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Transcript: This Week at NASA, December 3 - December 9
12.09.05


ANTARCTIC OZONE - GSFC
This year's Antarctic ozone hole is smaller, but it is still the fifth largest on record. The Antarctic ozone hole reached 10.3 million square miles in mid-September. From early September to mid-October, the ozone hole averaged 9.4 million square miles. The colder-than-average Antarctic winter contributed to this relatively large loss of ozone. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard NASA’s Aura satellite collected the data.

HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL– CXC
Scientists using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered evidence for energetic plumes of particles that extend 300,000 light years into a massive cluster of galaxies. The plumes are due to explosive venting from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole, and provide dramatic new evidence that the influence of a black hole can reach over intergalactic distances.

AND… STILL GOING! – JPL
NASA’s durable twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have successfully explored the surface of Mars for a full Martian year (687 Earth days or 22 months). The rovers’ original mission was scheduled for only three months. Both rovers keep finding new variations of bedrock in areas they are exploring on opposite sides of Mars. The geological information they have collected adds evidence about ancient Martian environments that included periods of wet, possibly habitable conditions.

TOUR THE CRYOSPHERE - GSFC
While relatively few people live in places defined by ice, the nature of global ice affects everyone on Earth. Taken together those frozen zones are called the Cryosphere, a fundamental regulator of climate, weather and sustainability of life on this planet. These images were constructed by computer experts at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center from real data collected by NASA¹s fleet of Earth satellites. A seven-minute "Tour of the Cryosphere" with these images can be seen all this week on NASA TV's Video File, broadcast each day at 9am, and 6 and 10pm."

PICTURE THIS! - JPL
Wrapping up a phenomenally successful year of observing moons, the Cassini spacecraft is releasing a flood of new pictures. The new 2005 photo album includes: mysterious, icy, moons Enceladus, Dione, Rhea, Hyperion and Iapetus.

TOUCHING THE SUN - GSFC
The latest in the series of "Touch the Sun" books translates spectacular images of the sun for blind students. One of the primary image sources for the book is the joint NASA-European Space Agency's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, mission. The book was released at a ceremony at the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, MD December 2nd, the 10th anniversary of SOHO's launch.

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