nasagoddard NASA’s Operation IceBridge is deep into its Arctic 2015 campaign, flying low over Greenland’s ice sheets, outlet glaciers, and Arctic sea ice. The
airborne campaign flies over the Arctic and Antarctic every year measuring changes in the ice with instruments like radar and lasers.
This flight footage was taken from the cockpit of a NASA C-130 aircraft en route to the Helheim Glacier in eastern Greenland. Helheim has shrunk considerably
in recent years.
Music courtesy Moby, @richardmelvillehall

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center #nasagoddard
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nasagoddard Landslides are among the most common and dramatic natural hazards, reshaping landscapes -- and anything in their path. Tracking when and where landslides occur worldwide has historically been difficult, because of the lack of a centralized database across all nations. But NASA researchers have updated the first publicly available Global Landslide Catalog, based on media reports and online databases that bring together many sources of information on landslides that have occurred since 2007. The catalog, originally released in 2010, is still the only one of its kind.
Around 6000 landslides are noted in the catalog. This wealth of data gives scientists a starting point to analyze where, how and why landslides are likely to occur. In particular, NASA researchers have begun to compare landslide occurrence with global rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center #nasagoddard
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nasagoddard White Dwarf May Have Shredded Passing Planet

In this Chandra image of ngc6388, researchers have found evidence that a white dwarf star may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close. When a star reaches its white dwarf stage, nearly all of the material from the star is packed inside a radius one hundredth that of the original star.

The destruction of a planet may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of astronomers has found evidence that this may have happened in an ancient cluster of stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy.

Using several telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers have found evidence that a white dwarf star – the dense core of a star like the Sun that has run out of nuclear fuel – may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close.

Image Credit: NASA
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nasagoddard Death of Giant Galaxies Spreads from the Core

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope revealed 3 billion years after the Big Bang, "dead galaxies" like Elliptical galaxy IC 2006, still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Judy Schmidt and J. Blakeslee (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory). #nasaoddard #Hubble25
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nasagoddard On February 15, 2015 the Desert Sunlight solar project in California's Mojave Desert became operational. The 550-megawatt plant generates enough electricity to power 160,000 average homes. Covering an area of 16 km2, the 8.8 million cadmium telluride photovoltaic modules take advantage of the more than 300 days of sunshine. Desert Sunlight joins the similar-sized Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, CA, that became operational in June, 2014. The Desert Sunlight image (left) was acquired March 12, 2015 and is located at 33.8 degrees north, 115.4 degrees west; the Topaz image (right) was acquired September 11, 2014 and is located at 35.4 degrees north, 120.1 degrees west. Each image covers an area of 10.5 x 12 km.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
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nasagoddard In one of the most comprehensive multi-observatory galaxy surveys yet, astronomers find that galaxies like our Milky Way underwent a stellar “baby boom,” churning out stars at a prodigious rate, about 30 times faster than today.

Our sun, however, is a late “boomer.” The Milky Way’s star-birthing frenzy peaked 10 billion years ago, but our sun was late for the party, not forming until roughly 5 billion years ago. By that time the star formation rate in our galaxy had plunged to a trickle.

Read more: http://1.usa.gov/1GtO2pA

Caption: Artist's view of night sky from a hypothetical planet within a young Milky Way-like galaxy 10 billion years ago, the sky are ablaze with star birth. Pink clouds of gas harbor newborn stars, and bluish-white, young star clusters litter the landscape.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Z. Levay (STScI) #nasaoddard #hubble
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nasagoddard Eddies in the Southern Ocean -- The cloud cover over the Southern Ocean occasionally parts as it did on January 1, 2015 just west of the Drake Passage where the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite glimpsed the above collection of ocean-color delineated eddies which have diameters ranging from a couple of kilometers to a couple of hundred kilometers. Recent studies indicate that eddy activity has been increasing in the Southern Ocean with possible implications for climate change.

Credit: NASA's OceanColor/Suomi NPP/VIIRS #nasaoddard #eddies #weather
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nasagoddard Sea Ice off the Princess Astrid Coast -- On April 5, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image of sea ice off the coast of East Antarctica’s Princess Astrid Coast.

