I’ve got sunshine….on a spacewalking day! During this month’s second of three spacewalks, NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) and Mark Vande Hei were welcomed with a beautiful sunrise. Bresnik posted this image to his social accounts saying, “A glorious sunrise greeted [astronaut Mark Vande Hei] and I at the start of our 2nd #spacewalk. His visor reflection shows the airlock hatch we came out”. During this spacewalk, Bresnik and Vande Hei lubricated parts of the station’s robotic arm, replaced a smudged lens cover on an exterior camera and removed two handrails in preparation for a future wireless antenna installation.
Currently, there are six people living and working on the International Space Station (@iss). During their stay on the orbiting laboratory, they conduct important science and research that will not only help life here on Earth, but will aid our journey deeper into space.
Tune in for the third of three spacewalks this month on Friday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 a.m. EDT. You can watch live as two astronauts venture outside the space station at nasa.gov/live
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#spacewalk#sun#sunrise#spacestation#astronaut#astronauts#earth#hatch#picoftheday#research#science#repair
Round and round they go - then BOOM! This animation begins with the final moments of two neutron stars (the super-dense cores of exploded massive stars), whirling around each other in a galaxy 130 million light-years away. Gravitational waves (rippling disturbance in space-time, shown here as pale arcs) bleed away orbital energy, causing the stars to move closer together and merge.
As the stars collide, this explosive event emits light across a series of different wavelengths - first gamma rays (magenta), then ultraviolet (violet), then visible and infrared (blue-white to red) and once the jet directed toward us expanded into our view from Earth, X-rays (blue). Our Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope witnessed this event on August 17, 2017 and we watched it unfold over multiple days with a variety of other telescopes, including the Swift spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), the Spitzer Space Telescope, our Chandra X-Ray Observatory (@NASAChandraXray) and our NuSTAR mission. The detectors at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) received a gravitational wave signal just 1.7 seconds before the first light was seen by Fermi, making this the first event observed in both light and gravitational waves.
Credit: @NASAGoddard/CI Lab #space#nasa#universe#galaxy#stars#astrophysics#astronomy#science#gammarays#ultraviolet#infrared#xrays#gravitationalwaves#neutronstars#hubble#chandra#spitzer#nustar#fermi#swift
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 the one imaged here by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), can produce stars at a hair-raising rate.
In fact, this galaxy has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way! 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.
Today we’re celebrating the 70th anniversary of supersonic flight, which is faster than the speed of sound! For 70 years, barriers have been broken as planes loudly flew supersonic. Now, we’re working to make history again in a quieter, revolutionary way.
Our supersonic research has brought us ever closer to making commercial supersonic flight over land a reality. That would mean you could travel from New York to Los Angeles in 2 hours.
These efforts have dealt with research in several areas, including the use of cutting-edge visualization technology to study shockwaves, the use of F-15 aircraft to examine methods for improved cruise efficiency, the integration of displays to help pilots monitor the audial effects of supersonic flight and the impacts of the environment on sonic booms.
Image 1 Credit: NASA
Image 2 Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin
Image 3 Credit: USAF #nasa#supersonic#fastflight#flight#70#70years#anniversary#aircraft#future#aeronautics#aero#speedofsound#sound#barrier#break#picoftheday#quiet
Dawn brings the sight of Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s reusable spacecraft, as it sits on the runway at our Armstrong Flight Research Center (@nasaarmstrong) where it’s being tested and prepped to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (@iss) under a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) contract. The data gathered from this test campaign will help influence and inform the final design of the cargo Dream Chaser, which will fly at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024.
Commercial Resupply Services contracts are designed to obtain cargo delivery services to the space station, disposal of unneeded cargo, and the return of research samples and other cargo from the station back to Earth. In 2016, three cargo contracts were awarded to Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia (@Orbital_ATK); Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada (@SierraNevCorp); and SpaceX of Hawthorne, California (@SpaceX). These recipients will ensure the critical science, research and technology demonstrations that are informing our journey to Mars are delivered to the International Space Station from 2019 through 2024.
Goodbye to the dark side. Stunning views like this image of Saturn’s night side are only possible thanks to our robotic emissaries like the Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini mission ended its 13 year journey at Saturn on Sept. 15 with a fateful dive into the planet’s atmosphere. Until future missions are sent to the ringed planet, Cassini’s image-rich legacy must suffice.
Because Earth is closer to the Sun than Saturn, observers on Earth only see Saturn’s day side. With spacecraft, we can capture views – and data – that are simply not possible from Earth, even with the largest telescopes.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute #nasa#space#saturn#cassini#spacecraft#grandfinale#mission#rings#dark#darkside#sun#earth#planets#solarsystem#astronomy#telescope#observe#science#picoftheday
Can you find the two tiny humans among the vastness of space in this image from yesterday’s spacewalk? Hint: They’re wearing white and only the legs and feet of one of them can be seen.
