Thursday, March 31, 2022

Leaning Tower, Active Sun


The natural filter of a hazy atmosphere offered this recognizable architecture and sunset view on March 27. Dark against the solar disk, large sunspots in solar active regions 2975 and 2976 are wedged between the Duomo of Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower. Only one day later, Sun-staring spacecraft watched active region 2975 unleash a frenzy of solar flares along with two coronal mass ejections. The largest impacted the magnetosphere on March 31 triggering a geomagnetic storm and aurorae in high-latitude night skies. On March 30, active region 2975 erupted again with a powerful X-class solar flare that caused a temporary radio blackout on planet Earth.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220401.html ( April 01, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/30/2022

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65 Soyuz (65S) Undock and Landing: The 65S vehicle carrying Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Petr Dubrov and NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei undocked from the ISS at 2:21 AM CT on Wednesday, March 30th, and successfully landed at 6:28 AM CT in Kazakhstan. After 355 days onboard the ISS, Mark Vande Hei returns as the … ...

March 30, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/30/iss-daily-summary-report-3-30-2022/

Pilot Bob Hines in Training for Crew-4


NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 pilot Bob Hines is pictured during a training session inside a mockup of the Crew Dragon vehicle at SpaceX Headquarters.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pilot-bob-hines-in-training-for-crew-4
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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Exploring the Antennae


Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies are colliding. Stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, very rarely collide in the course of the ponderous cataclysm that lasts for hundreds of millions of years. But the galaxies' large clouds of molecular gas and dust often do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the center of the cosmic wreckage. Spanning over 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view also reveals new star clusters and matter flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal forces. The remarkably sharp ground-based image, an accumulation of 88 hours of exposure captured during 2012-2021, follows the faint tidal tails and distant background galaxies in the field of view. The suggestive overall visual appearance of the extended arcing structures gives the galaxy pair, also known as Arp 244, its popular name - The Antennae.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220331.html ( March 31, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/29/2022

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Payloads: Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance (GRASP): The first of three GRASP sessions in the seated configuration were performed by ISS crew. The purpose of the GRASP investigation is to better understand how the central nervous system (CNS) integrates information from different sensations (e.g. sight or hearing), encoded in different reference frames, in order to … ...

March 29, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/29/iss-daily-summary-report-3-29-2022/

Mark Vande Hei and Crew Mates Safely Land


NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, left, and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, center, and Pyotr Dubrov are seen inside their Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft after landing.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/mark-vande-hei-and-crew-mates-safely-land
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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Animation: Odd Radio Circles


What do you call a cosmic puzzle that no one expected to see? In this case, Odd Radio Circles, aka ORCs. ORC-1 typifies the enigmatic five objects, only visible at radio frequencies, that were serendipitously discovered in 2019 using the new Australian SKA Pathfinder radio array. The final image in the featured video uses 2021 data from the South African MeerKAT array to reveal more detail. The radio data, assigned turquoise colors, are combined with a Dark Energy Survey optical/IR map. The animated artist’s illustration explores just one idea about the ORCs’ origins. If two supermassive black holes merge in the center of a galaxy, the associated shockwaves could generate rings of radio radiation. These grow to fill the video frame. The video zooms out so the expansion the ORC can be tracked until it is about a million light-years across. Fortunately, the up-coming Square Kilometer Array can help test this and other promising scenarios.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220330.html ( March 30, 2022)

A Homecoming for Mark Vande Hei


Astronaut Mark Vande Hei arrived at the International Space Station on April 9, 2021, and will return home March 30, 2022, after spending 355 days in low-Earth orbit.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-homecoming-for-mark-vande-hei
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Monday, March 28, 2022

Venus and Mars: Passing in the Night


When two planets pass on the night sky, they can usually be seen near each other for a week or more. In the case of this planetary conjunction, Venus and Mars passed within 4 degrees of each other earlier this month. The featured image was taken a few days prior, when Venus was slowing rising in the pre-dawn sky, night by night, while Mars was slowly setting. The image, a four-part mosaic, was captured in Brazil from the small town Teresópolis. Besides Venus and Mars, the morning sky now also includes the more distant planet Saturn. Of course, these conjunctions are only angular -- Venus, Mars, and Saturn continue to orbit the Sun in very different parts of our Solar System. Next week, the angle between Saturn and Mars will drop to below a quarter of a degree.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220329.html ( March 29, 2022)

Smash-Up: How To Create Rocky Planets


Major smashups between rocky bodies shaped our solar system. Observations of a similar crash give clues about how frequent these events are around other stars.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/smash-up-how-to-create-rocky-planets
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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Gems of a Maldivean Night


