The North America and Pelican Nebulas : Here lie familiar shapes in unfamiliar locations. On the left is an emission nebula cataloged as NGC 7000, famous partly because it resembles our fair planet’s continent of North America. The emission region to the right of the North America Nebula is IC 5070, also known for its suggestive outlines as the Pelican Nebula. Separated by a dark cloud of obscuring dust, the two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away. At that distance, the 4 degree wide field of view spans 100 light-years. This spectacular cosmic portrait combines narrow band images to highlight bright ionization fronts with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Emission from atomic hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen is captured in the narrow band image in scientifically assigned colors. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. via NASA

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NASA Will Put Rocket Raccoon And Groot On Its New Mission Patch
If there was any doubt in your heart that the people at NASA were a bunch of nerds, here’s the evidence that proves otherwise.
By Carli Velocci

If there was any doubt in your heart that the people at NASA were a bunch of nerds, here’s the evidence that proves otherwise.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy made space operas exciting again, so what better way to honor its roots than to include two of its most popular characters on a mission patch?

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced Friday that Groot and Rocket the Raccoon will be featured on a mission patch that will represent all payloads that will head to the national laboratory on the International Space Station.

We got our first look at the patch from director James Gunn, who tweeted the announcement from San Diego Comic-Con.

The patch was designed by Juan Doe, who has previously designed covers for Marvel. According to a press release, CASIS hopes that the patch will put more eyes on the ISS and bring hope for what people can accomplish in the future.

“A major mission for us here at CASIS is to find unique and innovative ways to bring notoriety to the ISS National Laboratory and the research that is being conducted on our orbiting laboratory,” said CASIS Director of Operations and Educational Opportunities Ken Shields.

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The majestic Lagoon Nebula is filled with hot gas and homes many young stars. Spanning 100 light years across while lying only about 5000 light years distant, the Lagoon Nebula is so big and bright that it can be seen without a telescope toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). Many bright stars are visible from NGC 6530, an open cluster that formed in the nebula only several million years ago. The greater nebula, also known as M8 and NGC 6523, is named “Lagoon” for the band of dust seen to the right of the open cluster’s center. The featured image was taken in the light emitted by Hydrogen (shown in brown), Sulfur (red), and Oxygen (blue) and displayed in enhanced color. The featured picture is a newly processed panorama of M8, capturing twice the diameter of the Full Moon. Star formation continues in the Lagoon Nebula as witnessed by the many globules that exist there.

Object Names: Lagoon Nebula, M8, NGC 6523

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: John Nemick

Time And Space

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These two Earth-sized planets might have atmospheres that can support life
New homes?
By Josh Hrala

Astronomers working with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, analysed the atmospheres of two Earth-sized exoplanets beyond our Solar System, concluding that they might be ideal for fostering life.

The findings suggest that the two exoplanets – TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, which are around 40 light-years away – do not have hydrogen-based atmospheres, which the team says would make them inhospitable, as hydrogen-dense atmospheres usually lead to a devastating greenhouse effect.

“The lack of a smothering hydrogen-helium envelope increases the chances for habitability on these planets,” team member Nikole Lewis, from the Space Telescope Science Institute in the US, said in a statement.

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Andromeda in Infrared

This image of the Andromeda galaxy in infrared is the sharpest image ever taken of the dust in another spiral galaxy when it was taken. This image reveals the delicate tracings of spiral arms that reach into the very center of the galaxy. The fiery plumes of red contain millions of stars trapped within the dust that creates them.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Spitzer

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