NASA Earth & Space Science Education E-Newsletter
Home

April 2011

A monthly broadcast including upcoming educational programs, events, opportunities, and the latest resources from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

To Unsubscribe, e-mail ese_ed_newslist-unsubscribe@lists.hq.nasa.gov with ‘Unsubscribe’ as the subject.

Click here to see an archive of past newsletters.

Programs & Events

New in this Issue

  • COSEE-OS Educators Workshop at NASA – K-12 Educators (June 3-4; Pasadena, Calif.)
  • EarthKAM Spring 2011 Mission – Middle School Educators (April 5-8)
  • COSEE-OS ROLE Model Webinar (April 13)
  • CAE 2011 Professional Development Workshop Series for College Astronomy Instructors (April 15-16; El Paso, Texas)
  • AMNH Summer Online Courses for Educators (Beginning May 9)
  • Explore@NASA Goddard (May 14; Greenbelt, Md.)
  • NASA Open House (May 14-15; Pasadena, Calif.)
  • 2011 INSPIRE Project for High School Students (Application Deadline June 30)
  • ESIP Teacher Workshop – Grades 6-12 (July 12-13; Santa Fe, N.M.)
  • In the Footsteps of Galileo: A Hands-On Workshop on Astronomy for Teachers – Grades 3-12 (July 30-31; Baltimore, Md.)
  • 2011 ASP Education and Public Outreach Conference (Abstract Deadline April 22; July 30-Aug. 3)

Previously Broadcast

  • Astronomy Camp Workshop for Girl Scout Leaders (April 8-10; Tuscon, Ariz.)
  • Earth: The Operators’ Manual (ETOM) – PBS Special (April 10)
  • 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12 (Deadline April 11)
  • AGU Fall Meeting – Timelines (Session Proposal Deadline April 20)
  • Lunar Workshop for Middle and High School Educators (June 20-24)
  • GLOBE 15th Annual Partner Meeting (July 17-22)
  • Earth Science Week 2011: Our Ever-Changing Earth (Oct. 9-15)
  • Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education
  • Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Ambassador in the Classroom
  • A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers (Grades 8-12)

Funding Opportunities

  • NASA Research Announcement for Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums (Due June 29)

Educational Resources

  • Sea Surface Temperature, Height, Chlorophyll Data Visualizer – Ocean Motion Web Site
  • “The Universe in the Classroom” – Newsletter
  • “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming” – Podcast
  • Space Math @ NASA: New Problems Relating to Japan 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami and Radiation Aftermath

Science News

  • MESSENGER Sends Back First Image of Mercury from Orbit (March 29)
  • Spring is Fireball Season (March 31)
  • Vesta – Is It Really an Asteroid? (March 29)
  • NASA Satellites Detect Extensive Drought Impact on Amazon Forests (March 29)
  • NASA Stardust Spacecraft Officially Ends Operations (March 25)
  • Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster (March 24)
  • Observing Clouds for NASA Becomes a Class Tradition (March 17)
  • Historic First: A Spacecraft Orbits Mercury (March 18)
  • Super Full Moon (March 16)
  • NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Delivers Treasure Trove of Data (March 15)
  • Wheels Up for NASA Mission’s Most Extensive Arctic Ice Survey (March 15)
  • Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis (March 14)
  • Cassini Finds Enceladus is a Powerhouse (March 7)
  • Voyager Seeks the Answer Blowin’ in the Wind (March 8)
  • Some of Mars’ Missing Carbon Dioxide May Be Buried (March 9)
  • Celebrating 400 Years of Sunspot Observations (March 9)
  • Prolific NASA Orbiter Reaches Five-Year Mark (March 9)
  • NASA Finds Polar Ice Adding More to Rising Seas (March 8)
  • NASA’s Hubble Rules Out One Alternative to Dark Energy (March 14)
  • NASA Study Goes to Earth’s Core for Climate Insights (March 9)
  • NASA Shows Topography of Tsunami-Damaged Japan City (March 11)
  • NASA-Sponsored Research Explains Missing Sunspots (March 2)
  • What’s Hitting Earth? (March 1)

Programs & Events

New in this Issue

COSEE-OS Educators Workshop at NASA – K-12 Educators (June 3-4; Pasadena, Calif.)

