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User Image nasagoddard Posted: Sep 14, 2012 6:19 PM (UTC)

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Hubble sees NGC 7090, a galaxy with active star-forming regions.

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User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 12, 2017 7:23 PM (UTC)

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Hubble's Celestial Snow Globe ❄️🛰️🌠
It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season in this @NASAHubble image of a blizzard of stars, which resembles a swirling snowstorm in a snow globe.
The stars are residents of the globular star cluster Messier 79, or M79, located 41,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lepus. The cluster is also known as NGC 1904.

Globular clusters are gravitationally bound groupings of as many as 1 million stars. M79 contains about 150,000 stars packed into an area measuring only 118 light-years across. These giant “star-globes” contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, estimated to be 11.7 billion years old.
This video starts with a wide-field view of the sky covering the constellations of Orion, the hunter, and Lepus, the hare. The view zooms down to the relatively tiny field of the Hubble image of globular star cluster Messier 79 (M79). The sequence then dissolves to a visualization of a rotating star cluster that provides three-dimensional perspective. The simulated star cluster is modeled to reflect the number, color, and distribution of stars in M79, but not its exact structure. Finally, the scene pulls back to reveal a special holiday greeting.
In the Hubble image, Sun-like stars appear yellow. The reddish stars are bright giants that represent the final stages of a star’s life. Most of the blue stars sprinkled throughout the cluster are aging “helium-burning” stars. These bright blue stars have exhausted their hydrogen fuel and are now fusing helium in their cores.
A scattering of fainter blue stars are “blue stragglers.” These unusual stars glow in blue light, mimicking the appearance of hot, young stars. Blue stragglers form either by the merger of stars in a binary system or by the collision of two unrelated stars in M79’s crowded core.
Credit: NASA and ESA, Acknowledgment: S. Djorgovski (Caltech) and F. Ferraro (University of Bologna) #nasagoddard #space #gaalaxy #star
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 9, 2017 9:37 PM (UTC)

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Hubble Frames an Explosive Galaxy

Don’t be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this ESA/ @NASAHubble Space Telescope image may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy, known as ESO 580-49, actually displays some explosive tendencies.

In October of 2011, a cataclysmic burst of high-energy gamma-ray radiation — known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB — was detected coming from the region of sky containing ESO 580-49. Astronomers believe that the galaxy was the host of the GRB, given that the chance of a coincidental alignment between the two is roughly 1 in 10 million. At a distance of around 185 million light-years from Earth, it was the second-closest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever detected.

Gamma-ray bursts are among the brightest events in the cosmos, occasionally outshining the combined gamma-ray output of the entire observable Universe for a few seconds. The exact cause of the GRB that probably occurred within this galaxy, catalogued as GRB 111005A, remains a mystery. Several events are known to lead to GRBs, but none of these explanations appear to fit the bill in this case. Astronomers have therefore suggested that ESO 580-49 hosted a new type of GRB explosion — one that has not yet been characterized.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #Hubble #star #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 6, 2017 7:34 PM (UTC)
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Santa Ana Winds Help Flame Huge Firestorm in Southern California

The fires in Southern California went from 0 to 30,000 (acres) in a matter of hours fueled by the Santa Ana winds. These winds, also dubbed the Diablo (Devil) Winds, are hot, dry, and ferocious. They can whip a small brush fire into a raging inferno in just hours. This is exactly what Southern California experienced on Monday night (Dec. 4). Thousands of residents found themselves evacuating when the Thomas Fire suddenly pushed into Ventura by the Santa Ana winds. These horrific winds are expected to continue through the end of the week making firefighting more difficult and much more dangerous. Winds in the area could reach 70 mph and this would have a devastating effect on the fire's movement. The fire has consumed over 50,000 acres at present as it jumped over Highway 101 and moved towards the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed in this latest round of wildfires in #California. Per the National Weather Center red flag conditions are expected to continue through the end of the week. This current round of Diablo Winds has been the longest and strongest wind event recorded this season.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on Dec. 05, 2017. Actively burning areas (hot spots), detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. Each hot spot is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC #nasagoddard #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 5, 2017 7:33 AM (UTC)

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NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Arabian Sea on Dec. 4 and found Tropical #Cyclone Ockhi moving north as desert dust pushed into the region north of the storm.

NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Ockhi on Dec. 4 at 1:20 a.m. The image shows thunderstorms were being pushed to the northeast into the leading edge of an approaching trough (elongated area) of low pressure from the west. That vertical wind shear that's causing the displacement has been increasing as the tropical cyclone moves north.

The tropical cyclone is battling wind shear that is forecast to increase over the next two days, and it is moving into an area with dry air. Both factors will weaken the storm, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Ockhi is expected to continue weakening and become a remnant low pressure area by the time of landfall near the Gulf of Khambhat on Dec. 6.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response #nasagoddard #space #science #dust #duststorm
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 3, 2017 5:51 AM (UTC)

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Hubble Sees Galaxy Cluster Warping Space and Time
This picturesque view from the ESA/@NASAHubble Space Telescope peers into the distant universe to reveal a galaxy cluster called Abell 2537.
Galaxy clusters such as this one contain thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes and sizes, together totaling a mass thousands of times greater than that of the Milky Way. These groupings of galaxies are colossal — they are the largest structures in the Universe to be held together by their own gravity.
Clusters are useful in probing mysterious cosmic phenomena like dark energy and dark matter, which can contort space itself. There is so much matter stuffed into a cluster like Abell 2537 that its gravity has visible effects on its surroundings. Abell 2537’s gravity warps the very structure of its environment (spacetime), causing light to travel along distorted paths through space. This phenomenon can produce a magnifying effect, allowing us to see faint objects that lie far behind the cluster and are thus otherwise unobservable from Earth. Abell 2537 is a particularly efficient lens, as demonstrated by the stretched stripes and streaking arcs visible in the frame. These smeared shapes are in fact galaxies, their light heavily distorted by the gravitational field of Abell 2537.
Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #science
User Image nasagoddard Posted: Dec 1, 2017 4:49 PM (UTC)
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“I know for certain that having strong #women mentors in college, graduate school and NASA let me know that my goals in science were achievable. The more women in these roles, the better it will be for those who follow.” — Astronaut Peggy Whitson on the new @MediaplanetUSA #WomeninResearch campaign.

Hear from @NASAGoddard's Christyl Johnson along with esteemed colleagues Sandra Coleman, Peggy Whitson and Ellen Ochoa as they speak about finding support with fellow women in male-dominated fields at: #nasagoddard #nasa #science #stem #WomenInSTEM #WomenInScience
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