. The galactic grouping, discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, was observed as it existed when the universe was roughly a quarter of its current age of 13.7 billion years.
The giant arc is the stretched shape of a more distant galaxy whose light is distorted by the monster cluster's powerful gravity, an effect called gravitational lensing. The trouble is, the arc shouldn't exist.

"When I first saw it, I kept staring at it, thinking it would go away," said study leader Anthony Gonzalez of the University of Florida in Gainesville, whose team includes researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "According to a statistical analysis, arcs should be extremely rare at that distance. At that early epoch, the expectation is that there are not enough galaxies behind the cluster bright enough to be seen, even if they were 'lensed,' or distorted by the cluster. The other problem is that galaxy clusters become less massive the further back in time you go. So it's more difficult to find a cluster with enough mass to be a good lens for gravitationally bending the light from a distant galaxy."

Galaxy clusters are collections of hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. They are the most massive structures in our universe. Astronomers frequently study galaxy clusters to look for faraway, magnified galaxies behind them that would otherwise be too dim to see with telescopes. Many such gravitationally lensed galaxies have been found behind galaxy clusters closer to Earth.

The surprise in this Hubble observation is spotting a galaxy lensed by an extremely distant cluster. Dubbed IDCS J1426.5+3508, the cluster is the most massive found at that epoch, weighing as much as 500 trillion suns. It is 5 to 10 times larger than other clusters found at such an early time in the history of the universe. The team spotted the cluster in a search using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in combination with archival optical images taken as part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's Deep Wide Field Survey at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz. The combined images allowed them to see the cluster as a grouping of very red galaxies, indicating they are far away.

This unique system constitutes the most distant cluster known to "host" a giant gravitationally lensed arc. Finding this ancient gravitational arc may yield insight into how, during the first moments after the Big Bang, conditions were set up for the growth of hefty clusters in the early universe.

The arc was spotted in optical images of the cluster taken in 2010 by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The infrared capabilities of Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 helped provide a precise distance, confirming it to be one of the farthest clusters yet discovered.

Once the astronomers determined the cluster's distance, they used Hubble, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) radio telescope, and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to independently show that the galactic grouping is extremely massive.

"The chance of finding such a gigantic cluster so early in the universe was less than one percent in the small area we surveyed," said team member Mark Brodwin of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "It shares an evolutionary path with some of the most massive clusters we see today, including the Coma cluster and the recently discovered El Gordo cluster."

An analysis of the arc revealed that the lensed object is a star-forming galaxy that existed 10 billion to 13 billion years ago. The team hopes to use Hubble again to obtain a more accurate distance to the lensed galaxy.

The team's results are described in three papers, which will appear online today and will be published in the July 10, 2012 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Gonzalez is the first author on one of the papers; Brodwin, on another; and Adam Stanford of the University of California at Davis, on the third. Daniel Stern and Peter Eisenhardt of JPL are co-authors on all three papers.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about Spitzer, visit and .

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Donna Weaver / Ray Villard 410-338-4493 / 338-4514
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md. /

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NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Landing Educator Conference



Upcoming Educator Conference                             June 28, 2012

This is a feature from the NASA/JPL Education Office.

Bring "Curiosity" Into Your Classroom!

Date: Friday, Aug. 3 and Saturday, Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to midnight

Target audience: Educators

Location: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Overview: Join in the historic landing of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity at Gale Crater on Mars, Aug. 3-5, 2012, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Bring the excitement of Mars exploration to your classroom with standards-aligned, STEM-based, hands-on activities and take home image-rich learning materials. Mission team members will share their stories, and you can see JPL's mission control, rover test beds, and more. Then, view Curiosity's anticipated landing at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5.

For more information and to register, go to:

Cost: $40.00 per participant (non-refundable: due by July 13, 2012). Includes materials and lunches on Friday and Saturday. Does not include: lodging costs, transportation (e.g., airline flight, transportation to and from conference location), or meals except those specified above. All additional costs are the responsibility of the conference participant.



The 'Flame' Burns Bright in New WISE Image


News feature: 2012-193                                                                     July 2, 2012

The 'Flame' Burns Bright in New WISE Image

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:

A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the candle-like Flame nebula lighting up a cavern of dust. The Flame nebula is part of the Orion complex, a turbulent star-forming area located near the constellation's star-studded belt.