June 3-4; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

To celebrate the upcoming launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite, the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence – Ocean Systems will conduct a workshop for K-12 educators at JPL. Aquarius will employ advanced technologies to make NASA’s first space-based measurements of ocean salinity across the globe. This free workshop will feature NASA scientists who will work collaboratively with educators to examine connections between the water cycle, ocean circulation, climate and sea surface salinity. Educators will also visit the JPL facility, learn how to use an online Concept Map Builder, and conduct hands-on activities that support workshop themes. To learn more and register, visit http://cosee.umaine.edu/programs/nasaaquarius/.

EarthKAM Spring 2011 Mission – Middle School Educators (April 5-8)

Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station EarthKAM Spring 2011 Mission. This is a NASA-sponsored project that provides high-quality photographs of Earth taken from the space shuttle and space station. Since 1996, EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the World Wide Web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and on the space station. For more information and to register, visit https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/.

COSEE-OS ROLE Model Webinar (April 13)

April 13, 7 p.m. EDT

The second series of the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence – Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS) Researched-Based Online Learning Event (ROLE) Model webinars is under way. Each webinar features scientists presenting marine science content through concept-map presentations of their research. The next webinar is titled, “How Zooplankton Are Effected by Changes in the Marine Environment.” The webinar is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit: http://cosee.umaine.edu/programs/webinars/upcomingwebinars/.

CAE 2011 Professional Development Workshop Series for College Astronomy Instructors (April 15-16; El Paso, Texas)

April 15-16; El Paso, Texas
May 21-22; Boston, Mass.
July 16-17; Hawai’i National Park, Hawaii

Since 2004, the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) has lead professional development workshops funded by JPL’s NASA Exoplanet Exploration Public Engagement Program (ExEP). Workshops are for current and future instructors of college-level astronomy and space science. The workshop will help participants become familiar with research-validated instructional strategies and assessment materials appropriate for introductory astronomy and space science courses. It will also increase the participants’ ability to use best practices in their implementation of instructional materials. CAE invites you to participate in one of their many workshops in 2011, and learn how to kick off teaching your class with exoplanet curriculum. For more information, visit http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshops.

AMNH Summer Online Courses for Educators (Beginning May 9)

May 2011 Session: May 9-June 19
Summer Session 1: June 6-July 17
Summer Session 2: July 4-Aug. 14

Join Seminars on Science and the American Museum of Natural History, for a summer course in the life, Earth or physical sciences. Available courses include Earth: Inside and Out; The Solar System; Evolution; our newest course, Climate Change, and more. All courses run for six weeks and are fully online. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use. Affordable graduate credit is available for all courses. Sign up today for a $50 discount; email semadmin@amnh.org for more information. To register, visit http://www.amnh.org/learn/.

Explore@NASA Goddard (May 14; Greenbelt, Md.)

May 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Greenbelt, Md.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will again open its gates to welcome the community for a day of activities, hands-on demonstrations, entertainment, and food. Explore@NASA Goddard will showcase the work and people of NASA and Goddard with a focus on science, engineering and technology. This year’s theme is “Understanding our Changing Planet.” Participants will learn about Goddard’s research in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/events/explore/index.html.

NASA Open House (May 14-15; Pasadena, Calif.)

May 14-15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Pasadena, Calif.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites the public to a close-up look at JPL’s past, present and future at its annual Open House. The event, themed “Worlds Beyond,” features displays and demonstrations from numerous space missions, and a first look at JPL’s recently renovated von Karman Visitor Center. The JPL will provide hands-on activities and opportunities to talk with scientists and engineers. Selected locations at the Open House will be featured live online on Ustream TV (http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl). Admission to the open house is free. Parking is also free, but limited. For more information, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/open-house.cfm.

2011 INSPIRE Project for High School Students (Application Deadline June 30)

U.S. high school students are invited to participate in NASA’s Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research Experience, or INSPIRE, through an online learning community. INSPIRE is designed to encourage students in 9-12 grade to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students and parents will participate in an online learning community with opportunities to interact with peers, NASA engineers and scientists. The community also provides appropriate grade level educational activities, discussion boards and chat rooms for participants to gain exposure to opportunities available at NASA. Students selected for the program will also have the option to compete for unique grade-appropriate experiences during the summer of 2012 at NASA facilities and participating universities. Applications are being accepted through June 30. To apply and learn more, visit https://inspire.okstate.edu/index.cfm?liftoff=login.LoginForm.

ESIP Teacher Workshop – Grades 6-12 (July 12-13; Santa Fe, N.M.)

July 12-13; Santa Fe, N.M.

