Monday, November 12, 2018

"Of Bent Time and Jellyfish" | Hubble

At first glance, a bright blue crescent immediately jumps out of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image: is it a bird? A plane? Evidence of extraterrestrial life? No—it is a galaxy.

The shape of this galaxy admittedly appears to be somewhat bizarre, so confusion would be forgiven. This is due to a cosmic phenomenon called gravitational lensing. In this image, the gravitational influence of a massive galaxy cluster (called SDSS J1110+6459) is causing its surroundings spacetime to bend and warp, affecting the passage of any nearby light. This cluster to the lower left of the blue streak; a few more signs of lensing (streaks, blobs, curved lines, distorted shapes) can be seen dotted around this area.

This image also features a rare and interesting type of galaxy called a jellyfish galaxy, visible just right next to the cluster and apparently dripping bright blue material. These are galaxies that lose gas via a process called galactic ram pressure stripping, where the drag caused by the galaxy moving through space causes gas to be stripped away.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Release Date: November 12, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxy #Jellyfish #GravitationalLensing #Cluster #SDSSJ11106459 #Astrophysics #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #STEM #Education

Friday, November 09, 2018

NASA's Space to Ground: Surviving the Plunge | Week of Nov. 9, 2018

NASA's Space to Ground: Surviving the Plunge | Week of Nov. 9, 2018
NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 57 crew said farewell to a Japanese resupply ship Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, and is getting ready to welcome U.S. and Russian space freighters in less than two weeks. The trio practiced International Space Station emergency procedures this week then went on to space research and robotics training.

The U.S. company Northrop Grumman is getting its 10th Cygnus cargo craft packed and ready for launch atop an Antares rocket Nov. 15 at 4:49 a.m. EST. Russia will launch its 71st station resupply mission aboard a Progress spaceship the next day at 1:14 p.m.

Both resupply ships are due to arrive at the station Sunday Nov. 18 just 10 hours apart. The Cygnus will get there first following its head start. Commander Alexander Gerst assisted by Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor will capture the American vessel with the Canadarm2 robotic arm at 4:35 a.m. A few hours later, cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will monitor the approach and automated docking of the Russian Progress 71 cargo craft to the Zvezda service module at 2:30 p.m.

Credit: NASA's Johnson Space Center
Duration: 2 minutes, 19 seconds
Release Date: November 9, 2018


#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #HTV #Cargo #Supply #JAXA #日本 #Japan #Research #Microgravity #Astronauts #ESA #AlexanderGerst #Germany #Deutschland #DLR #SerenaAuñónChancellor #Cosmonaut #SergeyProkopyev #Russia #Россия #Boeing #CST100 #Starliner #LaunchAmerica #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Astronomers Unveil Growing Black Holes in Colliding Galaxies

Nov. 7, 2018: Peering through thick walls of gas and dust surrounding the messy cores of merging galaxies, astronomers are getting their best view yet of close pairs of supermassive black holes as they march toward coalescence into mega black holes.

A team of researchers led by Michael Koss of Eureka Scientific Inc., in Kirkland, Washington, performed the largest survey of the cores of nearby galaxies in near-infrared light, using high-resolution images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The Hubble observations represent over 20 years' worth of snapshots from its vast archive.

"Seeing the pairs of merging galaxy nuclei associated with these huge black holes so close together was pretty amazing," Koss said. "In our study, we see two galaxy nuclei right when the images were taken. You can't argue with it; it's a very 'clean' result, which doesn't rely on interpretation."

The images also provide a close-up preview of a phenomenon that must have been more common in the early universe, when galaxy mergers were more frequent. When galaxies collide, their monster black holes can unleash powerful energy in the form of gravitational waves, the kind of ripples in space-time that were just recently detected by ground-breaking experiments.

The new study also offers a preview of what will likely happen in our own cosmic backyard, in several billion years, when our Milky Way combines with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy and their respective central black holes smash together.

"Computer simulations of galaxy smashups show us that black holes grow fastest during the final stages of mergers, near the time when the black holes interact, and that's what we have found in our survey," said study team member Laura Blecha of the University of Florida, in Gainesville. "The fact that black holes grow faster and faster as mergers progress tells us galaxy encounters are really important for our understanding of how these objects got to be so monstrously big."