The image is being released today along with a new batch of data from the mission. Last March, WISE released its all-sky catalog and atlas containing infrared images and data on more than a half billion objects, including everything from asteroids to stars and galaxies. Now, the mission is offering up additional data from its second scan of the sky.

"If you're an astronomer, then you'll probably be in hog heaven when it comes to infrared data," said Edward (Ned) Wright of UCLA, the principal investigator of the WISE mission. "Data from the second sky scan are useful for studying stars that vary or move over time, and for improving and checking data from the first scan."

The new WISE view of the Flame nebula, in which colors are assigned to different channels of infrared light, looks like what appears to be a flaming candle sending off billows of smoke. In fact, the wispy tendrils in the image are part of the larger Orion star-forming complex, a huge dust cloud churning out new stars. In the Flame nebula, massive stars are carving a cavity in this dust. Intense ultraviolet light from a central massive star 20 times heavier than our sun, and buried in the blanketing dust, is causing the cloud to glow in infrared light. This star would be almost as bright to our eyes as the three stars in Orion's belt, but the dust makes the star appear 4 billion times fainter than it really is.

Other features in this view include the nebula NGC 2023, seen as a bright circle in the lower half of the image, and the famous Horsehead nebula, which is hard to see but located to the right of one of the lower, vertical ridges. The bright red arc at lower right is a bow shock, where material in front of the speeding multiple-star system Sigma Orionis is piling up.

The data released today cover about one-third of the mission's second full scan of the sky. They were taken from August to September 2010 as the telescope began to deplete its coolant, operating with three of its four infrared detectors. The coolant kept the telescope chilled to prevent its heat, or infrared radiation, from interfering with the observations. As the telescope warmed during this period, one of the four channels on WISE was overwhelmed by the infrared radiation.

An introduction and quick guide to accessing the WISE all-sky archive for astronomers is online at: .

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages, and operated, WISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft was put into hibernation mode in 2011 after it scanned the entire sky twice, completing its main objectives. Edward Wright is the principal investigator and is at UCLA. The mission was selected competitively under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at, and .

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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Stellar Flare Blasts Exoplanet


NASA Science News for June 28, 2012

Working in tandem, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Swift satellite have caught a distant star blasting one of its own planets with a powerful stellar flare. The eruption stripped thousands of tons of material from the planet's atmosphere.


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Evidence Mounts for an Underground Ocean on Titan


NASA Science News for June 28, 2012

Saturn's giant moon Titan appears to have an underground ocean of liquid water, according to a newly-released analysis of data from NASA's Cassini probe.


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NASA's Earth Observatory: What's New Week of 26 June 2012

The latest from NASA's Earth Observatory (26 June 2012)

Latest Images:

* A Glorious View

* Wildfires across Colorado

* Polar Mesospheric Clouds, Northern Hemisphere

* Luizi Crater, Democratic Republic of the Congo

* Volcanoes, Clouds, and Swirling Winds

* The View from the Top

* Mine Collapse in Turkey

* Tropical Storm Guchol


Recent Blog Posts:

Earth Matters
* Satellite Puzzler Answer: Ã?ollolar Coalfield Landslides

Elegant Figures
* Odds & Ends: Batu Tara Volcano Emits a Wispy Plume

Notes from the Field
* Vegetation Sampling

* Aircraft Open House


Astrónomos predicen una colisión titánica entre la Vía Láctea y la galaxia de Andrómeda - Noticias Cientificas de la NASA

Noticias Científicas de la NASA

Astrónomos de la NASA afirman que ahora pueden predecir con certeza el próximo evento cósmico importante que afectará a nuestra galaxia, al Sol y al sistema solar: la colisión titánica entre nuestra galaxia, la Vía Láctea, con la vecina galaxia de Andrómeda.


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El equipo del vehículo explorador de Marte intenta aterrizar más cerca de su objetivo científico - Noticias Cientificas de la NASA

Noticias Científicas de la NASA

La NASA intentará hacer aterrizar al vehículo explorador de Marte, Curiosity, más cerca de su objetivo científico, pero también más cerca del pie de una montaña, lo cual representa un peligro para el aterrizaje.


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¿Por qué no explotará la supernova? - Noticias Cientificas de la NASA

Noticias Científicas de la NASA

Una pregunta ha estado trayendo inconvenientes a los astrónomos: "¿Por qué no explotará la supernova?". A pesar de que las estrellas reales explotan, los mejores modelos de estrellas moribundas hechos por computadora no logran producir un estallido. La NASA ha lanzado un nuevo observatorio denominado "NuSTAR" con el fin de buscar los fenómenos físicos que falta conocer para que se produzca una explosión estelar.


