Friday, September 23, 2022

September Sunrise Shadows


The defining astronomical moment for this September's equinox was on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 01:03 UTC, when the Sun crossed the celestial equator moving south in its yearly journey through planet Earth's sky. That marked the beginning of fall for our fair planet in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere, when day and night are nearly equal around the globe. Of course, if you celebrate the astronomical change of seasons by watching a sunrise you can also look for crepuscular rays. The shadows cast by clouds can have a dramatic appearance in the twilight sky during any sunrise or sunset. Due to perspective, the parallel shadows will seem to point back to the rising Sun and a place due east on your horizon near the equinox date. Taken on September 15, this sunrise sea and skyscape captured crepuscular rays in the sky and watery specular reflections from the Mediterranean coast near the village of Petacciato, Italy.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220924.html ( September 24, 2022)

John W. Young’s Lunar Salute


Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the United States flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 spacewalk.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/john-w-young-s-lunar-salute
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/22/2022

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Payloads: Acoustic Diagnostics: The Acoustic Diagnostic instrument hardware was set up and calibrated, and measurements were recorded. Following this, a questionnaire was filled out on the EveryWear device. The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation tests the hearing of ISS crew members before, during, and after flight. This study assesses the possible adverse effects … ...

September 22, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/22/iss-daily-summary-report-9-22-2022/

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Ringed Ice Giant Neptune


Ringed, ice giant Neptune lies near the center of this sharp near-infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope. The dim and distant world is the farthest planet from the Sun, about 30 times farther away than planet Earth. But in the stunning Webb view the planet's dark and ghostly appearance is due to atmospheric methane that absorbs infrared light. High altitude clouds that reach above most of Neptune's absorbing methane easily stand out in the image though. Coated with frozen nitrogen, Neptune's largest moon Triton is brighter than Neptune in reflected sunlight and is seen at upper left sporting the Webb's characteristic diffraction spikes. Including Triton, seven of Neptune's 14 known moons can be identified in the field of view. Neptune's faint rings are striking in this new space-based planetary portrait. Details of the complex ring system are seen here for the first time since Neptune was visited by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in August 1989.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220923.html ( September 23, 2022)

Endeavour Gets a Piggyback Ride


Our Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ferries the Space Shuttle Endeavour over the Johnson Space Center in Houston in this Sept. 20, 2012, image.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/endeavour-gets-a-piggyback-ride
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/21/2022

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68 Soyuz Launch/Dock: 68S successfully launched at 8:54 AM CT this morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin launched alongside NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who is participating on his first spaceflight to the Space Station. The trio docked to Mini-Research Module 1 at 12:07 PM CT beginning their six-month Space … ...

September 21, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/21/iss-daily-summary-report-9-21-2022/

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

NGC 7331 Close Up


Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy's disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth. This Hubble Space Telescope close-up spans some 40,000 light-years. The galaxy's magnificent spiral arms feature dark obscuring dust lanes, bright bluish clusters of massive young stars, and the telltale reddish glow of active star forming regions. The bright yellowish central regions harbor populations of older, cooler stars. Like the Milky Way, a supermassive black hole lies at the core of spiral galaxy NGC 7331.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220922.html ( September 22, 2022)

Frank Rubio Trains for Spacewalk


In this March 7, 2022, image, astronaut Frank Rubio gets help putting on a spacesuit at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to train for spacewalks.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/frank-rubio-trains-for-spacewalk
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/20/2022

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Payloads: Astrobee/Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor (SVGS): Following the installation of the SVGS LED targets, the science 3 session was performed. SVGS demonstrates the use of a photogrammetric vision-based technology for guidance, navigation, and control of a small spacecraft. Developed by NASA, the vision-based sensor computes the position and orientation vector of a target relative to … ...

