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LIFTOFF! A #Dragon 🐉 went soaring into the sky atop a @SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket! The Dragon cargo craft will deliver more than 5,800 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies to the crew living aboard the International Space Station ( @iss), including science that studies thunderstorms on Earth, space gardening, potential pathogens in space, new ways to patch up wounds and more. Liftoff was at 4:00 p.m. EDT. This was SpaceX’s 14th resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory. Photo credit: NASA #spacex #nasa #spacestation #internationalspacestation #research #dragoncargocraft #science #technology #falcon9 #rocket #launch #picofthday ...more
2 weeks ago
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The spiral galaxy seen here by our Hubble Space Telescope ( @NASAHubble) is located about 130 million light-years away and is classified as an Sc spiral galaxy. But its spiral arms - the dominating feature of spiral galaxies - are almost impossible to see, because it presents itself at an almost perfectly edge-on angle. Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, this galaxy was host to a fascinating and rare event in 2003. A faint supernova appeared about 8,000 light-years below the central bulge. Supernovae are the huge, violent explosions of dying stars, and the one that exploded in this galaxy - not visible in this much later image - was classified as a Type Ib/c supernova. It was particularly interesting because its spectrum showed strong signatures of calcium. Calcium-rich supernovae are rare and hence of great interest to astronomers. Astronomers still struggle to explain these particular explosions as their existence presents a challenge to both observation and theory. In particular, their appearance outside of galaxies, their lower luminosity compared to other supernovae, and their rapid evolution are still open questions for researchers. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #telescope #galaxy #supernova #lightyears #beautiful #pictureoftheday #science #astronomy ...more
3 weeks ago
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From space, the sprawling Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Lombok appear perfectly arranged. In this majestic view, captured from 250 miles above courtesy of astronaut Ricky Arnold ( @Astro_Ricky) aboard the International Space Station ( @iss), the impeccably aligned islands are disconnected only by tiny passages of water called straits. The Lombok Strait, which separates Bali and Lombok, is a slice of an invisible boundary called the Wallace Line. The margin, which runs between Asia and Australia, was created by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859 and was drawn to separate the wildlife of Australia from the wildlife of Southeast Asia. This study of the geographical distribution of species and ecosystems is called biogeography and was formed from the work of Wallace and other biologist and explorers. There are currently six people living on the space station. While living aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory, they will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science. Credit: NASA/ @Astro_Ricky #nasa #space #spacestation #crew #astronaut #spacecraft #orbit #earth #research #science #picoftheday #indonesia #bali #archipelago #java #lombok #islands ...more
3 weeks ago
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Just six days after arriving at their new home in space, NASA astronauts Drew Feustel ( @astro_feustel) and Ricky Arnold ( @astro_ricky) ventured outside the International Space Station ( @iss) to complete the fourth spacewalk this year. In 6 hours, 10 minutes, the veteran spacewalkers successfully installed wireless communications antennas, replaced a camera system and removed suspect hoses from a cooling system. The team also completed prep work for future spacewalk activities, referred to as get-ahead tasks, wrapping up at 3:43 p.m. EDT. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 54 days and 10 hours working outside the station in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Image Credit: Roscosmos/Oleg Artemyev #nasa #space #spacestation #liftoff #launch #rocket #crew #astronaut #spacecraft #orbit #earth #research #science #launch #picoftheday ...more
3 weeks ago
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Ready to find some planets? The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is getting ready for launch! TESS is the next step in our search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. This planet hunter will scan nearly the entire sky over two years to monitor 200,000 of the nearest and brightest stars in search of transits - periodic dips in a star’s brightness caused by planets passing in front of their stars. Led out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, TESS is expected to find thousands of new exoplanets. Powerful telescopes could then study these planets in more detail to help determine what they are made of, and what their atmospheres are like. Stay tuned for more about TESS as we get closer to launch, which is currently scheduled for no earlier than April 16! Credit: NASA/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab #nasa #space #exoplanets #planets #astronomy #satellite #picoftheday #spacecraft #tess #science #nasatess #habitableplanets #star #NewWorlds #astrophysics #spacecraft ...more
3 weeks ago
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We ran together three sequences of the Sun taken in three different extreme ultraviolet wavelengths by our Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) to better illustrate how features that appear in one sequence are difficult, if not impossible, to see in the others (Mar. 20-21, 2018). In the red sequence, we can see very small jets of solar material burst from the Sun’s surface and some small prominences, bright features extending outward, at the edge, which are not easily discerned in the other two sequences. In the second clip, we can readily observe a coronal hole, the large and dark region where the Sun's magnetic field is open to interplanetary space, though it is difficult to distinguish in the others. In the third clip, we can see strands of plasma waving above the surface, especially above the one small, but bright, active region near the right edge. These are just three of the 10 extreme ultraviolet wavelengths in which SDO images the Sun every 12 seconds every day. That's a lot of data and a lot of science! Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory #nasa #space #sun #solar #sdo #light #earth #solarsystem #science #video #ultraviolet #uv #uvlight #picoftheday ...more
3 weeks ago
