Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Waterfall and the Milky Way

The dream was to capture both the waterfall and the Milky Way together. Difficulties included finding a good camera location, artificially illuminating the waterfall and the surrounding valley effectively, capturing the entire scene with numerous foreground and background shots, worrying that fireflies would be too distracting, keeping the camera dry, and avoiding stepping on a poisonous snake. Behold the result -- captured after midnight in mid-July and digitally stitched into a wide-angle panorama. The waterfall is the picturesque Zhulian waterfall in the Luoxiao Mountains in eastern Hunan Province, China. The central band of our Milky Way Galaxy crosses the sky and shows numerous dark dust filaments and colorful nebulas. Bright stars dot the sky -- all residing in the nearby Milky Way -- including the Summer Triangle with bright Vega visible above the Milky Way's arch. After capturing all 78 component exposures for you to enjoy, the photographer and friends enjoyed the view themselves for the rest of the night. ( November 01, 2021)

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Dark Matter in a Simulated Universe

Is our universe haunted? It might look that way on this dark matter map. The gravity of unseen dark matter is the leading explanation for why galaxies rotate so fast, why galaxies orbit clusters so fast, why gravitational lenses so strongly deflect light, and why visible matter is distributed as it is both in the local universe and on the cosmic microwave background. The featured image from the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe highlights one example of how pervasive dark matter might haunt our universe. In this frame from a detailed computer simulation, complex filaments of dark matter, shown in black, are strewn about the universe like spider webs, while the relatively rare clumps of familiar baryonic matter are colored orange. These simulations are good statistical matches to astronomical observations. In what is perhaps a scarier turn of events, dark matter -- although quite strange and in an unknown form -- is no longer thought to be the strangest source of gravity in the universe. That honor now falls to dark energy, a more uniform source of repulsive gravity that seems to now dominate the expansion of the entire universe. ( October 31, 2021)

Friday, October 29, 2021

A Rorschach Aurora

If you see this as a monster's face, don't panic. It's only pareidolia, often experienced as the tendency to see faces in patterns of light and shadow. In fact, the startling visual scene is actually a 180 degree panorama of Northern Lights, digitally mirrored like inkblots on a folded piece of paper. Frames used to construct it were captured on a September night from the middle of a waterfall-crossing suspension bridge in Jamtland, Sweden. With geomagnetic storms triggered by recent solar activity, auroral displays could be very active at planet Earth's high latitudes in the coming days. But if you see a monster's face in your own neighborhood tomorrow night, it might just be Halloween. ( October 30, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/28/2021



Payloads: Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The crew gathered the appropriate hardware and installed the APM in the US lab at the LAB1D1 location.  Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. The Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM) demonstrates an instrument for measuring and quantifying … ...

October 28, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

SpaceX Crew-3 Rollout

In this 90-second exposure, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is rolled to the launch pad on Oct. 27, 2021.

from NASA

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Haunting the Cepheus Flare

Spooky shapes seem to haunt this dusty expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. Of course, the shapes are cosmic dust clouds visible in dimly reflected starlight. Far from your own neighborhood, they lurk above the plane of the Milky Way at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over 2 light-years across and brighter than most of the other ghostly apparitions, vdB 141 or Sh2-136 is also known as the Ghost Nebula, seen at the right of the starry field of view. Inside the nebula are the telltale signs of dense cores collapsing in the early stages of star formation. With the eerie hue of dust reflecting bluish light from hot young stars of NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula stands out against the dark just left of center. In the broad telescopic frame, these fertile interstellar dust fields stretch almost seven full moons across the sky. ( October 29, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/27/2021



Payloads: Cold Atom Lab (CAL): Using a Grab Sample Container (GSC), the crew collected a sample of the cabin air around the lower quad area of LAB1P2.  These samples will later be returned to the ground for analysis so the CAL team can track ISS atmosphere constituents.  CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled … ...

October 27, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Gamma Ray Ghouls!

