Saturday, April 30, 2016

Perfectly still water at Obersee next to Königssee in Bavaria [OC] [1024x768] via /r/EarthPorn

Meow irl via /r/MEOW_IRL

God must be a Starwars fan because this looks like a lightsaber. Antelope Canyon Arizona, Page Arizona [OC] [1000x1500] via /r/EarthPorn

Sun setting on Big Bend [OC] [4928x3264] via /r/SkyPorn

Kakabeh hills, Coorg, India [OC] [4320*2432] via /r/EarthPorn

meow 🍕 irl via /r/MEOW_IRL

[3872×2315] [OC] Skyrim, Utah (/r/skyrim suggested this x-post) Big Cottonwood Canyon via /r/EarthPorn

A bend in the Brazos River from above. Dinosaur Valley State Park, TX. [OC][2048x1365] via /r/EarthPorn

Night reflections of Yosemite Fall, Yosemite National Park, California | by Kotomi Ito. [2048x1367] via /r/EarthPorn

I took this photo of the Dead Sea from the side of the highway in Israel. I had no idea a desolate wasteland could still be so beautiful. [4150x1697] via /r/EarthPorn

White Sands National Monument in March [OC][3312x856] via /r/EarthPorn

Sunset at Black Sand Beach, Hawaii [OC] [4783x2754] via /r/EarthPorn

Sonoma County,Northern Calif. Beach. [640x480] [OC] [OS] via /r/EarthPorn

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fermi's Gamma-ray Moon

If you could only see gamma-rays, photons with up to a billion or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would be brighter than the Sun! That startling notion underlies this novel image of the Moon, based on data collected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope's Large Area Telescope (LAT) instrument during its first seven years of operation (2008-2015). Fermi's gamma-ray vision doesn't distinguish details on the lunar surface, but a gamma-ray glow consistent with the Moon's size and position is clearly found at the center of the false color map. The brightest pixels correspond to the most significant detections of lunar gamma-rays. Why is the gamma-ray Moon so bright? High-energy charged particles streaming through the Solar System known as cosmic rays constantly bombard the lunar surface, unprotected by a magnetic field, generating the gamma-ray glow. Because the cosmic rays come from all sides, the gamma-ray Moon is always full and does not go through phases. The first gamma-ray image of the Moon was captured by the EGRET instrument onboard the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, launched 25 years ago. via NASA

Arch Up and Out

via SDO Pick of the Week

NASA’s Juno Mission on Course for July 4 Arrival at Jupiter, Media Accreditation Open

Media accreditation now is open for events around the arrival of NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter on July 4. The spacecraft, which will reveal the story of the formation and evolution of the planet Jupiter, will enter into orbit around the gas giant that evening, five years after leaving Earth.

April 29, 2016
from NASA

Unique Fragment from Earth’s Formation Returns after Billions of Years in Cold Storage

via ESO Top News

Unique Fragment from Earth’s Formation Returns after Billions of Years in Cold Storage

via ESO Top News

Sen. Mikulski, NASA Administrator Bolden to View Progress at Wallops Flight Facility

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will host Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and agency Administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday, May 3, for an employee town hall and tour. The tour will include a stop at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A, where preparations are underway to conduct a hot fire test of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket

April 29, 2016
from NASA

James Webb Space Telescope's Golden Mirror

Inside the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the golden James Webb Space Telescope is viewed from overhead with its secondary mirror booms stowed. In the next few months, engineers will install other key elements, and take additional measurements to ensure the telescope is ready for space. via NASA

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Dust Angel Nebula

The combined light of stars along the Milky Way are reflected by these cosmic dust clouds that soar some 300 light-years or so above the plane of our galaxy. Dubbed the Angel Nebula, the faint apparition is part of an expansive complex of dim and relatively unexplored, diffuse molecular clouds. Commonly found at high galactic latitudes, the dusty galactic cirrus can be traced over large regions toward the North and South Galactic poles. Along with the refection of starlight, studies indicate the dust clouds produce a faint reddish luminescence, as interstellar dust grains convert invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Also capturing nearby Milky Way stars and an array of distant background galaxies, the deep, wide-field 3x5 degree image spans about 10 Full Moons across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation Ursa Major. via NASA

NASA Dedicates Facility to Mathematician, Presidential Medal Winner

NASA will commemorate the many contributions of retired mathematician Katherine Johnson to America’s space program during a building dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 5 -- the 55th anniversary of Alan Shepard's historic rocket launch and splash down, which Johnson helped make possible. The ceremony will air live on NASA Television and

