NASA climate scientist Stephen Ungar presented a Maniac lecture entitled, "My Intellectual Journey from 'Idiot' to 'Savant'." Steve shared his journey from somewhat problematic childhood, spanning World War 2, through early formative years leading to his six decades of association with NASA. Learn why, although race, religion and ethnicity played a role in his identity, he self-identify himself as a Physicist. According to Steve, NASA has served as a safe harbor for those afflicted with his condition and provided him an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to society. Steve also briefly touched on his good fortune in serving as the initial Mission Scientist for EO-1, "NASA's Science and Technology Pathfinder to the 21st Century."
NASA climate scientist Charles Ichoku presented a Maniac lecture entitled, "Reminiscences of a scientist's journey from Nawfia to NASA." Born in a small town in Nigeria, Charles traced his captivating journey to NASA, which was full of surprises, and related his experiences with the great people he met and interacted with along the way, as well as some of his work.
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
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.
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.
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.
NASA Engineer Florence Tan presented a Maniac Lecture entitled, "From Malaysia to Mars." Florence talked about her journey from Malaysia to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she has been working on planetary mass spectrometers, which is characterized by challenges, frustration, excitement, and rewards.
NASA climate scientist Joel Susskind presented a Maniac Lecture entitled, "Journey from Chemistry to (who would have thought it) Meteorology." Joel described the twists and turns of his professional career, starting as a young child who loved to mix household chemicals together and wanted to become a chemist, and continuing through present as a career Civil Servant of 38 years at GSFC doing meteorological research.
NASA climate scientist Ralph Kahn presented a Maniac lecture entitled, "The Stories Data Tell." At an early age, Ralph found that separating causality from coincidence can be the lynchpin of understanding, and at times can help identify prerogatives or highlight the path toward the better options. Ralph shared his experiences, professional, personal, and at the intersection of the two, where the difference seemed to matter. And how data can help address this challenge, providing evidence one way or the other - sometimes!
NASA Chief Technologist David Miller presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Defying Gravity and Overcoming Inertia: a Systems Perspective." Dave shared his journey from MIT to the Air Force to NASA, from teaching to research to service, defying gravity, and overcoming inertia to do so, which has been his lifelong goal.
NASA Solar Scientist Spiro Antiochos presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Seeing the Light." Spiro shared his twists and turns from the last 40 years while trying to understand the workings of the Sun as revealed by observations, primarily from NASA missions, and passed on lessons learned on generating new ideas and theories that apply to all areas of science.
Astrophysicist Neil Gehrels presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Adventures in Astrophysics." Neil shared his passion and adventures in astrophysics, which traces back to his astronomer father, his physicist wife, a life-long career at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and good mentors.
Frank Cepollina, 2003 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Servicing and NASA." Frank gave a rundown of his career in servicing spacecraft going back to 1970 and talked about the future of servicing and scientific missions working together in the future.
Dr. Richard Eckman, a NASA Program Manager presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Confessions of a Wannabe Meteorologist." Richard shared some of his encounters and experiences that led him from meteorology to ionospheric physics to mesospheric chemistry and, ultimately, to program management.
NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Richard "Rick" Spinrad presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Lately it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it's been: one technocrat's unguided tour through oceanography." Rick shared his journey and life in science, including tipping points in his career and how he has come to understand the value of transdisciplinarity, odds-weighing, and timing.
Presented by: Dr. Richard "Rick" Spinrad
FPI: First “Video” Plasma Analyzer
FPI aboard the 4 MMS spacecraft provides 100x time resolution. It will reveal the inner workings of the tiny ion and tinier electron diffusion regions of reconnection.
Turning the power grid into an extremely large space science instrument
Geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) that flow in power grids during space weather storms can be a hazard for reliable transmission of electricity. GSFC’s space weather team has developed new technology that not only provides real-time information for mitigation of the hazard but also allows the grid to serve as a space physical antenna. The work is being conducted with the US transmission industry’s support.
HEROES: High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun
The HEROES project is a joint balloon payload between GSFC and MSFC whose purpose was to develop and fly a cross-discipline mission (heliophysics and astrophysics) with two PIs one for each discipline. It was funded by the HOPE program (MSFC was the lead institution). The goal of the program is to train early-career scientists and engineers on space-flight mission from conception through flight operations while holding to the review cycle typical of spacecraft missions (i.e. NPR 7120 5D). The heliophysics science goal of the mission was to investigate Parker’s theory of nano flare heating of the solar corona whereby many small flares are constantly going off, accelerating electrons which lose their energy and heat the solar atmosphere.
What if Earth didn’t have its protective magnetosphere?
Are magnetic fields a prerequisite for life?
How does space weather from a planet’s star affect whether the planet is habitable or not?
We can begin to address these questions by studying planets in our solar system: How do planets without magnetospheres, such as Venus, react to emissions from the sun?
Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) “THE PATH TO A HELIO EXPLORER”
The Sun is a unique laboratory to study particle acceleration which occurs throughout the Universe. The Sun is the most energetic particle accelerator in the solar system.
HSD will propose FOXSI to the next Small Explorer opportunity to enable our first look into the acceleration region where energetic particles are generated.
Understanding Universal Processes at Earth by Exploring the Solar System
Studying 4 different objects using 4 different missions (combined with theory and modeling) offers new and valuable perspectives on some fundamental physical processes that occur throughout the universe and in particular at Earth.
NASA/GSFC and NSF Led CubeSat: Studying Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs)
Firefly is exploring the relationship between lightning and intense bursts of radiation called Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes (TGFs), which result when the Earth's atmosphere accelerates electrons up to tens of MeV in less than one millisecond.
Nanoflares, i.e., a multitude of frequent, highly localized, tiny flare events have been proposed as one of the leading models to explain the hot corona. Before EUNIS, the proof of this concept has been elusive.