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You ain't seen nothing yet! Today's image was just the latest in a series of the New Horizons Pluto "picture show." Tomorrow, more images of surface close-ups will make the more than four-hour journey to Earth at the speed of light to give ten times the resolution of what we saw today, with details as small as New York's Central Park. Stay tuned!

#PlutoFlyby #NASA #NASANewHorizons @NASASolarSystem #space #pluto #planet

Gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach, which was at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday - about 7,750 miles above the surface -- roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India - making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Images from closest approach are expected to be released on Wednesday, July 15.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons#solarsystem #nasabeyond #science

Three billion miles from Earth and just two and a half million miles from Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has taken its best image of four dark spots that continue to captivate. 
At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 New Horizons will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet.

Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #pluto #plutoflyby #nasabeyond #science

Stunning Spiral Galaxy! This little-known galaxy is a classic example of a spiral galaxy. The galaxy is much like our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The disk-shaped galaxy is seen face on, revealing the winding structure of the spiral arms. Dark patches in these spiral arms are in fact dust and gas — the raw materials for new stars. The many young stars that form in these regions make the spiral arms appear bright and bluish.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa #hubble #hubble25 #nasabeyond #space #galaxy #science

They're a fascinating pair: Two icy worlds, spinning around their common center of gravity like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands. Scientists believe they were shaped by a cosmic collision billions of years ago, and yet, in many ways, they seem more like strangers than siblings.

A high-contrast array of bright and dark features covers Pluto's surface, while on Charon, only a dark polar region interrupts a generally more uniform light gray terrain. The reddish materials that color Pluto are absent on Charon. Pluto has a significant atmosphere; Charon does not. On Pluto, exotic ices like frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide have been found, while Charon's surface is made of frozen water and ammonia compounds. The interior of Pluto is mostly rock, while Charon contains equal measures of rock and water ice.

On Tuesday, our New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto. Standby for more never-before seen images of Pluto!

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #charon #nasabeyond #science

Flaring, active regions of our sun are highlighted in this new image combining observations from several telescopes. High-energy X-rays from our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) are shown in blue; low-energy X-rays from Japan's Hinode spacecraft are green; and extreme ultraviolet light from our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is yellow and red. All three telescopes captured their solar images around the same time on April 29, 2015. The NuSTAR image is a mosaic made from combining smaller images.

The active regions across the sun's surface contain material heated to several millions of degrees. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/JAXA

#nasa #sun #nustar #nasabeyond #hinode #sdo #science

Only 8 days until our New Horizons spacecraft flies by Pluto! And new high-resolution views of Pluto were just released! One image includes the four mysterious dark spots on Pluto that have captured the imagination of the world. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) obtained the  images prior to the July 4 anomaly that sent New Horizons into safe mode. This color version of the July 3 LORRI image was created by adding color data from the Ralph instrument gathered earlier in the mission.

All images: http://www.nasa.gov/newhorizons

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

#nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons #space #nasabeyond #science

Happy 4th of July! While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. This is a star cluster populated with many young stars that are less than 2 million years old, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms for stars like the Sun expected to burn for billions of years.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/S.Wolk et al; Optical: DSS & NOAO/AURA/NSF; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

#nasa #space #astronomy #science#fourthofjuly #happyindependenceday#independenceday #4thofjuly #fireworks

Happy 4th of July! We present some stellar fireworks! 
Stars are essentially giant fusion reactions occurring in the vacuum of space. Because stars have so much mass, they possess powerful gravitational force-but they don't collapse because of the outward force generated by nuclear fusion, continually converting hydrogen atoms to helium.

Sometimes stars begin orbiting each other, forming a binary star system. Typically this involves a white dwarf star and a red giant. Orbiting the red giant like a moon, the dwarf star rips matter from its companion until it essentially gags on the excess, coughing hot gas and radiation into space. This dramatic phenomenon is relatively common, and the white dwarf is not destroyed in the resulting nova.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #astronomy #science #fourthofjuly #happyindependenceday #independenceday #4thofjuly #fireworks

This Hubble Space Telescope picture shows a galaxy named SBS 1415+437 (also called SDSS CGB 12067.1), located about 45 million light-years from Earth. SBS 1415+437 is a Wolf-Rayet galaxy, a type of star-bursting galaxy with an unusually high number of extremely hot and massive stars known as Wolf-Rayet stars.

These stars can be around 20 times as massive as the sun, but seem to be on a mission to shed surplus mass as quickly as possible - they blast substantial winds of particles out into space, causing them to dwindle at a rapid rate. A typical star of this type can lose a mass equal to that of our sun in just 100,000 years!

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa hubble #hst #hubble25 #space #galaxy #astronomy #science

New Pluto images from our New Horizons spacecraft show two very different faces of the mysterious dwarf planet, one with a series of intriguing spots along the equator that are evenly spaced. Each of the spots is about 300 miles in diameter, with a surface area that's roughly the size of the state of Missouri.

Scientists have yet to see anything quite like the dark spots; their presence has piqued the interest of the New Horizons science team, due to the remarkable consistency in their spacing and size. While the origin of the spots is a mystery for now, the answer may be revealed as the spacecraft continues its approach - July 14 is the flyby - to the mysterious dwarf planet. 
Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #science

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured photographs and video of auroras from the International Space Station on June 22, 2015. Kelly wrote, "Yesterday's aurora was an impressive show from 250 miles up. Good morning from the International Space Station! ‪#‎YearInSpace‬" Image Credit: NASA

#iss #spacestation #space #nasa #aurora #earth

Come Fly with New Horizons on its Approach to Pluto: Images from New Horizons show the view from aboard the spacecraft closes in on the Pluto system for a July 14 flyby. This time-lapse approach movie was made from images from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera aboard New Horizons spacecraft taken between May 28 and June 25, 2015. During that time the spacecraft distance to Pluto decreased almost threefold, from about 35 million miles to 14 million miles (56 million kilometers to 22 million kilometers). The images show Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, growing in apparent size as New Horizons closes in. As it rotates, Pluto displays a strongly contrasting surface dominated by a bright northern hemisphere, with a discontinuous band of darker material running along the equator. Charon has a dark polar region, and there are indications of brightness variations at lower latitudes.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

#nasa #apl #space #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #science

Eruption of Wolf Volcano: In late May 2015, the highest volcano in the Galapagos Islands erupted for the first time in 33 years. The explosive eruption at Wolf volcano on Isabela Island sent volcanic gases and ash roughly 15 kilometers (50,000 feet) into the sky, while lava flowed through a fissure, down eastern and southeastern slopes, and eventually reached the sea. In early June, the sulfur-rich lava flows on the slopes appeared to subside.

