a million miles away

September 15

This one is technically not yet history, because at the time of posting, the little craft has about half an hour left to go.  That said, let’s proceed.

In 2017, NASA’s Cassini space probe ended its twenty-year mission at Saturn.  After a nearly-seven-year-long journey there, it orbited the ringed planet for 13 years and just over two months, gathering copious amounts of information about the planet, said rings, and many of its moons.  It landed an ESA probe called Huygens on Titan, the first-ever soft landing in the outer Solar System.  It discovered lakes, seas, and rivers of methane on Titan, geysers of water erupting from Enceladus (and passed within 50 miles of that moon’s surface), and found gigantic, raging hurricanes at both of Saturn’s poles.  

And the images it returned are beautiful enough to make you weep.

On this day in 2017, with the fuel for Cassini’s directional thrusters running low, the probe was de-orbited into the Saturnian atmosphere to prevent any possibility of any contamination of possible biotic environments on Titan or Enceladus.  The remaining thruster fuel was used to keep the radio dish pointed towards Earth so the probe could transmit information about the upper atmosphere of Saturn while it was burning up due to atmospheric friction.

This is us at our best.  We spent no small amount of money on a nuclear-powered robot, launched it into space, sent it a billion miles away, and worked with it for two decades just to learn about another planet.  And when the repeatedly-extended missions were through, we made the little craft sacrifice itself like a samurai, performing its duty as long as it could while it became a shooting star in the Saturnian sky.

Rhea occulting Saturn

Water geysers on Enceladus

Strange Iapetus

Look at this gorgeousness

A gigantic motherfucking storm in Saturn’s northern hemisphere

Tethys

This image is from the surface of a moon of a planet at least 746 million miles away.  Sweet lord

Mimas

Vertical structures in the rings.  Holy shit

Titan and Dione occulting Saturn, rings visible

Little Daphnis making gravitational ripples in the rings

That’s here.  That’s home.  That’s all of us that ever lived.

Saturn, backlit

A polar vortex on the gas giant

Icy Enceladus

(All images from NASA/JPL)

Webb 101: 10 Facts about the James Webb Space Telescope

Did you know…?

1. Our upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will act like a powerful time machine – because it will capture light that’s been traveling across space for as long as 13.5 billion years, when the first stars and galaxies were formed out of the darkness of the early universe.

2. Webb will be able to see infrared light. This is light that is just outside the visible spectrum, and just outside of what we can see with our human eyes.

3. Webb’s unprecedented sensitivity to infrared light will help astronomers to compare the faintest, earliest galaxies to today’s grand spirals and ellipticals, helping us to understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years.

Hubble’s infrared look at the Horsehead Nebula. Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

4. Webb will be able to see right through and into massive clouds of dust that are opaque to visible-light observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. Inside those clouds are where stars and planetary systems are born.

5. In addition to seeing things inside our own solar system, Webb will tell us more about the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars, and perhaps even find the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe.

Credit: Northrop Grumman

6. Webb will orbit the Sun a million miles away from Earth, at the place called the second Lagrange point. (L2 is four times further away than the moon!)

7. To preserve Webb’s heat sensitive vision, it has a ‘sunshield’ that’s the size of a tennis court; it gives the telescope the equivalent of SPF protection of 1 million! The sunshield also reduces the temperature between the hot and cold side of the spacecraft by almost 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

8.  Webb’s 18-segment primary mirror is over 6 times bigger in area than Hubble’s and will be ~100x more powerful. (How big is it? 6.5 meters in diameter.)

9.  Webb’s 18 primary mirror segments can each be individually adjusted to work as one massive mirror. They’re covered with a golf ball’s worth of gold, which optimizes them for reflecting infrared light (the coating is so thin that a human hair is 1,000 times thicker!).

10. Webb will be so sensitive, it could detect the heat signature of a bumblebee at the distance of the moon, and can see details the size of a US penny at the distance of about 40 km.

BONUS!  Over 1,200 scientists, engineers and technicians from 14 countries (and more than 27 U.S. states) have taken part in designing and building Webb. The entire project is a joint mission between NASA and the European and Canadian Space Agencies. The telescope part of the observatory was assembled in the world’s largest cleanroom at our Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Webb is currently being tested at our Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, TX.

Afterwards, the telescope will travel to Northrop Grumman to be mated with the spacecraft and undergo final testing. Once complete, Webb will be packed up and be transported via boat to its launch site in French Guiana, where a European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket will take it into space.

Learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope HERE, or follow the mission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

they broke your heart. don’t let them have the chance to touch you ever, ever again. they will wonder. they will ask around. a second chance means another heartbreak. you’re a million miles away and they lost you forever

“Deep in the ocean, dead and cast away
Where innocence is burned in flames
A million miles from home, I’m walking ahead
I’m frozen to the bones, I am…

A soldier on my own, I don’t know the way
I’m riding up the heights of shame
I’m waiting for the call, the hand on the chest
I’m ready for the fight and fate

-” Iron" by Woodkid

Felt like drawing some dark stuff like the moment “the Champion” was born. I really believe that at some point this happened, as a defensive mechanism.
I hope they don’t do something equally bad to Shiro during the next season or so. He deserves to live and be happy :’(

youtube

The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away © 1983 Geffen Records

YouTube Source Channel: ThePlimsoulsVEVO                                                                                                              

Triple treat: Eclipse, comet, full moon all coming Friday night 2/10/17

Penumbral lunar eclipse

Not as spectacular — or noticeable — as a total lunar eclipse, this rather subtle phenomenon occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (known as the penumbra), according to EarthSky.org.

