Daryle Lockhart

Way to show ‘em, Congress. The thing you’re throwing a tantrum over STILL isn’t defunded, and, in the first marking period of a school year…there’s this. 

(Source: lookatthesefuckinstars)

distant-traveller:

Looking down on a shooting star

This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station while over China (approximately 400 kilometers to the northwest of Beijing), provides the unusual perspective of looking down on a meteor as it passes through the atmosphere. The image was taken on August 13, 2011, during the Perseid Meteor Shower that occurs every August.

Image credit: NASA

distant-traveller:

Looking down on a shooting star

This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station while over China (approximately 400 kilometers to the northwest of Beijing), provides the unusual perspective of looking down on a meteor as it passes through the atmosphere. The image was taken on August 13, 2011, during the Perseid Meteor Shower that occurs every August.

Image credit: NASA

jtotheizzoe:

Mt. Vesuvius from Space
As Phil Plait informs us at the link above, this gorgeous shot was taken from the International Space Station on Jan 1, 2013. That so many would desire to live in a place so beautiful, with full knowledge of the possible destruction that this active volcano could wreak on their lives (as it did less than two millennia ago), speaks volumes about us.
Sometimes when you take a picture of Earth, it can be a self-portrait of humanity itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, and that seems to trump danger and risk for a great many people. 
(via Bad Astronomy)

jtotheizzoe:

Mt. Vesuvius from Space

As Phil Plait informs us at the link above, this gorgeous shot was taken from the International Space Station on Jan 1, 2013. That so many would desire to live in a place so beautiful, with full knowledge of the possible destruction that this active volcano could wreak on their lives (as it did less than two millennia ago), speaks volumes about us.

Sometimes when you take a picture of Earth, it can be a self-portrait of humanity itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, and that seems to trump danger and risk for a great many people. 

(via Bad Astronomy)

spaceplasma:

As the Pioneers exited the solar system, they slowed down more than expected, a phenomenon known as the Pioneer Anomaly.
Decades-Old ‘Pioneer Anomaly’ Mystery Finally Solved
Scientists have finally cracked a decades-old spaceflight riddle, figuring out why NASA’s Pioneer 10 and 11 probes began to slow mysteriously as they sped far from the sun.
The cause of the so-called “Pioneer Anomaly,” it turns out, is heat coming from the electrical current flowing through the probes’ instrument and power systems. This heat pushed back on the spacecraft, causing them to decelerate slightly, according to a new study.
“The effect is something like when you’re driving a car and the photons from your headlights are pushing you backward,” lead author Slava Turyshev, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. “It is very subtle.”
Decelerating spacecraft
Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 launched in 1972 and 1973, respectively. They were the first spacecraft to fly through the main asteroid belt, and the first to study Jupiter up-close. The probes kept on cruising after their Jupiter encounters, speeding toward Saturn and beyond. [A Photo Tour of the Planets]
Pioneer 10 and 11 will eventually exit the solar system, but they likely won’t be the first to do so. Scientists think the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which is about 11.1 billion miles (17.8 billion kilometers) from Earth, may leave our cosmic neighborhood any day now.
In the early 1980s, mission scientists noticed that the spacecraft were slowing down unexpectedly. But they dismissed this as a transient phenomenon resulting from dribbles of propellant left in the probes’ lines, researchers said.
The issue didn’t go away, however. In 1998, when Pioneer 10 and 11 were more than 8 billion miles (13 billion km) from the sun, a team of researchers calculated that the spacecraft were declerating at a rate of about 300 inches per day squared (0.9 nanometers per second squared).
The scientists couldn’t explain the slight slowdown, so they raised the possibility that some new type of physics that contradicted Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity may be responsible.
Full Article →

Credit: SPACE.com

spaceplasma:

As the Pioneers exited the solar system, they slowed down more than expected, a phenomenon known as the Pioneer Anomaly.

Decades-Old ‘Pioneer Anomaly’ Mystery Finally Solved

Scientists have finally cracked a decades-old spaceflight riddle, figuring out why NASA’s Pioneer 10 and 11 probes began to slow mysteriously as they sped far from the sun.

The cause of the so-called “Pioneer Anomaly,” it turns out, is heat coming from the electrical current flowing through the probes’ instrument and power systems. This heat pushed back on the spacecraft, causing them to decelerate slightly, according to a new study.

“The effect is something like when you’re driving a car and the photons from your headlights are pushing you backward,” lead author Slava Turyshev, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. “It is very subtle.”

Decelerating spacecraft

Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 launched in 1972 and 1973, respectively. They were the first spacecraft to fly through the main asteroid belt, and the first to study Jupiter up-close. The probes kept on cruising after their Jupiter encounters, speeding toward Saturn and beyond. [A Photo Tour of the Planets]

Pioneer 10 and 11 will eventually exit the solar system, but they likely won’t be the first to do so. Scientists think the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which is about 11.1 billion miles (17.8 billion kilometers) from Earth, may leave our cosmic neighborhood any day now.

In the early 1980s, mission scientists noticed that the spacecraft were slowing down unexpectedly. But they dismissed this as a transient phenomenon resulting from dribbles of propellant left in the probes’ lines, researchers said.

The issue didn’t go away, however. In 1998, when Pioneer 10 and 11 were more than 8 billion miles (13 billion km) from the sun, a team of researchers calculated that the spacecraft were declerating at a rate of about 300 inches per day squared (0.9 nanometers per second squared).

The scientists couldn’t explain the slight slowdown, so they raised the possibility that some new type of physics that contradicted Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity may be responsible.

Full Article →


Credit: SPACE.com

Researchers Identify Water Rich Meteorite Linked To Mars Crust

WASHINGTON — NASA-funded researchers analyzing a small meteorite that may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or crust have found it contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins. 

This new class of meteorite was found in 2011 in the Sahara Desert. Designated Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, and nicknamed “Black Beauty,” it weighs approximately 11 ounces (320 grams). After more than a year of intensive study, a team of U.S. scientists determined the meteorite formed 2.1 billion years ago during the beginning of the most recent geologic period on Mars, known as the Amazonian. 



"The age of NWA 7034 is important because it is significantly older than most other Martian meteorites," said Mitch Schulte, program scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We now have insight into a piece of Mars’ history at a critical time in its evolution." 


Read More

(Source: nasa.gov)

trendingstream:

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Report #18 — December 21, 2012 

A NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover team member gives an update on developments and status of the planetary exploration mission. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered Curiosity to its target area on Mars at 1:31:45 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, which includes the 13.8 minutes needed for confirmation of the touchdown to be radioed to Earth at the speed of light.

The rover will conduct a nearly two-year prime mission to investigate whether the Gale Crater region of Mars ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

trendingstream:

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Report #18 — December 21, 2012 

A NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover team member gives an update on developments and status of the planetary exploration mission. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered Curiosity to its target area on Mars at 1:31:45 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, which includes the 13.8 minutes needed for confirmation of the touchdown to be radioed to Earth at the speed of light.

The rover will conduct a nearly two-year prime mission to investigate whether the Gale Crater region of Mars ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

camillasdo:

The Christmas Tree on the International Space Station is up! Up on the ceiling, thanks to no gravity. Wishing our 6 astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS a very Merry Christmas. #NASA #ISS #Space #Christmas #Tree

camillasdo:

The Christmas Tree on the International Space Station is up! Up on the ceiling, thanks to no gravity. Wishing our 6 astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS a very Merry Christmas. #NASA #ISS #Space #Christmas #Tree

distant-traveller:

Stars reveal the secret of aging well

Some people are in great shape at the age of 90, while others are decrepit before they’re 50. We know that how fast people age is only loosely linked to how old they actually are — and may have more to do with their lifestyle. A new study with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals that the same is true of star clusters.
While the stars in a globular cluster are old and the clusters formed in the distant past, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory have found that some of these clusters are still young at heart.
Star clusters form in a short period of time, meaning that all the stars within them tend to have roughly the same age. Because bright, high-mass stars burn up their fuel quite quickly, and globular clusters are very old, there should only be low-mass stars still shining within them.
This, however, turns out not to be the case: in certain circumstances, stars can be given a new burst of life, receiving extra fuel that bulks them up and substantially brightens them. This can happen if one star pulls matter off a neighbour, or if they collide. The re-invigorated stars are called blue stragglers, and their high mass and brightness are properties that lie at the heart of this study.
Heavier stars sink towards the centre of a cluster as the cluster ages, in a process similar to sedimentation. Blue stragglers’ high masses mean they are strongly affected by this process, while their brightness makes them relatively easy to observe.
To better understand cluster aging, the team mapped the location of blue straggler stars in 21 globular clusters. Analysing the observational data, the team found that a few clusters appeared young, with blue straggler stars distributed throughout, while a larger group appeared old, with the blue stragglers clumped in the centre. A third group was in the process of aging, with the stars closest to the core migrating inwards first, then stars ever further out progressively sinking towards the centre.
As a cluster’s heaviest stars sink towards the centre, the cluster eventually experiences a phenomenon called core collapse, where the centre of the cluster bunches together extremely densely.
The processes leading towards core collapse are quite well understood, and revolve around the number, density and speed of movement of the stars. However, the rate at which they happened was not known until now. This study provides the first empirical way of investigating these different rates of aging.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, F. Ferraro and B. Lanzoni (University of Bologna)


So, even stars have to get off their fat asses and move to stay lively.

distant-traveller:

Stars reveal the secret of aging well

Some people are in great shape at the age of 90, while others are decrepit before they’re 50. We know that how fast people age is only loosely linked to how old they actually are — and may have more to do with their lifestyle. A new study with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals that the same is true of star clusters.