The southernmost part of the Milky Way contains not only the stars of the Southern Cross, but the closest star system to our Sun -- Alpha Centauri. The Southern Cross itself is topped by the bright, yellowish star Gamma Crucis. A line from Gamma Crucis through the blue star at the bottom of the cross, Acrux, points toward the south celestial pole, located just above the small island in the featured picture -- taken in early March. That island is Madivaru of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Against faint Milky Way starlight, the dark Coal Sack Nebula lies just left of the cross, while farther left along the Milky Way are the bright stars Alpha Centauri (left) and Beta Centauri (Hadar). Alpha Centauri A, a Sun-like star anchoring a three-star system with exoplanets, is a mere 4.3 light-years distant. Seen from Alpha Centauri, our own Sun would be a bright yellowish star in the otherwise recognizable constellation Cassiopeia.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220328.html ( March 28, 2022)

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight


Why would the surface of Titan light up with a blinding flash? The reason: a sunglint from liquid seas. Saturn's moon Titan has numerous smooth lakes of methane that, when the angle is right, reflect sunlight as if they were mirrors. Pictured here in false-color, the robotic Cassini spacecraft that orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017 imaged the cloud-covered Titan in 2014 in different bands of cloud-piercing infrared light. This specular reflection was so bright it saturated one of Cassini's infrared cameras. Although the sunglint was annoying -- it was also useful. The reflecting regions confirm that northern Titan houses a wide and complex array of seas with a geometry that indicates periods of significant evaporation. During its numerous passes of our Solar System's most mysterious moon, Cassini has revealed Titan to be a world with active weather -- including times when it rains a liquefied version of natural gas.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220327.html ( March 27, 2022)

Friday, March 25, 2022

Pluto at Night


The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene. In the stunning spacebased perspective the Sun is 4.9 billion kilometers (almost 4.5 light-hours) behind the dim and distant world. It was captured by far flung New Horizons in July of 2015 when the spacecraft was at a range of some 21,000 kilometers from Pluto, about 19 minutes after its closest approach. A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto's tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. Near the top of the frame the crescent twilight landscape includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains now formally known as Sputnik Planitia and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220326.html ( March 26, 2022)

NASA Blogs Home ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/24/2022

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Payloads: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF): Four Plant Experiment Units were removed from the 1-G CBEF Incubator Unit Centrifuge. The CBEF, a JAXA subrack facility, is an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. CBEF is housed in the Saibo (living cell) Experiment Rack with the Clean Bench (CB). Confocal Space Microscopy: Two USB cables were … ...

March 24, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/24/nasa-blogs-home-iss-daily-summary-report-3-24-2022/

Pioneering Female Aviator Wally Funk Wins 2022 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement


Wally Funk delivers remarks after accepting the 2022 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pioneering-female-aviator-wally-funk-wins-2022-michael-collins-trophy-for-lifetime
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Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Medusa Nebula


Braided and serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula's popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation. The planetary nebula phase represents a final stage in the evolution of low mass stars like the sun as they transform themselves from red giants to hot white dwarf stars and in the process shrug off their outer layers. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot star powers the nebular glow. The Medusa's transforming star is the faint one near the center of the overall bright crescent shape. In this deep telescopic view, fainter filaments clearly extend above and left of the bright crescent region. The Medusa Nebula is estimated to be over 4 light-years across.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220325.html ( March 25, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/23/2022

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Payloads: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF): Six Plant Experiment Units were retrieved from the CBEF Incubator Unit (IU) Micro-G Sample Tray. Four Plant Experiment Units were then installed into the CBEF IU 1G Centrifuge. CBEF, a JAXA sub-rack facility, is an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. CBEF is housed in the Saibo (living cell) … ...

March 23, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/23/iss-daily-summary-report-3-23-2022/

What's New on the Moon ... After 50 Years


One of the last unopened Apollo-era lunar samples collected during Apollo 17 has been opened under the careful direction of lunar sample processors and curators.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/whats-new-on-the-moon-after-50-years
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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Arp 78: Peculiar Galaxy in Aries


Peculiar spiral galaxy Arp 78 is found within the boundaries of the head strong constellation Aries. Some 100 million light-years beyond the stars and nebulae of our Milky Way galaxy, the island universe is over 100,000 light-years across. Also known as NGC 772, it sports a prominent, outer spiral arm in this detailed cosmic portrait from the large Gemini North telescope near the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii, planet Earth. Tracking along sweeping dust lanes and lined with young blue star clusters, Arp 78's spiral arm is likely pumped-up by galactic-scale gravitational tidal interactions The close companion galaxy responsible is NGC 770, located off the upper right of this frame. But more distant background galaxies are clearly visible in the cosmic field of view.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220324.html ( March 24, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/22/2022

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Payloads: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF): Six Plant Experiment Units were installed in the CBEF Micro-G Sample Tray. CBEF is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility; it is an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. CBEF is housed in the Saibo (living cell) Experiment Rack with the Clean Bench (CB). Rodent Research Facility: … ...

