Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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Send Your Name to Mars on NASA's Next Red Planet Mission
Mars enthusiasts around the world can participate in NASA’s journey to Mars by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA's InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next year. Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 8.

NITARP 2016: Do Original Research Using Astro Data
NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. Small groups of educators are partnered with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January. Applications for the 2016 class of educators are available now and due on September 21, 2015.

NASA and SciStarter Enlist Citizen Scientists for Nationwide Research
NASA scientists are on a mission to map global soil moisture using the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite mission, and through SciStarter, they're teaming up with citizen scientists to gather valuable data from the ground to complement and validate what is seen from space. Participants from every state will collect and analyze soil samples from September through June.

#WhySpaceMatters Photography Competition
NASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, or UNOOSA, have launched a global photography competition to highlight how the vantage point of space helps us better understand our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future by aiding sustainable development on Earth. To participate, post a picture and description on Instagram using the hashtag #whyspacematters and tagging @UNOOSA.

Earth Science Week 2015 Contests
The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a series of contests to celebrate Earth Science Week 2015: the photography contest (open to all ages), visual arts contest (open to students K-5) and the essay contest (open to students grades 6-9). The entry deadline for all three contests is Oct. 16, 2015.

"Where Over the World Is Astronaut Scott Kelly?" Geography From Space Trivia Contest
During his year-long stay on the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly wants to test your knowledge of the world through a geography trivia game on Twitter. Traveling more than 220 miles above Earth, and at 17,500 miles per hour, he circumnavigates the globe more than a dozen times a day and captures images of Earth for scientific observation. Each Wednesday, Kelly will tweet a picture and ask the public to identify the place depicted in the photo. The first person to identify the place correctly will win an autographed copy of the picture.

Vote in the Ceres "Bright Spot" Mystery Poll
On March 6, 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft began orbiting Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Even before the spacecraft arrived at the dwarf planet, images revealed mysterious bright spots. Vote for your guess on what's creating these unusual bright spots.

The Vizzies: Call For Entries
Do you love animating data, creating science apps, or taking macrophotographs? In the Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Popular Science, participants can submit their entries in one or more of five categories. The Experts’ Choice winner in each category will be awarded $2,500, and the People’s Choice winner in each category will be awarded $500. Contest winners will be announced in February 2016. Submission deadline: Sept. 15.