whitsons

Eclipse Across America

August 21, 2017, the United States experienced a solar eclipse! 

An eclipse occurs when the Moon temporarily blocks the light from the Sun. Within the narrow, 60- to 70-mile-wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina called the path of totality, the Moon completely blocked out the Sun’s face; elsewhere in North America, the Moon covered only a part of the star, leaving a crescent-shaped Sun visible in the sky.

During this exciting event, we were collecting your images and reactions online. 

Here are a few images of this celestial event…take a look:

This composite image, made from 4 frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse from, Northern Cascades National Park in Washington. Onboard as part of Expedition 52 are: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, and Randy Bresnik; Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Bailey’s Beads effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

This image from one of our Twitter followers shows the eclipse through tree leaves as crescent shaped shadows from Seattle, WA.

Credit: Logan Johnson

“The eclipse in the palm of my hand”. The eclipse is seen here through an indirect method, known as a pinhole projector, by one of our followers on social media from Arlington, TX.

Credit: Mark Schnyder

Through the lens on a pair of solar filter glasses, a social media follower captures the partial eclipse from Norridgewock, ME.

Credit: Mikayla Chase

While most of us watched the eclipse from Earth, six humans had the opportunity to view the event from 250 miles above on the International Space Station. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli captured this image of the Moon’s shadow crossing America.

Credit: Paolo Nespoli

This composite image shows the progression of a partial solar eclipse over Ross Lake, in Northern Cascades National Park, Washington. The beautiful series of the partially eclipsed sun shows the full spectrum of the event. 

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

In this video captured at 1,500 frames per second with a high-speed camera, the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming.

Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

To see more images from our NASA photographers, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/albums/72157685363271303

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

The good bits of 2017

There’s Probably more things that aren’t here, I loved making the list last year to prove it’s not all bad, and this year is just the same, not everything this year has been bad, there’s tonnes of good things

Feel free to add your own stuff as well


Good things from 2017:

- Pokemon ultra sun and ultra moon

- jacksepticeye’s #overnightwatch stream

- the eclipse

- The switch’s amazing intro to gaming

- The moonlight v la la land slip up

- The Wonder Woman movie

- Harry Potter and the portrait of what looked like a large pile of ash

- Lord Buckethead running against Theresa may

- Covefefe

- A talk on North Korea being interrupted by the guy’s kids

- Dear Evan Hansen

- The disaster artist brought the room to thousands of new people

- Pixar’s Coco

- And the subsequent removal of the frozen short from before coco

- Spider-Man homecoming

- NBC’s the good place

- Baby drivers amazing choreographic fight scenes

- Ted Cruz liking porn on his official twitter

- Dream daddy dating sim

- Donald trump’s twitter being deleted for 11 minutes

- Fortnite gave pubg something to fight with

- Mario odyssey and Zelda breath of the wild put Nintendo on all gaming top 10 lists

- Stranger things 2

- The new IT movie was amazing

- Star Wars the last Jedi

- Thor Ragnarok

- The emoji movie was so shit it was stupidly hilarious

- The snowman, cause ya know what is deffo scary and not at all a hilarious idea, scary snowmen

- Jodie Whitaker as the doctor

- Blue planet 1 & 2

- A series of unfortunate things gave us a better evil Neil Patrick Harris than doctor horrible

- Castlevania got a cool gruesome anime

- Doki doki literature club defied expectations and creeped out many

- American vandal helped Netflix poke fun at itself and the education system

- Sonic forces let us all create our own fursonas

- Mario and rabbids: kingdom battle surprised everyone with its goodness

- Dodie Clark’s You EP

- dodie Clark’s “in the middle”

- Critical role had an amazing ending filed with heart ache and epic magic

- The adventure zone’s first big story came to an end with plot twist after plot twist we all loved it

- Disney added it’s first gay character in le fou (not a good start but a start)

- Pokemon for the switch was announced

- Brooklyn nine-nine just got better and better #BiRosa

- Guardians of the galaxy vol 2 has an amazing soundtrack yet again

- The Lego Batman movie gave us the best batman film since the dark night trilogy

- bendy and the ink machine

- life is strange: before the storm

- the final fanf game? Maybe??? Probably not

The more serious good stuff:

- The royal engagement

- Hundreds of nfl players took the knee

- A treatment for ALS has been found

- A device has been created to help heal burn victims

- Stefán Karl stefánsson becoming free of cancer

- A new record was set by Peggy whitson for the most days spent in space

- Malala yousafzai started college

- All the women’s marches

- Everyone from the #meToo movement

Five Times Astronaut Peggy Whitson Made History

On April 24, 2017, NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson established the new record for the most time spent in space by an American astronaut. She’s spent more than 76 weeks of her life floating in microgravity!  It’s not the first time in her career at NASA that Whitson has established new milestones: here are just a few.

