Posts Tagged: Dan Strain

TSIS-2 funded to continue 40 years of solar measurements

NASA has awarded a sole source contract to the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder for the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor-2 (TSIS-2). The new sensor provides continuity to data delivered by TSIS-1, which launched in December 2017. LASP will receive funding to build two instruments, the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) and Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) and will operate the spacecraft after it launches in 2023. 

Brilliant Martian aurora sheds light on Mars’ changing climate

A type of Martian aurora first identified by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft in 2016 is actually the most common form of aurora occurring on the Red Planet, according to new results from the mission. The aurora is known as a proton aurora and can help scientists track water loss from Mars’ atmosphere and sheds light on Mars’ changing climate.

Parker Solar Probe gets its first look at the Sun with help from LASP scientists

Over the past year, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe came closer to the sun than any other object designed and developed by humans—and CU Boulder scientists have been along for the ride. David Malaspina, a LASP Space plasma researcher, is part of a team of CU Boulder scientists who contributed to those early insights. The group designed a signal processing electronics board that is integral to the FIELDS experiment, one of four suites of instruments onboard Parker Solar Probe.

Volcanic eruption may explain recent purple sunrises

Early one morning in late August 2019, Colorado photographer Glenn Randall hiked several miles to a stream flowing into Lake Isabelle in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. He set up his camera near the stream and began photographing about 20 minutes before sunrise when a golden glow developed at the horizon. It wasn’t until Randall was back at home, however, that he noticed something odd: The sky above the golden glow and its reflection in the water were both a deep violet.

He’s not alone. Photographers across the country have noticed that sunrises and sunsets have become unusually purple this summer and early fall.

Now, LASP researchers have collected new measurements that help to reveal the cause of those colorful displays: an eruption that occurred thousands of miles away on a Russian volcano called Raikoke.

Small satellites tackle big scientific questions

NASA will soon have new eyes on the Sun. Two miniature satellites designed and built at LASP are scheduled to launch later this month on Spaceflight’s SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The new missions—called the Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer-2 (MinXSS-2) and the Compact Spectral Irradiance Monitor (CSIM)—will collect data on the physics of the Sun and its impact on life on Earth.

These “CubeSats,” which are smaller than a microwave oven, are set to blast into a near-Earth orbit alongside more than 60 other spacecraft. According to Spaceflight, SSO-A is the largest dedicated rideshare mission from a U.S.-based launch vehicle to date.