Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Great Carina Nebula is home to strange stars and iconic nebulas. Named for its home constellation, the huge star-forming region is larger and brighter than the Great Orion Nebula but less well known because it is so far south -- and because so much of humanity lives so far north. The featured image shows in great detail the northernmost part of the Carina Nebula. On the bottom left is the Gabriela Mistral Nebula consisting of an emission nebula of glowing gas (IC 2599) surrounding the small open cluster of stars (NGC 3324). Above the image center is the larger star cluster NGC 3293, while to its right is the emission nebula Loden 153. The most famous occupant of the Carina Nebula, however, is not shown. Off the image to the lower right is the bright, erratic, and doomed star known as Eta Carinae -- a star once one of the brightest stars in the sky and now predicted to explode in a supernova sometime in the next few million years. ( May 01, 2023)

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Although its colors may be subtle, Saturn's moon Helene is an enigma in any light. The moon was imaged in unprecedented detail in 2012 as the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn swooped to within a single Earth diameter of the diminutive moon. Although conventional craters and hills appear, the above image also shows terrain that appears unusually smooth and streaked. Planetary astronomers are inspecting these detailed images of Helene to glean clues about the origin and evolution of the 30-km across floating iceberg. Helene is also unusual because it circles Saturn just ahead of the large moon Dione, making it one of only four known Saturnian moons to occupy a gravitational well known as a stable Lagrange point. ( April 30, 2023)

Friday, April 28, 2023

Solar Eclipse from a Ship

Along a narrow path that mostly avoided landfall, the shadow of the New Moon raced across planet Earth's southern hemisphere on April 20 to create a rare annular-total or hybrid solar eclipse. From the Indian Ocean off the coast of western Australia, ship-borne eclipse chasers were able to witness 62 seconds of totality though while anchored near the centerline of the total eclipse track. This ship-borne image of the eclipse captures the active Sun's magnificent outer atmosphere or solar corona streaming into space. A composite of 11 exposures ranging from 1/2000 to 1/2 second, it records an extended range of brightness to follow details of the corona not quite visible to the eye during the total eclipse phase. Of course eclipses tend to come in pairs. On May 5, the next Full Moon will just miss the dark inner part of Earth's shadow in a penumbral lunar eclipse. ( April 29, 2023)

Hubble Captures an Elusive Galaxy Cluster

A menagerie of interesting astronomical finds are visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

from NASA

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Runaway Star Alpha Camelopardalis

Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Alpha Camelopardalis has produced this graceful arcing bow wave or bow shock. The massive supergiant star moves at over 60 kilometers per second through space, compressing the interstellar material in its path. At the center of this nearly 6 degree wide view, Alpha Cam is about 25-30 times as massive as the Sun, 5 times hotter (30,000 kelvins), and over 500,000 times brighter. About 4,000 light-years away in the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis, the star also produces a strong stellar wind. Alpha Cam's bow shock stands off about 10 light-years from the star itself. What set this star in motion? Astronomers have long thought that Alpha Cam was flung out of a nearby cluster of young hot stars due to gravitational interactions with other cluster members or perhaps by the supernova explosion of a massive companion star. ( April 28, 2023)

The Cygnus space freighter is released from the Canadarm2 robotic arm

The Cygnus space freighter is pictured moments after its release from the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/26/2023



Payloads: Actiwatch-Plus: Actiwatch devices were attached to the HRF-1 rack for data downlink and charging. 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 signal as the subject moves. The data is stored in non-volatile memory within the Actiwatch … ...

April 26, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Tarantula Nebula from SuperBIT

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 160 thousand light-years away, it's the largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies. The cosmic arachnid is near the center of this spectacular image taken during the flight of SuperBIT (Super Pressure Balloon Imaging Telescope), NASA's balloon-borne 0.5 meter telescope now floating near the edge of space. Within the well-studied 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. SuperBIT's wide field of view spans over 2 degrees or 4 full moons in the southern constellation Dorado. ( April 27, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/25/2023



Payloads: JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS): Treated Water Bag and Cation Exchange Tank Port valves were opened as part of system verification objectives. The demonstration of JWRS generates potable water from urine. In the past, urine and wastewater were collected and stored, or vented overboard. However, for long-term space missions, water supply could become a … ...