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) teacher workshop is a 1.5 day event with an overall theme of Earth Science Education with an integral strand dedicated to Climate Change Education. Participating educators will learn about climate change science, climate resources, and ways to effectively communicate climate change topics. Educators will also be able to choose from several breakout sessions demonstrating ways that Earth science tools and data can be used in science classrooms. Workshop sessions will be led by ESIP members from NOAA, NASA, NOAA Cooperative Institutes, EPA, DOE, and several Universities from around the country. Educators are eligible to receive a $200 time and travel stipend. For more information visit http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/teacherworkshop/esip/.

In the Footsteps of Galileo: A Hands-On Workshop on Astronomy for Teachers – Grades 3-12 (July 30-31; Baltimore, Md.)

July 30-31; Tremont Plasa Hotel, Baltimore, Md.

Presented by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, this workshop will focus on the development of of student reasoning and how to help students think like scientists. Teachers will learn how to bring astronomy into the classroom through a number of standards-based, hands-on astronomy activities. Topics will include how telescopes work, the threat of light pollution and recent developments in our exploration of the solar system. Registration is $95 for both days, and includes a Galileoscope telescope kit and the new Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD. To register and learn more, visit http://www.astrosociety.org/events/2011mtg/gttp.html.

2011 ASP Education and Public Outreach Conference (Abstract Deadline April 22; July 30-Aug. 3)

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific invites you to a national conference on science education and public outreach in conjunction with its 123rd Annual Meeting. The conference, with the theme of “Connecting People to Science,” will be held at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in Baltimore, a few blocks north of the Inner Harbor. The conference will be held Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 1-3, with special events the preceding weekend, July 30-31. Conference sessions will take place in the Baltimore Masonic Temple building, providing a unique setting for learning about new developments, sharing experiences and results, improving practices, and making connections across science disciplines. Abstracts are currently being accepted (http://www.astrosociety.org/events/2011mtg/abstracts.html). To learn more about the conference, visit http://www.astrosociety.org/events/meeting.html

Previously Broadcast

Astronomy Camp Workshop for Girl Scout Leaders (April 8-10; Tuscon, Ariz.)

Hacienda Center of the Sahuaro Council; Tuscon, Ariz.

Girl Scout leaders are welcomed to apply for the next GSUSA Astronomy Camp training. This weekend workshop is a science education program sponsored by the near-infrared camera team (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Participants will become part of the world-wide network of 170 trainers teaching young women essential concepts in astronomy, the night sky environment, applied math, engineering, and critical thinking. The workshop engages leaders in the process of scientific inquiry and equips them to host astronomy-related activities at the troop level.

Training includes topics in basic astronomy, as well as JWST-specific research areas in extra-solar planetary systems and cosmology, to pave the way for girls and women to understand the first images from JWST. For more information, contact Dr. Don McCarthy (dmccarthy@as.arizona.edu) or visit http://zeus.as.arizona.edu/~dmccarthy/GSUSA/index.htm.

Earth: The Operators’ Manual (ETOM) – PBS Special (April 10)

What if we had an operators’ manual that told us what causes climate change, and how sustainable energy options can help solve our problems? Penn State geologist Richard Alley offers an objective assessment of our climate predicament. ETOM, supported by NSF, the National Science Foundation, and includes HD visualizations from NASA Goddard’s SVS, premieres nationwide on PBS at 10pm EST on Sunday, April 10.

2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12 (Deadline April 11)

The 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data. The best project will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams of up to four students may submit entries. Winners will also be featured in an Encyclopedia of Earth article. In addition to the student prizes, teachers or adult “coaches” of the first-, second-, and third-place students will receive a $200 Amazon.com gift card. For more information, visit: http://www.strategies.org/thachercontest.

AGU Fall Meeting – Timelines (Session Proposal Deadline April 20)

AGU’s Fall Meeting is a major event for Earth and space sciences, attracting many geoscientists from around the world. Supporting the growing interest in the Fall Meeting and maintaining the high quality of AGU science has required the adjustment to some key deadlines. Session proposal and abstract timelines for the December 2011 Fall Meeting are as follows:

  • Session Proposal Submission: February 25 – April 20
  • Abstract Submission: June 8 – August 4
  • Availability of Meeting Program: Week of September 15

These new deadlines will ensure that AGU is able to meet the expectations of all meeting participants, while effectively managing the publications and other logistics deadlines. Any questions or comments may be directed to meetingsdir@agu.org.

Lunar Workshop for Middle and High School Educators (June 20-24)

June 20-24; Herrett Center for Arts and Science, Twin Falls, Idaho
June 27-July 1; Hinds Community College, Utica, Miss.
June 27-July 1; McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, N.H.
July 25-29; Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
Aug. 1-5; Arizona State University; Tempe, Ariz.