This image of Wolf was acquired on June 11, 2015, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite. The false-color image combines near-infrared, red, and green light (ASTER bands 3-2-1), with vegetated areas appearing in red and lava generally appearing charcoal or black.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data from NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

#earth #nasa #earthrightnow #volcano #galapagos #lava #science

Countdown is progressing smoothly for today's scheduled launch of the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The rocket is scheduled to lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying about two tons of supplies and science investigations in the cargo Dragon spacecraft. The chance for favorable weather at the 10:21 a.m. EDT liftoff remains at 90% percent. 
The two tons of cargo includes critical materials to support more than 35 of about 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the station's Expeditions 44 and 45 as well as the first of two International Docking Adapters that will enable U.S. commercial crew spacecraft to dock at the orbiting laboratory. 
Image Credit: NASA

#spacex #nasa #space #isscargo #astronauts #iss #spacestation #science

This artist's concept shows a hypothetical "rejuvenated" planet -- a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. Our Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280 (depicted as white dot in illustration). Years ago, astronomers predicted that some massive, Jupiter-like planets might accumulate mass from their dying stars. As stars like our sun age, they puff up into red giants and then gradually lose about half or more of their mass, shrinking into skeletons of stars, called white dwarfs. The dying stars blow winds of material outward that could fall onto giant planets that might be orbiting in the outer reaches of the star system.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

#nasa #space #spitzer #exoplanet #science

The sun unleashed no less than five solar flares in five days this week all from the same dynamic active region (June 21-25, 2015). Many of these were associated with coronal mass ejections, most of which impacted Earth and generated beautiful auroral displays. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Flares are the bright flashes you see, followed by spirals of magnetic field lines as the active region reorganizes itself. 
Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

#nasa #aurora #sun #solarflare #space #earth #science

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a planetary nebula named NGC 6153, located about 4,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). The faint blue haze across the frame shows what remains of a star like the sun after it has depleted most of its fuel. When this happens, the outer layers of the star are ejected, and get excited and ionized by the energetic ultraviolet light emitted by the bright hot core of the star, forming the nebula.

NGC 6153 is a planetary nebula that is elliptical in shape, with an extremely rich network of loops and filaments, shown clearly in this Hubble image. Measurements show that NGC 6153 contains large amounts of neon, argon, oxygen, carbon and chlorine - up to three times more than can be found in the solar system. 
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Matej Novak

#nasa #space #hubble #hubble25 #hst #astronomy #nebula #science

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 4:16 a.m. EDT on June 25. Our Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

This flare is classified as a M7.9 flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.

Credits: NASA/SDO

#nasa #sun #sdo #solarflare #spaceweather #science #nasabeyond

A light echo in X-rays detected by our Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy. The rings exceed the field-of-view of Chandra's detectors, resulting in a partial image of X-ray data.

Credits: NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

#nasa #space #astronomy #xray #milkyway #galaxy #chandra #science

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured photographs and video of auroras from the International Space Station on June 22, 2015. Kelly wrote, " I've never seen this before- red #aurora. Spectacular! #YearInSpace." Kelly is on a one-year mission in space, testing the limits of human research, space exploration and the human spirit. Most expeditions to the space station last four to six months. By doubling the length of this mission, researchers hope to better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to long-duration spaceflight. This knowledge is critical as we look toward human journeys deeper into the solar system, including to and from Mars, which could last 500 days or longer.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #iss #space #isscrew #spacestation #science #journeytomars

A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth's sky, but with Saturn's many moons, you can see three or even more.

The three moons shown here -- Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across), Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across), and Rhea (949 miles or 1,527 kilometers across) -- show marked contrasts. Titan, the largest moon in this image, appears fuzzy because we only see its cloud layers. And because Titan's atmosphere refracts light around the moon, its crescent "wraps" just a little further around the moon than it would on an airless body. Rhea (upper left) appears rough because its icy surface is heavily cratered. And a close inspection of Mimas (center bottom), though difficult to see at this scale, shows surface irregularities due to its own violent history.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 25, 2015.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

#nasa #cassini #saturn #space #moon #mimas #titan #rhea #science

In the Company of Dione

NASA's Cassini imaging scientists processed this view of Saturn's moon Dione, taken during a close flyby on June 16, 2015.  This was Cassini's fourth targeted flyby of Dione and the spacecraft had a close approach altitude of 321 miles (516 kilometers) from Dione's surface.

Also making an appearance in this image is Saturn's geysering moon Enceladus, seen in the upper right, just above the bright line of Saturn's rings.

North on Dione is up and rotated 44 degrees to the left. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera on June 16, 2015.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) from Dione and at a sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 128 degrees. Image scale is 3 miles (5 kilometers) per pixel.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
#nasa #space #saturn #solarsystem #dione #moon #planet #planets

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a galaxy known as UGC 11411. It is a galaxy type known as an irregular blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxy.

BCD galaxies are about a tenth of the size of a typical spiral galaxy such as the Milky Way and are made up of large clusters of hot, massive stars that ionize the surrounding gas with their intense radiation. Because these stars are so hot they glow brightly with a blue hue, giving galaxies like UGC 11411 their characteristic blue tint. With these massive stars being less than 10 million years old, they are very young compared to stellar standards. They were created during a starburst, a galaxy-wide episode of furious star formation. UGC 11411 in particular has an extremely high star formation rate, even for a BCD galaxy.

Unusually for galaxies with such intense star-forming regions, BCDs don’t contain either a lot of dust, or the heavy elements that are typically found as trace elements in recently formed stars, making their composition very similar to that of the material from which the first stars formed in the early universe. Because of this astronomers consider BCD galaxies to be good objects to study to improve our understanding of primordial star-forming processes.

The bright stars in the image are foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
#nasa #space #hubble #galaxy #stars

Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) posted this image on the evening of June 18 and wrote, ‘Day 83. Our galaxy from 250 miles away. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace.’ Kelly is on a one-year mission in space, testing the limits of human research, space exploration and the human spirit. Most expeditions to the space station last four to six months. By doubling the length of this mission, researchers hope to better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to long-duration spaceflight. This knowledge is critical as we look toward human journeys deeper into the solar system, including to and from Mars, which could last 500 days or longer. 
Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #iss #space #isscrew #spacestation #science #journeytomars

On this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7 from Pad 39A at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This high-angle view of the shuttle liftoff, showing a lengthy stretch of Florida Atlantic coastline and a number of large cumulus clouds, was photographed with a handheld 70mm camera by astronaut John W. Young, who piloted the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) for weather monitoring at launch and landing sites for STS missions.

The STS-7 crew consisted of astronauts Robert Crippen, commander, the first two-time space shuttle astronaut; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; and three mission specialists -- Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman E. Thagard.

One of Sally Ride's jobs was to call out "Roll program" seven seconds after launch. "I'll guarantee that those were the hardest words I ever had to get out of my mouth," she said later.

