2018/04/24

Behold the Northern Lights


As our nearest star, the Sun bathes Earth in a steady stream of energetic particles, magnetic fields and radiation that can stimulate our atmosphere and light up the night sky, like the aurora borealis, or northern lights. via NASA https://ift.tt/2HTEPuZ

Gravity’s Rainbow


Saturn’s rings display their subtle colors in this view captured on Aug. 22, 2009, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. via NASA https://ift.tt/2vGDJ3t

2018/04/20

The Galápagos Islands


"The Enchanted Islands of #Ecuador – the Gal├ípagos," were photographed by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold from aboard the International Space Station. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Hf4zB6

2018/04/19

Celebrating 28 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope


This colorful image, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, celebrates the Earth-orbiting observatory’s 28th anniversary of viewing the heavens, giving us a window seat to the universe’s extraordinary stellar tapestry of birth and destruction. via NASA https://ift.tt/2vopVdE

2018/04/17

Sounding Rocket Launches CHESS Mission to Study the Matter Between Stars


The Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph, or CHESS 4, was successfully launched on a NASA Black Brant IX sounding rocket at 12:47 p.m. EDT, April 16 (4:47 a.m. local, April 17) from the Kwajalein Atoll in The Republic of the Marshall Islands. via NASA https://ift.tt/2HG8gkj

2018/04/16

Seasons of Snow Cover in the West


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this photo while flying over the western United States. The wide field of view stretches from the Sierra Nevada of California to the Columbia Plateau of Oregon and the Snake River Valley of Idaho. Lake Tahoe is nestled on the border of California and Nevada. via NASA https://ift.tt/2qCFhXg

2018/04/13

NASA's TESS Mission Hopes to Find Exoplanets Beyond Our Solar System


The worlds orbiting other stars are called “exoplanets,” and they come in a wide variety of sizes, from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets about as big around as Earth or Mars. This rocky super-Earth is an illustration of the type of planets future telescopes, like NASA's TESS, hope to find outside our solar system. via NASA https://ift.tt/2HAq6VW

2018/04/11

The Aurora and the Sunrise


Auroras are one of the many Earthly phenomena the crew of the International Space Station observe from their perch high above the planet. via NASA https://ift.tt/2EEdzxh

2018/04/10

Our Sun: Three Different Wavelengths


From March 20-23, 2018, the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a series of images of our Sun and then ran together three sequences in three different extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Hbs8xK

2018/04/09

We Were There: 2018 USA Science and Engineering Festival


Attendees talk with NASA staff at exhibit booths during Sneak Peek Friday at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, Friday, April 6, 2018. At the festival, NASA showcased the future of human space exploration – including the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Hcq20R

2018/04/06

Hubble Finds an Einstein Ring


These graceful arcs are a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring - created as the light from distant galaxies warps around an extremely large mass, like a galaxy cluster. via NASA https://ift.tt/2JrIFMa

2018/04/05

Gullies of Matara Crater


Gullies on Martian sand dunes, like these in Matara Crater, have been very active, with many flows in the last ten years. via NASA https://ift.tt/2GDsf1J

2018/04/04

Memphis From Space


We honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered the famous "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in Memphis, Tennessee fifty years ago, the day before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. This image taken from the International Space Station shows a detailed view of the city of Memphis from low-Earth orbit. via NASA https://ift.tt/2q7bgyo

2018/04/03

Transforming Aviation


Aeronautical innovations are part of a government-industry partnership to collect data that could make supersonic flight over land possible, dramatically reducing travel time in the United States. via NASA https://ift.tt/2q3irqu

2018/04/02

Hangout in Space


NASA astronaut Drew Feustel seemingly hangs off the International Space Station while conducting a spacewalk on March 29, 2018. via NASA https://ift.tt/2J8uJXz

2018/03/30

Technology Then and Now


Before there were computers and software that could stitch together digital images, they were printed on photo paper, trimmed by hand, and taped in place on a large black board. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Gqyvtz

2018/03/29

Getting InSight on the Interior of Mars


Inside the Astrotech processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, or InSight, Mars lander is tested ahead of its scheduled launch on May 5, 2018. via NASA https://ift.tt/2urTvyE