Educators of grades 6-12 are invited to attend a workshop focused on lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions. Workshop participants will learn about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, work with real LRO data, and learn how to bring this information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with local state and national standards. Laptops are strongly encouraged for participation in this workshop. For more information, to see other upcoming dates, and to register, visit: http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html

GLOBE 15th Annual Partner Meeting (July 17-22)

July 17 – 22; DoubleTree Hotel, Bethesda, Md.

The GLOBE Program Office is pleased to invite all GLOBE Partners, Country Coordinators, teachers, and science and education community members to participate in the 15th GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Expanding International Perspectives About Climate.” Participants will learn about the latest scientific research activities and other developments in The GLOBE Program, interact with GLOBE’s worldwide network of community members and scientists using GLOBE data in their research, and talk to top educators on effective methods of enhancing the GLOBE educational experience in the classroom. For more information, visit http://globe.gov/events/2011-annual-meeting.

Earth Science Week 2011: Our Ever-Changing Earth (Oct. 9-15)

The American Geological Institute is pleased to announce the theme of Earth Science Week 2011: “Our Ever-Changing Earth.” This event will engage young people and the public in learning about the natural processes that shape our planet over time. Earth Science Week 2011 materials and activities will show how evidence of change can be found everywhere, from the earth beneath our feet to the oceans and atmospheres around us. Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth science and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth. The program is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, the AAPG Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, the National Park Service, Exxon Mobil, ESRI, and other major geoscience groups. To learn more, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org.

Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education

Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education is a project to establish professional learning communities (PLCs) of high school teachers aimed at implementing effective teaching of climate change in existing courses. PLCs will identify the best resources to use and share best practices, and will also be invited to presentations by climate scientists. PLCs will have telemeetings and explore techniques to achieve the most effective ways to communicate without travel. If you are interested in joining a Lifeline PLC, please apply at: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/gss/lifelines/

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Ambassador in the Classroom

Let NASA take over your classroom for the day! Teachers in the DC Metro area and southern Pennsylvania are eligible for a visit from an SDO educator or scientist. Your students will learn about solar clocks, Earth’s place in the solar system, electricity and magnetism, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the Doppler effect. Visits are free, include all supplies for the activity, and can be customized for each teacher. Register at: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/educators/ambassador.php

A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers (Grades 8-12)

Teachers in the DC Metro area are invited to bring their students to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for a day spent learning what it is like to work for NASA. Field trips include a meet-and-greet at the visitor’s center featuring a scientist and engineer, a demonstration of the Science on a Sphere program, a tour of the satellite testing facility and an inquiry based science lab activity. Programs are highly customizable, teacher-friendly and designed for grades 8-12. Contact Aleya Van Doren (aleya.vandoren@nasa.gov) with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly so register today!

Funding Opportunities

NASA Research Announcement for Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums (Due June 29)

The NASA Office of Education invites proposals from museums, science centers, planetariums, NASA Visitor Centers, and other informal education institutions via the 2011 NASA Research Announcement: Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+), Announcement Number NNH11ZHA004N. Proposals must be submitted electronically via the NASA proposal data system NSPIRES or Grants.gov.

Proposers may request a grant or cooperative agreement to support NASA-themed science, technology, engineering or mathematics informal education, including exhibits, within these congressionally directed topics: space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science or microgravity. This is a competitive, high-quality national program to recruit NASA’s flagship investment in the Office of Education’s Outcome Goal 3: Build strategic partnerships and linkages between STEM formal and informal education providers that promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA’s mission. Eligible informal education institutions do not need to have the words “museum, ” “science,” or “planetarium,” in their official name.

For more information (including detailed eligibility requirements), visit: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7B75AAC7BF-2F69-6C73-2980-B1DCF25EA665%7D&path=open

Educational Resources

Sea Surface Temperature, Height, Chlorophyll Data Visualizer – Ocean Motion Web Site

The revised Sea Surface Temperature, Height, and Chlorophyll data visualizer gives access to global ocean surface temperature behaviors between 1981 and 2010, ocean surface height between 1992 and 2010, and ocean surface chlorophyll between 1997 and 2010.  The map displayed by the visualizer shows a 70° by 56° region of the ocean. The interactive visualizer allows users to select a region of the ocean and study changes happening in the region. Each map has colors which indicate the surface temperature, height and chlorophyll and anomalies. At the bottom of each map, there is a color scale that allows users to convert image colors to a numerical measure.
http://oceanmotion.org/html/resources/ssedv.htm