April 25, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Was this a lucky shot? Although many amazing photographs are taken by someone who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, this image took skill and careful planning. First was the angular scale: if you shoot too close to the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the full moon will appear too small.  Conversely, if you shoot from too far away, the moon will appear  too large and not fit inside the Arc. Second is timing: the Moon only appears centered inside the Arc for small periods of time -- from this distance less than a minute. Other planned features include lighting, relative brightness, height, capturing a good foreground, and digital processing. And yes, there is some luck involved -- for example, the sky must be clear. This time, the planning was successful, bringing two of humanity's most famous icons photographically together for all to enjoy. ( April 26, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/24/2023



Payloads: NanoRacks CubeSats Deployer-25 (NRCSD-25): The NRCSD satellites were successfully deployed.  NRCSD-25 deployed six different satellites: NEUDOSE will measure and map the real-time radiation dose received by astronauts performing EVAs. YukonSat demonstrates using student-designed satellites for on-demand display of art and audio recordings from Northern Peoples. The project also supports a world-wide game with coded … ...

April 24, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Monday, April 24, 2023

Did you see an aurora over the past two nights? Many people who don't live in Earth's far north did. Reports of aurora came in not only from northern locales in the USA as Alaska, but as far south as Texas and Arizona. A huge auroral oval extended over Europe and Asia, too. Pictured, an impressively red aurora was captured last night near the town of Cáceres in central Spain. Auroras were also reported in parts of southern Spain. The auroras resulted from a strong Coronal Mass Event (CME) that occurred on the Sun a few days ago. Particles from the CME crossed the inner Solar System before colliding with the Earth's magnetosphere. From there, electrons and protons spiraled down the Earth's northern magnetic field lines and collided with oxygen and nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere, causing picturesque auroral glows. Our unusually active Sun may provide future opportunities to see the northern lights in southern skies. ( April 25, 2023)

Celebrating Earth Day

Former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks with local students during an Earth Day event, Thursday, April 20, 2023, at Union Station in Washington.

from NASA

Sunday, April 23, 2023

What powers this unusual nebula? CTB-1 is the expanding gas shell that was left when a massive star toward the constellation of Cassiopeia exploded about 10,000 years ago. The star likely detonated when it ran out of elements near its core that could create stabilizing pressure with nuclear fusion. The resulting supernova remnant, nicknamed the Medulla Nebula for its brain-like shape, still glows in visible light by the heat generated by its collision with confining interstellar gas. Why the nebula also glows in X-ray light, though, remains a mystery. One hypothesis holds that an energetic pulsar was co-created that powers the nebula with a fast outwardly moving wind. Following this lead, a pulsar has recently been found in radio waves that appears to have been expelled by the supernova explosion at over 1000 kilometers per second. Although the Medulla Nebula appears as large as a full moon, it is so faint that it took many hours of exposure with a telescope in Seven Persons, Alberta, Canada to create the featured image. ( April 24, 2023)

Saturday, April 22, 2023

What's happening over the water? Pictured here is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water. Waterspouts can be as dangerous as tornadoes and can feature wind speeds over 200 kilometers per hour. Some waterspouts form away from thunderstorms and even during relatively fair weather. Waterspouts may be relatively transparent and initially visible only by an unusual pattern they create on the water. The featured image was taken in 2013 July near Tampa Bay, Florida. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida is arguably the most active area in the world for waterspouts, with hundreds forming each year. ( April 23, 2023)

