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    • By NASA
      In early May, widespread flooding and landslides occurred in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving thousands of people without food, water, or electricity. In the following days, NASA teams provided data and imagery to help on-the-ground responders understand the disaster’s impacts and deploy aid.
      Building on this response and similar successes, on June 13, NASA announced a new system to support disaster response organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
      Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team in Adiyaman, Turkey (Türkiye), conducting rescue efforts in the wake of powerful earthquakes that struck the region in February 2023. NASA provided maps and data to support USAID and other regional partners during these earthquakes. USAID “When disasters strike, NASA is here to help — at home and around the world,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “As challenges from extreme weather grow, so too does the value of NASA’s efforts to provide critical Earth observing data to disaster-response teams on the frontlines. We’ve done so for years. Now, through this system, we expand our capability to help power our U.S. government partners, international partners, and relief organizations across the globe as they take on disasters — and save lives.”
      The team behind NASA’s Disaster Response Coordination System gathers science, technology, data, and expertise from across the agency and provides it to emergency managers. The new system will be able to provide up-to-date information on fires, earthquakes, landslides, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme events.
      NASA Administrator Bill Nelson delivers remarks during an event launching a new Disaster Response Coordination System that will provide communities and organizations around the world with access to science and data to aid disaster response, Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the NASA Headquarters Mary W. Jackson Building in Washington. NASA/Bill Ingalls “The risk from climate-related hazards is increasing, making more people vulnerable to extreme events,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “This is particularly true for the 10% of the global population living in low-lying coastal regions who are vulnerable to storm surges, waves and tsunamis, and rapid erosion. NASA’s disaster system is designed to deliver trusted, actionable Earth science in ways and means that can be used immediately, to enable effective response to disasters and ultimately help save lives.”
      Agencies working with NASA include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Agency for International Development — as well as international organizations such as World Central Kitchen.
      “With this deliberate and structured approach, we can be even more effective in putting Earth science into action,” said Josh Barnes, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Barnes manages the Disaster Response Coordination System.
      NASA Disasters Team Aiding Brazil
      When the floods and landslides ravaged parts of Brazil in May, officials from the U.S. Southern Command — working with the U.S. Space Force and Air Force, and regional partners — reached out to NASA for Earth-observing data.
      Image Before/After NASA’s response included maps of potential power outages from the Black Marble project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Disaster response coordinators at NASA Goddard also reviewed high-resolution optical data — from the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program — to map more than 4,000 landslides.
      Response coordinators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, both in Southern California, produced flood extent maps using data from the NASA and U.S. Geological Survey Landsat mission and from ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite. Response coordinators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston also provided photographs of the flooding taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
      Building on Previous Work
      The Brazil event is just one of hundreds of responses NASA has supported over the past decade. The team aids decision-making for a wide range of natural hazards and disasters, from hurricanes and earthquakes to tsunamis and oil spills. 
      “NASA’s Disasters Program advances science for disaster resilience and develops accessible resources to help communities around the world make informed decisions for disaster planning,” said Shanna McClain, manager of NASA’s Disasters Program. “The new Disaster Response Coordination System significantly expands our efforts to bring the power of Earth science when responding to disasters.”
      For more information visit:
      https://disasters.nasa.gov/response
      By Jacob Reed
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Last Updated Jun 13, 2024 Editor Rob Garner Related Terms
      Ames Research Center Earth Extreme Weather Events Goddard Space Flight Center Jet Propulsion Laboratory Johnson Space Center Langley Research Center Marshall Space Flight Center Natural Disasters View the full article
    • By NASA
      NASA’s Disaster Response Coordination System Launch Event
    • By NASA
      Hurricane Idalia brought significant storm surge, heavy rains, and strong winds to Florida as a Category 3 hurricane in 2023. This image is from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, acquired at 11:35 a.m. EDT on Aug. 29, 2023.Credits: NASA Earth Observatory NASA invites media to an event at the agency’s headquarters at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 13, to learn about a new Disaster Response Coordination System that will provide communities and organizations around the world with access to science and data to aid disaster response.  
