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Mark Marley
Works at NASA
Attended California Institute of Technology
Lives in San Jose, California
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Mark Marley

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Uranus as seen from Saturn. Not all pale blue dots are created equal. The montage was created by Val Klavans. Details of the observation here: http://www.ciclops.org/view/7859/Rev203
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A leader of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover team has offered a couple of explanations for an anomalous bright spot that showed up on pictures from the Red Planet...
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The eye of Saturn's north polar hexagon, image taken March 31.
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As a high school debater in the '70s I remember the "global cooling" argument, but even at that time the majority of climatologists were concerned about global warming. It is patently false to say that everyone was worried about global cooling at that time.
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Have him in circles
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Here is the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously. It opens at NASA Ames with Harrison Ford flying in the AJAX jet they use for atmospheric studies.
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This is a very addictive game. Build your own planetary system and see how long the orbits are stable before the planets start flying off.
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As exciting as this concept appears, it has some serious limitations as well. The telescope flies tens of thousands of km away from the starshade, but must be aligned horizontally to better than 1 meter. Also because of limited fuel the system can only observe a limited number of stars. Nevertheless it is an intriguing concept and NASA is studying it, along with other, more conventional, possibilities.
 
The Starshade is NASA’s latest design in a cutting-edge effort to take pictures of planets orbiting stars far from the sun.

The flower-shaped spacecraft's goal is to make detecting and imaging exoplanets much, much easier. Despite the fact that astronomers have been indirectly detecting exoplanets for more than 15 years, actually taking a picture of one has been an incredibly difficult task thanks to the often-blinding lights of their parent stars. 

In conjunction with a space-based telescope, NASA's starshade will position itself precisely between the telescope and the star that’s being observed, blocking the starlight before it even reaches the telescope’s mirrors. Light coming from exoplanets orbiting the star would be visible and astronomers would finally be able to take actual pictures of them. 

These images could provide clues as to whether or not such distant worlds could support life as we know it.

Dr. Stuart Shaklan, JPL’s lead engineer on the starshade project, says "The flower-shaped petals are part of what makes the starshade so effective. The shape of the petals, when seen from far away, creates a softer edge that causes less bending of light waves. Less light bending means that the starshade shadow is very dark, so the telescope can take images of the planets without being overwhelmed by starlight.”

Princeton researcher and principal investigator of the starshade project Professor Jeremy Kasdin has assembled a team that will create a smaller scale starshade at Princeton to verify that the design blocks the light as predicted by the computer simulations. Also, to measure its accuracy, a team at JPL will test the deployment of a near-full scale starshade system in the lab.

Tell Congress that you support doubling NASA's funding so that they can bring these projects to light faster and without budget worries.

Take action now: http://penny4nasa.org/take-action

Read more: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/video/15

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/nasas-prettiest-spaceship-yet-will-take-actual-photos-1548786806

#NASA   #Penny4NASA   #Space   #Astronomy   #Exoplanets  
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Via @ridingrobots onTwitter.
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People
Have him in circles
3,201 people
Work
Occupation
Astronomer
Employment
  • NASA
    Scientist, 2000 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
San Jose, California
Previously
Phoenix, Pasadena, Tucson, Las Cruces, San Jose
Story
Introduction
I am an astronomer at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.  I primarily study the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets, brown dwarfs, and solar system giant planets. (Note that the opinions I express are my own and not those of NASA.)

I have served on multiple committees that offer advice to NASA on topics ranging from the best strategies to study extrasolar planets, to exoplanet-detecting telescope design, to the optimal outer solar system exploration strategy. I currently serve on the "Science and Technology Definition Team" for the proposed "Exo-C" space-based coronagraph telescope.

On Google+ my public posts tend to be articles or items that have caught my eye, mostly regarding extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs.  I don't aim to provide a content stream.
Bragging rights
My "progeny" include over 120 referred scientific papers with over 7,500 citations, half a dozen graduate students with degrees, and (saving the best for last) 2 daughters. As an undergraduate I 'helped' Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker discover an asteroid which they kindly allowed me to help name after my father, Denzil Marley.
Education
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Arizona
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Male