2017/09/19

Veil Nebula: Wisps of an Exploded Star


Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star. About 7,000 years ago that star exploded in a supernova leaving the Veil Nebula. At the time, the expanding cloud was likely as bright as a crescent Moon, remaining visible for weeks to people living at the dawn of recorded history. Today, the resulting supernova remnant, also known as the Cygnus Loop, has faded and is now visible only through a small telescope directed toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). The remaining Veil Nebula is physically huge, however, and even though it lies about 1,400 light-years distant, it covers over five times the size of the full Moon. The featured picture is a Hubble Space Telescope mosaic of six images together covering a span of only about two light years, a small part of the expansive supernova remnant. In images of the complete Veil Nebula, even studious readers might not be able to identify the featured filaments. via NASA http://ift.tt/2fckF5B

2017/09/18

Long Way From Home


This picture of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon - the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft - was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA's Voyager 1 when it was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth. The moon is at the top of the picture and beyond the Earth as viewed by Voyager. via NASA http://ift.tt/2fe9adV

2017/09/17

Bright Spiral Galaxy M81


One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful M81. This grand spiral galaxy can be found toward the northern constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major). This superbly detailed view reveals M81's bright yellow nucleus, blue spiral arms, and sweeping cosmic dust lanes with a scale comparable to the Milky Way. Hinting at a disorderly past, a remarkable dust lane actually runs straight through the disk, to the left of the galactic center, contrary to M81's other prominent spiral features. The errant dust lane may be the lingering result of a close encounter between M81 and its smaller companion galaxy, M82. Scrutiny of variable stars in M81 has yielded one of the best determined distances for an external galaxy -- 11.8 million light-years. via NASA http://ift.tt/2x9X8bS

2017/09/16

Cassini s Final Image


As planned, the Cassini spacecraft impacted the upper atmosphere of Saturn on September 15, after a 13 year long exploration of the Saturnian System. With spacecraft thrusters firing until the end, its atmospheric entry followed an unprecedented series of 22 Grand Finale dives between Saturn and rings. Cassini's final signal took 83 minutes to reach planet Earth and the Deep Space Network antenna complex in Canberra Australia where loss of contact with the spacecraft was recorded at 11:55 UT. For the spacecraft, Saturn was bright and the Sun was overhead as it plowed into the gas giant planet's swirling cloud tops at about 70,000 miles (113,000 kilometers) per hour. But Cassini's final image shows the impact site hours earlier and still on the planet's night side, the cloud tops illuminated by ringlight, sunlight reflected from Saturn's rings. via NASA http://ift.tt/2faTEj8

2017/09/15

Cassini End of Mission


Cassini program manager at JPL, Earl Maize, left, and spacecraft operations team manager for the Cassini mission at Saturn, Julie Webster embrace after the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. via NASA http://ift.tt/2foCj37

100 Steps Forward


A beautiful conjunction of Venus and Moon, human, sand, and Milky Way is depicted in this night skyscape from planet Earth. The scene is a panorama of 6 photos taken in a moment near the end of a journey. In the foreground, footsteps along the wind-rippled dunes are close to the Huacachina oasis in the southwestern desert of Peru. An engaging perspective on the world at night, the stunning final image was also chosen as a winner in The World at Night's 2017 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wYuhaU

2017/09/14

Orion Parachutes Measure Up in High Pressure Test


Orion’s three main orange and white parachutes help a representative model of the spacecraft descend through sky above Arizona, where NASA engineers tested the parachute system on Sept. 13, 2017, at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Yuma. NASA is qualifying Orion’s parachutes for missions with astronauts. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xBoGYR

2017/09/13

Dreamy Swirls on Saturn


NASA's Cassini spacecraft gazed toward the northern hemisphere of Saturn to spy subtle, multi-hued bands in the clouds there. via NASA http://ift.tt/2jppZUF

NGC 6334: The Cats Paw Nebula


Nebulas are perhaps as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps cats are for getting into trouble. Still, no known cat could have created the vast Cat's Paw Nebula visible in Scorpius. At 5,500 light years distant, Cat's Paw is an emission nebula with a red color that originates from an abundance of ionized hydrogen atoms. Alternatively known as the Bear Claw Nebula or NGC 6334, stars nearly ten times the mass of our Sun have been born there in only the past few million years. Pictured here is a deep field image of the Cat's Paw Nebula in light emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wUOfn6

