NASA Goddard

NASA Goddard


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  • A new NASA study shows snowfall accumulation over Antarctica increased on average in the 20th century, mitigating sea level rise by 0.4 inches.

The increased snowfall only made up for one-third of Antarctica’s current ice loss, and the rest of the melted ice contributed to rising sea levels. Without the increased snowfall, Antarctica would have added even more sea level rise in the 20th century.


  • Our latest space telescope, NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite - TESS, launched in April. This week, planet hunters worldwide received all the data from the first two months of its planet search. This view, from four cameras on TESS, shows just one region of Earth’s southern sky.

It’s a lot of data: TESS sends about 10 billion pixels of data to Earth at a time. Before it can be analyzed, that data needs to be processed. And where do space telescopes like TESS get their data cleaned up? At the Star Wash, of course!

Learn more:


  • “After traveling through space for more than two years and over two billion kilometers, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft arrived at its destination, asteroid Bennu. This mission couldn’t be possible without our partners like Lockheed Martin and The University of Arizona. Congrats on the continued success.” —Goddard Center Director Chris Scolese
NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission captured these shots with MapCam shortly before the spacecraft's arrival at Bennu 📸.

They are the first images of the asteroid taken at a high phase angle — with 80 degrees between the spacecraft, Bennu and the Sun:

Credit: NASA Goddard/University of Arizona


  • After a successful launch in September, NASA’s #ICESat2 has spent the last few months looking at our home planet in 3D. The satellite measures height around the world, providing data about how ice is changing in the polar regions. 

ICESat-2’s extreme precision lets it measure newly formed, thin sea ice. Water and ice reflect the photons differently, so the satellite data show cracks in the ice, called leads. But it’s not all ice! Despite its name, ICESat-2 can see the height of trees, individual ocean waves and even the shallow sea floor. 

ICESat-2’s science is just beginning! With precise maps of Earth’s ice, scientists will investigate sea level rise, climate and more about our changing planet. via NASA ICE


  • This preliminary shape model of asteroid Bennu was created from a compilation of images taken by NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission's PolyCam camera during the spacecraft’s approach toward Bennu during the month of November. This 3D shape model shows features on Bennu as small as six meters.

Credits: NASA Goddard/University of Arizona


  • At night, Earth is lit up in bright strings of roads dotted with pearl-like cities and towns as human-made artificial light takes center stage. During Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico's lights went out.

A disproportionate share of the island’s long-duration power failures occurred in rural communities. A NASA study found that 41 percent of Puerto Rico’s rural municipalities experienced prolonged periods of outage, compared to 29 percent of urban areas.

In the days, weeks and months that followed the hurricane, Goddard’s research physical scientist Miguel Román and his colleagues developed neighborhood-scale maps of lighting in communities across Puerto Rico. They combined daily satellite data of Earth at night from the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite with USGS/NASA Landsat data and OpenStreetMap data. They monitored where and when the electricity grid was restored, and analyzed the demographics and physical attributes of those neighborhoods longest affected by the power outages.

Read more:


  • Hurricane Maria's lashing rain and winds transformed Puerto Rico's lush tropical rainforest landscape, shortening tree height overall by one third. 

Goddard research scientist Doug Morton and a team of NASA researchers had surveyed Puerto Rico's forests six months before the storm. The team used Goddard’s Lidar, Hyperspectral, and Thermal (G-LiHT) Airborne Imager, a system designed to study the structure and species composition of forests. Shooting 600,000 laser pulses per second, G-LiHT produces a 3D view of the forest structure in high resolution, showing individual trees in high detail from the ground to treetop. In April 2018, post-Maria, the team went back and surveyed the same tracks as in 2017.

Comparing the before and after data, the team found that 40 to 60 percent of the tall trees that formed the canopy of the forest were damaged, either snapped in half, uprooted by strong winds or lost large branches.

The extensive damage to Puerto Rico's forests had far-reaching effects, Morton said. Fallen trees that no longer stabilize soil on slopes with their roots as well as downed branches can contribute to landslides and debris flows, increased erosion, and poor water quality in streams and rivers where sediments build up.

Read more:


  • Here at NASA we share amazing images of our cosmos, but those photos only show part of what’s out there. Most matter in the universe is not ordinary matter – stuff made from protons, neutrons and electrons – it’s a mysterious substance called dark matter.

Dark matter just means we can’t see it. It doesn’t block light from normal matter, but it explains a lot of astronomical phenomena: from why galaxies spin faster than we think they can to how clusters of galaxies warp light from objects behind them and other exciting things we’ve learned about our universe. Our NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has given us some insight into this "missing" mass. 

Learn more:


  • Thousands of spacecraft use fuel to enable science and exploration. But what if they no longer had to be limited by the amount of fuel they had onboard at launch? NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) may hold the key to refueling them in space. By developing techniques to store and transfer liquid methane, a type of spacecraft fuel, RRM3 could even allow us to journey farther into space than we’ve ever been before. 

Today at 1:16 p.m. ET, RRM3 heads to the International Space Station on the 16th SpaceX commercial resupply mission! Watch the launch live here:


  • Space robots and Star Wars? You heard that right. Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) just launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. 

While affixed to the International Space Station, RRM3 will be storing and transferring cryogenic spacecraft fuel, opening up the possibility of deep space travel to the Moon and Mars. GEDI — yes, pronounced like “Jedi” — will be mapping forests in 3-D, studying how carbon is absorbed and released in the atmosphere.

RRM3 and GEDI are just two of multiple exciting payloads on the 16th SpaceX service mission. For more details, check out this Tumblr post:



  • May the forest be with you! NASA Earth's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) high-resolution laser, designed to measure Earth's forests and topography, is headed to the International Space Station via a SpaceX rocket on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Also aboard this SpaceX launch is NASA's Satellite Servicing Projects Division's Robotic Refueling Mission 3 demonstration, #RRM3 — and more! 

Learn more about "What's on Board":


A new NASA study shows snowfall accumulation over Antarctica increased on average in the 20th century, mitigating sea level rise by 0.4 inches. The increased snowfall only made up for one-third of Antarctica’s current ice loss, and the rest of the melted ice contributed to rising sea levels. Without the increased snowfall, Antarctica would have added even more sea level rise in the 20th century.

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The above data represents video analysis and stats of NASA Goddard Facebook page