White areas close to the continent are sea ice, while white areas in the northeast corner of the image are clouds. One way to better distinguish ice from clouds is with false-color imagery. In the false-color view of the scene here, ice is blue and clouds are white.

The image was acquired after Antarctic sea ice had passed its annual minimum extent (reached on February 20, 2015), and had resumed expansion toward its maximum extent (usually reached in September). Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Kathryn Hansen via NASA's Earth Observatory #weather #ice
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nasagoddard In Leo Minor, NGC 3021 is more than meets the eye #Hubble25

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 3021 which lies about 100 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo Minor (The Little Lion). Among many other types of stars, this galaxy contains Cepheid variable stars, which can be used work out the distance to the galaxy. These stars pulsate at a rate that is closely related to their intrinsic brightness, so measurements of their rate of pulsation and their observed brightness give astronomers enough information to calculate the distance to the galaxy itself.

Cepheids are also used to calibrate an even brighter distance marker that can be used over greater distances: Type Ia supernovae. One of these bright exploding stars was observed in NGC 3021, back in 1995.

In addition, the supernova in NGC 3021 was also used to refine the measurement of what is known as the Hubble constant. The value of this constant defines how fast the Universe is expanding and the more accurately we know it the more we can understand about the evolution of the Universe in the past as well as in the future. So, there is much more to this galaxy than just a pretty spiral.

European Space Agency
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nasagoddard Hubble Finds Phantom Objects Near Dead Quasars

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed a set of wispy, goblin-green objects that are the ephemeral ghosts of quasars that flickered to life and then faded. The ethereal wisps outside the host galaxy are believed to have been illuminated by powerful ultraviolet radiation from a supermassive black hole at the core of the host galaxy. #Hubble25

I mage Credit: NASA, ESA, and W. Keel (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)
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X-Pro II NASA Goddard
nasagoddard NASA Goddard GPM "Signs of Spring" Photo Contest!! As GPM watches spring weather from above, we want to see what spring looks like to you! Get out your cameras and show us the signs of spring in your area - from April showers to dew-drops on flowers. Show us how precipitation influences spring in your area.

Post your coolest photos of the signs of spring, and we’ll choose the best ones to post on the NASA website.

While we welcome images of extreme weather, we don't want YOU to be too extreme. So before you take that photo, please make sure you're keeping safe.

The submission period is from 3/30/15 - 4/27/15. You must use #GPMSpring and #NASAGoddard on your photos.

You can also upload your photos to Flickr. Submit your photos to the GPM Extreme Weather Flickr group here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/gpm-extreme-weather/

Please provide as much information with the submission as you are comfortable providing:

Your name, affiliation (e.g. school, community group, etc.), location where photo was taken (country, city, state, latitude, longitude), and any other interesting details about the photo and how it was taken.

Please limit your posts to 10 submissions per person.

Read all the details at: http://bit.ly/GPMSpringPhoto #GPMSpring #nasagoddard #contest #photocontest
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nasagoddard NASA’s Hubble, Chandra Find Clues that May Help Identify Dark Matter — Using observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found that dark matter does not slow down when colliding with itself, meaning it interacts with itself less than previously thought. Researchers say this finding narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.

Dark matter is an invisible matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe. Because dark matter does not reflect, absorb or emit light, it can only be traced indirectly by, such as by measuring how it warps space through gravitational lensing, during which the light from a distant source is magnified and distorted by the gravity of dark matter.

Caption: Here are images of six different galaxy clusters taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (blue) and Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) in a study of how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. A total of 72 large cluster collisions were studied. Credit: NASA and ESA

#nasagoddard #hubble #hst space #darkmatter
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nasagoddard Cyclone Nathan in the Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Nathan has spent the past week slowly circling the Coral Sea east of the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern coast of #Queensland, #Australia. The Reef can be seen in this image as the light blue ribbon of reefs, islands and cays parallel to the Queensland coast. Now the Joint #Typhoon Warning Center predicts a westward track, with the storm strengthening to category 4 intensity. Landfall is forecast around 5:00 am local time between Cape Flattery and Cooktown still at category 4 strength with increased forward speed. This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument around 0340Z on March 18, 2015.

