vendredi 24 novembre 2017

First light for pioneering SESAME light source

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

Nov. 24, 2017

Image above: SESAME XAFS/XRF beamline scientist, Messaoud Harfouche, points out SESAME’s first monochromatic light. (Image: SESAME).

At 10:50 yesterday morning scientists at the pioneering SESAME light source saw First Monochromatic Light through the XAFS/XRF (X-ray absorption fine structure/X-ray fluorescence) spectroscopy beamline, signalling the start of the laboratory’s experimental programme. This beamline, SESAME’s first to come on stream, delivers X-ray light that will be used to carry out research in areas ranging from solid state physics to environmental science and archaeology.

“After years of preparation, it’s great to see light on target,” said XAFS/XRF beamline scientist Messaoud Harfouche. “We have a fantastic experimental programme ahead of us, starting with an experiment to investigate heavy metals contaminating soils in the region.”

The initial research programme will be carried out at two beamlines, the XAFS/XRF beamline and the Infrared (IR) spectromicroscopy beamline that is scheduled to join the XAFS/XRF beamline this year. Both have specific characteristics that make them appropriate for various areas of research. A third beamline, devoted to materials science, will come on stream in 2018.

Image above: Inside SESAME's ring (Image: Noemi Caraban/CERN).

“Our first three beamlines already give SESAME a wide range of research options to fulfil the needs of our research community,” said SESAME Scientific Director Giorgio Paolucci, “the future for light source research in the Middle East and neighbouring countries is looking very bright!”

First Light is an important step in the commissioning process of a new synchrotron light source, but it is nevertheless just one step on the way to full operation. The SESAME synchrotron is currently operating with a beam current of just over 80 milliamps, while the design value is 400 milliamps. Over the coming weeks and months as experiments get underway, the current will be gradually increased.

“SESAME is a major scientific and technological addition to research and education in the Middle East and beyond,” said Director of SESAME, Khaled Toukan. “Jordan supported the project financially and politically since its inception in 2004 for the benefit of science and peace in the region. The young scientists, physicists, engineers and administrators who have built SESAME, come for the first time from this part of the world.”

Among the subjects likely to be studied in early experiments are environmental pollution with a view to improving public health, as well as studies aimed at identifying new drugs for cancer therapy, and cultural heritage studies ranging from bioarcheology – the study of our ancestors – to investigations of ancient manuscripts.

“On behalf of the SESAME Council, I’d like to congratulate the SESAME staff on this wonderful milestone,” said President of the Council, Rolf Heuer. “SESAME is a great addition to the region’s research infrastructure, allowing scientists from the region access to the kind of facility that they previously had to travel to Europe or the US to use.”


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 Member States.

Related link:


For more information about European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Visit:

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: CERN/Harriet Kim Jarlett.

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CASC Long March 2C launches Yaogan Weixing-30-02 trio

CASC - China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

Nov. 24, 2017

 Long March 2C launches Yaogan Weixing-30-02 trio

Continuing its frenetic launch activity for the end of the year, China conducted another secretive launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province. The Yaogan Weixing-30-02 mission – involving three satellites – was launched by a Long March-2C launch vehicle at 18:10 UTC on Friday from the LC3 Launch Complex.

As is usual for the Chinese media, this mission once again classed as involving new remote sensing birds that will be used to “conduct electromagnetic probes and other experiments.”

Yaogan 30-02 satellite

As was the case in previous launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, visit:

Images, Text, Credits: CASC/ünter Space Page/NASA / C. Barbosa.


jeudi 23 novembre 2017

Geneva scientist questioning dark matter

University of Geneva logo.

Nov. 23, 2017

André Maeder, professor at the University of Geneva, questions the theory of dark matter and dark energy.

Image above: André Maeder, Honorary Professor, Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Science, University of Geneva (UNIGE). (Photo: Screenshot RTS).

Dark matter and dark energy haunt the minds of physicists for a long time. These mysterious and elusive elements explain the movement of stars in galaxies and the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe. A researcher from Geneva questions this approach.

André Maeder, Honorary Professor in the Department of Astronomy of the Faculty of Science at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) believes that the commonly accepted model of the Big Bang followed by an expansion, which uses dark matter and black energy, does not take into account the "scale invariance of the vacuum".

This expression means that the vacuum and its properties do not change as a result of expansion or contraction. "When we add the hypothesis of the scale invariance of the void, we see a very very small term of outward acceleration that opposes the gravitational force," explained Maeder.

