Thursday, November 30, 2023

Milky Way Rising


The core of the Milky Way is rising beyond the Chilean mountain-top La Silla Observatory in this deep night skyscape. Seen toward the constellation Sagittarius, our home galaxy's center is flanked on the left, by the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope which pioneered the use of active optics to accurately control the shape of large telescope mirrors. To the right stands the ESO 3.6-meter Telescope, home of the exoplanet hunting HARPS and NIRPS spectrographs. Between them, the galaxy's central bulge is filled with obscuring clouds of interstellar dust, bright stars, clusters, and nebulae. Prominent reddish hydrogen emission from the star-forming Lagoon Nebula, M8, is near center. The Trifid Nebula, M20, combines blue light of a dusty reflection nebula with reddish emission just left of the cosmic Lagoon. Both are popular stops on telescopic tours of the galactic center. The composited image is a stack of separate exposures for ground and sky made in April 2023, all captured consecutively with the same framing and camera equipment.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231201.html ( December 01, 2023)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Artemis 1: Flight Day 13


On flight day 13 (November 28, 2022) of the Artemis I mission, the Orion spacecraft reached its maximum distance from its home world. Over 430,000 kilometers from Earth in a distant retrograde orbit, Orion surpassed the record for most distant spacecraft designed to carry humans. That record was previously set in 1970 during the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon. Both Earth and Moon are in the same field of view in this video frame from Orion on Artemis I mission flight day 13. The planet and its large natural satellite even appear about the same apparent size from the uncrewed spacecraft's perspective.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231130.html ( November 30, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/28/2023

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Payloads: Bio-Monitor: The crew assembled and donned the Bio-Monitor wearable hardware for a 48-hour recording session. Bio-Monitor is a Canadian onboard instrument that serves as a platform for scientific experiments on the ISS. The instrument performs on-orbit monitoring of crew member physiological parameters, with wearable sensors that only minimally interfere with crewmember daily activities. Cerebral … ...

November 28, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/28/iss-daily-summary-report-11-28-2023/

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Could there be a tornado inside another tornado? In general, no. OK, but could there be a tornado inside a wider dust devil? No again, for one reason because tornados comes down from the sky, but dust devils rise up from the ground. What is pictured is a landspout, an unusual type of tornado known to occur on the edge of a violent thunderstorm. The featured landspout was imaged and identified in Kansas, USA, in June 2019 by an experienced storm chaser. The real tornado is in the center, and the outer sheath was possibly created by large dust particles thrown out from the central tornado. So far, the only planet known to create tornados is Earth, although tornado-like activity has been found on the Sun and dust devils are common on Mars.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231129.html ( November 29, 2023)

Monday, November 27, 2023


What does the largest moon in the Solar System look like? Jupiter's moon Ganymede, larger than even Mercury and Pluto, has an icy surface speckled with bright young craters overlying a mixture of older, darker, more cratered terrain laced with grooves and ridges. The cause of the grooved terrain remains a topic of research, with a leading hypothesis relating it to shifting ice plates. Ganymede is thought to have an ocean layer that contains more water than Earth -- and might contain life. Like Earth's Moon, Ganymede keeps the same face towards its central planet, in this case Jupiter. The featured image was captured in 2021 by NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft when it passed by the immense moon. The close pass reduced Juno's orbital period around Jupiter from 53 days to 43 days. Juno continues to study the giant planet's high gravity, unusual magnetic field, and complex cloud structures.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231128.html ( November 28, 2023)

Sunday, November 26, 2023


This eagle ray glides across a cosmic sea. Officially cataloged as SH2-63 and LBN 86, the dark nebula is composed of gas and dust that just happens to appear shaped like a common ocean fish. The interstellar dust nebula appears light brown as it blocks and reddens visible light emitted behind it. Dark nebulas glow primarily in infrared light, but also reflect visible light from surrounding stars. The dust in dark nebulas is usually sub-millimeter chunks of carbon, silicon, and oxygen, frequently coated with frozen carbon monoxide and nitrogen. Dark nebulas are also known as molecular clouds because they also contain relatively high amounts of molecular hydrogen and larger molecules. Previously unnamed, the here dubbed Eagle Ray Nebula is normally quite dim but has been imaged clearly over 20-hours through dark skies in Chile.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231127.html ( November 27, 2023)