Image Credit: NASA

#otd #tbt #throwbackthursday #sallyride #space #nasahistory #history #nasa

Our Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) takes off from home base in Palmdale, California at sunset on May 29, 2015. SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes. 
This SOFIA mission was a science observation flight with the Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) science instrument, a mid-infrared camera that records images at infrared wavelengths of 5 to 40 microns that are used to study celestial objects such as planets and star forming regions. SOFIA is currently conducting science flights on six week deployment in the Southern Hemisphere.

Image Credit: Greg Perryman/USRA

#flynasa #nasabeyond #nasa #sofia #astronomy #science

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly), currently on a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station, took this photograph of Tropical Storm Bill in the Gulf of Mexico as it approached the coast of Texas, on June 15, 2015. Kelly wrote, "Concerned for all in its path including family, friends & colleagues." Tropical Storm Bill was making landfall at 11 a.m. CDT on Matagorda Island, Texas on June 16 as NASA and NOAA satellites gathered data on the storm. The center of Bill is expected to move inland over south-central Texas during the afternoon and night of June 16.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #tropicalstorm #tsbill #bill #space #iss #spacestation #satellites #noaa @NASA #science

Astronomers have used our Chandra X-ray Observatory to show that, multiple eruptions from a supermassive black hole over 50 million years have rearranged the cosmic landscape at the center of a group of galaxies.

Scientists discovered this history of black hole eruptions by studying NGC 5813, a group of galaxies about 105 million light years from Earth. These Chandra observations are the longest ever obtained of a galaxy group, lasting for just over a week. The Chandra data are shown in this new composite image where the X-rays from Chandra (purple) have been combined with visible light data (red, green and blue). Credit: NASA

#nasa #chandra #blackhole #science

[Image is an artist's concept] They wouldn't float like balloons or give you the chance to talk in high, squeaky voices, but planets with helium skies may constitute an exotic planetary class in our Milky Way galaxy. Researchers using data from our Spitzer Space Telescope propose that warm Neptune-size planets with clouds of helium may be strewn about the galaxy by the thousands.

This artist's concept depicts a proposed helium-atmosphere planet called GJ 436b, which was found by Spitzer to lack in methane -- a first clue about its lack of hydrogen.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech' (artist's concept)

#nasa #space #spitzer #galaxy #planet #milkyway #helium #science

There are many galaxies in the universe and although there is plenty of room, they tend to stick together. The Milky Way, for example, is part of a large gathering of more than fifty galaxies known as the Local Group. Galaxy groups like this come together to form even larger groups called clusters which can congregate further still to create mammoth superclusters.

The sphere of space surrounding our galaxy is known as the Local Volume, a region some 35 million light-years in diameter and home to several hundred known galaxies. The subject of this new Hubble Space Telescope image, a beautiful dwarf irregular galaxy known as PGC 18431, is one of these galaxies.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#hubble #hst #hubble25 #nasa #space #galaxy #astronomy #science

Three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) returned to Earth today after a 199-day mission that included several spacewalks, technology demonstrations, and hundreds of scientific experiments spanning multiple disciplines, including human and plant biology.

The Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft is seen in this image as it lands with Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts (@Astro_Terry) of NASA, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from European Space Agency (ESA) near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

#nasa #space #soyuz #iss #isscrew #esa #exp43 #spacestation

Most galaxies are clumped together in groups or clusters. A neighboring galaxy is never far away. But this galaxy, known as NGC 6503, has found itself in a lonely position, at the edge of a strangely empty patch of space called the Local Void.

The Local Void is a huge stretch of space that is at least 150 million light-years across. It seems completely empty of stars or galaxies. The galaxy's odd location on the edge of this never-land led stargazer Stephen James O'Meara to dub it the "Lost-In-Space galaxy" in his 2007 book, Hidden Treasures. NGC 6503 is 18 million light-years away from us in the northern circumpolar constellation of Draco. NGC 6503 spans some 30,000 light-years, about a third of the size of the Milky Way.

Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, D. Calzetti (University of Massachusetts), H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University), and the Hubble Heritage Team

#nasa #space #hubble #hst #galaxy #astronomy #science

Astronaut Terry Virts (@Astro_Terry) shared this video of "Tropical Storm #Blanca as it made landfall yesterday." The International Space Station (@ISS) and its crew orbit Earth from an altitude of 250 miles, traveling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour, providing a great vantage point to observe the Earth below. 
Video credit: NASA
#nasa #hurricane #tropicalstorm #iss #space #spacestation #internationalspacestation #storm #pacific #ocean #clouds #earth #earthobs

A new video animation of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, provides dramatic flyover views of this heavily cratered, mysterious world. The images come from Dawn's first mapping orbit at Ceres, at an altitude of 8,400 mile (13,600 kilometers), as well as navigational images taken from 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) away. The images provided information for a three-dimensional terrain model. The vertical dimension has been exaggerated by a factor of two, and a star field has been added in the background.

Video credit: NASA/JPL
#ceres #dawn #nasadawn #nasajpl #jpl #nasa #space #dwarfplanet #planet #solarsystem #crater

Playing it conservatively, International Space Station flight controllers conducted a pre-determined avoidance maneuver today to steer the station well clear of a fragment of a spent Minotaur rocket body launched in 2013. Having tracked the object throughout the weekend and today, U.S. and Russian flight controllers executed a 5 minute, 22 second firing of the ISS Progress 58 thrusters at 2:58 p.m. CDT to slightly raise the station’s orbit and distance it from the fragment that was projected to pass within three statute miles of the complex later in the day.

The maneuver raised the station’s altitude by just 106 feet at apogee and 7/10 of a mile at perigee, resulting in an ISS orbit of 254 x 244.8 statute miles. The crew was never in any danger and the maneuver will have no impact on the scheduled landing later this week of three crew members from the station.

Seen here is a night view from the space station on May 18, 2015 that gives a view of brilliant city lights on the Earth’s surface shining beneath thousands of stars above. The thin line of Earth’s atmosphere can be seen with the green glow of aurora along the outer edge.

Image credit: NASA

#iss @iss #spacestation #space #nasa #astropics #stars

Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Terry Virts posted this video June 2 of the moon setting and wrote, “Full moon #moonset.” Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #moon #iss #astronauts #earth #spacestation @iss @astro_terry

This elliptical galaxy was discovered in March 1781 and lies about 60 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin). The galaxy is part of the very heavily populated center of the Virgo Cluster, a cluster which consists of more than 1,000 galaxies.

This image does not show the whole galaxy but only its very interesting center with intriguing dust lanes that stretch across it. This is likely to be the best image of the region ever captured. Previous observations using Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) revealed a supermassive black hole in the center of Messier 84. Astronomers found the supermassive black hole by mapping the motion of the gas and the stars which are caught in its grip. Next to its interesting center Messier 84 is also known for its supernovae. Two supernovae have been observed within the galaxy. The first, SN1957, was discovered in 1957 and another, called SN1991bg, was discovered in 1991.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa #hubble #hubble25 #space #astronomy #hst #galaxy #science

Fresh Martian Crater: The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a "fresh" (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars on March 30, 2015.

