Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Seven worlds orbit the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. A mere 40 light-years away, many of the exoplanets were discovered in 2016 using the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and later confirmed with telescope including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely all rocky and similar in size to Earth, and so compose one of the largest treasure troves of terrestrial planets ever detected around a single star. Because they orbit very close to their faint, tiny star they could also have regions where surface temperatures allow for the presence of ice or even liquid water, a key ingredient for life. Their tantalizing proximity to Earth makes them prime candidates for future telescopic explorations of the atmospheres of potentially habitable planets. All seven exoplanets appear in the featured illustration, which imagines a view from the most distant known world of this system, TRAPPIST-1h, as having a rocky landscape covered in ice. Meanwhile, in the imagined background, one of the system's inner planets crosses in front of the dim, orange, nearly Jupiter-sized parent star.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230201.html ( February 01, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/30/2023



Payloads: Actiwatch-Plus (AWP): The crew connected the AWP devices to a Human Research Facility (HRF) rack Universal Serial Bus (USB) hub to charge them and transfer data for subsequent downlink. The Actiwatch-Plus is a waterproof, non-intrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember and contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a … ...

January 30, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/30/iss-daily-summary-report-1-30-2023/

Flora, Fauna at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

In this photo from Oct. 14, 2008, a great blue heron stands watch among a pond of water lilies on NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/flora-fauna-at-nasa-s-kennedy-space-center

Monday, January 30, 2023

Comet ZTF has a distinctive shape. The now bright comet visiting the inner Solar System has been showing not only a common dust tail, ion tail, and green gas coma, but also an uncommonly distinctive antitail. The antitail does not actually lead the comet -- it is just that the head of the comet is seen superposed on part of the fanned-out and trailing dust tail. The giant dirty snowball that is Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has now passed its closest to the Sun and tomorrow will pass its closest to the Earth. The main panel of the featured triple image shows how Comet ZTF looked last week to the unaided eye under a dark and clear sky over Cáceres, Spain. The top inset image shows how the comet looked through binoculars, while the lower inset shows how the comet looked through a small telescope. The comet is now visible all night long from northern latitudes but will surely fade from easy observation during the next few weeks.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230131.html ( January 31, 2023)

Volcanic Plumes in Chile

Chile’s Villarrica volcano emits steam and other volcanic gases in this photo taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 17, 2023. The gases come from a series of minor explosions—called Strombolian eruptions—that have been ongoing at Villarrica since October 2022.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/volcanic-plumes-in-chile

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left. Over the eons, many globular clusters were destroyed by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center. Surviving relics are older than any Earth fossil, older than any other structures in our Galaxy, and limit the universe itself in raw age. There are few, if any, young globular clusters left in our Milky Way Galaxy because conditions are not ripe for more to form. The featured image shows a Hubble Space Telescope view of 13-billion year old NGC 6355, a surviving globular cluster currently passing near the Milky Way's center. Globular cluster stars are concentrated toward the image center and highlighted by bright blue stars. Most other stars in the frame are dimmer, redder, and just coincidently lie near the direction to NGC 6355.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230130.html ( January 30, 2023)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured here. That no stars are visible in the center indicates that Barnard 68 is relatively nearby, with measurements placing it about 500 light-years away and half a light-year across. It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but it is known that these clouds are themselves likely places for new stars to form. In fact, Barnard 68 itself has been found likely to collapse and form a new star system. It is possible to look right through the cloud in infrared light.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230129.html ( January 29, 2023)

Friday, January 27, 2023

Comet ZTF over Mount Etna

Comet-like plumes are blowing over the volcanic peaks of Mount Etna in this wintry mountain-and-skyscape from planet Earth. The stacked and blended combination of individual exposures recorded during the cold night of January 23, also capture naked-eye Comet ZTF just above Etna's snowy slopes. Of course increasing sunlight and the solar wind are responsible for the comet's greenish coma and broad dusty tail. This weekend Comet ZTF is dashing across northern skies between north star Polaris and the Big Dipper. From a dark site you can only just spot it as a fuzzy patch though. That's still an impressive achievement if you consider you are gazing at a visitor from the distant Oort cloud with your own eyes. But binoculars or a small telescope will make for an even more enjoyable view of this Comet ZTF in the coming days.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230128.html ( January 28, 2023)