March 22, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/22/iss-daily-summary-report-3-22-2022/

Contraband Corned Beef and the Gemini III Mission


Astronaut John Young, the pilot of the Gemini III mission, inspects his helmet in the ready room in preparation for the launch.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/contraband-corned-beef-and-the-gemini-iii-mission
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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Bubble Nebula from Hubble


Massive stars can blow bubbles. The featured image shows perhaps the most famous of all star-bubbles, NGC 7635, 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 some 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 reprocessed composite of previously acquired Hubble Space Telescope image data.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220323.html ( March 23, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/21/2022

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Payloads: Acoustic Diagnostics: The crew participated in an Acoustic Diagnostics session.  This activity captures both sound level data every second as well as an audio recording for the duration of the measurement.  The crew then completed a questionnaire.  The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (AUDIO) (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation tests the hearing of ISS crew members before, … ...

March 21, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/21/iss-daily-summary-report-3-21-2022/

5,000 Exoplanets and Counting


A new raft of discoveries marks a scientific high point: More than 5,000 planets are now confirmed to exist beyond our solar system.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/5000-exoplanets-and-counting
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Monday, March 21, 2022

A View to a Nebula


This colorful image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and published in 2018, celebrated the observatory’s 28th anniversary of viewing the heavens.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-view-to-a-nebula
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Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Sky in 2021


What if you could see the entire sky -- all at once -- for an entire year? That, very nearly, is what is pictured here. Every 15 minutes during 2021, an all-sky camera took an image of the sky over the Netherlands. Central columns from these images were then aligned and combined to create the featured keogram, with January at the top, December at the bottom, and the middle of the night running vertically just left of center. What do we see? Most obviously, the daytime sky is mostly blue, while the nighttime sky is mostly black. The twelve light bands crossing the night sky are caused by the glow of the Moon. The thinnest part of the black hourglass shape occurs during the summer solstice when days are the longest, while the thickest part occurs at the winter solstice. Yesterday was an equinox -- when night and day were equal -- and the northern-spring equinox from one year ago can actually be located in the keogram -- about three-quarters of the way up.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220321.html ( March 21, 2022)

Saturday, March 19, 2022

A Picturesque Equinox Sunset


What's that at the end of the road? The Sun. Many towns have roads that run east - west, and on two days each year, the Sun rises and sets right down the middle. Today is one of those days: an equinox. Not only is today a day of equal night ("aequus"-"nox") and day time, but also a day when the sun rises precisely to the east and sets due west. Featured here is a picturesque road in northwest Illinois, USA that runs approximately east -west. The image was taken during the March Equinox of 2015, and shows the Sun down the road at sunset. In many cultures, this March equinox is taken to be the first day of a season, typically spring in Earth's northern hemisphere, and autumn in the south. Does your favorite street run east - west? Tonight, at sunset, you can find out with a quick glance.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220320.html ( March 20, 2022)

Friday, March 18, 2022

2MASS J17554042 6551277


2MASS J17554042+6551277 doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but that's the name, a coordinate-based catalog designation, of the star centered in this sharp field of view. Fans of the distant universe should get used to its spiky appearance though. The diffraction pattern is created by the 18 hexagonal mirror segments of the James Webb Space Telescope. After unfolding, the segments have now been adjusted to achieve a diffraction limited alignment at infrared wavelengths while operating in concert as a single 6.5 meter diameter primary mirror. The resulting image taken by Webb's NIRcam demonstrates their precise alignment is the best physics will allow. 2MASS J17554042+6551277 is about 2,000 light-years away and well within our own galaxy. But the galaxies scattered across the background of the Webb telescope alignment evaluation image are likely billions of light-years distant, far beyond the Milky Way.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220319.html ( March 19, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/17/2022

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Payloads: Fiber-optic Active Dosimeter (Lumina): Nominally, data is periodically transferred between the Lumina device and the EveryWear App to input the experiment parameter settings; however, today the crew reported none of the expected files were available for transfer.  The ground team is assessing the forward plan.  Lumina is an active fiber dosimeter that monitors, in … ...

