Cal Day 2016

Join us for Cal Day, SatCalDay-logos-2014urday, April 16th, from 12pm-5pm, the one day each year that UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab opens its doors to the public. Shuttles will be transporting the public every 15 minutes from Hearst Mining Circle on campus to SSL. Activities include walking tours of UC Berkeley’s cutting-edge space science research lab, tech talks and general talks, a career panel on cool jobs in space science, and hands-on activities for all ages!  Below is a list of our planned activities.


Walking Tours (12:00 pm – 4:20 pm) See UC Berkeley’s cutting-edge space science research lab. Learn about the illustrious NASA missions, current and past, that Space Sciences had a hand in, visit our 60′ high bay, the cosmochemistry laboratories that analyzed lunar samples, a clean room where a Hubble instrument was built. Tours start at 12 am and leave every 20 minutes to 4:20pm. Last tour 4:20 p.m.


CalDay_PassportSignAdventures in Space Sciences Passports to Science@Cal

Learn about UV rays, make an origami Sun, play Solar Jeopardy, design your own planet to be loaded on the Magic Planet, look through a solar telescope. Many activities are specifically for children ages 6-12. Explore the world of science with your Passport to Science@Cal! At each of your destinations, your passport will get a fun stamp or sticker to show where your travels have taken you.


TECH TALKS    ADVANCED, HIGH LEVEL CONTENT

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  Imaging With Neutrons: Can You See a Flower Through a Granite Wall? – Dr. Anton Tremsin  CANCELLED

Neutron detection technology developed for NASA astrophysical missions at Space Sciences Laboratory can reveal processes happening inside and behind thick objects–where an organic object is opaque and many metals can be easily penetrated. New data from these non-destructive studies will be presented.

1:00 pm – 02:00 pm  NASA’s ICON Mission – Dr. Scott England

Berkeley’s newest space mission, the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will explore the boundary region between Earth and space where ionized plasma collides and reacts with our atmosphere. Come learn more about this exciting mission set to launch in 2017.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm  Missions OperatioMAVENns Center and Satellite Dish – Dr. Manfred Bester  NEW: Bryce Roberts

The Berkeley MOC serves as the satellite-control and data archiving facility for a number of different NASA missions and was designed to support multiple spacecraft operations. Hear about the science behind these missions and the history of our 36′ satellite-tracking antenna dish.

ONGOING – Silver Lobby –   From Lab to Launchpad – Chris Scholz

Come see a slideshow of Berkeley’s NASA missions as they are built, tested, shipped and prepared for launch. Featured is MAVEN, our latest mission to Mars. (will not be there from 1-2pm)


GENERAL TALKS / PANELS – INFORMATIONAL FOR ALL

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  Report about LIGO and Gravitational Waves  – Dr. Harald Frey

Reports about the first measurement of gravitational waves made news headlines in February of this year. The main points of the General Theory of Relativity and Gravitational Waves will be explained to a general audience together with a discussion of the importance and implications of these very first measurements.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm  Cool Careers in Space Science – panel discussion

Join a one-hour round table discussion at the Space Sciences Laboratory to hear students, scientists, and others share the varied paths they have taken to arrive at working in space science careers. Moderater: Ruth Paglierani, Panelists: Dr. Darcy Barron, Nicole Duncan, Dr. Matt Fillingim, & Chris Scholz

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm  Red Planet Facts – All about Mars – Dr. Matt Fillingim

Think you know all about our neighboring planet? This family-friendly talk will explain what makes Mars so interesting and how Berkeley was involved in NASA’s recent mission MAVEN.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm  Cultural Expressions of the Sun – Dr. Bryan Mendez

The Sun has a powerful influence over life on Earth and is incorporated deeply into every human culture in both obvious and subtle ways. This family-friendly presentation will examine how peoples around the world and throughout time have expressed their ideas about the Sun in everything from agriculture, art, and literature to architecture, religion, and science.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm  Antarctica and Space! – Dr. Kees Welten, Nicole Duncan

What can the coldest place on Earth tell us about space science? A lot, actually! From ice-core samples that tell us about the ancient Sun, to recent balloon missions that just launched. Come hear about how Berkeley missions has ties to the South Pole.


  Visit Our Neighbor: Lawrence Hall of Science

See how the Hall is inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and designers. Have your Science@Cal passport stamped as you explore the wonderful world of science. Join free Planetarium presentations, design your own nano creations, and explore real-time datasets on Science On a Sphere. For more information, visit the Hall’s Cal Day page [link to: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/visit/events/cal_day_at_the_hall]

MAVEN Instruments Study the Solar Wind at Mars

The ‪#‎MAVEN‬ spacecraft is equipped with several instruments devoted to measuring the solar wind and how solar energetic particles and extreme ultraviolet irradiance interact with Mars’ upper atmosphere. These experiments have been specifically designed to determine whether space weather events increase atmospheric escape rates to historically important levels.

