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  Posted: Apr 27, 2012 3:25 PM
68 Earlybird
Enterprise flies over NASA Goddard en route to New York. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Brent Warner #nasa #spottheshuttle #nasagoddard #Enterprise #NYC

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User Image nasagoddard Posted: Nov 18, 2017 1:53 PM (UTC)
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Hubble is searching for a missing arm, 30 million light-years away .
This new picture of the week, taken by the ESA/@NASAHubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single major spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one such spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two?
Astronomers looked at NGC 4625 in different wavelengths in the hope of solving this cosmic mystery. Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disk of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot — hence mainly visible in the ultraviolet — stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy. These young stars are only around one billion years old, about 10 times younger than the stars seen in the optical center. At first astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy called NGC 4618.
They speculated that NGC 4618 may be the culprit “harassing” NGC 4625, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim. The gas in the outermost regions of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4618 has been strongly affected by NGC 4625.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #science #arm #space #galaxy
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Nov 10, 2017 2:06 AM (UTC)
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NASA is launching the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 early next year! This mission will test tools, technologies and techniques to transfer and freeze cryogenic propellant (e.g., liquid methane) and electric propellant (e.g., xenon) in orbit. Pictured is Senior Tools Engineer Matt Ashmore inspecting one of the tools to be used in the mission-- the Cryogen Servicing Tool.
Cryogen is used as a potent propellant or coolant to keep critical optical equipment cold and operational, and xenon is a highly efficient propellant used for solar electric propulsion. The ability to transfer and replenish both is critical to enabling long duration journeys to destinations like the Moon and Mars.
Read more:

Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn #space #science #nasagoddard #tool
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Nov 9, 2017 8:13 PM (UTC)
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No matter where you are in the solar system, our Pale Blue Dot takes your breath away. This #CarlSaganDay, we'd like to share these humbling views of Earth from near and far: from here at home, the Moon, Mars, Saturn and beyond.
"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." - Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Image credits
Blue Marble: NASA Earth Observatory
Earthrise: NASA
Saturn: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Pale Blue Dot: NASA/JPL-Caltech
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Nov 3, 2017 7:38 PM (UTC)
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This massive galaxy cluster located in the well-known constellation of Ursa Major, contains at least 300 individual galaxies

The universe contains some truly massive objects. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is known as hierarchical clustering, whereby small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever larger. The 14-billion-year history of the Universe has seen the formation of some enormous cosmic structures, including galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters — the largest known structures in the cosmos!

This particular cluster is called Abell 665. It was named after its discoverer, George O. Abell, who included it in his seminal 1958 cluster catalogue. Abell 665 is located in the well-known northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This incredible image combines visible and infrared light gathered by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope using two of its cameras: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3.

Abell 665 is the only galaxy cluster in Abell’s entire catalogue to be given a richness class of 5, indicating that the cluster contains at least 300 individual galaxies. Because of this richness, the cluster has been studied extensively at all wavelengths, resulting in a number of fascinating discoveries — among other research, Abell 665 has been found to host a giant radio halo, powerful shockwaves, and has been used to calculate an updated value for the Hubble constant (a measure of how fast the Universe is expanding).

Credit: ESA/ @nasahubble #nasagoddard #hubble #galaxy #space #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 31, 2017 3:03 PM (UTC)
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Happy Halloween! 👻
NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites send thrilling scientific data from low-Earth orbit 24/7/365! They provide communications and tracking support for more than 40 NASA missions and just launched a new TDRS satellite in August! This illustration shows first-generation TDRS from the 1980s, overlaid with an image from @nasahubble, one of the spacecraft that TDRS supports.

Credit: NASA Goddard #nasagoddard #Halloween #HappyHalloween #space #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 30, 2017 3:49 PM (UTC)
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NASA’s DC-8 research plane flew over the Palmer Peninsula of #Antarctica on Oct. 14, 2017. The flight was part of the Atmospheric Tomography mission to survey over 200 gases as well as airborne particles on a 30-day tour around the world. This Antarctic flight coincides with the annual formation of the hole in the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. The scientists aboard the DC-8 are interested in studying the gases present below the ozone hole to better understand the chemical processes at work in this region of the atmosphere. In addition, the flight reprises research flights made 30 years ago by the DC-8 during the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (AAOE), a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and other international agencies and universities.

The AAOE flights in 1987 paired the DC-8 with the ER-2 research plane to follow up on the British Antarctic Survey’s 1985 report characterizing the ozone layer’s destruction. The ozone layer protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet light from the Sun that can damage DNA and, for example, cause skin cancer and other health problems. In the 1980s scientists discovered that ozone was being depleted, and the AAOE data confirmed that it was indeed the result of chlorine and bromine chemistry caused by human-emitted #chlorofluorocarbons, which were banned by the Montreal Protocol in the same year.