This impact crater appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta. The steep inner slopes are carved by gullies and include possible recurring slope lineae on the equator-facing slopes. Fresh craters often have steep, active slopes, so the HiRISE team is monitoring this crater for changes over time. The bedrock lithology is also diverse. The crater is a little more than 1-kilometer wide.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

#mars #nasa #mro #uarizona #hirise #crater #planets #science

At 1:35 p.m. local time (20:25 Universal Time ), on June 3, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of Hurricane Blanca off the coast of Mexico. The storm is the earliest second hurricane on record for the eastern Pacific Ocean. After intensifying rapidly, Blanca then weakened while passing over an area of upwelling. Forecasters expect the storm to strengthen as it moves north in the coming days.

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.

In this Feb. 7, 1984 photograph taken by his fellow crewmembers aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger on the STS-41B mission, NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II approaches his maximum distance from the vehicle. McCandless became the first astronaut to maneuver about in space untethered, during this first "field" tryout of a nitrogen-propelled, hand-controlled backpack device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit.

For 50 years, NASA has been "suiting up" for spacewalking. The first American to conduct a spacewalk, astronaut Edward H. White II, floated into the vastness of space on the Gemini IV mission on June 3, 1965. 
Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #eva #spacewalk #geminiiv #otd #spaceshuttle #history #suitup

50 years ago today, astronaut Ed White floated out of the Gemini IV spacecraft to become the first American to walk in space during the first Mission Controlled from Houston's manned spacecraft center. 
In this image, White floats in the microgravity of space outside the Gemini IV spacecraft. Behind him is the brilliant blue Earth and its white cloud cover. White is wearing a specially-designed space suit. The visor of the helmet is gold plated to protect him against the unfiltered rays of the sun. In his left hand is a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit with which he controls his movements in space.

Credits: NASA/Jim McDivitt

#nasa #space #gemini #otd #spacewalk #eva #spacewalk50 #suitup #missioncontrol #houston

NASA's Cassini imaging scientists processed this view of Saturn's moon Hyperion, taken during a close flyby on May 31, 2015. This flyby marks the mission's final close approach to Saturn's largest irregularly shaped moon.

North on Hyperion is up and rotated 55 degrees to the left. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 31, 2015.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 24,000 miles (38,000 kilometers) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 46 degrees. Image scale is 145 feet (230 meters) per pixel.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

#nasa #space #cassini #saturn #moon #hyperion

A billowing plume of steam signals a successful 450-second test of the RS-25 rocket engine May 28 at our Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hotfire test was conducted on the historic A-1 Test Stand where Apollo Program rocket stages and Space Shuttle Program main engines also were tested. RS-25 engines tested on the stand will power the core stage of our new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which is being developed to carry humans deeper into space than ever before.

Credit: NASA

#journeytomars #sls #nasa #space #test #rs25

Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut @Astro_Terry Virts posted this time-lapse video and wrote, "Our spectacular universe! Look closely and you can see two satellites streaking across the sky." Image Credit: NASA

#space #iss #nasa #spacestation #astronauts #earth

A team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope found an unambiguous link between the presence of supermassive black holes that power high-speed, radio-signal-emitting jets and the merger history of their host galaxies. Almost all galaxies with the jets were found to be merging with another galaxy, or to have done so recently.

The team studied a large selection of galaxies with extremely luminous centers - known as active galactic nuclei - thought to be the result of large quantities of heated matter circling around and being consumed by a supermassive black hole. While most galaxies are thought to host supermassive black holes, only a small percentage of them are this luminous and fewer still go one step further and form what are known as relativistic jets. The two high-speed jets of plasma move almost at the speed of light and stream out in opposite directions at right angles to the disc of matter surrounding the black hole, extending thousands of light-years into space.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI

#nasa #astronomy #space #hubble #hubble25 #hst #esa #blackhole #galaxy #science

Sparkling cities below the International Space Station are haloed by an aurora on the Earth's horizon on May 26, 2015. Crew members of Expedition 43 took this image of another day beginning from the vantage point of the International Space station and its crew, high above.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #iss #exp43 #spacestation #earth

Arches Cluster, the densest known star cluster in the Milky Way, is located about 25,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), close to the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It's a fairly young astronomical object at between two and four million years old.

The Arches cluster is so dense that in a region with a radius equal to the distance between the sun and its nearest star there would be over 100,000 stars! At least 150 stars within the cluster are among the brightest ever discovered in the Milky Way. These stars are so bright and massive that they will burn their fuel within a short time (on a cosmological scale that means just a few million years). Then they will die in spectacular supernova explosions. Due to the short lifetime of the stars in the cluster the gas between the stars contains an unusually high amount of heavier elements, which were produced by earlier generations of stars.

Image credit: NASA/ESA

#nasa #space #milkyway #galaxy #stars #nasabeyond #science

For the first time, an international team of scientists have predicted that colorful, glowing aurorae can be seen by the naked eye on a terrestrial planet other than Earth — Mars. Visible Martian aurorae were confirmed in March 2015 by the our MAVEN mission, which completed 1,000 orbits around the red planet on April 6, 2015.

The Planeterella simulates aurorae using a magnetic field, charged particles and a sphere. For this study, they replaced the terrestrial atmospheric gas with CO2, the major component of the Martian atmosphere, and then created a discharge in a vacuum similar to Mars’ upper atmosphere. 
Credits: D. Bernard/IPAG — CNRS

#mars #space #nasa #aurora #maven #esa #science

New images of huge filamentary structures of gas and dust from the Herschel space observatory reveal how matter is distributed across our Milky Way galaxy. Long and flimsy threads emerge from a twisted mix of material, taking on complex shapes.

This image shows a filament called G49, which contains 80,000 suns' worth of mass. This huge but slender structure of gas and dust extends about 280 light-years in length, while its diameter is only about 5 light-years across. In the densest and coolest clumps, the seeds of new generations of stars are taking shape. A brighter clump of matter is visible at the left tip of the wispy thread. This filament is about 18,000 light-years away. The image is oriented with northeast toward the left of the image and southwest toward the right.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Ke Wang et al. 2015

#nasa #esa #herschel #space #galaxy #milkyway science

This 12-frame mosaic provides the highest resolution view ever obtained of the side of Jupiter's moon Europa that faces the giant planet. It was obtained on Nov. 25, 1999 by the camera onboard the Galileo spacecraft, a past NASA mission to Jupiter and its moons which ended in 2003. Today, we selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter's moon Europa, to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. The Galileo mission yielded strong evidence that Europa, about the size of Earth's moon, has an ocean beneath a frozen crust of unknown thickness. If proven to exist, this global ocean could have more than twice as much water as Earth. With abundant salt water, a rocky sea floor, and the energy and chemistry provided by tidal heating, Europa could be the best place in the solar system to look for present day life beyond our home planet.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

#nasa #nasabeyond #europa #jupiter #moon #planet #science

Today we remember and honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. #MemorialDay

Astronaut Terry Virts (@Astro_Terry), aboard the International Space Station (@ISS), shared this picture earlier today, stating this was "the view of our Galaxy from space." Normally, the reason you can't see stars in high oblique photos from the space station is that the shutter speed is too fast. Fast shutter speeds are used to eliminate blur from the motion of the orbiting outpost. One exception to this rule is when astronauts use camera settings specifically to photograph features such as the Aurora and the Milky Way. The crew must use slower shutter speeds in order to capture the light of the aurora. In these cases stars also show up in the photograph. The photos are also slightly blurry because very long exposures are needed to capture these dim nighttime features.