Low density media

On Earth, this term is insignificant, but in very sparse environments, like the edges of a galaxy or clusters of galaxies, it becomes relatively important, continued the professor. It thus makes it possible to account for the high speeds of stars on the borders of a galaxy.

He also explains why, in clusters made up of hundreds of galaxies, the movements observed are faster than what the visible mass would allow. Professor Maeder also finds that his model predicts the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe without any particle or ounce of dark energy being needed.

Image above: The M81 spiral galaxy, photographed by Subaru and Hubble telescopes. Image Credits: Roberto Colombari & Robert Gendler.

To be able to dispense with dark matter or dark energy to explain certain cosmological phenomena would constitute a scientific upheaval. For decades, researchers have been trying to identify dark matter through the establishment of very important means, such as at CERN, for example.

Encouraging beginnings

The hypothesis of André Maeder opens a way to raise issues and controversies, admits the UNIGE in a statement. The Geneva astronomer wants for the moment modest. The first confrontations with the observations are very encouraging, but nothing is ever acquired, he said.

The results of Dr. Maeder's research have been published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal.

University of Geneva, Astronomical Observatory - article:

University of Geneva:

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: Nxp/ATS/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

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Weekly Recap from the Expedition Lead Scientist, week of November 6, 2017

ISS - Expedition 53 Mission patch.

Nov. 23, 2017

(Highlights: Week of November 6, 2017) - Crew members aboard the International Space Station contributed to research dedicated to topics ranging from human health to robotics to astrophysics.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei set up the Airway Monitoring system in the US Laboratory module, Destiny, and powered on the Enhancement Unit and the Portable Pulmonary Function System (PFS) for a software upgrade from the ground. Using the PFS, Vande Hei later performed calibrations and conducted high and low nitric oxide (NO) measurements in Destiny. With dust particles present in the space station atmosphere, Airway Monitoring studies the occurrence and indicators of airway inflammation in crewmembers, using ultra-sensitive gas analyzers to analyze exhaled air. This could help to identify health impacts and support maintenance of crewmember well-being on future human spaceflight missions, such as to the moon and Mars, where crewmembers will have to be more self-sufficient in identifying and avoiding such conditions.

Image above: A view of Madagascar from the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

At the start of the week, Vande Hei collected saliva samples and completed a questionnaire for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Multi-Omics experiment. The samples will be placed into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The Multi-omics investigation evaluates the impacts of space environment and prebiotics on astronauts’ immune function. It examines changes in gut microbiological composition, metabolite profiles, and the immune system.

At the end of the week, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli initiated the first of four sampling phases of the JAXA Probiotics investigation by collecting fecal samples and immediately stowing the samples into the MELFI. The sampling phases include fecal and saliva sample collections, a questionnaire, and a Probiotic capsule intake. Some species of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella grow stronger and more virulent in the microgravity environment of space. At the same time, the human immune system is weaker in space, leading to increased health risks. The objective of the Probiotics investigation is to study the impact of continuous consumption of probiotics on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts under a closed microgravity environment.

Image above: Crew members tested out footpads that were designed by High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) students. The pads are designed to protect the tops of astronauts’ feet when they hook them under handrails as they move and work aboard the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

This week, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik created a photo panorama of the interior of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) to prepare for the Astrobee investigation. Astrobee is set to arrive in spring 2018, and consists of three self-contained, free flying robots and a docking station for use inside the station. The robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity, to assist astronauts with routine chores and to give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling and logistics management.

At the start of the week, the AMS-02 laptop hard drive failed. Astronaut Joe Acaba replaced the drive and installed software. AMS-02 has collected and analyzed billions of cosmic ray events, and identified millions of these as electrons or positrons (anti-matter). Solving the origin of cosmic rays and antimatter increases understanding of our galaxy.

Image above: Documentation of the Airway Monitoring Kit following replacement of components from Resupply Kit 1. Image Credit: NASA.

The crew also worked on Microbial Tracking-2, Veg-03, Earth Imagery from ISS, Meteor, ISS HAM, Story Time from Space, Biochemical Profile, Fine Motor Skills, Lighting Effects, Space Headaches, ACE-T-6, and Two-Phase Flow investigations.

