NASA Goddard

@nasagoddard

The official Instagram account of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Twitter: @NASAGoddard & @NASAGoddardPix Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/
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This massive galaxy cluster located in the well-known constellation of Ursa Major, contains at least… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This massive galaxy cluster located in the well-known constellation of Ursa Major, contains at least 300 individual galaxies.The Universe contains some truly massive objects. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is known as hierarchical clustering, whereby small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever larger. The 14-billion-year history of the Universe has seen the formation of some enormous cosmic structures, including galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters — the largest known structures in the cosmos!.This particular cluster is called Abell 665. It was named after its discoverer, George O. Abell, who included it in his seminal 1958 cluster catalogue. Abell 665 is located in the well-known northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This incredible image combines visible and infrared light gathered by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope using two of its cameras: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3..Abell 665 is the only galaxy cluster in Abell’s entire catalogue to be given a richness class of 5, indicating that the cluster contains at least 300 individual galaxies. Because of this richness, the cluster has been studied extensively at all wavelengths, resulting in a number of fascinating discoveries — among other research, Abell 665 has been found to host a giant radio halo, powerful shockwaves, and has been used to calculate an updated value for the Hubble constant (a measure of how fast the Universe is expanding)..Credit: ESA/ @nasahubble #nasagoddard #hubble #galaxy #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Happy Halloween! ? . NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites send thrilling scientific data from low-Earth… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Happy Halloween! ?.NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites send thrilling scientific data from low-Earth orbit 24/7/365! They provide communications and tracking support for more than 40 NASA missions and just launched a new TDRS satellite in August! This illustration shows first-generation TDRS from the 1980s, overlaid with an image from @nasahubble, one of the spacecraft that TDRS supports..Credit: NASA Goddard #nasagoddard #Halloween #HappyHalloween #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA’s DC-8 research plane flew over the Palmer Peninsula of #Antarctica on Oct. 14, 2017. The flight… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s DC-8 research plane flew over the Palmer Peninsula of #Antarctica on Oct. 14, 2017. The flight was part of the Atmospheric Tomography mission to survey over 200 gases as well as airborne particles on a 30-day tour around the world. This Antarctic flight coincides with the annual formation of the hole in the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. The scientists aboard the DC-8 are interested in studying the gases present below the ozone hole to better understand the chemical processes at work in this region of the atmosphere. In addition, the flight reprises research flights made 30 years ago by the DC-8 during the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (AAOE), a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and other international agencies and universities.The AAOE flights in 1987 paired the DC-8 with the ER-2 research plane to follow up on the British Antarctic Survey’s 1985 report characterizing the ozone layer’s destruction. The ozone layer protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet light from the Sun that can damage DNA and, for example, cause skin cancer and other health problems. In the 1980s scientists discovered that ozone was being depleted, and the AAOE data confirmed that it was indeed the result of chlorine and bromine chemistry caused by human-emitted #chlorofluorocarbons, which were banned by the Montreal Protocol in the same year.Credit: Caltech/Paul Wennberg #nasagoddard #science #ice #snow | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble digs into massive galaxies in hopes to aid the forthcoming NASA James Webb Space Telescope. . This… read more
Hubble digs into massive galaxies in hopes to aid the forthcoming NASA James Webb Space Telescope..This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is chock-full of galaxies. Each glowing speck is a different galaxy, except the bright flash in the middle of the image which is actually a star lying within our own galaxy that just happened to be in the way. At the center of the image lies something especially interesting, the center of the massive galaxy cluster called WHL J24.3324-8.477, including the brightest galaxy of the cluster..The Universe contains structures on various scales — planets collect around stars, stars collect into galaxies, galaxies collect into groups, and galaxy groups collect into clusters. Galaxy clusters contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. Dark matter and dark energy play key roles in the formation and evolution of these clusters, so studying massive galaxy clusters can help scientists to unravel the mysteries of these elusive phenomena..This infrared image was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing program called RELICS (Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey). RELICS imaged 41 massive galaxy clusters with the aim of finding the brightest distant galaxies for the forthcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope to study. Such research will tell us more about our cosmic origins..Credit: ESA/@NASAHubble #space #nasagoddard #galaxy #science #Hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Saturday, Oct. 28 is International Observe the Moon Night, a worldwide celebration of lunar science and… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Saturday, Oct. 28 is International Observe the Moon Night, a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration.One day each year, everyone is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with Earth’s nearest neighbor. So save the date and plan on looking up this Saturday! Learn more at observethemoonnight.orgThe animation shows the geocentric phase, libration, position angle of the axis, and apparent diameter of the Moon throughout the year 2017, at hourly intervals. Credit: NASA/Goddard/LRO #nasagoddard #LRO #moon #IOTMN | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble unveils a violent encounter of two galaxies becoming one, 250 million light-years away --- This… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble unveils a violent encounter of two galaxies becoming one, 250 million light-years away --- This image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows what happens when two galaxies become one. The twisted cosmic knot seen here is NGC 2623 — or Arp 243 — and is located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab). NGC 2623 gained its unusual and distinctive shape as the result of a major collision and subsequent merger between two separate galaxies. This violent encounter caused clouds of gas within the two galaxies to become compressed and stirred up, in turn triggering a sharp spike of star formation. This active star formation is marked by speckled patches of bright blue; these can be seen clustered both in the center and along the trails of dust and gas forming NGC 2623’s sweeping curves (known as tidal tails). These tails extend for roughly 50 000 light-years from end to end. Many young, hot, newborn stars form in bright stellar clusters — at least 170 such clusters are known to exist within NGC 2623.NGC 2623 is in a late stage of merging. It is thought that the Milky Way will eventually resemble NGC 2623 when it collides with our neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, in 4 billion years’ time.Image credit: ESA/@NASAHubble #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble released a set of celestial objects that were all the rage in the 1800's, thanks to astronomer… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble released a set of celestial objects that were all the rage in the 1800's, thanks to astronomer Charles Messier —In a nod to the global amateur #astronomy community, as well as to any space enthusiast who enjoys the beauty of the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope mission is releasing its version of the popular Messier catalog, featuring some of Hubble’s best images of these celestial objects that were once noted for looking like comets but turned out not to be.This release coincides with the Orionid meteor shower — a spectacle that occurs each year when Earth flies through a debris field left behind by Halley’s Comet when it last visited the inner solar system in 1986. The shower will peak during the pre-dawn hours this Saturday, Oct. 21.credit: @NASAHubble #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Southern African Agricultural "slash and burn" fires overwhelm landscape. --- The Suomi NPP satellite's… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Southern African Agricultural "slash and burn" fires overwhelm landscape. --- The Suomi NPP satellite's instrument known as VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) detected hundreds of fires burning in southern Africa on October 15, 2017. The fires are outlined in red. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land.  Places where traditional plots of open land is not available because the vegetation in the area is dense are the places where "slash and burn" agriculture is practiced most often. These regions include parts of Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia, where an abundance of grasslands and rainforests are found.Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. In southern Africa, the agricultural burning season usually runs from June through September when the next growing season begins.NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #fire #africa #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Satellite Sees a Tail of Smoke Over 500 Miles Long from California Fires --- ASA’s Terra satellite… read more
NASA Satellite Sees a Tail of Smoke Over 500 Miles Long from California Fires --- ASA’s Terra satellite saw a stream of smoke that extended over 500 miles from various fires raging in northern California out over the Eastern Pacific Ocean.The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra passed over California on Oct. 12 and captured a visible light image of the smoke plume. The MODIS image showed the stream of smoke extending from Santa Rosa, #California, located north of San Francisco, out into the Eastern Pacific, parallel to San Diego. A stream that stretched over 550 miles. Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #wildfire #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble’s sees diminutive galaxy with a shocking rate of star production -- As far as galaxies are concerned,… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble’s sees diminutive galaxy with a shocking rate of star production -- As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble), can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy!Clusters of young, hot stars are speckling the galaxy, burning with a fierce blue glow. The intense radiation they produce also causes surrounding gas to light up, which is bright red in this image. The small mass and distinctive coloring of galaxies of this type prompted astronomers to classify them, appropriately, as blue compact dwarfs.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #star #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Wildfires in California Not Slowing Down Wildfires continue to cause widespread destruction in the Sonoma… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Wildfires in California Not Slowing DownWildfires continue to cause widespread destruction in the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley areas of #California.  Hot, dry conditions, high winds, and lack of water in the area continue to hamper firefighter efforts in fighting these fires.  Thousands of structures have been burned and stark landscapes show acres of standing fireplaces as the only structures that survived the fires that spread through neighborhoods.  New evacuations have been called for as the fires continue to ravage this area of California.  #nasagoddard #wildfire | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Today's @dictionarycom Word of the Day is "astrobleme," a scar on Earth's surface produced by the impact… read more
Manicouagan Reservoir
Today's @dictionarycom Word of the Day is "astrobleme," a scar on Earth's surface produced by the impact of a meteorite or asteroid.Lake Manicouagan in northern Quebec, Canada, lies in one of the largest impact craters still preserved on Earth's surface. The lake itself surrounds a central uplift of the impact structure, which is about 70 kilometers in diameter and composed of broken fragments of minerals and rock. Overtime glaciation and other erosional processes have reduced the size of the crater.The impact that formed Manicouagan is thought to have occurred about 212 million years ago, and some scientists believe it may have been responsible for a mass extinction that wiped out more than half of all living species. Today Lake Manicouagan serves as a reservoir and is one of Quebec's most important regions for Atlantic salmon fishing.Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team#astrobleme #manicouagan #earth #science #wordoftheday | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Cloud or glacier? From our friend Sara Bareilles. We're going with lenticular cloud ☁️ Lenticular clouds… read more
