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The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:04 am

Don't miss this one!

New surveys conducted by NASA's Swift provide the most detailed overviews ever captured in ultraviolet light of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two closest major galaxies to our own. Swift team member Stefan Immler, who proposed the imaging project, narrates this quick tour.



NASA's Swift Produces Best Ultraviolet Maps of the Nearest Galaxies


WASHINGTON -- Astronomers at NASA and Pennsylvania State University have used NASA's Swift satellite to create the most detailed ultraviolet light surveys ever of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two closest major galaxies.

"We took thousands of images and assembled them into seamless portraits of the main body of each galaxy, resulting in the highest-resolution surveys of the Magellanic Clouds at ultraviolet wavelengths," said Stefan Immler, who proposed the program and led NASA's contribution from the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Immler presented a 160-megapixel mosaic image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and a 57-megapixel mosaic image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) at the 222nd American Astronomical Society meeting in Indianapolis on Monday.

The new images reveal about 1 million ultraviolet sources in the LMC and about 250,000 in the SMC. The images include light ranging from 1,600 to 3,300 angstroms, which is a range of UV wavelengths largely blocked by Earth's atmosphere.

"Prior to these images, there were relatively few UV observations of these galaxies, and none at high resolution across such wide areas, so this project fills in a major missing piece of the scientific puzzle," said Michael Siegel, lead scientist for Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) at the Swift Mission Operations Center at the university in State College, Pa.

The LMC and SMC lie about 163,000 light-years and 200,000 light-years away, respectively, and orbit each other as well as our own Milky Way galaxy. The LMC is about one-tenth the size of the Milky Way and contains only 1 percent of the Milky Way's mass. The SMC is half the size of the LMC and contains about two-thirds of its mass.

Despite their modest sizes, the galaxies loom large in the sky because they are so close to us. Both extend far beyond the UVOT's field of view, which meant thousands of images were needed in order to cover both galaxies in three ultraviolet colors centered at wavelengths of 1,928 angstroms, 2,246 angstroms, and 2,600 angstroms.

Viewing in the ultraviolet allows astronomers to suppress the light of normal stars like the sun, which are not very bright at such higher energies, and provides a clearer picture of the hottest stars and star-formation regions. No telescope other than UVOT can produce such high-resolution wide-field multicolor surveys in the ultraviolet. Swift's wide-field imaging capabilities provide a powerful complement to the deeper, but much narrower-field imaging power of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

To produce the 160-megapixel LMC mosaic, Swift's UVOT acquired 2,200 snapshots for a cumulative exposure of 5.4 days. The 57-megapixel SMC image comprises 656 individual images with a total exposure of 1.8 days.

Both images have an angular resolution of 2.5 arcseconds, which is a measure of their sharpness. Sources separated by this angle, which is equivalent to the size of a dime seen from 1 mile away, are visible as distinct objects.

"With these mosaics, we can study how stars are born and evolve across each galaxy in a single view, something that's very difficult to accomplish for our own galaxy because of our location inside it," Immler said.

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are readily visible from the Southern Hemisphere as faint, glowing patches in the night sky. The galaxies are named after Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who in 1519 led an expedition to sail around the world. He and his crew were among the first Europeans to sight the objects.

Pennsylvania State University manages the Swift Mission Operations Center, which controls Swift's science and flight operations. Goddard manages Swift, which was launched in November 2004. The satellite is operated in collaboration with Penn State, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va. International collaborators are in the United Kingdom and Italy, and the mission includes contributions from Germany and Japan.

For images related to this release, please visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/16wz7da

For more information about Swift, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/swift


Last edited by Tom on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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NASA Announces Major Airborne Pollution/Climate Study

Post by Tom on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:07 am

NASA Announces Major Airborne Pollution/Climate Study June 6


WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, June 6, to announce a new airborne science campaign over the southern United States. The campaign will investigate how air pollution and natural emissions affect climate and the atmosphere.

The Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys campaign, or SEAC4RS, is NASA's most complex airborne mission of the year. The mission targets summertime emissions from intense forest fires in the U.S. West and natural emissions from forests in the Southeast. Flights begin in August from Houston's Ellington Field and continue through September.

The panelists for the teleconference are:
-- Brian Toon, SEAC4RS principal investigator, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder
-- Hal Maring, radiation sciences program manager, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington

To dial-in to the teleconference, reporters must contact Steve Cole at 202-358-0918 or stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov with their media affiliation by 11 a.m., June 6. Questions also can be submitted via Twitter during the briefing by using the hashtag #askNASA.

To listen to the briefing live on NASA's website, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

For more information on the mission, visit:

http://espo.nasa.gov/missions/seac4rs
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The Butterfly Nebula

Post by Tom on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:36 am

This violent explosion is the result from the death of a very large star.
The Hubble photograph of the event is stunning.
Here is a teeny one with a link to the full size photo at NASA below.



The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.

This sharp and colorful close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, installed during the final shuttle servicing mission. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2526.html
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Marks on Martian Dunes ...

Post by Tom on Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:50 am



PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA research indicates hunks of frozen carbon dioxide -- dry ice -- may glide down some Martian sand dunes on cushions of gas similar to miniature hovercraft, plowing furrows as they go.
Researchers deduced this process could explain one enigmatic class of gullies seen on Martian sand dunes by examining images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and performing experiments on sand dunes in Utah and California.

"I have always dreamed of going to Mars," said Serina Diniega, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and lead author of a report published online by the journal Icarus. "Now I dream of snowboarding down a Martian sand dune on a block of dry ice."
The hillside grooves on Mars, called linear gullies, show relatively constant width -- up to a few yards, or meters, across -- with raised banks or levees along the sides. Unlike gullies caused by water flows on Earth and possibly on Mars, they do not have aprons of debris at the downhill end of the gully. Instead, many have pits at the downhill end.
"In debris flows, you have water carrying sediment downhill, and the material eroded from the top is carried to the bottom and deposited as a fan-shaped apron," said Diniega. "In the linear gullies, you're not transporting material. You're carving out a groove, pushing material to the sides."

Images from MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera show sand dunes with linear gullies covered by carbon-dioxide frost during the Martian winter. The location of the linear gullies is on dunes that spend the Martian winter covered by carbon-dioxide frost. By comparing before-and-after images from different seasons, researchers determined that the grooves are formed during early spring. Some images have even caught bright objects in the gullies.
Scientists theorize the bright objects are pieces of dry ice that have broken away from points higher on the slope. According to the new hypothesis, the pits could result from the blocks of dry ice completely sublimating away into carbon-dioxide gas after they have stopped traveling.

"Linear gullies don't look like gullies on Earth or other gullies on Mars, and this process wouldn't happen on Earth," said Diniega. "You don't get blocks of dry ice on Earth unless you go buy them."
That is exactly what report co-author Candice Hansen, of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., did. Hansen has studied other effects of seasonal carbon-dioxide ice on Mars, such as spider-shaped features that result from explosive release of carbon-dioxide gas trapped beneath a sheet of dry ice as the underside of the sheet thaws in spring. She suspected a role for dry ice in forming linear gullies, so she bought some slabs of dry ice at a supermarket and slid them down sand dunes.
That day and in several later experiments, gaseous carbon dioxide from the thawing ice maintained a lubricating layer under the slab and also pushed sand aside into small levees as the slabs glided down even low-angle slopes.

The outdoor tests did not simulate Martian temperature and pressure, but calculations indicate the dry ice would act similarly in early Martian spring where the linear gullies form. Although water ice, too, can sublimate directly to gas under some Martian conditions, it would stay frozen at the temperatures at which these gullies form, the researchers calculate.
"MRO is showing that Mars is a very active planet," Hansen said. "Some of the processes we see on Mars are like processes on Earth, but this one is in the category of uniquely Martian."
Hansen also noted the process could be unique to the linear gullies described on Martian sand dunes.
"There are a variety of different types of features on Mars that sometimes get lumped together as 'gullies,' but they are formed by different processes," she said. "Just because this dry-ice hypothesis looks like a good explanation for one type doesn't mean it applies to others."

The University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages MRO for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter.

To see images of the linear gullies and obtain more information about MRO, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mro

For more about HiRISE, visit: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu

and this too.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro20130611.html

and a video about it here.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=164390051
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Mars / Curiosity

Post by Tom on Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:40 am

Best photo of Mars yet in my opinion.




This full-circle view combined nearly 900 images taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, generating a panorama with 1.3 billion pixels in the full-resolution version. The view is centered toward the south, with north at both ends. It shows Curiosity at the "Rocknest" site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.

Viewers can explore this image with pan and zoom controls at http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/ .

This first NASA-produced gigapixel image from the surface of Mars is a mosaic using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity's Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam's wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames -- mostly of the rover itself -- from the Navigation Camera. It was produced by the Multiple-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

This version of the panorama retains "raw" color, as seen by the camera on Mars under Mars lighting conditions. A white-balanced version is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16918 . The view shows illumination effects from variations in the time of day for pieces of the mosaic. It also shows variations in the clarity of the atmosphere due to variable dustiness during the month while the images were acquired.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover's 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Curiosity's Mastcam. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington and built the Navigation Camera and the rover.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16919.html
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:15 am

When Galaxies Collide



This striking NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, which shows what looks like the profile of a celestial bird, belies the fact that close encounters between galaxies are a messy business.

This interacting galaxy duo is collectively called Arp 142. The pair contains the disturbed, star-forming spiral galaxy NGC 2936, along with its elliptical companion, NGC 2937 at lower left.

Once part of a flat, spiral disk, the orbits of the galaxy's stars have become scrambled due to gravitational tidal interactions with the other galaxy. This warps the galaxy's orderly spiral, and interstellar gas is strewn out into giant tails like stretched taffy.

Gas and dust drawn from the heart of NGC 2936 becomes compressed during the encounter, which in turn triggers star formation. These bluish knots are visible along the distorted arms that are closest to the companion elliptical. The reddish dust, once within the galaxy, has been thrown out of the galaxy's plane and into dark veins that are silhouetted against the bright starlight from what is left of the nucleus and disk.

The companion elliptical, NGC 2937, is a puffball of stars with little gas or dust present. The stars contained within the galaxy are mostly old, as evidenced by their reddish color. There are no blue stars that would be evidence of recent star formation. While the orbits of this elliptical's stars may be altered by the encounter, it's not apparent that the gravitational pull by its neighboring galaxy is having much of an effect.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2536.html
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:56 pm

The first view of our solar system's tail.

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WAY out there

Post by Tom on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:46 pm

Here we are.  
These photos were taken by Cassini and Messenger.
It IS a small world!

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http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-229#5
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First Hint of Sunrise

Post by Tom on Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:43 am

This was taken yesterday from the International Space Station.
The image below is low resolution.
Go to the NASA link below to see it in it's full grandeur.
Enjoy!



http://www.nasa.gov/content/first-hint-of-sunrise-from-space/#.Ufkul1Pk9V0
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:48 am

Charlie Brown complains every Halloween that "I got a rock".
Who knows, but maybe Charlie got a piece of a space rock. Wink

Anyway, the giant asteroid Vesta was discovered way back in 1807 by Heinrich Olbers.
The 326 mile diameter asteroid orbits our sun and is the second largest behind the dwarf planet Ceres. Note that both are considered dwarf planets. (insert the Pluto is/is not a planet debate here. Sorry Pluto)