Take a tour of some of the most terrifying and mind-blowing destinations in our galaxy ... and beyond.

from NASA

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Mirach s Ghost

As far as ghosts go, Mirach's Ghost isn't really that scary. Mirach's Ghost is just a faint, fuzzy galaxy, well known to astronomers, that happens to be seen nearly along the line-of-sight to Mirach, a bright star. Centered in this star field, Mirach is also called Beta Andromedae. About 200 light-years distant, Mirach is a red giant star, cooler than the Sun but much larger and so intrinsically much brighter than our parent star. In most telescopic views, glare and diffraction spikes tend to hide things that lie near Mirach and make the faint, fuzzy galaxy look like a ghostly internal reflection of the almost overwhelming starlight. Still, appearing in this sharp image just above and to the right of Mirach, Mirach's Ghost is cataloged as galaxy NGC 404 and is estimated to be some 10 million light-years away. ( October 28, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/26/2021



Payloads: Astrobee: The Astrobee systems were powered on and stowage in the area cleared away to allow the performance of free-flight maneuvers.  This type of activity is commonly called “crew minimal” and the goal is for the ground to command the Astrobee units and their dock to complete the objectives for the session.  Astrobee is … ...

October 26, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Our Sun as a Glowing Pumpkin

On October 8, 2014, active regions on our Sun gave it the appearance of a jack-o'-lantern.

from NASA

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

NGC 6995: The Bat Nebula

Do you see the bat? It haunts this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus), NGC 6995, known informally as the Bat Nebula, spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon. That translates to 12 light-years at the Veil's estimated distance, a reassuring 1,400 light-years from planet Earth. In the composite of image data recorded through narrow band filters, emission from hydrogen atoms in the remnant is shown in red with strong emission from oxygen atoms shown in hues of blue. Of course, in the western part of the Veil lies another seasonal apparition: the Witch's Broom Nebula. ( October 27, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/25/2021



Payloads: Muscle Tone in Space (Myotones): The crew located and marked measurement points on the body, performed an experiment session with the Myotones device, and performed the Myotones ultrasound scans.  Myotones investigation observes the biochemical properties of muscles (e.g. muscle tone, stiffness, elasticity) during long-term exposure spaceflight environment. Results from this investigation can provide a … ...

October 25, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

A Sample of Asteroid Ryugu

In June 2021, NASA received its first sample of asteroid Ryugu, which was returned to Earth in December 2020.

from NASA

Monday, October 25, 2021

Jupiter Rotates

Observe the graceful twirl of our Solar System's largest planet. Many interesting features of Jupiter's enigmatic atmosphere, including dark belts and light zones, can be followed in detail. A careful inspection will reveal that different cloud layers rotate at slightly different speeds. The famous Great Red Spot is not visible at first -- but soon rotates into view. Other smaller storm systems occasionally appear. As large as Jupiter is, it rotates in only 10 hours. Our small Earth, by comparison, takes 24 hours to complete a spin cycle. The featured high-resolution time-lapse video was captured over five nights earlier this month by a mid-sized telescope on an apartment balcony in Paris, France. Since hydrogen and helium gas are colorless, and those elements compose most of Jupiter's expansive atmosphere, what trace elements create the observed colors of Jupiter's clouds remains a topic of research. ( October 26, 2021)

The Force Awakens in a Newborn Star

This celestial lightsaber does not lie in a galaxy far, far away, but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

from NASA

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Road to the Galactic Center

Does the road to our galaxy's center go through Monument Valley? It doesn't have to, but if your road does -- take a picture. In this case, the road is US Route 163 and iconic buttes on the Navajo National Reservation populate the horizon. The band of Milky Way Galaxy stretches down from the sky and appears to be a continuation of the road on Earth. Filaments of dust darken the Milky Way, in contrast to billions of bright stars and several colorful glowing gas clouds including the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. The featured picture is a composite of images taken with the same camera and from the same location -- Forest Gump Point in Utah, USA. The foreground was taken just after sunset in early September during the blue hour, while the background is a mosaic of four exposures captured a few hours later. ( October 25, 2021)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Halloween and the Ghost Head Nebula

Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. Since the fifth century BC, Halloween has been celebrated as a cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an equinox (equal day / equal night) and a solstice (minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere). With a modern calendar however, even though Halloween occurs next week, the real cross-quarter day will occur the week after. Another cross-quarter day is Groundhog Day. Halloween's modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing to scare away the spirits of the dead. Perhaps a fitting tribute to this ancient holiday is this view of the Ghost Head Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Similar to the icon of a fictional ghost, NGC 2080 is actually a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy. The Ghost Head Nebula (NGC 2080) spans about 50 light-years and is shown in representative colors. ( October 24, 2021)

Friday, October 22, 2021

3D Bennu

Put on your red/blue glasses and float next to asteroid 101955 Bennu. Shaped like a spinning toy top with boulders littering its rough surface, the tiny Solar System world is about one Empire State Building (less than 500 meters) across. Frames used to construct this 3D anaglyph were taken by PolyCam on the OSIRIS_REx spacecraft on December 3, 2018 from a distance of about 80 kilometers. With a sample from the asteroid's rocky surface on board, OSIRIS_REx departed Bennu's vicinity this May and is now enroute to planet Earth. The robotic spacecraft is scheduled to return the sample to Earth in September 2023. ( October 23, 2021)

Orion Spacecraft Joins Artemis I Moon Rocket at Kennedy

Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida lifted the Orion spacecraft and placed it atop the Space Launch System Moon rocket.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/21/2021



Vehicle Traffic: 78P Undocking:  Last night, the Russian cargo vehicle, 78 Progress (78P), undocked from the MRM-2 docking port. The vehicle is currently holding position approximately 120 miles from the space station. Tonight, 78P will rendezvous and dock to the MLM port at approximately 11:23 PM CT. The 78P port relocation to MLM is in … ...

October 21, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Thursday, October 21, 2021

A Comet and a Crab

This pretty field of view spans over 2 degrees or 4 full moons on the sky, filled with stars toward the constellation Taurus, the Bull. Above and right of center in the frame you can spot the faint fuzzy reddish appearance of Messier 1 (M1), also known as the Crab Nebula. M1 is the first object in 18th century comet hunter Charles Messier's famous catalog of things which are definitely not comets. Made from image data captured this October 11, there is a comet in the picture though. Below center and left lies the faint greenish coma and dusty tail of periodic comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, also known as Rosetta's comet. In the 21st century, it became the final resting place of robots from planet Earth. Rosetta's comet is now returning to the inner solar system, sweeping toward its next perihelion or closest approach to the Sun, on November 2. Too faint to be seen by eye alone, the comet's next perigee or closest approach to Earth will be November 12. ( October 22, 2021)

Hubble Snapshot of 'Molten Ring' Galaxy Prompts New Research

The Hubble Space Telescope's glamour shots of the universe nearly always have a discovery behind them.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/20/2021



Payloads: Plant Habitat-04: A crewmember removed plant litter (detritus) from the growth chamber and photographed the plants/peppers.  Numerous healthy peppers have been reported and the crew has been watching the plants with interest.  Microgravity Growth of New Mexico Hatch Green Chile as a Technical Display of Advanced Plant Habitat’s Capabilities (Plant Habitat-04) demonstrates using the … ...

October 20, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sharpless 308: The Dolphin-Head Nebula

Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is huge. Cataloged as Sharpless 2-308 it lies some 5,000 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major) and covers slightly more of the sky than a Full Moon. That corresponds to a diameter of 60 light-years at its estimated distance. The massive star that created the bubble, a Wolf-Rayet star, is the bright one near the center of the nebula. Wolf-Rayet stars have over 20 times the mass of the Sun and are thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova phase of massive star evolution. Fast winds from this Wolf-Rayet star create the bubble-shaped nebula as they sweep up slower moving material from an earlier phase of evolution. The windblown nebula has an age of about 70,000 years. Relatively faint emission captured by narrowband filters in the deep image is dominated by the glow of ionized oxygen atoms mapped to a blue hue. Presenting a mostly harmless outline, SH2-308 is also known as The Dolphin-head Nebula. ( October 21, 2021)

