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This 9 year-old ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ wants to be NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer

"We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days!"

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Jack Davis
9-year-old Jack Davis wants to be a 'guardian of the galaxy' NASA member. Wikimedia

August 08, 2017: NASA has sent an inspiring letter to a nine-year-old who expressed interest in being a Planetary Protection Officer after the US space agency recently announced an opening for the position.

Nine-year-old Jack Davis from New Jersey is a self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” and he reached out to NASA in a letter to express his interest in serving as the agency’s Planetary Protection Officer.

Also Read: Indian Origin Scientist Part of Team that developed Asteroid flyby to help NASA test Global Tracking Network

“My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job. One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien also I have seen all the space and alien movies I can see…,” Davis wrote in his letter signing it off as Jack Davis, Guardian of the Galaxy, Fourth Grade”.

In response, NASA’s Planetary Science Director Jim Green wrote back to him.

“I hear that you are a “Guardian of the Galaxy” and that you’re interested in being a NASA Planetary Protection Officer. That’s great!” Green said.

Although the Planetary Protection Officer position may not be in real-life what the title conjures up, it does play an important role in promoting the responsible exploration of our solar system by preventing microbial contamination of other planets and our own.

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“Our Planetary Protection Officer position is really cool and is very important work. It’s about protecting Earth from tine microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsible explore the Solar System.

“We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us, so I hope you will study hard and do well in school. We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days!” Green said in his letter to Davis.

He also received a phone call from NASA’s Planetary Research Director, Jonathan Rall at NASA Headquarters in Washington, to congratulate him on his interest in the position.

The US government’s official employment site advertised the job which is open to US citizens and nationals for applications until August 14.

The person who lands the job will draw a six figure salary — $124,406 to $187,000 per year.

Candidates must have “broad engineering expertise,” and should be an expert in planetary protection.

“This includes demonstrated technical expertise to independently form technically sound judgments and evaluations in considerably complex situations,” according to the advert.

(IANS)

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NASA: Earth’s Ozone Hole Shrinks to Smallest Since 1988

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NASA: Earth's Ozone Hole Shrinks to Smallest Since 1988 (VOA)

Washington: The ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest peak since 1988, NASA said Thursday. The huge hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer reached its maximum this year in September, and this year NASA said it was 7.6 million square miles (19.6 million square kilometers). The hole size shrinks after mid-September.

This year’s maximum hole is more than twice as big as the United States, but it’s 1.3 million square miles smaller than last year and 3.3 million square miles smaller than 2015.

FILE - A false-color view of total ozone over the Antarctic pole is seen in this NASA handout image released Oct. 24, 2012. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone. The average area covered by the Antarctic ozone hole in that year was the second smallest in two decades, at 8.2 million square miles; in September 2017, it was 7.6 million square miles.

[ FILE – A false-color view of total ozone over the Antarctic pole is seen in this NASA handout image released Oct. 24, 2012. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone. The average area covered by the Antarctic ozone hole in that year was the second smallest in two decades, at 8.2 million square miles; in September 2017, it was 7.6 million square miles ].

Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said stormy conditions in the upper atmosphere warmed the air and kept the chemicals chlorine and bromine from eating ozone. He said scientists haven’t quite figured out why some years are stormier — and have smaller ozone holes — than others.

“It’s really small this year. That’s a good thing,” Newman said.

Newman said this year’s drop is mostly natural but is on top of a trend of smaller steady improvements likely from the banning of ozone-eating chemicals in a 1987 international treaty. The ozone hole hit its highest in 2000 at 11.5 million square miles (29.86 million square kilometers).

Ozone is a colorless combination of three oxygen atoms. High in the atmosphere, about 7 to 25 miles (11 to 40 kilometers) above the Earth, ozone shields Earth from ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

Scientists at the United Nations a few years ago determined that without the 1987 treaty, by 2030 there would have been an extra 2 million skin cancer cases. They said that overall, the ozone layer is beginning to recover because of the phase-out of chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans. (VOA)

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NASA sounding rocket probing dark regions of space falters

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NASA

Washington, Oct 31: A NASA sounding rocket launched with the aim of studying the darks voids in between the stars and galaxies that fill the night sky has failed to deliver science data because of a possible issue with the attitude control system.

The Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Experiment, or DEUCE for short, was launched on Monday from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

“The Black Brant IX sounding rocket performed nominally. However, science data was not obtained because of a possible issue with the attitude control system,” NASA said in a statement late on Monday.

“The payload descended by parachute and was recovered. The Sounding Rocket Program Office is investigating the anomaly,” it added.

The cold, diffuse gas between galaxies — called the intergalactic medium, or IGM for short — hardly emits any light.

To shed light on the nature of the IGM, the sounding rocket was equipped with special ultraviolet optics.

The experiment was designed to measure starlight from a pair of nearby hot stars in the constellation Canis Major, aiming to help researchers understand how the IGM got to its current state.

–IANS

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NASA Releases Spooky Space Playlist for Halloween that will Unnerve your Spine

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Space playlist for Halloween
NASA has released space playlist for Halloween. Pixabay.

NASA has released a spine-chilling space playlist for Halloween that is made through the sounds of planets and helium present in the solar system.

  • The space playlist for Halloween by NASA comprises of more than 20 tracks of the sounds of the giant Jupiter, movement of it’s moon, comet encounters, waves and various others.
  • The track has the sound movement of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, recorded by Galileo’s Plasma Wave Experiment instrument.

The scientists at NASA have used data sonification by converting radio emissions apprehended by spacecraft instruments into sound waves to understand the signals.

Space playlist for Halloween
Jupiter’s movement has been used to make the space playlist for Halloween. Pixabay.

ALSO READ: Send your Name to Mars and Get a Boarding Pass by NASA

It has been stated by NASA that the Juno’s Waves instrument recorded the encounter of it’s Juno spacecraft navigating past the borderline of Jupiter’s magnetic field. The track was recorded on June 24, 2016 with a timespan of about two hours. This spooky space playlist for Halloween is eerie enough to be used as a background score in horror movies!

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana