Shooting Jupiter

This enhanced color view of Jupiter’s south pole was created by citizen scientist Gabriel Fiset using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/Juno Image GalleryOkay, this qualifies as an exciting week for me. NuSTAR is pointing at Jupiter at the same time as Juno (which took the amazing image above) is at it’s closest approach to Jupiter (also known as a “perijove”). Part of my job is figuring out how to target objects that move in the sky (Jupiter, the Sun, the Moon, etc), so this week is a bit of a test.

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Solar Eclipse Totality

If you’ve been paying attention this year, you may know that there’s a total Solar eclipse crossing the lower 48 this August. This will be a total solar eclipse, meaning that the Moon will be close enough to the Earth so that it will completely block out the Sun (unlike during an annular eclipse, when the Moon is just a little farther away and only covers most of the solar disk).

This is also the first total eclipse visible from the Lower 48 in the last century.

In one of my meetings this morning someone mentioned that there are a bunch of awesome interactive Google Maps that have been generated to show the track of the eclipse.

Go play, it’s fun.

blackholesandjets

It’s been a fun year seeing what the scientific community has been doing with NuSTAR. This is from a science group that triggered a Target of Opportunity (ToO), which is basically what happens when something cool goes bump in the night that we either didn’t expect or couldn’t predict and someone comes to us and says “Hey, we should look at this, it’s really interesting!”

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