Day of Remembrance

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson lays a wreath at the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/day-of-remembrance

Hubble Views a Stellar Duo in Orion Nebula

The bright variable star V 372 Orionis takes center stage in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2023/hubble-views-a-stellar-duo-in-orion-nebula

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/26/2023



Payloads: BioNutrients-1: BioNutrients-1 Production Packs were hydrated, incubated, and agitated. BioNutrients demonstrates a technology that enables on-demand production of human nutrients during long-duration space missions. The process uses engineered microbes, like yeast, to generate carotenoids from an edible media to supplement potential vitamin losses from food that is stored for very long periods. Specially designed … ...

January 26, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/26/iss-daily-summary-report-1-26-2023/

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing

The current darling of the northern night, Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF is captured in this telescopic image from a dark sky location at June Lake, California. Of course Comet ZTF has been growing brighter in recent days, headed for its closest approach to Earth on February 1. But this view was recorded on January 23, very close to the time planet Earth crossed the orbital plane of long-period Comet ZTF. The comet's broad, whitish dust tail is still curved and fanned out away from the Sun as Comet ZTF sweeps along its orbit. Due to perspective near the orbital plane crossing, components of the fanned out dust tail appear on both sides of the comet's green tinted coma though, to lend Comet ZTF a visually striking (left) anti-tail. Buffeted by solar activity the comet's narrower ion tail also streams away from the coma diagonally to the right, across the nearly three degree wide field of view.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230127.html ( January 27, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/25/2023



Payloads: PK-4: The PK-4 HD was packed for return and two new hard drives were inserted. The chamber gas insert valve was switched from Neon to Argon. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of Complex Plasmas: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of … ...

January 25, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/25/iss-daily-summary-report-1-25-2023/

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Active Galaxy NGC 1275

Active galaxy NGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large and relatively nearby Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also a prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission. NGC 1275 accretes matter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimately feeding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core. This color composite image made from Hubble Space Telescope data recorded during 2006. It highlights the resulting galactic debris and filaments of glowing gas, some up to 20,000 light-years long. The filaments persist in NGC 1275, even though the turmoil of galactic collisions should destroy them. What keeps the filaments together? Observations indicate that the structures, pushed out from the galaxy's center by the black hole's activity, are held together by magnetic fields. Also known as Perseus A, NGC 1275 spans over 100,000 light years and lies about 230 million light years away.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230126.html ( January 26, 2023)

President Reagan Calls for Space Station

On January 25, 1984, President Ronald Reagan used his State of the Union address to call for NASA to build a permanent manned space station.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/president-reagan-calls-for-space-station

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/24/2023



Payloads: PK-4: A crewmember caught clouds of particles inside the PK-4 chamber using the PK-4 software on the Columbus Module Laptop 1 as part of campaign 15 experiment operations. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of Complex Plasmas: low temperature gaseous mixtures … ...

January 24, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/24/iss-daily-summary-report-1-24-2023/

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

To some, the dark shape looks like a mythical boogeyman. Scientifically, Lynds' Dark Nebula (LDN) 1622 appears against a faint background of glowing hydrogen gas only visible in long telescopic exposures of the region. In contrast, the brighter reflection nebula vdB 62 is more easily seen just above and to the right of center in the featured image. LDN 1622 lies near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, close on the sky to Barnard's Loop, a large cloud surrounding the rich complex of emission nebulae found in the Belt and Sword of Orion. With swept-back outlines, the obscuring dust of LDN 1622 is thought to lie at a similar distance, perhaps 1,500 light-years away. At that distance, this 2-degree wide field of view would span about 60 light-years. Young stars do lie hidden within the dark expanse and have been revealed in Spitzer Space Telescope infrared images.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230125.html ( January 25, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/23/2023



Payloads: PK-4: A crewmember caught clouds of particles inside the PK-4 chamber using the PK-4 software on the Columbus Module Laptop 1 as part of campaign 15 experiment operations. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of Complex Plasmas: low temperature gaseous mixtures … ...

