Solar System 10 Things to Know This Week: Humans of NASA

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Meet some of the amazing humans behind our exploring machines.

1—Small Town to Small Satellites

“I grew up in a small town where working at NASA was unheard of. I worked hard, persevered, and eventually made it to where I am despite many obstacles along the way. Through that process, never forget to enjoy what you are doing. It is my passion for space exploration that has helped me keep motivated and that brings me happiness every day that I come to work.”

2—Scientist. Mountain Unicyclist

“I do a rather unusual sport for fun—mountain unicycling. I love it because it’s incredibly challenging, requiring strength, stamina and focus. I also enjoy surfing, caving, flying and teaching a space camp in South Korea each summer.”

Morgan Cable, Research Scientist

3—"Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later.“

“I do SCIENCE! No, seriously, I travel and explore for fun. It’s a fascinating world and I can’t get enough of it. But I’m always doing “science” of some kind no matter where I am. I love it —— can’t escape it and wouldn’t want to. Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later.”

Derek Pitts, Solar System Ambassador

4—In the Room Where It Happened

“It was the summer of 2013, when I was the media rep for the Voyager mission. I was with Ed Stone, the mission’s project scientist, when he came to the conclusion that Voyager 1 had crossed the threshold into interstellar space. For the first time, a human—made object flew beyond the plasma bubble our sun blows around itself. Voyager 1 is now bathed in the remnants of the explosions of other stars. I really appreciated seeing the scientific process—and Ed’s mind—at work.”

Jia-Rui Cook, Supervisor of News Events and Projects at JPL

5—All About the Math. And Determination.

“From an academic point of view, it’s all about doing well in math and science. However, there is absolutely no substitute for being determined. Being determined to be successful is at least half the game.”

James Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division

6—Problem Solver

Opportunity [rover] was designed to live for 90 days in the harsh Martian environment but she is still exploring now 11 years later! Because of her age, software and hardware components are degrading on the vehicle and more recently, the flash memory. I had the incredible opportunity to lead the team to figure out how to solve these flash problems and get Opportunity back into an operational state.”

Bekah Sosland Siegfriedt, Engineer

7—Never Give Up

“When you encounter difficulties or failures, do not take no for an answer. If you truly want to accomplish something and are passionate about it, you need to believe in yourself, put your mind to it, and you can accomplish anything! I failed A LOT, but I NEVER GAVE UP. It took three years and over 150 applications to NASA before I received my first internship”

Kevin DeBruin, Systems Engineer

8—More Than Mohawk Guy

“The great thing about being at NASA is that there are jobs for all types —— whether it’s engineering, science, finance, communication, law, and so forth. All of them are necessary and all of them involve working on some of the coolest things humans can do. So pick the area you love, but also know that you can still be a part of exploring the universe.”

Bobak Ferdowsi, Systems Engineer

9—The Power of One

“When my older sister claimed she would one day be an astronaut, on the heels of Sally Ride’s launch into space, I made the same claim. Though, it was more because I dreamed to be just like my sister! In turned out that she outgrew the crazy dream, and my desire only got stronger.”

Mamta Patel Nagaraja, Science Communications

10—Dedication and Choices

“Body-building is a favorite pasttime: it’s a great stress reliever and a hobby that I can take with me when I travel for work or for pleasure. It’s also a great expression of responsibility and ownership: What I’ve accomplished is due entirely to my dedication and choices, and it belongs to no one but me.”

Troy Hudson, Instrument System Engineer

Check out the full version of Ten Things to Know HERE

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10 cool things to know about the solar system. 

Solar System: 10 Things to Know This Week

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January 8: Images for Your Computer or Phone Wallpaper

Need some fresh perspective? Here are 10 vision-stretching images for your computer desktop or phone wallpaper. These are all real pictures, sent recently by our planetary missions throughout the solar system. You’ll find more of our images at solarsystem.nasa.gov/galleries, images.nasa.gov and www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages.