2018/03/28

This is TESS, Our Newest Planet-Hunter


TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life. via NASA https://ift.tt/2J1kCU9

2018/03/27

Curiosity Rover Gets Ready for Its Next Adventure


This mosaic, taken by the Mars Curiosity rover, looks uphill at Mount Sharp. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pOJ4j9

2018/03/26

Claudia Alexander and Her Life Well-Lived


Claudia Alexander, the project scientist overseeing NASA's support role in the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, stands on the view deck of mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pHX9yJ

2018/03/23

Hubble’s Exquisite View of a Stellar Nursery


An underlying population of infant stars embedded in the nebula NGC 346 are still forming from gravitationally collapsing gas clouds. via NASA http://ift.tt/2pxRyfc

2018/03/22

A View From a Launch


The Soyuz MS-08 rocket launched Wednesday, March 21, 2018, bringing three new crewmembers to the International Space Station. via NASA http://ift.tt/2Gjdlk2

2018/03/21

The Beauty of Light


The Soyuz MS-08 rocket is launched with Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of NASA, March 21, 2018, to join the crew of the Space Station. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FYN9Yx

2018/03/20

Space Station Bound!


Workers are seen on the launch pad as the Soyuz rocket arrives after being rolled out by train, Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. via NASA http://ift.tt/2pqzV0K

2018/03/19

Going for Atmospheric GOLD


In late Jan. 2018, NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument was launched into space aboard a commercial satellite. via NASA http://ift.tt/2GHMTyz

2018/03/16

Rose-Colored Jupiter


This image captures a close-up view of a storm with bright cloud tops in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FESHeN

2018/03/15

The Aurora Named STEVE


What's in a name? If your name is Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement aka STEVE, then there's quite bit behind the name. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FF42f2

2018/03/14

There's Always Pi!


Just by determining how circular a given crater is – using pi and the crater’s perimeter and area – planetary geologists can reveal clues about how the crater was formed and the surface that was impacted. via NASA http://ift.tt/2IncexY

2018/03/13

Running a Real-Time Simulation of Go-No-Go for Apollo 17


Not everyone gets to become a part of history, but mathematician Billie Robertson is one of the lucky ones. In this image taken on Nov. 27, 1972, she was running a real-time simulation of Translunar Injection (TLI) Go-No-Go for the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FS6VIG

2018/03/12

Dramatic Dione


Cassini captured this striking view of Saturn’s moon Dione on July 23, 2012. via NASA http://ift.tt/2p6YbUu

Flying over the Earth at Night II


What would it be like to orbit the Earth? The International Space Station (ISS) does this every 90 minutes, and sometimes the astronauts on board take image sequences that are made into videos. The featured time-lapse video shows many visual spectacles of the dark Earth below. First, as the video begins, green and red auroras are visible on the upper left above white clouds. Soon city lights come into view, and it becomes clear you are flying over North America, eventually passing over Florida. In the second sequence you fly over Europe and Africa, eventually passing over the Nile River. Brief flashes of light are lightning in storms. Stars far in the distance can be seen rising through the greenish-gold glow of the Earth's atmosphere. via NASA http://ift.tt/2HrQDTJ

2018/03/09

Veggies in Space!


The crew aboard the International Space Station have grown two batches of mixed greens (mizuna, red romaine lettuce and tokyo bekana cabbage), and are now running two Veggie facilities simultaneously. via NASA http://ift.tt/2Fvm1Av

Horsehead: A Wider View


Combined image data from the massive, ground-based VISTA telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope was used to create this wide perspective of the interstellar landscape surrounding the famous Horsehead Nebula. Captured at near-infrared wavelengths, the region's dusty molecular cloud sprawls across the scene that covers an angle about two-thirds the size of the Full Moon on the sky. Left to right the frame spans just over 10 light-years at the Horsehead's estimated distance of 1,600 light-years. Also known as Barnard 33, the still recognizable Horsehead Nebula stands at the upper right, the near-infrared glow of a dusty pillar topped with newborn stars. Below and left, the bright reflection nebula NGC 2023 is itself the illuminated environs of a hot young star. Obscuring clouds below the base of the Horsehead and on the outskirts of NGC 2023 show the tell-tale far red emission of energetic jets, known as Herbig-Haro objects, also associated with newborn stars. via NASA http://ift.tt/2HkOLMJ