Expedition 53 Launches to the International Space Station


The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft launches with Expedition 53 crewmembers Joe Acaba of NASA, Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, and Mark Vande Hei of NASA from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, (Kazakh time) (Sept. 12, U.S. time). via NASA http://ift.tt/2wYcZs9

2017/09/12

Expedition 53 Crew Waves Farewell


Expedition 53 flight engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA, top, flight engineer Joe Acaba of NASA, and Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, bottom, wave farewell before boarding their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft for launch, Tuesday, Sept. 12. Launch is scheduled at 5:17 p.m. EDT. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xizkTr

2017/09/11

So Far from Home


With this view, Cassini captured one of its last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance. via NASA http://ift.tt/2eQeBMc

2017/09/09

Calm Waters and Geomagnetic Storm


Very recognizable stars of the northern sky are a backdrop for calm waters in this moonlit sea and skyscape off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Taken on September 7, the photo also records a colorful display of northern lights or aurora borealis triggered by a severe geomagnetic storm. Visible crossing the Sun, the giant solar active region responsible, AR 2673, is much larger than planet Earth. It has produced the strongest flare of the current solar cycle and and the Earth-directed coronal mass ejection in the last few days. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gRH9cN

2017/09/08

Geocolor Image of Hurricane Irma


The NOAA-NASA satellite GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba at about 8:00 a.m. EDT, Sept. 8, 2017. Created by NOAA's partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, the experimental imagery enhancement displays geostationary satellite data in different ways for day or night. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wf8UxT

The Great Gig in the Sky


There were no crowds on the beach at Phillips Lake, Oregon on August 21. But a few had come there to stand, for a moment, in the dark shadow of the Moon. From the beach, this unscripted mosaic photo records their much anticipated solar eclipse. In two vertical panels it catches the last few seconds of totality and the first instant of 3rd contact, just as the eclipse ends and sunlight faintly returns. Across the US those gathered along the path of totality also took pictures and shared their moment. And like those at Phillips Lake they may treasure the experience more than any planned or unplanned photograph of the total eclipse of the Sun. via NASA http://ift.tt/2vND1kt

2017/09/07

Staggering Structure


This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows a wave structure in Saturn's rings known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gKui8n

The Flash Spectrum of the Sun


In clear Madras, Oregon skies, this colorful eclipse composite captured the elusive chromospheric or flash spectrum of the Sun. Only three exposures, made on August 21 with telephoto lens and diffraction grating, are aligned in the frame. Directly imaged at the far left, the Sun's diamond ring-like appearance at the beginning and end of totality brackets a silhouette of the lunar disk at maximum eclipse. Spread by the diffraction grating into the spectrum of colors toward the right, the Sun's photospheric spectrum traces the two continuous streaks. They correspond to the diamond ring glimpses of the Sun's normally overwhelming disk. But individual eclipse images also appear at each wavelength of light emitted by atoms along the thin, fleeting arcs of the solar chromosphere. The brightest images, or strongest chromospheric emission, are due to Hydrogen atoms. Red hydrogen alpha emission is at the far right with blue and purple hydrogen series emission to the left. In between, the brightest yellow emission is caused by atoms of Helium, an element only first discovered in the flash spectrum of the Sun. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gLHEEU

2017/09/06

Prospecting from Orbit


The combination of morphological and topographic information from stereo images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xOVHxu

Expedition 53 Qualification Exams


Expedition 53 crew members: Joe Acaba of NASA, left, Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, center, and Mark Vande Hei of NASA answer questions from the press outside the Soyuz simulator ahead of their Soyuz qualification exams, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wHF3zZ

The Climber and the Eclipse


What should you do if your rock climbing picture is photobombed by a total eclipse of the Sun? Rejoice -- because your planning paid off. After months of considering different venues, and a week of scouting different locations in Oregon's Smith Rock State Park, a group of photographers and rock climbers led by Ted Hesser, Martina Tibell, and Michael Shainblum settled on picturesque 100-meter tall Monkey Face tower as the dramatic foreground for their images of the pending total solar eclipse. Tension mounted as the eclipse time approached, planned juxtapositions were scrutinized, and the placement of rock climber Tommy Smith was adjusted. Right on schedule, though, the Moon moved in front of the Sun, and Smith moved in front of the Moon, just as planned. The solar eclipse image displayed here actually shows a diamond ring, an eclipse phase when a bit of the distant Sun is still visible beyond the Moon's surface. via NASA http://ift.tt/2vIebmd