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Fireworks Over Mars: The Spirit of 76 Pyrotechnics

News feature: 2012-192                                                                    July 2, 2012

Fireworks Over Mars: The Spirit of 76 Pyrotechnics

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:

One month and a day after celebrating its independence with fireworks exhibitions throughout the country, America will carry its penchant for awe-inspiring aerial pyrotechnic displays to the skies of another world. Some pyrotechnics will be as small as the energy released by a box of matches. One packs the same oomph as a stick of TNT. Whether they be large or small, on the evening of August 5th (Pacific time), all 76 must work on cue as NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, carried by the Mars Science Laboratory, streaks through the Red Planet's atmosphere on its way to a landing at Gale Crater.

"We are definitely coming in with a bang – or a series of them," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "You only get one shot at a Mars landing, and the pyrotechnic charges we are using are great for reliably providing instantaneous, irreversible actions like deploying a parachute or opening a fuel valve."

Explosive pyrotechnic devices predate the space age by about a thousand years. Around 750 A.D., people in China began stuffing an early form of gunpowder into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire. At some point, someone interested in taking this new discovery to the next level (probably also from that region), decided aerial explosions would be even cooler, and the "aerial salute" was born. Fireworks were also part of America's very first Independence Day in 1777.

Pyrotechnics, or pyromechanical devices, are a natural but highly-engineered extension of these early fireworks. Instead of a rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air, the energy from these explosions is contained within a mechanism, where it is used to move, cut, pull or separate something. Controlled explosions are a valuable tool to those who explore beyond Earth's atmosphere because they are quick and reliable.

"When we need valves to open, or things to move or come apart, we want to be confident they will do so within milliseconds of the time we plan for them to do so," said Rich Webster, a pyromechanical engineer at JPL. "With pyros, no electrical motors need to move. No latches need to be unlatched. We blow things apart -- scientifically."

Seventeen minutes before landing, the first 10 of 76 pyros will fire within five milliseconds of each other, releasing the cruise stage that provided the entry capsule (and its cocooned descent vehicle and the Curiosity rover) with power, communications and thermal control support during its 254-day journey to Mars.

"We have essentially three miniature guillotines onboard that, when the pyros fire, cut cabling and metal tubing that run between the cruise stage and the entry capsule," said Luke Dubord, avionics engineer for Mars Science Laboratory at JPL. "Then a retraction pyro pulls them out of the way. Along with that, we've got six pyrotechnic separation nuts, which when fired, will actually accomplish the separation."

One hundred and twenty-five milliseconds later, two more pyros fire, releasing compressed springs that jettison two 165-pounds(75-kilogram) solid tungsten weights. These weights allow the entry capsule to perform history's first planetary lifting body entry (see ). A dozen minutes and one fiery, lifting-body atmospheric reentry later, another smaller set of tungsten weights is ejected by pyros to re-adjust the lander's center of mass for the final approach to the surface. A few seconds after that, the largest bang since the spacecraft separated from its Atlas rocket 254 days before is scheduled to occur.

"The Mars Science Lab parachute is the largest used on a planetary mission," said Dubord. "When folded up and in its canister, it's still as big as a trashcan. We have to get that folded-up chute out of its canister and unfolding in a hurry. The best way to do that is get it quickly away from spacecraft and out into the freestream using a mortar."

The best way to do that, the engineers at JPL decided, was to include a pyrotechnic charge equivalent to a stick of TNT.

"When something like this goes off, it makes a lot of noise" said Dubord. "Of course, at 8.7 miles [14 kilometers] up and a little over Mach 1, over Mars, I doubt anybody will be there to hear it."

While the ejection of the parachute is the biggest pyrotechnic display during the crucial entry, descent and landing, it is certainly not the last. The landing system needs to be released from the backshell that helped protect it during entry. The sky crane's descent engines need to be pressurized, and the rover itself needs to be released from the sky crane, where it is lowered on tethers toward the surface. All told, there are another 44 controlled explosions that need to happen at exactly the right time and at absolutely no other time for Curiosity to touch down safely at Gale Crater.

