Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Super Typhoon Trami, Western Pacific | NOAA

Less than ten days after Super Typhoon Mangkhut battered the Philippines and southern China, another powerful tropical cyclone is churning through the western Pacific Ocean.

Super Typhoon Trami, seen here from the NOAA-20 polar orbiting satellite at 12:23 a.m. EDT September 24, could threaten parts of Taiwan and Japan's Ryukyu Islands later this week. About eight hours after NOAA-20 captured this image of the storm, Trami's one-minute sustained winds had reached 150 mph —the threshold at which the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center considers a tropical cyclone to have achieved "super typhoon" status.

Trami first developed as a tropical storm on September 21, but quickly strengthened as it moved across the warm waters of the Philippine Sea. Over a 24-hour period ending September 23, Trami had morphed from a tropical storm with 65 mph winds to a dangerous Category 4 tropical cyclone with winds of 130 mph. Forecasts show Trami's peak winds may reach Category 5 intensity (157 mph or greater) over the next 24 hours as the storm moves west-northwest into the warm waters of the East China Sea.

This image was captured by the NOAA-20 satellite's VIIRS instrument, which scans the entire globe twice daily at a 750-meter resolution. The VIIRS sensor provides high-resolution visible and infrared imagery of Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans, and helps atmospheric scientists monitor severe weather events such as tropical cyclones (which are commonly referred to as typhoons in the western Pacific and hurricanes in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean).

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Credit: NOAA
Image Date: September 24, 2018

#NASA #NOAA #Earth #Space #Satellite #Planet #Atmosphere #Weather #Meteorology #SuperTyphoon #Typhoon #Trami #Ryukyu #Islands #琉球諸島 #Japan #日本 #Taiwan #中華民國 #中国 #Pacific #Ocean #NOAA20 #VIIRS #STEM #Education

Super Typhoon Trami, Pacific Ocean | Eumetsat

Composite image of category 5 super-Typhoon Trami, approaching Japan, from 06:00 UTC on Wednesday, September 25, 2018. The storm is packing winds of 155 mph as it tracks toward Japan's Ryukyu Islands.

Updates and advisories on this storm can be found on the Global Disaster Alerting Coordination System (GDACS) website:

Infrared data from the geostationary satellites of EUMETSAT, JMA and NOAA overlays a computer-generated model of the Earth, containing NASA's Blue Marble Next Generation imagery.

Credit: EUMETSAT - Copyright: 2018
Image Date: September 25, 2018

#NASA #EUMETSAT #Earth #Space #Satellite #Planet #Atmosphere #Weather #Meteorology #SuperTyphoon #Typhoon #Trami #Ryukyu #Islands #琉球諸島 #Japan #日本 #Taiwan #中華民國 #中国 #Pacific #Ocean #Infrared #Europe #JMA #NOAA #BlueMarble #STEM #Education

Monday, September 24, 2018

At Earth's Edge | International Space Station

Credit: U.S. Astronaut Ricky Arnold/NASA/JSC
Release Date: September 21, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Planet #Atmosphere #Sun #Sunset #Orbit #Astronaut #RickyArnold #UnitedStates #Expedition56 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Nightscapes | International Space Station

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev: "Together with Alex Gerst recently taking pictures of night landscapes." 🚀✨

Follow Alexander and the Horizons mission:
http://bit.ly/AlexanderGerstESA and on http://bit.ly/HorizonsBlogESA

Credit: Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev/Roscosmos
Release Date: September 24, 2018

#NASA #Space #Science #Earth #Night #Orbit #Aurora #Moon #SolarSystem #Expedition56 #Cosmonaut #OlegArtemyev #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #Russia #Россия #Astronaut #AlexanderGerst #Horizons #ESA #Germany #Deutschland #Photography #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #International #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Warped and Distorted Galaxies | Hubble

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image contains a veritable mix of different galaxies, some of which belong to the same larger structure: At the middle of the frame sits the galaxy cluster SDSS J1050+0017.

