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Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military (spy) and civilian Earth observation satellites, communication satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites.

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NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline

The 33-year odyssey of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. Now hurtling toward interstellar space some 17.4 billion...

Super-Earth Atmosphere

A team of astronomers, including two NASA Sagan Fellows, has made the first characterizations of a super-Earth's atmosphere, by using a ground-based telescope...

Kepler Discovers

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star...

Pulverized Planet

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope....

Dark Asteroids

NASA is set to launch a sensitive new infrared telescope to seek out sneaky things in the night sky -- among them, dark asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth....

To celebrate Earth Day 2011, the Education Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., is hosting a live Web video chat where your students can ask a NASA/JPL scientist questions emailed in advance.  Questions should be on the topic of Earth science. Our chat is best suited for students and afterschool groups in grades 4 - 6.

Our guest will be NASA/JPL research scientist Annmarie Eldering, who specializes in clouds, aerosols and trace gases in Earth's atmosphere. She is currently the deputy project scientist for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a NASA satellite mission now in development that will measure atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate.

Left: April 2001: Heat given off by the Earth's surface and atmosphere and pumped out into space. Right: April 2001: Sunlight reflected back out to space by the oceans, land, clouds and aerosols.

The live video chat will be streamed at on Thursday, April 21 at 10 a.m. PDT/ 1 p.m. EDT. The Web page is open to the general public. The program will be archived on the same page.

Classrooms are strongly encouraged to visit the Web page in advance to make sure their school provides access. We will run a video and audio feed all day on Wednesday, April 20 (starting at 9 a.m. PDT) so we also strongly suggest schools visit the page that day. e question per class. 

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