July 2015 Archives

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/figure1a_Bodnath-1.jpg"Global and regional processes are changing the world's appearance every day. This results in influences on the social, economical and political situation in countries all over the world. These processes also take place in remote and fragile ecosystems such as the Himalayan region. The countries with the main share of this world's highest mountain range, Nepal and Tibet, have undergone dramatic changes over the past decades. In the last 50 years severe urbanisation processes have affected the old city of Lhasa, a former centre of Buddhist religion and culture. Nepal's mountainous ecosystems have been affected by natural hazards. Continuous landslides have led to a severe threat in the affected regions, such as the Langtang Himal.

This case study includes:

- a background section
- a worksheet introduction

International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/banner.jpg"International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) is an annual event for highly performed high school students from all around the world in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Established in Thailand 2006, it was initiated by five countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland with the aim to proliferate Astronomy among high school students, to foster friendship among young astronomers at international level so as to build cooperation in the field of Astronomy in the future among the young scholars."


Tracking Spacecraft Through the Cosmos Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/DSA_3_Malarguee.jpg"Musicians, composers and audio buffs are invited to help celebrate 40 years of ESA's tracking station network. Create some truly cosmic sound and you may win impressive prizes, including a trip to our anniversary gala event in Spain. In 2015, ESA's Estrack ground station network celebrates 40 years and we are inviting original compositions for the 'Estrack 40th Anniversary Sound Contest.' The winner will be selected as the new theme audio for Estrack, and the composer will receive a paid invitation to the anniversary VIP event at Cebreros Tracking Station in Spain on 24 September. In addition to the grand prize winner, two runners-up and seven Top Ten entries will be selected, each of which will win ESA-branded prizes. In addition to the grand prize winner, two runners-up and seven Top Ten entries will be selected, each of which will win ESA-branded prizes."


A Powerful Telescope You Can Build at Home

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/unnamed.jpg"A team from the London-based Open Space Agency (OSA) has produced the Ultrascope, a downloadable telescope design that can be generated by a 3D printer, be controlled by simple robotics, and captures images using the camera on a smartphone. OSA's James Parr says the group wanted to show that it was possible to create an open source design that people could build cheaply at home and use to do scientifically valuable observations. The phones on the Ultrascope automatically upload images to the cloud and Parr hopes users will build up a library of shared images online."


http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/collage_nrao.jpg"A team of scientists participating in a radio astronomy summer school had the unexpected opportunity to observe a recently discovered near-Earth asteroid as it zipped past our planet on July 7. The observations were made using the combined power of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia and a radar transmitter at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, California. he observations were taken during a biennial summer school on single-dish radio astronomy sponsored jointly by the NRAO and NSF's Arecibo Observatory. This educational program provides graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and experts in other fields of astronomy with both knowledge and practical experience of the techniques and applications of single-dish radio astronomy."


NASA Hosts 'Quest for Quakes' Data Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-157b.s.jpg"A new NASA challenge is looking for evidence to support a theory that electromagnetic pulses (EMP) may precede an earthquake, potentially offering a warning to those in the quake's path. The "Quest for Quakes" two-week algorithm challenge seeks to develop new software codes or algorithms to search through data and identify electromagnetic pulses that may precede an earthquake. Some researchers have speculated such pulses originating from the ground near earthquake epicenters could signal the onset of some quakes. "Developing a reliable approach that can separate potential earthquake-induced electromagnetic pulses from the myriad of natural and anthropogenic sources has been a significant challenge," said Craig Dobson, program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas from this competition and learning more about this controversial phenomenon.""


New Website Gathering Public Input on NASA Mars Images

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/PIA19823_fig3.jpg"Science-team members for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are soliciting help from the public to analyze exotic features near the south pole of Mars. By categorizing features visible in images from the orbiter's Context Camera (CTX), volunteers are using their own computers to help the team identify specific areas for even more detailed examination with the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. HiRISE can reveal more detail than any other camera ever put into orbit around Mars. Planet Four: Terrains is on a new platform released by the Zooniverse, an organization that currently hosts 30 projects that enlist people worldwide to contribute to discoveries in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology. The new platform is designed to make it easier than ever for a researcher needing help with data analysis to set up a task to involve volunteers."


Student Satellite Wins Green Light for Station Deployment

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/AAUSat-5-1.jpg"Following more than a year of intense effort channelled into a 10 cm box, the first of ESA's student satellites to be released from the International Space Station has been accepted for launch. A standard CubeSat measuring 10 x 10 x 10 cm, AAUSat-5 has been designed and built by 30 students from the University of Aalborg in Denmark, backed by ESA's Education Office. It will be carried to the Station in August, where it will be despatched into space in conjunction with the mission of Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen. "The team will have their small CubeSat deployed into orbit from the International Space Station, the most gigantic space structure ever built," commented Piero Galeone of the ESA Education Office's Fly Your Satellite! venture."


Web App For Teaching Remote Sensing

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/landsat_application.jpg"Teaching remote sensing? This web mapping application can be a very useful teaching tool. The web mapping application covers the whole planet, with mapping services that are updated daily with new Landsat 8 scenes. Access many band combinations and indices by hovering over the tools to the left of the map image and selecting among the following:

- Agriculture: Highlights agriculture in bright green. Bands 6,5,2
- Natural Color: Sharpened with 25m panchromatic band. Bands 4,3,2+8
- Color Infrared: Healthy vegetation is bright red. Bands 5,4,3
- SWIR (Short Wave Infrared): Highlights rock formations. Bands 7,6,4
- Geology: Highlights geologic features. Bands 7,4,2
- Bathymetric: Highlights underwater features. Bands 4,3,1
- Panchromatic: Panchromatic image at 15m. Band 8
- Vegetation Index: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). (Band5-Band4)/(Band5+Band4)
- Moisture Index: Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI). (Band5-Band6)/(Band5+Band6)"


Students Start Mapping Cosmic Rays and Solar Wind with LUCID

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/TDS1-1Mar2013-150-800p.jpg"A satellite experiment to study cosmic rays and the solar wind that was devised by school students is now successfully collecting data in space. LUCID, the Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector, uses particle detectors from CERN to study the radiation environment in low Earth orbit. 16-year old Cal Hewitt, from the Langton Star Center, will present the first results from LUCID at the National Astronomy Meeting 2015 in Llandudno on Monday, 6 July. LUCID was launched on 8th July 2014 on the Innovate UK-funded TechDemoSat-1, which carries payloads from a number of UK academic and governmental institutions. The LUCID project was first conceived by students in 2008 and was constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. It is one of a number of research projects developed at the Langton Star Center, the research center of the Simon Langton Grammar School in Kent."


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