2017/09/05

Voyager 1 Launches Aboard Titan III/Centaur


The Voyager 1 aboard the Titan III/Centaur lifted off on September 5, 1977, joining its sister spacecraft, the Voyager 2, on a mission to the outer planets. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gJoEad

2017/09/03

A Waterspout in Florida


What's happening over the water? Pictured here is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water. Waterspouts can be as dangerous as tornadoes and can feature wind speeds over 200 kilometers per hour. Some waterspouts form away from thunderstorms and even during relatively fair weather. Waterspouts may be relatively transparent and initially visible only by an unusual pattern they create on the water. The featured image was taken in 2013 July near Tampa Bay, Florida. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida is arguably the most active area in the world for waterspouts, with hundreds forming each year. Some people speculate that waterspouts are responsible for some of the losses recorded in the Bermuda Triangle. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xFhdVC

2017/09/01

Hubble's Megamaser Galaxy


MCG+01-38-005 (below) is a special kind of megamaser; the galaxy’s active galactic nucleus pumps out huge amounts of energy, stimulating clouds of surrounding water. via NASA http://ift.tt/2epVgS0

A First Glimpse of the Great American Eclipse


Making landfall in Oregon, the Moon's dark umbral shadow toured the United States on August 21. Those gathered along its coast to coast path were witness to a total eclipse of the Sun, possibly the most widely shared celestial event in history. But first, the Moon's shadow touched the northern Pacific and raced eastward toward land. This dramatic snapshot was taken while crossing the shadow path 250 miles off the Oregon coast, 45,000 feet above the cloudy northern Pacific. Though from a shorter totality, it captures the eclipse before it could be seen from the US mainland. With the eclipsed Sun not far above, beautiful colors appear along the western horizon giving way to a clear, pitch-black, stratospheric sky in the shadow of the Moon. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wUvjFu

2017/08/31

NASA Concludes Summer of Testing with Fifth Flight Controller Hot Fire


NASA engineers closed a summer of successful hot fire testing Aug. 30 for flight controllers on RS-25 engines that will help power the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket being built to carry astronauts to deep-space destinations, including Mars. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xyYAm6

Lunar View, Solar Eclipse


Orbiting above the lunar nearside on August 21, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned to look back on a bright, Full Earth. As anticipated its Narrow Angle Camera scanned this sharp view of our fair planet, catching the shadow of the Moon racing along a path across the United States at about 1,500 miles per hour. In fact, the dark lunar shadow is centered over Hopkinsville, Kentucky at 1:25:30 Central Daylight Time. From there, the New Moon blocked the Sun high in clear skies for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds in a total solar eclipse. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wHTJRS

2017/08/30

NASA's IceBridge Surveys Glaciers in Northeast Greenland


NASA's Operation IceBridge is flying its summer Arctic land ice campaign in Greenland, continuing its measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its outlet glaciers. This photograph from the mission was taken on Aug. 29, 2017, from 28,000 feet, looking north while surveying Nioghalvfjerdsbrae (79 N) Glacier in northeast Greenland. via NASA http://ift.tt/2x5KGKi

Panoramic Eclipse Composite with Star Trails


What was happening in the sky during last week's total solar eclipse? This featured little-planet, all-sky, double time-lapse, digitally-fused composite captured celestial action during both night and day from a single location. In this 360x180 panorama, north and south are at the image bottom and top, while east and west are at the left and right edges, respectively. During four hours the night before the eclipse, star trails were captured circling the north celestial pole (bottom) as the Earth spun. During the day of the total eclipse, the Sun was captured every fifteen minutes from sunrise to sunset (top), sometimes in partial eclipse. All of these images were then digitally merged onto a single image taken exactly during the total solar eclipse. Then, the Sun's bright corona could be seen flaring around the dark new Moon (upper left), while Venus simultaneously became easily visible (top). The tree in the middle, below the camera, is a Douglas fir. The images were taken with care and planning at Magone Lake in Oregon, USA. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gmKrnN

2017/08/29

Aug. 29, 1965 - Gemini V Crew Returns to Earth


Gemini V command pilot Gordon Cooper (right) and Charles "Pete" Conrad, pilot, walk across the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain following their spacecraft's recovery from the ocean on Aug. 29, 1965. The eight-day Gemini V endurance mission doubled America's spaceflight record set two months earlier. via NASA http://ift.tt/2x1awPF