The gigantic mass of this cluster creates the fascinating phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing. The gravity of the cluster bends light coming from behind it in a similar way to how the base of a wine glass bends light. The effects of this lensing can be clearly seen as curved streaks forming a circular shape around the center of the frame. Astronomers can use these distorted galaxies to calculate the mass of the cluster—including the mass of the dark matter within it—and to peer deeper into the Universe as otherwise possible. Gravitational lensing does not only distorts the views of galaxies, it also enlarge their appearance on the sky and magnifies their light.

Hubble has viewed gravitational lensing many times, and produced truly stunning images. Astronomers even set up a dedicated program to study different galaxy clusters which show a great number of lensed galaxies: The Frontier Fields program. This way some of the most distant galaxies in the Universe were found. With each additional cluster being observed some more distant galaxies are added to this list, slowly completing our picture of how galaxies looked and evolved in the early Universe.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Release Date: September 24, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Cluster #Galaxies #Light #Gravity #GravitationalLensing #Astrophysics #SDSSJ10500017 #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #Goddard #GSFC #ESA #STScI #STEM #Education

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Inside NASA's Kennedy Space Center: ICESat-2 Launch

Week of Sept. 21, 2018 | This week in space news, NASA’s ICESat-2 spacecraft begins its three-year mission to measure the changing height of Earth's ice after a spectacular liftoff on Saturday, September 15, from Space Launch Complex-2 at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. By delivering the ICESat-2 spacecraft to its orbital destination, the Delta II rocket finished its 29 years in service with one more success.

Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Duration: 1 minute, 39 seconds
Release Date: September 21, 2018

#NASA #Earth #Science #Space #Satellite #Ice #Glacier #Melting #ICESat #ICESat2 #Spacecraft #Climate #ClimateChange #Research #Mapping #DeltaII #Rocket #ULA #Vandenberg #AirForce #Kennedy #KSC #Spaceport #Florida #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Festival of “First Lights” on This Week @NASA

Sept. 21, 2018: Several NASA instruments see their first light, another active week for our administrator, and discover just how much space is in our daily lives . . . a few of the stories to tell you about—This Week at NASA!

Credit: NASA
Duration: 3 minutes, 19 seconds
Release Date: September 21, 2018

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Orion #SLS #Spacecraft #Satellite #TESS #Exoplanets #ParkerSolarProbe #Sun #ISS #STEM #Education #HD #Video

NASA's Space to Ground: Long Distance Call

Week of Sept. 21, 2018: NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. The launch of a Japanese resupply ship to the International Space Station was postponed till Saturday. Meanwhile, the Expedition 56 crew moved on with critical space research and orbital lab maintenance.

Inclement weather at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan led managers at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) to postpone the launch of its HTV-7 resupply ship by one day. The HTV-7 is now due to launch atop the H-IIB rocket Saturday at 1:52 p.m. EDT loaded with over five tons of cargo, including new science experiments and science hardware. Its arrival at the station is now planned for Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 7:54 a.m.

The station’s Zvezda service module fired its engines today slightly boosting the space lab’s orbit. The reboost enables a crew swap taking place next month when Expedition 57 begins. Three Expedition 56 crew members will depart on Oct. 4 and return to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft. A new pair of Expedition 57 crew members will arrive aboard the Soyuz MS-10 crew ship to replace them Oct. 11

Astronauts Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor conducted a variety of biomedical research today sponsored by scientists from around the world. The duo partnered up for ultrasound scans inside Europe’s Columbus lab module as doctors on the ground monitored in real-time. Arnold also worked throughout the day processing blood and urine samples inside the Human Research Facility’s centrifuge.

The biological sample work is supporting a pair of ongoing experiments observing the physiological changes to humans in space. The Repository study analyzes blood and urine samples collected from astronauts before, during and after a space mission. The Biochemical Profile study also researches these samples for markers of astronaut health.

Commander Drew Feustel and Fight Engineer Alexander Gerst worked throughout the orbital lab on housekeeping tasks. Fuestel was in the Unity module installing computer network gear on an EXPRESS rack that can support multiple science experiments. Gerst relocated smoke detectors in the Tranquility module then moved on to computer maintenance in the Destiny lab module.