NASA's DAWN spacecraft has been orbiting Vesta for the last month which has confirmed what the Hubble telescope had previously determined.
Below is a link to tons of info along with an interesting image of Vesta's cratered surface.
The "snowman" set of impacts is clearly visible.
Enjoy!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/news/dawn20130927.html#.UkmZeCR56Jg
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:52 am

Now that the gov is up and running, we can see what Cassini has been up to.
Recently, Cassini flew over the top of Jupiter and recorded lots of data.
One amateur Cassini fan, Gordan Ugarkovic, compiled about a dozen images to form this one.
Awesome!
"Blow your mind" links below the image.
Enjoy!



http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/saturn20131017.html#.UmaeiiSoHmJ

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html#.UmaeHSSoHmJ
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:53 am

We've seen shots of Mars, Saturn and other fabulous things in our universe so far in this thread.
But what about Mercury?  
Here is a GREAT view of the sunny side of the smallest planet nearest the Sun.
Enjoy!



"This image was acquired on Oct. 2, 2013 by the Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) aboard NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, as part of the MDIS's  limb imaging campaign. Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury's limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury's shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury's northern hemisphere."

http://www.nasa.gov/content/sunlit-side-of-the-planet-mercury/#.Um6GMSTQEgs
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The Witch Head Nebula and the Ghost of Jupiter

Post by Tom on Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:24 pm

Here's a couple for Halloween.
Enjoy the "Witch Head" nebula and the "Ghost of Jupiter" nebula.



A witch appears to be screaming out into space in this new image from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The infrared portrait shows the Witch Head nebula, named after its resemblance to the profile of a wicked witch. Astronomers say the billowy clouds of the nebula, where baby stars are brewing, are being lit up by massive stars. Dust in the cloud is being hit with starlight, causing it to glow with infrared light, which was picked up by WISE's detectors.
The Witch Head nebula is estimated to be hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation, just off the famous hunter's knee.


OR maybe the Ghost of Jupiter is really the evil eye?  Twisted Evil 



"This ghostly image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of a dying star, called a planetary nebula. Planetary nebulas are a late stage in a sun-like star's life, when its outer layers have sloughed off and are lit up by ultraviolet light from the central star."

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/multimedia/pia17553.html#.UnKMfCTQEgt

http://www.nasa.gov/content/ghost-of-jupiter-nebula/#.UnKQOyTQEgt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:35 pm

Here is another awesome mosaic image from Cassini.
This one is a composite of 141 photos taken over four hours.
One of the best yet!



Click the links below for more information and other versions of this image.
Be sure to check it out as large as you can.

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/november/nasa-cassini-spacecraft-provides-new-view-of-saturn-and-earth/#.UoJkFKWXiuc

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/pia17172
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:56 am

Mars Rover Opportunity snapped this composite true color image last month of Murray Ridge.
The little rover has been going for close to a decade now.  Amazing.



For more info and to see super hi res images, clink the link below.
Enjoy!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/multimedia/jpl/pia17582.html#.UoYymaWXiuc
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:10 pm

The Science Behind NASA's Next Mission to Mars.



From the description - On Sunday, Nov. 17, a mission science briefing was broadcasted on NASA TV to discuss the Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionN, or MAVEN, set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Nov. 18. MAVEN is the second mission for NASA's Mars Scout Program and will obtain critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help understand the climate change over the Red Planet's history and is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. It will orbit the planet in an elliptical orbit that allows it to pass through and sample the entire upper atmosphere on every orbit. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars' atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:43 am

Enjoy!



Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been in orbit around the Moon since the summer of 2009. Its laser altimeter (LOLA) and camera (LROC) are recording the rugged, airless lunar terrain in exceptional detail, making it possible to visualize the Moon with unprecedented fidelity. This is especially evident in the long shadows cast near the terminator, or day-night line. The pummeled, craggy landscape thrown into high relief at the terminator would be impossible to recreate in the computer without global terrain maps like those from LRO.

The Moon always keeps the same face to us, but not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month. When a month is compressed into 24 seconds, as it is in this animation, our changing view of the Moon makes it look like it's wobbling. This wobble is called libration.

The word comes from the Latin for "balance scale" (as does the name of the zodiac constellation Libra) and refers to the way such a scale tips up and down on alternating sides. The sub-Earth point gives the amount of libration in longitude and latitude. The sub-Earth point is also the apparent center of the Moon's disk and the location on the Moon where the Earth is directly overhead.

The Moon is subject to other motions as well. It appears to roll back and forth around the sub-Earth point. The roll angle is given by the position angle of the axis, which is the angle of the Moon's north pole relative to celestial north. The Moon also approaches and recedes from us, appearing to grow and shrink. The two extremes, called perigee (near) and apogee (far), differ by more than 10%.

The most noticed monthly variation in the Moon's appearance is the cycle of phases, caused by the changing angle of the Sun as the Moon orbits the Earth. The cycle begins with the waxing (growing) crescent Moon visible in the west just after sunset. By first quarter, the Moon is high in the sky at sunset and sets around midnight. The full Moon rises at sunset and is high in the sky at midnight. The third quarter Moon is often surprisingly conspicuous in the daylit western sky long after sunrise.

Celestial south is up in these images, corresponding to the view from the southern hemisphere. The descriptions of the print resolution stills also assume a southern hemisphere orientation.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4119
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:09 am

The Wreath Nebula.
Good luck trying to attach it to your front door!   Very Happy 



A Cosmic Wreath
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission presents the "Wreath nebula." Though this isn't the nebula's official name (it's actually called Barnard 3, or IRAS Ring G159.6-18.5), one might picture a wreath in these bright green and red dust clouds -- a ring of evergreens donned with a festive red bow, a jaunty sprig of holly, and silver bells throughout. Interstellar clouds like these are stellar nurseries, places where baby stars are being born.

The green ring (evergreen) is made of tiny particles of warm dust whose composition is very similar to smog found here on Earth. The red cloud (bow) in the middle is probably made of dust that is more metallic and cooler than the surrounding regions. The bright star in the middle of the red cloud, called HD 278942, is so luminous that it is likely what is causing most of the surrounding ring to glow. In fact its powerful stellar winds are what cleared out the surrounding warm dust and created the ring-shaped feature in the first place. The bright greenish-yellow region left of center (holly) is similar to the ring, though more dense. The bluish-white stars (silver bells) scattered throughout are stars located both in front of, and behind, the nebula.

Regions similar to this nebula are found near the band of the Milky Way galaxy in the night sky. The "wreath" is slightly off this band, near the boundary between the constellations of Perseus and Taurus, but at a relatively close distance of only about 1,000 light-years, the cloud is a still part of our Milky Way.

The colors used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan (blue-green) represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
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Gravitational Lensing

Post by Tom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:00 am

This example of Gravitational Lensing is sure to make Einstein a happy dead guy.
He was right and here is the proof.

A link to the image is here:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/hubble-frontier-field-abell-2744/#.Us11o6WXiue



From NASA:
"Hubble Frontier Field Abell 2744
This long-exposure Hubble Space Telescope image of massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 (foreground) is the deepest ever made of any cluster of galaxies. It shows some of the faintest and youngest galaxies ever detected in space.
The immense gravity in Abell 2744 is being used as a lens to warp space and brighten and magnify images of more distant background galaxies. The more distant galaxies appear as they did longer than 12 billion years ago, not long after the big bang.
The Hubble exposure reveals almost 3,000 of these background galaxies interleaved with images of hundreds of foreground galaxies in the cluster. Their images not only appear brighter, but also smeared, stretched and duplicated across the field. Because of the gravitational lensing phenomenon, the background galaxies are magnified to appear as much as 10 to 20 times larger than they would normally appear. Furthermore, the faintest of these highly magnified objects is 10 to 20 times fainter than any galaxy observed previously. Without the boost from gravitational lensing, the many background galaxies would be invisible.
The Hubble exposure will be combined with images from Spitzer and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to provide new insight into the origin and evolution of galaxies and their accompanying black holes.
Image Credit: NASA/ESA"
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Spitzer Space Telescope

Post by Tom on Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:42 am

Check out this image from the Spitzer Space Telescope.  This is about 1,500 light years away.