March 17, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/17/iss-daily-summary-report-3-17-2022/

Artemis I in Moonlight


Earth's Moon is seen rising behind NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/artemis-i-in-moonlight
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Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Filament in Monoceros


Bluish reflection nebulae seem to fill this dusty expanse. The sharp telescopic frame spans over 1 degree on the sky toward the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. Seen within the Monoceros R1 cloud complex some 2,500 light-years away, bluish IC 447 is on the left, joined by a long dark filament of dust to IC 446 at lower right. Embedded in IC 447 are young, massive blue stars much hotter than the Sun, whose light is reflected by the cosmic cloud of star stuff. Observations reveal that IC 446 also contains a young stellar object, a massive star still in an early stage of evolution. The dark filament of dust and molecular gas joining the two star-forming regions is over 15 light-years long.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220318.html ( March 18, 2022)

Artemis I First Rollout


NASA’s Space Launch Syste rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/artemis-i-first-rollout
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ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/16/2022

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Payloads: Confocal Space Microscopy:  The protective cover from the Confocal Space Microscope was removed and the checkout sample was inserted.  The Confocal Space Microscope is a JAXA facility that provides fluorescence images of biological samples aboard the ISS. Confocal microscopy uses spatial filtering techniques to eliminate out-of-focus light or glare in specimens with thicknesses exceeding … ...

March 16, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/16/iss-daily-summary-report-3-16-2022/

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Centaurus A


A mere 11 million light-years away, Centaurus A is the closest active galaxy to planet Earth. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy also known as NGC 5128, is featured in this sharp telescopic view. Centaurus A is apparently the result of a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies resulting in a fantastic jumble of star clusters and imposing dark dust lanes. Near the galaxy's center, leftover cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun. As in other active galaxies, that process likely generates the enormous radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220317.html ( March 17, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/15/2022

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Payloads: Nutrition Monitoring for the International Space Station (NutrISS): In support of the NutrISS investigation, an ESA Nutritional Assessment (ENA) was performed.  In the NutrISS investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard the ISS is carried out using a dedicated bio-impedance analysis device to allow … ...

March 15, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/15/iss-daily-summary-report-3-15-2022/

Remembering Visionary Heliophysicist Eugene Parker


Dr. Eugene N. Parker, visionary of heliophysics and namesake of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, has passed away. He was 94.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/remembering-visionary-heliophysicist-eugene-parker
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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Observable Universe


How far can you see? Everything you can see, and everything you could possibly see, right now, assuming your eyes could detect all types of radiations around you -- is the observable universe. In light, the farthest we can see comes from the cosmic microwave background, a time 13.8 billion years ago when the universe was opaque like thick fog. Some neutrinos and gravitational waves that surround us come from even farther out, but humanity does not yet have the technology to detect them. The featured image illustrates the observable universe on an increasingly compact scale, with the Earth and Sun at the center surrounded by our Solar System, nearby stars, nearby galaxies, distant galaxies, filaments of early matter, and the cosmic microwave background. Cosmologists typically assume that our observable universe is just the nearby part of a greater entity known as "the universe" where the same physics applies. However, there are several lines of popular but speculative reasoning that assert that even our universe is part of a greater multiverse where either different physical constants occur, different physical laws apply, higher dimensions operate, or slightly different-by-chance versions of our standard universe exist.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220316.html ( March 16, 2022)

NASA Astronaut Breaks American Space Record


In this image from August 2021, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei sits and reads while on the International Space Station.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-astronaut-breaks-american-space-record
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Monday, March 14, 2022

A Road to the Stars


Pictured -- a very scenic road to the stars. The road approaches La Silla Observatory in Chile, with the ESO's 3.6-meter telescope just up ahead. To the left are some futuristic-looking support structures for the planned BlackGEM telescopes, an array of optical telescopes that will help locate optical counterparts to gravitational waves detections by LIGO and other detectors. But there is much more. Red airglow illuminates the night sky on the right, while the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy slants across the image center. Jupiter can be seen just above the band near the image center, while Saturn is visible just above the 3.6-meter telescope dome. The two largest satellite galaxies of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC and SMC, are seen on the far right. The featured image panorama was built up from multiple 15-second exposures that were captured on 2019 June 30. Two days later, La Silla experienced a rare total eclipse of the Sun.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220315.html ( March 15, 2022)

Who Needs Pi?


Today is Pi Day!

