NASA, news, space

NASA Briefing Thursday Will Preview Upcoming US Spacewalks

American and Japanese astronauts aboard the International Space Station will embark on a pair of spacewalks Jan. 23 and 29 to service the station’s robotic arm. Experts from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will preview this work in a briefing at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 18, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-briefing-thursday-will-preview-upcoming-us-spacewalks
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NASA, news, space

Massachusetts Students to Speak with Astronauts on Space Station

Students at Framingham State University (FSU) in Massachusetts will speak with astronauts living, working, and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 12:15 p.m. EST Friday, Jan. 19. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/massachusetts-students-to-speak-with-astronauts-on-space-station
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An Elephant s Trunk in Cepheus

With image data from telescopes large and small, this close-up features the dusty Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. It winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Also known as vdB 142, the cosmic elephant’s trunk is over 20 light-years long. The colorful view highlights bright, swept-back ridges that outline the region’s pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This dramatic scene spans a 1 degree wide field, about the size of 2 Full Moons. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180116.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula

By starlight this eerie visage shines in the dark, a crooked profile evoking its popular name, the Witch Head Nebula. In fact, this entrancing telescopic portrait gives the impression that the witch has fixed her gaze on Orion’s bright supergiant star Rigel. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula spans about 50 light-years and is composed of interstellar dust grains reflecting Rigel’s starlight. The blue color of the Witch Head Nebula and of the dust surrounding Rigel is caused not only by Rigel’s intense blue starlight but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth’s daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in Earth’s atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. Rigel, the Witch Head Nebula, and gas and dust that surrounds them lie about 800 light-years away. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180115.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Three Galaxies and a Comet

Diffuse starlight and dark nebulae along the southern Milky Way arc over the horizon and sprawl diagonally through this gorgeous nightscape. The breath-taking mosaic spans a wide 100 degrees, with the rugged terrain of the Patagonia, Argentina region in the foreground. Along with the insider’s view of our own galaxy, the image features our outside perspective on two irregular satellite galaxies – the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The scene also captures the broad tail and bright coma of Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180114.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Launch and Landing

A composite of three consecutive exposures, this night skyscape follows the January 7 launch and first stage landing of a Falcon 9 rocket from a beach on planet Earth’s space coast. With the launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the bright streak beginning farthest left traces the initial phase of the rocket’s flight. A visible upward hook marks the first stage beginning its return trajectory with a “boostback burn” near the top of the arc, while the second stage separates and continues toward orbit. Above the top of the launch arc due to perspective, a bright streak shows the returning first stage slowing and descending toward the Cape. Centered below, the streak at the horizon is a 17 second burn finally slowing the first stage to a successful vertical landing about 8 minutes after launch at Landing Zone 1. During the scene’s effective long exposure time, the background stars leave short trails in the night sky of the rotating planet. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180113.html
NASA, news, space

NASA, NOAA to Announce 2017 Global Temperatures, Climate Conditions

Climate experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide the annual release of data on global temperatures and discuss the most important climate trends of 2017 during a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 18.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-noaa-to-announce-2017-global-temperatures-climate-conditions
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