Image credit: NASA
#nasa #space #iss @iss #spacestation @astro_terry #milkyway #galaxy #astropics #astropix

Coronal Loops Over a Sunspot Group

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) images the solar atmosphere in multiple wavelengths to link changes in the surface to interior changes. Its data includes images of the sun in 10 wavelengths every 10 seconds. When AIA images are sharpened a bit, such as this AIA 171Å channel image, the magnetic field can be readily visualized through the bright, thin strands that are called "coronal loops". Loops are shown here in a blended overlay with the magnetic field as measured with SDO's Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager underneath. Blue and yellow represent the opposite polarities of the magnetic field. The combined images were taken on Oct. 24, 2014, at 23:50:37 UT.

Image Credit: NASA SDO
#nasa #sdo #sun #coronalloops #solar #space #solardynamics

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the star is so weird that astronomers have nicknamed it “Nasty 1,” a play on its catalog name of NaSt1. The star may represent a brief transitory stage in the evolution of extremely massive stars.

First discovered several decades ago, Nasty 1 was identified as a Wolf-Rayet star, a rapidly evolving star that is much more massive than our sun. The star loses its hydrogen-filled outer layers quickly, exposing its super-hot and extremely bright helium-burning core.

But Nasty 1 doesn’t look like a typical Wolf-Rayet star. The astronomers using Hubble had expected to see twin lobes of gas flowing from opposite sides of the star, perhaps similar to those emanating from the massive star Eta Carinae, which is a Wolf-Rayet candidate. Instead, Hubble revealed a pancake-shaped disk of gas encircling the star. The vast disk is nearly 2 trillion miles wide, and may have formed from an unseen companion star that snacked on the outer envelope of the newly formed Wolf-Rayet.  Based on current estimates, the nebula surrounding the stars is just a few thousand years old, and as close as 3,000 light-years from Earth.

Credits: NASA/Hubble
#hubble #hst #nasa #space #nasty1 #wolfrayet #star #stars

Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy back in 2008, but the knotted region, shown here in a pinky-red hue at the center of the galaxies, was only revealed in these new observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.

NGC 6240 lies 400 million light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Holder). This galaxy has an elongated shape with branching wisps, loops and tails. This mess of gas, dust and stars bears more than a passing resemblance to a butterfly and a lobster.

This bizarrely-shaped galaxy did not begin its life looking like this; its distorted appearance is a result of a galactic merger that occurred when two galaxies drifted too close to one another. This merger sparked bursts of new star formation and triggered many hot young stars to explode as supernovae. 
Image credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

#hubble #hst #nasa #space #galaxy

New record broken! A remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The galaxy is the most luminous galaxy found to date and belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by WISE -- extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs.

Image Credit: NASA (artist concept)

#nasa #wise #space #astronomy #galaxy #record #nasabeyond #science

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule is seen here docked to the Earth facing port of the Harmony module. SpaceX’s sixth commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station launched on April 14th and arrived three days later. It will depart with over 3,100 pounds of research samples and equipment and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on May 21.

Image Credit: NASA

#spacex #iss #isscargo #dragon #earth #science #spacestation #launchamerica

Since measurements began in 1895, Alaska’s Hubbard Glacier has been thickening and steadily advancing into Disenchantment Bay. The advance runs counter to so many thinning and retreating glaciers nearby in Alaska and around the world.

This image, acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows Hubbard Glacier on July 22, 2014.
According to Leigh Stearns, a glaciologist at the University of Kansas, Hubbard’s advance is due to its large accumulation area; the glacier’s catchment basin extends far into the Saint Elias Mountains. Snow that falls in the basin either melts or flows down to the terminus, causing Hubbard to steadily grow. In addition, Hubbard is building up a large moraine, shoveling sediment, rock, and other debris from Earth’s surface onto the glacier’s leading edge. The moraine at the front gives the glacier stability and allows it to advance more easily because the ice does not need to be as thick to stay grounded. (If it is thin, it can start floating and will not necessarily advance.) Image Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory

#earth #nasa #earthrightnow #climate #hubbard #glacier #science

Astronaut Scott Kelly shared this aquamarine seascape view of Earth from the International Space Station on May 10, 2015. He noted that it looked like a "watercolor from space." Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 40 years. Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken more than 1.5 million photographs of the Earth. Today, the International Space Station (@ISS) continues the NASA tradition of Earth observation from human-tended spacecraft. Operational since November 2000, the space station is well suited for documenting Earth features. The ISS maintains an altitude between 220 - 286 miles (354 - 460 km) above the Earth, and an orbital inclination of 51.6˚, providing an excellent stage for observing most populated areas of the world.

Image credit: NASA
#nasa #iss #earthobs #spacestation #internationalspacestation #earth #blue #water #aquamarine #seascape #watercolor @StationCDRKelly #space

The glowing object in this Hubble Space Telescope image is an elliptical galaxy called NGC 3923. It is located over 90 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra.

NGC 3923 is an example of a shell galaxy where the stars in its halo are arranged in layers. Finding concentric shells of stars enclosing a galaxy is quite common and is observed in many elliptical galaxies. In fact, every tenth elliptical galaxy exhibits this onion-like structure, which has never been observed in spiral galaxies. The shell-like structures are thought to develop as a consequence of galactic cannibalism, when a larger galaxy ingests a smaller companion. As the two centers approach, they initially oscillate about a common center, and this oscillation ripples outwards forming the shells of stars just as ripples on a pond spread when the surface is disturbed.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa #hubble #hst #hubbe25 #space #astronomy #telescope #galaxy #science

Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Terry Virts (@Astro_Terry) posted this image and wrote, "Flying away from one of the most incredible auroras I've seen, just west of #Australia." Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #iss #space #astronauts #aurora

Using our Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have captured for the first time snapshots of fledging white dwarf stars beginning their slow-paced, 40-million-year migration from the crowded center of an ancient star cluster to the less populated suburbs.

