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quinta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2014

NASA WEB-Spitzer Stares into the Heart of New Supernova in M82

Spitzer Stares into the Heart of New Supernova in M82

The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decadesThe closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades has sparked a global observing campaign involving legions of instruments on the ground and in space, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Carnegie Institution for Science
› Full image and caption
February 26, 2014
The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades has sparked a global observing campaign involving legions of instruments on the ground and in space, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. With its dust-piercing infrared vision, Spitzer brings an important perspective to this effort by peering directly into the heart of the aftermath of the stellar explosion.
Dust in the supernova's host galaxy M82, also called the "Cigar galaxy," partially obscures observations in optical and high-energy forms of light. Spitzer can, therefore, complement all the other observatories taking part in painting a complete portrait of a once-in-a-generation supernova, which was first spotted in M82 on Jan. 21, 2014. A supernova is a tremendous explosion that marks the end of life for some stars.
"At this point in the supernova's evolution, observations in infrared let us look the deepest into the event," said Mansi Kasliwal, Hubble Fellow and Carnegie-Princeton Fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science and the principal investigator for the Spitzer observations. "Spitzer is really good for bypassing the dust and nailing down what's going on in and around the star system that spawned this supernova."
Supernovas are among the most powerful events in the universe, releasing so much energy that a single outburst can outshine an entire galaxy. The new supernova, dubbed SN 2014J, is of a particular kind known as a Type Ia. This type of supernova results in the complete destruction of a white dwarf star-the small, dense, aged remnant of a typical star like our sun. Two scenarios are theorized to give rise to Type Ia supernovas. First, in a binary star system, a white dwarf gravitationally pulls in matter from its companion star, accruing mass until the white dwarf crosses a critical threshold and blows up. In the second, two white dwarfs in a binary system spiral inward toward each other and eventually collide explosively.
Type Ia supernovas serve a critically important role in gauging the expansion of the universe because they explode with almost exactly the same amount of energy, shining with a near-uniform peak brightness. The fainter a Type Ia supernova looks from our vantage point, the farther away it must be. Accordingly, Type Ia supernovas are referred to as "standard candles," which allow astronomers to pin down the distances to nearby galaxies. Studying SN 2014J will help with understanding the processes behind Type Ia detonations to further refine theoretical models.
Fortuitously, Spitzer had already been scheduled to observe M82 on January 28, a week after students and staff from University College London first spotted SN 2014J on Jan. 21. Subsequent observations, also part of Kasliwal's SPIRITS (SPitzer InfraRed Intensive Transients Survey) program, took place on Feb. 7, 12, 19 and 24 and are slated for March 3.
The supernova is glowing very brightly in the infrared light that Spitzer sees. The telescope was able to observe the supernova before and after it reached its peak brightness. Such early observations with an infrared telescope have only been obtained for a few Type Ia supernovas in the past. Researchers are currently using the data to learn more about how these explosions occur.
Among the other major space-based observatories used in the M82 viewing campaign are NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer. In addition to Spitzer, key infrared observations are being collected by the airplane-borne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
To view a recent image of M82 and its supernova from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, visit:http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/13 .
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 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. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colo. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov 

NASA WEB-NASA and JAXA Launch New Satellite to Measure Global Rain and Snow

February 27, 2014
RELEASE 14-055
NASA and JAXA Launch New Satellite to Measure Global Rain and Snow
GPM launches from Japan
A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Bill Ingalls
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), thundered into space at 1:37 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 27 (3:37 a.m. JST Friday, Feb. 28) from Japan.
The four-ton spacecraft launched aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. The GPM spacecraft separated from the rocket 16 minutes after launch, at an altitude of 247 miles (398 kilometers). The solar arrays deployed 10 minutes after spacecraft separation, to power the spacecraft.
"With this launch, we have taken another giant leap in providing the world with an unprecedented picture of our planet's rain and snow," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "GPM will help us better understand our ever-changing climate, improve forecasts of extreme weather events like floods, and assist decision makers around the world to better manage water resources."
GPM launches from Japan
GPM lifts off to begin its Earth-observing mission.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Bill Ingalls
The GPM Core Observatory will take a major step in improving upon the capabilities of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), a joint NASA-JAXA mission launched in 1997 and still in operation. While TRMM measured precipitation in the tropics, the GPM Core Observatory expands the coverage area from the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic Circle. GPM will also be able to detect light rain and snowfall, a major source of available fresh water in some regions.
To better understand Earth's weather and climate cycles, the GPM Core Observatory will collect information that unifies and improves data from an international constellation of existing and future satellites by mapping global precipitation every three hours.
"It is incredibly exciting to see this spacecraft launch," said GPM Project Manager Art Azarbarzin of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "This is the moment that the GPM Team has been working toward since 2006. The GPM Core Observatory is the product of a dedicated team at Goddard, JAXA and others worldwide. Soon, as GPM begins to collect precipitation observations, we'll see these instruments at work providing real-time information for the scientists about the intensification of storms, rainfall in remote areas and so much more."
The GPM Core Observatory was assembled at Goddard and is the largest spacecraft ever built at the center. It carries two instruments to measure rain and snowfall. The GPM Microwave Imager, provided by NASA, will estimate precipitation intensities from heavy to light rain, and snowfall by carefully measuring the minute amounts of energy naturally emitted by precipitation. The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), developed by JAXA with the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Tokyo, will use emitted radar pulses to make detailed measurements of three-dimensional rainfall structure and intensity, allowing scientists to improve estimates of how much water the precipitation holds. Mission operations and data processing will be managed from Goddard.
"We still have a lot to learn about how rain and snow systems behave in the bigger Earth system," said GPM Project Scientist Gail Skofronick-Jackson of Goddard. "With the advanced instruments on the GPM Core Observatory, we will have for the first time frequent unified global observations of all types of precipitation, everything from the rain in your backyard to storms forming over the oceans to the falling snow contributing to water resources."
"We have spent more than a decade developing DPR using Japanese technology, the first radar of its kind in space," said Masahiro Kojima, JAXA GPM/DPR project manager. "I expect GPM to produce important new results for our society by improving weather forecasts and prediction of extreme events such as typhoons and flooding."
The GPM Core Observatory is the first of NASA's five Earth science missions launching this year. With a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns, NASA monitors Earth's vital signs from land, air and space. NASA also develops new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.
For more information about NASA's Earth science activities this year, visit:
For more information about GPM, visit:
and

NASA WEB-Planetary Landscapes


Glimmer of light in the search for dark matter...

Astrophysicists may have identified a trace of dark matter that could signify a new particle: the sterile neutrino. Another research group reported a very similar signal just a few days before...


Image caption and credit: This Hubble Space Telescope image shows NGC 1275, the galaxy located in the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The red threadlike filaments are composed of cool gas suspended by a magnetic field.
Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration)



Glimmer of light in the search for dark matter...  Astrophysicists may have identified a trace of dark matter that could signify a new particle: the sterile neutrino. Another research group reported a very similar signal just a few days before...  Learn more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226074829.htm  Image caption and credit: This Hubble Space Telescope image shows NGC 1275, the galaxy located in the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The red threadlike filaments are composed of cool gas suspended by a magnetic field. Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration)

NASA WEB-Spaceflight Now


Japan is preparing to launch a U.S.-built satellite Thursday to track rainfall and snowfall over the bulk of the world's population, anchoring an international initiative to better understand Earth's water cycle and its relationship to storms, droughts and climate change.



Japan is preparing to launch a U.S.-built satellite Thursday to track rainfall and snowfall over the bulk of the world's population, anchoring an international initiative to better understand Earth's water cycle and its relationship to storms, droughts and climate change.  http://spaceflightnow.com/h2a/f23/140226preview/

NASA WEB-Hubble monitors supernova in nearby galaxy M82...

