An Afternoon in NASA’s Ames Research Center

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NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley (See HERE) opened their doors to a few thousand individuals for an event called the “NASA Silicon Valley Solar System Showcase” on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. This was my third visit to the otherwise closed-to-the-public research center. The first visit was to meet people responsible for the mission to Pluto. The second one was to learn about the Kepler Mission (See HERE) and the third one was this showcase; and readers, I was not disappointed.

If you know anything about NASA events, then you know tickets get sold out in minutes, so I was really lucky to secure a ticket for myself this time around. This was NASA Ames Research Center’s first event in a new series of general public events. The goal of these events is to share the incredible and inspirational research conducted at Ames and to immerse the local Silicon Valley community in NASA’s missions. Boy, are we lucky to live here (See HERE)!

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This inaugural event, entitled “NASA Silicon Valley Solar System Showcase” highlighted NASA’s research and missions within the solar system and beyond. It included replica exhibits manned by people with alien-intelligence and talks from important figures within the NASA organization about studying planets in our solar system and our galaxy. The talks also included research conducted on and around our home planet Earth, encompassing aeronautics and the International Space Station. We were not allowed to take pictures inside or I would have posted some here. Do notice my pictures from outside the building though (lol).

One unique aspect of the event was that the exhibit layout was inspired by our solar system. Event attendees could take a self-guided tour of booths hosted by NASA staff presenting visual and hands-on explanations of research. My favorite exhibit was the infrared camera aimed at the visitors.

Outside the main conference/exhibition room, there were repeating cycles of lightning talks about a huge range of science and engineering work performed at Ames Research Center.

This was an inaugural event in a series of small-scale open houses for the public to explore NASA research across various topics.

Topics covered in the Solar System Showcase:

  • Searching for Potentially Habitable Planets: The Kepler and K2 Missions
  • SOFIA: Observing the Solar System and Beyond from 40,000 ft.!
  • New Horizons and Pluto science
  • Space biosciences
  • Swarms of small satellites
  • Engineering small satellites and technology demonstrations
  • Mars helicopter concept
  • Meteorites and astrobiology
  • Humans and technology working together for safety, efficiency and mission success
  • Partnering with NASA

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Some of my musings:

1. Do “we” have gravity? Does everything have gravity?

Yes, I think so because if “we” didn’t we would likely explode or at least not have cells (they are electrons and protons as well) stick together. But, why does some things attract to us like electricity (we become conductors), but not others like plastic? Maybe because gravity is a form of or due to magnetism. Magnetism attracts opposites positive and negative charges and thus matter is created and creates a dent or the pull-effect in the space-time fabric we call gravity. Plastic like humans are products of star dust and composed of same material so why would they get attracted?

2. Is there something as “true time”?

True time: the only thing constant in the universe is the speed of light. It bends with matter and it goes on forever just like time bends and goes on forever (if you think the universe is infinite). So why not measure time in terms of that speed? Think of this scenario: Why do people in car # 1 smell something before car # 2 while driving in sequence at the same speed past a processing factory? We are all moving at the same speed and the time passing is the same as well for both cars? So why? It is my instinct that measuring speeds and time in hours and minutes is not accurate, but light is a more stead-fast way to measure time. Maybe someone at NASA can comment on that 😉

3. What if the sun was a tiny dense mass and a ball of burning gas at the same time?

Every solid thing including electrons have magnetism/gravity. Moon has less gravity than Earth and the sun has the most gravity- that’s why when it dies it becomes a dense star, or a neutron. What if at the time of its death, a star sheds its gases exterior? What if majority of the space is covered by burning plasma and just a teeny tiny is solid matter? My theory is that sun and other stars are mostly gases with a dense, high-gravitational center.

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Well, that’s it for now. Why did I write today’s post? Just because I am in love with beauty in clothes, makeup, shoes, and the UNIVERSE. And I want my readers to check this place out when they can.
For information about NASA’s Ames Research Center, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/ames

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