From the image description:

"Spitzer's Orion
Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. This stunning false-color view spans about 40 light-years across the region, constructed using infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Compared to its visual wavelength appearance, the brightest portion of the nebula is likewise centered on Orion's young, massive, hot stars, known as the Trapezium Cluster. But the infrared image also detects the nebula's many protostars, still in the process of formation, seen here in red hues. In fact, red spots along the dark dusty filament to the left of the bright cluster include the protostar cataloged as HOPS 68, recently found to have crystals of the silicate mineral olivine within its protostellar envelope.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech"

http://www.nasa.gov/content/spitzers-orion/#.UtapbqWXiuc
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Saturn's Hexagon

Post by Tom on Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:50 am

Here is a great image of Saturn taken by Cassini.
It is looking at the rings and the planets famous hexagonal weather pattern at the pole.
For more info and high resolution images, click here:

http://www.nasa.gov/content/round-and-round/#.Uu-4of1L6ud

Awesome.



From NASA:
"Just as Saturn's famous hexagonal shaped jet stream encircles the planet's north pole, the rings encircle the planet, as seen from Cassini's position high above. Around and around everything goes!
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 43 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 23, 2013 using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 97 degrees. Image scale is 93 miles (150 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute"
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by alexpierangeli on Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:26 pm

How does that work? Why do the winds blow straight, then take a 60 degree turn, then do it again and again... ? That is sooo weird.

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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:25 am

Here is a new and awe inspiring photo from the Hubble Space Telescope.
That's a screensaver if I ever saw one.

From NASA: "This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking features: a beautiful dust lane and an intensely bright center — much brighter than that of our own galaxy, or indeed those of most spiral galaxies we observe.
NGC 5793 is a Seyfert galaxy. These galaxies have incredibly luminous centers that are thought to be caused by hungry supermassive black holes — black holes that can be billions of times the size of the sun — that pull in and devour gas and dust from their surroundings.
This galaxy is of great interest to astronomers for many reasons. For one, it appears to house objects known as masers. Whereas lasers emit visible light, masers emit microwave radiation. The term "masers" comes from the acronym Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Maser emission is caused by particles that absorb energy from their surroundings and then re-emit this in the microwave part of the spectrum.
Naturally occurring masers, like those observed in NGC 5793, can tell us a lot about their environment; we see these kinds of masers in areas where stars are forming. In NGC 5793 there are also intense mega-masers, which are thousands of times more luminous than the sun."

Enjoy!



Last edited by Tom on Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:34 am

Here is another great Hubble image for your enjoyment.
This is a Seyfert type Galaxy that is about 86 million light years away.



Click the link below for more information.

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hubble-eyes-golden-rings-of-star-formation/#.U5sI4xZ4Wf0
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Re: The NASA Thread

Post by Tom on Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:26 pm

From NASA:
"A galaxy about 23 million light years away is the site of impressive, ongoing fireworks. Rather than paper, powder and fire, this galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves and vast reservoirs of gas.
This galactic fireworks display is taking place in NGC 4258, also known as M106, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is famous, however, for something that our galaxy doesn’t have – two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical and radio light. These features, or anomalous arms, are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but instead intersect with it.
The anomalous arms are seen in this new composite image of NGC 4258, where X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are blue, radio data from the NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array are purple, optical data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are yellow and infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are red."

Enjoy!



Click the link below for more information.
http://www.nasa.gov/chandra/multimedia/galactic-pyrotechnics.html#.U7XmDRZ4Wf0
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