Saturday, November 25, 2023


Where do comet tails come from? There are no obvious places on the nuclei of comets from which the jets that create comet tails emanate. In 2016, though, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft not only imaged a jet emerging from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but flew right through it. Featured is a telling picture showing a bright plume emerging from a small circular dip bounded on one side by a 10-meter high wall. Analyses of Rosetta data show that the jet was composed of both dust and water-ice. The rugged but otherwise unremarkable terrain indicates that something likely happened far under the porous surface to create the plume. This image was taken about two months before Rosetta's mission ended with a controlled impact onto Comet 67P's surface.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231126.html ( November 26, 2023)

Friday, November 24, 2023

Little Planet Aurora


Immersed in an eerie greenish light, this rugged little planet appears to be home to stunning water falls and an impossibly tall mountain. It's planet Earth of course. On the night of November 9 the nadir-centered 360 degree mosaic was captured by digital camera from the Kirkjufell mountain area of western Iceland. Curtains of shimmering Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights provide the pale greenish illumination. The intense auroral display was caused by solar activity that rocked Earth's magnetosphere in early November and produced strong geomagnetic storms. Kirkjufell mountain itself stands at the top of the stereographic projection's circular horizon. Northern hemisphere skygazers will recognize the familiar stars of the Big Dipper just above Kirkjufell's peak. At lower right the compact Pleiades star cluster and truly giant planet Jupiter also shine in this little planet's night sky.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231125.html ( November 25, 2023)

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Stereo Jupiter near Opposition


Jupiter looks sharp in these two rooftop telescope images. Both were captured on November 17 from Singapore, planet Earth, about two weeks after Jupiter's 2023 opposition. Climbing high in midnight skies the giant planet was a mere 33.4 light-minutes from Singapore. That's about 4 astronomical units away. Jupiter's planet girdling dark belts and light zones are visible in remarkable detail, along with the giant world's whitish oval vortices. Its signature Great Red Spot is still prominent in the south. Jupiter rotates rapidly on its axis once every 10 hours. So, based on video frames taken only 15 minutes apart, these images form a stereo pair. Look at the center of the pair and cross your eyes until the separate images come together to see the Solar System's ruling gas giant in 3D.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231124.html ( November 24, 2023)

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Along the Taurus Molecular Cloud


The cosmic brush of star formation composed this interstellar canvas of emission, dust, and dark nebulae. A 5 degree wide telescopic mosaic, it frames a region found north of bright star Aldebaran on the sky, at an inner wall of the local bubble along the Taurus molecular cloud. At lower left, emission cataloged as Sh2-239 shows signs of embedded young stellar objects. The region's Herbig-Haro objects, nebulosities associated with newly born stars, are marked by tell-tale reddish jets of shocked hydrogen gas. Above and right T Tauri, the prototype of the class of T Tauri variable stars, is next to a yellowish nebula historically known as Hind's Variable Nebula (NGC 1555). T Tauri stars are now generally recognized as young, less than a few million years old, sun-like stars still in the early stages of formation.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231123.html ( November 23, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/21/2023

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Payloads: Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE): The recently installed external AWE experiment has been activated, but the team is currently working through some data issues at its EXPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC1) location. From its external space station perch, AWE will focus on colorful bands of light in Earth’s atmosphere, called airglow, to determine what combination of … ...

November 21, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/21/iss-daily-summary-report-11-21-2023/

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

IC 342: Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis


Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. Even though IC 342's light is dimmed and reddened by intervening cosmic clouds, this sharp telescopic image traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust, young star clusters, and glowing star forming regions along spiral arms that wind far from the galaxy's core. IC 342 has undergone a recent burst of star formation activity and is close enough to have gravitationally influenced the evolution of the local group of galaxies and the Milky Way.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231122.html ( November 22, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/20/2023

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Payloads: Cell Gravisensing-2: Following the completion of the six-day experiment session last week, today the crew removed the observation chamber from the Confocal Space Microscope, and returned the microscope to its nominal configuration. Recent spaceflight experiments have revealed that individual animal cells can feel the effects of gravity. However, how cells can sense gravity is … ...

