SESDA Heliophysics Education Team visits the White House

October 22, 2015

SESDA 3 at White House Astronomy Night
The SESDA Heliophysics Education team participated in the 2nd White House Astronomy Night on 19 October 2015. The event brought together students, teachers, scientists, astronauts, and members of the public to spend an evening star gazing. Attendees learned about astronomical discoveries and participated in space-related educational activities to help promote the importance of STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers who will explore the stars. SESDA staff gave an invited demonstration of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission Virtual Reality experience to organizers of the event and to senior Administration officials from the Office of Science and Technology and the Office of Management and Budget.

SESDA System Administrators Lead Data CIG Discussion

September 21, 2015

Phil Webster presented Goddard’s Notional IT Architecture and Future Plans as part of SESDA’s Data Center Common Interest Group (Data CIG).
Phil Webster presented Goddard’s Notional IT Architecture and Future Plans as part of SESDA’s Data Center Common Interest Group (Data CIG).

As part of the recently initiated Data Center Common Interest Group (“Data CIG”), Phil Webster gave a presentation on the center’s Notional Architecture and Future Plans on 6 August 2015 at Building 21, Rm 183a. This plan represents a major paradigm shift and is essential to the effective management, productivity, security and affordability of GSFC’s Enterprise IT Architecture. Due to the IT focus the SESDA System Administrators were specifically invited and led an active discussion after the talk. A number of SAs inquired about participation in the on-going open activities, working groups, and forums (especially supporting the four architecture components of the IT Master Plan) to help drive the center’s IT projects and support plans for the future.

As usual the presentation was broadcast via Adnet’s Join.Me service and attended by remote participants in addition to local attendees. The Data Center CIG members were briefed via the usual mailing list ( and the slides of Phil’s presentation were posted at the Data Center CIG Wiki (

SESDA Scientific Programmer Does Extra Duty as a Severe Weather Photographer

July 31, 2015

Jeremy Harbeck lightning composite
This image was submitted by Jeremy Harbeck, a SESDA scientific programmer. It was taken from downtown Silver Spring during the intense storm that came through on the night of June 30th. The photo is comprised of 19 individual 5 second images taken over a span of 5 minutes and then stacked into a single image. Images without cloud-to-ground lightning were eliminated. The morning after the storm, the image was tweeted to the Washington Post’s “Capital Weather Gang”. They retweeted it and eventually included it as one of the lightning photos in their post-storm write-up. The image was picked up and shown on the CBS National Evening News later that day.

Small Worlds Week Celebrates the Pluto Flyby

July 17, 2015

Small Worlds Week
Small Worlds Week was developed by the SESDA Heliophysics Education Team to highlight NASA’s small bodies mission discoveries. Small Worlds Week was held July 6-10, just prior to the historic New Horizons encounter with the Pluto system. It was a fully online program, leveraging the infrastructure and notoriety of the popular Sun Earth Days website. Each day, a new class of solar system small worlds was featured on the website: Monday – comets, Tuesday – asteroids, Wednesday – icy moons, Thursday – dwarf planets. On Friday, July 10, nine planetary scientists from GSFC, JPL, NRL, and LPI gathered online for four hours to answer questions from the public via Facebook and Twitter. By all accounts, Small Worlds Week was a huge success. The group plans to improve and replicate the program during the school year with a more classroom focus, and then to build and extend the program to be held every year.

ADNET Scientist Supports Operation IceBridge

May 6, 2015

Operation IceBridge
An ADNET support scientist recently spent time in Greenland as part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study polar ice and provide data to the Arctic sea ice forecasting community. While there he took this beautiful photograph of a berg frozen in place by sea ice in North Star Bay. It’s a composite of four 49-second images taken at about 2:30am local time. Because the sun never fully sets at this time of year in that location one can see sunlight on the left side of the image; the lights from Thule Air Base are visible on the right.

To learn more see this story at NASA’s EarthObservatory site and the Operation IceBridge site.

A Flawless MMS Mission Launch

March 26, 2015

Photo courtesy NASA

Photo courtesy NASA

The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft launched successfully on an Atlas 5 rocket on March 12, 2015. During the last several years leading up to launch, our SESDA 3 EPO team worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive outreach program that combined extensive social media campaigns, national educator workshops, and 3D spacecraft models to effectively communicate news and information about how this complex multi-instrument mission will study the magnetic reconnection process in the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Team ADNET SESDA Contributes to AGU

January 27, 2015

A large contingent of Team ADNET SESDA 3 scientists and engineers participated in the 2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, which took place December 15-19, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The AGU Fall Meeting is one of the largest annual scientific meetings in the world with approximately 24,000 attendees this year in more than 1700 sessions. The AGU Fall Meeting’s scientific program spans the Earth and space sciences, engineering as well as climate related research and the social impacts of climate and environmental changes. Team ADNET participated in this year’s AGU conference with staff members spanning the full spectrum of services that our SESDA 3 contract provides our NASA Goddard Space Flight Center customer. Team ADNET members contributed approximately 20 oral and poster presentations to promote NASA science and information technology services. The exhibit hall is also well attended with over 250 exhibitors showcasing their services and products. ADNET team members took significant part in the NASA exhibit booths and helped with arranging for many of the exhibit presentations.