Cloud or glacier? From our friend Sara Bareilles. We're going with lenticular cloud ☁️ Lenticular clouds are unique in that sometimes you may see bright colors — what scientists call irisation — along the edges of the clouds. This can give them a definite outer space feel. Airplane pilots will usually try to avoid flying near lenticular clouds. ? credit: @sarabareilles・・・Cloud glacier.#repost #cloud #science #lenticularclouds | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris II had already become the youngest African American to perform and lead an integration efforts on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a combined mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that serves as a successor to the highly popular Hubble Space Telescope; however, this was not his first mission. In fact, he has completed work on four successful satellite missions over the course of his more than nine year tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a combination of paid internships, academic projects, volunteer positions, and career opportunities. These missions include MMS, GPM, JWST, and JPSS. Now, at age 25, Kenneth continues to accomplish incredible feats. Read more about this on the @nasawebb page & help support him by commenting #Forbes & #30under30Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn#JWST #NASA #30under30 #Kennyfharris #Forbes #Tech #nasagoddard | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left). The Honeycomb Nebula was found serendipitously by astronomers using ESO’s New Technology Telescope to image the nearby SN1987A, the closest observed supernova to Earth for more than 400 years. The nebula’s strange bubble-like shape has baffled astronomers since its discovery in the early 1990s. Various theories have been proposed to explain its unique structure, some more exotic than others.In 2010, a group of astronomers studied the nebula and, using advanced data analysis and computer modelling, came to the conclusion that its unique appearance is likely due to the combined effect of two supernovae — a more recent explosion has pierced the expanding shell of material created by an older explosion. The nebula’s especially striking appearance is suspected to be due to a fortuitous viewing angle; the honeycomb effect of the circular shells may not be visible from another viewpoint.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla) #nasagoddard #space #Hubble #galaxy #supernova | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard.  By age 24, Kenneth Harris II had already become the youngest African American to perform and lead an integration efforts on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a combined mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that serves as a successor to the highly popular Hubble Space Telescope; however, this was not his first mission. In fact, he has completed work on four successful satellite missions over the course of his more than nine year tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a combination of paid internships, academic projects, volunteer positions, and career opportunities. These missions include MMS, GPM, JWST, and JPSS.  Now, at age 25, Kenneth continues to accomplish incredible feats.  Read more about this on the @nasawebb page & help support him by commenting #Forbes & #30under30Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn#JWST #NASA #30under30 #Kennyfharris #Forbes #Tech #nasagoddard | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A NASA Black Brant IX sounding rocket carrying a parachute test platform was successfully launched at… read more
Wallops Flight Facility
A NASA Black Brant IX sounding rocket carrying a parachute test platform was successfully launched at 6:45 a.m. EST, October 4, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.The 58-foot tall rocket carried the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission is to evaluate the performance of the ASPIRE payload, which is designed to test parachute systems in a low-density, supersonic environment.The next launch currently scheduled from Wallops is Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft with supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. Antares is scheduled for launch no earlier than November 10.Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #rocket #launch #space #science #nasagoddard | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Three distinct solar active regions with towering arches rotated into view over a three-day period from… read more
Three distinct solar active regions with towering arches rotated into view over a three-day period from Sept. 24-26, 2017. Charged particles spinning along the ever-changing magnetic field lines above the active regions trace out the magnetic field in extreme ultraviolet light, captured here by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Extreme ultraviolet light is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in gold. To give some sense of scale, the largest arches are many times the size of Earth.Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO #nasagoddard #sun #earth #flare #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Did you ever wonder what a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters looked like? Oh, and those small… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Did you ever wonder what a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters looked like? Oh, and those small smudges in the background - they took several hundred million to billions of years to reach us!In the center of a rich cluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation of Coma Berenices, lies a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters. NGC 4874 is a giant elliptical galaxy, about ten times larger than the Milky Way, at the center of the Coma Galaxy Cluster. With its strong gravitational pull, it is able to hold onto more than 30,000 globular clusters of stars, more than any other galaxy that we know of, and even has a few dwarf galaxies in its grasp.In this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, NGC 4874 is the brightest object, located to the right of the frame and seen as a bright star-like core surrounded by a hazy halo. A few of the other galaxies of the cluster are also visible, looking like flying saucers dancing around NGC 4874. But the really remarkable feature of this image is the point-like objects around NGC 4874, revealed on a closer look: almost all of them are clusters of stars that belong to the galaxy. Each of these globular star clusters contains many hundreds of thousands of stars.Recently, astronomers discovered that a few of these point-like objects are not star clusters but ultra-compact dwarf galaxies, also under the gravitational influence of NGC 4874. Being only about 200 light-years across and mostly made up of old stars, these galaxies resemble brighter and larger versions of globular clusters. They are thought to be the cores of small elliptical galaxies that, due to the violent interactions with other galaxies in the cluster, lost their gas and surrounding stars.This Hubble image also shows many more distant galaxies that do not belong to the cluster, seen as small smudges in the background. While the galaxies in the Coma Cluster are located about 350 million light-years away, these other objects are much farther out. Their light took several hundred million to billions of years to reach us.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #star #galaxy #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Snaps Pictures of Earth and the Moon This black-and-white image of the Earth-Moon… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Snaps Pictures of Earth and the MoonThis black-and-white image of the Earth-Moon system was captured on Sept. 25, 2017 by NavCam 1, one of three cameras that comprise TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System) on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. At the time this image was taken, the spacecraft was retreating from Earth after performing an Earth Gravity Assist maneuver on Sept. 22. Earth and the Moon are shown 249,000 miles (401,200 kilometers) apart, and the spacecraft is 804,000 miles (1,297,000 kilometers) from Earth and 735,000 miles (1,185,000 kilometers) from the Moon.Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona #nasagoddard #moon #earth #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Tracking Hurricane Maria on Bahamas Approach NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA Tracking Hurricane Maria on Bahamas ApproachNASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at Maria's temperatures to find the strongest sides of the storm, while NOAA's GOES satellite revealed the extent of the storm in a visible image as it moved toward the Bahamas.On Sept. 22 at 3:18 a.m. EDT (0718 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a thermal image of Hurricane Maria north of Hispaniola and nearing the Bahamas. The image showed highest coldest clouds around the eyewall and in bands of thunderstorms to the northeast and south and southeast of the center, stretching over Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Those clouder clouds have the capability of producing heavy rainfall. Credit: NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #HurricaneMaria #PuertoRico #weather | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble's spies a cool galaxy with a hot corona, 150 million light-years from Earth Galaxy NGC 6753,… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble's spies a cool galaxy with a hot corona, 150 million light-years from EarthGalaxy NGC 6753, imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is a whirl of color — the bursts of blue throughout the spiral arms are regions filled with young stars glowing brightly in ultraviolet light, while redder areas are filled with older stars emitting in the cooler near-infrared.But there is more in this galaxy than meets the Hubble eye.  At 150 million light-years from Earth, astronomers highlighted NGC 6753 as one of only two known spiral galaxies that were both massive enough and close enough to permit detailed observations of their coronas. Galactic coronas are huge, invisible regions of hot gas that surround a galaxy’s visible bulk, forming a spheroidal shape. Coronas are so hot that they can be detected by their X-ray emission, far beyond the optical radius of the galaxy. Because they are so wispy, these coronas are extremely difficult to detect.Galactic coronas are an example of telltale signs astronomers seek to help them determine how galaxies form. Despite the advances made in past decades, the process of galaxy formation remains an open question in astronomy. Various theories have been suggested, but since galaxies come in all shapes and sizes — including elliptical, spiral, and irregular — no single theory has so far been able to satisfactorily explain the origins of all the galaxies we see throughout the Universe.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #star #Universe | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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This @nasahubble picture shows NGC 5398, a barred spiral galaxy located about 55 million light-years… read more
This @nasahubble picture shows NGC 5398, a barred spiral galaxy located about 55 million light-years away.The galaxy is famous for containing an especially extensive HII region, a large cloud composed of ionized hydrogen (or HII, pronounced “H-two,” with H being the chemical symbol for hydrogen and the “II” indicating that the atoms have lost an electron to become ionized). NGC 5398’s cloud is named Tol 89 and sits at the lower left end of the galaxy’s central “bar” of stars, a structure that cuts through the galactic core and funnels material inwards to maintain the star formation occurring there.Tol 86 is conspicuous in being the only large massive star-forming complex in the entire galaxy, with an extension of roughly 5,000 times; it contains at least seven young and massive star clusters. The two brightest clumps within Tol 89, which astronomers have named simply “A” and “B” appear to have undergone two bursts of star-forming activity — “starbursts” — roughly 4 million and less than 3 million years ago respectively. Tol 89-A is thought to contain a number of particularly bright and massive stars known as Wolf-Rayet stars, which are known for their high temperatures and extreme stellar winds.Credit: NASA/ESA#hubble #nasa #galaxy #space #science #astrophysics | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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In honor of Cassini's Grand Finale at Saturn tomorrow, we're looking back on a very big discovery on… read more
In honor of Cassini's Grand Finale at Saturn tomorrow, we're looking back on a very big discovery on a very small moon.When Cassini arrived at Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, it saw curtains of icy material venting into space. Then, using the Composite Infrared Spectrometer aboard the spacecraft, scientists discovered that Enceladus's south pole was much warmer than expected. The strange temperature patterns on Enceladus suggested that the small, icy moon was up to something. After years of analyzing data from the CIRS instrument and others, it was clear that Enceladus harbors a liquid-water ocean beneath its surface.Later evidence indicated that this remarkable moon might have hydrothermal vents — something previously known to exist only on Earth. As Enceladus travels in its elliptical orbit about Saturn, the moon flexes as it gets nearer to its parent planet, then farther, then nearer again. Four great cracks near its south pole — “tiger stripes," seen here in blue — spread, then squeeze and grind. Warm salt water, gases and minerals erupt through those fractures in the miles-thick ice shell and blast into space, exiting the moon's surface at 800 miles per hour.When the Cassini orbiter plunges into the atmosphere of Saturn on Sept. 15, a group of NASA Goddard scientists will be among those waiting for the spacecraft’s last long-distance ping. That bittersweet signal will mark the end of an era for the team, which has devoted two decades to operating the CIRS instrument... Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute#Cassini #GrandFinale #Saturn #NASA #Enceladus #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA scientists have found evidence that Mars’ crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that… read more