November 20, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/20/iss-daily-summary-report-11-20-2023/

Monday, November 20, 2023


These chaotic and tangled filaments of shocked, glowing gas are spread across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus as part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into the glow of ionized hydrogen atoms shown in red and oxygen in blue hues. Also known as the Cygnus Loop and cataloged as NGC 6979, the Veil Nebula now spans about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. The length of the wisp corresponds to about 30 light years, given its estimated distance of 2,400 light years. Often identified as Pickering's Triangle for a director of Harvard College Observatory, it is perhaps better named for its discoverer, astronomer Williamina Fleming, as Fleming's Triangular Wisp.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231121.html ( November 21, 2023)

Sunday, November 19, 2023


Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud by chance has assumed this recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is some 1,500 light-years distant, embedded in the vast Orion cloud complex. About five light-years "tall," the dark cloud is cataloged as Barnard 33 and is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against the glowing red emission nebula IC 434. Stars are forming within the dark cloud. Contrasting blue reflection nebula NGC 2023, surrounding a hot, young star, is at the lower left of the full image. The featured gorgeous color image combines both narrowband and broadband images recorded using several different telescopes.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231120.html ( November 20, 2023)

Saturday, November 18, 2023


That's no sunspot. It's the International Space Station (ISS) caught passing in front of the Sun. Sunspots, individually, have a dark central umbra, a lighter surrounding penumbra, and no Dragon capsules attached. By contrast, the ISS is a complex and multi-spired mechanism, one of the largest and most complicated spacecraft ever created by humanity. Also, sunspots circle the Sun, whereas the ISS orbits the Earth. Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one's location, timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. The featured picture combined three images all taken in 2021 from the same location and at nearly the same time. One image -- overexposed -- captured the faint prominences seen across the top of the Sun, a second image -- underexposed -- captured the complex texture of the Sun's chromosphere, while the third image -- the hardest to get -- captured the space station as it shot across the Sun in a fraction of a second. Close inspection of the space station's silhouette even reveals a docked Dragon Crew capsule.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231119.html ( November 19, 2023)

Friday, November 17, 2023

Planet Earth from Orion


One year ago a Space Launch System rocket left planet Earth on November 16, 2022 at 1:47am EST carrying the Orion spacecraft on the Artemis I mission, the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems. Over an hour after liftoff from Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39B, one of Orion's external video cameras captured this view of its new perspective from space. In the foreground are Orion's Orbital Maneuvering System engine and auxillary engines, at the bottom of the European Service Module. Beyond one of the module's 7-meter long extended solar array wings lies the spacecraft's beautiful home world. Making close flybys of the lunar surface and reaching a retrograde orbit 70,000 kilometers beyond the Moon, the uncrewed Artemis I mission lasted over 25 days, testing capabilities to enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Building on the success of Artemis I, no earlier than November 2024 the Artemis II mission with a crew of 4 will venture around the Moon and back again.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231118.html ( November 18, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/16/2023

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Payloads: Cell Gravisensing-2 (CGS-2): Confocal Space Microscope sample observations were continued for the CGS-2 six-day experiment session. Recent spaceflight experiments have revealed that individual animal cells can feel the effects of gravity. However, how cells can sense gravity is largely unknown, thus understanding this mechanism emerges as one of the most important problems to be … ...

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

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Nightlights in Qeqertaq


Light pollution is usually not a problem in Qeqertaq. In western Greenland the remote coastal village boasted a population of 114 in 2020. Lights still shine in its dark skies though. During planet Earth's recent intense geomagnetic storm, on November 6 these beautiful curtains of aurora borealis fell over the arctic realm. On the eve of the coming weeks of polar night at 70 degrees north latitude, the inspiring display of northern lights is reflected in the waters of Disko Bay. In this view from the isolated settlement a lone iceberg is illuminated by shore lights as it drifts across the icy sea.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231117.html ( November 17, 2023)

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star


Venus now appears as Earth's brilliant morning star, shining above the southeastern horizon before dawn. For early morning risers, the silvery celestial beacon rose predawn in a close pairing with a waning crescent Moon on Thursday, November 9. But from some northern locations, the Moon was seen to occult or pass in front of Venus. From much of Europe, the lunar occultation could be viewed in daylight skies. This time series composite follows the daytime approach of Moon and morning star in blue skies from Warsaw, Poland. The progression of eight sharp telescopic snapshots, made between 10:56am and 10:58am local time, runs from left to right, when Venus winked out behind the bright lunar limb.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231116.html ( November 16, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/14/2023

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Payloads: Cell Gravisensing-2: The crew performed the first set of sample fixations for the ongoing experiment. Fixation refers to a group of techniques which are used to preserve various aspects of the samples for later analysis. Recent spaceflight experiments have revealed that individual animal cells can feel the effects of gravity. However, how cells can … ...

November 14, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/14/iss-daily-summary-report-11-14-2023/

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

M1: The Incredible Expanding Crab


Cataloged as M1, the Crab Nebula is the first on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab Nebula is now known to be a supernova remnant, an expanding cloud of debris from the death explosion of a massive star. The violent birth of the Crab was witnessed by astronomers in the year 1054. Roughly 10 light-years across, the nebula is still expanding at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers per second. You can see the expansion by comparing these sharp images from the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope. The Crab's dynamic, fragmented filaments were captured in visible light by Hubble in 2005 and Webb in infrared light in 2023. This cosmic crustacean lies about 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231115.html ( November 15, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/13/2023

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ISS Reboost: On November 9th at 3:11 PM, the ISS performed a nominal reboost using the 85P Aft Progress R&D thrusters on SM Aft. This reboost was one of two planned reboosts in November to set up phasing conditions for the 86P 2-orbit rendezvous on December 1st. The burn lasted for 15 minutes 22 seconds … ...

November 13, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/13/iss-daily-summary-report-11-13-2023/

Monday, November 13, 2023


In the fading darkness before dawn, a tilted triangle appeared to balance atop a rock formation off the southern tip of Sicily. Making up the points of the triangle are three of the four brightest objects visible in Earth’s sky: Jupiter, Venus and the Moon. Though a thin waning crescent, most of the moon’s disk is visible due to earthshine. Captured in this image on 2022 April 27, Venus (center) and Jupiter (left) are roughly three degrees apart -- and were headed toward a close conjunction. Conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter occur about once a year and are visible either in the east before sunrise or in the west after sunset. The featured image was taken about an hour before the arrival of the brightest object in Earth’s sky – the Sun.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231114.html ( November 14, 2023)

Sunday, November 12, 2023


Have you ever seen the Andromeda galaxy? Although M31 appears as a faint and fuzzy blob to the unaided eye, the light you see will be over two million years old, making it likely the oldest light you ever will see directly. The featured image captured Andromeda just before it set behind the Swiss Alps early last year. As cool as it may be to see this neighboring galaxy to our Milky Way with your own eyes, long duration camera exposures can pick up many faint and breathtaking details. The image is composite of foreground and background images taken consecutively with the same camera and from the same location. Recent data indicate that our Milky Way Galaxy will collide and coalesce with Andromeda galaxy in a few billion years.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231113.html ( November 13, 2023)

Saturday, November 11, 2023


This is a gibbous Moon. More Earthlings are familiar with a full moon, when the entire face of Luna is lit by the Sun, and a crescent moon, when only a sliver of the Moon's face is lit. When more than half of the Moon is illuminated, though, but still short of full illumination, the phase is called gibbous. Rarely seen in television and movies, gibbous moons are quite common in the actual night sky. The featured image was taken in Jämtland, Sweden near the end of 2018 October. That gibbous moon turned, in a few days, into a crescent moon, and then a new moon, then back to a crescent, and a few days past that, back to gibbous. Setting up to capture a picturesque gibbous moonscape, the photographer was quite surprised to find an airplane, surely well in the foreground, appearing to fly past it.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231112.html ( November 12, 2023)

Friday, November 10, 2023

The SAR and the Milky Way


This broad, luminous red arc was a surprising visitor to partly cloudy evening skies over northern France. Captured extending toward the zenith in a west-to-east mosaic of images from November 5, the faint atmospheric ribbon of light is an example of a Stable Auroral Red (SAR) arc. The rare night sky phenomenon was also spotted at unusually low latitudes around world, along with more dynamic auroral displays during an intense geomagnetic storm. SAR arcs and their relation to auroral emission have been explored by citizen science and satellite investigations. From altitudes substantially above the normal auroral glow, the deep red SAR emission is thought to be caused by strong heating due to currents flowing in planet Earth's inner magnetosphere. Beyond this SAR, the Milky Way arcs above the cloud banks along the horizon, a regular visitor to night skies over northern France.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231111.html ( November 11, 2023)