First NASA Science Officer

Peggy Whitson was the named the first NASA Science Officer aboard the space station in 2002. The position was created to work with the United States research community to understand and meet the requirements and objectives of each space station experiment.

First Female to Command the Space Station… Twice

Whitson became the first female to command the space station during Expedition 16 in 2008. Then Whitson became the first female to command the station twice during her current mission on April 9, 2017.

First Female Chief of the Astronaut Office

In 2009, Whitson became the first female and first non-pilot to achieve the most senior position for active astronauts, Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Most Spacewalks for a Female

On March 30, 2017, Peggy Whitson broke the record for most spacewalks and most time spent spacewalking for female astronauts. Suni Williams had previously held the record at 7 spacewalks.

Most Time In Space By A NASA Astronaut

At 1:27 a.m. ET on April 24, Peggy Whitson set the new record for cumulative time spent in space by an American astronaut. Jeff Williams previously set the record in 2016.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Eclipse 2017 From Space

On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse passed over North America. People throughout the continent captured incredible images of this celestial phenomenon. We and our partner agencies had a unique vantage point on the eclipse from space. Here are a few highlights from our fleet of satellites that observe the Sun, the Moon and Earth.

Our Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which watches the Sun nearly 24/7 from its orbit 3,000 miles above Earth, saw a partial eclipse on Aug. 21.

SDO sees the Moon cross in front of the Sun several times a year. However, these lunar transits don’t usually correspond to an eclipse here on Earth, and an eclipse on the ground doesn’t guarantee that SDO will see anything out of the ordinary. In this case, on Aug. 21, SDO did see the Moon briefly pass in front of the Sun at the same time that the Moon’s shadow passed over the eastern United States. From its view in space, SDO only saw 14 percent of the Sun blocked by the Moon, while most U.S. residents saw 60 percent blockage or more.

Six people saw the eclipse from the International Space Station. Viewing the eclipse from orbit were NASA’s Randy Bresnik, Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, the European Space Agency’s Paolo Nespoli, and Roscosmos’ Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy. The space station crossed the path of the eclipse three times as it orbited above the continental United States at an altitude of 250 miles.

From a million miles out in space, our Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, or EPIC, instrument captured 12 natural color images of the Moon’s shadow crossing over North America. EPIC is aboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, where it photographs the full sunlit side of Earth every day, giving it a unique view of the shadow from total solar eclipses. EPIC normally takes about 20 to 22 images of Earth per day, so this animation appears to speed up the progression of the eclipse.

A ground-based image of the total solar eclipse – which looks like a gray ring – is superimposed over a red-toned image of the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. This view of the corona was captured by the European Space Agency and our Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. At center is an orange-toned image of the Sun’s surface as seen by our Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths of light.

During a total solar eclipse, ground-based telescopes can observe the lowest part of the solar corona in a way that can’t be done at any other time, as the Sun’s dim corona is normally obscured by the Sun’s bright light. The structure in the ground-based corona image — defined by giant magnetic fields sweeping out from the Sun’s surface — can clearly be seen extending into the outer image from the space-based telescope. The more scientists understand about the lower corona, the more they can understand what causes the constant outward stream of material called the solar wind, as well as occasional giant eruptions called coronal mass ejections.

As millions of Americans watched the total solar eclipse that crossed the continental United States, the international Hinode solar observation satellite captured its own images of the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. The images were taken with Hinode’s X-ray telescope, or XRT, as it flew above the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States, at an altitude of approximately 422 miles. Hinode is a joint endeavor by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the European Space Agency, the United Kingdom Space Agency and NASA.

During the total solar eclipse our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, in orbit around the Moon, turned one of its instruments towards Earth to capture an image of the Moon’s shadow over a large region of the United States.

As LRO crossed the lunar south pole heading north at 3,579 mph, the shadow of the Moon was racing across the United States at 1,500 mph. A few minutes later, LRO began a slow 180-degree turn to look back at Earth, capturing an image of the eclipse very near the location where totality lasted the longest. The spacecraft’s Narrow Angle Camera began scanning Earth at 2:25:30 p.m. EDT and completed the image 18 seconds later.

Sensors on the polar-orbiting Terra and Suomi NPP satellites gathered data and imagery in swaths thousands of miles wide. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, sensor on Terra and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, on Suomi NPP captured the data used to make this animation that alternates between two mosaics. Each mosaic is made with data from different overpasses that was collected at different times.