NASA scientists have found evidence that Mars’ crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet’s interior structure and evolution.A new map of the thickness of Mars’ crust shows less variation between thicker regions (red) and thinner regions (blue), compared to earlier mapping. The map is based on modeling of the Red Planet’s gravity field by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The team found that globally Mars’ crust is less dense, on average, than previously thought, which implies smaller variations in crustal thickness. A lower density likely means that at least part of Mars’ crust is relatively porous. At this point, however, the team cannot rule out the possibility of a different mineral composition or perhaps a thinner crust..“The crust is the end-result of everything that happened during a planet’s history, so a lower density could have important implications about Mars’ formation and evolution,” said Sander Goossens of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Goossens is the lead author of a Geophysical Research Letters paper describing the work.Credits: NASA/Goddard/UMBC/MIT/E. Mazarico#Mars #NASA #map #planets #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Operation IceBridge is flying over Greenland to measure how much of the ice sheet has melted over the… read more
Operation IceBridge is flying over Greenland to measure how much of the ice sheet has melted over the course of the summer.This image was taken from an altitude of 28,000 feet during a research flight on Aug. 29. It shows the calving front — the end of the glacier, from where it sheds chunks of ice — of the Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland. The flights, which began on Aug. 25 and will go on until Sept. 21, repeat paths flown this spring and aim to monitor seasonal changes in the elevation of the ice sheet.Operation IceBridge is NASA's longest-running airborne survey to monitor polar ice. Its mission is to collect data that helps us understand how polar land and sea ice are changing. Operation IceBridge maintains continuity of measurements between ICESat missions, which survey polar ice from space. The planned overlap with ICESat-2 will help scientists validate the satellite's measurements.Credits: NASA/LVIS TEAM#earth #ice #nasagoddard #science #space #greenland | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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In this @nasahubble image, the majestic spiral arms of the spiral galaxy NGC 5559 are alight with new… read more
In this @nasahubble image, the majestic spiral arms of the spiral galaxy NGC 5559 are alight with new stars being born. NGC 5559's spiral arms are filled with gas and dust sweeping out around the bright galactic bulge. These arms are a rich environment for star formation, dotted with a festive array of colors including the newborn stars glowing blue as a result of their immensely high temperatures.NGC 5559 was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1785 and lies approximately 240 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Boötes (the herdsman). In 2001, a calcium-rich supernova called 2001co was observed in NGC 5559. Calcium-rich supernovae are described as “fast-and-faint,” as they're less luminous than other types of supernovae and also evolve more rapidly, to reveal spectra dominated by strong calcium lines. 2001co occurred within the disk of NGC 5559 near star-forming regions, but calcium-rich supernovae are often observed at large distances from the nearest galaxy, raising curious questions about their progenitors.Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA#space #astronomy #supernova #galaxy #stars #science #nasa #hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The smoke from West Coast fires forms a direct path that stretches across the entire country in this… read more
The smoke from West Coast fires forms a direct path that stretches across the entire country in this composite image taken by NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite on September 4, 2017. Actively burning areas are outlined in red, but smoke and particles have traveled far from those locations–3,000 miles along the jet stream toward the East Coast.Smoke from wildfires can be very dangerous. A 2017 Georgia Tech study showed the smoke from wildfires spew methanol, benzene, ozone and other noxious chemicals into the atmosphere. If the smoke stays in the jet stream and doesn't descend the health risks are minimal, but in Iowa this past week, the smoke pulled by the jet stream descended into the city of Dubuque, causing unhealthy air quality. The best advice is to watch air quality values in your area and respond accordingly. Also be aware of red or orange sunsets–they could be a tipoff to smoke in your atmosphere.The smoke particles from the fires allow sunlight's longer wavelength colors like red and orange to get through while blocking the shorter wavelengths of yellow, blue and green. Those longer wavelengths give the sky a red or orange-tinted appearance. Similarly, during sunrise and sunset times when the sun is near the horizon, sunlight has to travel through more of Earth's atmosphere to get to you. The additional atmosphere filters out the shorter wavelengths and allows the longer wavelengths to get through, providing reds and oranges during those times.Credit: Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC#wildfire #weather #science #nasagoddard | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Feast your eyes on Hubble's Megamaser galaxy! Microwaves, the very same radiation that can heat up your… read more
Feast your eyes on Hubble's Megamaser galaxy! Microwaves, the very same radiation that can heat up your dinner, are produced by a multitude of astrophysical sources, including strong emitters known as masers (microwave lasers), even stronger emitters with the somewhat villainous name of megamasers and the centers of some galaxies. Especially intense and luminous galactic centers are known as active galactic nuclei. They are in turn thought to be driven by the presence of supermassive black holes, which drag surrounding material inwards and spit out bright jets and radiation as they do so.The two galaxies shown here, imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, are named MCG+01-38-004 (the upper, red-tinted one) and MCG+01-38-005 (the lower, blue-tinted one). MCG+01-38-005 (also known as NGC 5765B) is a special kind of megamaser; the galaxy’s active galactic nucleus pumps out huge amounts of energy, which stimulates clouds of surrounding water. Water’s constituent atoms of hydrogen and oxygen are able to absorb some of this energy and re-emit it at specific wavelengths, one of which falls within the microwave regime, invisible to Hubble but detectable by microwave telescopes. MCG+01-38-005 is thus known as a water megamaser!Astronomers can use such objects to probe the fundamental properties of the Universe. The microwave emissions from MCG+01-38-005 were used to calculate a refined value for the Hubble constant, a measure of how fast the Universe is expanding. This constant is named after the astronomer whose observations were responsible for the discovery of the expanding Universe and after whom the Hubble Space Telescope was named, Edwin Hubble.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #glaxy #space #science #Hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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As part of the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), NASA scientists are flying over Alaska… read more
Alaska
As part of the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), NASA scientists are flying over Alaska and Canada, measuring the elevation of rivers and lakes to study how thawing permafrost affects hydrology in the landscape. This view was taken from NASA’s DC-8 “flying laboratory” as part of the Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days and Seasons (ASCENDS) experiment. Scientists on NASA’s Air Surface, Water and Ocean Topography (AirSWOT) mission have been flying over the same location, investigating how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Under typical conditions, the frozen layer of soil keeps water from sinking into the ground and percolating away. As permafrost thaws, the water has new ways to move between rivers and lakes, which can raise or lower the elevation of the bodies of water. These changes in water levels will have effects on Arctic life— plants, animals, and humans—in the near future. Credit: NASA/Peter Griffith#NASA #Earth #EarthExpeditions #Alaska #Arctic #Yukon #permafrost #river #aircraft #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA resources continue to deliver critical information on Harvey as it continues to drop tremendous,… read more
NASA resources continue to deliver critical information on Harvey as it continues to drop tremendous, flooding rainfall in Texas and Louisiana. Satellites like NASA's Aqua satellite and platforms like aircraft and the International Space Station continue to provide various kinds of data on the storm.Astronaut Randy Bresnik took this photo of Tropical Storm Harvey from the International Space Station on Aug. 28 at 1:27 p.m. CDT.Read more: nasa.gov/hurricane #Harvey #Hurricane #HurricaneHarvey #texas #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Calculates Harvey's Flooding Rainfall Analysis of Hurricane Harvey's tremendous rainfall was created… read more
NASA Calculates Harvey's Flooding RainfallAnalysis of Hurricane Harvey's tremendous rainfall was created using eight days of satellite data.The result has been widespread, massive flooding across the region and brings back memories of Tropical Storm Allison, which dropped up to 40 inches of rain in Texas back in 2001 and caused devasting flooding in the Houston area.The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted at 1 p.m. CDT on Aug. 28, "Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 15 to 25 inches through Friday over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area. These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding over large portions of southeastern Texas." Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2wj9Z9BCredit: NOAA/NASA GOES #hurricane #harvey #hurricaneharvey | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The galaxy, NGC 178 may be small, but it packs quite a punch. Measuring around 40,000 light-years across,… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The galaxy, NGC 178 may be small, but it packs quite a punch. Measuring around 40,000 light-years across, its diameter is less than half that of the Milky Way, and it is accordingly classified as a dwarf galaxy. Despite its diminutive size, NGC 178 is busy forming new stars. On average, the galaxy forms stars totaling around half the mass of the Sun per year — enough to label it a starburst galaxy.The galaxy’s discovery is an interesting, and somewhat confusing, story. It was originally discovered by American astronomer Ormond Stone in 1885 and dubbed NGC 178, but its position in the sky was recorded incorrectly — by accident the value for the galaxy’s right ascension (which can be thought of as the celestial equivalent of terrestrial longitude) was off by a considerable amount.In the years that followed NGC 178 was spotted again, this time by French astronomer Stéphane Javelle. As no cataloged object occupied that position in the sky, Javelle believed he had discovered a new galaxy and entered it into the expanded Index Catalog under the name IC 39. Later, American astronomer Herbert Howe also observed the object and corrected Stone’s initial mistake. Many years later, astronomers finally noticed that NGC 178 and IC 39 were actually the same object!Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #science #space #hubble #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A major Hurricane has intensified of the Gulf Cost of Texas On Aug. 24, the National Hurricane Center… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A major Hurricane has intensified of the Gulf Cost of TexasOn Aug. 24, the National Hurricane Center noted that Hurricane Harvey was quickly strengthening and is forecast to be a category 3 Hurricane when it approaches the middle Texas coast. In addition, life-threatening storm surge and freshwater flooding expected.On Aug. 24, many warnings and watches were in effect: A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass Texas. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from south of Port Mansfield Texas to the mouth of the Rio Grande River and from north of San Luis Pass to High Island, Texas.  A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to Matagorda, Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Matagorda to High Island, Texas and south of Port Mansfield, Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande. A Hurricane Watch is in effect from south of Port Mansfield, Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from south of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan, Mexico.GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Tropical Storm Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, August 24, 2017. Geocolor imagery enhancement shown here displays geostationary satellite data in different ways depending on whether it is day or night. This image, captured as daylight moves into the area, offers a blend of both, with nighttime features on the left side of the image and daytime on the right.Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project #Harvey #Hurricane #texas #weather | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA's EPIC view of the #Eclipse2017 is um....epic! From a million miles out in space, NASA’s Earth… read more
NASA's EPIC view of the #Eclipse2017 is um....epic! From a million miles out in space, NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured natural color images of the moon’s shadow crossing over North America on Aug. 21, 2017. EPIC is aboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), where it photographs the full sunlit side of Earth every day, giving it a unique view of total solar eclipses. EPIC normally takes about 20 to 22 images of Earth per day, so this animation appears to speed up the progression of the eclipse.Credit: NASA EPIC Team #nasagoddard #epic #science #space #earth #eclipse | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The #eclipse has started! The Moon is seen as it starts passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse… read more
