Sciences and Exploration Directorate (600) Highlights

Science Highlights


Atmospheric Science Highlights

[Download file]
  • – First Remote Sensing Observations of Convective Bursts in a Rapidly Intensifying Hurricane from the Global Hawk Platform
  • – Effects of DSCOVR Temporal Sampling Frequency Quantified with GEOS-5 Nature Run
  • – The first global, satellite based sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission inventory
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Press Releases & Feature Stories

Fires in Northwestern Siberia

In mid July, satellites observed dense smoke over north-central Russia. Many of the fires appear in the tundra-taiga interface, where boreal forests give way to low-lying vegetation and permafrost.

Pioneer Fire in Idaho

The Aqua satellite captured this natural color image of the Pioneer Fire currently burning northeast of Boise, Idaho.

Frank (Eastern Pacific)

As tropical storm Frank was forming in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, NASA analyzed rainfall and cloud heights and found "hot towers" that indicated intensification was likely.
See Directorate Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive »


What If and So What? Climate Change and Corn/Wheat/Rice/Soybeans (and a few words on Cities) [06/22/2016]

NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig presented a Maniac lecture entitled, "What If and So What? Climate Change and Corn/Wheat/Rice/Soybeans (and a few words on Cities)." Cynthia narrated how her background as agronomist set her on a path to investigate how a change in climate due to increased carbon dioxide would impact food security and how NASA missions and models have been valuable at every step of the way. Cynthia also touched briefly on climate change and cities.

Presented by: Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig
Title page

June 2016 Overview by the Director

Overview of the SED by Colleen Hartman, Code 600 Director. The document outlines: 1) Who we are, 2) what we do, 3) how we do it, and 4) why we do it.
Download Presentation PDF

The Seventh Cycle—What I Needed to Know and Learned from the Secrets of the Japanese Garden [05/25/2016]

Dr. Richard "Dick" Fisher, Director Heliophysics Division (Emeritus), NASA Headquarters, presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "The Seventh Cycle -- What I Needed to Know and Learned from the Secrets of the Japanese Garden." As in the case of learning how to perform in any specialized context, Dick found there were a number of issues he was neither taught nor learned from life experience. Using his own journey, Dick summarized a few of the more useful, to identify and make available things and ideas that helped him with his time with NASA.

Presented by: Dr. Richard Fisher
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Photo of AfriSAR team members Sassan Saatchi and Laura Duncanson taking measurements of trees in the rainforest in the Mondah National Park, Gabon, Africa

Images of AfriSAR

AfriSAR: NASA Science mission measures changes in the Gabon environment
Download Xpress_AfriSAR
ASD Annual Report 2014

Astrophysics Science Division Annual Report (2014)

A summary of awards, research, projects, missions, and education/public outreach activities of the Astrophysics Science Division at Goddard Space Flight Center.
Download ASD Annual Report 2014
See Directorate Reports Archive »

Local News

Piers Sellers selected for William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science

Dr. Piers Sellers has been selected as the recipient for the William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science. The award is presented in memory of Dr. Nordberg’s many pioneering accomplishments in the use of space technology in understanding the Earth system. Each year the award is presented to a Goddard civil service employee who best exhibits those qualities of broad scientific perspective, enthusiastic programmatic and technical leadership on the national and international levels, wide recognition by peers, and substantial research accomplishments in understanding Earth system processes, which exemplified Dr. Nordberg’s own career. Congratulations Piers!

Code 600 Overview by the Director (June 2016)

Overview of the SED by Colleen Hartman, Code 600 Director. The document outlines: 1) Who we are, 2) what we do, 3) how we do it, and 4) why we do it.

Piers Sellers receives NASA Distinguished Service Medal

On June 2nd, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden presented our very own Piers Sellers, Deputy Director of Sciences and Exploration, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. The Distinguished Service Medal is the highest honor bestowed by the Agency, reserved for those whose “distinguished service, ability, or vision has personally contributed to NASA's advancement of United States’ interests.”

A video of the event is available by clicking on the image below.
Piers Sellers in ISS
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Colorful and Plankton-Full Patagonian Waters

Late spring and summer weather brings blooms of color to the Atlantic Ocean off of South America, at least from a satellite view.

Retreat of the Columbia Glacier

Scientists have long studied Alaska's fast-moving Columbia Glacier, a tidewater glacier descending through the Chugach Mountains into Prince William Sound. Yet the river of ice continues to surprise.

Ocean Data Shows 'Climate Dance' of Plankton

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton.
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