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Happy Independence Day, America! 🇺🇸 With red, white and blue LED lights to mark the occasion, the Advanced Plant Habitat is one subtle way our astronauts can celebrate the holiday aboard the orbiting laboratory. So far, this recent addition to the International Space Station ( @ISS) has been used to grow and study Arabidopsis, small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard, and Dwarf Wheat. Because gravity is a constant downward force on Earth, researchers take advantage of the microgravity environment of the space station to achieve a clearer perspective of plant growth habits. Gravity is one of the major cues plants use to guide their growth, but microgravity can act as a kind of mute button that suppresses the role of gravity, enabling researchers to see what other cues take charge. A monitoring system equipped with 180 sensors, including water usage, carbon dioxide levels, light levels, temperature, humidity and oxygen in the growth chamber, and temperature, humidity and oxygen levels in the plant root systems, allows us to constantly analyze how plants grow in space. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #fourthofjuly #america #planets #greenery #science #crops #unitedstates #independence #flag #stars #starsandstripes #independenceday #fourthofjuly2018 #spacestation #led #lights #usflag #🇺🇸 ...more
1 month ago
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Celestial Fireworks! 🌟 Like a Fourth of July fireworks display, this glittering collection of stars located 20,000 light-years away from Earth looks like a red, white & blue aerial burst. Spotted in 2009 by our @NASAHubble Space Telescope as colorful and serene sight, this environment is anything but that! Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster of huge, hot stars. Most of the stars in the cluster were born around the same time but differ in size, mass, temperature and color. The course of a star's life is determined by its mass, so a cluster of a given age will contain stars in various stages of their lives, giving an opportunity for detailed analyses of stellar life cycles. The cluster seen here contains some of the most massive stars known. These huge stars live fast and die young, burning through their hydrogen fuel quickly and ultimately ending their lives in supernova explosions. Star clusters provide astronomers with important clues to understand the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe. Credit: NASA/ @EuropeanSpaceAgency/ @NASAHubble #nasa #fourthofjuly #4thofjuly #redwhiteblue #america #space #solarsystem #stars #fireworks #astronomy #hubble ...more
1 month ago
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Capturing a #Dragon! While the International Space Station ( @ISS) was traveling more than 250 miles over the Earth, astronauts Ricky Arnold ( @Astro_Ricky) and Drew Feustel ( @Astro_Feustel) captured SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft this morning using the space station’s #Canadarm2 robotic arm. Following that, SpaceX's #Dragon cargo craft was bolted into place and is now attached to the International Space Station where it will be for the next month delivering more than 5,900 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory. Astronaut Ricky Arnold ( @Astro_Ricky) shared this view of the Dragon cargo spacecraft as it traversed Italy en route to the space station earlier today. Image credit: @Astro_Ricky #spacex #nasa #spacestation #internationalspacestation #research #dragoncargocraft #science #technology #picofthday #spacestation ...more
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Launching to space 🚀! A #Dragon 🐉 that went racing into the sky at 5:42 a.m. EDT on Friday, June 29 atop a @SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket will arrive at the International Space Station ( @ISS) tomorrow morning! The Dragon cargo craft will deliver more than 5,900 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies to the crew living aboard our orbiting laboratory, including artificial intelligence 🤖, an instrument that will help us better understand volcanoes 🌋, fires 🔥, urban heat 🌇 and coastal and inland waters 🌊 here on Earth, and more. @astro_ricky and @astro_feustel will use the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in August and return to Earth with more than 3,800 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies. Photo credit: @NASAKennedy #spacex #nasa #spacestation #internationalspacestation #research #dragoncargocraft #science #technology #falcon9 #rocket #launch #picofthday ...more
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All eyes on Jupiter! 👀 Our @NASAJuno spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter’s southern hemisphere on the outbound leg of a close flyby of the gas giant planet. It’s called a gas giant planet because its atmosphere is made up of mostly hydrogen gas and helium gas, like the Sun. This color-enhanced image was taken on May 24 as the spacecraft performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 44,300 miles (71,400 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a southern latitude of 71 degrees. Since July 4, 2016 when the Juno spacecraft successfully entered the orbit of Jupiter, we have been peering below the dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill #nasa #space #juno #jupiter #gasgiant #planet #solarsystem #science #spacecraft #pictureoftheday #astronomy ...more
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Twinkle, twinkle, many stars! ⭐️ Spotted by our @NASAHubble telescope roughly in the direction of the center of the Milky Way, is this gravitationally bound collection of stars, also known as a globular cluster. Globular clusters contain hundreds of thousands of stars that are thought to have formed at roughly the same time. Studies have shown that the globular cluster seen here is home to an aging population of stars. Most globular clusters orbiting the Milky Way are estimated to be over 10 billion years old; as a result, they contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, formed very early in the galaxy’s history. However, their role in galactic evolution is still a matter of study. Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble #nasa #hubble #stars #stargazing #space #astronomy #spothubble #solarsystem #universe #galaxy #science #pictureoftheday #beautiful #light #picoftheday ...more