"Excluding the parachute mortar, the total 'explosive' material in all the pyrotechnics aboard the spacecraft is only about 50 to 60 grams," said Webster. "That is about the same amount of combustible material in the air bag in your car's steering wheel. When you do the math, the amount of explosive material in each pyrotechnic is only about what you would get out of a pack of matches.

"The thing is, a pack of matches won't help you land on Mars....pyrotechnics will," Webster added.
The Mars Science Laboratory mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Curiosity was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

A video about the challenges of the landing is online at: or .

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at:

For more information on the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity mission, visit: .

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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Almost-X Flare Illuminates Earth on July 2nd

Space Weather News for July 2, 2012

STRONG SOLAR FLARE: A big, active sunspot (AR1515) is growing on the
Earthside of the sun. This morning it erupted, producing an M5.6-class solar
flare that ionized Earth's upper atmosphere with a brief but intense pulse
of X-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation. More eruptions are in the
offing as the sunspot turns to face Earth. Check
for more information and updates.

X-FLARE ALERTS: Would you like a call when solar flares are underway?
X-flare alerts are available from (text) and (voice).

Supernovas - Boletim Brasileiro de Astronomia - Ed. 676


Quinta-feira, 28 de Junho de 2012 - Edicao No. 676




24/06/2012. Duas maiusculas novidades se destacam no Comunicado Conjunto
firmado pela Presidenta Dilma Rousseff e pelo Primeiro Ministro da
China, Wen Jiabao, durante a Rio+20, na quinta-feira passada, 21 de
junho – ambas com forte impacto na cooperacao espacial entre os dois
paises. 1) A hora e a vez da "Parceria estrategica global" O Brasil e a
China elevam o status de "parceria estrategica", adotado em 1993, para
"parceria estrategica global", previlerio que ultrapassa os assuntos
bilaterais e incorpora as mais relevantes questoes globais de politica e
economia, a serem discutidas pelos respectivos chanceleres, pelo menos,
uma vez por ano. "Essa decisao atesta o reconhecimento da crescente
influencia estrategica e global dos dois paises, cuja cooperacao sera'
cada vez mais abrangente, numa conjuntura internacional marcada por
mudancas profundas", afirma o comunicado. Os dois paises tambem
"reiteraram o compromisso de promover salto qualitativo das relacoes
sino-brasileiras, por meio da intensificacao do dialogo politico e da
ampliacao da agenda de cooperacao bilateral". A relacao Brasil-EUA tem
status similar, com o nome de "dialogo de parceria global", que promove
duas reunioes anuais dos chanceleres e produz bons resultados. Mas a
parceria Brasil-China parece crescer em ritmo mais intenso e beneficiar
areas de maior valor estrategico. Eles se comprometem a seguir os
"principios do beneficio mutuo, desenvolvimento conjunto, parametros de
mercado, viabilidade e eficiencia". A China ja' e' o maior parceiro
comercial do Brasil. Agora, resolvem aumentar os investimentos
reciprocos. E estabelecer em ambos os mercados, por meio da emissao de
titulos, um credito de ate' US$ 30 bilhoes. Assumem, tambem, ambicioso
Plano Decenal de Cooperacao em Ciencia, Tecnologia e Inovacao,
envolvendo centros de pesquisa e empresas em areas vitais, como
nanotecnologia, telecomunicacoes, educacao – com a formacao e
aproveitamento mutuo de especialistas altamente qualificados, atraves do
Programa "Ciencia sem Fronteiras". Instalaram-se o Centro Conjunto
Brasil-China de Satelites Meteorologicos e o Centro Brasil-China de
Biotecnologia. Os acordos firmados mobilizam os ambitos comercial,
cientifico, tecnologico, financeiro e cultural. Havera' importante
colaboracao nas areas automotiva e de petroleo e gas. A Embraer firmou
contrato com o governo chines para exportar avioes e foi criada a joint
venture Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI) para a producao de jatos
executivos na China. Hoje, o Brasil e' grande exportador de commodities
para a China. Para amanha', a meta e' aumentar o peso dos produtos
manufaturados nestas exportacoes. Na area espacial, pelo novo status, o
Brasil e a China poderao tratar de temas estrategicos como: – seguranca
espacial, sustentabilidade a longo prazo das atividades espaciais,
proibicao da instalacao de armas em orbitas da Terra e do uso da forca
militar no espaco, impedindo que ele se torne novo campo de batalha; –