Early yesterday morning, astronauts Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) and Mark Vande Hei ventured outside the International Space Station (@iss) for 6 hours and 26 minutes to perform maitenance on the robotic arm used to capture visiting spacecraft and other objects. They sucessfully completed all planned tasks and even had time to acomplish a few get-ahead items, like replacing a smudged lens cover on an external camera and removing two handrails from outside one of the station’s modules.
Currently, six people are living and working on the orbiting laboratory, conducting important science and research that will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us venture deeper into space than ever before.
Credit: @sergeyiss #nasa#space#spacestation#astronauts#astronaut#spacewalk#earth#people#humans#tiny#white#spacesuit # #maitenance#repair#picoftheday#spacepic#solarsystem#vast#outerspace
Parts of northern California have been ravaged by intense and fast-burning wildfires that broke out on October 8. Blazes that started on a few hundred acres around Napa Valley were fanned by strong northeasterly winds, and by October 10, the 14 fires had consumed as much as 100,000 acres of land. NASA Earth observing satellites capture images of the fires from their unique vantage point in space.
States of emergency have been declared in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, and Mendocino counties, and thousands of people were asked to evacuate. The densely populated “wine country” is famous for its vineyards and wine-making operations and the tourists they attract.
Shadowed by the grandeur of Jupiter (@nasajuno), two of the planet’s largest moons – Io and Europa – are seen here in this image captured by our Juno spacecraft on Sept. 1. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 17,098 miles from the cloud tops of the planet.
Closer to the planet, the Galilean moon of Io can be seen. In the distance (to the left), another on of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, Europa, is visible.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko #nasa#space#juno#jupiter#io#europa#moon#moons#planet#galilean#solarsystem#picoftheday#junocam#spacecraft
Over a 17-hour period, a pair of active regions – with solar plasma heated to over a million degrees – rotated into our Solar Dynamic Observatory’s view Oct. 4-5. They were observed in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.
The arches above the regions consist of charge particles spinning along and revealing magnetic field lines. Each one shows a few minor bursts of material, none of which were serious.
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#sun#SUNday#picoftheday#solarsystem#universe#yellow#light#magnetic#plasma#hot
Stacked “bubbles” of the so-called Honeycomb Nebula are seen here among spindly, spidery filaments of gas in the Tarantula Nebula. These bubble-like shapes are likely only seen because of the Hubble Space Telescope’s (@nasahubble) unique viewpoint.
At a distance of 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud – which is home to these “bubbles” – 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.
Suited Up for a Day's Work: Astronaut Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) is seen wearing his spacewalking suit, an Extravehicular Mobility Unit, during an October 5 spacewalk to replace a degraded robotic arm "hand," called the Latching End Effector, on the tip of the International Space Station's (@ISS) robotic arm, the Canadarm2.
This was the first of three spacewalks planned for October. The second and third spacewalks will be devoted to lubricating the newly installed end effector and replacing cameras on the left side of the space station’s truss and the right side of the station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory.
Once every 53 days, our Juno spacecraft swings close to Jupiter, speeding over its clouds. In just two hours, Juno travels from a perch over Jupiter’s north pole through its closest approach, then passes over the south pole on its way back out. This sequence shows color-enhanced images from its 8th close pass on Sept. 1, 2017, with the south pole on the left (last image in the sequence) and the north pole on the right (first image in the sequence). Swipe to explore the sequence of images.
Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Fish-eye view of planet Earth. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik (@astrokomrade) captured this timelapse video from his unique vantage point on the International Space Station (@iss) , 250 miles above our home planet. He posted it to his social media accounts on Oct. 1 saying, “Desert sands, wispy clouds, and blue ocean, the cupola fish-eye spies many features along the spine of Africa in this #timelapse.” There are currently six people living and working on the space station, which is orbiting our planet at 17,500 mph. They are conducting important science and research on the orbiting laboratory that will not only help us send humans to deep space destinations, like Mars, but also has direct benefits to live here on Earth.
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#spacestation#international#science#research#laboratory#microgravity#earth#africa#sand#desert#ocean#clouds#fisheye#astronaut
We’re always looking for passionate and innovative techies to join the NASA team. From student opportunities to open technology competitions, see how you can get involved this #NationalTechiesDay by visiting our Tumblr at http://nasa.tumblr.com
Our techies are always testing new and cutting-edge ideas in extreme environments both here on Earth and in space. For example, techies working on our Deep Space Engine project are looking to create a spacecraft propulsion system that is high-performance, lightweight, compact and low-cost.
It’s National Techies Day…and here at NASA we have quite a few people who get REALLY excited about technology. Without techies and the technology they develop, we wouldn’t be able to do the amazing things we do at NASA, or on Earth and in space.