While the stars in a globular cluster are old and the clusters formed in the distant past, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory have found that some of these clusters are still young at heart.

Star clusters form in a short period of time, meaning that all the stars within them tend to have roughly the same age. Because bright, high-mass stars burn up their fuel quite quickly, and globular clusters are very old, there should only be low-mass stars still shining within them.

This, however, turns out not to be the case: in certain circumstances, stars can be given a new burst of life, receiving extra fuel that bulks them up and substantially brightens them. This can happen if one star pulls matter off a neighbour, or if they collide. The re-invigorated stars are called blue stragglers, and their high mass and brightness are properties that lie at the heart of this study.

Heavier stars sink towards the centre of a cluster as the cluster ages, in a process similar to sedimentation. Blue stragglers’ high masses mean they are strongly affected by this process, while their brightness makes them relatively easy to observe.

To better understand cluster aging, the team mapped the location of blue straggler stars in 21 globular clusters. Analysing the observational data, the team found that a few clusters appeared young, with blue straggler stars distributed throughout, while a larger group appeared old, with the blue stragglers clumped in the centre. A third group was in the process of aging, with the stars closest to the core migrating inwards first, then stars ever further out progressively sinking towards the centre.

As a cluster’s heaviest stars sink towards the centre, the cluster eventually experiences a phenomenon called core collapse, where the centre of the cluster bunches together extremely densely.

The processes leading towards core collapse are quite well understood, and revolve around the number, density and speed of movement of the stars. However, the rate at which they happened was not known until now. This study provides the first empirical way of investigating these different rates of aging.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, F. Ferraro and B. Lanzoni (University of Bologna)


So, even stars have to get off their fat asses and move to stay lively.

alxndrasplace:

(NASA)  Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-pillar effect. In the above picture taken last week, a sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over Östersund, Sweden.

alxndrasplace:

(NASA)  Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level cloudsAir resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-pillar effect. In the above picture taken last week, sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over ÖstersundSweden.

alxndrasplace:

(NASA)  The above photo, taken as the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited the Moon in 1972, depicts the stark lunar surface around the Eratosthenes and Copernicus craters. Many similar images of a Moon devoid of life are familiar to denizens of the space age. Contrary to this modern perception, life on the Moon was reported in August of 1835 in a series of sensational stories first published by the New York Sun - apparently intended to improve the paper’s circulation. These descriptions of lunar life received broad credence and became one of the most spectacular hoaxes in history. Supposedly based on telescopic observations, the stories featured full, lavish accounts of a Moon with oceans and beaches, teeming with plant and animal life and climaxing with the report of sightings of groups of winged, furry, human-like creatures resembling bats! Within a month the hoax had been revealed but the newspaper continued to enjoy an increased readership. Though barren, the Moon remains a popular setting for science fiction stories and extra-terrestrial adventures. 

alxndrasplace:

(NASA)  The above photo, taken as the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited the Moon in 1972, depicts the stark lunar surface around the Eratosthenes and Copernicus craters. Many similar images of a Moon devoid of life are familiar to denizens of the space age. Contrary to this modern perception, life on the Moon was reported in August of 1835 in a series of sensational stories first published by the New York Sun - apparently intended to improve the paper’s circulation. These descriptions of lunar life received broad credence and became one of the most spectacular hoaxes in history. Supposedly based on telescopic observations, the stories featured full, lavish accounts of a Moon with oceans and beaches, teeming with plant and animal life and climaxing with the report of sightings of groups of winged, furry, human-like creatures resembling bats! Within a month the hoax had been revealed but the newspaper continued to enjoy an increased readership. Though barren, the Moon remains a popular setting for science fiction stories and extra-terrestrial adventures

taramann:

Fifty years ago today (December 14, 1962), the Mariner 2 conducted a close-up study of planet Venus. 
Image: NASA

taramann:

Fifty years ago today (December 14, 1962), the Mariner 2 conducted a close-up study of planet Venus. 

Image: NASA

NASA Eyes Mission to Jupiter Moon Europa

SAN FRANCISCO — Though NASA is devoting many of its exploration resources to Mars these days, the agency still has its eye on an icy moon of Jupiter that may be capable of supporting life as we know it.

Read More