Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer

Dr. Nancy Grace Roman is shown with a model of the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO) in 1962. She was the first Chief of Astronomy in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters and the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA. She had oversight for the planning and development of programs including the Hubble Space Telescope. via NASA http://ift.tt/2ohUxc9


Robotics Work on Space Station Set Up Thursday Spacewalk

The Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) is in the grip of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm during its relocation and attachment to the station's Harmony module on March 26,2017. A spacewalk by NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, which began at 7:29 a.m., will finalize the PMA-3 cable connections on Harmony. via NASA http://ift.tt/2nzAyCU

Young Stars and Dusty Nebulae in Taurus

This complex of dusty nebulae lingers along the edge of the Taurus molecular cloud, a mere 450 light-years distant. Stars are forming on the cosmic scene. Composed from almost 40 hours of image data, the 2 degree wide telescopic field of view includes some youthful T-Tauri class stars embedded in the remnants of their natal clouds at the right. Millions of years old and still going through stellar adolescence, the stars are variable in brightness and in the late phases of their gravitational collapse. Their core temperatures will rise to sustain nuclear fusion as they grow into stable, low mass, main sequence stars, a stage of stellar evolution achieved by our middle-aged Sun about 4.5 billion years ago. Another youthful variable star, V1023 Tauri, can be spotted on the left. Within its yellowish dust cloud, it lies next to the striking blue reflection nebula Cederblad 30, also known as LBN 782. Just above the bright bluish reflection nebula is dusty dark nebula Barnard 7. via NASA http://ift.tt/2o9e3rJ


The Splitting of the Dunes

The mound in the center of this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image appears to have blocked the path of the dunes as they marched south (north is to the left in this image) across the scene. Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions in this area. via NASA http://ift.tt/2nAjle8

Nebula with Laser Beams

Four laser beams cut across this startling image of the Orion Nebula, as seen from ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert on planet Earth. Not part of an interstellar conflict, the lasers are being used for an observation of Orion by UT4, one of the observatory's very large telescopes, in a technical test of an image-sharpening adaptive optics system. This view of the nebula with laser beams was captured by a small telescope from outside the UT4 enclosure. The beams are visible from that perspective because in the first few kilometers above the observatory the Earth's dense lower atmosphere scatters the laser light. The four small segments appearing beyond the beams are emission from an atmospheric layer of sodium atoms excited by the laser light at higher altitudes of 80-90 kilometers. Seen from the perspective of the UT4, those segments form bright spots or artificial guide stars. Their fluctuations are used in real-time to correct for atmospheric blurring along the line-of-sight by controlling a deformable mirror in the telescope's optical path. via NASA http://ift.tt/2nw3RIa

King of Wings Hoodoo under the Milky Way

This rock structure is not only surreal -- it's real. The reason it's not more famous is that it is, perhaps, smaller than one might guess: the capstone rock overhangs only a few meters. Even so, the King of Wings outcrop, located in New Mexico, USA, is a fascinating example of an unusual type of rock structure called a hoodoo. Hoodoos may form when a layer of hard rock overlays a layer of eroding softer rock. Figuring out the details of incorporating this hoodoo into a night-sky photoshoot took over a year. Besides waiting for a suitably picturesque night behind a sky with few clouds, the foreground had to be artificially lit just right relative to the natural glow of the background. After much planning and waiting, the final shot, featured here, was taken in May 2016. Mimicking the horizontal bar, the background sky features the band of our Milky Way Galaxy stretching overhead. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mI4Fel


Expedition 50 Spacewalks Prepare Station for Arrival of Commercial Crew Spacecraft

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA is seen floating outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk. Pesquet and Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA conducted the six-hour-and-34-minute spacewalk on March 24, 2017. A second spacewalk, by Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, is scheduled for Thursday, March 30. via NASA http://ift.tt/2nwyygv

Black Hole Accreting with Jet

What happens when a black hole devours a star? Many details remain unknown, but recent observations are providing new clues. In 2014, a powerful explosion was recorded by the ground-based robotic telescopes of the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) project, and followed up by instruments including NASA's Earth-orbiting Swift satellite. Computer modeling of these emissions fit a star being ripped apart by a distant supermassive black hole. The results of such a collision are portrayed in the featured artistic illustration. The black hole itself is a depicted as a tiny black dot in the center. As matter falls toward the hole, it collides with other matter and heats up. Surrounding the black hole is an accretion disk of hot matter that used to be the star, with a jet emanating from the black hole's spin axis. via NASA http://ift.tt/2opv6BN


Dark Spot and Jovian ‘Galaxy’

This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms. via NASA http://ift.tt/2o23lmK


Hubble Spots Two Interacting Galaxies Defying Cosmic Convention

Hubble spots two interacting galaxies some 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mzfMG8


