Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Sounding rocket unveils makeup of a supernova remnant
by Karen C. Fox for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 07, 2015

The Cygnus Loop - as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 - is the remnant of a supernova that exploded 20,000 years ago. A NASA-funded sounding rocket will launch in early May to examine X-rays streaming from the remnant and help classify what particles are present. Image courtesy NASA/Hubble/J.Hester.

he OGRESS payload was successfully launched on a NASA Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket 4:30:01:05 a.m. EDT (2:30:01:05 a.m. MDT), May 2, from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The payload from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, flew to an altitude of 169 miles before descending back to Earth and landing at White Sands via parachute. The payload will be recovered. Preliminary indications are that the OGRESS payload was successful.

earlier report
In early May 2015, a NASA-funded sounding rocket will be ready to launch, carrying new technology to peer at the X-rays streaming from a supernova remnant called the Cygnus Loop - and assess what the debris from this 20,000-year-old explosion is made of. Flying such technology will also open the door to probe the deep universe for missing matter believed to exist, but yet to be observed.

The mission, called the Off-plane Grating Rocket for Extended Source Spectroscopy, or OGRESS, will lift off from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The launch window opens on May 2, 2015, at 4:30 a.m. EDT. OGRESS will fly on board a Terrier Black Brant rocket for a 15-minute flight that allows for five minutes of observations of the Cygnus Loop.

"Supernovae remnants are rich with astrophysical features," said Randall McEntaffer, principal investigator for OGRESS at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. "We want to show that we can resolve the details of those features - of an extremely large, diffuse object - in high resolution."

At the heart of the OGRESS mission lies a series of optical components, etched with a specific pattern. McEntaffer and his team specialize in making these optics, called gratings. During its observation period, OGRESS will pass incoming soft X-rays across this grating, which splits the X-rays into individual wavelengths of light, to create patterns known as spectra.

Centuries of spectroscopic research have taught scientists which particles emit which wavelengths of light, so these spectral patterns can show what kinds of matter are present in something like the Cygnus Loop - or anyplace else.

"Once we know the gratings work well for this astrophysical source, then we can start probing the deep universe," said McEntaffer.

McEntaffer wants to use similar technology to search for missing matter in distant space. Astrophysicists can measure how much material is present in the universe based on the amount of light observed, but they haven't yet been able to fully categorize the composition of all that material. McEntaffer hopes that eventually he can use their grating fitted to a larger telescope with an extended time in space to identify and accurately measure the material out in the distant universe.

In the meantime, the OGRESS team will take what they learn from this flight and seek to improve their gratings. Another flight is scheduled for 2018 to observe the star Capella.

OGRESS is supported through NASA's Sounding Rocket Program at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. NASA's Heliophysics Division manages the program.


Related Links
Sounding rockets at NASA
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Pulsar with widest orbit ever detected
Charlottesville NC (SPX) May 05, 2015
A team of highly determined high school students discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Further observations by astronomers using the GBT revealed that this pulsar has the widest orbit of any around a neutron star and is part of only a handful of double neutron star systems. ... read more

NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

UAE says on track to send probe to Mars in 2021

Student Mars Rover team will compete in Utah desert

4,000+ Martian Days of Work on Mars!

NASA Announces Journey to Mars Challenge

Aitech Provides Subsystem and Computing Boards for Commercial Crew

The language of invention: Most innovations are rephrasings of the past

NASA Confirms Electromagnetic Drive Produces Thrust in Vacuum

NASA pushes back against proposal to slash climate budget

3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

Manned mission to ISS to be delayed due to cargo spacecraft's failure

Progress Incident Not Threatening Orbital Station, Work of Crew

Russia loses control of unmanned spacecraft

Japanese astronaut to arrive in ISS in May

Successful SpaceX escape test 'bodes well for future'

'Team Patrick-Cape' supports Pad Abort Test

Local launch expertise; world-wide attention

ILS And Dauria announce Proton/Angara dual launch services agreement

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

Robotically discovering Earth's nearest neighbors

Scientists create cheaper magnetic material for cars, wind turbines

Space debris from satellite explosion increases collision risk for space craft

Damaging Radiation Effects on Travelers to Mars

Invisibility cloaks move into the real-life classroom

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.