Credits: NASA, ESA, and H. Richer and J. Heyl (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

#nasa #hubble #esa #space #hst #hubble25 #stars #nasabeyond #astronomy #science

A new NASA study finds the last remaining section of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf, which partially collapsed in 2002, is quickly weakening and likely to disintegrate completely before the end of the decade. A team led by Ala Khazendar of our Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@NASAJPL) in Pasadena, California, found the remnant of the Larsen B Ice Shelf is flowing faster, becoming increasingly fragmented and developing large cracks. Two of its tributary glaciers also are flowing faster and thinning rapidly. "These are warning signs that the remnant is disintegrating," Khazendar said. "Although it’s fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it’s bad news for our planet. This ice shelf has existed for at least 10,000 years, and soon it will be gone." Credits: NSIDC/Ted Scambos

#nasa #space #earth #earthrightnow #antactica #climate #science

From a distance Saturn seems to exude an aura of serenity and peace.

In spite of this appearance, Saturn is an active and dynamic world. Its atmosphere is a fast-moving and turbulent place with wind speeds in excess of 1,100 miles per hour (1,800 km per hour) in places. The lack of a solid surface to create drag means that there are fewer features to slow down the wind than on a planet like Earth.

Mimas, to the upper-right of Saturn, has been brightened by a factor of 2 for visibility.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

#nasa #cassini @NASAJPL #saturn #planets #astronomy #science #nasabeyond

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon! From the International Space Station (@ISS), astronaut Terry Virts (@Astro_Terry) took this photograph of an early morning sunrise over the Grand Canyon and posted it to social media on May 10, 2015.

The space station and its crew orbit Earth from an altitude of 220 miles, traveling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Because the station completes each trip around the globe in about 92 minutes, the crew experiences 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

Image Credit: NASA

#iss #space #spacestation #nasa #astronauts #earth

Martian Sunset! The sun dips to a Martian horizon in a blue-tinged sky in images sent home to Earth this week from our Curiosity Mars rover. Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to record the sunset during an evening of skywatching on April 15, 2015. The imaging was done between dust storms, but some dust remained suspended high in the atmosphere. The sunset observations help researchers assess the vertical distribution of dust in the atmosphere. "The colors come from the fact that the very fine dust is the right size so that blue light penetrates the atmosphere slightly more efficiently," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station, the Curiosity science-team member who planned the observations. "When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the sun than light of other colors does. The rest of the sky is yellow to orange, as yellow and red light scatter all over the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the sun." Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

#nasa #mars #sunset #curiosityrover #curiosity #science @nasajpl

Happy Mother's Day! Send your mom this interstellar 'rose, seen here by our Spitzer Space Telescope. These bright young stars are found in a rosebud-shaped (and rose-colored) nebulosity known as NGC 7129. The star cluster and its associated nebula are located at a distance of 3300 light-years in the constellation Cepheus.

The stars formed from a massive cloud of gas and dust that contains enough raw materials to create a thousand Sun-like stars. In a process that astronomers still poorly understand, fragments of this molecular cloud became so cold and dense that they collapsed into stars. Most stars in our Milky Way galaxy are thought to form in such clusters.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

#mothersday #moms #mom #flowers #mom #nasa #spitzer #space #science

This image provides the clearest ever view of galaxy NGC 949, which lies over 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Triangulum. The galaxy has an unusual shape, made more obscure due to its inclination. From our point of view, it is difficult to discern exactly what type of galaxy NGC 949 is, but it is certainly a disk galaxy of some kind, most likely a spiral.

Taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), this image shows extraordinary detail. This detail allows us to see a strange asymmetric alignment in the dark lanes of dust that snake across the galaxy. The top-right half of the galaxy appears considerably more marbled with dust in this image; a curious observation explained by stars tending to favor locations towards the center of a galaxy, and dust preferring almost invariably to reside along the galactic plane.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#hubble #hst #galaxy #nasa #space

Decades of satellite observations and astronaut photographs show that clouds dominate space-based views of Earth. One study based on nearly a decade of satellite data estimated that about 67 percent of Earth’s surface is typically covered by clouds. This is especially the case over the oceans, where other research shows less than 10 percent of the sky is completely clear of clouds at any one time. Over land, 30 percent of skies are completely cloud free.

Earth’s cloudy nature is unmistakable in this global cloud fraction map, based on data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on our Aqua satellite. While MODIS collects enough data to make a new global map of cloudiness every day, this version of the map shows an average of all of the satellite’s cloud observations between July 2002 and April 2015. Colors range from dark blue (no clouds) to light blue (some clouds) to white (frequent clouds). Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Kevin Ward, using data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

#nasa #space #earth #earthrightnow #clouds #oceans #science

We found evidence that a massive star exploded in a lopsided fashion, sending ejected material flying in one direction and the core of the star in the other. The findings offer the best proof yet that star explosions of this type, called Type II or core-collapse supernovae, are inherently asymmetrical, a phenomenon that had been difficult to prove before now.

The still unraveling remains of supernova 1987A are shown here in this image taken by our Hubble Space Telescope. The bright ring consists of material ejected from the dying star before it detonated. The ring is being lit up by the explosion's shock wave.

Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA

@nasa #nasabeyond #nustar #supernova #star #hubble #science

Just how big was yesterday’s solar flare? Well, compare it to the size of Earth. The  X2.7 class solar flare flashed on the edge of the sun on May 5, 2015. This image was captured by our Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows a blend of light from different wavelengths. The Earth is shown to scale.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

#nasa #nasabeyond #space #sun #sdo #solarflare #science

We captured these images of a significant solar flare using our Solar Dynamics Observatory – as seen in the bright flash on the left – peaking at 6:11 p.m. EDT on May 5, 2015. Each image shows a different wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights a different temperature of material on the sun. By comparing different images, scientists can better understand the movement of solar matter and energy during a flare. 
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. 
Image Credit: NASA/SDO/Wiessinger

#nasa #sun #solarflare #sdo #nasabeyond #science

Astronomers set a new galaxy distance record! This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the farthest spectroscopically confirmed galaxy observed to date (inset). It was identified in this Hubble image of a field of galaxies in the CANDELS survey (Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope also observed the unique galaxy. The W. M. Keck Observatory was used to obtain a spectroscopic redshift (z=7.7), extending the previous redshift record. Measurements of the stretching of light, or redshift, give the most reliable distances to other galaxies. This source is thus currently the most distant confirmed galaxy known, and it appears to also be one of the brightest and most massive sources at that time. The galaxy existed over 13 billion years ago. The near-infrared light image of the galaxy (inset) has been colored blue as suggestive of its young, and hence very blue, stars. The CANDELS field is a combination of visible-light and near-infrared exposures.

Credits: NASA, ESA, P. Oesch (#Yale U.) #hst #nasa #hubble #esa #galaxy #astronomy #spitzer #keck #space #science

Flying by the "Death Star" Moon! In this view captured by our Cassini spacecraft on its closest-ever flyby of Saturn's moon Mimas, large Herschel Crater dominates Mimas, making the moon look like the Death Star in the movie "Star Wars." May the 4th Be With You!