A galaxy merger is a slow process lasting more than a billion years as two galaxies, under the inexorable pull of gravity, dance toward each other before finally joining together. Simulations reveal that galaxies kick up plenty of gas and dust as they undergo this slow-motion train wreck.

The ejected material often forms a thick curtain around the centers of the coalescing galaxies, shielding them from view in visible light. Some of the material also falls onto the black holes at the cores of the merging galaxies. The black holes grow at a fast clip as they engorge themselves with their cosmic food, and, being messy eaters, they cause the infalling gas to blaze brightly. This speedy growth occurs during the last 10 million to 20 million years of the union. The Hubble and Keck Observatory images captured close-up views of this final stage, when the bulked-up black holes are only about 3,000 light-years apart—a near-embrace in cosmic terms.

It's not easy to find galaxy nuclei so close together. Most prior observations of colliding galaxies have caught the coalescing black holes at earlier stages when they were about 10 times farther away. The late stage of the merger process is so elusive because the interacting galaxies are encased in dense dust and gas and require high-resolution observations in infrared light that can see through the clouds and pinpoint the locations of the two merging nuclei.

The team first searched for visually obscured, active black holes by sifting through 10 years' worth of X-ray data from the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) aboard NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope, a high-energy space observatory. "Gas falling onto the black holes emits X-rays, and the brightness of the X-rays tells you how quickly the black hole is growing," Koss explained. "I didn't know if we would find hidden mergers, but we suspected, based on computer simulations, that they would be in heavily shrouded galaxies.Therefore we tried to peer through the dust with the sharpest images possible, in hopes of finding coalescing black holes."

The researchers combed through the Hubble archive, identifying those merging galaxies they spotted in the X-ray data. They then used the Keck Observatory's super-sharp, near-infrared vision to observe a larger sample of the X-ray-producing black holes not found in the Hubble archive.

"People had conducted studies to look for these close interacting black holes before, but what really enabled this particular study were the X-rays that can break through the cocoon of dust," Koss said. "We also looked a bit farther in the universe so that we could survey a larger volume of space, giving us a greater chance of finding more luminous, rapidly growing black holes."

The team targeted galaxies with an average distance of 330 million light-years from Earth. Many of the galaxies are similar in size to the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. The team analyzed 96 galaxies from the Keck Observatory and 385 galaxies from the Hubble archive found in 38 different Hubble observation programs. The sample galaxies are representative of what astronomers would find by conducting an all-sky survey.

To verify their results, Koss's team compared the survey galaxies with 176 other galaxies from the Hubble archive that lack actively growing black holes. The comparison confirmed that the luminous cores found in the researchers' census of dusty interacting galaxies are indeed a signature of rapidly growing black-hole pairs headed for a collision.

When the two supermassive black holes in each of these systems finally come together in millions of years, their encounters will produce strong gravitational waves. Gravitational waves produced by the collision of two stellar-mass black holes have already been detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Observatories such as the planned NASA/ESA space-based Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to detect the lower-frequency gravitational waves from supermassive black-hole mergers, which are a million times more massive than those detected by LIGO.

Future infrared telescopes, such as NASA's planned James Webb Space Telescope and a new generation of giant ground-based telescopes, will provide an even better probe of dusty galaxy collisions by measuring the masses, growth rate, and dynamics of close black-hole pairs. The Webb telescope may also be able to look in mid-infrared light to uncover more galaxy interactions so encased in thick gas and dust that even near-infrared light cannot penetrate them.

The team's results appear online in the Nov. 7, 2018, issue of the journal Nature:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0652-7

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.

Credit:
NASA, ESA, and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.); Hubble image: NASA, ESA, and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.); Keck images: W. M. Keck Observatory and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.); Pan-STARRS images: Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.)
Release Date: November 7, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxies #Collisions #BlackHoles #Cosmos #Universe #Astrophysics #Telescope #Keck #Observatory #Hawaii #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #STEM #Education

Monday, November 05, 2018

Jupiter & Io | Hubble

This image represents Jupiter as it appeared on April 3, 2017 at 02:50:19 UTC.