Saturn in Blue and Gold


Why is Saturn partly blue? The featured picture of Saturn approximates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The image was taken in 2006 March by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Here Saturn's majestic rings appear directly only as a thin vertical line. The rings show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create on the image left. Saturn's fountain moon Enceladus, only about 500 kilometers across, is seen as the bump in the plane of the rings. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth's skies can appear blue -- molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet's atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn's clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn's clouds becomes dominant. It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue -- one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there. It is also not known why Saturn's clouds are colored gold. Next month, Cassini will end its mission with a final dramatic dive into Saturn's atmosphere. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wLbroe

2017/08/28

Supersonic Flight Campaign Continues at Kennedy Space Center


A NASA F-18 jet takes off from the agency's Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 23, 2017. The F-18 jets fly at supersonic speeds while agency researchers measure the effects of low-altitude turbulence caused by sonic booms, part of NASA's Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence, or SonicBAT II Program. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xGKj62

A Fleeting Double Eclipse of the Sun


Last week, for a fraction of a second, the Sun was eclipsed twice. One week ago today, many people in North America were treated to a standard, single, partial solar eclipse. Fewer people, all congregated along a narrow path, experienced the eerie daytime darkness of a total solar eclipse. A dedicated few with fast enough camera equipment, however, were able to capture a double eclipse -- a simultaneous partial eclipse of the Sun by both the Moon and the International Space Station (ISS). The Earth-orbiting ISS crossed the Sun in less than a second, but to keep the ISS from appearing blurry, exposure times must be less than 1/1000th of a second. The featured image composite captured the ISS multiple times in succession as it zipped across the face of the Sun. The picture was taken in a specific color emitted by hydrogen which highlights the Sun's chromosphere, a layer hotter and higher up than the usually photographed photosphere. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wShbvy

2017/08/27

The Heart Nebula in Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur


What powers the Heart Nebula? The large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a heart. The nebula's glow -- as well as the shape of the gas and dust clouds -- is powered by by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster Melotte 15. This deep telescopic image maps the pervasive light of narrow emission lines from atoms of hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in the nebula. The field of view spans just over two degrees on the sky, so that it appears larger than four times the diameter of a full moon. The cosmic heart is found in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the boastful mythical Queen of Aethiopia . via NASA http://ift.tt/2vg24fJ

2017/08/25

Hurricane Harvey, Seen From the Cupola of the International Space Station


On August 25, 2017, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer photographed Hurricane Harvey from the cupola module aboard the International Space Station as it intensified on its way toward the Texas coast. The Expedition 52 crew on the station has been tracking this storm for the past two days and capturing Earth observation photographs and videos. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wOiueR

Diamond Ring in a Cloudy Sky


As the Moon's shadow swept across the US on August 21, eclipse chasers in the narrow path of totality were treated to a diamond ring in the sky. At the beginning and end of totality, the fleeting and beautiful effect often produces audible gasps from an amazed audience. It occurs just before or after the appearance of the faint solar corona with a brief ring of light and glimpse of Sun. In this scene from the end of totality at Central, South Carolina, clouds drift near the Sun's diamond ring in the sky. via NASA http://ift.tt/2iukDqO

2017/08/24

A World of Snowy Dunes on Mars


It was spring in the Northern hemisphere when this image was taken on May 21, 2017, by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Over the winter, snow and ice have inexorably covered the dunes. Unlike on Earth, this snow and ice is carbon dioxide, better known to us as dry ice. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wBqmRy

2017/08/23

The Eclipse 2017 Umbra Viewed from Space


As millions of people across the United States experienced a total eclipse as the umbra, or moon’s shadow passed over them, only six people witnessed the umbra from space. The space station crossed the path of the eclipse three times as it orbited above the continental United States at an altitude of 250 miles. via NASA http://ift.tt/2v5PxeW

The Crown of the Sun


During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere, or corona, is an inspirational sight. Streamers and shimmering features visible to the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single photograph. But this composite of telescopic images covers a wide range of exposure times to reveal the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The aligned and stacked digital frames were taken in clear skies above Stanley, Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains during the Sun's total eclipse on August 21. A pinkish solar prominence extends just beyond the right edge of the solar disk. Even small details on the dark night side of the New Moon can be made out, illuminated by sunlight reflected from a Full Earth. via NASA http://ift.tt/2vluL61

2017/08/22

Saturn-lit Tethys


Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. via NASA http://ift.tt/2w11uQk

