Sciences and Exploration Directorate (600) Highlights

Science Highlights


Atmospheric Science Highlights

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  • – Converging to the “Real” Oceanic Precipitation
  • – The 27-Day Rotational Variations in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) Observations: from SORCE/TIM, ACRIMSAT/ACRIM III, and SOHO/VIRGO
  • – Tropical winds affect chlorine levels inside the Antarctic ozone hole
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Press Releases & Feature Stories

Video: Talk: Air Quality: A Tale of Three Cities

Dr. Bryan N. Duncan, deputy project scientist for the Aura Mission, recently presented the story of air quality in three cities: Beijing, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Maysak (was 04W - NW Pacific)

NASA sees the birth of a Tropical Depression near Pohnpei...

Annual Peak of Arctic Sea Ice is Far Below the Norm

The sea ice cap atop the Arctic Ocean appeared to reach its annual maximum extent on February 25, 2015, scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced in their latest analysis.
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Some pretty good rules for a career: Newman’s Own Lessons [02/25/2015]

NASA climate scientist Dr. Paul Newman presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Some pretty good rules for a career: Newman's own lessons." Paul traced his journey from middle of Seattle, where he grew up, moved to rural Iowa for graduate school, and made his way to NASA/GSFC in 1984, and discussed lessons to be learned from the ozone depletion story.

Presented by: Dr. Paul Newman

How much first-principle physics do we need in remote-sensing and atmospheric-radiation research? [01/26/2015]

NASA climate scientist Dr. Michael I. Mishchenko presented a Maniac Talk entitled "How much first-principle physics do we need in remote-sensing and atmospheric-radiation research." Michael explained his skepticism and how it has shaped his contributions to the disciplines of electromagnetic scattering, radiative transfer, and remote sensing, which have found widespread use.

Presented by: Dr. Michael Mishchenko

Creating the Future: Building JWST, what it may find, and what comes next? [11/19/2014]

Nobel Laureate John Mather presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Creating the Future: Building JWST, what it may find, and what comes next?" In this lecture, John takes a rear view look at how James Webb Space Telescope was started, what it can see and what it might discover. He describes the hardware, what it was designed to observe, and speculate about the surprises it might uncover. He also outlines a possible future of space observatories: what astronomers want to build, what we need to invent, and what they might find, even the chance of discovering life on planets around other stars.

Presented by: Dr. John Mather
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ASD Annual Report 2013

Astrophysics Science Division Annual Report (2013)

A summary of awards, research, projects, missions, and education/public outreach activities of the Astrophysics Science Division at Goddard Space Flight Center.
Download ASDAnnualReport2013.pdf
Still from Paint by Particle simulation of the atmosphere that captured how winds move aerosols around the world

GMAO Annual Report & Research Highlights 2011-2012

Over the last year, the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) has continued to advance our GEOS-5-based systems, updating products for both weather and climate applications.
Download GMAO_2011-2012Highlights.pdf
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Local News

Dr. Colleen Hartman will assume the leadership of the SED on Mar 31

Colleen Harman profile photo Dr. Colleen Hartman will assume the leadership of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate as its director, on March 31, 2015.

Colleen has served as SED's acting director since February 2014, as well as Goddard’s deputy director for science, operations and performance since July 2012. She has a long and distinguished career with NASA, NOAA, the White House and in academia, having held a variety of leadership posts, including the acting associate administrator, deputy associate administrator, planetary division director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, and deputy associate administrator at NOAA.

Through her impressive career, Colleen has served as NASA program manager for dozens of missions, built and launched scientific balloon payloads, and worked on robotic vision. She has been instrumental in developing innovative approaches to powering space probes, including in-space propulsion and nuclear power. By gaining White House and congressional approval, she spearheaded the creation of a whole new line of planetary missions called New Frontiers. We are privileged that Colleen brings with her this extensive scientific expertise and breadth of experience as she takes on the vital mission role of director, Sciences and Exploration Directorate.
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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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NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration