Happy Thanksgiving from space! This timelapse video from 2015 shows what a family dinner looks like 250 miles above Earth on the International Space Station (@iss). While the crew living and working in space aren’t able to step outside to fire up the turkey frier, they do have the option to float on the ceiling while they eat their mashed potatoes.
Currently, there are six people living and working on the space station. During their time on the microgravity laboratory they are conducting important science and research that will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will also help us send humans deeper into space than ever before.
Today, we’re thankful to live on the only known planet capable of supporting and nourishing life as we know it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#thanksgiving#happythanksgiving#dinner#family#familydinner#friends#meal#thankful#grateful#earth#spacestation#astronauts#internationalspacestation
A developing filament near the edge of the Sun churned and twisted as the rotating Sun brought it into clearer view Nov. 16-17. Filaments are cooler and often unstable clouds of particles floating above the Sun’s surface, which are tethered by magnetic forces.
In extreme ultraviolet light, they appear darker than the Sun’s surface. The bright area to the right of the filament is an active region. The loop that appears behind the filament in the middle of the clip is made of charged particles tracing magnetic field lines.
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#sun#sdo#solardynamicsobservatory#solarobservatory#observatory#solar#churn#twist#filaments#active#solarsystem#star
An interstellar visitor…scientists have confirmed that an intriguing asteroid that zipped through our solar system in October is the first confirmed object from another star! New data reveal the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. Observations suggest that this unusual object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system.
The asteroid is up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly-elongated—perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide. While its elongated shape is quite surprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solar system, it may provide new clues into how other solar systems formed.
Two of our space telescopes (@NASAHubble and Spitzer) are tracking the object the week of Nov. 20. As of Monday, the asteroid is travelling about 85,700 miles per hour (38.3 kilometers per second) relative to the Sun.
Credit: European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser #nasa#space#interstellar#rocky#asteroid#solarsystem#milkyway#discovery#firstever#first#picoftheday#scientists
See that swirling cloud that looks like cream in coffee? It’s actually a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere. The bright clouds and their shadows range from approximately 4 to 8 miles in both widths and lengths. These appear similar to the small clouds in the other bright regions our Juno spacecraft (@NASAJuno) has detected and are expcted to be updrafts of ammonia ice crystals possibly mixed with water ice.
This image was captured on Oct. 24 at 10:32 a.m. EDT by our Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.
The 3rd time was a charm for @NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1)! It lifted off on a @Ulalaunch Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 4:47 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Approximately 63 minutes after launch, the solar arrays on JPSS-1 deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power and was on its own orbit.
JPSS-1 is equipped with five instruments, each of which is significantly upgraded from the instruments on NOAA’s previous polar-orbiting satellites. The more-detailed observations provided by JPSS-1 will allow forecasters to make more accurate predictions. JPSS-1 data will also improve recognition of climate patterns that influence the weather, such as El Nino and La Nina.
The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA.
Credit: @ULALaunch #nasa#spacecraft#satellite#jpss1#weather#liftoff#launch#rocket#orbit#space#rocketlaunch
A cosmic search for a missing arm… This image shows a dwarf galaxy, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), the picture reveals the single major spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance.
But why is there only one such spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two? Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disk of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy – only visible in the ultraviolet.
At first, astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy. They speculated this galactic neighbor may be the culprit, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim. The gas in the outermost regions of the neighboring dwarf galaxy has been strongly affected by the galaxy in this image.
Can you identify this river? This image, taken by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei shows the beauty of planet Earth from his unique vantage point on the International Space Station (@iss). He posted this to social media saying, “Can you identify this river? The views up here never get old, especially sun glinting off the water!”. Currently, there are six humans living and working on the orbiting laboratory where they conduct important science and research that will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before.
One of eight massive rotating storms that appear as white ovals, christened the "String of Pearls," was recently captured on Oct. 24 in this stunning Juno spacecraft image of Jupiter. It shows the southern hemisphere of the gas giant planet. Since 1986, these colossal white ovals have varied in number from six to nine.
Since arriving at Jupiter on July 4, 2016, Juno has been on a mission of exploration where it soars low over the planet's cloud tops -- as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 km). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/ Seán Doran #nasa#space#jupiter#juno#spacecraft#storm#planet#cloudscape#stringofpearls#solarsystem#astronomy#science
What's up in the night skies this #November? On Nov. 13 and 14, early risers all around the world will have a chance to see #Venus and #Jupiter together before dawn. At their closest on Monday morning, they will be about half the diameter of the full moon from each other.
This month, both Jupiter and Venus rise above the eastern horizon about an hour before the sun rises. You should be able to see the two planets about 5 degrees above the horizon a half hour later (5 degrees can be measured by holding three fingers of your outstretched hand to the horizon). Venus will be to the lower right of Jupiter on Monday, when they will be less than one finger length apart, and farther below Jupiter on the Tuesday.