September 20, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/20/iss-daily-summary-report-9-20-2022/

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Horsehead Nebula in Infrared from Hubble


While drifting through the cosmos, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud became sculpted by stellar winds and radiation to assume a recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is embedded in the vast and complex Orion Nebula (M42). A potentially rewarding but difficult object to view personally with a small telescope, the featured gorgeously detailed image was taken in infrared light by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The dark molecular cloud, roughly 1,500 light years distant, is cataloged as Barnard 33 and is seen above primarily because it is backlit by the nearby massive star Sigma Orionis. The Horsehead Nebula will slowly shift its apparent shape over the next few million years and will eventually be destroyed by high energy starlight.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220921.html ( September 21, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/19/2022

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Payloads: Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The APM hardware was checked, and the status of the hardware/display was reported to the ground. The crew also inspected the air inlet screen and cleaned as needed. Air quality in crewed spacecraft is important for keeping astronauts healthy and comfortable. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate … ...

September 19, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/19/iss-daily-summary-report-9-19-2022/

Monday, September 19, 2022

Star Forming Region NGC 3582 without Stars


What's happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57, and besides the iconic monument, to some looks like a flying superhero or a weeping angel. By digitally removing the stars, this re-assigned color image showcases dense knots of dark interstellar dust, fields of glowing hydrogen gas ionized by these stars, and great loops of gas expelled by dying stars. A detailed study of NGC 3576, also known as NGC 3582 and NGC 3584, uncovered at least 33 massive stars in the end stages of formation, and the clear presence of the complex carbon molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are thought to be created in the cooling gas of star forming regions, and their development in the Sun's formation nebula five billion years ago may have been an important step in the development of life on Earth.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220920.html ( September 20, 2022)

A Stormy Stellar Nursery


This cloudy, turbulent scene shows a stellar nursery within the Large Magellanic Cloud known as N159.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-stormy-stellar-nursery
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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Star Trails and Lightning over the Pyrenees


The beauty in this image comes in layers. On the bottom layer is the picturesque village of Manlleu in Barcelona, Spain. The six-minute exposure makes car lights into streaks. The next layer is a mountain -- Serra de Bellmunt -- of Europe's famous Pyrenees. Next up is a tremendous lightning storm emanating from a classically-shaped anvil cloud. The long exposure allowed for the capture of many intricate lightning bolts. Finally, at the top and furthest in the distance are stars. Here, the multi-minute exposure made stars into trails. The trailing effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth, and the curvature of the trails indicates their distance from the north spin pole of the Earth above. Taken after sunset in early June, the lightning storm soon moved off. The stars, though, will continue to circle the poll for as long as the Earth spins -- surely billions of years into the future.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220919.html ( September 19, 2022)

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Analemma over the Callanish Stones


If you went outside at the same time every day and took a picture that included the Sun, how would the Sun's position change? A more visual answer to that question is an analemma, a composite image taken from the same spot at the same time over the course of a year. The featured analemma was composed from images taken every few days at noon near the village of Callanish in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, UK. In the foreground are the Callanish Stones, a stone circle built around 2700 BC during humanity's Bronze Age. It is not known if the placement of the Callanish Stones has or had astronomical significance. The ultimate causes for the figure-8 shape of this and all analemmas are the tilt of the Earth axis and the ellipticity of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. At the solstices, the Sun will appear at the top or bottom of an analemma. The featured image was taken near the December solstice and so the Sun appears near the bottom. Equinoxes, however, correspond to analemma middle points -- not the intersection point. This coming Friday at 1:04 am (UT) -- Thursday in the Americas -- is the equinox ("equal night"), when day and night are equal over all of planet Earth. Many cultures celebrate a change of season at an equinox.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220918.html ( September 18, 2022)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Perseverance in Jezero Crater s Delta


The Perseverance rover's Mastcam-Z captured images to create this mosaic on August 4, 2022. The car-sized robot was continuing its exploration of the fan-shaped delta of a river that, billions of years ago, flowed into Jezero Crater on Mars. Sedimentary rocks preserved in Jezero's delta are considered one of the best places on Mars to search for potential signs of ancient microbial life and sites recently sampled by the rover, dubbed Wildcat Ridge and Skinner Ridge, are at lower left and upper right in the frame. The samples taken from these areas were sealed inside ultra-clean sample tubes, ultimately intended for return to Earth by future missions. Starting with the Pathfinder Mission and Mars Global Surveyor in 1997, the last 25 years of a continuous robotic exploration of the Red Planet has included orbiters, landers, rovers, and a helicopter from planet Earth.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220917.html ( September 17, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/15/2022

