Spot the International Space Station

Right now, there are humans living and working off the Earth on the International Space Station. They orbit our planet from 250 miles above every 90 minutes, which means the crew sees 16 sunrises and sunsets every day.

If you’re in the right place, at the right time, the space station is visible to the naked eye. It looks like a fast-moving plane, only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster. The fact that it’s the third brightest object in the sky makes it easier to spot…if you know when to look up.

That’s where we can help! Our Spot the Station site allows you to enter your location and find out when the space station will be flying overhead. You can even sign up to receive alerts that will send you email or text messages to let you know when and where to look up.

Why is the space station visible? It reflects the light of the Sun, the same reason we can see the Moon. However, unlike the Moon, the space station isn’t bright enough to see during the day.

To find out when the space station is flying over your area, visit: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Learn more about the International Space Station and the crew HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Scientists just looked beyond the Milky Way — and discovered hundreds of new galaxies

Using a radio telescope called the Parkes telescope, a team of international researchers looked past the Milky Way and discovered an astounding 883 galaxies, 240 of which were previously unseen by scientists.

While the discovery by itself is pretty rad, it’s also notable because it may provide some answers for the mystery scientists call the Great Attractor.

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thescene

This Oscar-nominated animated short follows two cosmonauts as they prepare for a space mission.

Learn more about the film from its creator.

Star Streams and the Whale Galaxy : NGC 4631 is a spiral galaxy found only 25 million light-years away, toward the well-trained northern constellation Canes Venatici. Seen ege-on, the galaxy is similar in size to the Milky Way. Its distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others its popular moniker, The Whale Galaxy. The large galaxys small, remarkably bright elliptical companion NGC 4627 lies just above its dusty yellowish core, but also identifiable are recently discovered, faint dwarf galaxies within the halo of NGC 4631. In fact, the faint extended features below NGC 4631 are now recognized as tidal star streams. The star streams are remnants of a dwarf satellite galaxy disrupted by repeated encounters with the Whale that began about 3.5 billion years ago. Even in nearby galaxies, the presence of tidal star streams is predicted by cosmological models of galaxy formation, including the formation of our own Milky Way. via NASA

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