This full-disk geocolor image from NOAA/NASA’s GOES-16 shows the shadow of the Moon covering a large portion of the northwestern U.S. during the eclipse.

Our Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission captured this view of the Moon passing in front of the Sun on Aug. 21.  

Check out nasa.gov/eclipse to learn more about the Aug. 21, 2017, eclipse along with future eclipses, and follow us on Twitter for more satellite images like these: @NASASun, @NASAMoon, and @NASAEarth.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

I happen to know an astronaut, it’s quite random. I’m obsessed with space. I’m so in love with it. A woman just got back, Peggy Whitson is her name, she’s an American astronaut, and she just got back from spending 655 days , which is the longest anyone has ever spent in space, and she just landed yesterday actually weirdly enough. My friend Shane Kimbrough, who’s just come back from the International Space Center, I’d bring him because he knows what to do. And then I’d bring one of my really good friends from Ireland, he’s a space economist, so he works out the price of how to get to space. He would really enjoy it, because anytime we talk about - anytime we go for a drink, all we end up doing is talking about space. And I reckon I would bring, um, ah - I’d bring you, because you like space. Anyone who likes space, I’m bringing.
—  Niall Horan, P3 Star interview 4.9.17:  going on a space trip, you could never return to Earth, you could bring three people in a space ship, who would you bring?
The As, Gs, Cs and Ts of the Space Station: First In-Space Microbe Identification

Being able to identify microbes in real-time aboard the International Space Station, without having to send them back to Earth for identification first, would be totally amazing for the world of microbiology and space exploration.

The Genes in Space 3 team turned that possibility into a reality this year, when it completed the first-ever sample-to-sequence process entirely aboard the space station.

The ability to identify microbes in space could aid in the ability to diagnose and treat astronauts in real time, as well as assisting in the identification of life on other planets. It could also benefit other experiments aboard the space station.

HELPFUL SCIENCE HINT: Identifying microbes involves isolating the DNA of samples, and then amplifying – or making lots and lots (and LOTS) of copies - of that DNA that can then be sequenced, or identified.  

As part of regular monitoring, petri plates were touched to various surfaces of the space station. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson transferred cells from growing bacterial colonies on those plates into miniature test tubes, something that had never been done before in space (first OMG moment!).

Once the cells were successfully collected, it was time to isolate the DNA and prepare it for sequencing, enabling the identification of the unknown organisms – another first for space microbiology.

Enter Hurricane Harvey. *thunder booms*

“We started hearing the reports of Hurricane Harvey the week in between Peggy performing the first part of collecting the sample and gearing up for the actual sequencing,” said Sarah Wallace, the project’s primary investigator.

When our Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston became inaccessible due hurricane conditions, Marshall Space Flight Center’s Payload Operations Integration Center in Huntsville, Alabama worked to connect Wallace to Whitson using Wallace’s personal cell phone.

With a hurricane wreaking havoc outside, Wallace and Whitson set out to make history.

The data were downlinked to the team in Houston for analysis and identification.

“Once we actually got the data on the ground we were able to turn it around and start analyzing it,” said Aaron Burton, the project’s co-investigator. “You get all these squiggle plots and you have to turn that into As, Gs, Cs and Ts.”

Those As, Gs, Cs and Ts are more than just a nerdy alphabet – they are Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine – the four bases that make up each strand of DNA and can tell you what organism the strand of DNA came from. 

“Right away, we saw one microorganism pop up, and then a second one, and they were things that we find all the time on the space station,” said Wallace. “The validation of these results would be when we got the sample back to test on Earth.”

Soon after, the samples returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz spacecraft, along with Whitson.

With the samples now in the team’s JSC lab, tests were completed in ground labs to confirm the findings from the space station. They ran the tests again and again, and then once more, to confirm accuracy. Each time, the results were exactly the same on the ground as in orbit. (second OMG moment!)

“We did it. Everything worked perfectly,” said Sarah Stahl, microbiologist.

This capability could change future space exploration.

“As a microbiologist,” said Wallace, “My goal is really so that when we go and we move beyond ISS and we’re headed towards Mars or the moon or wherever we are headed to, we have a process that the crew can have that great understanding of the environment, based on molecular technology.”

For more information, follow @ISS_Research

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com. 

Expedition 52 Begins Aboard Space Station

When humans launch to the International Space Station, they are members of expeditions. An expedition is long duration stay on the space station. The first expedition started when the crew docked to the station on Nov. 2, 2000.

Expedition 52 began in June 2017 aboard the orbiting laboratory and will end in September 2017. 