Behold an Aurora Over the Southern Skies

​A vivid aurora streams over the Earth as the International Space Station orbited 274 miles above the southern Indian Ocean.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/19/2021



Payloads: Combustion Integrated Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments/Cool Flames Investigation with Gasses (CIR/ACME/CFI-G part 1 repeat):  The crew removed an empty 30% butane (CH3CH2CH2CH3)/70% N2 fuel bottle and installed another 30% butane/70% N2 fuel bottle.  They also replaced an empty 40% O2/60% N2 bottle with another one of the same composition.  Spherical Cool Diffusion Flames … ...

October 19, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Lucy Launches to Eight Asteroids

Why would this mission go out as far as Jupiter -- but then not visit Jupiter? Lucy's plan is to follow different leads about the origin of our Solar System than can be found at Jupiter -- where Juno now orbits. Jupiter is such a massive planet that its gravity captures numerous asteroids that orbit the Sun ahead of it -- and behind. These trojan asteroids formed all over our Solar System and some may have been trapped there for billions of years. Flying by these trojan asteroids enables studying them as fossils that likely hold unique clues about our early Solar System. Lucy, named after a famous fossil skeleton which was named after a famous song, is scheduled to visit eight asteroids from 2025 to 2033. Pictured, Lucy's launch was captured with reflection last week aboard a powerful Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. ( October 20, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/18/2021



Payloads: Cell Biology Experiment Facility – Left (CBEF-L) Fastener Photo: The crew took several photos of the head of a fastener that was found in CBEF-L on GMT 265.  CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test … ...

October 18, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Mars Sample Return Artist's Concept

Concept for a set of future robots working together to ferry back samples from the surface of Mars collected by the Mars Perseverance rover.

from NASA

Monday, October 18, 2021

Palomar 6: Globular Star Cluster

Where did this big ball of stars come from? Palomar 6 is one of about 200 globular clusters of stars that survive in our Milky Way Galaxy. These spherical star-balls are older than our Sun as well as older than most stars that orbit in our galaxy's disk. Palomar 6 itself is estimated to be about 12.5 billion years old, so old that it is close to -- and so constrains -- the age of the entire universe. Containing about 500,000 stars, Palomar 6 lies about 25,000 light years away, but not very far from our galaxy's center. At that distance, this sharp image from the Hubble Space Telescope spans about 15 light-years. After much study including images from Hubble, a leading origin hypothesis is that Palomar 6 was created -- and survives today -- in the central bulge of stars that surround the Milky Way's center, not in the distant galactic halo where most other globular clusters are now found. ( October 19, 2021)

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Earthshine Moon over Sicily

Why can we see the entire face of this Moon? When the Moon is in a crescent phase, only part of it appears directly illuminated by the Sun. The answer is earthshine, also known as earthlight and the da Vinci glow. The reason is that the rest of the Earth-facing Moon is slightly illuminated by sunlight first reflected from the Earth. Since the Earth appears near full phase from the Moon -- when the Moon appears as a slight crescent from the Earth -- earthshine is then near its brightest. Featured here in combined, consecutively-taken, HDR images taken earlier this month, a rising earthshine Moon was captured passing slowly near the planet Venus, the brightest spot near the image center. Just above Venus is the star Dschubba (catalogued as Delta Scorpii), while the red star on the far left is Antares. The celestial show is visible through scenic cloud decks. In the foreground are the lights from Palazzolo Acreide, a city with ancient historical roots in Sicily, Italy. ( October 18, 2021)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Einstein Cross Gravitational Lens