“The Universe in the Classroom” – Newsletter

The latest issue of “The Universe in the Classroom” Newsletter on Teaching Astronomy celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Drake Equation – the formula proposed by Frank Drake that helps scientists estimate the likelihood of intelligent, communicative life in the universe. In addition to a historical summary of the equation and how it is used, the issue includes resources and classroom activities on this topic.
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/publications/tnl/77/77.html

“How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming” – Podcast

Prof. Michael Brown explains “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming” in a free podcast in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series from Jan. 19th, 2011. Dr. Brown explains exactly what happened and didn’t happen when astronomers reached the controversial new definition of a planet.
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html

Space Math @ NASA: New Problems Relating to Japan 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami and Radiation Aftermath

New problems have been posted on the Space Math @ NASA site relating to the Japan 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and radiation aftermath. These problems include asking students to calculate the arrival time of a tsunami, an exploration of the principle by with the Earth’s rotation changed due to the earthquake, and many problems relating to measuring radiation.
http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov

Science News

MESSENGER Sends Back First Image of Mercury from Orbit (March 29)

(March 29) MESSENGER has delivered its first image since entering orbit about Mercury on March 17. It was taken by the Mercury Dual Imaging System as the spacecraft sailed high above Mercury’s south pole, and provides a glimpse of portions of Mercury’s surface not previously seen by spacecraft.
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/details.php?id=165

Spring is Fireball Season (March 31)

(March 31) For reasons researchers do not understand, the rate of midnight fireballs increases during the weeks around the vernal equinox. It’s a beautiful display, but where do they come from? NASA’s growing network of fireball cameras is scanning the heavens for answers.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/31mar_springfireballs/

Vesta – Is It Really an Asteroid? (March 29)

(March 29) Many astronomers call Vesta an asteroid because it lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. But Vesta is not a typical member of that orbiting rubble patch. The vast majority of objects in the main belt are 100 kilometers wide or smaller, compared with Vesta, which is a 530 kilometer-wide behemoth.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/29mar_vesta/

NASA Satellites Detect Extensive Drought Impact on Amazon Forests (March 29)

(March 29) A new NASA-funded study has revealed widespread reductions in the greenness of Amazon forests caused by last year’s record-breaking drought.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_11-090_Amazon_Forest.html

NASA Stardust Spacecraft Officially Ends Operations (March 25)

(March 25) NASA’s Stardust spacecraft sent its last transmission to Earth at 7:33 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 24, shortly after depleting fuel and ceasing operations. During an 11-year period, the venerable spacecraft collected and returned comet material to Earth and was reused after the end of its prime mission in 2006 to observe and study another comet during February 2011.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_11-089_Stardust_Ends.html

Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster (March 24)

(March 24) X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chamical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that million-degree gas clouds are tightly gathered in the cluster’s outskirts.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/astro-e2/news/perseus-cluster.html

Observing Clouds for NASA Becomes a Class Tradition (March 17)

(March 17) Attending homecoming games, purchasing class rings, and wearing school colors are a few common traditions students pass down. A not-so-common class tradition? Validating NASA satellites.
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/scool-observations.html

Historic First: A Spacecraft Orbits Mercury (March 18)

(March 18) NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft successfully achieved orbit around Mercury at approximately 9 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 17. This marks the first time a spacecraft has accomplished this engineering and scientific milestone at our solar system’s innermost planet.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/18mar_orbitmercury/

Super Full Moon (March 16)

(March 16) On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty rose in the east at sunset. It was a super “perigee moon” – the biggest in almost 20 years.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/16mar_supermoon/

NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Delivers Treasure Trove of Data (March 15)

(March 15) NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team released Tuesday the final set of data from the mission’s exploration phase along with the first measurements from its new life as a science satellite.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_11-076_LRO_Data.html

Wheels Up for NASA Mission’s Most Extensive Arctic Ice Survey (March 15)

(March 15) Research and flight crew have arrived in Thule, Greenland for the start of NASA’s 2011 Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study changes in Arctic polar ice. This year’s plans include surveys of Canadian ice caps and expanded international collaboration.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_11-075_IceBridge.html

Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis (March 14)

(March 14) The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-080

Cassini Finds Enceladus is a Powerhouse (March 7)

(March 7) Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus is much greater than was previously thought possible, according to a new analysis of data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/whycassini/cassini20110307.html