In analyzing data from these instruments, MAVEN scientists will take three approaches to derive the history of Mars’ atmosphere:

1. Use ratios of stable isotopes to determine the integrated loss to space
2. Use observed changes in escape in response to changing energetic inputs to directly extrapolate back in time
3. Model escape processes using current conditions and extrapolate models back in time

Taking these approaches enables our team scientists to determine how various space weather events affect the upper atmosphere of Mars today and how they have contributed to its evolution over time. Capturing events of different magnitudes becomes more likely over time and contributes to producing more accurate model extrapolations back in time.

MAVEN data is allowing scientists to:

  • Investigate atmospheric escape response to regular solar wind variations and to major events (solar flares, coronal mass ejections)
  • Update an estimate of solar wind evolution
  • Determine how solar energetic particles contribute to escape, and
  • Estimate integrated historical loss to space

NASA Goddard

MAVEN completes fourth deep-dip campaign

MAVEN Completes 4th Deep Dip Campaign. (Image credit: NASA Goddard)

MAVEN Completes 4th Deep Dip Campaign.
(Image credit: NASA Goddard)

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, in orbit at Mars since Sept. 21, 2014, has completed the fourth deep-dip campaign of its primary science mission. The series of five-day campaigns are designed to lower the periapsis (lowest altitude) of the spacecraft above ‪#‎Mars‬ in order to achieve a targeted atmospheric density corridor and to sample the lower, well-mixed portion of the Martian upper atmosphere. The density at 125 km (78 mi) can be 30 times that encountered during the nominal science orbits, where the periapsis is approximately 150 km (93 mi).

The latest deep-dip campaign concluded in the early hours of Sept. 10th with the second of two “walk-out” maneuvers, designed to raise the periapsis of MAVEN back to near 150 km. The minimum periapsis altitude achieved during the campaign was 121 km (75 mi) above the ‪#‎Martian‬surface. The maximum atmospheric density encountered was 3.0 kg/km³.

The two “walk-out” maneuvers (executed on Sept. 9 & 10) had ∆V (delta-V) magnitudes of 3.3 m/sec and 0.6 m/sec, and raised the periapsis by 20 km (12 mi) and 4 km (2.5 mi) respectively. These maneuvers returned MAVEN to a nominal periapsis altitude of 145 km (90 mi) and achieved an estimated density of 0.11 kg/km³.

NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Star Explosion is Lopsided, Finds NASA’s NuSTAR

The still unraveling remains of supernova 1987A are shown here in this image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The bright ring consists of material ejected from the dying star before it detonated. The ring is being lit up by the explosion's shock wave.Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

The still unraveling remains of supernova 1987A are shown here in this image taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The bright ring consists of material ejected from the dying star before it detonated. The ring is being lit up by the explosion’s shock wave.Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has found evidence that a massive star exploded in a lopsided fashion, sending ejected material flying in one direction and the core of the star in the other.

The findings offer the best proof yet that star explosions of this type, called Type II or core-collapse supernovae, are inherently asymmetrical, a phenomenon that had been difficult to prove before now.

The complete story, courtesy of Caltech, can be found here.

Cal Day 2015

CalDay-logos-2014Join us for Cal Day, Saturday, April 18th, from 11am-5pm, the one day each year that UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab opens its doors to the public. Shuttles will be transporting the public every 15 minutes from Hearst Mining Circle on campus to SSL.  Activities include walking tours of UC Berkeley’s cutting-edge space science research lab, as well as talks on topics such as space weather, teens doing art-science mashups, a career panel on cool jobs in space science, and hands-on activities for all ages! Get your Science@Cal Passports here, with activities for children 5 and up.

For more information, go to the Events page on this website!

Visit Our Neighbor: Lawrence Hall of Science

See how the Hall is inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and designers. Have your Science@Cal passport stamped as you explore the wonderful world of science. Join free Planetarium presentations, design your own nano creations, and explore real-time datasets on Science On a Sphere. For more information, visit the Hall’s Cal Day page [link to: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/visit/events/cal_day]

SSL Colloquium on Nov. 22nd: Kurt Woschnagg

Neutrinos in IceCube 

From oscillations at 25 GeV to cosmic messengers at 1 PeV

 

IceCube

The IceCube neutrino observatory deep in the ice at the South Pole is the first operating gigaton-scale detector for high-energy neutrinos. Since its completion in December 2010, IceCube has been accumulating data on cosmic-ray muons and neutrinos, extraterrestrial neutrinos, and setting limits on exotic phenomena. I will discuss IceCube results over five orders of magnitude in energy, from oscillations in atmospheric neutrinos to the first evidence for a population of high-energy neutrinos of extraterrestrial origin.