Thursday, November 9, 2023

UHZ1: Distant Galaxy and Black Hole


Dominated by dark matter, massive cluster of galaxies Abell 2744 is known to some as Pandora's Cluster. It lies 3.5 billion light-years away toward the constellation Sculptor. Using the galaxy cluster's enormous mass as a gravitational lens to warp spacetime and magnify even more distant objects directly behind it, astronomers have found a background galaxy, UHZ1, at a remarkable redshift of Z=10.1. That puts UHZ1 far beyond Abell 2744, at a distance of 13.2 billion light-years, seen when our universe was about 3 percent of its current age. UHZ1 is identified in the insets of this composited image combining X-rays (purple hues) from the spacebased Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared light from the James Webb Space Telescope. The X-ray emission from UHZ1 detected in the Chandra data is the telltale signature of a growing supermassive black hole at the center of the ultra high redshift galaxy. That makes UHZ1's growing black hole the most distant black hole ever detected in X-rays, a result that now hints at how and when the first supermassive black holes in the universe formed.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231110.html ( November 10, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/08/2023

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Payloads: Complement of Integrated Protocols for Human Exploration Research on Varying Mission Durations (CIPHER): Pneumatonometer (PTM), electroretinography(ERG), Optical Coherence Tomography 2 (OCT2), and Blood Pressure data was collected. The CIPHER investigation aims to improve our understanding of physiological and psychological changes in humans on missions that range from weeks to one year in duration. Conducting … ...

November 08, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/08/iss-daily-summary-report-11-08-2023/

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

M1: The Crab Nebula


The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous 18th century list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, debris from the death explosion of a massive star witnessed by astronomers in the year 1054. This sharp image from the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) explores the eerie glow and fragmented strands of the still expanding cloud of interstellar debris in infrared light. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is visible as a bright spot near the nebula's center. Like a cosmic dynamo, this collapsed remnant of the stellar core powers the Crab's emission across the electromagnetic spectrum. Spanning about 12 light-years, the Crab Nebula is a mere 6,500 light-years away in the head-strong constellation Taurus.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231109.html ( November 09, 2023)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


There's a new space telescope in the sky: Euclid. Equipped with two large panoramic cameras, Euclid captures light from the visible to the near-infrared. It took five hours of observing for Euclid's 1.2-meter diameter primary mirror to capture, through its sharp optics, the 1000+ galaxies in the Perseus cluster, which lies 250 million light years away. More than 100,000 galaxies are visible in the background, some as far away as 10 billion light years. The revolutionary nature of Euclid lies in the combination of its wide field of view (twice the area of the full moon), its high angular resolution (thanks to its 620 Megapixel camera), and its infrared vision, which captures both images and spectra. Euclid's initial surveys, covering a third of the sky and recording over 2 billion galaxies, will enable a study of how dark matter and dark energy have shaped our universe.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231108.html ( November 08, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/06/2023

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Payloads: Complement of Integrated Protocols for Human Exploration Research on Varying Mission Durations (CIPHER): Ultrasound scan and Blood Pressure measurements were taken to support the CIPHER study. The CIPHER investigation aims to improve our understanding of physiological and psychological changes in humans on missions that range from weeks to one year in duration. Conducting the … ...

November 06, 2023 at 11:00AM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/06/iss-daily-summary-report-11-06-2023/

Monday, November 6, 2023


It moved across the surface of Mars -- what was it? A dust devil. Such spinning columns of rising air are heated by the warm surface and are also common in warm and dry areas on planet Earth. Typically lasting only a few minutes, dust devils become visible as they pick up loose red-colored dust, leaving the darker and heavier sand beneath intact. Dust devils not only look cool -- they can leave visible trails, and have been credited with unexpected cleanings of the surfaces of solar panels. The images in the featured AI-interpolated video were captured in early August by the Perseverance rover currently searching for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater. The six-second time-lapse video encapsulates a real duration of just over one minute. Visible in the distance, the spinning dust devil was estimated to be passing by at about 20 kilometers per hour and extend up about 2 kilometers high.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231107.html ( November 07, 2023)