Goodnight, Earthlings! (ATZ)

I leave you tonight with one of the most beautiful shows the universe has to offer once in a while...See you tomorrow!

Hubble monitors supernova in nearby galaxy M82...

Astronomers have taken a Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82. At a distance of approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth it is the closest supernova of its type discovered in the past few decades. The explosion is categorized as a Type Ia supernova, which is theorized to be triggered in binary systems consisting of a white dwarf and another star -- which could be a second white dwarf, a star like our sun, or a giant star...


Image caption and credit - This is a Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82. At a distance of approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth it is the closest supernova of its type discovered in the past few decades.

Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center



Goodnight, Earthlings! (ATZ)  I leave you tonight with one of the most beautiful shows the universe has to offer once in a while...See you tomorrow!  Hubble monitors supernova in nearby galaxy M82...  Astronomers have taken a Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82. At a distance of approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth it is the closest supernova of its type discovered in the past few decades. The explosion is categorized as a Type Ia supernova, which is theorized to be triggered in binary systems consisting of a white dwarf and another star -- which could be a second white dwarf, a star like our sun, or a giant star...  Learn more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226144541.htm  Image caption and credit - This is a Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82. At a distance of approximately 11.5 million light-years from Earth it is the closest supernova of its type discovered in the past few decades.  Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

quarta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2014

NASA WEB-Kepler Mission Manager Update: Loss of a science module February 25, 2014


Preparations continue for the first K2 campaign in the ecliptic plane, the orbital path of planets in our solar system. Scheduled to begin in early March, Campaign 0 primarily will be an engineering dress rehearsal for the K2 mission. This initial campaign will ensure that the K2 mission will be ready to proceed if it is approved, following the 2014 Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions.
During the final test prior to this campaign we were very encouraged to see that the spacecraft operated throughout the test using the fine guidance sensors mounted on the focal plane. Having now brought the data back from the spacecraft, we have found that during the test, one of the science detector modules failed.
Kepler focal plane assembly
The Kepler focal plane is approximately one foot square. It's composed of 25 individually mounted modules. The four corner modules are used for fine guiding and the other 21 modules are used for science observing.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames
The Kepler focal plane is made up of a mosaic of 21 science detector modules. Four years ago, less than a year into the mission, one of the modules (Module 3) failed.  An extensive review was unable to determine a specific cause, but was able to isolate the problem to a part failure in the circuitry powering that module. The new failure, Module 7, appears to be another occurrence of the same, or very similar, problem. We have only begun our assessment of the problem, but it is likely to be another isolated occurrence of a part failure, with no overall implications to a potential K2 mission. The remaining 19 modules still allow for a very large view of the sky, and the target resources that would have fallen on Module 7 have been reassigned to the remaining modules. At this time, it does not appear that this will have any impact on the Campaign 0 planning.
In the mean time, a paper has been submitted to the astronomy journalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP) describing details of the proposed K2 operations and the results of the testing that have been accomplished to characterize the mission performance. The paper describes the potential science that the new mission could deliver, and is intended to inform the scientific community of the potential opportunities so, if approved, the mission would be ready to effectively conduct meaningful studies.
We have also been actively engaged in preparing for the news announcement tomorrow, announcing the latest Kepler discoveries. We invite the public to listen to the news teleconference live via UStream, at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-arc.
Regards,
Roger 