Image Credit: NASA ‪#‎nasa‬ ‪#‎space‬ ‪#‎saturn‬ ‪#‎maythe4thbewithyou‬ ‪#‎happystarwarsday‬ ‪#‎moon‬

Tatooine? No, it's Kepler-16b, illustrated in this artist concept. The existence of a world with a double sunset, as portrayed in the film Star Wars more than 30 years ago, is now scientific fact. Our Kepler mission has made the first unambiguous detection of a circumbinary planet - a planet orbiting two stars - 200 light-years from Earth.

Unlike Star Wars' Tatooine, the planet is cold, gaseous and not thought to harbor life, but its discovery demonstrates the diversity of planets in our galaxy. Previous research has hinted at the existence of circumbinary planets, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Kepler detected such a planet by observing transits, where the brightness of a parent star dims from the planet crossing in front of it.

Image Credit: NASA

#nasa #kepler #space #astronomy#maythe4thbewithyou #happystarwarsday #science

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo. Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is the member of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins in size over its fellow triplets - it is about 100 000 light-years across.

Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin and Robert Gendler ‪#‎nasa‬ ‪#‎hubble‬ ‪#‎space‬ ‪#‎astronomy‬ ‪#‎maythe4thbewithyou‬‪#‎happystarwarsday‬ ‪#‎science‬ ‪#‎hst‬ ‪#‎galaxy‬

Aboard the International Space Station, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti posted this image at the end of the day Friday and wrote, "Good night from #space. Buona notte dallo spazio." Last week the station astronauts continued preparing for the next round of robotic refueling demonstrations while conducting various biomedical experiments and checkouts. 
Image Credit: NASA/ESA

#iss #nasa #esa #spacestation #earth

Enjoy mesmerizing views of our sun:

Over a six-hour period on April 21, 2015, our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a wing-like prominence eruption from our sun. SDO views the sun in various wavelengths of the extreme ultraviolet, including 171 (shown in gold) and 304 (shown in orange) angstroms.

Credit: NASA/SDO
#sun #solar #nasa #space #sdo #eruption #uv

Hubble Eyes Galactic Refurbishment: The smudge of stars at the center of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as UGC 5797. UGC 5797 is an emission line galaxy, meaning that it is currently undergoing active star formation. The result is a stellar population that is constantly being refurbished as massive bright blue stars form. Galaxies with prolific star formation are not only veiled in a blue tint, but are key to the continuation of a stellar cycle.

In this image UGC 5797 appears in front of a background of spiral galaxies. Spiral galaxies have copious amounts of dust and gas - the main ingredient for stars - and therefore often also belong to the class of emission line galaxies.

Spiral galaxies have disk-like shapes that drastically vary in appearance depending on the angle at which they are observed. The collection of spiral galaxies in this frame exhibits this attribute acutely: Some are viewed face-on, revealing the structure of the spiral arms, while the two in the bottom left are seen edge-on, appearing as plain streaks in the sky. There are many spiral galaxies, with varying colors and at different angles, sprinkled across this image - just take a look.

European Space Agency
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola

#hubble #nasa #space #science

Today at 3:26 p.m. EDT, a new crater was created on this region of Mercury's surface when our MESSENGER spacecraft slammed into the planet at about 8,750 mph! Among its many accomplishments, the MESSENGER mission determined Mercury's surface composition, revealed its geological history, discovered its internal magnetic field is offset from the planet's center, and verified its polar deposits are dominantly water ice.

The large, 400-kilometer-diameter (250-mile-diameter), impact basin "Shakespeare" occupies the bottom left quarter of this image, acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) and Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instruments aboard the spacecraft. The image is coded by topography. The tallest regions are colored red and are roughly 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) higher than low-lying areas such as the floors of impact craters, colored blue. The large crater on the left side of the image is "Janacek," with a diameter of 48 kilometers (30 miles). The Shakespeare impact basin is filled with smooth plains material, likely due to extensive lava flooding in the past. As of 24 hours before the impact, the current best estimates predict that the spacecraft will strike a ridge slightly to the northeast of Shakespeare. View this image to see more details of the predicted impact site and time.

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

#nasa #mercury #messenger #nasabeyond #space #science

We captured possible 'screams' from zombie stars! Peering into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has spotted a mysterious glow of high-energy X-rays that, according to scientists, could be the "howls" of dead stars as they feed on stellar companions. The center of our Milky Way galaxy is bustling with young and old stars, smaller black holes and other varieties of stellar corpses - all swarming around a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. Astronomers have four potential theories to explain the baffling X-ray glow, three of which involve different classes of stellar corpses. When stars die, they don't always go quietly into the night. Unlike stars like our sun, collapsed dead stars that belong to stellar pairs, or binaries, can siphon matter from their companions. This zombie-like "feeding" process differs depending on the nature of the normal star, but the result may be an eruption of X-rays.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

#nasa #nustar #galaxy #astronomy #milkyway #blackhole #science

Unmasking the Secrets of Mercury

Scientists have worked to learn more about the minerals and surface processes on Mercury using instruments on the MESSENGER spacecraft to diligently collect single tracks of spectral surface measurements since entering Mercury orbit on March 17, 2011. The track coverage is now extensive enough that the spectral properties of both broad terrains and small, distinct features such as pyroclastic vents and fresh craters can be studied.

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the solar system's innermost planet. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury near the end of April 2015.

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

#Mercury #MESSENGER #NASA #space #Planets #SolarSystem #Planet

This galaxy goes by the name of ESO 162-17 and is located about 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Carina. At first glance this image seems like a fairly standard picture of a galaxy with dark patches of dust and bright patches of young, blue stars. However, a closer look reveals several peculiar features.

Firstly, ESO 162-17 is what is known as a peculiar galaxy — a galaxy that has gone through interactions with its cosmic neighbors, resulting in an unusual amount of dust and gas, an irregular shape, or a strange composition.

Secondly, on February 23, 2010 astronomers observed the supernova known as SN 2010ae nestled within this galaxy. The supernova belongs to a recently discovered class of supernovae called Type Iax supernovae. This class of objects is related to the better known Type-Ia supernovae.

Type Ia supernovae result when a white dwarf accumulates enough mass either from a companion or, rarely, through collision with another white dwarf, to initiate a catastrophic collapse followed by a spectacular explosion as a supernova. Type Iax supernovae also involve a white dwarf as the central star, but in this case it may survive the event. Type Iax supernovae are much fainter and rarer than Type Ia supernovae, and their exact mechanism is still a matter of open debate.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#Hubble #Telescope #NASA #space #HST #stars

On April 22, 2015, Calbuco volcano in southern Chile began erupting for the first time since 1972. An ash cloud rose at least 50,000 feet (15 km) above the volcano, menacing the nearby communities of Puerto Montt, Chile and San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.