April 28, 2016
from NASA

Orion Crew Module for Exploration Mission-1 Lifted to Test Stand

The Orion spacecraft crew module for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) is lifted into a test stand for pressure testing in the Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The work is an important milestone on Orion’s journey toward EM-1, its mission beyond the moon atop the Space Launch System rocket in 2018. via NASA

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Star Cluster

This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars. Omega Centauri is also the brightest globular cluster, at apparent visual magnitude 3.9 it is visible to southern observers with the unaided eye. Cataloged as NGC 5139, Omega Centauri is about 18,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter. Unlike many other globular clusters, the stars in Omega Centauri show several different ages and trace chemical abundances, indicating that the globular star cluster has a complex history over its 12 billion year age. via NASA

NASA Awards Academic Mission Services Contract

NASA has selected Universities Space Research Association (USRA) of Columbia, Maryland, to provide academic/university-based program and project support for science and engineering teams at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

April 27, 2016
from NASA

NASA Selects American Small Business, Research Institution Projects for Further Development

NASA has selected 399 research and technology proposals from 259 American small businesses and 42 research institutions that will enable NASA's future missions into deep space, while also benefiting the U.S. economy. The awards have a total value of approximately $49.7 million.

April 27, 2016
from NASA

Full-Circle Vista from 'Naukluft Plateau' on Mars

This mid-afternoon, 360-degree panorama was acquired by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on April 4, 2016, as part of long-term campaign to document the context and details of the geology and landforms along Curiosity's traverse since landing in August 2012. via NASA

Four Lasers Over Paranal

via ESO Top News

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NGC 6872: A Stretched Spiral Galaxy

What makes this spiral galaxy so long? Measuring over 700,000 light years across from top to bottom, NGC 6872, also known as the Condor galaxy, is one of the most elongated barred spiral galaxies known. The galaxy's protracted shape likely results from its continuing collision with the smaller galaxy IC 4970, visible just above center. Of particular interest is NGC 6872's spiral arm on the upper left, as pictured here, which exhibits an unusually high amount of blue star forming regions. The light we see today left these colliding giants before the days of the dinosaurs, about 300 million years ago. NGC 6872 is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Peacock (Pavo). via NASA

Light Echoes Used to Study Protoplanetary Disks

This illustration shows a star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk. A new study uses data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and four ground-based telescopes to determine the distance from a star to the inner rim of its surrounding protoplanetary disk. Researchers used a method called "photo-reverberation," also known as "light echoes. via NASA

Monday, April 25, 2016

Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant

It's easy to get lost following the intricate strands of the Spaghetti Nebula. A supernova remnant cataloged as Simeis 147 and Sh2-240, the glowing gas filaments cover nearly 3 degrees -- 6 full moons -- on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. This sharp composite includes image data taken through a narrow-band filter to highlight emission from hydrogen atoms tracing the shocked, glowing gas. The supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years, meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth about 40,000 years ago. But the expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star's core. via NASA

NASA Puts Dallas Students on Phone with Orbiting Astronauts

Students in Dallas will have the opportunity to speak with two astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station at 11:15 a.m. EDT Tuesday, April 26. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

April 25, 2016
from NASA

Ice Scours the North Caspian Sea

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on NASA's Landsat 8 satellite acquired this large natural-color image showing a wide view of the Caspian Sea around the Tyuleniy Archipelago on April 16, 2016. Ocean scientist Norman Kuring of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center found a puzzling feature in the image -- lines crisscrossing the North Caspian Sea. via NASA

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Elektra: A New Triple Asteroid

via Picture of The Week

M16: Pillars of Star Creation

Newborn stars are forming in the Eagle Nebula. This image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, shows evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) emerging from pillars of molecular hydrogen gas and dust. The giant pillars are light years in length and are so dense that interior gas contracts gravitationally to form stars. At each pillars' end, the intense radiation of bright young stars causes low density material to boil away, leaving stellar nurseries of dense EGGs exposed. The Eagle Nebula, associated with the open star cluster M16, lies about 7000 light years away. The pillars of creation were imaged again in 2007 by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared light, leading to the conjecture that the pillars may already have been destroyed by a local supernova, but light from that event has yet to reach the Earth. via NASA

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Milky Way in Moonlight

A waning crescent moon, early morning twilight, and Al Hamra's city lights on the horizon can't hide the central Milky Way in this skyscape from planet Earth. Captured in a single exposure, the dreamlike scene looks southward across the region's grand canyon from Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain), near the highest peak in Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula. Mist, moonlight, and shadows still play along the steep canyon walls. Dark rifts along the luminous band of the Milky Way are the galaxy's cosmic dust clouds. Typically hundreds of light-years distant, they obscure starlight along the galactic plane, viewed edge-on from the Solar System's perspective. via NASA