January 23, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/23/iss-daily-summary-report-1-23-2023/

Astronaut Nicole Mann Makes Her First Spacewalk

Astronaut Nicole Mann is pictured during her first spacewalk installing a modification kit on the International Space Station's starboard truss structure.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/astronaut-nicole-mann-makes-her-first-spacewalk

Astronaut Nicole Mann is pictured during her first spacewalk

Astronaut Nicole Mann is pictured during her first spacewalk installing a modification kit on the International Space Station's starboard truss structure.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/astronaut-nicole-mann-is-pictured-during-her-first-spacewalk

Monday, January 23, 2023

If you could stand on exoplanet LHS 475 b, what might you see? No one knows for sure but pictured here is an interesting guess made by an Earth-based artificial intelligence (AI) engine. The existence of the exoplanet was indicated in data taken by the Earth-orbiting TESS satellite but confirmed and further investigated only this year by the near-Earth Sun-orbiting James Webb Space Telescope. What is known for sure is that LHS 475 b has a mass very similar to our Earth and closely orbits a small red star about 40 light years away. The featured AI-illustrated guess depicts a plausibly rugged Earth-like landscape replete with molten lava and with the central red star rising in the distance. Webb data does not as yet reveal, however, whether LHS 475 b has an atmosphere. One of Webb’s science objectives is to follow up previous discoveries of distant exoplanets to better discern their potential for developing life.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230124.html ( January 24, 2023)

Webb Unveils Dark Side

An international team of astronomers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has obtained an in-depth inventory of the deepest, coldest ices measured to date in a molecular cloud.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/webb-unveils-dark-side

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Two galaxies are squaring off in Virgo and here are the latest pictures. When two galaxies collide, the stars that compose them usually do not. This is because galaxies are mostly empty space and, however bright, stars only take up only a small fraction of that space. But during the collision, one galaxy can rip the other apart gravitationally, and dust and gas common to both galaxies does collide. If the two galaxies merge, black holes that likely resided in each galaxy center may eventually merge. Because the distances are so large, the whole thing takes place in slow motion -- over hundreds of millions of years. Besides the two large spiral galaxies, a smaller third galaxy is visible on the far left of the featured image of Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679. Arp 274 spans about 200,000 light years across and lies about 400 million light years away toward the constellation of Virgo.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230123.html ( January 23, 2023)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Raise your arms if you see an aurora. With those instructions, two nights went by with, well, clouds -- mostly. On the third night of returning to same peaks, though, the sky not only cleared up but lit up with a spectacular auroral display. Arms went high in the air, patience and experience paid off, and the creative featured image was captured as a composite from three separate exposures. The setting is a summit of the Austnesfjorden fjord close to the town of Svolvear on the Lofoten islands in northern Norway. The time was early 2014. Although our Sun passed the solar minimum of its 11-year cycle only a few years ago, surface activity is picking up and already triggering more spectacular auroras here on Earth.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230122.html ( January 22, 2023)

Friday, January 20, 2023

Naked Eye Comet ZTF

Comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) is no longer too dim to require a telescope for viewing. By January 19, it could just be seen with the naked eye in this rural sky with little light pollution from a location about 20 kilometers from Salamanca, Spain. Still, telescopic images are needed to show any hint of the comet's pretty green coma, stubby whitish dust tail, and long ion tail. Its faint ion tail has been buffeted by recent solar activity. This visitor from the distant Oort cloud rounded the Sun on January 12. and is now sweeping through stars near the northern boundary of the constellation Bootes. Outward bound but still growing brighter, Comet ZTF makes its closest approach on February 2, coming to within about 2.4 light-minutes of our fair planet.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230121.html ( January 21, 2023)