The outer shadow of the Earth blocks part — but not all — of the sun’s rays from reaching the moon, making it appear slightly darker than usual.

Full “snow” moon

As required during any lunar eclipse, the moon will be full Friday night. And this month it’s nicknamed the “snow” moon.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, full moon names date back to Native Americans in the northern and eastern U.S. Each full moon has its own name.

“The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon,” the almanac reports. “Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.”

Comet 45P

A few hours after the eclipse, Comet 45P, which has been visible after sunset for the past two months through binoculars and telescopes, makes its closest approach to Earth, when it will be “only” 7.4 million miles away, NASA said.

Look to the east around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, where it will be visible in the sky in the constellation Hercules. Binoculars or a telescope could be helpful. Watch for a bright blue-green “head” with a tail.

It will be visible in various points of the night sky until the end of February, according to NASA.

baby fever [parenthood series #1]

 summary: Bucky wants a baby. || fluff & nsfw || [future]dad!bucky x reader ||

warnings: your heart will grow like the grinch at this sweet content, nsfw, smut, trying for a baby, fear of parenthood, [intentional] unprotected sex, mentions of prenancy, mentions of Steve/Natasha and their baby Sarah

note: I’ve been posting dad!bucky fics here and there, so I decided to make a legit series and stuff about it called ‘Parenthood.’ This series will show everyone how Bucky’s little family was started, and how they progress through milestones and all of that. Here’s the first part called ‘Baby Fever!’ 

Originally posted by thewiinterrsoldiier

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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

10 Tools for the Armchair Astronaut, or  How to Explore the Solar System from Home

At this very moment, spacecraft are surveying the solar system, from Mars, to Saturn, to Pluto and beyond. Now you can ride along to see the latest discoveries from deep space. For this week’s edition of 10 Things, we’ve assembled a toolkit of 10 essential resources for the desktop astronaut.  

1. It’s Like Facebook, but for Planets

Or is it more of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Solar System? Whatever one calls it, our planets page offers quick rundowns, as well as in-depth guides, for all the major bodies in the solar system. Explore from the sun all the way to the Oort Cloud.

+ Peruse the planets
+ See how objects in the solar system stack up against each other

2. Keep Your Eyes on This One

If you still haven’t tried Eyes on the Solar System, you’re missing out. This free, downloadable simulation app lets you tour the planets and track the past, current and future positions of spacecraft–all in 3D. Eyes on the Solar System uses real NASA data to help you take a virtual flight across both space and time.

+ Prepare for departure

3. Dateline: Deep Space

With so much exploration underway, discoveries and new insights into the solar system come at a pace that borders on bewildering. NASA is rewriting the textbooks, literally, on a regular basis. Relax, though: there are several easy ways to stay up to date with what’s happening in space.

+ See the latest headlines
+ Stay connected on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
+ Find more top NASA social media accounts

4. Space? There’s an App for That

NASA offers phone and tablet apps for star gazing, pictures, news, 3D tours, satellite tracking, live NASA TV and many other kinds of info.

+ Start downloading
+ See other cool apps

5. A (Very) Long Distance Call

We’re in constant communication with spacecraft all over the solar system. The Deep Space Network is a global network of giant antenna dishes that makes it possible. With this online app, you can learn how it works – and even see which spacecraft are phoning home right now.

+ Deep Space Network (DSN) Now

6. Collect ‘Em All

Spacecraft 3D is an augmented reality (AR) application that lets you learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft that are used to explore our solar system, study Earth and observe the universe. Print out the AR target and your camera will do the rest, making the spacecraft appear in 3D right in front of you. Learn more about these robotic explorers as they pop up on your desk, in your hand, or on your dog’s head.

+ Download Spacecraft 3D
+ See more cool 3-D resources from NASA

7. Ever Wanted to Drive a Mars Rover?

This site will give you a 3D look at the Mars Curiosity rover, along with some of the terrain it has explored. It will even let you take the controls.

+ Experience Curiosity

8. More E-Ticket Attractions

But wait, there’s more. NASA offers a variety of other fascinating (and free) online experiences, all based on actual data from real missions. Here are a few to explore:

+ Mars Trek
+ Vesta Trek
+ Moon Trek

9. The Universe Is Our Classroom

Studying the solar system makes for a compelling route into learning and teaching science, engineering and math. We have some great places to start.

+ Find resources for teachers
+ Build your own solar system with your classroom

10. Bring It on Home

After you’ve toured the far reaches of the solar system, you can always come home again. When you have spent time studying the harsh conditions on our neighboring planets, the charms of a unique paradise come into sharp focus, the place we call Earth.

+ Watch a real-time video feed from Earth orbit
+ See a daily global view of our planet from a million miles away
+ Hold the earth in your hands with the Earth Now mobile app

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

Follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Trans men who have gotten chased back into the closet by shitty parents, shitty friends, or a shitty situation need to know: it is not your fault. Someday you will be able to come out again. Someday the people who put you back in the closet will regret how they treated you, and it’ll be like you’re a million miles away from where you are now. I’m sorry this has happened. You deserve better than this.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way
—  Hurt by Nine Inch Nails
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
—  Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time