North Cascades National Park
The #eclipse has started! The Moon is seen as it starts passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #eclipse #eclipse2017 #nasa | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The RockSat-X student payload was successfully launched on a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital… read more
Wallops Flight Facility
The RockSat-X student payload was successfully launched on a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket at 5:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 13, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.The payload flew to an altitude of 94 miles during its suborbital flight. It descended by parachute and landed in the Atlantic Ocean where it was recovered.More than 100 students from 15 universities and community colleges from across the Unites States participating in RockSat-X were on hand to witness the launch.The experiments were flown through the RockSat-X program in conjunction with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. RockSat-X is the most advance of NASA’s three-phase sounding rocket program for students. The RockOn launches are at the entry level then progress to the intermediate level RockSat-C missions, culminating with the advanced RockSat-X. Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #nasagoddard #rocket #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble's Hockey Stick Galaxy ?? The star of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble's Hockey Stick Galaxy ?? The star of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 4656, located in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). However, it also has a somewhat more interesting and intriguing name: the Hockey Stick Galaxy! The reason for this is a little unclear from this partial view, which shows the bright central region, but the galaxy is actually shaped like an elongated, warped stick, stretching out through space until it curls around at one end to form a striking imitation of a celestial hockey stick.This unusual shape is thought to be due to an interaction between NGC 4656 and a couple of near neighbors, NGC 4631 (otherwise known as The Whale Galaxy) and NGC 4627 (a small elliptical). Galactic interactions can completely reshape a celestial object, shifting and warping its constituent gas, stars, and dust into bizarre and beautiful configurations.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #Hockey #space #science #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Morphologies, masses, and structures - oh, my! This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Morphologies, masses, and structures - oh, my! This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). This image was produced by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as it embarked upon compiling the first Hubble ultraviolet “atlas,” for which the telescope targeted 50 nearby star-forming galaxies. The collection spans all kinds of different morphologies, masses, and structures. Studying this sample can help us to piece together the star-formation history of the Universe.By exploring how massive stars form and evolve within such galaxies, astronomers can learn more about how, when, and where star formation occurs, how star clusters change over time, and how the process of forming new stars is related to the properties of both the host galaxy and the surrounding interstellar medium (the gas and dust that fills the space between individual stars). This galaxy was imaged with observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA  #nasagoddard #space #science #galaxy #star #hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA snaps nighttime view of a massive Delaware-sized Iceberg split in Antarctica -- As Antarctica remains… read more
NASA snaps nighttime view of a massive Delaware-sized Iceberg split in Antarctica -- As Antarctica remains shrouded in darkness during the Southern Hemisphere winter, the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on Landsat 8 captured a new snap of the 2,240-square-mile iceberg that split off from the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf on July 10-12. The satellite imagery is a composite of Landsat 8 as it past on July 14 and July 21 and shows that the main berg, A-68, has already lost several smaller pieces. The A-68 iceberg is being carried by currents northward out of its embayment on the Larsen C ice shelf. The latest imagery also details a group of three small, not yet released icebergs at the north end of the embayment.Credits: NASA Goddard/UMBC JCET, Christopher A. Shuman #nasagoddard #iceberg #Antarctica #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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#RIPChester of Linkin Park Who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million stars It flickers,… read more
#RIPChester of Linkin Park Who cares if one more light goes out?In a sky of a million starsIt flickers, flickers....Well I do-Chester BenningtonTimelapse of V838 Monocerotis (dying star) by NASA Hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble’s Hunting Dog Galaxy Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble’s Hunting Dog GalaxyTucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us. At this distance from Earth, actually not all that far on a cosmic scale, NGC 4242 is visible to anyone armed with even a basic telescope, as British astronomer William Herschel found when he discovered the galaxy in 1788.This image shows the galaxy’s bright center and the surrounding dimmer and more diffuse “fuzz.” Despite appearing to be relatively bright in this image, studies have found that NGC 4242 is actually relatively dim (it has a moderate-to-low surface brightness and low luminosity) and also supports a low rate of star formation. The galaxy also seems to have a weak bar of stars cutting through its asymmetric center, and a very faint and poorly-defined spiral structure throughout its disk. But if NGC 4242 is not all that remarkable, as with much of the Universe, it is still a beautiful and ethereal sight.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science #galaxy #universe #star #HuntingDog ?? | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash onto the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path.Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI) #nasagoddard #Hubble #Mars #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash onto the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path.Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI) #nasagoddard #Hubble #Mars #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble Spots a Barred Lynx Spiral Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago,… read more
Hubble Spots a Barred Lynx SpiralDiscovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx. As this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows, NGC 2500 is a particular kind of spiral galaxy known as a barred spiral, its wispy arms swirling out from a bright, elongated core.Barred spirals are actually more common than was once thought. Around two-thirds of all spiral galaxies — including the Milky Way — exhibit these straight bars cutting through their centers. These cosmic structures act as glowing nurseries for newborn stars, and funnel material towards the active core of a galaxy. NGC 2500 is still actively forming new stars, although this process appears to be occurring very unevenly. The upper half of the galaxy — where the spiral arms are slightly better defined — hosts many more star-forming regions than the lower half, as indicated by the bright, dotted islands of light.There is another similarity between NGC 2500 and our home galaxy. Together with Andromeda, Triangulum and many smaller natural satellites, the Milky Way is part of the Local Group of galaxies, a gathering of over 50 galaxies all loosely held together by gravity. NGC 2500 forms a similar group with some of its nearby neighbors, including NGC 2541, NGC 2552, NGC 2537 and the bright, Andromeda-like spiral NGC 2481 (known collectively as the NGC 2841 group). Image Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA  #nasagoddard #space #science #MilkyWay #Galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica - Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica - Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about the size of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Now that nearly 5,800 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) of ice has broken away, the Larsen C shelf area has shrunk by approximately 10 percent.This false-color image was captured by Landsat’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). It shows the relative warmth or coolness of the landscape. Orange indicates where the surface is the warmest, most notably the mélange between the new berg and the ice shelf. Light blues and whites are the coldest areas, including the ice shelf and the iceberg.On July 13, the U.S. National Ice Center issued a press release confirming the new iceberg and officially naming it A-68.Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey #nasagoddard #earth #science #ice #iceberg | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about the size of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s… read more
Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about the size of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Now that nearly 5,800 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) of ice has broken away, the Larsen C shelf area has shrunk by approximately 10 percent.Scientists have been tracking the stability of this ice shelf for several years. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image (above) of the new iceberg on July 12, 2017. The false-color view uses MODIS band 31, which measures infrared signals known as “brightness temperature.” This measurement is useful for distinguishing the relative warmth or coolness of a landscape. Dark blue depicts where the surface is the warmest—most notably between the new iceberg and the ice shelf, but also in areas of open ocean or where water is topped by thin sea ice. Lighter blue colors show intact or thicker ice (cooler surfaces). Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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No, your screen isn't dirty and smudged with fingerprints, IC 342 is just a really challenging cosmic… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
No, your screen isn't dirty and smudged with fingerprints, IC 342 is just a really challenging cosmic target. (And you think getting that ultra cool selfie is tricky?!) Although it is bright, the galaxy sits near the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust. In order for astronomers to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, they must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy — no easy feat! As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the “Hidden Galaxy.” Located very close (in astronomical terms) to the Milky Way, this sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, depicting the very central region of the galaxy. A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus — a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen — that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Fires in Australia's Northern Territory and Bathurst Island NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color… read more
Fires in Australia's Northern Territory and Bathurst IslandNASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image of fires in Australia with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on June 30, 2017.  The image looks at multiple fires and smoke from those fires burning in northern Australia and the island of Bathurst on June 30, 2017. The Northern Territory fire incident map does show some incidents of grass and shrub fires, in the past 24 hours, but it also shows areas of what are called "strategic fires" which are those set by fire experts to rid an area of overgrowth, brush, dead grass and shrubs to prevent fires from spreading in the event of a lightning strike.NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #fire #weather #science #Australia | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble eyes a powerful galaxy with a name that is password worthy Not all galaxies have the luxury of… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble eyes a powerful galaxy with a name that is password worthyNot all galaxies have the luxury of possessing a simple moniker or quirky nickname.  This impressive galaxy imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is one of the unlucky ones, and goes by a name that looks more like a password for a computer:  2XMM J143450.5+033843. (That name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue!) Such a name may seem like a random jumble of numbers and letters, but like all galactic epithets it has a distinct meaning. This galaxy, for example, was detected and observed as part of the second X-ray sky survey performed by ESA’s XMM-Newton Observatory. Its celestial coordinates form the rest of the bulky name, following the “J”: a right ascension value of 14h (hours) 34m (minutes) 50.5s (seconds). This can be likened to terrestrial longitude. It also has a declination of +03d (degrees) 38m (minutes) 43s (seconds). Declination can be likened to terrestrial latitude. The other fuzzy object in the frame was named in the same way — it is a bright galaxy named 2XMM J143448.3+033749.2XMM J143450.5+033843 lies nearly 400 million light-years away from Earth. It is a Seyfert galaxy that is dominated by something known as an Active Galactic Nucleus — its core is thought to contain a supermassive black hole that is emitting huge amounts of radiation, pouring energetic X-rays out into the Universe.Photo credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #science #space #Hubble #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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July 4 fireworks came early when a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was successfully launched… read more
NASA Wallops Flight Facility