      The event will be held in NASA’s James E. Webb Auditorium at 300 E St. SW, Washington, and air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. To attend the briefing in person, media should RSVP no later than 12 p.m. EDT June 13, to Liz Vlock at elizabeth.a.vlock@nasa.gov. NASA’s media accreditation policy is online.
      The briefing speakers include:
      NASA Administrator Bill Nelson NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy Nicky Fox, associate administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate Karen St. Germain, division director, NASA Earth Sciences Division Jainey Bavishi, deputy administrator, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Erik Hooks, deputy administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency David Applegate, director, U.S. Geological Survey Dianna Darsney de Salcedo, assistant to the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Clayton Turner, director, NASA Langley Research Center Shanna McClain, program manager, NASA Disasters Program Joshua Barnes, manager, NASA Disaster Response Coordination System Judith Mitrani-Reiser, senior scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology The Disaster Response Coordination System will connect NASA’s Earth science data, technology, and expertise with disaster response organizations in the U.S. and internationally. The goal is to reduce disaster impacts to lives and livelihoods through timely, actionable, and accurate information.
      For more information about NASA’s Disasters program, visit: 
      https://disasters.nasa.gov/response
      -end-
      Liz Vlock
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1600
      elizabeth.a.vlock@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Natural Disasters Earth Observatory Earth Science Science & Research Science Mission Directorate View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      Video: 00:01:51 SENER is testing the docking capabilities of the SIROM system by launching the MANTIS floating platform into an equally free-floating REACSA at ESA's Orbital Robotics Laboratory. This free-floating tests simulate the dynamics of rigid body contact and present an opportunity to gather valuable insights into the performance of SIROM in approximately 200 docking scenarios.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      6 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      A red giant star and white dwarf orbit each other in this animation of a nova similar to T Coronae Borealis. The red giant is a large sphere in shades of red, orange, and white, with the side facing the white dwarf the lightest shades. The white dwarf is hidden in a bright glow of white and yellows, which represent an accretion disk around the star. A stream of material, shown as a diffuse cloud of red, flows from the red giant to the white dwarf. When the red giant moves behind the white dwarf, a nova explosion on the white dwarf ignites, creating a ball of ejected nova material shown in pale orange. After the fog of material clears, a small white spot remains, indicating that the white dwarf has survived the explosion.NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Around the world this summer, professional and amateur astronomers alike will be fixed on one small constellation deep in the night sky. But it’s not the seven stars of Corona Borealis, the “Northern Crown,” that have sparked such fascination.
      It’s a dark spot among them where an impending nova event – so bright it will be visible on Earth with the naked eye – is poised to occur.
      “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will create a lot of new astronomers out there, giving young people a cosmic event they can observe for themselves, ask their own questions, and collect their own data,” said Dr. Rebekah Hounsell, an assistant research scientist specializing in nova events at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’ll fuel the next generation of scientists.”
      T Coronae Borealis, dubbed the “Blaze Star” and known to astronomers simply as “T CrB,” is a binary system nestled in the Northern Crown some 3,000 light-years from Earth. The system is comprised of a white dwarf – an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star with a mass comparable to that of our Sun – and an ancient red giant slowly being stripped of hydrogen by the relentless gravitational pull of its hungry neighbor.
      The hydrogen from the red giant accretes on the surface of the white dwarf, causing a buildup of pressure and heat. Eventually, it triggers a thermonuclear explosion big enough to blast away that accreted material. For T CrB, that event appears to reoccur, on average, every 80 years.
      Don’t confuse a nova with a supernova, a final, titanic explosion that destroys some dying stars, Hounsell said. In a nova event, the dwarf star remains intact, sending the accumulated material hurtling into space in a blinding flash. The cycle typically repeats itself over time, a process which can carry on for tens or hundreds of thousands of years.
      “There are a few recurrent novae with very short cycles, but typically, we don’t often see a repeated outburst in a human lifetime, and rarely one so relatively close to our own system,” Hounsell said. “It’s incredibly exciting to have this front-row seat.”