Friday, April 21, 2023

NGC 1333: Stellar Nursery in Perseus

In visible light NGC 1333 is seen as a reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by interstellar dust. A mere 1,000 light-years distant toward the heroic constellation Perseus, it lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud. This Hubble Space Telescope close-up frames a region just over 1 light-year wide at the estimated distance of NGC 1333. It shows details of the dusty region along with telltale hints of contrasty red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. In fact, NGC 1333 contains hundreds of stars less than a million years old, most still hidden from optical telescopes by the pervasive stardust. The chaotic environment may be similar to one in which our own Sun formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Hubble's stunning image of the stellar nursery was released to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the space telescope's launch. ( April 22, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/20/2023



Payloads: CapiSorb Visible System (CVS): The CVS was primed with water and Red Syringe (fructose). Pump tubing was installed into the Liquid Pump rotor and the system performed experiment runs. The CVS investigation demonstrates a liquid control using capillary forces, over a range of liquid properties that are characteristic of liquid carbon dioxide sorbents. Since … ...

April 20, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

NASA's New 3D-Printed Superalloy Can Take the Heat

NASA has demonstrated a breakthrough in 3D printable high-temperature materials that could lead to stronger, more durable parts for airplanes and spacecraft.

from NASA

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Solar Eclipse from Western Australia

Along a narrow path that mostly avoided landfall, the shadow of the New Moon raced across planet Earth's southern hemisphere on April 20 to create a rare annular-total or hybrid solar eclipse. A mere 62 seconds of totality could be seen though, when the dark central lunar shadow just grazed the North West Cape, a peninsula in western Australia. From top to bottom these panels capture the beginning, middle, and end of that fleeting total eclipse phase. At start and finish, solar prominences and beads of sunlight stream past the lunar limb. At mid-eclipse the central frame reveals the sight only easily visible during totality and most treasured by eclipse chasers, the magnificent corona of the active Sun. Of course eclipses tend to come in pairs. On May 5, the next Full Moon will just miss the dark inner part of Earth's shadow in a penumbral lunar eclipse. ( April 21, 2023)

SuperBIT Sees Colliding Antennae Galaxies

This view of the Antennae Galaxies, two large galaxies colliding 60 million light-years away, is one of the first research images from the Super Pressure Balloon Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT) that launched on a scientific super pressure balloon April 16, 2023 (local time New Zealand).

from NASA

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Dark Seahorse in Cepheus

Spanning light-years, this suggestive shape known as the Seahorse Nebula appears in silhouette against a rich, luminous background of stars. Seen toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus, the dusty, obscuring clouds are part of a Milky Way molecular cloud some 1,200 light-years distant. It is also listed as Barnard 150 (B150), one of 182 dark markings of the sky cataloged in the early 20th century by astronomer E. E. Barnard. Packs of low mass stars are forming within, but their collapsing cores are only visible at long infrared wavelengths. Still, the colorful stars of Cepheus add to this pretty, galactic skyscape. ( April 20, 2023)

Martian Milestone for Ingenuity

This April 16, 2023, enhanced color image of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is the clearest view of the rotorcraft since its first flight.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/18/2023



Payloads: Investigating Structure and Function of the Eye (ISAFE): Electroretinography data collection was performed on a crewmember using the Diagnosis Software and Desktop Streamer with remote guidance. ISAFE measures eye, brain, and blood vessel changes to determine whether Spaceflight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS) varies with mission length, whether these changes recover when crew members return … ...

April 18, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

On some nights the sky is the best show in town. On this night, auroras ruled the sky, and the geomagnetic storm that created this colorful sky show originated from an increasingly active Sun. Surprisingly, since the approaching solar CME the day before had missed the Earth, it was not expected that this storm would create auroras. In the foreground, two happily surprised aurora hunters contemplate the amazing and rapidly changing sky. Regardless of forecasts, though, auroras were reported in the night skies of Earth not only in the far north, but as far south as New Mexico, USA. As captured in a wide-angle image above Saariselkä in northern Finnish Lapland, a bright aurora was visible with an unusually high degree of detail, range of colors, and breadth across the sky. The vivid yellow, green, red and purple auroral colors are caused by oxygen and nitrogen atoms high in Earth's atmosphere reacting to incoming electrons. ( April 19, 2023)