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The galaxy in this Hubble Space Telescope ( @NASAHubble) image is unique in that it is considered a relic of what galaxies were like in the early universe. The galaxy is composed exclusively of aging stars that were born 10 billion years ago. But unlike other galaxies in the local universe, it has not undergone any further star formation. Astronomers nickname such galaxies as "red and dead," because the stars are aging and there aren't any successive generations of younger stars. The telltale sign of the galaxy's "arrested development" lies in the ancient globular clusters that swarm around it. The reddish clusters are the strongest evidence that the galaxy went out of the star-making business long ago. Otherwise, there would be a lot of blue globular star clusters, which are largely absent. The lack of blue clusters suggests that this galaxy never grew further by gobbling up surrounding galaxies. The galaxy lives near the center of the Perseus cluster of over 1,000 galaxies, located 240 million light-years away from Earth. This galaxy is moving so fast through the cluster, at 2 million miles per hour, that it cannot merge with other galaxies to collect stars or pull in gas to fuel star formation. In addition, near the galaxy cluster center, intergalactic gas is so hot it cannot cool to condense and form stars. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Beasley (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) #nasa #space #galaxy #relic #unique #beautiful #hubble #spothubble #telescope #billion #galaxies #stars #universe #solarsystem #persus #cluster #lightyears #merge #science #ancient ...more
4 weeks ago
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While you've spent the past 2000 days on planet Earth, our Curiosity rover has been exploring another world entirely. The rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth sol on Mars. A sol is slightly longer than an Earth day at 24 hours and 40 minutes. This mosaic taken by the rover looks uphill at Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been climbing since 2014. Highlighted in white is an area with clay-bearing rocks that scientists are eager to explore; it could shed additional light on the role of water in creating Mount Sharp. The mosaic was assembled from dozens of images taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam). It was taken on Sol 1931 back in January. The formation of clay minerals requires water. Scientists have already determined that the lower layers of Mount Sharp formed within lakes that once spanned Gale Crater's floor. The area ahead could offer additional insight into the presence of water, how long it may have persisted, and whether the ancient environment may have been suitable for life. Curiosity landed on the Red Planet in August 2012 and has traveled 11.6 miles (18.7 kilometers) in that time. In 2013, the mission found evidence of an ancient freshwater-lake environment that offered all the basic chemical ingredients for microbial life. Having studied more than 600 vertical feet of rock with signs of lakes and groundwater, Curiosity's international science team concluded that habitable conditions lasted for at least millions of years. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS #nasa #space #mars #redplanet #curiosity #rover #spacecraft #mountsharp #planet #solarsystem #life #search #science #rocks #explore #2000 #sol #day ...more
4 weeks ago
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The exquisite sharpness of this 2005 Hubble Space Telescope ( @NASAHubble) image has plucked out an underlying population of infant stars that are still forming from gravitational collapsing gas clouds. They have still not ignited their hydrogen fuel to sustain nuclear fusion. The smallest of these infant stars is only half the mass of our Sun. Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Nota (STScI/ESA) #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #stars #nursery #telescope #infant #gas #clouds #hydrogen #fuel #sun #mass #science #solarsystem #universe ...more
4 weeks ago
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Near-Earth space is an atmospheric gold mine. To study this uncharted, dynamic area that responds both to space weather above and the lower atmosphere below, we recently launched our Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument. GOLD is designed to track big events in the lower atmosphere, such as hurricanes or tsunamis, that create waves that can travel all the way up to this interface to space, changing wind patterns and causing disruptions. Roughly the size of a mini fridge, the 80-pound GOLD instrument is an imaging spectrograph that breaks light down into its component wavelengths and measures their intensities. Specifically, it measures far ultraviolet light, creating full-disk ultraviolet images of Earth from its geostationary vantage point above the Western Hemisphere. GOLD will collect observations with a 30-minute cadence, much higher than any mission that has come before it. Providing the first maps of the upper atmosphere’s changing temperature and composition all over the Americas. This image of Earth was taken by the International Space Station ( @iss) crew in December 2017. Credit: NASA/Chris Meaney #nasa #space #earth #orbit #gold #satellite #ionosphere #spacestation #internationalspacestation #clouds #atmosphere #ocean #water #palebluedot #home #picoftheday ...more
1 month ago
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LIFTOFF! NASA astronauts Drew Feustel ( @astro_feustel) and Ricky Arnold ( @astro_ricky) and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev ( @Olegmks) of Roscosmos left Earth at 1:14 EDT to head toward the International Space Station ( @iss).After a two-day flight, the new crew members will dock to the station’s docking module on Friday, March 23 and the new residents will begin their mission! There are currently three people living on the space station, soon to be joined by the three crew members that launched today. While living aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory, they will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky #nasa #space #spacestation #liftoff #launch #rocket #crew #astronaut #spacecraft #orbit #earth #research #science #launch #picoftheday ...more
1 month ago
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3..2..1... Fire! Rocket engine nozzles operate in extreme temperatures and pressures from the combustion process and are complex and expensive to manufacture. That is why a team of engineers at our Marshall Space Flight Center ( @NASA_Marshall) developed and proved out a new 3-D printing technique for nozzle fabrication that can greatly reduce costs and development time. This new process was developed and advanced at NASA to build a less-expensive nozzle in significantly less time. While nozzles may look simple from the outside, they are actually very complex. The new method employs a wire-based additive manufacturing process to precisely close out the nozzle coolant channels, which contain the high pressure coolant fluid that protects the walls from the high temperatures a nozzle must withstand. Through hot-fire testing, engineers put the nozzle seen here through its paces, accumulating more than 1,040 seconds at high combustion chamber pressures and temperatures. Now, this technology is being licensed and considered in commercial applications across the industry. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Olive #nasa #metal #fire #ignition #rocketengine #exhaust #spacetech #technology #3dprinting #3d #rocket #rocketnozzle #nozzle #parts #tools #space #research #picoftheday #manufacturing #extremeengineering #engineering #pictureoftheday ...more
1 month ago
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