reducao dos detritos nas orbitas terrestres mais utilizadas, que nao
param de crescer, ameacando o inestimavel patrimonio de satelites, naves
e estacoes espaciais hoje ativos, e os servicos de primeira necessidade
por eles prestados a toda a comunidade internacional de nacoes; –
criacao de um sistema global de conhecimento permanente sobre a situacao
e o desempenho de cada objeto espacial, para garantir transparencia,
confiabilidade e previsibilidade das atividades espaciais de qualquer
pais – e' a expansao da ideia de se estabelecer um sistema de
gerenciamento do trafico espacial, surgido anteriormente como imperativo
de seguranca global; – Atuacao conjunta para fortalecer e dinamizar os
mais relevantes foruns multilaterais, como o Comite' das Nacoes Unidas
para o Uso Pacifico do Espaco Exterior (COPUOS), a Conferencia sobre
Desarmamento (CD) e a propria Organizacao das Nacoes Unidas (UN); –
Atuacao conjunta para estimular o desenvolvimento equanime e progressivo
do Direito Espacial, incluindo todas as areas e formas de regulamentacao
internacional e nacional das atividades espaciais visando propositos
exclusivamente pacificos e beneficos para todos os paises, sem qualquer
discriminacao. – Programas espaciais cooperativos de largo alcance, com
a participacao simultanea de inumeros paises. Tudo isso, se bem feito,
podera' ter inevitavel repercussao internacional, inclusive ampliando o
papel conjunto dos BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China e Africa do Sul)
no tabuleiro global, fator de mudancas substanciais nas relacoes
internacionais contemporaneas. Nao por acaso, Brasil e China buscarao
aprofundar o exame da economia mundial no ambito do BRICS e do G-20,
visando "a adocao de acoes coordenadas, para superar a atual conjuntura
adversa". Como se nao bastasse, os dois paises consideram que "as atuais
instancias de governanca global precisam ser reformadas, a fim de
responder adequadamente 'as demandas da nova ordem internacional" e que,
por isso, "apoiam uma reforma abrangente da ONU, incluindo como
prioridade o aumento da representacao dos paises em desenvolvimento no
Conselho de Seguranca, de forma a torna-lo mais eficiente e apto a
responder aos desafios globais atuais". Como se ve', a "cooperacao
estrategica global" tem tudo para nao ser mero jogo de palavras ou
simples expressao de efeito propagandistico. 2) Mais uma ideia pioneira:
Plano Decenal de Cooperacao Espacial O Brasil e a China decidem
"promover discussao mais aprofundada" sobre um Plano Decenal de
Cooperacao Espacial, "com vistas a acelerar a sua negociacao, por meio
da coordenacao entre a Agencia Espacial Brasileira (AEB) e a China
National Space Administration (CNSA). A iniciativa e' inedita nos 55
anos da Era Espacial, inaugurada em 1957 pelo Sputnik I, o primeiro
satelite construido pelos seres humanos, lancado pela ex-Uniao
Sovietica. Cabe lembrar que, em 1988, com o Programa CBERS (China-Brazil
Earth Resources Satellite – Satelite Sino-Brasileiro de Recursos
Terrestres), os dois paises foram os primeiros a estabelecer um acordo
de cooperacao em tecnologia avancada entre nacoes em desenvolvimento,
que ate' entao nao tinham essa possibilidade. Os "temas principais" da
discussao mais aprofundada entre a AEB e a CNSA sobre o Plano Decenal
ja' foram definidos. Sao eles: – Nova direcao e mecanismo de cooperacao
para os futuros satelites CBERS e outros satelites; – Politica de dados
do CBERS-3 e CBERS-4; – Cooperacao na aplicacao de dados do Satelite de
Sensoriamento Remoto; – Componente de satelite, elemento componente e
equipamentos de teste; – Cooperacao em materia de satelite de
comunicacao; – Servicos de lancamento; – Cooperacao em ciencia espacial;
– Cooperacao na aplicacao de Satelites Meteorologicos. Para quem ainda
nao sabe, o CBERS-3 (4º satelite da serie, apos o CBERS-1, lancado em
1999, o CBERS-2, lancado em 2003, e o CBERS-2B, lancado em 2007) deve
subir ao espaco em novembro proximo e o CBERS-4, em 2014. No comunicado
conjunto, o Brasil e a China enfatizam o interesse em "estimular o
trabalho conjunto para a distribuicao internacional dos dados daqueles
satelites". O Brasil lidera hoje o ranking mundial da distribuicao
gratuita de imagens de satelite. Ja' cedeu mais de um milhao delas. A
atualidade da questao do acesso facilitado aos dados e imagens de
satelite em beneficio dos programas nacionais de desenvolvimento
sustentavel ficou evidente no evento da Rio+20 sobre "Espaco para o
Desenvolvimento Sustentavel", onde foi um dos temas abordados. Em suma,
o Brasil e a China, situados – um em face do outro – no outro lado do
mundo, nao poderiam estar mais proximos na linha de frente dos novos
rumos da globalidade. ( Fonte: Jose' Monserrat Filho/AEB )
Ed: CE