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ISS Reboost: Today, the ISS performed a reboost using the Aft Progress 81P research and design thrusters. The purpose of this reboost was to set up proper phasing conditions for the upcoming 68S launch and 67S return. The burn duration was 1 min 46 seconds with a Delta-V of 0.22 m/s. Payloads: Education Payload Operations … ...

September 15, 2022 at 10:21AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/15/iss-daily-summary-report-9-15-2022/

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Tarantula Zone


The Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. About 180 thousand light-years away, it's the largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies. The cosmic arachnid sprawls across this magnificent view, an assembly of image data from large space- and ground-based telescopes. Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds, and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars cataloged as R136 energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other star forming regions with young star clusters, filaments, and blown-out bubble-shaped clouds. In fact, the frame includes the site of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A, at lower right. The rich field of view spans about 2 degrees or 4 full moons, in the southern constellation Dorado. But were the Tarantula Nebula closer, say 1,500 light-years distant like the Milky Way's own star forming Orion Nebula, it would take up half the sky.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220916.html ( September 16, 2022)

Michael E. López-Alegría Poses During Spacewalk


Astronaut Michael E. López-Alegría, mission specialist, is photographed in this close-up view during one of the STS-92 sessions of extravehicular activity on Oct. 18, 2000.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/michael-e-l-pez-alegr-a-poses-during-spacewalk
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/14/2022

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Payloads: Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): The CIR was prepared for Fuel Oxidizer Management Assembly (FOMA) Calibration. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel, and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity. Foams and Emulsions: Samples were swapped in the KERMIT microscope as part of Experiment 3 sessions to … ...

September 14, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/14/iss-daily-summary-report-9-14-2022/

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Harvest Moon over Sicily


For northern hemisphere dwellers, September's Full Moon was the Harvest Moon. Reflecting warm hues at sunset it rises over the historic town of Castiglione di Sicilia in this telephoto view from September 9. Famed in festival, story, and song Harvest Moon is just the traditional name of the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. According to lore the name is a fitting one. Despite the diminishing daylight hours as the growing season drew to a close, farmers could harvest crops by the light of a full moon shining on from dusk to dawn.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220915.html ( September 15, 2022)

A Bird's-Eye View of the Vehicle Assembly Base


A little blue heron is seen in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building as preparations for launch continue, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-birds-eye-view-of-the-vehicle-assembly-base
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/13/2022

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Payloads: Foams and Emulsions: The Foams and Emulsions hardware was setup, and the crew prepared a sample for insertion into the KERMIT microscope. Samples were swapped out per the Experiment 3 protocol to observe emulsions formed with various solutions. Foams (dispersions of bubbles in a liquid) and emulsions (dispersions of droplets in a liquid) appear … ...

September 13, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/13/iss-daily-summary-report-9-13-2022/

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Waves of the Great Lacerta Nebula


It is one of the largest nebulas on the sky -- why isn't it better known? Roughly the same angular size as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Great Lacerta Nebula can be found toward the constellation of the Lizard (Lacerta). The emission nebula is difficult to see with wide-field binoculars because it is so faint, but also usually difficult to see with a large telescope because it is so great in angle -- spanning about three degrees. The depth, breadth, waves, and beauty of the nebula -- cataloged as Sharpless 126 (Sh2-126) -- can best be seen and appreciated with a long duration camera exposure. The featured image is one such combined exposure -- in this case 10 hours over five different colors and over six nights during this past June and July at the IC Astronomy Observatory in Spain. The hydrogen gas in the Great Lacerta Nebula glows red because it is excited by light from the bright star 10 Lacertae, one of the bright blue stars just above the red-glowing nebula's center. The stars and nebula are about 1,200 light years distant.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220914.html ( September 14, 2022)