Credit: Caltech/Paul Wennberg #nasagoddard #science #ice #snow
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 27, 2017 2:07 PM (UTC)
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Hubble digs into massive galaxies in hopes to aid the forthcoming NASA James Webb Space Telescope.
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is chock-full of galaxies. Each glowing speck is a different galaxy, except the bright flash in the middle of the image which is actually a star lying within our own galaxy that just happened to be in the way. At the center of the image lies something especially interesting, the center of the massive galaxy cluster called WHL J24.3324-8.477, including the brightest galaxy of the cluster.
The Universe contains structures on various scales — planets collect around stars, stars collect into galaxies, galaxies collect into groups, and galaxy groups collect into clusters. Galaxy clusters contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. Dark matter and dark energy play key roles in the formation and evolution of these clusters, so studying massive galaxy clusters can help scientists to unravel the mysteries of these elusive phenomena.
This infrared image was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing program called RELICS (Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey). RELICS imaged 41 massive galaxy clusters with the aim of finding the brightest distant galaxies for the forthcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope to study. Such research will tell us more about our cosmic origins.
Credit: ESA/@NASAHubble #space #nasagoddard #galaxy #science #Hubble
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 23, 2017 7:31 PM (UTC)
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Saturday, Oct. 28 is International Observe the Moon Night, a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration.

One day each year, everyone is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with Earth’s nearest neighbor.
So save the date and plan on looking up this Saturday!
Learn more at

The animation shows the geocentric phase, libration, position angle of the axis, and apparent diameter of the Moon throughout the year 2017, at hourly intervals.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/LRO #nasagoddard #LRO #moon #IOTMN
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 20, 2017 2:57 PM (UTC)
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Hubble unveils a violent encounter of two galaxies becoming one, 250 million light-years away --- This image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows what happens when two galaxies become one. The twisted cosmic knot seen here is NGC 2623 — or Arp 243 — and is located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab). NGC 2623 gained its unusual and distinctive shape as the result of a major collision and subsequent merger between two separate galaxies. This violent encounter caused clouds of gas within the two galaxies to become compressed and stirred up, in turn triggering a sharp spike of star formation. This active star formation is marked by speckled patches of bright blue; these can be seen clustered both in the center and along the trails of dust and gas forming NGC 2623’s sweeping curves (known as tidal tails). These tails extend for roughly 50 000 light-years from end to end. Many young, hot, newborn stars form in bright stellar clusters — at least 170 such clusters are known to exist within NGC 2623.

NGC 2623 is in a late stage of merging. It is thought that the Milky Way will eventually resemble NGC 2623 when it collides with our neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, in 4 billion years’ time.

Image credit: ESA/@NASAHubble #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #space #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 19, 2017 9:01 PM (UTC)
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Hubble released a set of celestial objects that were all the rage in the 1800's, thanks to astronomer Charles Messier —

In a nod to the global amateur #astronomy community, as well as to any space enthusiast who enjoys the beauty of the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope mission is releasing its version of the popular Messier catalog, featuring some of Hubble’s best images of these celestial objects that were once noted for looking like comets but turned out not to be.

This release coincides with the Orionid meteor shower — a spectacle that occurs each year when Earth flies through a debris field left behind by Halley’s Comet when it last visited the inner solar system in 1986. The shower will peak during the pre-dawn hours this Saturday, Oct. 21.

credit: @NASAHubble #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 18, 2017 7:37 PM (UTC)
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Nobody likes to hear "I told you so," but sometimes in science it's advantageous —

When the total solar eclipse swept across the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, NASA satellites captured a diverse set of images from space. But days before the eclipse, some NASA satellites also enabled scientists to predict what the corona — the Sun’s outer atmosphere — would look like during the eclipse, from the ground.
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Predictive Science, Inc. developed a numerical model that simulated what the corona would look like during the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Their model uses observations of magnetic fields on the Sun’s surface and requires a wealth of supercomputing resources to predict how the magnetic field shapes the corona over time.
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This is a photograph taken on the ground during the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. “Based on a very preliminary comparison, it looks like the model did very well in capturing features of the large-scale corona,” Predictive Science president and scientist Jon Linker said.
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Due to STEREO-A’s position behind the Sun and the particular rotation rates of the Sun and Earth, STEREO-A’s view of the corona on Aug. 12, 2017, was virtually the same those within the path of totality would see nine days later on Aug. 21. That is, STEREO-A’s vantage point is roughly nine days in advance of Earth’s.

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An image from the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, which was positioned to share Earth’s view of the corona on Aug. 21 shows great similarity to STEREO-A’s view.

credit: NASA #nasagoddard #eclipse #sun #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 17, 2017 8:28 PM (UTC)
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Southern African Agricultural "slash and burn" fires overwhelm landscape. --- The Suomi NPP satellite's instrument known as VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) detected hundreds of fires burning in southern Africa on October 15, 2017. The fires are outlined in red. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Places where traditional plots of open land is not available because the vegetation in the area is dense are the places where "slash and burn" agriculture is practiced most often. These regions include parts of Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia, where an abundance of grasslands and rainforests are found.

Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. In southern Africa, the agricultural burning season usually runs from June through September when the next growing season begins.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #fire #africa #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 16, 2017 5:49 PM (UTC)
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Hubble Turns its Gaze Towards New Gravitational-Wave Event —

The glow from this titanic collision, shining within the galaxy NGC 4993 is at a distance of 130 million light-years away. On August 17, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from a neutron star collision within this galaxy. The event also resulted in a flare of light called a kilonova, which is visible to the upper left of the galactic center in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

@NASAHubble also obtained an infrared spectrum that may yield signs of exotic, radioactive elements. The analysis will continue while astronomers wait for the gravitational wave source to emerge from behind the Sun from Earth’s point of view, where it slipped just days after discovery.
Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble #nasagoddard #space #GravitationalWave #Hubble #galaxy
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 14, 2017 1:04 AM (UTC)
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NASA Satellite Sees a Tail of Smoke Over 500 Miles Long from California Fires --- ASA’s Terra satellite saw a stream of smoke that extended over 500 miles from various fires raging in northern California out over the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra passed over California on Oct. 12 and captured a visible light image of the smoke plume. The MODIS image showed the stream of smoke extending from Santa Rosa, #California, located north of San Francisco, out into the Eastern Pacific, parallel to San Diego. A stream that stretched over 550 miles.
Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #wildfire #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 13, 2017 4:43 PM (UTC)
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Hubble’s sees diminutive galaxy with a shocking rate of star production -- As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble), can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy!

Clusters of young, hot stars are speckling the galaxy, burning with a fierce blue glow. The intense radiation they produce also causes surrounding gas to light up, which is bright red in this image. The small mass and distinctive coloring of galaxies of this type prompted astronomers to classify them, appropriately, as blue compact dwarfs.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #star #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 11, 2017 4:35 PM (UTC)
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Wildfires in California Not Slowing Down

Wildfires continue to cause widespread destruction in the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley areas of #California. Hot, dry conditions, high winds, and lack of water in the area continue to hamper firefighter efforts in fighting these fires. Thousands of structures have been burned and stark landscapes show acres of standing fireplaces as the only structures that survived the fires that spread through neighborhoods. New evacuations have been called for as the fires continue to ravage this area of California. #nasagoddard #wildfire
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 10, 2017 1:51 PM (UTC)
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Today's @dictionarycom Word of the Day is "astrobleme," a scar on Earth's surface produced by the impact of a meteorite or asteroid.

Lake Manicouagan in northern Quebec, Canada, lies in one of the largest impact craters still preserved on Earth's surface. The lake itself surrounds a central uplift of the impact structure, which is about 70 kilometers in diameter and composed of broken fragments of minerals and rock. Overtime glaciation and other erosional processes have reduced the size of the crater.

The impact that formed Manicouagan is thought to have occurred about 212 million years ago, and some scientists believe it may have been responsible for a mass extinction that wiped out more than half of all living species. Today Lake Manicouagan serves as a reservoir and is one of Quebec's most important regions for Atlantic salmon fishing.

#astrobleme #manicouagan #earth #science #wordoftheday
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 10, 2017 4:10 AM (UTC)
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Cloud or glacier? From our friend Sara Bareilles.
We're going with lenticular cloud ☁️ Lenticular clouds are unique in that sometimes you may see bright colors — what scientists call irisation — along the edges of the clouds. This can give them a definite outer space feel. Airplane pilots will usually try to avoid flying near lenticular clouds. 📷 credit: @sarabareilles
Cloud glacier.

#repost #cloud #science #lenticularclouds
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 9, 2017 5:41 PM (UTC)
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Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris II had already become the youngest African American to perform and lead an integration efforts on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a combined mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that serves as a successor to the highly popular Hubble Space Telescope; however, this was not his first mission. In fact, he has completed work on four successful satellite missions over the course of his more than nine year tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a combination of paid internships, academic projects, volunteer positions, and career opportunities.
These missions include MMS, GPM, JWST, and JPSS. Now, at age 25, Kenneth continues to accomplish incredible feats. Read more about this on the @nasawebb page & help support him by commenting #Forbes & #30under30

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
#JWST #NASA #30under30 #Kennyfharris #Forbes #Tech #nasagoddard
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Oct 6, 2017 4:24 PM (UTC)
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At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left). The Honeycomb Nebula was found serendipitously by astronomers using ESO’s New Technology Telescope to image the nearby SN1987A, the closest observed supernova to Earth for more than 400 years. The nebula’s strange bubble-like shape has baffled astronomers since its discovery in the early 1990s. Various theories have been proposed to explain its unique structure, some more exotic than others.

In 2010, a group of astronomers studied the nebula and, using advanced data analysis and computer modelling, came to the conclusion that its unique appearance is likely due to the combined effect of two supernovae — a more recent explosion has pierced the expanding shell of material created by an older explosion. The nebula’s especially striking appearance is suspected to be due to a fortuitous viewing angle; the honeycomb effect of the circular shells may not be visible from another viewpoint.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla) #nasagoddard #space #Hubble #galaxy #supernova