Related links:

Airway Monitoring:

JAXA - Multi-Omics:

Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI):

JAXA - Probiotics:



Microbial Tracking-2:


Earth Imagery from ISS:



Story Time from Space:

Biochemical Profile:

Fine Motor Skills:

Lighting Effects:

Space Headaches:


Two-Phase Flow:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/John Love, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 53 & 54.

Best regards,

mercredi 22 novembre 2017

Muscle Research and Science Cargo Work Ahead of Thanksgiving

ISS - Expedition 53 Mission patch.

November 22, 2017

The six-member Expedition 53 crew heads into Thanksgiving observing how living in space affects the human body and packing the Cygnus cargo craft. The orbital crewmates are also preparing for next month’s arrival of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.

Veteran space station residents Paolo Nespoli and Sergey Ryazanskiy were back inside the Columbus lab module today examining what microgravity is doing to their leg muscles. The duo took turns strapping themselves in a unique exercise chair and attaching electrodes to their knees. Next, the pair used magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound devices to observe the changes taking place in their legs in space.

Image above: Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei swaps out a payload card from the TangoLab-1 facility and places it into the TangoLab-2 facility. Image Credit: NASA.

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba transferred the TangoLab-1 multi-use science facility into the Cygnus space freighter for a demonstration today. TangoLab-1 is being tested inside Cygnus to determine the viability of using a cargo craft as a laboratory while docked at the International Space Station.

The next cargo craft to visit the station will be the SpaceX Dragon when it launches Dec. 4 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei trained today for the rendezvous and capture of Dragon when it arrives two days after its launch. Dragon will carry new science experiments to explore the Sun’s impact on Earth and improve the accuracy of a new diabetes implant device.

Related links:

Leg muscles:

Sun’s impact on Earth:

New diabetes implant device:

Expedition 53:

Cygnus cargo craft:

SpaceX Dragon:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

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NASA's TSIS-1 Keeps an Eye on Sun's Power Over Ozone

ISS - International Space Station logo.

Nov. 21, 2017

High in the atmosphere, above weather systems, is a layer of ozone gas. Ozone is Earth’s natural sunscreen, absorbing the Sun’s most harmful ultraviolet radiation and protecting living things below. But ozone is vulnerable to certain gases made by humans that reach the upper atmosphere. Once there, they react in the presence of sunlight to destroy ozone molecules.

Currently, several NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites track the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere and the solar energy that drives the photochemistry that creates and destroys ozone. NASA is now ready to launch a new instrument to the International Space Station that will provide the most accurate measurements ever made of sunlight as seen from above Earth’s atmosphere — an important component for evaluating the long-term effects of ozone-destroying chemistry. The Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) will measure the total amount of sunlight that reaches the top of Earth's atmosphere and how that light is distributed between different wavelengths, including ultraviolet wavelengths that we cannot sense with our eyes, but are felt by our skin and harmful to our DNA.

Image above: Light can be split into many wavelengths and a rainbow illustrates this in visible light. Each color is a different wavelength of light. NASA’s TSIS- 1 will see more than 1,000 wavelength bands of sunlight reaching the top of the atmosphere, including light we cannot sense with our eyes. Image Credits: Copyright Matthew Almon Roth (via Creative Commons).

This is not the first time NASA has measured the total light energy from the Sun. TSIS-1 succeeds previous and current NASA missions to monitor incoming sunlight with technological upgrades that should improve stability, provide three times better accuracy and lower interference from other sources of light, according to Candace Carlisle, TSIS-1 project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“We need to measure the full spectrum of sunlight and the individual wavelengths to evaluate how the Sun affects Earth’s atmosphere,” said Dong Wu, TSIS-1 project scientist at Goddard.

TSIS-will see more than 1,000 wavelength bands from 200 to 2400 nanometers. The visible part of the spectrum our eyes see goes from about 390 nanometers (blue) to 700 nanometers (red). A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

“Each color or wavelength of light affects Earth’s atmosphere differently,” Wu said.

TSIS-1 will see different types of ultraviolet (UV) light, including UV-B and UV-C. Each plays a different role in the ozone layer. UV-C rays are essential in creating ozone. UV-B rays and some naturally occurring chemicals regulate the abundance of ozone in the upper atmosphere. The amount of ozone is a balance between these natural production and loss processes. In the course of these processes, UV-C and UV-B rays are absorbed, preventing them from reaching Earth's surface and harming living organisms. Thinning of the ozone layer has allowed some UV-B rays to reach the ground.