Look with your binoculars, but take care not to aim on the horizon at the rising sun because you will damage your eyes. On Thursday, the moon will be visible above Jupiter in the dawn sky. A conjunction occurs when the apparent motion of one or both of two planets brings them into apparent proximity. In reality, since conjunctions are only from our perspective here on Earth, the objects are never really close to each other physically. You can make a conjunction by holding up your thumb near the moon in the sky: They look close together, but are really far apart.
Credit: NASA/JPL #astronomy#fun#free#night#sky#planets#stars#moon#NASA#JPL#whatsup#science#video#nightsky#stargazing#space#jupiter#venus
LIFT OFF! The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A at 7:19 a.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station (@ISS), set to rendezvous in two days.
This eighth cargo resupply mission by Orbital ATK (@Orbital_ATK) to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbiting laboratory and its crew.
Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #nasa#space#rocket#rocketlaunch#launch#wallops#orbitalatk#cygnus#antares#nasawallops#wff
'Twas the night before launch... Tomorrow morning at 7:37 a.m. EST, Orbital ATK (@OrbitalATK) will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station (@ISS) from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
This launch will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Live NASA TV coverage and commentary will begin at 7 a.m. EST on our website at www.nasa.gov/live.
The launch window is open for about five minutes, while the journey from launch to orbit takes about nine minutes. Cygnus is then scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Nov. 13.
Throwback Thursday: On November 9, 1967, the uncrewed Apollo 4 test flight made a great ellipse around Earth as a test of the translunar motors and of the high speed entry required of a crewed flight returning from the Moon. A 70mm camera was programmed to look out a window toward Earth, and take a series of photographs from "high apogee." Seen looking west are coastal Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean, West Africa and Antarctica. This photograph was made as the Apollo 4 spacecraft orbited Earth at an altitude of 9,544 miles.
The Saturn/Apollo 4 mission was the first all-up test of the three stage Saturn V rocket. It carried the Apollo Command and Service Module into Earth orbit. The mission was designed to test all aspects of the Saturn V launch vehicle and return pictures of Earth. The mission was deemed successful and ushered in a golden era of space travel.
Photo Credit: NASA #nasa#space#apollo#apollo4#saturnV#earth#picoftheday#solarsystem#astronomy#50years#tbt#throwbackthursday#planet#bluemarble#homeworld
Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus has geyser-like jets of water vapor that spew into space. Heat from friction could be their power-source, says a recent study that provided new insights into the warm interior of Saturn's geologically active moon.
Pictured here are the dramatic plumes, both large and small, that spray water ice out from many locations along the famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Enceladus. The tiger stripes are fissures that spray icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds. Individual jets of different sizes can be seen in this mosaic created from two high-resolution images that were captured by our Cassini spacecraft, when it flew past Enceladus and through the jets on Nov. 21, 2009.
While the Cassini spacecraft is gone, an enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons – will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come.
Jupiter’s intense northern and southern auroras present a pulsating polar puzzle to scientists, according to a new study using data from our Chandra X-ray and ESA's XMM-Newton observatories. Using these observations, a team of researchers produced maps of Jupiter's X-ray emissions and identified an X-ray hot spot at each pole that had very different characteristics. Swipe to see both poles of Jupiter.
The X-ray emission at Jupiter's south pole consistently pulsed every 11 minutes, but the X-rays seen from the north pole were erratic, increasing and decreasing in brightness — seemingly independent of the emission from the south pole. Each hot spot can cover an area equal to about half the surface of the Earth.
This makes Jupiter particularly puzzling. X-ray auroras have never been detected from our Solar System's other gas giants, including Saturn. Jupiter is also unlike Earth, where the auroras on our planet's north and south poles generally mirror each other because the magnetic fields are similar.
The history of the Universe has seen the formation of some enormous cosmic structures, including galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters — the largest known ones in the cosmos! This particular cluster is seen by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) and is rich since it contains at least 300 individual galaxies. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is that small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever larger.
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
What's up in the night skies this #November? The Moon shines near star clusters and there is meteor activity all month long. This video shows where and when to look to see this in the night sky.
Three meteor showers take place this month, with the Leonids peaking on a moonless November 17th. The Northern and Southern sub-branches of the Taurid meteor shower offer sparse counts of meteors and the Orionids peak on November 28th. In contrast to the Taurids, the Orionids are swift.
The moon also glides by three beautiful star clusters in the morning sky this month, and a pair of binoculars will allow you to see the individual stars in the clusters.