Dr. Ellen Ochoa on the Flight Deck of Shuttle Atlantis

On April 15, 2002, STS-110 Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa works at the Remote Manipulator System controls on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis. Dr. Ochoa, a veteran astronaut, is currently the 11th director of Johnson Space Center. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on the STS-56 mission. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mUXF97

Central Cygnus Skyscape

In cosmic brush strokes of glowing hydrogen gas, this beautiful skyscape unfolds across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy near the northern end of the Great Rift and the center of the constellation Cygnus the Swan. A 36 panel mosaic of telescopic image data, the scene spans about six degrees. Bright supergiant star Gamma Cygni (Sadr) to the upper left of the image center lies in the foreground of the complex gas and dust clouds and crowded star fields. Left of Gamma Cygni, shaped like two luminous wings divided by a long dark dust lane is IC 1318 whose popular name is understandably the Butterfly Nebula. The more compact, bright nebula at the lower right is NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula. Some distance estimates for Gamma Cygni place it at around 1,800 light-years while estimates for IC 1318 and NGC 6888 range from 2,000 to 5,000 light-years. via NASA http://ift.tt/2ncQrRl


Space Station View of Mount Etna Erupting

The Expedition 50 crew aboard the International Space Station had a nighttime view from orbit of Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, erupting on March 19, 2017. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of ESA captured this image, writing, "Mount Etna, in Sicily. The volcano is currently erupting and the molten ava is visible from space, at night!" via NASA http://ift.tt/2nC1nJ4


Photographer Carla Thomas on a Supersonic Flight

“Armstrong Flight Research Center chief pilot Nils Larson and I were flying supersonic runs to note the handling qualities between the single seat and two seat F/A-18 aircraft for the Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence, or SonicBAT program," said Carla Thomas, one of NASA's two female in-flight photographers. via NASA http://ift.tt/2n9LkkA


Mackenzie River in Canada's Northwest Territories

This view, acquired on Nov. 7, 2016, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows a portion of Canada's Mackenzie River Delta and the town of Inuvik, home to more than 3,000 people. A frozen highway -- 194 kilometers (120 miles) long -- runs between the remote outposts of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk along the river’s East Channel. via NASA http://ift.tt/2n6yXWH


JWST: Ghosts and Mirrors

Ghosts aren't actually hovering over the James Webb Space Telescope. But the lights are out as it stands with gold tinted mirror segments and support structures folded in Goddard Space Flight Center's Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility clean room. Following vibration and acoustic testing, bright flashlights and ultraviolet lights are played over the stationary telescope looking for contamination, easier to spot in a darkened room. In the dimness the camera's long exposure creates the ghostly apparitions, blurring the moving lights and engineers. A scientific successor to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope is optimized for the infrared exploration of the early Universe. Its planned launch is in 2018 from French Guiana on a European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mGq8A0


Dublin at Night

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA shared this nighttime image of Dublin on March 17, 2017, writing, "Happy #StPatricksDay Spectacular #Dublin, Ireland captured by @thom_astro from @Space_Station. Enjoy the #StPatricksFest Parade down there!" via NASA http://ift.tt/2mXdeAb


Annie Easley, Computer Scientist and Mathematician

Annie Easley at NASA Glenn Research Center. In 1955, Easley began her career at NASA, then the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), as a human computer performing complex mathematical calculations. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mwYwwB

Annie Easley, Computer Scientist, Mathematician, and Rocket Scientist

Annie Easley at NASA Glenn Research Center. In 1955, Easley began her career at NASA, then the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), as a human computer performing complex mathematical calculations. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mwNirW

The Cone Nebula from Hubble

Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The Cone was captured in unprecedented detail in this close-up composite of several observations from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. While the Cone Nebula, about 2,500 light-years away in Monoceros, is around 7 light-years long, the region pictured here surrounding the cone's blunted head is a mere 2.5 light-years across. In our neck of the galaxy that distance is just over half way from our Sun to its nearest stellar neighbors in the Alpha Centauri star system. The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, seen by Hubble's infrared camera in 1997, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image. The Cone Nebula's reddish veil is produced by glowing hydrogen gas. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mqrwGk


NASA's Webb Telescope Ghostly 'Lights Out' Inspection

The technicians who are inspecting the telescope and its expansive golden mirrors look like ghostly wraiths in this image as they conduct a "lights out inspection" in the Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. via NASA http://ift.tt/2n006uB


Traffic-free and Sky-high

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of cloud streets over the Barents Sea and Mezhdusharsky Island on March 7, 2017. Such formations occur frequently in the region in late winter. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mJ59z3


The Big One

Mimas' gigantic crater Herschel lies near the moon's limb in this Cassini view. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mDR6el


