astronomy, NASA, photos, space

The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared

The Blue Horsehead Nebula looks quite different in infrared light. In visible light, the reflecting dust of the nebula appears blue and shaped like a horse’s head. In infrared light, however, a complex labyrinth of filaments, caverns, and cocoons of glowing dust and gas emerges, making it hard to even identify the equine icon. The featured image of the nebula was created in three infrared colors (R=22, G=12, B=4.6 microns) from data taken by NASA’s orbiting Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. The nebula is cataloged as IC 4592 and spans about 40 light years, lying about 400 light years away toward the constellation Scorpius along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. IC 4592 is fainter but covers an angularly greater region than the better known Horsehead Nebula of Orion. The star that predominantly illuminates and heats the dust is Nu Scorpii, visible as the yellow star left of center. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180423.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Meteor Over Crater Lake

Did you see it? One of the more common questions during a meteor shower occurs because the time it takes for a meteor to flash is typically less than the time it takes for a head to turn. Possibly, though, the glory of seeing bright meteors shoot across and knowing that they were once small granules on another world might make it all worthwhile, even if your observing partner(s) could not share in every particular experience. Peaking late tonight, a dark sky should enable the Lyrids meteor shower to exhibit as many as 20 visible meteors per hour from some locations. In the featured composite of nine exposures taken during the 2012 shower, a bright Lyrid meteor streaks above picturesque Crater Lake in Oregon, USA. Snow covers the foreground, while the majestic central band of our home galaxy arches well behind the serene lake. Other meteor showers this year — and every year — include the Perseids in mid-August and the Leonids in mid-November. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180422.html
astronomy, NASA, photos, space

TESS Launch Close Up

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) began its search for planets orbiting other stars by leaving planet Earth on April 18. The exoplanet hunter rode to orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is so designated for its 9 Merlin first stage engines seen in this sound-activated camera close-up from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In the coming weeks, TESS will use a series of thruster burns to boost it into a high-Earth, highly elliptical orbit. A lunar gravity assist maneuver will allow it to reach a previously untried stable orbit with half the orbital period of the Moon and a maximum distance from Earth of about 373,000 kilometers (232,000 miles). From there, TESS will carry out a two year survey to search for planets around the brightest and closest stars in the sky. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180421.html
NASA, news, space

NASA Invites Media to Swearing-In of New Agency Administrator

Media are invited to see Vice President Mike Pence swear in Jim Bridenstine as NASA’s new administrator at 2:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 23, at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. The ceremony will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-swearing-in-of-new-agency-administrator
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NASA, news, space

NASA Awards Construction Contract for Instrument Development Facility

NASA has awarded a contract to the Manhattan Construction Company, of Arlington Virginia, for the construction of the Instrument Development Facility at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-construction-contract-for-instrument-development-facility
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astronomy, NASA, photos, space

Moon in the Hyades

Have you seen the Moon lately? On April 18, its waxing sunlit crescent moved through planet Earth’s night across a background of stars in the Hyades. Anchored by bright star Aldebaran, the nearby, V-shaped star cluster and complete lunar orb appear in this telephoto image. The engaging skyview is actually digitally composed from a series of varying exposures. Recorded in 1/60th of a second, the shortest in the series captures the Moon’s bright crescent in sharp detail. Longer exposures, ranging up to 15 seconds, capture fainter background stars as well as earthshine, visible to the eye as the earthlit lunar night side. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180420.html
NASA, news, space

Statements on Jim Bridenstine’s Senate Confirmation as NASA Administrator

The following are statements from Rep. Jim Bridenstine and acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on Thursday’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Bridenstine as the 13th Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/statements-on-jim-bridenstine-s-senate-confirmation-as-nasa-administrator
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