2018/03/08

Imaging the Universe


Known as the 'Mother of Hubble,' Nancy Grace Roman is shown here at the Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago in 1948, where she was studying for her doctorate in astronomy. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FDE2zJ

Cyclones at Jupiter s North Pole


Juno's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper data was used to construct this stunning view of cyclones at Jupiter's North Pole. Measuring the thermal emission from Jovian cloud tops, the infrared the observations are not restricted to the hemisphere illuminated by sunlight. They reveal eight cyclonic features that surround a cyclone about 4,000 kilometers in diameter, just offset from the giant planet's geographic North Pole. Similar data show a cyclone at the Jovian South Pole with five circumpolar cyclones. The South Pole cyclones are slightly larger than their northern cousins. Cassini data has shown that gas giant Saturn's north and south poles each have a single cyclonic storm system. via NASA http://ift.tt/2Fq3HIN

2018/03/07

Structural Test Version of the Intertank for NASA's New Deep Space Rocket


The intertank is the second piece of structural hardware for the massive Space Launch System core stage, built at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and delivered to Marshall Space Flight Center for testing. via NASA http://ift.tt/2D7lKBx

Arcs, Jets, and Shocks near NGC 1999


This tantalizing array of nebulas and stars can be found about two degrees south of the famous star-forming Orion Nebula. The region abounds with energetic young stars producing jets and outflows that push through the surrounding material at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second. The interaction creates luminous shock waves known as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects. For example, the graceful, flowing arc just right of center is cataloged as HH 222, also called the Waterfall Nebula. Seen below the Waterfall, HH 401 has a distinctive cone shape. The bright bluish nebula below and left of center is NGC 1999, a dusty cloud reflecting light from an embedded variable star. The entire cosmic vista spans over 30 light-years, near the edge of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex some 1,500 light-years distant. via NASA http://ift.tt/2oPtLHf

2018/03/06

The Case of the Martian Boulder Piles


This image was originally meant to track the movement of sand dunes near the North Pole of Mars, but what's on the ground in between the dunes is just as interesting! via NASA http://ift.tt/2tjh9wx

Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way


Why would the sky glow like a giant repeating rainbow? Airglow. Now air glows all of the time, but it is usually hard to see. A disturbance however -- like an approaching storm -- may cause noticeable rippling in the Earth's atmosphere. These gravity waves are oscillations in air analogous to those created when a rock is thrown in calm water. Red airglow likely originates from OH molecules about 87-kilometers high, excited by ultraviolet light from the Sun, while orange and green airglow is likely caused by sodium and oxygen atoms slightly higher up. While driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Provence in China, the photographer originally noticed mainly the impressive central band of the Milky Way Galaxy. Stopping to photograph it, surprisingly, the resulting sensitive camera image showed airglow bands to be quite prominent and span the entire sky. The featured image has been digitally enhanced to make the colors more vibrant. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FhJXqI

2018/03/05

Building the Space Station


Astronauts Joan Higginbotham (foreground) and Suni Williams refer to a procedures checklist as they work the controls of the Canadarm2, in this 2006 image. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FrgsWT

2018/03/03

Southwest Mare Fecunditatis


Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders journeyed from Earth to the Moon and back again in December of 1968. From lunar orbit, their view of craters in southwest Mare Fecunditatis is featured in this stereo anaglyph, best experienced from armchairs on planet Earth with red/blue glasses. Goclenius is the large impact crater in the foreground. About 70 kilometers (45 miles) in diameter its lava-flooded floor is scarred by rilles or grooves, long, narrow depressions in the surface. Crossing the crater walls and central peaks the rilles were likely formed after the crater itself. In the background, the two large craters with smooth floors are Colombo A (top) and Magelhaens. Magelhaens A, the background crater with the irregular floor, is about 35 kilometers (20 miles) in diameter. via NASA http://ift.tt/2oMkChI