Galaxy Cluster Abell 2666

The galaxies of Abell 2666 lie far beyond the Milky Way, some 340 million light-years distant toward the high flying constellation Pegasus. Framed in this sharp telescopic image, the pretty cluster galaxies are gathered behind scattered, spiky, Milky Way stars. At cluster center is giant elliptical galaxy NGC 7768, the central dominant galaxy of the cluster. As the cluster forms, such massive galaxies are thought to grow by mergers of galaxies that fall through the center of the cluster's gravitational well. Typical of dominant cluster galaxies, NGC 7768 likely harbors a supermassive black hole. At the estimated distance of Abell 2666, this cosmic frame would span about 5 million light-years. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mtdRRO


Hubble Hones In on a Hypergiant's Home

The super star cluster Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, hosts one of the largest stars ever discovered. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mr5mVH


NASA's Orion Spacecraft Parachutes Tested at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Engineers Successfully Test the Parachutes for NASA's Orion Spacecraft at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground via NASA http://ift.tt/2lHA9jX

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Parachute Test at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Engineers Successfully Test the Parachutes for NASA's Orion Spacecraft at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground via NASA http://ift.tt/2m6ypNA


Women Scientists at NASA in January 1959

January 1959. Women Scientists Lucille Coltrane, Jean Clark Keating, Katherine Cullie Speegle, Doris 'Dot' Lee, Ruth Whitman, and Emily Stephens Mueller. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mYY7ri


A Mass of Viscous Flow Features

Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars, and are often associated with gullies. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mBvH63

Colorful Aurora over Iceland

You don't always see a scene this beautiful when you hike to an ancient volcano -- you have to be lucky. When the astrophotographer realized that aurora were visible two-weeks ago, he made a night-time run for the top of the caldera to see if he could capture them also reflected in the central lake. When he arrived, he found that ... the northern lights were even brighter and more impressive than before! And his image of them is the featured 13-frame panoramic mosaic. The crater lake in the center is called Kerid (Icelandic: KeriĆ°) and is about 3,000 years old. The aurora overhead shows impressive colors and banding, with the red colors occurring higher in the Earth's atmosphere than the green. The background sky is filled with icons of the northern night including Polaris, the Pleiades star cluster, and the stars that compose the handle of the Big Dipper. via NASA http://ift.tt/2me9SbC


Technicians Secure the Protective Covering Around CYGNUS.

In the Space Station Processing Facility high bay at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Orbital ATK CYGNUS pressurized cargo module is secured the KAMAG transporter and the crane has been removed. via NASA http://ift.tt/2lTI4H3


Hubble Showcases a Remarkable Galactic Hybrid

UGC 12591's classification straddles somewhere between a lenticular and a spiral galaxy. It lies just under 400 million light-years from us in the Pisces–Perseus Supercluster. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mTX87x


Pearl Young at Langley's Flight Instrumentation Facility, March 1929

In this March 29, 1929 photograph, Pearl I. Young is working in the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory's Flight Instrumentation Facility (Building 1202). Young was the first woman hired as a technical employee, a physicist at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the second female physicist working for the federal government. via NASA http://ift.tt/2lx2zsi

A Solar Eclipse with a Beaded Ring of Fire

What kind of eclipse is this? On Sunday, visible in parts of Earth's southern hemisphere, the Moon blocked part of the Sun during a partial solar eclipse. In some locations, though, the effect was a rare type of partial eclipse called an annular eclipse. There, since the Moon is too far from the Earth to block the entire Sun, sunlight streamed around the edges of the Moon creating a "ring of fire". At some times, though, the effect was a rare type of annular eclipse. Then, an edge of the Moon nearly aligned with an edge of the Sun, allowing sunlight to stream through only low areas on the Moon. Called a "Baily's bead" or a "diamond ring", this doubly rare effect was captured Sunday in the feature photograph from Chubut, Argentina, in South America. This summer a total solar eclipse will swoop across North America. via NASA http://ift.tt/2m80EhH


Full-Circle Vista With a Linear Shaped Martian Sand Dune

The left side of this 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the long rows of ripples on a linear shaped dune in the Bagnold Dune Field on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mFkfDS

A White Oval Cloud on Jupiter from Juno

This storm cloud on Jupiter is almost as large as the Earth. Known as a white oval, the swirling cloud is a high pressure system equivalent to an Earthly anticyclone. The cloud is one of a "string of pearls" ovals south of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot. Possibly, the Great Red Spot is just a really large white oval that turned red. Surrounding clouds show interesting turbulence as they flow around and past the oval. The featured image was captured on February 2 as NASA's robotic spacecraft Juno made a new pass just above the cloud tops of the Jovian world. Over the next few years, Juno will continue to orbit and probe Jupiter, determine atmospheric water abundance, and attempt to determine if Jupiter has a solid surface beneath its thick clouds. via NASA http://ift.tt/2lPtN0u