A Total Solar Eclipse over Wyoming


Will the sky be clear enough to see the eclipse? This question was on the minds of many people attempting to view yesterday's solar eclipse. The path of total darkness crossed the mainland of the USA from coast to coast, from Oregon to South Carolina -- but a partial eclipse occurred above all of North America. Unfortunately, many locations saw predominantly clouds. One location that did not was a bank of Green River Lake, Wyoming. There, clouds blocked the Sun intermittantly up to one minute before totality. Parting clouds then moved far enough away to allow the center image of the featured composite sequence to be taken. This image shows the corona of the Sun extending out past the central dark Moon that blocks our familiar Sun. The surrounding images show the partial phases of the solar eclipse both before and after totality. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wwYk9l

2017/08/21

Glory of the Heavens


This composite image shows the progression of a partial solar eclipse over Ross Lake, in Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. via NASA http://ift.tt/2v8Z9Bi

2017/08/19

Total Solar Eclipse of 1979


From cold, clear skies over Riverton, Manitoba, Canada, planet Earth, the solar corona surrounds the silhouette of the New Moon in this telescopic snapshot of the total solar eclipse of February 26, 1979. Thirty eight years ago, it was the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States. The narrow path of totality ran through the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota before crossing into Canadian provinces Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Following the upcoming August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse crossing the U.S. from coast to coast, an annular solar eclipse will be seen in the continental United States on October 14, 2023, visible along a route from Northern California to Florida. Then, the next total solar eclipse to touch the continental U.S. will track across 13 states from from Texas to Maine on April 8, 2024. via NASA http://ift.tt/2v7zND7

2017/08/18

Atlas V Rocket and TDRS-M


As the Sun rises at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket vents liquid oxygen propellant vapors during fueling for the lift off of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-M. via NASA http://ift.tt/2uPitaN

2017/08/17

Jupiter: A New Point of View


This striking Jovian vista was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. via NASA http://ift.tt/2vLOn5u

NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans


Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar have a hook-like appearance in wide-field images. But this mosaicked close-up, constructed from Hubble Space Telescope and European Southern Observatory data, follows the galaxy's structure in amazing detail. Obscuring dust lanes, young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions surround a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars. The sharp image data also reveal more distant background galaxies seen right through NGC 2442's star clusters and nebulae. The image spans about 75,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2442. via NASA http://ift.tt/2i4R92x

2017/08/16

Space Station Flight Over the Bahamas


One of the most recognizable points on the Earth for astronauts to photograph is the Bahamas. Randy Bresnik of NASA shared this Aug. 13 photo from the International Space Station, saying, "The stunning Bahamas were a real treat for us. The vivid turquoise of the water over the reef was absolutely captivating." via NASA http://ift.tt/2x4Sg4W

Perseid by the Sea


Just after moonrise on August 12 this grain of cosmic sand fell by the sea, its momentary flash part of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. To create the Perseid meteors, dust along the orbit of periodic comet Swift-Tuttle is swept up by planet Earth. The cometary debris plows through the atmosphere at nearly 60 kilometers per second and is quickly vaporized at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so. Perseid meteors are often bright and colorful, like the one captured in this sea and night skyscape. Against starry sky and faint Milky Way the serene view looks south and west across the Adriatic Sea, from the moonlit Dalmatian coast toward the island of Brac. via NASA http://ift.tt/2fHEKAR

2017/08/15

Spiraling Cloud Patterns Over Guadalupe Island


On May 24, 2017, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured a natural-color image of long, spiraling cloud patterns, or "von Kármán vortices," on the lee side of Guadalupe Island. The volcanic island rises from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. via NASA http://ift.tt/2wbhbGA

Stars, Gas, and Dust Battle in the Carina Nebula


Chaos reigns in the Carina Nebula where massive stars form and die. Striking and detailed, this close-up of a portion of the famous nebula is a combination of light emitted by hydrogen (shown in red) and oxygen (shown in blue). Dramatic dark dust knots and complex features revealed are sculpted by the winds and radiation of Carina's massive and energetic stars. One iconic feature of the Carina Nebula is the dark V-shaped dust lane that occurs in the top half of the image. The Carina Nebula spans about 200 light years, lies about 7,500 light years distant, and is visible with binoculars toward the southern constellation of Carina. In a billion years after the dust settles -- or is destroyed, and the gas dissipates -- or gravitationally condenses, then only the stars will remain -- but not even the brightest ones. via NASA http://ift.tt/2vx7wcO

2017/08/14

SpaceX CRS-12 Cargo Mission Launch


The two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifts off Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kenney Space Center carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. via NASA http://ift.tt/2uDQFGd