22/06/2012. Hoje, dia 22 de junho de 2012, 'as 21h18m local, foi lancado
com sucesso, a partir do Centro de Lancamento de Andoya (Noruega), o
veiculo suborbital brasileiro VS-40M, transportando como carga-util o
experimento alemao Shefex 2. A operacao desse veiculo, o qual foi
integralmente financiado pelo Centro Espacial Alemao (DLR), veio
ratificar a excelente reputacao conquistada pela tecnologia brasileira
de veiculos suborbitais junto 'a Agencia Espacial Europeia.
Adicionalmente, o VS-40M significou um importante avanco para o alcance
da autonomia brasileira de acesso ao Espaco, pois consiste da parte
superior do VLS-1, com os motores S40 e S44. O perfeito funcionamento
dos motores S40 e S44M, bem como de todos os eventos do voo, garantiram
a trajetoria nominal do experimento. O experimento Shefex 2 (Sharp Edge
Flight Experiment) e' parte de um importante Programa alemao de
desenvolvimento de tecnologia de voos hipersonicos e de reentrada
atmosferica, e teve como objetivos testar novos materiais e tipos de
protecao termica necessarios para operacao nessas condicoes, incluindo
placas de carbeto de silicio, desenvolvida no IAE, a ser utilizada na
estrutura do Satelite de Reentrada Atmosferica (SARA). Somente o custo
dos experimentos da missao espacial Shefex 2 somou 10 milhoes de euros,
estimando-se que outros 6 milhoes tenham sido investidos durante o
desenvolvimento desse experimento. Importante ressaltar que o Shefex 1,
ocorrido em 2005, foi lancado com o foguete brasileiro VS-30 Orion, e
que o Shefex 3 esta' previsto para voar, em 2016, a bordo do Veiculo
Lancador Microssatelites (VLM-1), em desenvolvimento conjunto pelo
Instituto de Aeronautica e Espaco (IAE) e DLR, com participacao de
industrias brasileiras e alemas. Esse foi mais um resultado positivo
alcancado dentro da Cooperacao Brasil-Alemanha. ( Fonte: IAE/DCTA )
Ed: CE

24/06/2012. A Agencia Espacial Brasileira (AEB) disponibilizou em seu
website a 13ª edicao da revista institucional "Espaco Brasileiro",
referente ao 1ª semestre de 2012. Dentre as reportagens, destaques para
um texto sobre o projeto do Veiculo Lancador de Microssatelites (VLM),
iniciativa conjunta entre o Brasil e a Alemanha, e outro sobre o
programa do Satelite Geoestacionario Brasileiro (SGB), com algumas
informacoes ineditas. A edicao tambem traz entrevistas com o presidente
da AEB, Jose' Raimundo Braga Coelho, e com o diretor do Instituto
Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Leonel Perondi. Para acessar a
revista, disponivel em arquivo PDF (25,2 MB): ( Fonte:
Panorama Espacial )
Ed: CE