Snowcapped Mountains in Western China


The International Space Station captured a portion of the Tanggula Mountains near Hala Lake from 260 miles above the Earth on Sept. 5th, 2022.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/snowcapped-mountains-in-western-china
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Monday, September 12, 2022

A Long Snaking Filament on the Sun


Earlier this month, the Sun exhibited one of the longer filaments on record. Visible as the bright curving streak around the image center, the snaking filament's full extent was estimated to be over half of the Sun's radius -- more than 350,000 kilometers long. A filament is composed of hot gas held aloft by the Sun's magnetic field, so that viewed from the side it would appear as a raised prominence. A different, smaller prominence is simultaneously visible at the Sun's edge. The featured image is in false-color and color-inverted to highlight not only the filament but the Sun's carpet chromosphere. The bright dot on the upper right is actually a dark sunspot about the size of the Earth. Solar filaments typically last from hours to days, eventually collapsing to return hot plasma back to the Sun. Sometimes, though, they explode and expel particles into the Solar System, some of which trigger auroras on Earth. The pictured filament appeared in early September and continued to hold steady for about a week.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220913.html ( September 13, 2022)

Reflecting on President Kennedy's Moonshot Speech


On Sept. 12, 1962, President Kennedy speaks before a crowd of 35,000 people at Rice University in Houston.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/reflecting-on-president-kennedys-moonshot-speech
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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Red Sprite Lightning over the Czech Republic


What are those red filaments in the sky? They are a rarely seen form of lightning confirmed only about 35 years ago: red sprites. Research has shown that following a powerful positive cloud-to-ground lightning strike, red sprites may start as 100-meter balls of ionized air that shoot down from about 80-km high at 10 percent the speed of light. They are quickly followed by a group of upward streaking ionized balls. The featured image was taken late last month from the Jeseniky Mountains in northern Moravia in the Czech Republic. The distance to the red sprites is about 200 kilometers. Red sprites take only a fraction of a second to occur and are best seen when powerful thunderstorms are visible from the side.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220912.html ( September 12, 2022)

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins


How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? The featured video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an easy comparison. In the time-lapse video, a day on Earth -- one Earth rotation -- takes just a few seconds. Jupiter rotates the fastest, while Venus spins not only the slowest (can you see it?), but backwards. The inner rocky planets, across the top, most certainly underwent dramatic spin-altering collisions during the early days of the Solar System. The reasons why planets spin and tilt as they do remains a topic of research with much insight gained from modern computer modeling and the recent discovery and analysis of hundreds of exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220911.html ( September 11, 2022)

Friday, September 9, 2022

Galaxy by the Lake


This 180 degree panoramic night skyscape captures our Milky Way Galaxy as it arcs above the horizon on a winter's night in August. Near midnight, the galactic center is close to the zenith with the clear waters of Lake Traful, Neuquen, Argentina, South America, planet Earth below. Zodiacal light, dust reflected sunlight along the Solar System's ecliptic plane, is also visible in the region's very dark night sky. The faint band of light reaches up from the distant snowy peaks toward the galaxy's center. Follow the arc of the Milky Way to the left to find the southern hemisphere stellar beacons Alpha and Beta Centauri. Close to the horizon bright star Vega is reflected in the calm mountain lake.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220910.html ( September 10, 2022)

Mediterranean Cities Light Up the Night


This nighttime photograph from the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbited 261 miles above looks across the Mediterranean Sea from north Africa to southern Europe.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/mediterranean-cities-light-up-the-night
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/08/2022

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Payloads: GRIP: GRIP Session 3 science was performed in the seated position. The GRIP experiment studies long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements such as oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements, and tapping gestures.  Fixed Radio Frequency Identification … ...

