Powerful magnetic forces above an active region on the Sun twisted and pulled at a blob of plasma until it lost its connections and blew out into space (Mar. 26, 2014). The resultant swirling presented its own kind of graceful, almost ballet-like bends and sweeps. To offer some kind of size perspective that blob, before it broke away, was easily larger than several Earths. The event was observed in extreme ultraviolet light over about 5.5 hours. 

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA

What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in the nebula made predominantly of hydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000 light-years away and can be found with a small telescope to the northeast of the bright star Deneb.

Object Names: Pelican Nebula, IC 5067, IC 5070

Imagte Type: Astronomical

Credit: Larry Van Vleet (LVVASTRO)

Time And Space

Sunset at the Viking Lander 1 Site

On July 20, 1976, at 8:12 a.m. EDT, NASA received the signal that the Viking Lander 1 successfully reached the Martian surface. This major milestone represented the first time the United States successfully landed a vehicle on the surface of Mars, collecting an overwhelming amount of data that would soon be used in future NASA missions. Upon touchdown, Viking 1 took its first picture of the dusty and rocky surface and relayed the historic image back to Earthlings eagerly awaiting its arrival. Viking 1, and later Viking Orbiter 2, collected an abundance of high-resolution imagery and scientific data, blazing a trail that will one day take humans to Mars.

This color image of the Martian surface in the Chryse area was taken by Viking Lander 1, looking southwest, about 15 minutes before sunset on the evening of Aug. 21. 

Credit: NASA/JPL

Close Encounters of the Jovian Kind

Yesterday NASA’s Juno mission swept close to the clouds of Jupiter and we just got a first look at the flyby. When this image was taken the spacecraft was 437,000 miles over the clouds… Yesterday it dropped to a distance of 2,600. This will be the closest any man made object will have ever gotten to the giant planet.

The next batch of images will be stunning.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

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When it comes to real footage of UFOs film from the 1991 NASA STS-48 Discovery Space Shuttle mission definitely ranks as some of the best. This footage is real and well documented, and has been the subject of rigorous scientific investigation by multiple researchers and institutions.

The video above shows as many as a dozen objects moving in an unusual fashion. Apart from that, the most fascinating moment is when we see one object at a point near the horizon, as a flash occurs, the object shoots off into space. The objects speed before accelerating into space is estimated at 87,000 kph. After it changes direction and accelerates off into space it is estimated to of reached 340,000 kph in 2.2 seconds. Such an acceleration would produce 14,000 g of force.