This Week @NASA: New Earth Information Center, Atmosphere Around a Rocky Exoplanet

by Klaus Müller
1 comment
Earth Information Center

This Week @NASA: New Earth Information Center, Atmosphere Around a Rocky Exoplanet

NASA has revealed its newly established Earth Information Center at the agency’s headquarters, offering both a physical exhibit and a virtual platform. The center aims to showcase how NASA’s extensive Earth-monitoring data can be utilized to tackle climate change, environmental challenges, and disaster management. With access to six decades’ worth of data, the center will cater to a diverse range of users, including firefighters, farmers, home buyers, and land-use planners, empowering them to make well-informed decisions. Collaborating with government and industry partners, NASA’s Earth Information Center opens its doors to the public on June 26. Credit: NASA

Highlights from This Week at NASA:

Introducing the New Earth Information Center

On June 21, NASA conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Washington headquarters, unveiling the newly established Earth Information Center. This center combines physical and virtual elements to demonstrate how data from Earth-monitoring satellites and instruments, made accessible to researchers and other stakeholders, can enhance life on Earth by addressing disasters, environmental challenges, and climate change. Developed in partnership with several agencies, NASA’s Earth Information Center invites visitors to learn more at climate.nasa.gov.

Artist’s Concept of a Rocky Exoplanet, TRAPPIST-1 c

Based on recent research, an artist’s concept visualizes TRAPPIST-1 c, a hot rocky exoplanet. TRAPPIST-1 c, the second planet among seven known in the TRAPPIST-1 system, completes one orbit around its star every 2.42 Earth-days, at a distance of 0.016 AU (approximately 1.5 million miles). Although slightly larger than Earth, TRAPPIST-1 c shares a similar density, indicating a rocky composition. Data obtained by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, measuring 15-micron mid-infrared light emitted by the planet, suggests the presence of either a bare rocky surface or an extremely thin carbon dioxide atmosphere. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI), Sebastian Zieba (MPI-A), Laura Kreidberg (MPI-A)

Characterizing a Rocky Exoplanet with Webb

An international team of researchers employed NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to assess the heat energy emitted by the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1 c. The findings suggest that if an atmosphere exists around this rocky exoplanet, it is exceptionally tenuous. This discovery represents a significant step toward understanding whether planets orbiting small red dwarfs, such as the host star in the TRAPPIST system, can maintain the atmospheres required to support life as we know it.

OSIRIS-REx Mission: New Home for Asteroid Sample in Houston

NASA’s Johnson Space Center has established a new curation facility to house the sample material obtained from asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx mission. This facility will provide researchers with the means to preserve, protect, handle, and study the rock and dust samples, known as regolith. These samples may yield valuable insights into the role ancient asteroids like Bennu played in planetary formation and other processes that could have contributed to the emergence of life on Earth. The O-REx return capsule is scheduled to land in the Utah desert in late September.

STS-7 and Sally Ride’s Historic Flight, 40 Years Ago

On June 18, NASA commemorated the 40th anniversary of Sally Ride’s groundbreaking achievement as the first American woman in space. Ride embarked on her historic journey aboard the space shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission on that very date in 1983, as a member of NASA’s inaugural five-person crew. This six-day mission included the first deployment and retrieval of a satellite using the Canadian robotic arm, alongside the launch of two other satellites.

That concludes the highlights from This Week @NASA!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Earth Information Center

What is the purpose of NASA’s new Earth Information Center?

The purpose of NASA’s new Earth Information Center is to showcase how NASA’s data can be used to address climate change, environmental challenges, and disaster management. It provides a platform, both physical and virtual, to demonstrate the power of Earth-monitoring data in making informed decisions.

When does NASA’s Earth Information Center open to the public?

NASA’s Earth Information Center opens to the public on June 26.

What can visitors expect to find at NASA’s Earth Information Center?

Visitors can expect to find exhibits and a virtual platform that demonstrate how NASA’s data can be utilized in various areas, including climate change, disaster management, and environmental decision-making. The center aims to cater to a wide range of users, such as firefighters, farmers, home buyers, and land-use planners.

How long has NASA been collecting Earth-monitoring data?

NASA has been collecting Earth-monitoring data for over six decades, providing a substantial database that can be utilized to understand our planet’s dynamics and address various challenges.

What are some potential applications of the Earth Information Center’s data?

The data provided by NASA’s Earth Information Center can be used by stakeholders in diverse fields. Firefighters can access information for better firefighting strategies, farmers can make informed decisions about crop management, home buyers can assess environmental factors, and land-use planners can use the data to make sustainable development choices, among other applications.

Who are the collaborators in establishing NASA’s Earth Information Center?

NASA’s Earth Information Center was established in collaboration with several government and industry partners. These partnerships contribute to the center’s mission of utilizing data to address climate change, environmental challenges, and disaster management.

More about Earth Information Center

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1 comment

AstroFan123 June 27, 2023 - 4:01 am

wow nasa is so cool i love how they do the science stuff it’s amazin to see all the data and learn about earth and space and stuff. can’t wait to check out the new earth info center!!!

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