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  Posted: Sep 26, 2012 4:24 PM FEED
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Webb Telescope Flight Mirrors Delivered to NASA - Technicians and scientists check out one of the Webb telescope's first two flight mirrors in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn #nasa #nasagoddard #space #jwst

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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
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
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
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
Posted: Oct 14, 2017 1:04 AM
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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
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
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
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.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team
#astrobleme #manicouagan #earth #science #wordoftheday
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
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
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
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
A NASA Black Brant IX sounding rocket carrying a parachute test platform was successfully launched at 6:45 a.m. EST, October 4, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The 58-foot tall rocket carried the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission is to evaluate the performance of the ASPIRE payload, which is designed to test parachute systems in a low-density, supersonic environment.

The next launch currently scheduled from Wallops is Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft with supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. Antares is scheduled for launch no earlier than November 10.

Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #rocket #launch #space #science #nasagoddard
Posted: Oct 3, 2017 6:38 PM
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Three distinct solar active regions with towering arches rotated into view over a three-day period from Sept. 24-26, 2017. Charged particles spinning along the ever-changing magnetic field lines above the active regions trace out the magnetic field in extreme ultraviolet light, captured here by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Extreme ultraviolet light is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in gold. To give some sense of scale, the largest arches are many times the size of Earth.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO #nasagoddard #sun #earth #flare #science
Did you ever wonder what a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters looked like? Oh, and those small smudges in the background - they took several hundred million to billions of years to reach us!

In the center of a rich cluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation of Coma Berenices, lies a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters. NGC 4874 is a giant elliptical galaxy, about ten times larger than the Milky Way, at the center of the Coma Galaxy Cluster. With its strong gravitational pull, it is able to hold onto more than 30,000 globular clusters of stars, more than any other galaxy that we know of, and even has a few dwarf galaxies in its grasp.

In this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, NGC 4874 is the brightest object, located to the right of the frame and seen as a bright star-like core surrounded by a hazy halo. A few of the other galaxies of the cluster are also visible, looking like flying saucers dancing around NGC 4874. But the really remarkable feature of this image is the point-like objects around NGC 4874, revealed on a closer look: almost all of them are clusters of stars that belong to the galaxy. Each of these globular star clusters contains many hundreds of thousands of stars.

Recently, astronomers discovered that a few of these point-like objects are not star clusters but ultra-compact dwarf galaxies, also under the gravitational influence of NGC 4874. Being only about 200 light-years across and mostly made up of old stars, these galaxies resemble brighter and larger versions of globular clusters. They are thought to be the cores of small elliptical galaxies that, due to the violent interactions with other galaxies in the cluster, lost their gas and surrounding stars.

This Hubble image also shows many more distant galaxies that do not belong to the cluster, seen as small smudges in the background. While the galaxies in the Coma Cluster are located about 350 million light-years away, these other objects are much farther out. Their light took several hundred million to billions of years to reach us.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #star #galaxy #science
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Snaps Pictures of Earth and the Moon

This black-and-white image of the Earth-Moon system was captured on Sept. 25, 2017 by NavCam 1, one of three cameras that comprise TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System) on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. At the time this image was taken, the spacecraft was retreating from Earth after performing an Earth Gravity Assist maneuver on Sept. 22. Earth and the Moon are shown 249,000 miles (401,200 kilometers) apart, and the spacecraft is 804,000 miles (1,297,000 kilometers) from Earth and 735,000 miles (1,185,000 kilometers) from the Moon.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona #nasagoddard #moon #earth #space #science
NASA Tracking Hurricane Maria on Bahamas Approach

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at Maria's temperatures to find the strongest sides of the storm, while NOAA's GOES satellite revealed the extent of the storm in a visible image as it moved toward the Bahamas.