Most galaxies have a single nucleus -- does this galaxy have four? The strange answer leads astronomers to conclude that the nucleus of the surrounding galaxy is not even visible in this image. The central cloverleaf is rather light emitted from a background quasar. The gravitational field of the visible foreground galaxy breaks light from this distant quasar into four distinct images. The quasar must be properly aligned behind the center of a massive galaxy for a mirage like this to be evident. The general effect is known as gravitational lensing, and this specific case is known as the Einstein Cross. Stranger still, the images of the Einstein Cross vary in relative brightness, enhanced occasionally by the additional gravitational microlensing effect of specific stars in the foreground galaxy. ( October 17, 2021)

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Moona Lisa

Only natural colors of the Moon in planet Earth's sky appear in this creative visual presentation. Arranged as pixels in a framed image, the lunar disks were photographed at different times. Their varying hues are ultimately due to reflected sunlight affected by changing atmospheric conditions and the alignment geometry of Moon, Earth, and Sun. Here, the darkest lunar disks are the colors of earthshine. A description of earthshine, in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth's oceans illuminating the Moon's dark surface, was written over 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci. But stand farther back from your monitor or just shift your gaze to the smaller versions of the image. You might also see one of da Vinci's most famous works of art. ( October 16, 2021)

Lucy Mission Set to Launch to Study Trojan Asteroids

With the Lucy spacecraft aboard, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is seen as it is rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/14/2021



Payloads: Behavioral Core Measures:  A crewmember completed a ROBoT-r research session. The Standardized Behavioral Measures for Detecting Behavioral Health Risks during Exploration Missions (Behavioral Core Measures) experiment initially examined a suite of measurements to reliably assess the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders during long-duration spaceflight, and evaluated the feasibility of … ...

October 14, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Thursday, October 14, 2021

NGC 289: Swirl in the Southern Sky

About 70 million light-years distant, gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 289 is larger than our own Milky Way. Seen nearly face-on, its bright core and colorful central disk give way to remarkably faint, bluish spiral arms. The extensive arms sweep well over 100 thousand light-years from the galaxy's center. At the lower right in this sharp, telescopic galaxy portrait the main spiral arm seems to encounter a small, fuzzy elliptical companion galaxy interacting with enormous NGC 289. Of course spiky stars are in the foreground of the scene. They lie within the Milky Way toward the southern constellation Sculptor. ( October 15, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/13/2021



Payloads: Bio-Monitor:  A crewmember disconnected the Bio-Monitor Data Unit from the Garment and doffed and hung the Headband and Garment out to dry.  The crewmember then donned a spare Garment and Headband and connected the Data Unit to the spare Garment.  Bio-Monitor is a Canadian onboard instrument that serves as a platform for scientific experiments … ...

October 13, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula

A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, toward the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 90 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this expansive view of the nebula. Combining narrow band image data from emission lines of hydrogen atoms in red and oxygen atoms in blue-green hues, it shows remarkable details of the Helix's brighter inner region about 3 light-years across. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry. ( October 14, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/12/2021



Payloads: Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME):  A crewmember replaced the ACME Thermocouple Array with the ACME Chamber Insert partially installed in the chamber. The ACME Chamber was re-Inserted into the chamber, and the crew replaced three ACME controllers. The ACME project is a set of six independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted … ...

October 12, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Lucy: Inspiration and Asteroids

NASA's Lucy mission will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids.

from NASA

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

NGC 7822: Cosmic Question Mark

It may look like a huge cosmic question mark, but the big question really is how does the bright gas and dark dust tell this nebula's history of star formation. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the northern constellation Cepheus, the glowing star forming region NGC 7822 lies about 3,000 light-years away. Within the nebula, bright edges and dark shapes stand out in this colorful and detailed skyscape. The 9-panel mosaic, taken over 28 nights with a small telescope in Texas, includes data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. The emission line and color combination has become well-known as the Hubble palette. The atomic emission is powered by energetic radiation from the central hot stars. Their powerful winds and radiation sculpt and erode the denser pillar shapes and clear out a characteristic cavity light-years across the center of the natal cloud. Stars could still be forming inside the pillars by gravitational collapse but as the pillars are eroded away, any forming stars will ultimately be cut off from their reservoir of star stuff. This field of view spans over 40 light-years across at the estimated distance of NGC 7822. ( October 13, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/11/2021



Payloads: Bio-Analyzer:  Crewmembers upload a new Bio-Monitor Application configuration file from an SSC to their iPad. The crew then opened the new Bio-Monitor App configuration file on their iPad and confirmed the overwrite to the internal database with the new file.  Bio-Analyzer is a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) onboard instrument that serves as a platform … ...