      Finding T Coronae Borealis
      A conceptual image of how to find Hercules and the “Northern Crown” in the night sky, created using planetarium software. Look up after sunset during summer months to find Hercules, then scan between Vega and Arcturus, where the distinct pattern of Corona Borealis may be identified. NASA The first recorded sighting of the T CrB nova was more than 800 years ago, in autumn 1217, when a man named Burchard, abbot of Ursberg, Germany, noted his observance of “a faint star that for a time shone with great light.”
      The T CrB nova was last seen from Earth in 1946. Its behavior over the past decade appears strikingly similar to observed behavior in a similar timeframe leading up to the 1946 eruption. If the pattern continues, some researchers say, the nova event could occur by September 2024.
      What should stargazers look for? The Northern Crown is a horseshoe-shaped curve of stars west of the Hercules constellation, ideally spotted on clear nights. It can be identified by locating the two brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere – Arcturus and Vega – and tracking a straight line from one to the other, which will lead skywatchers to Hercules and the Corona Borealis.
      The outburst will be brief. Once it erupts, it will be visible to the naked eye for a little less than a week – but Hounsell is confident it will be quite a sight to see.
      A coordinated scientific approach
      To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video
      Watch V407 Cyg go nova! In this animation, gamma rays (magenta) arise when accelerated particles in the explosion's shock wave crash into the red giant's stellar wind.NASA/Conceptual Image Lab/Goddard Space Flight Center Dr. Elizabeth Hays, chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard, agreed. She said part of the fun in preparing to observe the event is seeing the enthusiasm among amateur stargazers, whose passion for extreme space phenomena has helped sustain a long and mutually rewarding partnership with NASA.
      “Citizen scientists and space enthusiasts are always looking for those strong, bright signals that identify nova events and other phenomena,” Hays said. “Using social media and email, they’ll send out instant alerts, and the flag goes up. We’re counting on that global community interaction again with T CrB.”
      Hays is the project scientist for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which has made gamma-ray observations from low Earth orbit since 2008. Fermi is poised to observe T CrB when the nova eruption is detected, along with other space-based missions including NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, IXPE (Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer), NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array), NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer), and the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL (Extreme Universe Surveyor). Numerous ground-based radio telescopes and optical imagers, including the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array in Mexico, also will take part. Collectively, the various telescopes and instruments will capture data across the visible and non-visible light spectrum.
      “We’ll observe the nova event at its peak and through its decline, as the visible energy of the outburst fades,” Hounsell said. “But it’s equally critical to obtain data during the early rise to eruption – so the data collected by those avid citizen scientists on the lookout now for the nova will contribute dramatically to our findings.”
      For astrophysics researchers, that promises a rare opportunity to shed new light on the structure and dynamics of recurring stellar explosions like this one.
      “Typically, nova events are so faint and far away that it’s hard to clearly identify where the erupting energy is concentrated,” Hays said. “This one will be really close, with a lot of eyes on it, studying the various wavelengths and hopefully giving us data to start unlocking the structure and specific processes involved. We can’t wait to get the full picture of what’s going on.”
      Some of those eyes will be very new. Gamma-ray imagers didn’t exist the last time T CrB erupted in 1946, and IXPE’s polarization capability – which identifies the organization and alignment of electromagnetic waves to determine the structure and internal processes of high-energy phenomena – is also a brand-new tool in X-ray astronomy. Combining their data could offer unprecedented insight into the lifecycles of binary systems and the waning but powerful stellar processes that fuel them.
      Is there a chance September will come and go without the anticipated nova outburst from T CrB? Experts agree there are no guarantees – but hope abides.
      “Recurrent novae are unpredictable and contrarian,” said Dr. Koji Mukai, a fellow astrophysics researcher at NASA Goddard. “When you think there can’t possibly be a reason they follow a certain set pattern, they do – and as soon as you start to rely on them repeating the same pattern, they deviate from it completely. We’ll see how T CrB behaves.”
      Learn more about NASA astrophysics at:
      https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics
      Jonathan Deal
      Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
      256-544-0034
      jonathan.e.deal@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jun 06, 2024 Related Terms
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