Sciences and Exploration Directorate (600) Highlights

Science Highlights


Atmospheric Science Highlights

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  • – A First Look at X-BADGER data from the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field campaign
  • – DSCOVR[ing] EPIC’s Utility for Cloud Retrievals
  • – Suomi NPP satellite observes Alaska’s Pavlof volcanic cloud

Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Highlights

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  • – Comparison of Forest Canopy Height Estimation from Lidar, InSAR and Very High Resolution Stereo Imagery Highlights the Advantages and Alternatives for Forest Structure and Biomass Estimation in Remote Areas
  • – Positive Trend in Antarctic Sea Ice and Associated Changes in Surface Temperature
  • – Profiling Inland Water Bodies from Above the Troposphere
  • – Phytoplankton Chlorophyll Cecline in Equatorial Pacific Associated with 2015 El Niño Event
  • – A 30+ years AVHRR Land Climate Data Record
See Directorate Science Highlights Archive »

Press Releases & Feature Stories

Hubble Gazes at Stars of the Large Magellanic Cloud

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the star cluster NGC 1854, a gathering of red, white and blue stars in the southern constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish).

Hubble Imagery Confirms New Dark Spot on Neptune

New images obtained on May 16, 2016, by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope confirm the presence of a dark vortex in the atmosphere of Neptune.

The Complex Material Engineering of NASA's Webb Telescope Sunshield

The shiny silver material of the five-layer sunshield that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is a complex and innovative feat of material science and engineering.
See Directorate Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive »


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.
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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

From Ballia to Boston: A Village Boy Goes to MIT and Goddard [05/02/2016]

This is the story of a boy who was born in a small village in the Ballia District of India, walked barefoot while grazing cattle, learned Sanskrit and Math under a kerosene lamp, used bullock carts and elephants for transportation, and somehow ended up at MIT and Goddard. The lecture will also include a personal retrospective of the origins of the idea of predictability in the midst of chaos, and the evolution from Numerical Weather Prediction to Numerical Climate Prediction.

Presented by: Dr. Jagadish Shukla
See Directorate Presentations Archive »


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

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

Piers Sellers In Greenland

Piers Sellers' recent trip to Thule, Greenland, is featured in The New Yorker.
See Directorate News Archive »


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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