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  • SESDA Scientist Helps Reveal Additional Strange Behavior from Betelgeuse

ADNET Systems Inc. has been awarded the Space and Earth Science Data Analysis (SESDA-IV) contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to support the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland. SESDA-IV is a five-year cost-plus fixed-fee contract with a total potential value of approximately $250 million.

Under SESDA-IV, ADNET will provide a broad range of services to support Earth and Space science research and development, data operations, as well as activities in information system technologies, engineering, and science communication, education and public outreach that enable the Sciences and Exploration Directorate to successfully carry out its science missions at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

SESDA is the premier Space and Earth science contract at GSFC and this award represents the third straight time ADNET Systems has been selected for this prestigious contract. Over 300 scientists, engineers, and education outreach specialists support the SESDA contract through a broad range of science disciplines, including solar and space plasma physics, astrophysics and astronomy, planetary studies, atmospheric science and climatology, oceanography, land processes, geodynamics, and solid earth geographics. “All of us at ADNET are pleased and excited to continue our partnership with NASA and we are thrilled to be selected as the SESDA contractor for the third time.” said Ashok Jha, President and CEO of ADNET.

Read more about SESDA and ADNET Systems

SESDA Scientist Helps Reveal Additional Strange Behavior from Betelgeuse

August 20, 2020

An image from the Heliospheric Imager aboard NASA’s STEREO spacecraft shows the star Betelgeuse, circled. For several weeks in 2020, STEREO was the only observatory making measurements of Betelgeuse because of the spacecraft’s unique position in space. Credits: NASA/STEREO/HI

The red giant star Betelgeuse has intrigued astronomers by showing unusual dimming over the past several months. Led by a SESDA scientist, a team of investigators from Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Naval Research Laboratory, and Rutherford Appleton Lab used observations from the STEREO spacecraft to confirm that Betelgeuse is dimming again. This finding is surprising as Betelgeuse typically goes through brightness cycles lasting about 420 days, with the previous minimum in February 2020. Hence, this dimming is happening unexpectedly early and is currently a mystery. The science team reported these observations via The Astronomer’s Telegram on July 28, 2020.

SESDA Supports ESA/NASA in First Returns of Solar Orbiter Data

July 16, 2020

Solar Orbiter spots ‘campfires’ on the Sun. Locations of campfires are annotated with white arrows.
Credits: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team (ESA & NASA); CSL, IAS, MPS,

Solar Orbiter is a new collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA to obtain detailed observations of the polar regions of the Sun. It was launched in February 2020 from Cape Canaveral with a scientific payload of 10 different instruments. One of these instruments is the Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) spectrometer which was built with the support of SESDA staff at GSFC. The mission just released its first new images to the public, including the closest (48 million miles) pictures ever taken of the Sun. These high-resolution images reveal evidence of ubiquitous brightenings or “campfires” dotting the Sun. The SPICE instrument will play a crucial role in understanding the physical nature of these campfires by providing precise measurements of their temperature.

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