September 08, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/08/iss-daily-summary-report-9-08-2022/

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Interstellar Voyager


Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in 1977 on a grand tour of the outer planets of the Solar System. They have become the longest operating and most distant spacecraft from Earth. Both have traveled beyond the heliosphere, the realm defined by the influence of the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field. On the 45th year of their journey toward the stars Voyager 1 and 2 reached nearly 22 light-hours and 18 light-hours from the Sun respectively and remain the only spacecraft currently exploring interstellar space. Each spacecraft carries a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk with recordings of sounds, pictures and messages. The Golden Records are intended to communicate a story of life and culture on planet Earth, preserved in a medium that can survive an interstellar journey for a billion years.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220909.html ( September 09, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/07/2022

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Payloads: Life Support Rack (LSR): Power, data, fluid umbilicals, and adapters were installed between NOD3A5 ISS utilities and the LSR Rack Interface Panel. LSR is a technology demonstrator for closed loop air revitalization. LSR captures carbon dioxide from cabin air and recovers 50% of its oxygen for use by the astronauts. LSR will operate for … ...

September 07, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/07/iss-daily-summary-report-9-07-2022/

NASA's Hubble Finds Spiraling Stars, Providing Window into Early Universe




from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasas-hubble-finds-spiraling-stars-providing-window-into-early-universe
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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

North America and the Pelican


Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes seems to trace a continental shape, lending the popular name North America Nebula to the emission region cataloged as NGC 7000. To the right, just off the North America Nebula's east coast, is IC 5070, whose avian profile suggests the Pelican Nebula. The two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away, part of the same large and complex star forming region, almost as nearby as the better-known Orion Nebula. At that distance, the 3 degree wide field of view would span 80 light-years. This careful cosmic portrait uses narrowband images combined to highlight the bright ionization fronts and the characteristic glow from atomic hydrogen, and oxygen gas. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. Look northeast of bright star Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, soaring high in the northern summer night sky.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220908.html ( September 08, 2022)

Voyager 1’s Mission to the Outer Planet Begins


The Voyager mission was designed to take advantage of a rare geometric arrangement of the outer planets in the late 1970s and the 1980s which allowed for a four-planet tour for a minimum of propellant and trip time.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/voyager-1-s-mission-to-the-outer-planet-begins
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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tarantula Stars R136 from Webb


Near the center of a nearby star-forming region lies a massive cluster containing some of the largest and hottest stars known. Collectively known as star cluster NGC 2070, these stars are part of the vast Tarantula Nebula and were captured in two kinds of infrared light by the new Webb Space Telescope. The main image shows the group of stars at NGC 2070's center -- known as R136 -- in near-infrared, light just a bit too red for humans to see. In contrast, the rollover image captures the cluster center in mid-infrared light, light closer to radio waves. Since R136's brightest stars emit more of their light in the near infrared, they are much more prominent on that image. This LMC cluster's massive stars emit particle winds and energetic light that are evaporating the gas cloud from which they formed. The Webb images, released yesterday, shows details of R136 and its surroundings that have never been seen before, details that are helping humanity to better understanding of how all stars are born, evolve and die.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220907.html ( September 07, 2022)

A Cosmic Tarantula, Caught by NASA’s Webb




from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/a-cosmic-tarantula-caught-by-nasa-s-webb
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Monday, September 5, 2022

An Iridescent Pileus Cloud over China


Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The featured image was taken last month in Pu'er, Yunnan Province, China. Also captured were unusual cloud ripples above the pileus cloud. The formation of a rare pileus cloud capping a common cumulus cloud is an indication that the lower cloud is expanding upward and might well develop into a storm.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220906.html ( September 06, 2022)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Carina Cliffs from the Webb Space Telescope


Stars created these cliffs. Specifically, the destructive winds and energetic light from the stars in the open cluster NGC 3324 eroded away part of a mountain of dark interstellar dust in the northern part of the Carina Nebula. Several of these stars are visible toward the top of this highly detailed image taken recently by the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest astronomical telescope ever launched. Webb's large mirror and ability to see dust-piercing infrared light has enabled it to capture fascinating details in the dust, hundreds of previously hidden stars, and even some galaxies far in the distance. The featured jagged cliffs occur in part of Carina known as the Gabriela Mistral Nebula -- because when viewed in another orientation, they appear similar to the facial profile of the famous Chilean poet. These nebular cliffs occur about 7,600 light years away toward the southern constellation of Carina.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220905.html ( September 05, 2022)

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Sea and Sky Glows over the Oregon Coast


Every step caused the sand to light up blue. That glow was bioluminescence -- a blue radiance that also lights the surf in this surreal scene captured in mid-2018 at Meyer's Creek Beach in Oregon, USA. Volcanic stacks dot the foreground sea, while a thin fog layer scatters light on the horizon. The rays of light spreading from the left horizon were created by car headlights on the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101), while the orange light on the right horizon emanates from a fishing boat. Visible far in the distance is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, appearing to rise from a dark rocky outcrop. Sixteen images were added together to bring up the background Milky Way and to reduce noise.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220904.html ( September 04, 2022)

Friday, September 2, 2022

Sun and Moon and ISS


On August 25 Sun and Moon could both be seen in planet Earth's daytime skies. And so could the International Space Station. The ISS crossed the disk of the waning crescent Moon as seen from Shunyi district, Beijing, China at about 11:02 am local time. Some 40 kilometers to the southwest, in Fengtai district, the ISS was seen to cross the Sun's disk too. The solar transit was observed only 29 seconds later. Both transits are compared in these panels, composed of processed and stacked video frames from the two locations. The coordinated captures were made with different equipment, but adjusted to show the Sun and Moon at the same scale. The ISS was at a calculated range of 435 kilometers for the lunar transit and 491 kilometers when passing in front of the Sun.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220903.html ( September 03, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/01/2022

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Payloads: Nutrition Monitoring for the ISS (NutrISS): The crew performed an ESA Nutritional Assessment (ENA) in support of the NutrISS investigation. Long-duration spaceflight induces relevant changes in body composition and a loss of body mass. In the NutrISS investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard … ...

September 01, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/01/iss-daily-summary-report-9-01-2022/

The Crater Farm


Three impact craters are displayed in this three-dimensional perspective view of the surface of Venus taken NASA's Magellan, the first deep space probe launched by a space shuttle.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-crater-farm
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Thursday, September 1, 2022

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy


Find the Big Dipper and follow the handle away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you'll come upon this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (left), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. In direct telescopic views, M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the eye. But this remarkably deep image shows off details of the interacting galaxy's striking colors and galactic tidal debris. The image includes nearly 90 hours of narrowband data that also reveals a vast glowing cloud of reddish ionized hydrogen gas discovered in the M51 system.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220902.html ( September 02, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 8/31/2022

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Payloads: eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS): The crew performed a manual fluid recovery and refilled the plant nutrient solution as needed. They also performed a plant check with the goal of reporting plant growth, as well as any algae or microbial growth that may be present. The XROOTS investigation uses hydroponic and aeroponic techniques … ...

August 31, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/08/31/iss-daily-summary-report-8-31-2022/

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Tulip and Cygnus X-1


Framing a bright emission region, this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the reddish glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. Nearly 70 light-years across, the complex and beautiful Tulip Nebula blossoms about 8,000 light-years away. Ultraviolet radiation from young energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. Also in the field of view is microquasar Cygnus X-1, one of the strongest X-ray sources in planet Earth's sky. Blasted by powerful jets from a lurking black hole its fainter bluish curved shock front is only just visible though, beyond the cosmic Tulip's petals near the right side of the frame.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220901.html ( September 01, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 8/30/2022

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Payloads: Advanced Nano Step: Following the completion of the experiment session, the Advanced Nano Step specimen cell was removed from its cartridge and Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF), and prepared for return to the ground on Crew-4. The Advanced Nano Step experiment monitors and records how the incorporation of specific impurity molecules affect the development … ...

August 30, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/08/30/iss-daily-summary-report-8-30-2022/

Lacerta’s Star Outshines a Galaxy


A little-studied star, TYC 3203-450-1, upstages a galaxy in this Hubble Telescope image from December 2017.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/lacerta-s-star-outshines-a-galaxy
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