22/06/2012. Um pequeno asteroide chamado 2012 KT42 chegou a uma
distancia de tres raios terrestres de nosso planeta em 29 de maio, mas
nao nos atingiu. O evento foi o sexto mais proximo ja' registrado para
qualquer asteroide. Em um video publicado on-line em 19 de junho, feito
por pesquisadores usando a Instalacao de Telescopio Infravermelho (IRTF,
em ingles) da Nasa, no Havai', o asteroide aparece fixo enquanto as
estrelas ao fundo passam rapidamente (de fato, o asteroide esta'
viajando a 17 km por segundo). "Voce' tem a impressao de estar viajando
com ele", descreve Richard Binzel, cientista planetario do Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, em Cambridge, que comandou as observacoes. O
asteroide chegou a 19 mil km da Terra – a distancia entre a orbita da
Estacao Espacial Internacional (cerca de um raio terrestre) e a de um
satelite geossincronico (cerca de seis raios terrestres). Horas apos o
objeto ser descoberto por um pequeno telescopio em Monte Lemmon, perto
de Tucson, no Arizona, Binzel conseguiu algumas horas no IRTF. O
profundo estudo resultante foi inovador para um objeto tao pequeno. Ao
determinar a composicao e refletividade do 2012 KT42, Binzel foi capaz
de usar o brilho do asteroide para estimar seu tamanho: cerca de 7
metros de diametro. Ele aponta que varios objetos com essa dimensao
cruzam o caminho da Terra todos os anos. Agora o 2012 KT42 continua sua
orbita eliptica de 1,5 anos ao redor do Sol. Mesmo se tivesse atingido a
Terra, explica Binzel, ele provavelmente teria se desintegrado na
atmosfera. Binzel quer descobrir um objeto que nao seja grande o
suficiente para apresentar riscos para a Terra, mas o suficiente para
ser visto no espaco e depois encontrado no chao como meteorito, como foi
o caso do asteroide 2008 TC3 que chegou 'a Terra no Sudao, em outubro de
2007. "Eu so' quero que eles tenham o tamanho certo para virarem
amostras", declara ele. ( Fonte: Eric Hand/SCIAM Brasil )
Ed: CE


23/07/2012 a 26/07/2012 - EREA 2012: Estao abertas as inscricoes para o
primeiro Encontro Regional de Ensino de Astronomia (EREA) de Natal. O
evento ocorrera' entre os dias 23 e 26 de julho de 2012, no campus da
UFRN. Estao convidados professores do Ensino Fundamental e Medio,
licenciandos e qualquer pessoa interessada em Astronomia. As inscricoes
sao gratuitas. O evento contara' com palestras, minicursos, oficinas,
observacoes astronomicas, visitas ao Planetario de Parnamirm e ao Centro
de Lancamentos de Foguetes da Barreira do Inferno (CLBI). Todos os
participantes terao direito a um certificado ao final do evento. Mais
informacoes: ( Fonte: EREA )
Ed: CE


28/06/2012 a 07/07/2012
Efemerides dia-a-dia
Ed: RG

28/6 Chuveiro Beta-Taurids (BTA), Max. atividade, THZ=10.0, em Taurus
de 5/6 a 17/7 (01:00:00)
28/6 Chuveiro Tau-Aquariids (TAQ), Max. atividade, THZ=7.1, em Aquarius
de 27/6 a 6/7 (16:00:00)
29/6 Plutao em oposicao (13:00:31)
30/6 Mercurio em maior elongacao Este (23:58:12)
01/7 Lua em perigeu (14:34:37)
02/7 Chuveiro Beta-Cassiopeids (BCA)em Cassiopeia, ativo ate' 19/8
03/7 Lua Cheia (16:51:51)
05/7 Sol em apogeu (01:03:41)
07/7 Lua em Libracao maxima (16:39:10)
07/7 Chuveiro South Delta-Aquariids (SDA) em Aquarius ate' 19/8

Horarios em GMT -03:00 (Hora Local de Brasilia)
Coordenadas de referencia: Sao Paulo / SP: -46.6167E, -23.5333W

Supernovas - Boletim Brasileiro de Astronomia :

Hubble flagra galáxia anã envolta por vapor na constelação de Ursa Maior

Do G1, em São Paulo

O telescópio Hubble da agência espacial americana (Nasa) flagrou uma galáxia anã envolta por vapor na constelação de Ursa Maior, a aproximadamente 13 milhões de anos-luz da Terra.

A DDO 82 apresenta um braço espiral e pode conter milhões ou até bilhões de estrelas. O Hubble usou luz visível e infravermelha para fazer a imagem.

Galáxia vapor (Foto: ESA/Nasa)Galáxia anã a 13 milhões de anos-luz da Terra foi vista pelo Telescópio Espacial Hubble (Foto: ESA/Nasa)
Os astrônomos chamaram o objeto de "galáxia SM" ou galáxia espiral magelânica, por causa da Grande Nuvem de Magalhães, galáxia anã que orbita a nossa Via Láctea e é muito parecida com a DDO 82.

A "nova" galáxia é considerada parte do Grupo M81, um conjunto de quase 40 galáxias na direção de Ursa Maior.


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