The Invisible Galaxy

A new form of diffuse galaxy has been discovered inside the Coma Cluster. This place is made 99.99% of dark matter, totally invisible as it doesn’t interact with light.

The galaxy is known as Dragonfly 44 and was discovered by astronomers Pieter van Dokkum and his colleagues.

The way star systems orbit around the center of a galaxy is inexplicable with “normal” physics. To account for the velocity variations and patterns we need to add a new ingredient to the gravitational pot: dark matter.

Dragonfly 44 in particular has so few stars that were the dark matter to be taken away, the galaxy would fly apart the same way you’d go flying if the cord holding the swing to a swing set were severed.

(Image credit: NASA, JPL-CalTech and L. Jenkins

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


Visions of the Future

“Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.”

At Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s site you can click on any of the thumbnails above to learn more and download a free poster sized image.


As you all know I will be reporting at the NASASocial event in Florida in early September and I need your help!!!

I need you to start submitting questions you would like me to ask engineers, or broad questions to ask other scientists we meet along the way. Any questions are accepted and appreciated! PS(I’m already planning on asking anyone I talk to what their favorite science joke is so don’t ask that).

Second, if you have any astronomy, geology, or any other jokes that fit this events theme please send those in also! My ask box is the best place to message me these or in the comment section of THIS post.

Lastly, remember to donate if you can.

Katherine Johnson is a physicist, space scientist, and NASA mathematician. She calculated the flight path for the Apollo mission to the moon. Katherine has worked on NASA’s mercury missions, space shuttles, and plans for the mission to Mars.

Enjoy these illustrations? Check out my new book Women in Science at


AS11-40-5964 von Project Apollo Archive
Apollo 11 Hasselblad image from film magazine 40/S - EVA