Io (Jupiter I) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter. It is the fourth-largest moon, has the highest density of all the moons, and has the least amount of water of any known astronomical object in the Solar System. It was discovered in 1610 and was named after the mythological character Io, a priestess of Hera who became one of Zeus' lovers. (Source: Wikipedia)

Technical details:
Red: WFC3/UVIS F631N
Green: WFC3/UVIS F502N
Blue: WFC3/UVIS 395N
North is 50.56° clockwise from up.

Data from the following proposal comprises this image:
Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program

Credit: NASA/ESA
Processing: Judy Schmidt
Image Date: April 3, 2017
Release Date: November 3, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Space #Astronomy #Science #Jupiter #Planet #Moon #Io #SolarSystem #Telescope #ESA #GSFC #Goddard #STScI #STEM #Education

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Saturn & Rhea | NASA Cassini Mission

Processed using calibrated red, green, and blue filtered images of Saturn and Rhea taken by the Cassini spacecraft on November 4, 2009.

Rhea is the second-largest moon of Saturn and the ninth-largest moon in the Solar System. It is the second smallest body in the Solar System—after the asteroid and dwarf planet Ceres—for which precise measurements have confirmed a shape consistent with hydrostatic equilibrium. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini.
(Source: Wikipedia)


The Cassini-Huygens mission was a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the U.S. and several European countries.

For more information about Cassini, go to:
https://www.nasa.gov/cassini
https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill
Image Date: November 4, 2009
Release Date: November 4, 2018


#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Saturn #Rings #Planet #Moon #Rhea #SolarSystem #Exploration #Cassini #Spacecraft #JPL #Pasadena #California #UnitedStates #ESA #ASI #History #STEM #Education

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Inside NASA's Kennedy Space Center! | Week of Nov. 2, 2018

Teams from NASA, the Department of Defense Human Space Flight Support Office, and SpaceX recently rehearsed medical triage and evacuation in preparation for Commercial Crew Program launches from American soil. Also, NASA's Exploration Ground Systems kicked off a week of Orion recovery testing off the California coast.

Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Duration: 1 minute, 46 seconds
Release Date: November 2, 2018


#NASA #Space #Orion #Spacecraft #SLS #Astronauts #Earth #Sunset #California #Pacific #Ocean #Drone #UAV #Mars #JourneytoMars #DeepSpace #SolarSystem #Exploration #Navy #Kennedy #KSC #Spaceport #Florida #Military #USA #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

NASA Orion & US Navy: Aerial Drone Captures Recovery Test

Nov. 2, 2018: Check out this incredible aerial view of NASA’s Recovery Team and the US Navy practicing recovering a test version of the Orion crew capsule after it splashes down. Underway Recovery Test-7 is one in a series of tests to verify and validate procedures and hardware that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean following deep space exploration missions.

Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Duration: 3 minutes, 45 seconds
Release Date: November 2, 2018


#NASA #Space #Orion #Spacecraft #SLS #Astronauts #Earth #Sunset #California #Pacific #Ocean #Drone #UAV #Mars #JourneytoMars #DeepSpace #SolarSystem #Exploration #Navy #Military #USA #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Jupiter's Maelstroms | NASA Juno Mission

Pictures captured by the Juno spacecraft performing its 16th close flyby of Jupiter: Perijove 16. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

JPL manages the Juno mission for NASA. The mission's principal investigator is Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The mission is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, managed at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft.

Learn more about the Juno mission, and get an up-to-date schedule of events, at: www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.org

Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Processing: Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran


#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Jupiter #Planet #Atmosphere #Weather #Meteorology #Juno #Spacecraft #Perijove16 #Exploration #SolarSystem #Technology #Engineering #STEM #Education #JPL #Pasadena #California #USA #UnitedStates #LockheedMartin #MSFC #Marshall #SwRI #CitizenScience #STEM #Education

Friday, November 02, 2018

Tonight's Sky: November 2018 | HubbleSite

In November, look for Pisces, Aries, and Triangulum in the night sky. Also be sure to catch the Taurid meteor shower, which features 5 to 10 meteors per hour on its peak night of November 5 to 6, and for meteors radiating from the constellation of Leo in the evening of November 17 and early morning of November 18.

“Tonight’s Sky” is produced by HubbleSite.org

Credit: HubbleSite
Duration: 5 minutes, 40 seconds
Release Date: October 24, 2018


#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Earth #Taurid #Leonids #MeteorShower #Comet64P #Moon #Planets #Mars #Saturn #Rings #Venus #Stars #SolarSystem #Skywatching #STEM #Education #UnitedStates #Canada #NorthernHemisphere #HD #Video

Skywatching: What's Up for November 2018 | JPL

Thanks to Jane Houston Jones for 12 years of "What's Up"
November brings planets, an asteroid, a comet and the Leonids.

Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds
Release Date: November 1, 2018

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Skywatching #Asteroid #Juno #Comet46P #Meteor #MeteorShower #Leonids #Moon #Venus #Mars #InSight #Lander #Planets #SolarSystem #Stars #Constellations #MilkyWay #Galaxy #JPL #Pasadena #California #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

The Closest Spacecraft to the Sun on This Week @NASA | Week of Nov. 2, 2018

A new record for our mission to the Sun, the end of an era for a prolific planet hunter, and our next mission to Mars is closing in on its destination . . . a few of the stories to tell you about—This Week at NASA!

Credit: NASA
Duration: 4 minutes, 4 seconds
Release Date: November 2, 2018

#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Kepler #Exoplanets #Mars #Insight #SpaceWeather #Sun #Solar #Corona #Star #Astrophysics #Spacecraft #Probe #SolarProbe #Parker #EugeneParker #Astrophysicist #Chicago #University #JHUAPL #Goddard #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

NASA's Space to Ground: Getting a Grip Week of | Nov. 2, 2018


Week of Nov. 2, 2018: NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Duration: 2 minutes, 19 seconds
Release Date: November 2, 2018


#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Research #Microgravity #Astronauts #ESA #AlexanderGerst #Germany #Deutschland #DLR #SerenaAuñónChancellor #Cosmonaut #SergeyProkopyev #Russia #Россия #MikeHopkins #SpaceX #CrewDragon #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Zoom-in on the Ghost Nebula | Hubble

This video zooms in on the emission and reflection nebula IC 63—nicknamed the Ghost Nebula—about 550 light-years away. It starts with a view of the night sky as seen from the ground. It then zooms through observations from the Digitized Sky Survey 2, and ends with a view of the nebula obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Credit: Hubble, Digitized Sky Survey 2, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
Music: Astral Electronic
Duration: 50 seconds
Release Date: October 25, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Nebula #IC63 #Star #GammaCassiopeiae #Cassiopeia #Cosmos #Universe #Halloween #Telescope #ESA #GSFC #Goddard #STScI #STEM #Education #HD #Video

The Ghost of Cassiopeia: Wide-field view

Ground-based view of the sky around IC 63
This image shows the sky around the nebula IC 63, nicknamed the Ghost Nebula. It was created from images forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The field of view is dominated by the bright star Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is having a profound influence on IC 63.

IC 63 is only one of several nebulous structures surrounding Gamma Cassiopeiae—all of which are affected by the radiation emitted by the blue-white subgiant star.

Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgement: Davide de Martin
Release Date: October 25, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Nebula #IC63 #Star #GammaCassiopeiae #Cassiopeia #Cosmos #Universe #Halloween #Telescope #ESA #GSFC #Goddard #STScI #STEM #Education

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Ghost of Cassiopeia | Hubble

About 550 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia lies IC 63, a stunning and slightly eerie nebula. Also known as the ghost of Cassiopeia, IC 63 is being shaped by radiation from a nearby unpredictably variable star, Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is slowly eroding away the ghostly cloud of dust and gas. This celestial ghost makes the perfect backdrop for the upcoming feast of All Hallow's Eve—better known as Halloween.

The constellation of Cassiopeia, named after a vain queen in Greek mythology, forms the easily recognizable “W” shape in the night sky. The central point of the W is marked by a dramatic star named Gamma Cassiopeiae.

The remarkable Gamma Cassiopeiae is a blue-white subgiant variable star that is surrounded by a gaseous disc. This star is 19 times more massive and 65,000 times brighter than our Sun. It also rotates at the incredible speed of 1.6 million kilometers per hour—more than 200 times faster than our parent star. This frenzied rotation gives it a squashed appearance. The fast rotation causes eruptions of mass from the star into a surrounding disk. This mass loss is related to the observed brightness variations.

The radiation of Gamma Cassiopeiae is so powerful that it even affects IC 63, sometimes nicknamed the Ghost Nebula, that lies several light years away from the star. IC 63 is visible in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The colors in the eerie nebula showcase how the nebula is affected by the powerful radiation from the distant star. The hydrogen within IC 63 is being bombarded with ultraviolet radiation from Gamma Cassiopeiae, causing its electrons to gain energy which they later release as hydrogen-alpha radiation—visible in red in this image.

This hydrogen-alpha radiation makes IC 63 an emission nebula, but we also see blue light in this image. This is light from Gamma Cassiopeiae that has been reflected by dust particles in the nebula, meaning that IC 63 is also a reflection nebula.

This colorful and ghostly nebula is slowly dissipating under the influence of ultraviolet radiation from Gamma Cassiopeiae. However, IC 63 is not the only object under the influence of the mighty star. It is part of a much larger nebulous region surrounding Gamma Cassiopeiae that measures approximately two degrees on the sky—roughly four times as wide as the full Moon.

This region is best seen from the Northern Hemisphere during autumn and winter. Though it is high in the sky and visible all year round from Europe, it is very dim, so observing it requires a fairly large telescope and dark skies.

From above Earth’s atmosphere, Hubble gives us a view that we cannot hope to see with our eyes. This photo is possibly the most detailed image that has ever been taken of IC 63, and it beautifully showcases Hubble’s capabilities.

More information
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA
Release Date: October 25, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Nebula #IC63 #Star #GammaCassiopeiae #Cassiopeia #Cosmos #Universe #Halloween #Telescope #ESA #GSFC #Goddard #STScI #STEM #Education

Talking Moon to Mars and more on This Week @NASA

Week of Oct. 26, 2018: A week full of Moon to Mars and more, seeking ideas for future cargo deliveries to our Gateway, and an oddity of an iceberg . . . a few of the stories to tell you about—This Week at NASA!

Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Duration: 3 minutes, 49 seconds
Release Date: October 26, 2018


#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Earth #Science #Mars #JourneyToMars #Moon #SLS #Orion #Spacecraft #Gateway #ISS #Astronauts #Iceberg #Antarctica #OperationIceBridge #STEM #Education #HD #Video

NASA's Space to Ground: Neutron Dance

Week of Oct. 26, 2018 | NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. 

Credit: NASA's Johnson Space Center
Duration: 2 minutes, 53 seconds
Release Date: October 26, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Research #Combustion #Flammability #Pulsars #Neutron #Stars #Astronauts #AlexanderGerst #SerenaAuñónChancellor #Cosmonaut #SergeyProkopyev #Russia #Россия #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pirate of the Southern Skies | ESO

The Skull and Crossbones Nebula
Distance: 4500 light years
Oct. 24, 2018: FORS2, an instrument mounted on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, has observed the active star-forming region NGC 2467—sometimes referred to as the Skull and Crossbones Nebula. 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 vivid picture of an active star-forming region—NGC 2467, sometimes referred to as the Skull and Crossbones Nebula—is as sinister as it is beautiful. This image of dust, gas and bright young stars, gravitationally bound into the form of a grinning skull, was captured with the FORS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). While ESO’s telescopes are usually used for the collection of science data, they can also capture images, such as this—which are beautiful for their own sake.

It is easy to see the motivation for the nickname Skull and Crossbones. This young, bright formation distinctly resembles an ominous hollow face, of which only the gaping mouth is visible here. NGC 2467 skulks in the constellation Puppis, which translates rather unromantically as The Poop Deck.

This nebulous collection of stellar clusters is the birthplace of many stars, where an excess of hydrogen gas provided the raw material for stellar creation. It is not, in fact, a single nebula, and its constituent stellar cluster are moving at different velocities. It is only a fortuitous alignment along the line of sight from the Earth that makes the stars and gas form a humanoid face. This luminous image might not tell astronomers anything new, but it provides us all with a glimpse into the churning southern skies, bright with wonders invisible to the human eye.

Puppis is one of three nautically named constellations that sail the southern skies, and which used to make up the single, giant Argo Navis constellation, named after the ship of the mythical Jason and the Argonauts. Argo Navis has since been divided into three: Carina (the keel), Vela (the sails) and Puppis, where this nebula finds its home. While a heroic figure, Jason is most famous for his theft of the golden fleece, so NGC 2467 rests not only in the midst of a vast celestial ship, but among thieves—an appropriate abode for this piratical nebula.

This image was created as part of the ESO 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. All data collected may also be suitable for scientific purposes, and are made available to astronomers through ESO’s science archive.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Release Date: October 24, 2018

More information
ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 16 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, 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 program 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 organizing 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”.


#ESO #Astronomy #Space #Science #Nebula #NGC2467 #Skull #Crossbones #Stars #Puppis #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #FORS2 #VLT #Observatory #Paranal #Atacama #Desert #Chile #SouthAmerica #Europe #STEM #Education

Skull and Crossbones Nebula: Wide-field view

This vivid picture of an active star forming region—NGC 2467, otherwise known as the Skull and Crossbones nebula—is as sinister as it is beautiful. This image of dust, gas and bright young stars, gravitationally bound into the form of a grinning skull, was captured with the FORS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Whilst ESO’s telescopes are usually used for the collection of science data, their immense resolving power makes them ideal for capturing images such as this—which are beautiful for their own sake.

The image is a color composite made from exposures from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2), and shows the region surrounding NGC 2467. The field of view is approximately 2.4 x 2.0 degrees.

Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin
Release Date: October 24, 2018


#ESO #Astronomy #Space #Science #Nebula #NGC2467 #Skull #Crossbones #Stars #Puppis #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #FORS2 #VLT #Observatory #Paranal #Atacama #Desert #Chile #SouthAmerica #Europe #STEM #Education

Hurricane Willa Battering Western Mexico | NASA-NOAA

On Oct. 22, 2018, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Willa when it was battering western Mexico with heavy rainfall, rough surf and strong winds. The images shows powerful thunderstorms circling a cloud-filled eye. Willa made landfall on Oct. 23rd.

Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) /NOAA
Image Date: October 22, 2018


Category 5 Hurricane Willa Heads Toward Mexico | NOAA

Powerful Hurricane Willa, the twenty-second named storm of the 2018 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, is on a collision course with Mexico's southwestern coast. This image of the storm, captured by GOES East at 10 a.m. EDT October 22, shows Willa moving northward toward Mexico shortly after sunrise local time.

Over the weekend, Willa rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 48 hours. At 2 p.m. ET Monday (Oct. 22), the National Hurricane Center reported Willa had sustained winds of 160 mph. Willa is expected to unleash a combination of destructive waves and dangerous storm surge along the coast of southwestern Mexico by Tuesday evening, and dump up to 6 to 12 inches of rain, which will likely cause life-threatening flash flooding and landslides.

Willa is the tenth major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 storm or higher) to form in the eastern Pacific basin this year, and the third Category 5 hurricane after Hurricane Lane and Walaka.

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Release Date: October 22, 2018


#NASA #NOAA #Earth #Space #Satellite #Science #HurricaneWilla #Category5 #Storm #Weather #Meteorology #Mexico #Pacific #Ocean #CIRA #GOESEast #EarthObservation #STEM #Education

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Expedition 57 Crew | International Space Station

Crew of Expedition 57: Sergey Prokopyev, Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor.

"The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude."
—Bob Bitchin
Despite being temporarily understaffed, Expedition 57 is on its way. Many new experiments are rollin', from medication research to water regeneration to robotics.

"Der Unterschied zwischen einer Zumutung und einem Abenteuer ist die Einstellung." - Bob Bitchin. Trotz temporärer Minimalbelegschaft ist Expedition 57 in vollem Gange - mit zahlreichen neuen Experimenten, von Medikamentenforschung und Wasseraufbereitung bis Robotik.

Credit: NASA/JSC
Image Date: October 11, 2018


#NASA #ESA #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #Space #ISS #Science #Earth #Cosmonaut #SergeyProkopyev #Russia #Россия #Astronauts #AlexanderGerst #Germany #Deutschland #SerenaAuñónChancellor #UnitedStates #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #Photography #STEM #Education #OrbitalPerspective #OverviewEffect

Monday, October 22, 2018

A galaxy with a bright heart | Hubble

This unbarred spiral galaxy NGC 5033, located about 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The galaxy is similar in size to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, at just over 100,000 light-years across. Like in the Milky Way NGC 5033’s spiral arms are dotted with blue regions, indicating ongoing star formation. The blue patches house hot, young stars in the process of forming, while the older, cooler stars populating the galaxy’s center cause it to appear redder in color.

In contrast to the Milky Way NGC 5033 is missing a central bar. Instead it has a bright and energetic core called an active galactic nucleus, which is powered by a supermassive black hole. This active nucleus gives it the classification of a Seyfert galaxy. Due to the ongoing activity the core of NGC 5033 shines bright across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. This released energy shows that the central black hole is currently devouring stars, dust and gas getting to close to it. As this matters falls onto the supermassive black hole, it radiates in many different wavelengths.

While its relative proximity to Earth makes it an ideal target for professional astronomer to study its active nucleus in more detail, its big apparent size on the night sky and its brightness also makes it a beautiful target for amateur astronomers.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Release Date: October 22, 2018


#NASA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxy #Spiral #Unbarred #NGC5033 #CanesVenatici #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #ESA #Goddard #GSFC #STEM #Education

Saturday, October 20, 2018

BepiColombo Mercury Mission Poster | ESA

This poster shows artist’s impression of the BepiColombo spacecraft at Mercury: European Space Agency’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (foreground) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (background).

The ESA-built Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) will carry the orbiters to Mercury using a combination of solar electric propulsion and gravity assist flybys, with one flyby of Earth, two at Venus, and six at Mercury, before entering orbit at Mercury in late 2025.

Learn more about BepiColombo: http://bit.ly/ESAsBepiColombo

The image of Mercury was taken by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft.

Credit: ESA/NASA
Release Date: July 2017


#NASA #ESA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Planet #Mercury #BepiColombo #Spacecraft #Orbiter #MPO #MMO #MTM #Mission #Messenger #Arianespace #Europe #JAXA #Japan #日本 #SolarSystem #Exploration #Infographic #Poster #Art #STEM #Education

BepiColombo Mercury Mission Liftoff | European Space Agency


A Joint European-Japanese Mission to Explore Planet Mercury
The BepiColombo spacercraft lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket at 01:45 GMT on October 20, 2018.

BepiColombo is a joint endeavor between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is the first European mission to Mercury, the smallest and least explored planet in the inner Solar System, and the first to send two spacecraft to make complementary measurements of the planet and its dynamic environment at the same time.

“Launching BepiColombo is a huge milestone for ESA and JAXA, and there will be many great successes to come,” says Jan Wörner, ESA Director General.

“Beyond completing the challenging journey, this mission will return a huge bounty of science. It is thanks to the international collaboration and the decades of efforts and expertise of everyone involved in the design and building of this incredible machine, that we are now on our way to investigating planet Mercury’s mysteries.”

Learn more about Bepi Colombo: http://bit.ly/ESAsBepiColombo

ESA is Europe's gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Arianespace
Duration: 1 minute, 44 seconds
Release Date: October 19, 2018


#ESA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Planet #Mercury #BepiColombo #Rocket #Launch #Ariane5 #Arianespace #Kourou #Spaceport #FrenchGuiana #SouthAmerica #Europe #JAXA #Japan #日本 #STEM #Education #HD #Video

Friday, October 19, 2018

NASA's Space to Ground: "A Successful Failure"


Week of October 19, 2018: NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

Three Expedition 57 crew members are staying busy aboard the International Space Station after the climb to orbit of two crewmates was aborted last Thursday morning, October 11. American Nick Hague and Russian Alexey Ovchinin made an emergency landing shortly after launch, but are in excellent shape. The trio in orbit is continuing science and maintenance aboard the orbital laboratory.

NASA astronaut Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Ovchinin are safe and returned to Moscow with mission officials after their aborted mission. The Soyuz MS-10 rocket booster experienced a failure about two minutes after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Investigations into the cause of the failure are beginning, and the space station international partner agencies are evaluating what changes to the station’s operating plan will need to be adopted.

The three humans still orbiting Earth are safe with plenty of supplies and work to do on orbit.

Credit: NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Duration: 2 minutes
Release Date: October 19, 2018

#NASA #Space #ISS #Science #Roscosmos #Роскосмос #Soyuz #SoyuzMS08 #Союз #Rocket #Launch #Kazakhstan #Astronaut #NickHague #Cosmonaut #AlexeyOvchinin #Russia #Россия #Astronauts #Expedition57 #Human #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #JSC #Houston #Texas #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #HD #Video