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A cosmic phenomenon known as strong gravitational lensing is the cause of the mind-bending distortions visible in this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image. The enormous gravitational influence of the bright galaxy cluster at the center of the frame warps the very shape and fabric of its environment.
This effect is actually very useful for studying background galaxies. Through this effect the light from background galaxies in the line of sight to the observer is bent into fantastic arcs.
Behold, Saturn. Seen here in January 2010, the rings on the day side are illuminated both by direct sunlight and by light reflected off the planet's cloud tops, while rings on the night side have been brightened to more clearly reveal their features.
Our Cassini spacecraft took this image during its time at Saturn, which ended on Sept. 15, 2017. Cassini's finale plunge was a truly spectacular end for one of the most scientifically rich voyages yet undertaken in our solar system. And although the spacecraft may be gone, its enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet itself, its magnetosphere, rings and moons — will continue to yield new discoveries for decades.
Happy #NationalMoonDay! To celebrate the 49th anniversary of #Apollo11 Moon landing, we present you with “Moonlight,” a video by one of our @NASAGoddard Visualizers set to Debussy’s Clair de Lune. The visualization was compiled using 9 years of topographic and visual data from our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to create a stunning portrait of one lunar cycle. Make sure to turn the sound on!
Satellites are crucial to our everyday lives but are expensive to build and launch, and their lifespan is limited by the fuel on board. To change this, we're testing satellite servicing technology to make satellites more sustainable, affordable and resilient. These satellite servicing technologies are opening up a new world where space robots diagnose, maintain and extend a spacecraft’s life.
Seen here at our Goddard Space Flight Center (@NASAGoddard), a 10 by 16-foot robot tests satellite servicing capabilities on Earth before they’re put to use in space. Sitting on top of the six-legged hexapod is a partial mock-up of a satellite. Mounted to a panel close by is an advanced robotic arm. Together, these robots practice a calculated dance. As the hexapod moves, it mimics microgravity as the robotic arm reaches out to grab the satellite.
We're working to prove the combination of technologies necessary to robotically refuel a satellite in orbit that was not designed to be serviced. The same technologies developed for the Restore-L project will advance in-orbit repair, upgrade and assembly capabilities.
Seeing Sextuple! These six infrared images of Saturn's moon Titan, as compared with the center image of Titan as it appears in natural light, represent some of the clearest, most seamless-looking global views of the icy moon's surface produced so far. The views were created using 13 years of data acquired by an instrument on board our Cassini spacecraft. The images are the result of a focused effort to smoothly combine data from different observations made under various lighting and viewing conditions.
Observing the surface of Titan is difficult because of the haze surrounding it and small particles called aerosols in the upper atmosphere that scatter visible light. While this is the case, Titan’s surface can be more readily observed in a few infrared "windows" - infrared wavelengths where scattering and absorption of light is much weaker. This is where our instrument excelled, parting the haze to obtain these clear images of Titan’s surface.
This unique set of images shows Titan’s complex surface, sporting myriad geologic features and compositional units. Our technology has paved the way for future infrared instruments that could observe Titan at much higher resolutions, revealing features that were not detectable by any of Cassini’s instruments.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stéphane Le Mouélic, University of Nantes, Virginia Pasek, University of Arizona #nasa#space#saturn#solarsystem#infrared#spacecraft#titan#science
The ethereal beauty of planet Earth is perfectly captured in this image taken by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (@Astro_Ricky). From the vantage point of the International Space Station (@ISS), Arnold was able to see the orange and brown hues of the Namib Desert and the contrasting blues of the Atlantic Ocean.
Currently, six humans are living and working 250 miles above our planet on the orbiting laboratory. During their time in space, they conduct important science and research that not only benefits life on our planet, but will help send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before.
Acquired on April 1, this image from our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows Aram Chaos, a 280 kilometer-diameter ancient impact crater that lies within in the Southern Highlands of Mars. The chiseled light-toned layers, composed largely of the iron-oxide hematite and water-altered silicates, indicate that this crater once held a lake. Yet another nod to the Red Planet’s rich geologic past.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
From 250 miles above Earth, orbiting the planet at 17,500 mph aboard the International Space Station (@iss), astronaut Ricky Arnold (@Astro_Ricky) captured this photograph of changing landscape in the heart of Madagascar. You can see drainage into the sea in the Betsiboka Estuary due to decimation of rainforests and coastal mangroves.
Currently six humans are living and working on the orbiting lab, where important research and science is being conducted. Benefits of this work will not only advance life here on Earth, but will also help our efforts to send people deeper into the solar system than ever before.
Glowing warmly against the dark backdrop of the universe, this irregular galaxy seen by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) contains bright pockets of star formation. Located approximately 70 million light-years away, it’s host to a particularly interesting exploded star, also known as a supernova.
In November 2008, 14-year-old Caroline Moore from New York discovered this supernova, which made her the youngest person at the time to have discovered one. Follow-up observations by professional astronomers showed that it was peculiarly interesting in many different ways.
First, its host galaxy rarely produces supernovae. It is also one of the faintest supernovae ever observed and after the explosion it expanded very slowly, suggesting that the explosion did not release copious amounts of energy as usually expected. Astronomers have now classified it as a subclass of a Type Ia supernova, which is the explosion of a white dwarf that hungrily accretes matter from a companion star. It may have may have been the result of a partially failed supernova, explaining why the explosion failed to decimate the whole star.
A room with Earth views! Earlier this week, astronaut Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) captured this spectacular view of our home planet while he was orbiting at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. If you’re wondering where in the world this video was taken, it starts as the International Space Station (@ISS) is above San Francisco and moving southward through the Americas. Each day, the station completes 16 orbits of our home planet as the six humans living and working aboard our orbiting laboratory conduct important science and research. Their work will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us venture deeper into space than ever before.
This animation shows a supermassive black hole billions of times the mass of the Sun. This particular black hole anchors a type of galaxy called a blazar, which produces two jets of particles moving at nearly the speed of light — one of which points almost directly at Earth.
On September 22, our Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope saw a powerful flare of high-energy light from this blazar. At the same time, the National Science Foundation’s (@nsfgov) IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole detected a neutrino — a high-energy cosmic particle — from the same direction.
The neutrino was the first we’ve ever detected from a source outside our galactic neighborhood, and this discovery is also the first time we’ve seen light and a neutrino from the same black hole source. Fermi and IceCube’s work represents a new chapter in multimessenger astronomy – viewing the same event using different messengers like light, particles and gravitational waves. #nasa#space#science#astronomy#blackhole#galaxy#light#particles#gammaray#blazar#neutrino
Did you know that craters left by asteroids that previously impacted Earth can be seen from space? NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (@Astro_Ricky) snapped these images from his vantage point 250 miles above our planet on the International Space Station (@iss). He posted them to his social media accounts saying, “Visitors from deep space have visited Earth before and will again. Impact craters in #Quebec#Namibia#Arizona.” Six humans are currently orbiting Earth at 17,500 mph as they live and work on the orbiting laboratory. During their time in space, they conduct important science and research that not only benefits life here at home, but will also help send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before.
Credit: @Astro_Ricky #nasa#space#asteroid#crater#spacestation#impact#deepspace#imageoftheday#beatuiful#astronaut#photography