Suiting Up for Their First Spacewalk

Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are pictured on Jan. 12, 2023, during a fit check of their spacesuits inside the Quest airlock ahead of a planned spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station's power generation system.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/suiting-up-for-their-first-spacewalk

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/19/2023



Payloads: Food Physiology: A diet briefing was conducted between the crew and the Principal Investigator team in support of the Food Physiology investigation. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced … ...

January 19, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/19/iss-daily-summary-report-1-19-2023/

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82

The two dominant galaxies near center are far far away, 12 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation of the Great Bear. On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core is spiral galaxy M81. Also known as Bode's galaxy, M81 spans some 100,000 light-years. On the left is cigar-shaped irregular galaxy M82. The pair have been locked in gravitational combat for a billion years. Gravity from each galaxy has profoundly affected the other during a series of cosmic close encounters. Their last go-round lasted about 100 million years and likely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81's spiral arms. M82 was left with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic that the galaxy glows in X-rays. In the next few billion years, their continuing gravitational encounters will result in a merger, and a single galaxy will remain. This extragalactic scenario also includes other members of the interacting M81 galaxy group with NGC 3077 below and right of the large spiral, and NGC 2976 at upper right in the frame. Captured under dark night skies in the Austrian Alps, the foreground of the wide-field image is filled with integrated flux nebulae. Those faint, dusty interstellar clouds reflect starlight above the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230120.html ( January 20, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/18/2023



Payloads: Device for the study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization (DECLIC): The crew removed the Directional Solidification Insert (DSI) from the DECLIC facility and installed the Analyse des Liquides Critiques dans l’Espace (ALICE)-Like Insert (ALI). ALI studies sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) near its critical point. The DECLIC facility experienced thermal control issues late last year which … ...

January 18, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/18/iss-daily-summary-report-1-18-2023/

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Seagull Nebula

A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. Using narrowband image data, this 3-panel mosaic of the cosmic bird covers a 2.5 degree swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Likely part of a larger shell structure swept up by successive supernova explosions, the broad Seagull Nebula is cataloged as Sh2-296 and IC 2177. The prominent bluish arc below and right of center is a bow shock from runaway star FN Canis Majoris. This complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of the Canis Majoris OB1 association spans over 200 light-years at the Seagull Nebula's estimated 3,800 light-year distance.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230119.html ( January 19, 2023)

Snowy Celestial Mountains

Snow and ice cover mountains of the Tien Shan range in this photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS) on Feb. 9, 2022.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/snowy-celestial-mountains

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/17/2023



Payloads: Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): Preparations were made to support a Fuel Oxidizer Management Assembly (FOMA) calibration. The FOMA calibration is performed periodically and helps to verify accurate readings from the various measurement systems in the CIR. The CIR facility includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel, and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for … ...

January 17, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/17/iss-daily-summary-report-1-17-2023/

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Gravitational lensing by the galaxy cluster MACS0647 -- in which the massive foreground cluster distorts and lenses the light emitted by distant background galaxies along the line of sight — is on vivid display here in this recent multi-color infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In particular, the background source MACS0647-JD is seen to be lensed three times by the cluster. When first discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope, MACS0647-JD was observed as an amorphous blob. With Webb though, this single source is revealed to be a pair or small group of galaxies. The colors of the MACS0647-JD objects are different as well -- indicating differences potentially in the age or dust content of these galaxies. These new images provide rare examples of galaxies in an era only a few 100 million years after the Big Bang.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230118.html ( January 18, 2023)

A Well-traveled Beagle

Snoopy, the zero gravity indicator that flew aboard Orion during the Artemis I mission, wears a smile after being unpacked from his transport case on Jan. 5, 2023.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-well-traveled-beagle

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/16/2023



Payloads: Human Research Facility (HRF) Veggie: Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires were completed by the crew. The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System (Veggie) investigation is a phased research project that includes Veg-04A, Veg-04B, Veg-05, and HRF Veg including HRF Veggie POMS questionnaires. This work addresses the … ...

