Welcome to week 10 of #potluck100PFA! Day 37/100 (10/25 #microcosmmondays). New Horizons became the first spacecraft to visit Pluto in July 2015. 🍂 21 x 21 mm. Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.
THIS PAINTING WILL BE UP FOR AUCTION FOR A WEEK STARTING ON 29 JULY 2015. #paintingsforants #potluck100pfa #miniature #watercolour #art #pluto #dwarfplanet #nasa #space (at Woodstock, Western Cape, South Africa)

Milky Way and Aurora over Antarctica

(via APOD; Image Credit & Copyright: LI Hang )

It has been one of the better skies of this long night. In parts of Antarctica, not only is it winter, but the Sun can spend weeks below the horizon. At China’s Zhongshan Station, people sometimes venture out into the cold to photograph a spectacular night sky. The featured image from one such outing was taken in mid-July, just before the end of this polar night. Pointing up, the wide angle lens captured not only the ground at the bottom, but at the top as well. In the foreground is a colleague also taking pictures. In the distance, a spherical satellite receiver and several windmills are visible. Numerous stars dot the night sky, including Sirius and Canopus. Far in the background, stretching overhead from horizon to horizon, is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible as extended smudges near the top, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, satellite galaxies near our huge Milky Way Galaxy.

NASA just confirmed “Earth’s Twin” exists. This is what it means.

 (Video)NASA’s Keplar space telescope confirmed the existence of the 1030th known planet. Even more staggering, it’s the closest thing NASA has found to being Earth’s closest relative. Keplar-452b revolves in a “habitable zone” around a sun-like star and has an orbit time of 382 days and is just 5 percent further than Earth from its parent star. NASA estimates that the planet could be rocky based on its size. Keplar 452b is 60% wider than Earth. Since it began, the Keplar mission has detected 4,696 planets, 1030 of which have been confirmed. To accept the possibility that Earth is the only host to intelligent life is to remain blind to overwhelming probability.

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The orbiter Columbia, aboard its orbiter transporter system, rolls toward the opening in the Vehicle Assembly Building where it was mated with the external tank mating in preparation for mission STS-93. The primary mission objective was the deployment of the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, renamed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Mission STS-93 was the first led by a woman, Commander Eileen M. Collins.  The mission launched on July 23, 1999.