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds February 26, 2014

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds
February 26, 2014
The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on.
Image Credit: 
NASA
NASA's Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system.
Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized planets more akin to Earth than previously identified exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.
"The Kepler team continues to amaze and excite us with their planet hunting results," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "That these new planets and solar systems look somewhat like our own, portends a great future when we have the James Webb Space Telescope in space to characterize the new worlds.”
Since the discovery of the first planets outside our solar system roughly two decades ago, verification has been a laborious planet-by-planet process. Now, scientists have a statistical technique that can be applied to many planets at once when they are found in systems that harbor more than one planet around the same star.
To verify this bounty of planets, a research team co-led by Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., analyzed stars with more than one potential planet, all of which were detected in the first two years of Kepler's observations -- May 2009 to March 2011.
The research team used a technique called verification by multiplicity, which relies in part on the logic of probability. Kepler observes 150,000 stars, and has found a few thousand of those to have planet candidates. If the candidates were randomly distributed among Kepler's stars, only a handful would have more than one planet candidate. However, Kepler observed hundreds of stars that have multiple planet candidates. Through a careful study of this sample, these 715 new planets were verified.
This method can be likened to the behavior we know of lions and lionesses. In our imaginary savannah, the lions are the Kepler stars and the lionesses are the planet candidates. The lionesses would sometimes be observed grouped together whereas lions tend to roam on their own. If you see two lions it could be a lion and a lioness or it could be two lions. But if more than two large felines are gathered, then it is very likely to be a lion and his pride. Thus, through multiplicity the lioness can be reliably identified in much the same way multiple planet candidates can be found around the same star.
"Four years ago, Kepler began a string of announcements of first hundreds, then thousands, of planet candidates --but they were only candidate worlds," said Lissauer. "We've now developed a process to verify multiple planet candidates in bulk to deliver planets wholesale, and have used it to unveil a veritable bonanza of new worlds."
These multiple-planet systems are fertile grounds for studying individual planets and the configuration of planetary neighborhoods. This provides clues to planet formation.
Four of these new planets are less than 2.5 times the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's habitable zone, defined as the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet may be suitable for life-giving liquid water.
One of these new habitable zone planets, called Kepler-296f, orbits a star half the size and 5 percent as bright as our sun. Kepler-296f is twice the size of Earth, but scientists do not know whether the planet is a gaseous world, with a thick hydrogen-helium envelope, or it is a water world surrounded by a deep ocean.
"From this study we learn planets in these multi-systems are small and their orbits are flat and circular -- resembling pancakes -- not your classical view of an atom," said Jason Rowe, research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., and co-leader of the research. "The more we explore the more we find familiar traces of ourselves amongst the stars that remind us of home."
This latest discovery brings the confirmed count of planets outside our solar system to nearly 1,700. As we continue to reach toward the stars, each discovery brings us one step closer to a more accurate understanding of our place in the galaxy.
Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets. Discoveries include more than 3,600 planet candidates, of which 961 have been verified as bona-fide worlds.
The findings papers will be published March 10 in The Astrophysical Journal and are available for download at:
Ames is responsible for the Kepler mission concept, ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and was funded by the agency's Science Mission Directorate.
For more information about the Kepler space telescope, visit:

terça-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2014

NASA WEB -GPM CORE OBSERVATORY REHEARSAL WEEKEND AT TANAGASHIMA ,JAPAN


Posted: 23 Feb 2014 11:06 PM PST
A daruma doll is seen amongst the NASA GPM Mission launch team in the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building 2 (STA2) during the all-day launch simulation for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, Tanegashima Space Center, Tanegashima Island, Japan. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

On the first floor of the Spacecraft Test and Assembly building at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, a skeleton crew of blue-shirted NASA engineers for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission fill three rows of computer stations. Sitting with them, on top of one of the desktop computers, is a squat, roundish doll. About the size of a grapefruit, it’s bright red with a stylized, decorative face. Its most noticeable feature is that it only has one eye colored in. "It's a Daruma doll," systems engineer Lisa Bartusek of NASA said during a lull in the launch dress rehearsal that took place Feb. 22 and 23, the weekend before the GPM launch. The doll is a symbol of good luck and in Japan is often given as a gift for encouragement to reach a goal. When you set a goal, you color one eye in, and when you reach your goal, you color in the other one, Bartusek said.

The goal for the GPM team in Japan? A good launch.