Image above: Antarctic ozone hole, Oct. 10, 2017: Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which was once used in applications such as dry cleaning and as a fire-extinguishing agent, was regulated in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Image Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

In the 1970s, scientists theorized that certain human-made chemicals found in spray cans, air conditioners and refrigerators could throw off the natural balance of ozone creation and depletion and cause an unnatural depletion of the protective ozone. In the 1980s, scientists observed ozone loss consistent with the concentrations of these chemicals and confirmed this theory.

Ozone loss was far more severe than expected over the South Pole during the Antarctic spring (fall in the United States), a phenomenon that was named “the Antarctic ozone hole.” The discovery that human-made chemicals could have such a large effect on Earth’s atmosphere brought world leaders together. They created an international commitment to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals called the Montreal Protocol, which was universally ratified in 1987 by all countries that participate in the United Nations, and has been updated to tighten constraints and account for additional ozone depleting chemicals.

Image above: The picture on the left shows a calm sun from October 2010. The right side, from October 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, or solar maximum. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured both images. Image Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO.

A decade after the ratification of the Montreal Protocol, the amount of human-made ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere peaked and began a slow decline. However, it takes decades for these chemicals to completely cycle out of the upper atmosphere, and the concentrations of these industrially produced molecules are not all decreasing as expected, while additional, new compounds are being created and released.

More than three decades after ratification, NASA satellites have verified that ozone losses have stabilized and, in some specific locations, have even begun to recover due to reductions in the ozone-destroying chemicals regulated under the Montreal Protocol.

As part of their work in monitoring the recovery of the ozone hole, scientists use computer models of the atmosphere that simulate the physical, chemical and weather processes in the atmosphere. These atmospheric models can then take input from ground and satellite observations of various atmospheric gases, both natural and human-produced, to help predict ozone layer recovery. They test the models by simulating past changes and then compare the results with satellite measurements to see if the simulations match past outcomes. To run the best possible simulation, the models also need accurate measurements of sunlight across the spectrum.

"Atmospheric models need accurate measurements of sunlight across the ultraviolet spectrum to model the ozone layer correctly,” said Peter Pilewskie, TSIS-1 lead scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado. Scientists have learned that variations in UV radiance produce significant changes in the results of the computer simulations.

Image above: TSIS-1 will be affixed to the International Space Station in December 2017 TSIS-1 operates like a sun flower: it follows the Sun, from the ISS sunrise to its sunset, which happens every 90 minutes. At sunset, it rewinds, recalibrates and waits for the next sunset. Image Credits: Courtesy NASA/LASP.

Overall, solar energy output varies by approximately 0.1 percent — or about 1 watt per square meter between the most and least active part of an 11-year solar cycle. The solar cycle is marked by the alternating high and low activity periods of sunspots, dark regions of complex magnetic activity on the Sun's surface. While UV light represents a tiny fraction of the total sunlight that reaches the top of Earth's atmosphere, it fluctuates much more, anywhere from 3 to 10 percent, a change that in turn causes small changes in the chemical composition and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.

That's where TSIS-1 comes in. “[TSIS] measurements of the solar spectrum are three times more accurate than previous instruments," said Pilewskie. Its high quality measurements will allow scientists to fine tune their computer models and produce better simulations of the ozone layer's behavior — as well as other atmospheric processes influenced by sunlight, such as the movement of winds and weather that are.

TSIS-1 joins a fleet of NASA’s Earth-observing missions that monitor nearly every aspect of the Earth system, watching for any changes in our environment that could harm life.

For more than five decades, NASA has used the vantage point of space to understand and explore our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future by deploying space based sensors like TSIS-1. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has overall responsibility for the development and operation of TSIS-1 on International Space Station as part of the Earth Systematic Missions program. The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, under contract with NASA, is responsible for providing the TSIS-1 measurements and ensuring their availability to the scientific community.

Related links:




Science Instruments:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Goddard Space Flight Center, by Rani Gran.


mardi 21 novembre 2017

NASA Telescope Studies Quirky Comet 45P

NASA logo.

Nov. 21, 2017

When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai’i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial details about ices in Jupiter-family comets and reveal that quirky 45P doesn’t quite match any comet studied so far.