Sunday, November 5, 2023


What was that red glow on the horizon last night? Aurora. Our unusually active Sun produced a surface explosion a few days ago that sent out a burst of electrons, protons, and more massive charged nuclei. This coronal mass ejection (CME) triggered auroras here on Earth that are being reported unusually far south in Earth's northern hemisphere. For example, this was the first time that the astrophotographer captured aurora from her home country of Italy. Additionally, many images from these auroras appear quite red in color. In the featured image, the town of Comelico Superiore in the Italian Alps is visible in the foreground, with the central band of our Milky Way galaxy seen rising from the lower left. What draws the eye the most, though, is the bright red aurora on the far right. The featured image is a composite with the foreground and background images taken consecutively with the same camera and from the same location.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231106.html ( November 06, 2023)

Saturday, November 4, 2023


It was Halloween and the sky looked like a creature. Exactly which creature, the astrophotographer was unsure (but possibly you can suggest one). Exactly what caused this eerie apparition in 2013 was sure: one of the best auroral displays that year. This spectacular aurora had an unusually high degree of detail. Pictured here, the vivid green and purple auroral colors are caused by high atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen reacting to a burst of incoming electrons. Birch trees in Tromsø, Norway formed an also eerie foreground. Frequently, new photogenic auroras accompany new geomagnetic storms.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231105.html ( November 05, 2023)

Friday, November 3, 2023

Dinkinesh Moonrise


Last Wednesday the voyaging Lucy spacecraft encountered its first asteroid, 152830 Dinkinesh, and discovered the inner-main belt asteroid has a moon. From a distance of just over 400 kilometers, Lucy's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager captured this close-up of the binary system during a flyby at 4.5 kilometer per second or around 10,000 miles per hour. A marvelous world, Dinkinesh itself is small, less than 800 meters (about 0.5 miles) across at its widest. Its satellite is seen from the spacecraft's perspective to emerge from behind the primary asteroid. The asteroid moon is estimated to be only about 220 meters wide.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231104.html ( November 04, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/02/2023

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Payloads: Circadian Light: A Circadian Light end-of-day assessment was performed in support of this continuing investigation. Circadian Light tests a new lighting system to help astronauts maintain an acceptable circadian rhythm. This can help enhance cognitive performance during a long-duration mission and help combat monotony through automated, varied, and gradually changing lighting sequences and settings. … ...

November 02, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/11/02/iss-daily-summary-report-11-02-2023/

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Jupiter by Moonlight


That bright beacon you've seen rising in the east just after sunset is Jupiter. Climbing high in midnight skies, our Solar System's ruling gas giant was at its 2023 opposition, opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky, on November 2. But only a few days earlier, on October 28, the Moon was at its own opposition. Then both Full Moon and Jupiter could share this telephoto field of view. The celestial scene is composed from two exposures, one long and one short, blended to record bright planet and even brighter Moon during that evening's partial lunar eclipse. Moonlight shining through the thin, high clouds over northern Italy creates the colorful iridescence and lunar corona. Look closely and you'll also spot some of Jupiter's Galilean moons.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231103.html ( November 03, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/01/2023

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USOS ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) #89 RFG Retrieval Part 2: Today, astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli (EV1) and Loral O’Hara (EV2) conducted USOS EVA #89. The main goal of this EVA was to retrieve the S-Band Radio Frequency Group (RFG) and perform a Trundle Bearing Assembly (TBA) Remove and Replace (R&R) on the Port Solar Alpha Rotary Joint … ...

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies


Named for the southern constellation toward which most of its galaxies can be found, the Fornax Cluster is one of the closest clusters of galaxies. About 62 million light-years away, it's over 20 times more distant than our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy, but only about 10 percent farther along than the better known and more populated Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Seen across this three degree wide field-of-view, almost every yellowish splotch on the image is an elliptical galaxy in the Fornax cluster. Elliptical galaxies NGC 1399 and NGC 1404 are the dominant, bright cluster members toward the bottom center. A standout, large barred spiral galaxy, NGC 1365, is visible on the upper right as a prominent Fornax cluster member.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap231102.html ( November 02, 2023)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/31/2023

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Payloads: Actiwatch-Plus: Actiwatch units were doffed from two crewmembers. 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 until it is downloaded for analysis. … ...

October 31, 2023 at 12:00PM
From NASA: https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2023/10/31/iss-daily-summary-report-10-31-2023/