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/who-needs-pi
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Sunday, March 13, 2022

Star Formation in the Eagle Nebula


Where do stars form? One place, star forming regions known as "EGGs", are being uncovered at the end of this giant pillar of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16). Short for evaporating gaseous globules, EGGs are dense regions of mostly molecular hydrogen gas that fragment and gravitationally collapse to form stars. Light from the hottest and brightest of these new stars heats the end of the pillar and causes further evaporation of gas and dust -- revealing yet more EGGs and more young stars. This featured picture was created from exposures spanning over 30 hours with the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in 2014, and digitally processed with modern software by experienced volunteers in Argentina. Newborn stars will gradually destroy their birth pillars over the next 100,000 years or so -- if a supernova doesn't destroy them first.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220314.html ( March 14, 2022)

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way


Why would the sky glow like a giant repeating rainbow? Airglow. Now air glows all of the time, but it is usually hard to see. A disturbance however -- like an approaching storm -- may cause noticeable rippling in the Earth's atmosphere. These gravity waves are oscillations in air analogous to those created when a rock is thrown in calm water. Red airglow likely originates from OH molecules about 87-kilometers high, excited by ultraviolet light from the Sun, while orange and green airglow is likely caused by sodium and oxygen atoms slightly higher up. While driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Provence in China a few years ago, the photographer originally noticed mainly the impressive central band of the Milky Way Galaxy. Stopping to photograph it, surprisingly, the resulting sensitive camera image showed airglow bands to be quite prominent and span the entire sky. The featured image has been digitally enhanced to make the colors more vibrant.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220313.html ( March 13, 2022)

Friday, March 11, 2022

Point Reyes Milky Way


Northern winter constellations and a long arc of the Milky Way are setting in this night skyscape looking toward the Pacific Ocean from Point Reyes on planet Earth's California coast. Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major, is prominent below the starry arc toward the left. Orion's yellowish Betelgeuse, Aldebaran in Taurus, and the blue tinted Pleiades star cluster also find themselves between Milky Way and northwestern horizon near the center of the scene. The nebulae visible in the series of exposures used to construct this panoramic view were captured in early March, but are just too faint to be seen with the unaided eye. On that northern night their expansive glow includes the reddish semi-circle of Barnard's Loop in Orion and NGC 1499 above and right of the Pleiades, also known as the California Nebula.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220312.html ( March 12, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/10/2022

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Payloads: Behavioral Core Measures (BCM): ROBoT-r Research sessions consisting of a set of 12 runs/tests were performed. 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 … ...

March 10, 2022 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/10/iss-daily-summary-report-3-10-2022/

Hubble Views an Infant Star’s Outburst


An energetic outburst from an infant star streaks across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2022/hubble-views-an-infant-stars-outburst
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Thursday, March 10, 2022

When Rainbows Smile


Want to see a rainbow smile? Look near the zenith (straight up) when the sun is low in the sky and you might. This example of an ice halo known as a circumzenithal arc was captured above a palm tree top from Ragusa, Sicily on February 24. The vividly colorful arcs are often called smiling rainbows because of their upside down curvature and colors. For circumzenithal arcs the zenith is at the center and red is on the outside, compared to rainbows whose arcs bend toward the horizon after a downpour. True rainbows are formed by water droplets refracting the sunlight to produce a spectrum of colors, though. Circumzenithal arcs are the product of refraction and reflection in flat hexagonal ice crystals, like the ice crystals that create sundogs, formed in high thin clouds.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220311.html ( March 11, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/09/2022

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Payloads: Collapsible Contingency Urinal (CCU): As part of an on-going series of tests, the crew used the CCU system. The CCU is an exploration hardware flown to the ISS as a tech demo. The approach includes a fractal wetting design that incorporates smart capillary fluidics. This work could have a broad impact on capillary-based fluid … ...

March 09, 2022 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/09/iss-daily-summary-report-3-09-2022/

Cygnus Cargo Craft at the Space Station


This February 2022 image of Northrop Grummans's Cygnus cargo craft is pictured attached to the International Space Station.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/cygnus-cargo-craft-at-the-space-station
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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc


Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky. Also known as NGC 104, it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 other globular star clusters. The second brightest globular cluster (after Omega Centauri) as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 13,000 light-years away. It can be spotted with the naked-eye close on the sky to the Small Magellanic Cloud in the constellation of the Toucan. The dense cluster is made up of hundreds of thousands of stars in a volume only about 120 light-years across. Red giant stars on the outskirts of the cluster are easy to pick out as yellowish stars in this sharp telescopic portrait. Tightly packed globular cluster 47 Tuc is also home to a star with the closest known orbit around a black hole.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220310.html ( March 10, 2022)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/08/2022

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Payloads: Electromagnetic Levitator (EML): The various helium and argon gas valves were cycled to verify correct routing of gas hoses. EML is a multi-user facility that provides containerless melting and solidification of electrically conductive, spherical samples, under ultra-high vacuum and/or high purity gas environments. Heating and positioning of the sample is achieved by electromagnetic fields … ...

March 08, 2022 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/03/08/iss-daily-summary-report-3-08-2022/