Applying Wallpaper:
1. Click on the screen resolution you would like to use.
2. Right-click on the image (control-click on a Mac) and select the option ‘Set the Background’ or ‘Set as Wallpaper’ (or similar).

1. The Fault in Our Mars

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This image from our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of northern Meridiani Planum shows faults that have disrupted layered deposits. Some of the faults produced a clean break along the layers, displacing and offsetting individual beds.

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2. Jupiter Blues

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Our Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds – that’s roughly as far as the distance between New York City and Perth, Australia. The color-enhanced image, which captures a cloud system in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere, was taken on Oct. 24, 2017, when Juno was at a latitude of 57.57 degrees (nearly three-fifths of the way from Jupiter’s equator to its north pole) and performing its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.

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3. A Farewell to Saturn

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After more than 13 years at Saturn, and with its fate sealed, our Cassini spacecraft bid farewell to the Saturnian system by firing the shutters of its wide-angle camera and capturing this last, full mosaic of Saturn and its rings two days before the spacecraft’s dramatic plunge into the planet’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017.

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4. All Aglow

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Saturn’s moon Enceladus drifts before the rings, which glow brightly in the sunlight. Beneath its icy exterior shell, Enceladus hides a global ocean of liquid water. Just visible at the moon’s south pole (at bottom here) is the plume of water ice particles and other material that constantly spews from that ocean via fractures in the ice. The bright speck to the right of Enceladus is a distant star. This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 6, 2011.

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5. Rare Encircling Filament

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Our Solar Dynamics Observatory came across an oddity this week that the spacecraft has rarely observed before: a dark filament encircling an active region (Oct. 29-31, 2017). Solar filaments are clouds of charged particles that float above the Sun, tethered to it by magnetic forces. They are usually elongated and uneven strands. Only a handful of times before have we seen one shaped like a circle. (The black area to the left of the brighter active region is a coronal hole, a magnetically open region of the Sun).

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6. Jupiter’s Stunning Southern Hemisphere

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See Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in beautiful detail in this image taken by our Juno spacecraft. The color-enhanced view captures one of the white ovals in the “String of Pearls,” one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on the gas giant planet. The image was taken on Oct. 24, 2017, as Juno performed its ninth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was 20,577 miles (33,115 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet.

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7. Saturn’s Rings: View from Beneath

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Our Cassini spacecraft obtained this panoramic view of Saturn’s rings on Sept. 9, 2017, just minutes after it passed through the ring plane. The view looks upward at the southern face of the rings from a vantage point above Saturn’s southern hemisphere.

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8. From Hot to Hottest

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This sequence of images from our Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the Sun from its surface to its upper atmosphere all taken at about the same time (Oct. 27, 2017). The first shows the surface of the sun in filtered white light; the other seven images were taken in different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light. Note that each wavelength reveals somewhat different features. They are shown in order of temperature, from the first one at about 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit (6,000 degrees Celsius) on the surface, out to about 10 million degrees in the upper atmosphere. Yes, the sun’s outer atmosphere is much, much hotter than the surface. Scientists are getting closer to solving the processes that generate this phenomenon.

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9. High Resolution View of Ceres

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This orthographic projection shows dwarf planet Ceres as seen by our Dawn spacecraft. The projection is centered on Occator Crater, home to the brightest area on Ceres. Occator is centered at 20 degrees north latitude, 239 degrees east longitude.

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10. In the Chasm

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This image from our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a small portion of the floor of Coprates Chasma, a large trough within the Valles Marineris system of canyons. Although the exact sequence of events that formed Coprates Chasma is unknown, the ripples, mesas, and craters visible throughout the terrain point to a complex history involving multiple mechanisms of erosion and deposition. The main trough of Coprates Chasma ranges from 37 miles (60 kilometers) to 62 miles (100 kilometers) in width.

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Explore and learn more about our solar system at: solarsystem.nasa.gov/

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.