Voyager Seeks the Answer Blowin’ in the Wind (March 8)

(March 8) In which direction is the sun’s stream of charged particles banking when it nears the edge of the solar system? The answer, scientists know, is blowing in the wind. It’s just a matter of getting NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft in the right orientation to detect it.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20110308.html

Some of Mars’ Missing Carbon Dioxide May Be Buried (March 9)

(March 9) Rocks on Mars dug from far underground by crater-blasting impacts are providing glimpses of one possible way Mars’ atmosphere has become much less dense than it used to be.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro20110308.html

Celebrating 400 Years of Sunspot Observations (March 9)

(March 9) Sunspots helped overturn outmoded ideas of an Earth-centric system, but just what those sunspots were took a little longer to identify.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/400yrs-spots.html

Prolific NASA Orbiter Reaches Five-Year Mark (March 9)

(March 9) NASA’s versatile Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which began orbiting Mars five years ago on March 10, has radically expanded our knowledge of the Red Planet and is now working overtime.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro20110309b.html

NASA Finds Polar Ice Adding More to Rising Seas (March 8)

(March 8) The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study. The findings of the study – the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass – suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth’s mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-070

NASA’s Hubble Rules Out One Alternative to Dark Energy (March 14)

(March 14) Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have ruled out an alternate theory on the nature of dark energy after recalculating the expansion rate of the universe to unprecedented accuracy.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/cosmic-expansion.html

NASA Study Goes to Earth’s Core for Climate Insights (March 9)

(March 9) The latest evidence of the dominant role humans play in changing Earth’s climate comes not from observations of Earth’s ocean, atmosphere or land surface, but from deep within its molten core.
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110309.html

NASA Shows Topography of Tsunami-Damaged Japan City (March 11)

(March 11) The topography surrounding Sendai, Japan is clearly visible in this combined radar image and topographic view generated with data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) acquired in 2000. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck offshore about 130 kilometers east of Sendai, generating a tsunami that devastated the low-lying coastal city of about 1 million residents.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-078

NASA-Sponsored Research Explains Missing Sunspots (March 2)

(March 2) NASA-sponsored research has resulted in the first computer model that explains the recent period of decreased solar activity during the sun’s 11-year cycle.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_11-059_Sunspots.html

What’s Hitting Earth? (March 1)

(March 1) Every day about 100 tons of meteoroids – fragments of dust and gravel and sometimes even big rocks – enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Stand out under the stars for more than a half an hour on a clear night and you’ll likely see a few of the meteors produced by the onslaught. But where does all this stuff come from?
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/01mar_meteornetwork/

Calendar

July 2014

July 2 – Solar Plasma Fest (http://bit.ly/1jLdAPb)
July 3-6 –
CosmoQuest at CONvergence (http://bit.ly/1qRQbnP)
July 14-25 -
Summer Center for Space Science (http://bit.ly/VoeFY6)
July 21 –
Registration Due – GEMS Curriculum Sequence Workshop (http://bit.ly/1bkMEla)
July 26 - Mars Rover Celebration Teacher Training Workshop (http://bit.ly/1ibdwra)
July 29 - Three GLOBE and NGSS Alignment Webinars (http://1.usa.gov/1pjZY5x)

August 2014

August 3 - Universe 2014: Beyond Earth – Planets, Life, and Intelligence in the Cosmos (http://conta.cc/VcvqWb)
August 6-7 - Know Your AQ: Discover Air Quality Professional Development Workshop (http://bit.ly/1j3uB5U)

September 2014

September 21 - MAVEN Workshop http://bit.ly/RZUnls

Acknowledgements

NASA Science Mission Directorate: Stephanie Stockman and Ming-Ying Wei

Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES.

Contributions From: Susan Callery, NASA JPL; Andrew Fraknoi, Astronomical Society of the Pacific; Margaret Mooney, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Katie Rasmussen, American Museum of Natural History; Shannon Roach, University of Arizona; Dan Stillman, IGES; and Sara Tweedie, NASA HQ.

To SUBSCRIBE – e-mail ese_ed_newslist-subscribe@lists.hq.nasa.gov with ‘Subscribe’ as the subject.
To UNSUBSCRIBE – e-mail ese_ed_newslist-unsubscribe@lists.hq.nasa.gov with ‘Unsubscribe’ as the subject.

Manage your SETTINGS at http://lists.hq.nasa.gov/mailman/listinfo/ese_ed_newslist.

Questions or comments? E-mail them to esenewsletter@strategies.org