July 4 fireworks came early when a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was successfully launched at 4:25 a.m., Thursday, June 29, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.During the 8-minute flight, 10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can were ejected in space, 6 to 12 miles away from the 670-pound main payload.The canisters deployed blue-green and red vapor that formed artificial clouds visible from New York to North Carolina.During an ionosphere or aurora science mission, these clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.The development of the multi-canister ampoule ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously possible when deploying the tracers just from the main payload.Credit: NASA/Wallops #nasagoddard #rocket #4thofJuly #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Captures Hurricane Dora at Peak Strength, Before Weakening Began -- At 19:36 UTC (3:36 p.m. EDT)… read more
NASA Captures Hurricane Dora at Peak Strength, Before Weakening Began -- At 19:36 UTC (3:36 p.m. EDT) on June 26, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible-light image of Hurricane Dora. The VIIRS imagery showed a small hurricane with a visible pinhole eye surrounded by a thick band of powerful thunderstorms.That strength didn't last long as Dora moved over cooler waters and began to weaken early on June 27. Dora appeared degraded in satellite imagery as strong convection and thunderstorms were diminishing, although the storm still maintained a visible eye.At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Tuesday, June 27, Dora's maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts. Dora is a small tropical cyclone, as hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center. The NHC said the eye of Hurricane Dora was located near latitude 19.3 degrees north and longitude 110.2 degrees west. That's about 250 miles (400 km) south of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Dora was moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 kph). The NHC said the center of #Dora is expected to pass just north of Socorro Island later today, and remain well south of the #Baja California Peninsula.Ocean swells generated by Dora are affecting portions of the coast of southwest #Mexico and are expected to spread northwestward and begin affecting portions of the coast of the southern Baja #California peninsula through Wednesday, June 28.Dora is moving over sea surface temperatures cooler than 26.6 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the threshold to maintain a tropical cyclone. Temperatures cooler than that weaken tropical cyclones. The NHC said that the waters beneath Dora will continue to cool for the next couple of days so Dora is expected to weaken to a tropical storm later today, June 27, and degenerate to a remnant low pressure area over the next two days.Credit: NASA/NOAA #nasagoddard #Hurricane #weather #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Sees Quick Development of Hurricane Dora (Swiper, no swiping! ????) -- The fourth tropical cyclone… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA Sees Quick Development of Hurricane Dora (Swiper, no swiping! ????) -- The fourth tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season formed on June 25 and by June 26 it was already a hurricane. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Dora on June 25 when it was a tropical storm and the next day it became the first hurricane of the season. Tropical Depression Dora developed around 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 24 about 180 miles (290 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico. By 5 a.m. EDT on June 25, the depression had strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Dora.Seven and a half hours later, Dora showed signs of better organization. At 11 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted "Dora's cloud pattern has continued to quickly improve this evening. Several well-defined spiral bands wrap around the center and the CDO has become more symmetric and expanded since the previous advisory." At 5 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 26, Dora became the first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season. Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 kph) with higher gusts. The NHC said the eye of Hurricane Dora was located near latitude 16.7 degrees North and longitude 105.3 degrees West. That's about 170 miles (275 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Dora was moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 kph), and the NHC forecast said that general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Dora is expected to remain offshore of the coast of southwestern Mexico.Some strengthening is likely today before weakening is forecast to begin on Tuesday, June 27. For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.Credit: NASA/NOAA #nasagoddard #weather #science #Dora #Hurricane | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface.… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and despite their grass-like abundance, scientists didn’t understand how they form. Now, for the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng, producer #nasagoddard #Sun #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA's Webb Telescope "chilling out" in Houston for the #summer -- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope… read more
NASA's Johnson Space Center
NASA's Webb Telescope "chilling out" in Houston for the #summer -- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was placed in Johnson Space Center’s historic Chamber A on June 20, 2017, to prepare for its final three months of testing in a cryogenic vacuum that mimics temperatures in space.Engineers will perform the test to prove that the telescope can operate in space at these temperatures. Chamber A will simulate an environment where the telescope will experience extreme cold -- around 37 Kelvin (minus 236 degrees Celsius or minus 393 degrees Fahrenheit). In space, the telescope must be kept extremely cold, in order to be able to detect the infrared light from very faint, distant objects. To protect the telescope from external sources of light and heat (like the sun, Earth, and moon), as well as from heat emitted by the observatory, a five-layer, tennis court-sized sunshield acts like a parasol that provides shade. The sunshield separates the observatory into a warm, sun-facing side (reaching temperatures close to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and a cold side (185 degrees below zero). The sunshield blocks sunlight from interfering with the sensitive telescope instruments. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn #nasagoddard #jwst #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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By combining the power of a "natural lens" in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope,… read more
By combining the power of a "natural lens" in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery—the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang.Finding such a galaxy early in the history of the universe challenges the current understanding of how massive galaxies form and evolve, say researchers.Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), and the CLASH team#nasagoddard #space #science #hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A planetary nebula like IC 418, shown here, represents the final stage in the evolution of a star similar… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A planetary nebula like IC 418, shown here, represents the final stage in the evolution of a star similar to our sun. The star at the center of IC 418 was a red giant a few thousand years ago, but then ejected its outer layers into space to form the nebula. That nebula has now expanded to a diameter of about 0.1 light-year. The stellar remnant at the center was the hot core of the red giant, from which ultraviolet radiation flooded out into the surrounding gas, causing it to fluoresce. Over the next several thousand years, the nebula will gradually disperse into space, and then the star will cool and fade away for billions of years as a white dwarf. Our own sun is expected to undergo a similar fate, but fortunately this will not occur until some 5 billion years from now. Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2roofKSCredit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: Dr. Raghvendra Sahai (JPL) and Dr. Arsen R. Hajian (USNO) #nasagoddard #space #space #hubble #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is famous for its jaw-dropping snapshots of the cosmos. At first… read more
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is famous for its jaw-dropping snapshots of the cosmos. At first glance this Picture of the Week appears to be quite the opposite, showing just a blur of jagged spikes, speckled noise, and weird, clashing colors — but once you know what you are looking at, images like this one are no less breathtaking.This shows a distant galaxy — visible as the smudge to the lower right — as it begins to align with and pass behind a star sitting nearer to us within the Milky Way. This is an event known as a transit. The star is called HD 107146, and it sits at the center of the frame. Its light has been blocked in this image to make its immediate surroundings and the faint galaxy visible — the position of the star is marked with a green circle.The concentric orange circle surrounding HD 107146 is a circumstellar disk — a disk of debris orbiting the star. In the case of HD 107146 we see the disk face-on. As this star very much resembles our sun, it is an interesting scientific target to study: its circumstellar disk could be analogous to the asteroids in our Solar System and the Kuiper belt. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #space #science #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Boosted by natural magnifying lenses in space, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured unique close-up… read more
Boosted by natural magnifying lenses in space, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured unique close-up views of the universe's brightest infrared galaxies, which are as much as 10,000 times more luminous than our Milky Way.The galaxy images, magnified through a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, reveal a tangled web of misshapen objects punctuated by exotic patterns such as rings and arcs. The odd shapes are due largely to the foreground lensing galaxies' powerful gravity distorting the images of the background galaxies. The unusual forms also may have been produced by spectacular collisions between distant, massive galaxies in a sort of cosmic demolition derby.These six Hubble Space Telescope images reveal a jumble of misshapen-looking galaxies punctuated by exotic patterns such as arcs, streaks, and smeared rings. These unusual features are the stretched shapes of the universe's brightest infrared galaxies that are boosted by natural cosmic magnifying lenses. Some of the oddball shapes also may have been produced by spectacular collisions between distant, massive galaxies. The faraway galaxies are as much as 10,000 times more luminous than our Milky Way. The galaxies existed between 8 billion and 11.5 billion years ago.Credits: NASA, ESA, and J. Lowenthal (Smith College) #nasagoddard #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Now that NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has moved to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas,… read more
Now that NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has moved to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, a special Webb camera was installed there to continue providing daily video feeds on the telescope's progress.Space enthusiasts, who are fascinated to see how this next generation space telescope has come together and how it is being tested, are able to see the telescope’s progress as it happens by watching the Webb-cam feed online.The Web camera at NASA’s Johnson Space Center can be seen online at: http://jwst.nasa.gov/, with larger views of the cams available at: http://jwst.nasa.gov/webcam.html.Credit: NASA/Goddard/Desiree Stover #nasagoddard #jwst #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The Moon Just Photobombed NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) On May 25, 2017, the moon photobombed… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The Moon Just Photobombed NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)On May 25, 2017, the moon photobombed one of our sun-watching satellites by passing directly between the satellite and the sun.The lunar transit lasted almost an hour, between 2:24 and 3:17 p.m. EDT, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the sun’s face. The moon’s crisp horizon can be seen from this view because the moon has no atmosphere to distort the sunlight.SDO sees lunar transits about twice a year, and this one lasted about an hour with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the sun’s face.When they’re seen from Earth, we call lunar transits by another name: eclipses. Solar eclipses are just a special kind of transit where the moon blocks all or part of our view of the sun. Since SDO’s view of the sun was only partially blocked, it saw a partial eclipse. Later this year, on Aug. 21, a total eclipse will be observable from the ground: The moon will completely block the sun’s face in some parts of the US, creating a total solar eclipse on a 70-mile-wide stretch of land, called the path of totality, that runs from Oregon to South Carolina.Throughout the rest of North America — and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe and Asia — the moon will partially obscure the sun, creating a partial eclipse. SDO will also witness this partial eclipse. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO/Joy Ng | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A Whole New Jupiter -- Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A Whole New Jupiter -- Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection.Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles #nasagoddard #space #Jupiter #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Gulf of Alaska - The spring bloom in the Gulf of Alaska was well underway on April 12, 2017, when the… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Gulf of Alaska - The spring bloom in the Gulf of Alaska was well underway on April 12, 2017, when the Aqua/MODIS and Suomi-NPP/VIIRS data from which the above image was created were collected.Credit: NASA/Goddard/NPP #nasagoddard #Earth #science #Alaska | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Aims to Create First-Ever Space-Based Sodium Lidar to Study Poorly Understood Mesosphere A team… read more