Credit: NASA/NOAA/Suomi NPP/VIIRS #nasagoddard #weather #cyclone
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nasagoddard Ziggy and the Eclipse

During the morning of March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, and a partial solar eclipse from northern Africa and northern Asia.
At about 09:25, Cetra Coverdale of Derbyshire, England went outside to view the eclipse. Soon after seeing the eclipse Cetra noticed Ziggy, the cat, had gotten up on the roof of the car to see what was going on. At that point Cetra said "…and I couldn't resist including him in the shot." Well, we are glad you did! What a great image! Thank you, Cetra for sharing your image with us!

Credit: Cetra Coverdale #nasagoddard #eclipse #sun #moon #England #Derbyshire #cat
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nasagoddard During the morning of March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, and a partial solar eclipse from northern Africa and northern Asia. NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Arctic Ocean on March 20 at 10:45 UTC (6:45 a.m. EDT) and captured the eclipse's shadow over the clouds in the Arctic Ocean.

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #eclipse #solareclipse #sun #earth #moon
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nasagoddard Arctic Sea Ice Sets New Record Winter Low

The sea ice cap of the Arctic appeared to reach its annual maximum winter extent on February 25, according to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At 5.61 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers), this year’s maximum extent was the smallest on the satellite record and also one of the earliest.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center #nasagoddard #arctic #weather #winter #snow #ice
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nasagoddard BaBam!
How about a little something green for St. Patrick's Day? "St. Patrick's Aurora" was taken at Donnelly Creek, Alaska at 1:30 am, March 17, 2015 by our good friend Sebastian Saarloos!

You can see more images from Sebastian at facebook.com/SebastianSaarloos

Credit: Sebastian Saarloos #aurora #StPatricksDay #space #science #nasagoddard #sky #alaska #HappyStPatricksDay
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nasagoddard In this view, looking towards Mercury's southern horizon, the rim of Rembrandt basin extends across the middle of the image. With a diameter of 716 kilometers (445 mi.), Rembrandt basin is one of the largest basins on Mercury. A variety of tectonic features are associated with the basin, including Enterprise Rupes, among the largest contractional landforms on the planet.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's limb imaging campaign. Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury's limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury's shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury's northern hemisphere.

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 three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington #nasagoddard #planet #space #mercury
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nasagoddard The galaxy UGC 8201, captured here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is a dwarf irregular galaxy, so called because of its small size and chaotic structure. It lies just under 15 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Draco (the Dragon). As with most dwarf galaxies it is a member of a larger group of galaxies. In this case UCG 8201 is part of the M81 galaxy group; this group is one of the closest neighbors to the Local Group of galaxies, which contains our galaxy, the Milky Way.

UGC 8201 is at an important phase in its evolution. It has recently finished a long period of star formation, which had significant impact on the whole galaxy. This episode lasted for several hundred million years and produced a high number of newborn bright stars. These stars can be seen in this image as the dominating light source within the galaxy. This process also changed the distribution and amount of dust and gas in between the stars in the galaxy.

Such large star formation events need extensive sources of energy to trigger them. However, compared to larger galaxies, dwarf galaxies lack such sources and they do not appear to have enough gas to produce as many new stars as they do. This raises an important unanswered question in galaxy evolution: How do relatively isolated, low-mass systems such as dwarf galaxies sustain star formation for extended periods of time?
Due to its relative proximity to Earth UGC 8201 is an excellent object for research and provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of how dwarf galaxies evolve and grow.

Credit: ESA/NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #space #galaxy
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nasagoddard Sun Emits an X2.2 Flare on March 11, 2015

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 12:22 p.m. EDT on March 11, 2015. NASA’s 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 an X2.2-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.
This image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows a blend of light from the 171 and 131 Ångström wavelengths. The Earth is shown to scale.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO #nasagoddard #sun #cme #space
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