Credit: NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Duration: 2 minutes, 34 seconds
Release Date: September 21, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Orion #SLS #EVA #Spacewalk #Japan #JAXA #日本 #HTV #Kounotori #Cargo #Resupply #Astronauts #Expedition56 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Eerie cloud shadows | International Space Station

European Space Agency Astronaut Alexander Gerst: "I know it's just the simple shadow of our planet, but approaching the terminator gives me an eerie feeling every time. It's as scary as it is fascinating."

"Ich weiß, dass es einfach nur der Schatten unseres Planeten ist. Aber dem Terminator entgegen zu fliegen finde ich ebenso unheimlich wie faszinierend. Wie als Kind den Eingang zur Geisterbahn."

Credit: ESA/NASA-A.Gerst
Image Date: July 30, 2018

#NASA #ESA #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Planet #Atmosphere #Clouds #Shadows #Wolkenschatten #Astronaut #AlexanderGerst #Horizons #Europe #Germany #Deutschland #DLR #Expedition56 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #International #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Galactic Gem | ESO

Distance: 65 million light years from Earth
The European Southern Observatory's FORS2 instrument captures stunning details of spiral galaxy NGC 3981
FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has observed the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in all its glory. The image was captured as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Program, which makes use of the rare occasions when observing conditions are not suitable for gathering scientific data. Instead of sitting idle, the ESO Cosmic Gems Program allows ESO’s telescopes to be used to capture visually stunning images of the southern skies.

This wonderful image shows the resplendent spiral galaxy NGC 3981 suspended in the inky blackness of space. This galaxy, which lies in the constellation of Crater (the Cup), was imaged in May 2018 using the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph 2 (FORS2) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).

FORS2 is mounted on Unit Telescope 1 (Antu) of the VLT at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Amongst the host of cutting-edge instruments mounted on the four Unit Telescopes of the VLT, FORS2 stands apart due to its extreme versatility. This ”Swiss Army knife” of an instrument is able to study a variety of astronomical objects in many different ways—as well as being capable of producing beautiful images like this one.

The sensitive gaze of FORS2 revealed NGC 3981’s spiral arms, strewn with vast streams of dust and star-forming regions, and a prominent disc of hot young stars. The galaxy is inclined towards Earth, allowing astronomers to peer right into the heart of this galaxy and observe its bright centre, a highly energetic region containing a supermassive black hole. Also shown is NGC 3981’s outlying spiral structure, some of which appears to have been stretched outwards from the galaxy, presumably due to the gravitational influence of a past galactic encounter.

NGC 3981 certainly has many galactic neighbors. Lying approximately 65 million light years from Earth, the galaxy is part of the NGC 4038 group, which also contains the well-known interacting Antennae Galaxies. This group is part of the larger Crater Cloud, which is itself a smaller component of the Virgo Supercluster, the titanic collection of galaxies that hosts our own Milky Way galaxy.

NGC 3981 is not the only interesting feature captured in this image. As well as several foreground stars from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, FORS2 also captured a rogue asteroid streaking across the sky, visible as the faint line towards the top of the image. This particular asteroid has unwittingly illustrated the process used to create astronomical images, with the three different exposures making up this image displayed in the blue, green and red sections of the asteroid’s path.

This image was taken as part of ESO’s Cosmic Gems program, an outreach initiative to produce images of interesting, intriguing or visually attractive objects using ESO telescopes, for the purposes of education and public outreach. The program makes use of telescope time that cannot be used for science observations. In case the data collected could be useful for future scientific purposes, these observations are saved and made available to astronomers through ESO’s science archive.