NASA Aims to Create First-Ever Space-Based Sodium Lidar to Study Poorly Understood MesosphereA team of NASA scientists and engineers now believes it can leverage recent advances in a greenhouse-detecting instrument to build the world’s first space-based sodium lidar to study Earth’s poorly understood mesosphere.Scientist Diego Janches and laser experts Mike Krainak and Tony Yu, all of whom work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are leading a research-and-development effort to further advance the sodium lidar, which the group plans to deploy on the International Space Station if it succeeds in proving its flightworthiness. From its berth on the orbiting outpost, the instrument would illuminate the complex relationship between the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere that lies 40-100 miles above Earth’s surface — the region where Earth’s atmosphere meets the vacuum of space.Credit: NASA/Goddard/W. Hrybyk #nasagoddard #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA successfully launched the SubTec-7 payload on a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket at 5:45… read more
NASA successfully launched the SubTec-7 payload on a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket at 5:45 a.m. EDT, May 16, from the NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.The payload flew to an altitude of about 154 miles before descending by parachute and landing in the Atlantic Ocean. SubTec-7 provided a flight test for more than 20 technologies to improve sounding rocket and spacecraft capabilities. Good data was received during the flight.  The payload has been recovered.Credit: NASA/Wallops #nasagoddard #rocket #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare). Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instruments observed the galaxy from a distance of 500 million light-years.This particular object stands out from the crowd by actually being composed of two separate galaxies rushing past each other at about 2 million kilometers (1,243,000 miles) per hour. This speed is most likely too fast for them to merge and form a single galaxy. However, because of their small separation of only about 20,000 light-years, the galaxies will distort one another through the force of gravity while passing each other, changing their structures on a grand scale.Such galactic interactions are a common sight for Hubble, and have long been a field of study for astronomers. The intriguing behaviors of interacting galaxies take many forms; galactic cannibalism, galaxy harassment and even galaxy collisions. The Milky Way itself will eventually fall victim to the latter, merging with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4.5 billion years. The fate of our galaxy shouldn’t be alarming though: while galaxies are populated by billions of stars, the distances between individual stars are so large that hardly any stellar collisions will occur.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Observatories Combine to Crack Open the Crab Nebula Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Observatories Combine to Crack Open the Crab Nebula Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves seen by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to the powerful X-ray glow as seen by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. And, in between that range of wavelengths, the Hubble Space Telescope's crisp visible-light view, and the infrared perspective of the Spitzer Space Telescope.This composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.Credits: NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires) #nasagoddard #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Strands of plasma at the sun's edge shifted and twisted back and forth over a 22-hour period (May 2-3,… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Strands of plasma at the sun's edge shifted and twisted back and forth over a 22-hour period (May 2-3, 2017). In this close-up, the strands are being manipulated by strong magnetic forces associated with active regions. This kind of activity is not at all uncommon, but best viewed in profile. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. To give a sense of scale, the strands hover above the sun more than several times the size of Earth.https://go.nasa.gov/2qJzPD2 #nasagoddard #sun #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Our Suomi NPP satellite caught a clear view of Sweden and its neighbors the day before His Majesty Carl… read more
Our Suomi NPP satellite caught a clear view of Sweden and its neighbors the day before His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s visit to NASA Goddard yesterday. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Suomi NPP #nasagoddard #sweden | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in this NASA Hubble View Much like the eclectic group of space rebels… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in this NASA Hubble ViewMuch like the eclectic group of space rebels in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has some amazing superpowers, specifically when it comes to observing innumerable galaxies flung across time and space.A stunning example is a galaxy cluster called Abell 370 that contains an astounding assortment of several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. That’s a lot of galaxies to be guarding, and just in this one cluster!Photo caption: Galaxy cluster Abell 370 contains several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. Photographed in a combination of visible and near-infrared light, the brightest and largest galaxies are the yellow-white, massive, elliptical galaxies containing many hundreds of billions of stars each. Spiral galaxies have younger populations of stars and are bluish. Mysterious-looking arcs of blue light are distorted images of remote galaxies behind the cluster. The cluster acts as a huge lens in space that magnifies and stretches images of background galaxies like a funhouse mirror.Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz and the HFF Team (STScI) #nasagoddard #StarWarsDay #MayTheFourthBeWithYou #science #Hubble #stars | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Gigantic Wave Discovered in Perseus Galaxy Cluster Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory… read more
Gigantic Wave Discovered in Perseus Galaxy ClusterCombining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists has discovered a vast wave of hot gas in the nearby Perseus galaxy cluster. Spanning some 200,000 light-years, the wave is about twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy.The researchers say the wave formed billions of years ago, after a small galaxy cluster grazed Perseus and caused its vast supply of gas to slosh around an enormous volume of space. "Perseus is one of the most massive nearby clusters and the brightest one in X-rays, so Chandra data provide us with unparalleled detail," said lead scientist Stephen Walker at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The wave we've identified is associated with the flyby of a smaller cluster, which shows that the merger activity that produced these giant structures is still ongoing." Read more at nasa.govCredit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Stephen Walker #nasagoddard #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Suomi NPP capture this true-color image of the storms over the Midwest and US South on April 30, 2017.… read more
Suomi NPP capture this true-color image of the storms over the Midwest and US South on April 30, 2017. This images comes from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on NPP - Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.This vigorous weather system has generated severe weather over the mid-section of the U.S. and satellites are providing a look at it as it is moving toward the East Coast.Credit: NASA/NOAA/NPP/VIIRS #nasagoddard #weather #storm #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Goddard scientists will be available Tuesday to answer questions about a 200,000 light-year wave… read more
NASA Goddard scientists will be available Tuesday to answer questions about a 200,000 light-year wave found in the Perseus galaxy cluster. Submit your questions using #AskNASA on Twitter and Facebook. You can watch our Facebook page (Facebook.com/NASAGoddard/) for your reply.Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists discovered a wave of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster.www.nasa.gov/chandraCredit: NASA #nasagoddard #asknasa #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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One of our final views of @NASAWebb from the observation window at NASA Goddard. The James Webb Space… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
One of our final views of @NASAWebb from the observation window at NASA Goddard. The James Webb Space Telescope will soon travel to @NASAJohnson for more testing. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth #nasagoddard #jwst #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Star from the Lizard Constellation Photobombs Hubble Observation In space, being outshone is an occupational… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Star from the Lizard Constellation Photobombs Hubble ObservationIn space, being outshone is an occupational hazard. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a galaxy named NGC 7250. Despite being remarkable in its own right — it has bright bursts of star formation and recorded supernova explosions— it blends into the background somewhat thanks to the gloriously bright star hogging the limelight next to it.The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.Only this way can a normal star outshine an entire galaxy, consisting of billions of stars. Astronomers studying distant objects call these stars “foreground stars” and they are often not very happy about them, as their bright light is contaminating the faint light from the more distant and interesting objects they actually want to study.In this case, TYC 3203-450-1 is million times closer than NGC 7250, which lies more than 45 million light-years away from us.  If the star were the same distance from us as NGC 7250, it would hardly be visible in this image.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #space #galaxy #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Happy Earth Day! Explore the diverse colors, unique shapes and striking patterns of our very favorite… read more
Happy Earth Day!Explore the diverse colors, unique shapes and striking patterns of our very favorite planet, Earth - as only NASA can see it.Credit: NASA/Goddard #nasagoddard #earthday #earth #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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This entrancing image shows a few of the tenuous threads that comprise Sh2-308, a faint and wispy shell… read more
This entrancing image shows a few of the tenuous threads that comprise Sh2-308, a faint and wispy shell of gas located 5,200 light-years away in the constellation of Canis Major (The Great Dog). Sh2-308 is a large bubble-like structure wrapped around an extremely large, bright type of star known as a Wolf-Rayet Star — this particular star is called EZ Canis Majoris. These type of stars are among the brightest and most massive stars in the Universe, tens of times more massive than our own sun, and they represent the extremes of stellar evolution. Thick winds continually poured off the progenitors of such stars, flooding their surroundings and draining the outer layers of the Wolf-Rayet stars. The fast wind of a Wolf-Rayet star therefore sweeps up the surrounding material to form bubbles of gas.EZ Canis Majoris is responsible for creating the bubble of Sh2-308 — the star threw off its outer layers to create the strands visible here. The intense and ongoing radiation from the star pushes the bubble out farther and farther, blowing it bigger and bigger. Currently the edges of Sh2-308 are some 60 light-years apart!Beautiful as these cosmic bubbles are, they are fleeting. The same stars that form them will also cause their death, eclipsing and subsuming them in violent supernova explosions.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990,… read more
In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990, astronomers used the legendary telescope to take a portrait of a stunning pair of spiral galaxies. This starry pair offers a glimpse of what our Milky Way galaxy would look like to an outside observer.The edge-on galaxy is called NGC 4302, and the tilted galaxy is NGC 4298. These galaxies look quite different because we see them angled at different positions on the sky. They are actually very similar in terms of their structure and contents.In NGC 4298, the telltale, pinwheel-like structure is visible, but it's not as prominent as in some other spiral galaxies. In the edge-on NGC 4302, dust in the disk is silhouetted against rich lanes of stars. Absorption by dust makes the galaxy appear darker and redder than its companion. A large blue patch appears to be a giant region of recent star formation.  Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2pGyA4oCredits: NASA, ESA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science #galaxy | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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A new NASA-funded study says glacier shape matters and influences vulnerability to melting A new NASA-funded… read more