The Himalayas and Mount Everest in Nepal

Clouds gather on Nepal's sub-tropical side of the Himalayas with Mount Everest at the center of this photograph taken by an external high-definition camera on the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above the Indian subcontinent on April 13, 2023.

from NASA

Monday, April 17, 2023

Would you like to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If so, do any friends or relatives live near the path of next April's eclipse? If yes again, then you might want to arrange a well-timed visit. Next April 8, the path of a total solar eclipse will cross North America from western Mexico to eastern Canada, entering the USA in southern Texas and exiting in northern Maine. All of North America will experience the least a partial solar eclipse. Featured here is a map of the path of totality. Many people who have seen a total solar eclipse tell stories about it for the rest of their lives. As a warmup, an annular solar eclipse will be visible later this year -- in mid-October. ( April 18, 2023)

Bald Eagle Lands at Kennedy Space Center

An American bald eagle swoops down to land on a pole at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on April 10, 2023.

from NASA

Sunday, April 16, 2023

What's that red ring in the sky? Lightning. The most commonly seen type of lightning involves flashes of bright white light between clouds. Over the past 50 years, though, other types of upper-atmospheric lightning have been confirmed, including red sprites and blue jets. Less well known and harder to photograph is a different type of upper atmospheric lightning known as ELVES. ELVES are thought to be created when an electromagnetic pulse shoots upward from charged clouds and impacts the ionosphere, causing nitrogen molecules to glow. The red ELVES ring pictured had a radius of about 350 km and was captured in late March about 100 kilometers above Ancona, Italy. Years of experience and ultra-fast photography were used to capture this ELVES -- which lasted only about 0.001 second. ( April 17, 2023)

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Are stars better appreciated for their art after they die? Actually, stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. In the case of low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 pictured here, the stars transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes. The expended gas frequently forms an impressive display called a planetary nebula that fades gradually over thousands of years. M2-9, a butterfly planetary nebula 2100 light-years away shown in representative colors, has wings that tell a strange but incomplete tale. In the center, two stars orbit inside a gaseous disk 10 times the orbit of Pluto. The expelled envelope of the dying star breaks out from the disk creating the bipolar appearance. Much remains unknown about the physical processes that cause and shape planetary nebulae. ( April 16, 2023)

Friday, April 14, 2023

When Z is for Mars

A composite of images captured about a week apart from mid August 2022 through late March 2023, this series traces the retrograde motion of ruddy-colored Mars. Progressing from lower right to upper left Mars makes a Z-shaped path as it wanders past the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, through the constellation Taurus in planet Earth's night sky. Seen about every two years, Mars doesn't actually reverse the direction of its orbit to trace out the Z-shape though. Instead, the apparent backwards or retrograde motion with respect to the background stars is a reflection of the orbital motion of Earth itself. Retrograde motion can be seen each time Earth overtakes and laps planets orbiting farther from the Sun, the Earth moving more rapidly through its own relatively close-in orbit. High in northern hemisphere skies the Red Planet was opposite the Sun and at its closest and brightest on December 8, near the center of the frame. Seen close to Mars, a popular visitor to the inner Solar System, comet ZTF (C/2022 E3), was also captured on two dates, February 10 and February 16. ( April 15, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/13/2023



Payloads: Human Research Program (HRP) Sample Collection: The crew collected samples in support of the Food Physiology and Standard Measures investigations. Food Physiology is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. Standard Measures collects a set of core measurements related to … ...