Around midday on April 24, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image of the ash and gas plume from Calbuco volcano in southern Chile. According to Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service, tremors, ash emissions, and other volcanic activity are continuing.

Image Credit: NASA/LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response/Joshua Stevens/MODIS

#Earth #earthRightnow #volcano #plume #chile #argentina #southamerica #modis #ChileVolcanCalbuco

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 years old today! Celebrate with us as we share incredible images from Hubble:

The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.

This image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, illustrates a spiral galaxy's grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. The galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure.

The Whirlpool is one of astronomy's galactic darlings. Located 31 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the Whirlpool's beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy's structure and star-forming processes.

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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The Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 years old today! Celebrate with us as we share incredible images from Hubble:

In its first glimpse of the heavens following the successful December 1999 servicing mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a majestic view of a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star. This stellar relic, first spied by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the "Eskimo" Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. In this Hubble telescope image, the "parka" is really a disk of material embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star. The Eskimo's "face" also contains some fascinating details. Although this bright central region resembles a ball of twine, it is, in reality, a bubble of material being blown into space by the central star's intense "wind" of high-speed material.

The Eskimo Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Gemini. The picture was taken Jan. 10 and 11, 2000, with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The nebula's glowing gases produce the colors in this image: nitrogen (red), hydrogen (green), oxygen (blue), and helium (violet). Credit: NASA, Andrew Fruchter and the ERO Team [Sylvia Baggett (STScI), Richard Hook (ST-ECF), Zoltan Levay (STScI)] #Hubble25 #Hubble #Telescope #HST #Space #NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 years old today! Celebrate with us as we share incredible images from Hubble:

This composite image is a view of the colorful Helix Nebula taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Mosaic II Camera on the 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The object is so large that both telescopes were needed to capture a complete view. The Helix is a planetary nebula, the glowing gaseous envelope expelled by a dying, sun-like star. The Helix resembles a simple doughnut as seen from Earth. But looks can be deceiving. New evidence suggests that the Helix consists of two gaseous disks nearly perpendicular to each other.

The Hubble images were taken on November 19, 2002; the Cerro Tololo images on Sept. 17-18, 2003.

Credit: NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), M. Meixner and P. McCullough (STScI)

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The Hubble Space Telescope turns 25 years old today! Celebrate with us as we share incredible images from Hubble:

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.

This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on Feb. 1-2, 2010. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red). Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

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25 years ago today on April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched. It was deployed on April 25, as seen in this photograph taken in 1990 by the crew of the STS-31 space shuttle mission, the Hubble Space Telescope is suspended above shuttle Discovery's cargo bay some 332 nautical miles above Earth. The Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm, controlled from in-cabin by the astronaut crew members, held the huge telescope in this position during pre-deployment procedures, which included extension of solar array panels and antennae.

STS-31 was the tenth launch of the shuttle Discovery. On board were Commander Loren J. Shriver, Pilot Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (now NASA Administrator), Mission Specialists Steven A. Hawley, Bruce McCandless II and Kathryn D. Sullivan (now NOAA Administrator). To launch Hubble into an orbit that guaranteed longevity, Discovery soared to a record altitude of 600 km.

Image Credit: NASA

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Happy Birthday Hubble! 25 years & counting! The brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resemble a glittering fireworks display in the 25th anniversary NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, released to commemorate a quarter century of exploring the solar system and beyond since its launch on April 24, 1990.

The sparkling centerpiece of Hubble’s anniversary fireworks is a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2, named for Swedish astronomer Bengt Westerlund who discovered the grouping in the 1960s. The cluster resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina.

To capture this image, Hubble’s near-infrared Wide Field Camera 3 pierced through the dusty veil shrouding the stellar nursery, giving astronomers a clear view of the nebula and the dense concentration of stars in the central cluster. The cluster measures between 6 and 13 light-years across.

The giant star cluster is about 2 million years old and contains some of our galaxy’s hottest, brightest and most massive stars. Some of its heftiest stars unleash torrents of ultraviolet light and hurricane-force winds of charged particles etching into the enveloping hydrogen gas cloud.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Earth with the Hubble Space Telescope nestled securely in its bay. The following day, Hubble was released into space, ready to peer into the vast unknown. Since then, Hubble has reinvigorated and reshaped our perception of the cosmos and uncovered a universe where almost anything seems possible within the laws of physics. Hubble has revealed properties of space and time that for most of human history were only probed in the imaginations of scientists and philosophers alike. Today, Hubble continues to provide views of cosmic wonders never before seen and is at the forefront of many new discoveries.

Learn more about ‪#‎Hubble25‬: http://hubble25th.org

Goodnight #EarthDay with Black Marble Earth. The night side of our planet twinkles with light, and the first thing to stand out is the cities. "Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights," asserts Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist who has studied them for 20 years.

Thank you for sharing your #NoPlaceLikeHome photos and videos with us. We hope you enjoyed celebrating the beauty and wonder of our planet today!

Image Credit: NASA

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#EarthDay! #NASA's Operation IceBridge mapped this mosaic view of Canadian sea ice from its P-3 aircraft. Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. Now show us your favorite places on Earth. Share pictures and video of your favorite place on Earth. Just be sure to include the hashtag ‪#‎NoPlaceLikeHome‬ – no matter what social media platform you’re posting on.

Image Credit: NASA

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It's #EarthDay! Here’s a #NASA look at the Faroe islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark is comprised of 18 major islands. Image by the ASTER instrument on the Terra satellite. Now show us your favorite places on Earth. Share pictures and video of your favorite place on Earth. Just be sure to include the hashtag ‪#‎NoPlaceLikeHome‬ – no matter what social media platform you’re posting on.

Image Credit: NASA

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Happy #EarthDay! Here’s a #NASA look at Alaska's Columbia Glacier in infrared false-color. Now show us your favorite places on Earth. Share pictures and video of your favorite place on Earth. Just be sure to include the hashtag ‪#‎NoPlaceLikeHome‬ – no matter what social media platform you’re posting on.

Scientists have long studied Alaska's fast-moving Columbia Glacier, a tidewater glacier that descends through the Chugach Mountains into Prince William Sound. Yet the river of ice continues to deliver new surprises.

Image Credit: NASA

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It's Earth Day, and we're asking you to share pictures and video of your favorite places on Earth using social media – and tag them #NoPlaceLikeHome.

We want you to share with us and the world views of your corner of Earth – your favorite place, whether it’s a local park, your vacation spot or Mt. Everest. Our question to you is a simple one: What is your favorite place on Earth?

Pledge to spend one day celebrating the planet that over 7 billion people call home. And while the view from space can be awe-inspiring, our satellites do not see the world the way you do, what makes your corner of Earth special – what makes it home.

Image Credit: NASA

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