Like a doctor recording vital signs, the team measured the levels of nine gases released from the icy nucleus into the comet’s thin atmosphere, or coma. Several of these gases supply building blocks for amino acids, sugars and other biologically relevant molecules. Of particular interest were carbon monoxide and methane, which are so hard to detect in Jupiter-family comets that they’ve only been studied a few times before.

Image above: Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková is captured using a telescope on December 22 from Farm Tivoli in Namibia, Africa. Image Credit: Gerald Rhemann.

The gases all originate from the hodgepodge of ices, rock and dust that make up the nucleus. These native ices are thought to hold clues to the comet’s history and how it has been aging.

“Comets retain a record of conditions from the early solar system, but astronomers think some comets might preserve that history more completely than others,” said Michael DiSanti, an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the new study in the Astronomical Journal.

The comet—officially named 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková—belongs to the Jupiter family of comets, frequent orbiters that loop around the Sun about every five to seven years. Much less is known about native ices in this group than in the long-haul comets from the Oort Cloud.

To identify native ices, astronomers look for chemical fingerprints in the infrared part of the spectrum, beyond visible light. DiSanti and colleagues conducted their studies using the iSHELL high-resolution spectrograph recently installed at IRTF on the summit of Maunakea. With iSHELL, researchers can observe many comets that used to be considered too faint.

The spectral range of the instrument makes it possible to detect many vaporized ices at once, which reduces the uncertainty when comparing the amounts of different ices. The instrument covers wavelengths starting at 1.1 micrometers in the near-infrared (the range of night-vision goggles) up to 5.3 micrometers in the mid-infrared region.

iSHELL also has high enough resolving power to separate infrared fingerprints that fall close together in wavelength. This is particularly necessary in the cases of carbon monoxide and methane, because their fingerprints in comets tend to overlap with the same molecules in Earth’s atmosphere.

“The combination of iSHELL’s high resolution and the ability to observe in the daytime at IRTF is ideal for studying comets, especially short-period comets,” said John Rayner, director of the IRTF, which is managed for NASA by the University of Hawai’i.

While observing for two days in early January 2017—shortly after 45P’s closest approach to the Sun—the team made robust measurements of water, carbon monoxide, methane and six other native ices. For five ices, including carbon monoxide and methane, the researchers compared levels on the sun-drenched side of the comet to the shaded side. The findings helped fill in some gaps but also raised new questions.

The results reveal that 45P is running so low on frozen carbon monoxide, that it is officially considered depleted. By itself, this wouldn’t be too surprising, because carbon monoxide escapes into space easily when the Sun warms a comet. But methane is almost as likely to escape, so an object lacking carbon monoxide should have little methane. 45P, however, is rich in methane and is one of the rare comets that contains more methane than carbon monoxide ice.

It’s possible that the methane is trapped inside other ice, making it more likely to stick around. But the researchers think the carbon monoxide might have reacted with hydrogen to form methanol. The team found that 45P has a larger-than-average share of frozen methanol.

When this reaction took place is another question—one that gets to the heart of comet science. If the methanol was produced on grains of primordial ice before 45P formed, then the comet has always been this way. On the other hand, the levels of carbon monoxide and methanol in the coma might have changed over time, especially because Jupiter-family comets spend more time near the Sun than Oort Cloud comets do.

“Comet scientists are like archaeologists, studying old samples to understand the past,” said Boncho Bonev, an astronomer at American University and the second author on the paper. “We want to distinguish comets as they formed from the processing they might have experienced, like separating historical relics from later contamination.”

The team is now on the case to figure out how typical their results might be among similar comets. 45P was the first of five such short-period comets that are available for study in 2017 and 2018. On the heels of 45P were comets 2P/Encke and 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. Due next summer and fall is 21P/Giacobini–Zinner, and later will come 46P/Wirtanen, which is expected to remain within 10 million miles (16 million kilometers) of Earth throughout most of December 2018.

“This research is groundbreaking,” said Faith Vilas, the solar and planetary research program director at the National Science Foundation, or NSF, which helped support the study. “This broadens our knowledge of the mix of molecular species coexisting in the nuclei of Jovian-family comets, and the differences that exist after many trips around the Sun.”

“We’re excited to see this first publication from iSHELL, which was built through a partnership between NSF, the University of Hawai’i, and NASA,” said Kelly Fast, IRTF program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “This is just the first of many iSHELL results to come.”

More information about NASA’s IRTF:

More information about comets:

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Karl Hille/Goddard Space Flight Center, by Elizabeth Zubritsky.