Scientific Colloquium
February 10, 2016, 3:30 p.m., Building 3 Auditorium

"The Two Faces of a Spacecraft: Both Earth and Space Science Observations by the DSCOVR Spacecraft"  

After seventeen years, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), formerly known as Triana, has been finally launched to its Sun-Earth first Lagrange point (L1) orbit 1.5 million km upstream of Earth. This NOAA-led mission started its life as a NASA Earth Science project. After almost being completed, the spacecraft entered a decade long hibernation at Goddard. But finally, after being refurbished, it was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 last February. As a NOAA space weather monitoring mission, it makes solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field measurements at unprecedented time resolution. These new measurements already provided a tantalizing new view of the kinetic microstructure of the solar wind. On the other face of the spacecraft, a 2Kx2K, ten wavelength camera (EPIC) and a cavity radiometer (NISTAR) have been providing a brand new way to investigate the Earth system. EPIC not only images the full sunlit face of Earth at least once every two hours, it also imaged the Moon passing in front of Earth for the first time. In this talk, the first exciting results from this novel mission will be presented.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Adam Szabo is the DSCOVR Project Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has over 20 years of experience in space science research and scientific leadership of various missions.

Dr. Szabo is also the project scientist for the NASA Wind mission, also operating in the Sun-Earth first Lagrange Point (L1) location, and mission scientist for the NASA Solar Probe Plus mission that will fly through the solar corona later on this decade.

Dr. Szabo specializes in the research of interplanetary shocks and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) both transients with significant potential space weather impacts. He is also the lead for the Virtual Heliospheric Observatory and serves as chief for the Heliospheric Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard.

Dr. Szabo earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

                    Return to Schedule