FUN FACT: Each Expedition begins with the undocking of the spacecraft carrying the departing crew from the previous Expedition. So Expedition 52 began with the undocking of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft that brought Expedition 51 crew members Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet back to Earth, leaving NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin aboard the station to await the arrival of the rest of the Expedition 52 crew in July.

This expedition includes dozens of out of this world science investigations and a crew that takes #SquadGoals to a whole new level. 

Take a look below to get to know the crew members and some of the science that will occur during the space station’s 52nd expedition.

Crew

Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos) – Commander

Born: Batumi, Adjar ASSR, Georgian SSR
Interests: collecting stamps and space logos, sports, history of cosmonautics and reading
Spaceflights: STS-112, Exps. 15, 24/25, 36/37, 51
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2o9PO9F 

Jack Fischer (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born:  Louisville, Colorado.
Interests: spending time with my family, flying, camping, traveling and construction
Spaceflights: Expedition 51
Twitter: @Astro2Fish
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2o9FY7o

Peggy Whitson (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Mount Ayr, Iowa
Interests: weightlifting, biking, basketball and water skiing
Spaceflights: STS-111, STS – 113, Exps. 5, 16, 50, 51, 52
Twitter: @AstroPeggy
Bio:  https://go.nasa.gov/2rpL58x

Randolph Bresnik (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Fort Knox, Kentucky
Interests: travel, music, photography, weight training, sports, scuba diving, motorcycling, and flying warbirds
Spaceflights: STS-129 and STS-135
Twitter: @AstroKomrade
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rq5Ssm

Sergey Ryazanskiy (Roscosmos) – Flight Engineer

Born: Moscow, Soviet Union
Interests: Numismatics, playing the guitar, tourism, sport games
Spaceflights: Exps. 37/38
Twitter: @Ryazanskiy_ISS
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rpXfOK

Paolo Nespoli (ESA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Milan, Italy
Interests: scuba diving, piloting aircraft, assembling computer hardware, electronic equipment and computer software
Spaceflights: STS-120, Exps. 26/27
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rq0tlk

What will the crew be doing during Expedition 52?

In addition to one tentatively planned spacewalk, crew members will conduct scientific investigations that will demonstrate more efficient solar arrays, study the physics of neutron stars, study a new drug to fight osteoporosis and study the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.

Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA)

Solar panels are an efficient way to generate power, but they can be delicate and large when used to power a spacecraft or satellites. They are often tightly stowed for launch and then must be unfolded when the spacecraft reaches orbit.

The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA), is a solar panel concept that is lighter and stores more compactly for launch than the rigid solar panels currently in use. ROSA has solar cells on a flexible blanket and a framework that rolls out like a tape measure.  

Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER)

Neutron stars, the glowing cinders left behind when massive stars explode as supernovas, are the densest objects in the universe, and contain exotic states of matter that are impossible to replicate in any ground lab.

The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER) payload, affixed to the exterior of the space station, studies the physics of these stars, providing new insight into their nature and behavior.

Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for Osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5)

When people and animals spend extended periods of time in space, they experience bone density loss. The Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5) investigation tests a new drug that can both rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving health for crew members.

Fruit Fly Lab-02

Exposure to reduced gravity environments can result in cardiovascular changes such as fluid shifts, changes in total blood volume, heartbeat and heart rhythm irregularities, and diminished aerobic capacity. The Fruit Fly Lab-02 study will use the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.

Watch their progress HERE!

Expedition 52 Mission Patch 

Our planet is shown surrounded by an imaginary constellation shaped like a house, depicting the theme of the patch: “The Earth is our home.” It is our precious cradle, to be preserved for all future generations. The house of stars just touches the Moon, acknowledging the first steps we have already taken there, while Mars is not far away, just beyond the International Space Station, symbolized by the Roman numeral “LII,” signifying the expedition number. 

The planets Saturn and Jupiter, seen orbiting farther away, symbolize humanity’s exploration of deeper space, which will begin soon. A small Sputnik is seen circling the Earth on the same orbit with the space station, bridging the beginning of our cosmic quest till now: Expedition 52 will launch in 2017, sixty years after that first satellite. Two groups of crew names signify the pair of Soyuz vehicles that will launch the astronauts of Expedition 52 to the Station. 

Click here for more details about the expedition and follow @ISS_Research on Twitter to stay up to date on the science happening aboard YOUR orbiting laboratory!

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Today an astronaut broke the record of for the most cumulative time spent in space by an American! Earlier this morning, astronaut Peggy Whitson broke Jeff Williams’ record with her total being 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes. She was also the first woman to become commander of the ISS (International Space Station) and completed the most spacewalks performed by any woman, having done her eighth one last month. She also happens to be our Monday motivation!

[Image via  Peggy Whitson/NASA Johnson via Flickr]