Friday, April 22, 2016

NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula

Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 7 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Above and left of the Bubble's center is a hot, O-type star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and around 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The intriguing Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex lie a mere 7,100 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. This sharp, tantalizing view of the cosmic bubble is a composite of Hubble Space Telescope image data from 2016, released to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch. via NASA

One Big Spot

via SDO Pick of the Week

Morning Sunglint Over the Pacific

This Earth observation composite image from the International Space Station captures morning sunglint and low clouds over the central Pacific Ocean. The image was put together at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, from a series of photographs taken by Expedition 47 Commander Jeff Williams on March 25, 2016. via NASA

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Comet the Owl and the Galaxy

Comet C/2014 S2 (PanSTARRS) poses for a Messier moment in this telescopic snapshot from April 18. In fact it shares the 1.5 degree wide field-of-view with two well-known entries in the 18th century comet-hunting astronomer's famous catalog. Outward bound and sweeping through northern skies just below the Big Dipper, the fading visitor to the inner Solar System was about 18 light-minutes from our fair planet. Dusty, edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 108 (upper right) is more like 45 million light-years away. A planetary nebula with an aging but intensely hot central star, the owlish Messier 97 is only about 12 thousand light-years distant though, still well within our own Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers expect the orbit of this comet PanSTARRS to return it to the inner Solar System around the year 4226. via NASA

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren Visits Washington April 25-29

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who lived and worked nearly five months on the International Space Station as a flight engineer, will make multiple appearances across Washington April 25-29 to share highlights from his 141-day mission in space.

April 21, 2016
from NASA

NASA Seeks Industry Ideas for an Advanced Mars Satellite

NASA is soliciting ideas from U.S. industry for designs of a Mars orbiter for potential launch in the 2020s. The satellite would provide advanced communications and imaging, as well as robotic science exploration, in support of NASA’s Journey to Mars.

April 21, 2016
from NASA

Photo Release: Hubble captures birthday bubble

via Hubble News

Photo Release: Hubble captures birthday bubble

via Hubble News

Development of High-Power Solar Electric Propulsion

A prototype 13-kilowatt Hall thruster is tested at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. This prototype demonstrated the technology readiness needed for industry to continue the development of high-power solar electric propulsion into a flight-qualified system. via NASA

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Galaxy Einstein Ring

Can one galaxy hide behind another? Not in the case of SDP.81. Here the foreground galaxy, shown in blue in an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, acts like a huge gravitational lens, pulling light from a background galaxy, shown in red in an image taken in radio waves by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), around it, keeping it visible. The alignment is so precise that the distant galaxy is distorted into part of a ring around the foreground galaxy, a formation known as an Einstein ring. Detailed analysis of the gravitational lens distortions indicate that a small dark satellite galaxy participates in the deflections, bolstering indication that many satellite galaxies are quite dim and dominated by dark matter. That small galaxy is depicted by a small white dot on the left. Although spanning only a few arcseconds, the featured Einstein ring is really tens of thousands of light years across. via NASA

Preparing the Vehicle Assembly Building for NASA's Next Rocket

A view from below in High Bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center shows three work platforms installed for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The platforms will surround and provide access to the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission 1. via NASA

NASA Seeks Proposals for Deep Space Habitation Prototypes

NASA is soliciting proposals for the development of prototypes for deep space habitats that will give astronauts a place to call home during long-duration missions supporting the agency’s Journey to Mars.

April 20, 2016
from NASA

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Re: Bernie Sanders supporters not supporting the eventual Democratic Party presidential nominee if it is not Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders only:

Those with relatively little to lose with a Republican Congress / Supreme Court / Presidency can afford to be ambivalent about the results of the actual presidential race if their preferred candidate is not running. But remember Bernie Sanders himself has said that he would support whomever the Democratic nominee is over any of the Republicans running for office. One reason he is such a good lawmaker and candidate is that he is essentially pragmatic and forward-thinking, not obsessed only with the perfect but understanding that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, even with all her faults she is much better than any of the Republicans who might win the nomination of their party for the general election.
from Tumblr
via Interdisciplinary Postmodern Liberal Democratic Salon Peace Love Beauty Wisdom Balance Understanding Imagination Consciousness Bliss Light

NASA to Discuss Latest Developments in Solar Electric Propulsion for Future Deep Space Exploration

NASA will host a media teleconference at 11:30 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 21, to discuss the latest advances in the agency’s development of solar electric propulsion (SEP) for deep space exploration.

April 19, 2016
from NASA