April 13, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Hubble Spots a Galaxy with Tendrils

This image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows JO204, a ‘jellyfish galaxy’ so named for the bright tendrils of gas that appear in this image as drifting lazily below JO204’s bright central bulk. The galaxy lies almost 600 million light-years away in the constellation Sextans.

from NASA

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Portrait of NGC 3628

Sharp telescopic views of NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this portrait of the magnificent, edge-on spiral galaxy puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, the Hamburger Galaxy. It also reveals a small galaxy nearby (below), likely a satellite of NGC 3628, and a very faint but extensive tidal tail. The drawn out tail stretches for about 300,000 light-years, even beyond the left edge of the frame. NGC 3628 shares its neighborhood in the local universe with two other large spirals M65 and M66 in a grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. Gravitational interactions with its cosmic neighbors are likely responsible for creating the tidal tail, as well as the extended flare and warp of this spiral's disk. The tantalizing island universe itself is about 100,000 light-years across and 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo. ( April 14, 2023)

Heavy Rain, Snow Revive Tulare Lake

Floodwater (dark blue) stands out against the vegetation in agricultural fields around Tulare Lake near Corcoran, California, in this enhanced color image taken by Landsat 8 on March 29, 2023.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/12/2023



Payloads: Cold Atom Lab (CAL): The crew used a Grab Sample Container (GSC) to sample the air around the CAL experiment hardware. The GSC will be returned to the ground for analysis of the sample. CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero — … ...

April 12, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

NGC 2419: Intergalactic Wanderer

Stars of the globular cluster NGC 2419 are packed into this Hubble Space Telescope field of view toward the mostly stealthy constellation Lynx. The two brighter spiky stars near the edge of the frame are within our own galaxy. NGC 2419 itself is remote though, some 300,000 light-years away. In comparison, the Milky Way's satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, is only about 160,000 light-years distant. Roughly similar to other large globular star clusters like Omega Centauri, NGC 2419 is intrinsically bright, but appears faint because it is so far away. Its extreme distance makes it difficult to study and compare its properties with other globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Sometimes called "the Intergalactic Wanderer", NGC 2419 really does seem to have come from beyond the Milky Way. Measurements of the cluster's motion through space suggest it once belonged to the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy, another small satellite galaxy being disrupted by repeated encounters with the much larger Milky Way. ( April 13, 2023)

Celebrating Science at the White House Easter Egg Roll

Former NASA astronaut Alvin Drew shakes hands with a guest during the White House Easter Egg Roll in this photo from Monday, April 10, 2023.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/11/2023



Payloads: Cardinal Heart 2.0: The crew changed the media and sampled eight of the sixteen tissue chambers. The media contains buffers, food, and nutrients needed to support the cells. They also performed fixation operations on the remaining eight of the sixteen tissue chambers. Fixation refers to a group of techniques which are used to preserve … ...

April 11, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

NGC 206 and the Star Clouds of Andromeda

The large stellar association cataloged as NGC 206 is nestled within the dusty arms of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy along with the galaxy's pinkish star-forming regions. Also known as M31, the spiral galaxy is a mere 2.5 million light-years away. NGC 206 is found right of center in this sharp and detailed close-up of the southwestern extent of Andromeda's disk. The bright, blue stars of NGC 206 indicate its youth. In fact, its youngest massive stars are less than 10 million years old. Much larger than the open or galactic clusters of young stars in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 206 spans about 4,000 light-years. That's comparable in size to the giant stellar nurseries NGC 604 in nearby spiral M33 and the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. ( April 12, 2023)

X-59 Gets Its Tail

NASA’s X-59 sits in support framing while undergoing the installation of its lower empennage, or tail section, at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, in this image from late March 2023.

from NASA

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/10/2023



Payloads: Cardinal Heart 2.0: The crew recorded microscopy video for the tissue samples in the Biocells. A previous investigation showed that four weeks of microgravity exposure caused significant changes in heart cell function and gene expression that could lead to long-term damage or cardiac muscle atrophy. Effect of Microgravity on Drug Responses Using Heart Organoids … ...