More information
ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 15 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a strategic partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-meter Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Release Date: September 12, 2018

#ESO #Astronomy #Space #Galaxy #Spiral #NGC3981 #Crater #NGC4038 #Stars #Asteroid #SolarSystem #MilkyWay #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #VLT #FORS2 #Paranal #Observatory #CosmicGems #Chile #Europe #STEM #Education

Pulsar Wind from a Neutron Star: Artist's Impression

This is an illustration of a pulsar wind nebula produced by the interaction of the outflow particles from the neutron star with gaseous material in the interstellar medium that the neutron star is plowing through. Such an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula is unusual because it implies a rather low energy of the particles accelerated by the pulsar’s intense magnetic field. This hypothesized model would explain the unusual infrared signature of the neutron star as detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Credits: NASA, ESA, and N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University)
Release Date: September 17, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Star #Neutron #Pulsar #Wind #Nebula #Pulsars #Infrared #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #Artist #Artwork #Illustration #STEM #Education

Never Before Seen Features Around a Neutron Star | Hubble

Image: Artist's Impression/illustration
Sept. 17, 2018: An unusual infrared light emission from a nearby neutron star detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, could indicate new features never before seen. One possibility is that there is a dusty disk surrounding the neutron star; another is that there is an energetic wind coming off the object and slamming into gas in interstellar space the neutron star is plowing through.

Although neutron stars are generally studied in radio and high-energy emissions, such as X-rays, this study demonstrates that new and interesting information about neutron stars can also be gained by studying them in infrared light, say researchers.

The observation, by a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania; Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona could help astronomers better understand the evolution of neutron stars—the incredibly dense remnants after a massive star explodes as a supernova. Neutron stars are also called pulsars because their very fast rotation (typically fractions of a second, in this case 11 seconds) causes time-variable emission from light-emitting regions.

A paper describing the research and two possible explanations for the unusual finding appears Sept. 17, 2018 in the Astrophysical Journal.

“This particular neutron star belongs to a group of seven nearby X-ray pulsars— nicknamed ‘the Magnificent Seven’—that are hotter than they ought to be considering their ages and available energy reservoir provided by the loss of rotation energy,” said Bettina Posselt, associate research professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State and the lead author of the paper. “We observed an extended area of infrared emissions around this neutron star—named RX J0806.4-4123—the total size of which translates into about 200 astronomical units (approximately 18 billion miles) at the assumed distance of the pulsar.”

This is the first neutron star in which an extended signal has been seen only in infrared light. The researchers suggest two possibilities that could explain the extended infrared signal seen by the Hubble. The first is that there is a disk of material—possibly mostly dust—surrounding the pulsar.

“One theory is that there could be what is known as a ‘fallback disk’ of material that coalesced around the neutron star after the supernova,” said Posselt. “Such a disk would be composed of matter from the progenitor massive star. Its subsequent interaction with the neutron star could have heated the pulsar and slowed its rotation. If confirmed as a supernova fallback disk, this result could change our general understanding of neutron star evolution.”

The second possible explanation for the extended infrared emission from this neutron star is a “pulsar wind nebula.”

“A pulsar wind nebula would require that the neutron star exhibits a pulsar wind,” said Posselt. “A pulsar wind can be produced when particles are accelerated in the electrical field that is produced by the fast rotation of a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. As the neutron star travels through the interstellar medium at greater than the speed of sound, a shock can form where the interstellar medium and the pulsar wind interact. The shocked particles would then emit synchrotron radiation, causing the extended infrared signal that we see. Typically, pulsar wind nebulae are seen in X-rays and an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula would be very unusual and exciting.”

Using NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers will be able to further explore this newly opened discovery space in the infrared to better understand neutron star evolution.

In addition to Posselt, the research team included George Pavlov and Kevin Luhman at Pennsylvania State; Ünal Ertan and Sirin Çaliskan at Sabanci University; and Christina Williams at the University of Arizona. The research was supported by NASA, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the U.S. National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania State, the Penn State Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, in Washington, D.C.

Credits: NASA, ESA, and B. Posselt (Pennsylania State University)
Release Date: September 17, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Star #Neutron #Pulsars #Infrared #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #Artist #Artwork #STEM #Education

Super Typhoon Mangkhut Slams China and the Philippines

Around the same time Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, another dangerous tropical cyclone was wreaking havoc on the other side of the globe. On September 15, 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern Philippines, battering the country's most populous island of Luzon with destructive Category 5-level winds, 40-foot waves, and torrential rain.

Known locally as "Ompong" in the Philippines, Mangkhut is the strongest storm seen on Earth so far in 2018. On September 12, Mangkhut was packing one-minute sustained of 180 mph (285 km/h), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported. Winds were only slightly lower, around 165 mph, as the storm made landfall in Cagayan Province, making Mangkhut the strongest storm to hit the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the island nation in 2013.

News outlets said Mangkhut killed at least 60 people in the Philippines and four people in China after it slammed into southern China as a weaker, but still powerful storm. On September 16, Mangkhut lashed Hong Kong with 121 mph winds, the strongest typhoon to hit the city in nearly 40 years.

This visible satellite image from Japan's Himawari-8 geostationary satellite, shows Mangkhut on September 14 before the eye of the storm barreled through the northern Philippines.

Credit: JAXA/JMA/Seán Doran
Image Date: September 14, 2018
Release Date: September 17, 2018

#NASA #Earth #Space #Satellite #Planet #Atmosphere #Weather #Meteorology #SuperTyphoon #Typhoon #Mangkhut #Ompong #Luzon #Philippines #HongKong #香港 #Hainan #海南省 #中国 #Pacific #Ocean #SouthChinaSea #Himawari8 #Japan #日本 #JAXA #JMA #STEM #Education

Monday, September 17, 2018

Galactic knots and bursts | Hubble

In the northern constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair) lies the impressive Coma Cluster—a structure of over a thousand galaxies bound together by gravity. Many of these galaxies are elliptical types, as is the brighter of the two galaxies dominating this image: NGC 4860 (center). However, the outskirts of the cluster also host younger spiral galaxies that proudly display their swirling arms. Again, this image shows a wonderful example of such a galaxy in the shape of the beautiful NGC 4858, which can be seen to the left of its bright neighbor and which stands out on account of its unusual, tangled, fiery appearance.

NGC 4858 is special. Rather than being a simple spiral, it is something called a “galaxy aggregate”, which is, just as the name suggests, a central galaxy surrounded by a handful of luminous knots of material that seem to stem from it, extending and tearing away and adding to or altering its overall structure. It is also experiencing an extremely high rate of star formation, possibly triggered by an earlier interaction with another galaxy. As we see it, NGC 4858 is forming stars so frantically that it will use up all of its gas long before it reaches the end of its life. The color of its bright knots indicates that they are formed of hydrogen, which glows in various shades of bright red as it is energized by the many young, hot stars lurking within.

This scene was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a powerful camera designed to explore the evolution of stars and galaxies in the early Universe.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release Date: September 17, 2018

#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #ComaCluster #Galaxies #Elliptical #NGC4860 #Galaxy #NGC4858 #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #STEM #Education

An explosive phoenix | ESO

This European Southern Observatory image shows a dwarf galaxy in the southern constellation of Phoenix named, for obvious reasons, the Phoenix Dwarf.

The Phoenix Dwarf is unique in that it cannot be classified according to the usual scheme for dwarf galaxies; while its shape would label it as a spheroidal dwarf galaxy—which do not contain enough gas to form new stars—studies have shown the galaxy to have an associated cloud of gas nearby, hinting at recent star formation, and a population of young stars.

The gas cloud does not lie within the galaxy itself, but is still gravitationally bound to it—meaning that it will eventually fall back into the galaxy over time. Since the cloud is close by, it’s likely that the process that flung it outwards it is still ongoing. After studying the shape of the gas cloud, astronomers suspect the most likely cause of the ejection to be supernova explosions within the galaxy.

The data to create this image was selected from the ESO archive as part of the Hidden Treasure competition.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Release Date: September 17, 2018

+European Southern Observatory (ESO)

#ESO #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxy #Dwarf #Phoenix #Stars #GasCloud #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #Chile #Europe #STEM #Education