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Gaze upon the beauty of our home planet from the vantage point of our orbiting laboratory 250 miles above us in space. 🌎 Seen to the right of this picture captured June 23, 2018 is the 10-meter-long robotic arm of the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module, which was built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Kibo laboratory module launched to @ISS on segments - including two space shuttle missions in March and May of 2008 and a third shuttle mission in July 2009. Kibo - which means "hope" in Japanese - is Japan's first human space facility and enhances the unique research capabilities of our orbiting laboratory. One of the component of Kibo is a scientific airlock through which experiments are transferred and exposed to the external environment of space. Experiments in Kibo focus on space medicine, biology, Earth observations, material production, biotechnology and communications research. This important science and research not only benefits life here on Earth, but will eventually help us send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #spacestation #experiments #pretty #beautiful #science #view #earth #planet #views #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #views ...more
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What's up in the night sky? Enjoy a ringside seat for Saturn! Saturn is at opposition tonight, June 27th, when it and the Sun are on opposite sides of Earth. It rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. Great Saturn viewing will last several more months. The best views will be just after midnight. All year, the rings have been tilted wide open--almost 26 degrees wide this month--giving us a great view of Saturn's distinctive rings. The tilt offers us a view of the north polar region. Near Saturn, the brightest asteroid--Vesta--is so bright that it can be seen with your unaided eye. It will be visible for several months. A detailed star chart will help you pick out the asteroid from the stars. The summer Milky way provides a glittery backdrop. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #saturn #planets #stargazing #astronomy #solarsystem #nightsky #whatsup #lookup #sky #stars #june ...more
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To mark the birthday of French astronomer Charles Messier, our @NASAHubble telescope released new images of deep-sky objects that can be viewed in stunning detail. Best known for his "Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters,” Messier compiled a catalog of deep-sky objects in order to help prevent other comet enthusiasts from wasting their time studying objects that were not comets. This newly released image from Messier’s catalog features a reflection nebula located in the constellation Orion. A reflection nebula is created when light from a star is scattered or reflected off a nearby dust cloud. Located approximately 1,600 light-years away from Earth with an apparent magnitude of 8, this deep-sky object can be found in binoculars and small telescopes, but telescopes 8 inches or larger will reveal more detail in the nebula. It has the distinction of appearing very comet like, with one side of the nebula flaring away like a comet’s tail. This has fooled many comet hunters into believing they have made a new discovery. Images like this one can help astronomers develop a better understanding of protostellar evolution, the early developmental stages in a star’s life. Credit: NASA/ESA, J. Muzerolle (Space Telescope Science Institute) and S. Megeath (University of Toledo) #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #universe #science #distant #nebula #comet #binoculars #cosmic #exploration #stars ...more
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In astronomy, the devil is in the details — as this Hubble Space Telescope ( @NASAHubble) image demonstrates. Within it is an especially beautiful spiral galaxy. In the past decade, astronomers peering at this galaxy have possibly discovered not one but three examples of a cosmic phenomenon known as a supernova, the magnificently bright explosion of a star nearing the end of its life. This image was taken 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 James Webb Space Telescope to study. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #webb #universe #science #distant #galaxies #clusters #celestial #stars #cosmic #origins #exploration ...more
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Mystery solved! 😮 A new study explains why the Tracy and Heilprin glaciers, which flow side by side into Inglefield Gulf in northwest Greenland, are melting at radically different rates. Using ocean data from our Oceans Melting Greenland campaign, the study documents a plume of warm water flowing up Tracy's underwater face, and a much colder plume in front of Heilprin. Scientists have assumed plumes like these exist for glaciers all around Greenland, but this is the first time their effects have been measured. The finding highlights the critical role of oceans in glacial ice loss and their importance for understanding future sea level rise. Credit: NASA #nasa #science #picoftheday #glaciers #greenland #earth #wow #beautiful #earthscience #research #planet #climate ...more
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The heat is on 🔥! Our Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite captured a relatively small - see the Earth inset for scale - prominence hovering over the Sun’s surface on June 12-14 before breaking off into space. Prominences are clouds of solar material suspended above the Sun’s surface by the solar magnetic field – the same complex magnetism that drives solar events like flares and coronal mass ejections. The solar material in the prominence streams along the Sun’s magnetic field lines before it thins out and gradually breaks away from the solar surface. Credit: NASA/SDO #nasa #space #sun #solar #sdo #light #earth #solarsystem #science #video #ultraviolet #uv #uvlight #picoftheday ...more
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