April 10, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Monday, April 10, 2023

Why is Polaris called the North Star? First, Polaris is the nearest bright star toward the north spin axis of the Earth. Therefore, as the Earth turns, stars appear to revolve around Polaris, but Polaris itself always stays in the same northerly direction -- making it the North Star. Since no bright star is near the south spin axis of the Earth, there is currently no bright South Star. Thousands of years ago, Earth's spin axis pointed in a slightly different direction so that Vega was the North Star. Although Polaris is not the brightest star on the sky, it is easily located because it is nearly aligned with two stars in the cup of the Big Dipper. Polaris is near the center of the eight-degree wide featured image, a digital composite of hundreds of exposures that brings out faint gas and dust of the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN) all over the frame as well as the globular star cluster NGC 188 on the far left. The surface of Cepheid Polaris slowly pulsates, causing the famous star to change its brightness by a few percent over the course of a few days. ( April 11, 2023)

Schulz, Snoopy Visit NASA Headquarters

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (left), Jeannie Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, and Snoopy are all smiles during a Wednesday, April 5, 2023, visit to NASA Headquarters in Washington

from NASA

Sunday, April 9, 2023

To some, it looks like a giant chicken running across the sky. To others, it looks like a gaseous nebula where star formation takes place. Cataloged as IC 2944, the Running Chicken Nebula spans about 100 light years and lies about 6,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Centaur (Centaurus). The featured image, shown in scientifically assigned colors, was captured recently in a 16-hour exposure over three nights. The star cluster Collinder 249 is visible embedded in the nebula's glowing gas. Although difficult to discern here, several dark molecular clouds with distinct shapes can be found inside the nebula. ( April 10, 2023)

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Where is the center of the Egg Nebula? Emerging from a cosmic egg, the star in the center of the Egg Nebula is casting away shells of gas and dust as it slowly transforms itself into a white dwarf star. The Egg Nebula is a rapidly evolving pre- planetary nebula spanning about one light year. It lies some 3,000 light-years away toward the northern constellation Cygnus. Thick dust blocks the center star from view, while the dust shells farther out reflect light from this star. Light vibrating in the plane defined by each dust grain, the central star, and the observer is preferentially reflected, causing an effect known as polarization. Measuring the orientation of the polarized light for the Egg Nebula gives clues to location of the hidden source. Taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2002, this image is rendered in artifical "Easter-Egg" colors coded to highlight the orientation of polarization. ( April 09, 2023)

Friday, April 7, 2023

Majestic on a truly cosmic scale, M100 is appropriately known as a grand design spiral galaxy. It is a large galaxy of over 100 billion stars with well-defined spiral arms that is similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy. One of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, M100 (alias NGC 4321) is 56 million light-years distant toward the constellation of Berenice's Hair (Coma Berenices). This Hubble Space Telescope image of M100 was taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 and accentuates bright blue star clusters and intricate winding dust lanes which are hallmarks of this class of galaxies. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe. ( April 08, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/06/2023



Payloads: Human Research Facility Veggie Profile of Mood States (Veggie POMS): A POMS short form questionnaire was completed using the Data Collection Tool (DCT). 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 … ...

April 06, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA:

Battling Bots

Industrial-size robots built by high school teams compete against each other in a game at Rocket City Regional, Alabama’s annual FIRST Robotics Competition, in this March 16, 2018, image.

from NASA

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Rigel Wide

Brilliant, blue, supergiant star Rigel marks the foot of Orion the Hunter in planet Earth's night. Designated Beta Orionis, it's at the center of this remarkably deep and wide field of view. Rigel's blue color indicates that it is much hotter than its rival supergiant in Orion the yellowish Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis), though both stars are massive enough to eventually end their days as core collapse supernovae. Some 860 light-years away, Rigel is hotter than the Sun too and extends to about 74 times the solar radius. That's about the size of the orbit of Mercury. In the 10 degree wide frame toward the nebula rich constellation, the Orion Nebula is at the upper left. To the right of Rigel and illuminated by its brilliant blue starlight lies the dusty Witch Head Nebula. Rigel is part of a multiple star system, though its companion stars are much fainter. ( April 07, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/05/2023



Payloads: Manufacturing Device (ManD): The crew replaced the feedstock canister, extruder, and build platform in ManD to enable a test object to be printed. Following a failed print attempt, the crew manually fed the feedstock into the extruder to allow another print attempt. The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) enables the production of components on the … ...

April 05, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA: