Tropical Storm Bill From the International Space Station : NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, currently on a one-year mission to the International Space Station, took this photograph of Tropical Storm Bill in the Gulf of Mexico as it approached the coast of Texas, on June 15, 2015.

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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2015 July 5 

Zeta Oph: Runaway Star 

Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun, lies near the center of the frame, moving toward the left at 24 kilometers per second. Its strong stellar wind precedes it, compressing and heating the dusty interstellar material and shaping the curved shock front. Around it are clouds of relatively undisturbed material. 

What set this star in motion? Zeta Oph was likely once a member of a binary star system, its companion star was more massive and hence shorter lived. When the companion exploded as a supernova catastrophically losing mass, Zeta Oph was flung out of the system. About 460 light-years away, Zeta Oph is 65,000 times more luminous than the Sun and would be one of the brighter stars in the sky if it weren’t surrounded by obscuring dust. The image spans about 1.5 degrees or 12 light-years at the estimated distance of Zeta Ophiuchi.

Zeta Oph: Runaway Star

(via APOD; Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Spitzer Space Telescope )

Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun, lies near the center of the frame, moving toward the left at 24 kilometers per second. Its strong stellar wind precedes it, compressing and heating the dusty interstellar material and shaping the curved shock front. Around it are clouds of relatively undisturbed material. What set this star in motion? Zeta Oph was likely once a member of a binary star system, its companion star was more massive and hence shorter lived. When the companion exploded as a supernova catastrophically losing mass, Zeta Oph was flung out of the system. About 460 light-years away, Zeta Oph is 65,000 times more luminous than the Sun and would be one of the brighter stars in the sky if it weren’t surrounded by obscuring dust. The image spans about 1.5 degrees or 12 light-years at the estimated distance of Zeta Ophiuchi.

“That same rocket and nuclear and computer technology that sends our ships past the farthest known planet can also be used to destroy our global civilization. Exactly the same technology can be used for good and for evil. It is as if there were a God who said to us, “I set before you two ways: You can use your technology to destroy yourselves or to carry you to the planets and the stars. It’s up to you.” - Carl Sagan

NASA’s New Horizons Enters “Safe Mode” After Communication Glitch

NASA’s New Horizons probe experienced an anomaly on Saturday that resulted in the temporary loss of communication with Earth and put the spacecraft into a protective “safe mode” just 10 days ahead of its historic flyby of Pluto.

Read more: http://www.penny4nasa.org/2015/07/05/new-horizons-enters-safe-mode-after-communications-glitch/

Pluto and Charon Surfaces in Living Color

This is the first movie created by New Horizons to reveal color surface features of Pluto and its largest moon Charon. “It’s a bit unusual to see so much surface detail at this distance,” said New Horizons co-investigator William McKinnon of the Geology and Geophysics Investigation Team, Washington University in Saint Louis. “What’s especially noteworthy is the level of detail in both bodies. It’s certainly whetting our appetite for what’s to come.”

The images were taken between June 23 and June 29, 2015, as New Horizons’ distance to Pluto decreased from a distance of 15 million to 11 million miles (24 million to 18 million kilometers). Six high-resolution black-and-white images from New Horizons’ LORRI instrument were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to produce the movie.


PLUTO YOU BEAUTIFUL WALNUT

My entire life I thought you would be blue :(

Congratulations to Team USA on winning the Women’s World Cup!

Did you know that the International Space Station spans almost an entire soccer field? The space station is the largest artificial satellite in orbit and can be seen by the naked eye when viewing the sky at the appropriate time. It weighs nearly 1,000,000 pounds and has more livable space than a typical six-bedroom house.

Image Credit: NASA

youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqxpq-P71DE

New Crew Access Tower at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 

Pluto - in reality

PLuto is barely a few pixels from here in telescopes. It’s not much more from even closer. After all, it’s… SMALL and FAR AWAY.

So we sent a probe. The New Horizons probe was launched way back in 2006. It got close enough to take those snapshots of few pixels as it approached. It’s on the final approach and will reach the closest point to Pluto on the 14th of July.The photos will get drastically better every day, but they’re still not the usually circulating amazingly detailed, colourful photoshop images, made to popularize the mission. Only a few days ago the probe snapped its first colour images, from which NASA made an animation. This is the best we have at the moment. It’s still amazing… and it is REAL.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html