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Featured Content

CubeSats and Their Roles in NASA’s Earth Science Investigations

Our feature article in the Nov-Dec 2020 issue of The Earth Observer focuses on how researchers and technologists worldwide are turning their attention to CubeSats and other “small satellites” as a means of getting the most bang for the research buck. A subclass of nanosatellites with remarkable capabilities given their small size, NASA and other space agencies are increasingly supporting observations from CubeSats, which are a subclass of nanosatellites with remarkable capabilities given their small size and are flown largely as piggy-back payloads of opportunity. CubeSats are already making contributions to terrestrial remote sensing—and to space science as well—having platforms that include the basic functional satellite modules as well as sensors that provide data comparable to and/or supportive of measurements from larger platforms. Turn to page 5 of this issue to learn more.

Flying in the “Gap” Between Earth and Space: NASA’s Airborne Science Program

The feature article in the September-October issue of The Earth Observer focuses on the NASA ESD’s Airborne Science Program (ASP), which is a critical component of the division effort—flying in the “gap” between satellite and ground-based observations. Airborne Earth science goes back to the 1960s, when NASA retrofitted passenger and military aircraft with equipment that enabled collecting in situ and remote sensing data for the full range of Earth science disciplines. In addition to acquiring unique datasets, aircraft campaigns play a major role in supporting satellite missions through calibration (i.e., measurements) and validation (i.e., retrieved geophysical products) activities as well as providing a testbed for future satellite remote sensing instruments. Please turn to page 4 of this issue to read a comprehensive report on the ASP.

2020 Sun–Climate Symposium

Observations of the Sun and Earth from space have revolutionized our view and understanding of how solar variability and other natural and anthropogenic forcings impact Earth’s atmosphere and climate. For more than four decades, the total and spectral solar irradiance and global terrestrial atmosphere and surface have been observed continuously, providing an unprecedented, high-quality time series of data for Sun–climate studies. To learn more, see page 4 of the July-August issue of The Earth Observer

Earth Day at Home with NASA

Earth Day celebrated its fiftieth anniversary during an unprecedented time in history as the human race fights back against the global spread of a new, or novel, coronavirus—COVID-19. With Earth Day on the horizon and many NASA personnel continuing to do their jobs remotely, the agency had to think quickly about how to participate in the usual Earth Day celebrations around the globe. In the May-June 2020 issue of The Earth Observer, learn how NASA made the decision to shift its celebration from its traditional in-person event with a variety of hands-on activities to engage the public, to one that could be carried out online, encouraging its web and social media followers to collectively appreciate the wondrous beauty of our planet and the extraordinary science that helps us understand how it all works— from the safety of home.

Symposium on Earth Science and Applications from Space with Special Guest Michael Freilich

In January 2020, a Symposium on Earth Science and Applications from Space with Special Guest Michael Freilich took place at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The event was organized to pay tribute to the career of Michael Freilich who was director of the Earth Science Division at NASA HQ from 2006–2019, capping off a long and distinguished career in ocean research that spanned nearly 40 years. During his career, Freilich was also a mentor for many other scientists and scientific leaders, many of whom attended the Symposium. We are delighted to refer you to the lead article in the March-April issue of The Earth Observer that provides a detailed summary of the symposium. 

The Earth Observer: Moving Into 2020

The January-February issue of The Earth Observer features NASA’s Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) program, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2019; NASA's Earth to Sky Partnership with the U.S. National Park Service; and NASA's exhibit at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), held December 9-13 in San Francisco, CA—which was AGU’s Centennial meeting. 

Celebrating 20 Years of NASA’s Earth Observatory

When the virtual doors of NASA’s Earth Observatory website first opened to the public in April 1999, who could have imagined the world that exists today? When the team published their first content, it is likely they had no idea that 20 years later the site would still be publishing—nor how different the world would be in just two decades. Turn to page 4 of the November-December 2019 issue of The Earth Observer to read about EO’s twenty years of communicating NASA Earth Science.

2019 AGU Schedule of Events at the NASA Booth

NASA Science welcomes you to San Francisco, CA. We will showcase a wide variety of science presentations and cutting-edge, interactive science, technology, and data demonstrations. This year’s program will be held Monday, December 9, through Friday, December 13, 2019. Hyperwall presentations and In-Booth Science Flash Talks will cover a range of research topics, science disciplines, and programs within NASA.

NASA's Science Support Office 2019 Annual Report

The Science Support Office (SSO) supported 17 domestic and international science conferences and 3 public events in 2019. The SSO continues to provide an inspiring and interactive venue for every event during the year, using a unique storytelling approach that allows a variety of audiences worldwide to connect with NASA Science. The 2019 Annual Report provides an overview of these activities with details about new publications, displays, Hyperwall stories, social media, and more!

SHADOZ at 20 Years: Achievements of a Strategic Ozonesonde Network

Twenty years ago, The Earth Observer published an article announcing the start of the Southern Hemisphere ADditional OZonesondes (SHADOZ) project. It began as a two-year initiative to collect measurements of ozone throughout the atmosphere, or ozone profiles, using balloon-borne ozonesondes by coordinating regular launches at 10 stations in the tropics and subtropics. The network reached its 20-year milestone in 2018, thus providing a fitting opportunity to reflect on its scientific contributions. An article in the September-October 2019 issue of The Earth Observer begins with some history and background on SHADOZ, including details on the network and the ozonesonde instrument itself. It then discusses several spinoffs and major scientific and technological advances resulting from SHADOZ.