On Feb. 28 during a launch window that begins at 3:07 a.m. JST, the GPM Core Observatory is scheduled to blast into orbit aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket. Due to the time difference with the United States, that's 1:07 p.m. EST on Feb. 27.

GPM is an international mission led by NASA and JAXA to measure rain and snowfall over most of the globe multiple times a day. To get that worldwide view of precipitation, multiple satellites will be contributing observations for a global data set, all unified by the advanced measurements of GPM's Core Observatory. Built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the Core Observatory is launching from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island.

Tanegashima is a small island off the southern coast of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four big islands. It's about 35 miles long and 9 miles wide, similar in size to Guam, and covered in sugar cane and sweet potato farms as well as a dense subtropical forest. It's small town rural Japan, but as soon as you drive into the southernmost town of Minamitane rockets start appearing on every major signpost.

Minamitane is the closest town to Tanegashima Space Center. It has a few main streets, a mix of modern shops, '60s concrete facades, clapboard restaurants with brightly colored banners, and hotels studded with every JAXA and NASA mission sticker that's passed through the space center going back two decades.

Roadside flags welcome the NASA team and visitors to Minamitame Town, one of only a few small towns located outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), where the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory will take place. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Roadside flags welcome the NASA team and visitors to Minamitame Town, one of only a few small towns located outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), where the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory will take place. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Tanegashima Space Center is 20 minutes down a twisting highway east of town. As you enter the grounds, the road splits. Downhill goes to the Space Museum and Takesaki Observation stand, and the dense foliage gives way to a sloping beach and sandstone sea rocks off the coast. Visible to the north are the red and white towers of the two side-by-side launch pads of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex.

Construction of Tanegashima Space Center began in 1966, during the decade of the Space Race to the moon. At first, Tanegashima launched only small rockets for research and development. In 1994, they began launching the H-II rocket series capable of putting a two-ton satellite in geostationary orbit.

After two launch failures in the late 1990s, JAXA and their launch services provider Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) improved the H-II design and began launching the H-IIA series in 2001. This is the rocket that will take the GPM Core Observatory into orbit. Its launch record is 21 successful launches out of 22.

The road leading uphill winds along the hillside to the space center facilities. During the weekend of the dress rehearsal, three control rooms on site were up and running. At one of the first turns in the road is the Range Control Center, the main control room managed by JAXA which coordinates all launch activities and communications, including tracking the rocket after launch. Near the launch pad itself is an underground control room called the Yoshinobu Block House where the MHI team manages launch operations for the rocket.

A sign at an overlook, named Rocket Hill, helps viewers identify the various facilities of the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), including launch pad 1 that will be used Feb. 28, 2014 for the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
A sign at an overlook, named Rocket Hill, helps viewers identify the various facilities of the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), including launch pad 1 that will be used Feb. 28, 2014 for the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Back at the Spacecraft Test and Assembly building, the first floor control room hosts the NASA GPM engineering team, each person seated at a console labeled with a different subsystem of the Core Observatory. Their job during launch is to keep the mission manager informed of what's going on with the satellite and to help resolve any issues that arise.

During the rehearsal "green cards," or anomalies, are thrown into the mix so that in the event that they happen on launch day, the team knows how to deal with them, said Glenn Bock, one of GPM's test conductors who coordinates activity in the control room and with the other control rooms, both here at Tanegashima and at Goddard, where the GPM Mission Operations Center is located.

They are online -- and on system engineer Tim Gruner's headset -- during this rehearsal. On launch day they'll be in the hot seat as soon as the spacecraft separates from the rocket. Their goal is after the GPM Core Observatory is flying free to get her pointed at the sun with solar arrays deployed and collecting power.

At Goddard, like in Tanegashima, the Mission Operations Center has a launch support room where rows of computers labeled by subsystem are staffed by the NASA GPM engineering team that built the Core Observatory.

"There's a Daruma doll in the launch support room at Goddard, too," Bartusek said. On both sides of the Pacific, both halves of the GPM team are waiting to color in that second eye.

Credit: NASA