Is it still considered a photobomb if an asteroid gets in the way of our Hubble Space Telescope’s (@nasahubble) view? Some of our solar system’s asteroids – about 160 million miles from Earth – passed in front of deep images of the universe.
This Hubble photo of a random patch of sky is part of a survey called Frontier Fields. The colorful image contains thousands of galaxies, including massive yellowish elliptical and majestic blue spirals.
Much smaller, fragmentary blue galaxies are sprinkled throughout the field. The reddest objects are mostly likely the farthest galaxies, whose light has been stretched into the red part of the spectrum by the expansion of space.
Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI #nasa#space#hubble#photobomb#asteroid#deepfield#galaxies#universe#solarsystem#spacetelescope#hubble#picoftheday
Hot…hotter…hottest! This sequence of images shows the Sun from its surface – 6,000°C – to its upper atmosphere – 10,000,000°C –all taken at about the same time on Oct. 27. Yes, the Sun’s outer atmosphere is much, much hotter than the surface. Scientists are getting closer to solving the processes that generate this phenomenon.
The first image shows the surface of the Sun in filtered white light; the other seven images were taken in different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light. Swipe to see them all!
Each glowing speck in this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image is a different galaxy…except for the bright flash in the middle, which is actually a star within our own galaxy that just happened to be in the way.
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 image was taken in infrared as part of an observing program that looked at 41 massive galaxy clusters with the aim of finding the brightest distant galaxies for the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope to study. Such research will tell us more about our cosmic origins.
What do you think causes these squiggles on Mars?
Hellas Planitia is the largest visible impact basin in the Solar System and hosts the lowest elevations on Mars' surface. This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO) covers a small central portion of the basin and shows a dune field with lots of dust devil trails.
In the middle, we see what appears to be long and straight "scratch marks" running down the dune slopes. If we look closer, we can see these scratch marks actually squiggle back and forth on their way down the dune. These scratch marks are linear gullies.
Just like on Earth, high-latitude regions on Mars are covered with frost in the winter. However, the winter frost on Mars is made of carbon dioxide ice (dry ice) instead of water ice. We believe linear gullies are the result of this dry ice breaking apart into blocks, which then slide or roll down warmer sandy slopes, refining and carving as they go. The specific process that causes the formation and evolution of the squiggle pattern in linear gullies is a question scientists are still trying to answer.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
A small eruption on the Sun spewed a bright, disjointed stream of plasma into space, seen here by our Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct. 18. The source of the blast was just out of sight beyond the edge of the Sun.
This video — which covers about two hours — was taken in wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, which are typically invisible to our eyes but are colorized here in bronze.
Swipe to see the eruption as witnessed in visible light by ESA and NASA’s Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). You can see a bright loop of material heading away from the Sun near this same area. SOHO’s Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) instrument is able to take images of the solar corona by blocking the light coming directly from the Sun with an occulter disk, creating an artificial eclipse within the instrument itself. That’s why, in the second video, you see the Sun blocked out. The position of the solar disk is indicated in the video by the white circle.
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#sun#solar#erupt#eruption#bright#stream#plasma#solarsystem#ultraviolet
Saturn's graceful lanes of orbiting ice -- its iconic rings -- wind their way around the planet to pass beyond the horizon in this view from our Cassini spacecraft. Also visible is the gap between Saturn’s cloud tops and its innermost D ring through which Cassini would pass 22 times before ending its mission in spectacular fashion in Sept. 15, 2017.
While the Cassini spacecraft is gone, an enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons – will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come.
Jupiter’s moon Amalthea casts a shadow on the gas giant planet in this image captured by our Juno spacecraft on Sept. 1, 2017. The elongated shape of the shadow is a result of both the location of the moon with relation to Jupiter in this image as well as the irregular shape of the moon itself.
The image was taken as the Juno spacecraft was 2,397 miles (3,858 km) from the tops of the clouds of Jupiter during its eighth close flyby of the planet.
What happens when two galaxies become one? The twisted cosmic knot seen here by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) depicts just that. This celestial object 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 the 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 here.
Today, two humans worked outside the International Space Station (@iss) in the vacuum of space for 6 hours and 49 minutes. During their time outside, NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik (@astrokomrade) and Joe Acaba made important improvements to the orbiting laboratory. From a new HD camera installation, to fixing a blown fuse, the duo worked quickly and completed all of their planned tasks.
In this GIF, Acaba uses a grease tool to lubricate the bearings on the new latching end effector, which is like the “hand” of the space station’s robotic arm.
Currently, there are six people living and working on the orbiting laboratory. Every day they conduct important research and science that will not only help life here on Earth, but will help us venture deeper into the solar system than ever before.
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#spacestation#spacewalk#crew#astronaut#home#work#Friday#picoftheday#spacesuit#grease#camera#hd#fuse