January 16, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/16/iss-daily-summary-report-1-16-2023/

Monday, January 16, 2023

Why are there oxygen-emitting arcs near the direction of the Andromeda galaxy? No one is sure. The gas arcs, shown in blue, were discovered and first confirmed by amateur astronomers just last year. The two main origin hypotheses for the arcs are that they really are close to Andromeda (M31), or that they are just coincidentally placed gas filaments in our Milky Way galaxy. Adding to the mystery is that arcs were not seen in previous deep images of M31 taken primarily in light emitted by hydrogen, and that other, more distant galaxies have not been generally noted as showing similar oxygen-emitting structures. Dedicated amateurs using commercial telescopes made this discovery because, in part, professional telescopes usually investigate angularly small patches of the night sky, whereas these arcs span several times the angular size of the full moon. Future observations -- both in light emitted by oxygen and by other elements -- are sure to follow.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230117.html ( January 17, 2023)

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Our Moon doesn't really look like this. Earth's Moon, Luna, doesn't naturally show this rich texture, and its colors are more subtle. But this digital creation is based on reality. The featured image is a composite of multiple images and enhanced to bring up real surface features. The enhancements, for example, show more clearly craters that illustrate the tremendous bombardment our Moon has been through during its 4.6-billion-year history. The dark areas, called maria, have fewer craters and were once seas of molten lava. Additionally, the image colors, although based on the moon's real composition, are changed and exaggerated. Here, a blue hue indicates a region that is iron rich, while orange indicates a slight excess of aluminum. Although the Moon has shown the same side to the Earth for billions of years, modern technology is allowing humanity to learn much more about it -- and how it affects the Earth.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230116.html ( January 16, 2023)

Saturday, January 14, 2023

This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The featured image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula's very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230115.html ( January 15, 2023)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Perihelion Sun 2023

Perihelion for 2023, Earth's closest approach to the Sun, was on January 4 at 16:17 UTC. That was less than 24 hours after this sharp image of the Sun's disk was recorded with telescope and H-alpha filter from Sidney, Australia, planet Earth. An H-alpha filter transmits a characteristic red light from hydrogen atoms. In views of the Sun it emphasizes the Sun's chromosphere, a region just above the solar photosphere or normally visible solar surface. In this H-alpha image of the increasingly active Sun planet-sized sunspot regions are dominated by bright splotches called plages. Dark filaments of plasma snaking across the solar disk transition to bright prominences when seen above the solar limb.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230114.html ( January 14, 2023)

Atlanta Shines at Night

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthplace, Atlanta, Georgia, is seen on January 20, 2013, in this image from the International Space Station as it flew approximately 240 miles above the city.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/atlanta-shines-at-night

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/12/2023



Payloads: Combustion Integrated Rack/Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction (CIR/SoFIE): The crew replaced the 21% O2/79% N2 manifold bottle with a new bottle containing 85% O2/15% N2. This was performed in support of the upcoming SoFIE Growth and Extinction Limit (SoFIE-GEL) experiment. SoFIE-GEL studies burning in microgravity, measuring the amount of heating in a fuel sample … ...