2018/03/02

Jovian ‘Twilight Zone’


This image captures the swirling cloud formations around the south pole of Jupiter, looking up toward the equatorial region. via NASA http://ift.tt/2GX7Ynp

Next-Generation Weather Satellite GOES-S Lifts Off


A ULA Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S. Launch was at 5:02 p.m. EST, March 1, 2018. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites. via NASA http://ift.tt/2CRP2nH

2018/03/01

'Twas the Night Before Launch


The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-S) satellite sits on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, backdropped by the setting Sun. GOES-S is slated to lift off on March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST. via NASA http://ift.tt/2t6l6ob

The Lunar X


The striking X in this lunarscape is easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope, but not too many have seen it. The catch is, this lunar X is fleeting and only apparent in the hours before the Moon's first quarter phase. Along the shadow line between lunar day and night, the X illusion is produced by a configuration of craters seen here toward the left, Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach. Near the Moon's first quarter phase, an astronaut standing close to the craters' position would see the slowly rising Sun very near the horizon. Temporarily, crater walls would be in sunlight while crater floors would still be in darkness. Seen from planet Earth, contrasting sections of bright walls against the dark floors by chance look remarkably like an X. This sharp image of the Lunar X was captured on February 22nd. For extra credit, sweep your gaze along the lunar terminator and you can also spot the Lunar V. via NASA http://ift.tt/2HSh71Q

2018/02/28

Soyuz With Expedition 54 Trio Aboard Returns to Earth


The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 54 crew members Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of NASA and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 (February 27 Eastern time). via NASA http://ift.tt/2EYTRl2

NGC 613 in Dust, Stars, and a Supernova


Where did that spot come from? Amateur astronomer Victor Buso was testing out a new camera on his telescope in 2016 when he noticed a curious spot of light appear -- and remain. After reporting this unusual observation, this spot was determined to be light from a supernova just as it was becoming visible -- in an earlier stage than had ever been photographed optically before. The discovery before and after images, taken about an hour apart, are shown in the inset of a more detailed image of the same spiral galaxy, NGC 613, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Follow-up observations show that SN 2016gkg was likely the explosion of a supergiant star, and Buso likely captured the stage where the outgoing detonation wave from the stellar core broke through the star's surface. Since astronomers have spent years monitoring galaxies for supernovas without seeing such a "break out" event, the odds of Buso capturing this have been compared to winning a lottery. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FGieBj

2018/02/27

Portrait of the Expedition 54 Crew on the Space Station


The six-member Expedition 54 crew poses for a lighthearted crew portrait inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module on Feb. 18, 2018. Three of the crew members are packed up and prepared to return to Earth today, Tuesday, Feb. 27. via NASA http://ift.tt/2HPTerZ

2018/02/26

An Intersection of Land, Ice, Sea and Clouds


Though sea ice has been significantly below normal extent and thickness across much of the Arctic, the ice in the Labrador Sea has been relatively close to normal. via NASA http://ift.tt/2HLW018

Passing Jupiter


Here comes Jupiter! NASA's robotic spacecraft Juno is continuing on its 53-day, highly-elongated orbits around our Solar System's largest planet. The featured video is from perijove 11, the eleventh time Juno has passed near Jupiter since it arrived in mid-2016. This time-lapse, color-enhanced movie covers about four hours and morphs between 36 JunoCam images. The video begins with Jupiter rising as Juno approaches from the north. As Juno reaches its closest view -- from about 3,500 kilometers over Jupiter's cloud tops -- the spacecraft captures the great planet in tremendous detail. Juno passes light zones and dark belt of clouds that circle the planet, as well as numerous swirling circular storms, many of which are larger than hurricanes on Earth. After the perijove, Jupiter recedes into the distance, now displaying the unusual clouds that appear over Jupiter's south. To get desired science data, Juno swoops so close to Jupiter that its instruments may soon fail due to exposure to high levels of radiation. Because of this, in part, the Juno mission is currently schedule to conclude in mid-2018, at perijove 14, when the spacecraft will be directed to dive into Jupiter's atmosphere and melt. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FvQzTt