October 11, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Like Monsters in the Sky

A violent and chaotic-looking mass of gas and dust is seen in this Hubble Space Telescope image of a nearby supernova remnant.

from NASA

Monday, October 11, 2021

Fireball over Lake Louise

What makes a meteor a fireball? First of all, everyone agrees that a fireball is an exceptionally bright meteor. Past that, the International Astronomical Union defines a fireball as a meteor brighter than apparent magnitude -4, which corresponds (roughly) to being brighter than any planet -- as well as bright enough to cast a human-noticeable shadow. Pictured, an astrophotographer taking a long-duration sky image captured by accident the brightest meteor he had ever seen. Clearly a fireball, the disintegrating space-rock created a trail so bright it turned night into day for about two seconds earlier this month. The fireball has been artificially dimmed in the featured image to bring up foreground Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Although fireballs are rare, many people have been lucky enough to see them. If you see a fireball, you can report it. If more than one person recorded an image, the fireball might be traceable back to the Solar System body from which it was ejected. ( October 12, 2021)

Friday, October 8, 2021

50 Light years to 51 Pegasi

It's only 50 light-years to 51 Pegasi. That star's position is indicated in this snapshot from August, taken on a hazy night with mostly brighter stars visible above the dome at Observatoire de Haute-Provence in France. Twenty-six years ago, in October of 1995, astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced a profound discovery made at the observatory. Using a precise spectrograph they had detected a planet orbiting 51 Peg, the first known exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star. Mayor and Queloz had used the spectrograph to measure changes in the star's radial velocity, a regular wobble caused by the gravitational tug of the orbiting planet. Designated 51 Pegasi b, the planet was determined to have a mass at least half of Jupiter's mass and an orbital period of 4.2 days, making it much closer to its parent star than Mercury is to the Sun. Their discovery was quickly confirmed and Mayor and Queloz were ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2019. Now recognized as the prototype for the class of exoplanets fondly known as hot Jupiters, 51 Pegasi b was formally named Dimidium, latin for half, in 2015. Since its discovery, over 4,000 exoplanets have been found. ( October 09, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/07/2021



Payloads: Actiwatch Plus:  A crewmember connected up to four Actiwatch Plus devices to the HRF Payload Drawer on HRF Rack 2 for charging and data transfer.  The Actiwatch is a waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The device contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the … ...

October 07, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Hubble Detects a Dangerous Dance

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features two interacting galaxies that are so intertwined, they have a collective name – Arp 91.

from NASA

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Double Cluster in Perseus

This pretty starfield spans about three full moons (1.5 degrees) across the heroic northern constellation of Perseus. It holds the famous pair of open star clusters, h and Chi Persei. Also cataloged as NGC 869 (top) and NGC 884, both clusters are about 7,000 light-years away and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun. Separated by only a few hundred light-years, the clusters are both 13 million years young based on the ages of their individual stars, evidence that they were likely a product of the same star-forming region. Always a rewarding sight in binoculars, the Double Cluster is even visible to the unaided eye from dark locations. But a shroud of guitar strings was used to produced diffraction spikes on the colorful stars imaged in this vibrant telescopic view. ( October 08, 2021)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/06/2021



Payloads:         Immersive Exercise:  A crewmember charged the Wireless VR Headset with the Pilote Headset Cable on the USB multiport in preparation for Immersive Exercise operations.  The Immersive Exercise project focuses on the development of a virtual reality (VR) environment for biking sessions aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The VR equipment is interfaced with the … ...

October 06, 2021 at 12:00PM
From NASA: