Pluto in Combined Color

What is fascinating about Pluto is how young its surface is. We can see some canyons, planes, and mountains in this image - which is an indication of a young surface. This image of Pluto was taken when the New Horizons spacecraft was only 280,000 miles away from the surface. In the image you can see features as small as 1.4 miles! Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view.

Credit: John’s Hopkin’s APL/NASA JPL


NASA’s New Horizons Team Selects Potential Kuiper Belt Flyby Target

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits nearly a billion miles beyond Pluto.

This remote KBO was one of two identified as potential destinations and the one recommended to NASA by the New Horizons team.  Although NASA has selected 2014 MU69 as the target, as part of its normal review process the agency will conduct a detailed assessment before officially approving the mission extension to conduct additional science.

“Even as the New Horizon’s spacecraft speeds away from Pluto out into the Kuiper Belt, and the data from the exciting encounter with this new world is being streamed back to Earth, we are looking outward to the next destination for this intrepid explorer,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and chief of the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington. “While discussions whether to approve this extended mission will take place in the larger context of the planetary science portfolio, we expect it to be much less expensive than the prime mission while still providing new and exciting science.”

Read more ~

Image credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker

It is the object to the left of the big tree that’s generating much recent excitement. If you look closely, there you can see Comet PanSTARRS, complete with two tails. During July, this comet increased markedly in brightness and had just passed its closest approach to Earth. The statuesque tree in the center is a Norfolk Island Pine, and to either side of this tree are New Zealand Pohutukaw trees. Over the trees, far in the distance, are bright Venus and an even brighter crescent Moon. If you look even more closely, you can find Jupiter hidden in the branches of the pine. The featured image was taken in Fergusson Park, New Zealand, looking over Tauranga Harbour Inlet.

Image Credit & Copyright: Amit Kamble (Auckland Astronomical Society); Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt

Shoutout to whoever can teach me how to use Tumblr??? - Ezekiel #lgbt #atheism #astronomy #lgbtrights #gaypride #sexuality #lesbian #gay #bisexual #transgender #equality #discrimination #acceptance #secularism #saynotoreligion #religion #bible #god #space #planets #stars #galaxies #science #nebulae #universe #logic by

NASA’s Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast

NASA’s next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. And while the Mars 2020 mission is largely based on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, which is now exploring the Red Planet, there are a variety of distinctions that set it apart.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that’s geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life.

But the rover is also slated to collect and stash Mars samples in tubes and drop them off at a preselected depot point. Years later, according to NASA’s plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a “ship and shoot” robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth. [NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission in Pictures]

   This month, a mix of rover specialists and landing-site scientists met here to discuss the ambitious Mars 2020 mission during NASA’s second landing-site workshop for the flight. The meeting’s primary goal was to pare down a large number of candidate landing sites on Mars that emerged from the first workshop. Future landing-site meetings will eventually pick the winning exploration zone.

The meeting, which ran from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, also served as a sort of show and tell time for engineers as they work ahead of key decisions that need to be made in designing the Mars 2020 robot.

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Image: This artist’s concept shows the sky-crane maneuver during the descent of NASA’s Curiosity rover to the Martian surface, which engineers dubbed “seven minutes of terror.” The Mars 2020 mission will leverage the design of this landing system and other aspects of Curiosity’s Mars Science Laboratory architecture.
    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


As I am working on publishing the book for this series, I finally finished working on the introduction to the our favorite heavenly bodies! It’s character profiles in the form of story telling! Enjoy!

August 27, 1962: Mariner 2 Launched To Venus

Mariner 2 was the first successful mission to another planet by any country. Launched just 36 days after the failure of its twin, Mariner 1. It flew by Venus as planned at a range of 34,762 km (21,600 miles) scanning the planet’s atmosphere and surface for 42 minutes.

The spacecraft showed that surface temperature on Venus was at least 797 degrees Fahrenheit (425 degrees Celsius) on both the day and night sides, hot enough to melt lead. It also showed that Venus rotates in the opposite direction from most planets in our solar system, has an atmosphere mostly of carbon dioxide with very high pressure at the planet’s surface, continuous cloud cover and no detectable magnetic field. It also found the solar wind streams continuously and that the density of cosmic dust between planets is much lower than it is near Earth. ~ NASA

Carl Sagan was unable to convince NASA to include a camera in the spacecraft. Aren’t we lucky that practice didn’t continue. ~ JN Ph7.5

Happy birthday to Ray Bradbury who would have turned 95 today.

There are billions of solar systems in our galaxy but only one we call home. Only one so far that we know supports life. Scientists suspect that it was probably the death of another star, born billions of years before our own Sun, that helped set the formation of our Solar System in motion. One theory is that this star went supernova, sending a shockwave toward a cloud of inert gas and cosmic dust, causing it to compress and collapse. Our Sun then formed from this, along with a spinning disc of matter that became the planets. Without this, the cloud that gave birth to our Solar System, including our Earth, and us, might have drifted until it dissipated over many billions of years.

By @5_meo
We are inter dimensional entities having a psychedelic experience, because we create every aspect of the illusion. Just admitting this to myself is difficult, but from my personal experience, I can say it’s the most vivid experience I ever had. Enough DMT and you will truly remember where and what you are. If it ever approaches you don’t hesitate .
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