We love our techies! The passionate engineers, researchers and scientists who work on our technology efforts enable us to make a difference in the world around us. They are responsible for developing the pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed to achieve our current and future missions.
What’s up in the night sky for October?
This month you can catch planet pairs, our moon near red stars and more! Catch bright Venus in the predawn sky by looking for fainter Mars below it on Oct. 1, really close on the 5th and above Venus after that.
In the Oct. 8 – 11 predawn sky watch the moon glide near the Pleiades star cluster and pass near the red stars Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus and Betelgeuse in Orion.
Watch for more about when and where to look up this month!
Credit: NASA #nasa#space#stars#moon#stargazing#october#nightsky#saturn#venus#mars#planets#astronomy#whatsup#lookup#universe#solarsystem
Lightning bugs of the universe? Not exactly…
In this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image, galaxy 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. But the really remarkable feature of this image is the point-like objects around the galaxy. Revealed on a closer look: almost all of them are clusters of stars that belong to the galaxy. Each of them containing many hundreds of thousands of stars.
NGC 4874 is a giant elliptical galaxy, about ten times larger than our own Milky Way. 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.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasa#space#hubble#spacetelescope#telescope#spothubble#galaxy#star#cluster#beauty#universe#solarsystem#milkyway#astrophysics#lightyears#picoftheday
In the early morning hours of September 27, our Space Launch System (@NASA_SLS) core stage pathfinder is seen arriving by barge at our Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA. The SLS rocket is an advanced launch vehicle being built as humanity’s most powerful rocket ever. Within the rocket is the core stage, which will enable SLS to go beyond Earth’s orbit into deep space. The core stage pathfinder pictured here is similar in size, shape and weight to the 212-foot-tall core stage and will be used to test new shipping and handling equipment as well as procedures from the manufacturing site to the test site to the launch site. A pathfinder is built for testing to reduce the risk of damage to actual one-of-a-kind spaceflight hardware for SLS.
The Sun erupted with a solar flare, one of the largest of the current solar cycle on Sept. 10, 2017. Its source was the same sunspot region that produced flares the week before that. In this video, you see two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light at the same time and each reveals different features of the Sun. Both are colorized to identify in which wavelength they were observed. The coils of loops after the flare are the magnetic field lines reorganizing themselves after the eruption. The video covers about six hours.
Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory #nasa#space#sun#science#solar#solarflare#observatory#solarsystem#sunspot#eruption#rotate#orbit#spacecraft#flare
The origins of giant knife blades of ice found on Pluto by our New Horizons spacecraft were a mystery to scientists…but not any more! They now believe the structures are made almost entirely of methane ice, likely formed as a specific kind of erosion that wore away their surfaces. These jagged geological ridges are found at the highest altitudes on Pluto’s surface, near its equator, and can soar many hundreds of feet into the sky – as high as a New York City skyscraper.
Similar structures can be found in high-altitude snowfields along Earth’s equator, though on a very different scale than the blades on Pluto. The terrestrial structures, called penitentes, are snow formations just a few meters high, with striking similarities to the vastly larger bladed terrain on Pluto. Swipe to see the Earth comparison!
This time-lapse video from astronauts on the International Space Station (@ISS) shows an aurora above Canada beginning over the California coast, to North Dakota then on to Quebec when day breaks. Taken on Sept. 15, 2017, the orbiting laboratory is located 250 miles above Earth and is traveling at 17,500 miles per hour.
At any given time, the station is home to more than 250 experiments, including some that are helping us determine the effects of microgravity on the human body. Research on the station will not only help us send humans deeper into space than ever before, including to Mars, but also benefits life here on Earth.
Inside the Langley Research Center’s 4- by- 22 Foot Subsonic Tunnel, test engineer Samantha O’Flaherty completes setting up a model of QueSST, the Quiet Supersonic Technology. Over the next several weeks, engineers will conduct aerodynamic tests on the 15% scale model and the data collected will be used to predict how the vehicle will. The QueSST Preliminary Design is the initial design stage of our planned Low-Boom Flight Demonstration experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane. This is one of a series of potential future X-plane, one of the goals of which is to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise through innovations in aircraft design that depart from the conventional tube-and-wing aircraft shape.
Image Credit: NASA/Chris Giersch #aeronautics#picoftheday#nasa#supersonicflight#technology#research
This galaxy is a whirl of color! 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 eye. At 150 million light-years from Earth, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) highlighted NGC 6753 as one of only two known spiral galaxies that are both massive enough and close enough to make 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.
On its eighth flyby of Jupiter, our Juno spacecraft caught this striking view of the gas giant planet. Taken on Sept. 1, 2017, Juno was soaring 4,707 miles (7,576 km) from the tops of the planet's clouds in this view.
Juno is currently at Jupiter to understand the origin and evolution of the planet. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.
With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet's auroras. Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system.