A new NASA-funded study says glacier shape matters and influences vulnerability to meltingA new NASA-funded study has identified which glaciers in West Greenland are most susceptible to thinning in the coming decades by analyzing how they’re shaped. The research could help predict how much the Greenland Ice Sheet will contribute to future sea level rise in the next century, a number that currently ranges from inches to feet. “There are glaciers that popped up in our study that flew under the radar until now,” said lead author Denis Felikson, a graduate research assistant at The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and a Ph.D. student in The University of Texas Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Felikson’s study was published in Nature Geoscience on April 17.  Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2pJJwNACaption: Terminus of Kangerlugssuup Sermerssua glacier in west Greenland.Photo credit: Denis Felikson, Univ. of Texas #nasagoddard #science #glacier #Greenland #ice #globalwarming | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Starburst galaxies contain regions where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is… read more
Starburst galaxies contain regions where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is eating up its gas supply faster than it can be replenished.NGC 4536 is such a galaxy, captured here in beautiful detail by the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Located roughly 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), it is a hub of extreme star formation. There are several different factors that can lead to such an ideal environment in which stars can form at such a rapid rate. Crucially, there has to be a sufficiently massive supply of gas. This might be acquired in a number of ways — for example by passing very close to another galaxy, in a full-blown galactic collision, or as a result of some event that forces lots of gas into a relatively small space.Star formation leaves a few tell-tale fingerprints, so astronomers can tell where stars have been born. We know that starburst regions are rich in gas. Young stars in these extreme environments often live fast and die young, burning extremely hot and exhausting their gas supplies fairly quickly. These stars also emit huge amounts of intense ultraviolet light, which blasts the electrons off any atoms of hydrogen lurking nearby (a process called ionization), leaving behind often colorful clouds of ionized hydrogen (known in astronomer-speak as HII regions).#space #galaxy #Hubble #nasagoddard #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Alien auroras spotted on Uranus by Hubble This is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Alien auroras spotted on Uranus by HubbleThis is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble — one for the ring and one for the auroras.Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images of the planets in the 1980s, planet-lovers have been hooked on auroras on other planets. Auroras are caused by streams of charged particles like electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism. They become caught in powerful magnetic fields and are channeled into the upper atmosphere, where their interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen, set off spectacular bursts of light.The auroras on Jupiter and Saturn are well-studied, but not much is known about the auroras of the giant ice planet Uranus. In 2011, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope became the first Earth-based telescope to snap an image of the auroras on Uranus. In 2012 and 2014 a team led by an astronomer from Paris Observatory took a second look at the auroras using the ultraviolet capabilities of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) installed on Hubble.They tracked the interplanetary shocks caused by two powerful bursts of solar wind traveling from the sun to Uranus, then used Hubble to capture their effect on Uranus’ auroras — and found themselves observing the most intense auroras ever seen on the planet. By watching the auroras over time, they collected the first direct evidence that these powerful shimmering regions rotate with the planet. They also re-discovered Uranus’ long-lost magnetic poles, which were lost shortly after their discovery by Voyager 2 in 1986 due to uncertainties in measurements and the featureless planet surface.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Lamy / Observatoire de Paris #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #planet #science #Uranus | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA's Hubble Takes Close-up Portrait of Jupiter On April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach… read more
NASA's Hubble Takes Close-up Portrait of JupiterOn April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in a year, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope viewed the solar system’s largest planet in all of its up-close glory. At a distance of 415 million miles (668 million kilometers) from Earth, Jupiter offered spectacular views of its colorful, roiling atmosphere, the legendary Great Red Spot, and it smaller companion at farther southern latitudes dubbed “Red Spot Jr.” Photo details: This dazzling Hubble Space Telescope photo of #Jupiter was taken when it was comparatively close to Earth, at a distance of 415 million miles. Hubble reveals the intricate, detailed beauty of Jupiter's clouds as arranged into bands of different latitudes, known as tropical regions. These bands are produced by air flowing in different directions at various latitudes. Lighter colored areas, called zones, are high-pressure where the atmosphere rises. Darker low-pressure regions where air falls are called belts. The planet's trademark, the Great Red Spot, is a long-lived storm roughly the diameter of Earth. Much smaller storms appear as white or brown-colored ovals. Such storms can last as little as a few hours or stretch on for centuries.Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (NASA Goddard) #nasagoddard #space #science #planet #Hubble | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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The sun emitted a trio of mid-level solar flares on April 2-3, 2017. The first peaked at 4:02 a.m. EDT… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The sun emitted a trio of mid-level solar flares on April 2-3, 2017. The first peaked at 4:02 a.m. EDT on April 2, the second peaked at 4:33 p.m. EDT on April 2, and the third peaked at 10:29 a.m. EDT on April 3. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of the three events. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.Caption: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare peaking at 10:29 a.m. EDT on April 3, 2017, as seen in the bright flash near the sun’s upper right edge. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is typically colorized in teal.Credits: NASA/SDO #nasagoddard #sun #sdo #flare | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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"April Fool’s Day" comet to pass by Earth tonight! -- On April 1, 2017, comet 41P will pass closer than… read more
"April Fool’s Day" comet to pass by Earth tonight! -- On April 1, 2017, comet 41P will pass closer than it normally does to Earth, giving observers with binoculars or a telescope a special viewing opportunity. Comet hunters in the Northern Hemisphere should look for it near the constellations Draco and Ursa Major, which the Big Dipper is part of.Whether a comet will put on a good show for observers is notoriously difficult to predict, but 41P has a history of outbursts, and put on quite a display in 1973. If the comet experiences similar outbursts this time, there’s a chance it could become bright enough to see with the naked eye. The comet is expected to reach perihelion, or its closest approach to the sun, on April 12.A member of the Jupiter family of comets, 41P makes a trip around the sun every 5.4 years, coming relatively close to Earth on some of those trips. On this approach, the comet will pass our planet at a distance of about 13 million miles (0.14 astronomical units), or about 55 times the distance from Earth to the moon. This is the comet’s closest approach to Earth in more than 50 years and perhaps more than a century.Photo caption: In this image taken March 24, 2017, comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák is shown moving through a field of faint galaxies in the bowl of the Big Dipper.Photo credit: Image copyright Chris Schur©, used with permission #nasagoddard #space #science #comet #earth | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble's gazes a double galaxy -- Some astronomical objects have endearing or quirky nicknames, inspired… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble's gazes a double galaxy -- Some astronomical objects have endearing or quirky nicknames, inspired by mythology or their own appearance. Take, for example, the constellation of Orion (The Hunter), the Sombrero Galaxy, the Horsehead Nebula, or even the Milky Way. However, the vast majority of cosmic objects appear in astronomical catalogs and are given rather less poetic names based on the order of their discovery.Two galaxies are clearly visible in this Hubble image, the larger of which is NGC 4424. This galaxy is cataloged in the New General Catalog of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (NGC), which was compiled in 1888. The NGC is one of the largest astronomical catalogs, which is why so many Hubble Pictures of the Week feature NGC objects. In total there are 7,840 entries in the catalog and they are also generally the larger, brighter, and more eye-catching objects in the night sky, and hence the ones more easily spotted by early stargazers.The smaller, flatter, bright galaxy sitting just below NGC 4424 is named LEDA 213994. The Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database (LEDA) is far more modern than the NGC and contains millions of objects.Many NGC objects still go by their initial names simply because they were christened within the NGC first. However, since astronomers can't resist a good acronym and “Leda” is more appealing than “the LMED,” the smaller galaxy is called "Leda." Leda was a princess in Ancient Greek mythology.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #hubble #nasagoddard #space #science #galaxy #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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LIVE on Facebook! Join us on the #JWST Facebook page, Friday, March 31st at 2pm ET/11am PT for a special… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
LIVE on Facebook!Join us on the #JWST Facebook page, Friday, March 31st at 2pm ET/11am PT for a special Facebook live: fb.com/webbtelescope You'll get the chance to peek inside @NASAGoddard's giant cleanroom at the face of the massive James Webb Space Telescope mirror, and hear from scientists and engineers who work on the mission. #facebooklive #nasagram #nasagoddard | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA's Operation IceBridge just completed a successful North Ellesmere Island mission. During its flight… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA's Operation IceBridge just completed a successful North Ellesmere Island mission. During its flight this week they captured twisting melt channels over Ellesmere Island. Credit: NASA/Jeremy Harbeck #nasagoddard #science #ice #snow #weather #snowsnake | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble snap a beautiful supernova explosion some 160,000 light-years from Earth -- Of all the varieties… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble snap a beautiful supernova explosion some 160,000 light-years from Earth -- Of all the varieties of exploding stars, the ones called Type Ia are perhaps the most intriguing. Their predictable brightness lets astronomers measure the expansion of the universe, which led to the discovery of dark energy. Yet the cause of these supernovae remains a mystery. Do they happen when two white dwarf stars collide? Or does a single white dwarf gorge on gases stolen from a companion star until bursting?If the second theory is true, the normal star should survive. Astronomers used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to search the gauzy remains of a Type Ia supernova in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. They found a sun-like star that showed signs of being associated with the supernova. Further investigations will be needed to learn if this star is truly the culprit behind a white dwarf's fiery demise.This image, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows the supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B. It is located 160,000 light-years from Earth in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. N103B resulted from a Type Ia supernova, whose cause remains a mystery. One possibility would leave behind a stellar survivor, and astronomers have identified a possible candidate.The actual supernova remnant is the irregular shaped dust cloud, at the upper center of the image. The gas in the lower half of the image and the dense concentration of stars in the lower left are the outskirts of the star cluster NGC 1850.The Hubble image combines visible and near-infrared light taken by the Wide Field Camera 3 in June 2014.Credit: NASA, ESA and H.-Y. Chu (Academia Sinica, Taipei) #nasagoddard #space #science #hubble #supernova #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Debbie Make Landfall in Queensland -- Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall… read more
NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Debbie Make Landfall in Queensland -- Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall in #Queensland bringing heavy rainfall, hurricane-force winds, rough seas, and flooding. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at the storm from space while NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed cloud temperatures to determine the location of the strongest storms within.Credit: NASA/NOAA/Suomi NPP #nasagoddard #weather #science #Australia #Cyclone | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Two galaxies in a cosmic dance defy conventions -- 60 million light-years away in the constellation of… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Two galaxies in a cosmic dance defy conventions -- 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo, the more diffuse and patchy blue glow covering the right side of the frame is known as NGC 3447B, while the smaller clump to the upper left is NGC 3447A.Known together as NGC 3447, we’re unsure what each looked like before they began to tear one another apart. So close that they are strongly influenced and distorted by the gravitational forces between them, the galaxies to twist themselves into the unusual and unique shapes seen here. NGC 3447A appears to display the remnants of a central bar structure and some disrupted spiral arms, both properties characteristic of certain spiral galaxies. Some identify NGC 3447B as a former spiral galaxy, while others categorize it as being an irregular galaxy.Credit: NASA/Hubble #nasagoddard #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Happy World Water Day ??? We're celebrating by sharing our favorite water planet, Earth! Viewed from… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Happy World Water Day ??? We're celebrating by sharing our favorite water planet, Earth!Viewed from space, the most striking feature of our planet is the water. In both liquid and frozen form, it covers 75% of the Earth’s surface. It fills the sky with clouds. Water is practically everywhere on Earth, from inside the rocky crust to inside our cells.This detailed, photo-like view of Earth is based largely on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. It is one of many images of our watery world featured in a new story examining water in all of its forms and functions. Here is an excerpt: “In all, the Earth’s water content is about 1.39 billion cubic kilometers (331 million cubic miles), with the bulk of it, about 96.5%, being in the global oceans. As for the rest, approximately 1.7% is stored in the polar icecaps, glaciers, and permanent snow, and another 1.7% is stored in groundwater, lakes, rivers, streams, and soil.Only a thousandth of 1% of the water on Earth exists as water vapor in the atmosphere. Despite its small amount, this water vapor has a huge influence on the planet. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, and it is a major driver of the Earth’s weather and climate as it travels around the globe, transporting heat with it.For human needs, the amount of freshwater for drinking and agriculture is particularly important. Freshwater exists in lakes, rivers, groundwater, and frozen as snow and ice. Estimates of groundwater are particularly difficult to make, and they vary widely. Groundwater may constitute anywhere from approximately 22 to 30% of fresh water, with ice accounting for most of the remaining 78 to 70%.” NASA image by Robert Simmon and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, based on MODIS data.Instrument:  Terra - MODIS via @NASAEarth #nasagoddard #earth #worldwaterday #science #space | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Alien crop circle? No, that’s just NASA’s newest balloon launch pad -- Aviators, skydivers and other… read more
Wanaka Airport
Alien crop circle? No, that’s just NASA’s newest balloon launch pad -- Aviators, skydivers and other altitude-seeking enthusiasts flying out of Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, are double taking at a new topographical feature reminiscent of an alien crop circle.Rest assured, the nearly 2,000-foot (600-meter) diameter circle with a pie-shaped wedge on one side and spokes on the other is no extraterrestrial footprint and it’s definitely no hoax. It’s NASA’s newest launch pad for launching the agency’s most advanced high-altitude, heavy-lift scientific balloon: the super pressure balloon.The four spokes emanating from the center and toward the west, each nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) long, align with magnetic compass directions at 240, 260, 290 and 320 degrees. On launch day, balloon flight experts from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility will assess meteorological data and determine if the conditions are suitable to support a launch opportunity. The new pad is the first major project in developing a long-term super pressure balloon launch site in #Wanaka. Earlier in 2017, NASA signed a 10-year lease with the Queenstown Airport Corporation to conduct balloon operations from a newly acquired piece of land adjacent to the Wanaka Airport.Credit: NASA/Dave Webb  #nasagoddard #Balloon #CropCircle #science #newzealand | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Hubble's Glittering Frisbee Galaxy This image from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) shows a section… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hubble's Glittering Frisbee Galaxy This image from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) shows a section of NGC 1448, a spiral galaxy located about 50 million light-years from Earth in the little-known constellation of Horologium (The Pendulum Clock). We tend to think of spiral galaxies as massive and roughly circular celestial bodies, so this glittering oval does not immediately appear to fit the visual bill. What’s going on?Imagine a spiral galaxy as a circular frisbee spinning gently in space. When we see it face on, our observations reveal a spectacular amount of detail and structure — a great example from Hubble is the telescope’s view of Messier 51, otherwise known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. However, the NGC 1448 frisbee is very nearly edge-on with respect to Earth, giving it an appearance that is more oval than circular. The spiral arms, which curve out from NGC 1448’s dense core, can just about be seen.Although spiral galaxies might appear static with their picturesque shapes frozen in space, this is very far from the truth. The stars in these dramatic spiral configurations are constantly moving as they orbit around the galaxy’s core, with those on the inside making the orbit faster than those sitting further out.This makes the formation and continued existence of a spiral galaxy’s arms something of a cosmic puzzle, because the arms wrapped around the spinning core should become wound tighter and tighter as time goes on — but this is not what we see. This is known as the winding problem.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #Hubble #star | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of a celestial puzzle by nabbing… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of a celestial puzzle by nabbing a third runaway star -- As British royal families fought the War of the Roses in the 1400s for control of England's throne, a grouping of stars was waging its own contentious skirmish — a star war far away in the Orion Nebula.The stars were battling each other in a gravitational tussle, which ended with the system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions. The speedy, wayward stars went unnoticed for hundreds of years until, over the past few decades, two of them were spotted in infrared and radio observations, which could penetrate the thick dust in the Orion Nebula.Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2ni3EZXCredits: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levy (STScI) #nasagoddard #space #science #hubble #star #stars | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Happy St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy this rare cloud-free, strikingly green and beautiful view of Ireland! It… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy this rare cloud-free, strikingly green and beautiful view of Ireland!It is easy to see from this true-color image why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle. Intense green vegetation, primarily grassland, covers most of the country except for the exposed rock on mountaintops. Ireland owes its greenness to moderate temperatures and moist air. The Atlantic Ocean, particularly the warm currents in the North Atlantic Drift, gives the country a more temperate climate than most others at the same latitude.Moist ocean air also contributes to abundant rainfall. Ireland receives between 750 and 2000 millimeters (29 and 78 inches) of rain per year, with more rain falling in the west and in the mountains. Most of the rain falls in light showers.This moist climate means plenty of clouds and fog. According to the Irish Meteorological Service, the sky is entirely cloudy more than 50 percent of the time. There are more clouds during the day than at night, and fog is common.The cloud-free view shown here is extremely rare. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the image on October 11, 2010, a time of year when Irish weather alternates between rainstorms from the west and cool, dry weather brought by high-pressure systems known as anticyclones.NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Holli Riebeek. #nasagoddard #science #earth #StPatricksDay #happystpatricksday | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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What happens when the lights are turned out in the enormous clean room that currently houses NASA's James… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
What happens when the lights are turned out in the enormous clean room that currently houses NASA's James Webb Space Telescope? The technicians who are inspecting the telescope and its expansive golden mirrors look like ghostly wraiths in this image as they conduct a "lights out inspection" in the Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.The clean room lights were turned off to inspect the telescope after it experienced vibration and acoustic testing. The contamination control engineer used a bright flashlight and special ultraviolet flashlights to inspect for contamination because it's easier to find in the dark.NASA photographer Chris Gunn said "The people have a ghostly appearance because it's a long exposure." He left the camera's shutter open for a longer than normal time so the movement of the technicians appear as a blur. He also used a special light "painting" technique to light up the primary mirror.The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.For more information about the Webb telescope visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webbImage Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn #nasagoddard #science #space #jwst | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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Satellites see major winter storm marching toward the U.S. East Coast NASA and NOAA satellites are providing… read more
Satellites see major winter storm marching toward the U.S. East CoastNASA and NOAA satellites are providing various views of the major winter storm marching toward the U.S. East coast on March 13. The storm is forecast to merge with another system and is expected to bring large snowfall totals from the Mid-Atlantic to New England. NASA's Aqua satellite gathered infrared data from the storm system and the area ahead of the storm for cloud and ground temperatures. NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided visible and infrared imagery that showed the extent and the movement of the system.Forecasters at the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center (WPC) noted that the low pressure system crossing the Midwest states and Ohio Valley is expected to merge with another low off the southeast U.S. coast. WPC stated "This will allow for a strong nor'easter to develop near the coast and cause a late-season snowstorm from the central Appalachians to New England, including many of the big cities in the Northeast U.S." Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project #nasagoddard #snow #winter #science #earth | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA’s Aerial Survey of Polar Ice Expands Its Arctic Reach For the past eight years, Operation IceBridge,… read more
Arctic/Longyearbyen
NASA’s Aerial Survey of Polar Ice Expands Its Arctic ReachFor the past eight years, Operation IceBridge, a NASA mission that conducts aerial surveys of polar ice, has produced unprecedented three-dimensional views of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, providing scientists with valuable data on how polar ice is changing in a warming world. Now, for the first time, the campaign will expand its reach to explore the Arctic’s Eurasian Basin through two research flights based out of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the northern Atlantic Ocean. More: http://go.nasa.gov/2ngAxX2Credits: NASA/Nathan Kurtz #science #nasagoddar #snow #ice | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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This beautiful Hubble image reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This beautiful Hubble image reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, yet home to one of the largest stars ever discovered.Stars are classified according to their spectral type, surface temperature, and luminosity. While studying and classifying the cluster’s constituent stars, astronomers discovered that Westerlund 1 is home to an enormous star.  Originally named Westerlund 1-26, this monster star is a red supergiant (although sometimes classified as a hypergiant) with a radius over 1,500 times that of our sun. If Westerlund 1-26 were placed where our sun is in our solar system, it would extend out beyond the orbit of Jupiter.Most of Westerlund 1’s stars are thought to have formed in the same burst of activity, meaning that they have similar ages and compositions. The cluster is relatively young in astronomical terms —at around three million years old it is a baby compared to our own sun, which is some 4.6 billion years old.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science #star #MilkyWay | © instagram.com/nasagoddard
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NASA missions studies magnetic space explosions Every day, invisible magnetic explosions are happening… read more
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA missions studies magnetic space explosionsEvery day, invisible magnetic explosions are happening around Earth, on the surface of the sun and across the universe. These explosions, known as magnetic reconnection, occur when magnetic field lines cross, releasing stored magnetic energy. Such explosions are a key way that clouds of charged particles — plasmas — are accelerated throughout the universe. In Earth’s magnetosphere — the giant magnetic bubble surrounding our planet — these magnetic reconnections can fling charged particles toward Earth, triggering auroras. Read more: http://go.nasa.gov/2mnMtDmVideo caption - In this simulation, a reconnection even pushes a blob of plasma toward Earth. The jet blown in the opposite direction wobbles due to the unstable conditions.Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Yi-Hsin Liu/Joy Ng, producer#nasagoddard #sun #space #science | © instagram.com/nasagoddard