Friday, September 30, 2022
Observe the Moon every night and you'll see its visible sunlit portion gradually change. In phases progressing from New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon again, a lunar cycle or lunation is completed in about 29.5 days. Top left to bottom right, this 7x4 matrix of telescopic images captures the range of lunar phases for 28 consecutive nights, from the evening of July 29 to the morning of August 26, following an almost complete lunation. No image was taken 24 hours or so just after and just before New Moon, when the lunar phase is at best a narrow crescent, close to the Sun and really hard to see. Finding mostly clear Mediterranean skies required an occasional road trip to complete this lunar cycle project, imaging in early evening for the first half and late evening and early morning for the second half of the lunation. Since all the images are registered at the same scale you can use this matrix to track the change in the Moon's apparent size during the single lunation. For extra credit, find the lunar phase that occurred closest to perigee.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap221001.html ( October 01, 2022)
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/29/2022
67 Soyuz (67S) Undock and Landing: The 67S vehicle carrying Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov undocked from the ISS at 2:33 AM CT today and successfully landed at 5:57 AM CT in Kazakhstan. The departure of 67S returned the crew complement onboard from 10 crew back to 7 crew. Payloads: Autonomous Systems and … ...
September 29, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/29/iss-daily-summary-report-9-29-2022/
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Equinox Sunrise Around the World
A planet-wide collaboration resulted in this remarkable array of sunrise photographs taken around the September 2022 equinox. The images were contributed by 24 photographers, one in each of 24 nautical time zones around the world. Unlike more complicated civil time zone boundaries, the 24 nautical time zones are simply 15 degree longitude bands corresponding to 1 hour steps that span the globe. Start at the upper right for the first to experience a sunrise in the nautical time zone corresponding to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) + 12 hours. In that time zone, the photographer was located in Christchurch, New Zealand. Travel to the west by looking down the column and then moving to the column toward the left for later sunrises as the time zone offset in hours from UTC decreases. Or, you can watch a video of September 2022 equinox sunrises around planet Earth.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220930.html ( September 30, 2022)
Neptune Shows Off Its Rings in Near-Infrared Light
On Sept. 21, 2022, the James Webb Space Telescope delivered the clearest view of Neptune’s rings in more than 30 years.
from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/neptune-shows-off-its-rings-in-near-infrared-light
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
DART Asteroid Impact from Space
Fifteen days before impact, the DART spacecraft deployed a small companion satellite to document its historic planetary defense technology demonstration. Provided by the Italian Space Agency, the Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids, aka LICIACube, recorded this image of the event's aftermath. A cloud of ejecta is seen near the right edge of the frame captured only minutes following DART's impact with target asteroid Dimorphos while LICIACube was about 80 kilometers away. Presently about 11 million kilometers from Earth, 160 meter diameter Dimorphos is a moonlet orbiting 780 meter diameter asteroid Didymos. Didymos is seen off center in the LICIACube image. Over the coming weeks, ground-based telescopic observations will look for a small change in Dimorphos' orbit around Didymos to evaluate how effectively the DART impact deflected its target.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220929.html ( September 29, 2022)
Ellen Ochoa Suits Up
Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, STS-110 flight engineer, wears a launch and entry suit as part of water survival training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in 2001.
from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/ellen-ochoa-suits-up
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
A Furious Sky over Mount Shasta
Is the sky angry with Mount Shasta? According to some ancient legends, the spirits of above and below worlds fight there, sometimes quite actively during eruptions of this enormous volcano in California, USA. Such drama can well be imagined in this deep sky image taken in late June. Evident above the snow-covered peak is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, on the left, and a picturesque sky toward the modern constellations of Scorpius and Ophiuchus, above and to the right. The bright orange star Antares and the colorful rho Ophiuchi cloud complex are visible just to the right of Mount Shasta, while the red emission nebula surrounding the star zeta Ophiuchi appears on the top right. The static earth image in the featured composite was taken during the blue hour, while a two-panel panorama tracking the background sky was taken later that night with the same camera and from the same location. Within a few million years, Antares, some stars in the rho Ophiuchi system, and zeta Ophiuchi will all likely explode as supernovas.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220928.html ( September 28, 2022)
DART Team Celebrates Successful Collision
In this image from Sept. 26, 2022, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) team, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, and guests at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory cheer as they receive confirmation of DART’s collision with Dimorphos.
from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/dart-team-celebrates-successful-collision
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/26/2022
Payloads: Autonomous Systems and Operations (AMO) EXPRESS-2.5 Ops: Experiment operations were continued, and a questionnaire filled out with feedback on the sessions. In these sessions, simulated commanding of EXPRESS rack 7 was conducted. AMO EXPRESS 2.5 conducts tests using automation and decision support software to help crew members manage spacecraft subsystems. The ability to perform … ...
September 26, 2022 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2022/09/26/iss-daily-summary-report-9-26-2022/
Monday, September 26, 2022
DART: Impact on Asteroid Dimorphos
Could humanity deflect an asteroid headed for Earth? Yes. Deadly impacts from large asteroids have happened before in Earth's past, sometimes causing mass extinctions of life. To help protect our Earth from some potential future impacts, NASA tested a new planetary defense mechanism yesterday by crashing the robotic Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft into Dimorphos, a small asteroid spanning about 170-meters across. As shown in the featured video, the impact was a success. Ideally, if impacted early enough, even the kick from a small spacecraft can deflect a large asteroid enough to miss the Earth. In the video, DART is seen in a time-lapse video first passing larger Didymos, on the left, and then approaching the smaller Dimorphos. Although the video ends abruptly with DART's crash, observations monitoring the changed orbit of Dimorphos -- from spacecraft and telescopes around the world -- have just begun.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220927.html ( September 27, 2022)
Golden DART’s Galactic Unboxing
Technicians prepare to move NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft from a shipping container onto a work stand inside the Astrotech Space Operations Facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California in this image from Oct. 4, 2021.
from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/golden-dart-s-galactic-unboxing
Sunday, September 25, 2022
All the Water on Planet Earth
How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The featured illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. The next smallest ball depicts all of Earth's liquid fresh water, while the tiniest ball shows the volume of all of Earth's fresh-water lakes and rivers. How any of this water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220926.html ( September 26, 2022)
Saturday, September 24, 2022
The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Featured here is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy. This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas and dust inside of which is a growing cavity filled with a spectacular stellar nursery currently forming an open cluster of stars. This great pillar, which is about 7,000 light years away, will likely evaporate away in about 100,000 years. The featured image is in scientifically re-assigned colors and was taken by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap220925.html ( September 25, 2022)
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/22/2022
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/21/2022
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/
Posted by Keith Barrows at 6:10 AM 1 comment:
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/20/2022
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
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
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
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/14/2022
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/13/2022
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
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
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
ISS Daily Summary Report – 9/08/2022
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
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
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
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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