On Sept. 22 at 3:18 a.m. EDT (0718 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a thermal image of Hurricane Maria north of Hispaniola and nearing the Bahamas. The image showed highest coldest clouds around the eyewall and in bands of thunderstorms to the northeast and south and southeast of the center, stretching over Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Those clouder clouds have the capability of producing heavy rainfall.
Credit: NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #HurricaneMaria #PuertoRico #weather
Hubble's spies a cool galaxy with a hot corona, 150 million light-years from Earth

Galaxy NGC 6753, imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is a whirl of color — the bursts of blue throughout the spiral arms are regions filled with young stars glowing brightly in ultraviolet light, while redder areas are filled with older stars emitting in the cooler near-infrared.

But there is more in this galaxy than meets the Hubble eye. At 150 million light-years from Earth, astronomers highlighted NGC 6753 as one of only two known spiral galaxies that were both massive enough and close enough to permit detailed observations of their coronas. Galactic coronas are huge, invisible regions of hot gas that surround a galaxy’s visible bulk, forming a spheroidal shape. Coronas are so hot that they can be detected by their X-ray emission, far beyond the optical radius of the galaxy. Because they are so wispy, these coronas are extremely difficult to detect.

Galactic coronas are an example of telltale signs astronomers seek to help them determine how galaxies form. Despite the advances made in past decades, the process of galaxy formation remains an open question in astronomy. Various theories have been suggested, but since galaxies come in all shapes and sizes — including elliptical, spiral, and irregular — no single theory has so far been able to satisfactorily explain the origins of all the galaxies we see throughout the Universe.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #star #Universe
Posted: Sep 17, 2017 8:03 PM
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This @nasahubble picture shows NGC 5398, a barred spiral galaxy located about 55 million light-years away.

The galaxy is famous for containing an especially extensive HII region, a large cloud composed of ionized hydrogen (or HII, pronounced “H-two,” with H being the chemical symbol for hydrogen and the “II” indicating that the atoms have lost an electron to become ionized). NGC 5398’s cloud is named Tol 89 and sits at the lower left end of the galaxy’s central “bar” of stars, a structure that cuts through the galactic core and funnels material inwards to maintain the star formation occurring there.

Tol 86 is conspicuous in being the only large massive star-forming complex in the entire galaxy, with an extension of roughly 5,000 times; it contains at least seven young and massive star clusters. The two brightest clumps within Tol 89, which astronomers have named simply “A” and “B” appear to have undergone two bursts of star-forming activity — “starbursts” — roughly 4 million and less than 3 million years ago respectively. Tol 89-A is thought to contain a number of particularly bright and massive stars known as Wolf-Rayet stars, which are known for their high temperatures and extreme stellar winds.

Credit: NASA/ESA
#hubble #nasa #galaxy #space #science #astrophysics
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 7:14 PM
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In honor of Cassini's Grand Finale at Saturn tomorrow, we're looking back on a very big discovery on a very small moon.

When Cassini arrived at Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, it saw curtains of icy material venting into space. Then, using the Composite Infrared Spectrometer aboard the spacecraft, scientists discovered that Enceladus's south pole was much warmer than expected. The strange temperature patterns on Enceladus suggested that the small, icy moon was up to something. After years of analyzing data from the CIRS instrument and others, it was clear that Enceladus harbors a liquid-water ocean beneath its surface.

Later evidence indicated that this remarkable moon might have hydrothermal vents — something previously known to exist only on Earth. As Enceladus travels in its elliptical orbit about Saturn, the moon flexes as it gets nearer to its parent planet, then farther, then nearer again. Four great cracks near its south pole — “tiger stripes," seen here in blue — spread, then squeeze and grind. Warm salt water, gases and minerals erupt through those fractures in the miles-thick ice shell and blast into space, exiting the moon's surface at 800 miles per hour.

When the Cassini orbiter plunges into the atmosphere of Saturn on Sept. 15, a group of NASA Goddard scientists will be among those waiting for the spacecraft’s last long-distance ping. That bittersweet signal will mark the end of an era for the team, which has devoted two decades to operating the CIRS instrument.
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Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
#Cassini #GrandFinale #Saturn #NASA #Enceladus #space #science