January 12, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/12/iss-daily-summary-report-1-12-2023/

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Young Star Cluster NGC 346

The most massive young star cluster in the Small Magellanic Cloud is NGC 346, embedded in our small satellite galaxy's largest star forming region some 210,000 light-years distant. Of course the massive stars of NGC 346 are short lived, but very energetic. Their winds and radiation sculpt the edges of the region's dusty molecular cloud triggering star-formation within. The star forming region also appears to contain a large population of infant stars. A mere 3 to 5 million years old and not yet burning hydrogen in their cores, the infant stars are strewn about the embedded star cluster. This spectacular infrared view of NGC 346 is from the James Webb Space Telescope's NIRcam. Emission from atomic hydrogen ionized by the massive stars' energetic radiation as well as and molecular hydrogen and dust in the star-forming molecular cloud is detailed in pink and orange hues. Webb's sharp image of the young star-forming region spans 240 light-years at the distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230113.html ( January 13, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/11/2023



Payloads: Confocal Space Microscope (COSMIC): The crew performed the necessary steps to replace the Light Emitting Diode (LED) fluorescent source in the COSMIC facility. The Confocal Space Microscope (Confocal 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 … ...

January 11, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/11/iss-daily-summary-report-1-11-2023/

Fun with Fluid Physics

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio is all smiles as he observes the behavior of a free-flying water bubble inside the International Space Station's (ISS) Kibo laboratory module on Oct. 10, 2022.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/fun-with-fluid-physics

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Stardust in Perseus

This cosmic expanse of dust, gas, and stars covers some 6 degrees on the sky in the heroic constellation Perseus. At upper left in the gorgeous skyscape is the intriguing young star cluster IC 348 and neighboring Flying Ghost Nebula with clouds of obscuring interstellar dust cataloged as Barnard 3 and 4. At right, another active star forming region NGC 1333 is connected by dark and dusty tendrils on the outskirts of the giant Perseus Molecular Cloud, about 850 light-years away. Other dusty nebulae are scattered around the field of view, along with the faint reddish glow of hydrogen gas. In fact, the cosmic dust tends to hide the newly formed stars and young stellar objects or protostars from prying optical telescopes. Collapsing due to self-gravity, the protostars form from the dense cores embedded in the molecular cloud. At the molecular cloud's estimated distance, this field of view would span over 90 light-years.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230112.html ( January 12, 2023)

Inspecting Orion

The Artemis I Orion capsule is secured on a platform inside the Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPFF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in this image from Jan. 6, 2023.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/inspecting-orion

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The scene may look like a fantasy, but it's really Iceland. The rock arch is named Gatklettur and located on the island's northwest coast. Some of the larger rocks in the foreground span a meter across. The fog over the rocks is really moving waves averaged over long exposures. The featured image is a composite of several foreground and background shots taken with the same camera and from the same location on the same night last November. The location was picked for its picturesque foreground, but the timing was planned for its colorful background: aurora. The spiral aurora, far behind the arch, was one of the brightest seen in the astrophotographer's life. The coiled pattern was fleeting, though, as auroral patterns waved and danced for hours during the cold night. Far in the background were the unchanging stars, with Earth's rotation causing them to appear to slowly circle the sky's northernmost point near Polaris.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230111.html ( January 11, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 1/09/2023



SpaceX-26 Undock and Return: Cargo Dragon SpaceX-26 (SpX-26) undocked from the ISS today at 4:05 PM CT to return cargo and payloads to the ground concluding the 43-day mission aboard the ISS. SpX-26 will complete departure phasing throughout the next day, jettison the Trunk for destructive re-entry, deorbit, and then splash down off the coast … ...

January 09, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/01/09/iss-daily-summary-report-1-09-2023/

Space Station Peek

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Nicole Mann peers through one of the seven windows in the cupola, the International Space Station's "window to the world" on Jan. 2, 2023.

from NASA http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-station-peek

Monday, January 9, 2023

Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where clouds of gas and dust are sculpted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The featured image of the Cone was captured recently combining 24-hours of exposure with a half-meter telescope at the El Sauce Observatory in Chile. Located about 2,500 light-years away toward the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros), the Cone Nebula's conical pillar extends about 7 light-years. The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image. The Cone Nebula's reddish veil is produced by glowing hydrogen gas.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230110.html ( January 10, 2023)