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nasagoddard This false color image of the Birt E crater shows the topography of the moon. This crater is thought to be the source region for lava that carved out Rima Birt, a rille in Mare Nubium. This mare is older than 3.4 billion years, and so is this vent.

Birt E crater was not created like most craters on the Moon; there was no meteorite impact. Lava sputtered out of this pyroclastic vent in Mare Nubium over 3.4 billion years ago, dispersing lava onto the surface and leaving the crater we see today. How can we tell it is a volcanic vent and not an impact crater? Impact craters and volcanic vents can be differentiated because vents often have an irregular or elongated shape (as with Birt E). Impact craters are usually circular in shape, created by the shockwave during an impact event.

Also, the vee-shape of this crater is likely a product of the formation mechanism. Vee-shaped vents are thought to be formed from a pyroclastic eruption. Gasses fractionating out of the liquid rock create violent events during eruptions. Explosive eruptions created the shape that we see today, but Birt E could have had a complex history with effusive eruptions forming Rima Birt, a rille flowing from Birt E to the SE.

Over long enough time scales Birt E will be filled in with ejecta from newly formed craters around Mare Nubium or by mass wasting of the walls into the crater. Let’s enjoy this ancient crater today while we still can.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University #nasagoddard #moon
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nasagoddard Wondering why you're wearing long sleeves in the middle of JULY? This cold front is the reason.

Summertime heat and humidity in the U.S. East Coast is on hold for a couple of days thanks to a cold front and that brought clouds, showers, thunderstorms, and some severe weather on July 16 to the coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted that the dip in the jet stream will create below normal temperatures for most of the Central and Eastern U.S. for the next couple of days. NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured an image of the clouds associated with the cold front on July 16 at 1630 UTC (12:30 p.m. EDT).The clouds follow the front which stretches from the Florida panhandle, across Florida and up the U.S. East Coast into eastern Canada. Along the front lie two areas of low pressure, one over eastern New England, and the other offshore from South Carolina. Both of those low pressure areas are associated with additional cloudiness along the front.

Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Text: Rob Gutro #nasagoddard #weather #summer #clouds
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nasagoddard Hubble Sees Spiral Bridge of Young Stars Between Two Ancient Galaxies -- It seems like our compulsive universe can be downright capricious when it comes to making oddball-looking things in the cosmos. The latest surprise to Hubble astronomers is a 100,000-light-year-long structure that looks like a string of pearls twisted into a corkscrew shape. This Slinky-like structure forms a bridge between two giant elliptical galaxies that are colliding. The "pearls" on the Slinky are superclusters of blazing, blue-white, newly born stars. The whole assembly, which looks like a tug-of-war, must result from the gravitational tidal forces present in the collision.

If that's not strange enough, the underlying physics behind the "beads on a string" shape is related to describing the behavior of self-gravitating clumps of gas. It's analogous to the process where rain falls in drops rather than in continuous filaments from clouds. It's called the Jeans instability, and it can play out on distance scales of enormous orders of magnitude — from being inches across to many thousands of light-years in length.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Tremblay (European Southern Observatory) #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #pearls
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nasagoddard Hubble Sees a Galaxy With a Glowing Heart -- This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433. At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy — a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centers that are comparable in brightness to that of our entire galaxy, the Milky Way.

Galaxy cores are of great interest to astronomers. The centers of most, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disk of in-falling material.

NGC 1433 is being studied as part of a survey of 50 nearby galaxies known as the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Ultraviolet radiation is observed from galaxies, mainly tracing the most recently formed stars. In Seyfert galaxies, ultraviolet light is also thought to emanate from the accretion discs around their central black holes. Studying these galaxies in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum is incredibly useful to study how the gas is behaving near the black hole. This image was obtained using a mix of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team #nasagoddard #space #Hubble #heart #galaxy
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nasagoddard This summer, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar, or MABEL, will fly above Alaska and the Arctic Ocean on one of NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude aircraft.

Between July 12 and August 1, MABEL will fly aboard NASA’s high-altitude ER-2 aircraft as the Arctic sea ice and glaciers are melting. In its half-dozen flights, the instrument will take measurements of the sea ice and Alaska’s southern glaciers, as well as forests, lakes, open ocean, the atmosphere and more, sending data back to researchers on the ground.

Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas #nasagoddard #NASAinAlaska
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nasagoddard Two active regions with their intense magnetic fields produced towering arches and spiraling coils of solar loops above them (June 29 - July 1, 2014) as they rotated into view. When viewed in extreme ultraviolet light, magnetic field lines are revealed by charged particles that travel along them. These active regions appear as dark sunspots when viewed in filtered light. Note the small blast in the upper of the two major active regions, followed by more coils of loops as the region reorganizes itself. The still was taken on June 30 at 10:33 UT.

Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory #nasagoddard #sun #space
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nasagoddard European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Expedition 42/43 flight engineer, participates in an IMAX cinematography training session in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Instructor James Neihouse assists Cristoforetti.

Photo credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett
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nasagoddard European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Expedition 42/43 flight engineer, participates in an extravehicular activity (EVA) training session in the Partial Gravity Simulator (POGO) test area in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Photo credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett
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nasagoddard Typhoon Neoguri -- The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured #Typhoon #Neoguri in the Pacific Ocean at 02:05 UTC (10:05 PM EDT) on July 6, 2014.

Typhoon Neoguri is expected to reach Okinawa early Tuesday, bringing sustained winds of 198 kilometers (123 miles) per hour and gusts up to 270 kph (168 mph), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, generating waves up to 14 meters (46 feet) high.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response #TyphoonNeoguri #nasagoddard
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nasagoddard Arthur Strengthens, Moves Northward

Despite a somewhat ragged appearance on satellite imagery, Arthur has strengthened overnight. NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft have found surface winds in the 45-50 kt range to the south and northeast of the center, while also finding the central pressure has fallen to about 996 mb. Arthur has begun moving steadily northward at around 5 kt. The overall track forecast reasoning remains unchanged, as the tropical cyclone should continue northward for the next 12 to 24 hours. This image was taken by GOES West at the far eastern periphery of its scan, at 1200Z on July 2, 2014.
Image credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project #nasagoddard #weather #hurricane #TropicalStorm
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nasagoddard Dice in Space

With a few explanatory words attached to a message to Earth, Expedition 40 Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman of NASA sent down this image of a single piece of dice floating in front of one of the windows in the Cupola of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. Wiseman commented, "This one is just for us board game players, table top strategy gamers, (etc.) whose dice collection behaviour borders on hoarding." Credit: NASA
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nasagoddard Free-Air Gravity Map of the Moon

This still image features a free-air gravity map of the Moon's southern latitudes developed by S. Goossens et al. from data returned by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission.

If the Moon were a perfectly smooth sphere of uniform density, the gravity map would be a single, featureless color, indicating that the force of gravity at a given elevation was the same everywhere. But like other rocky bodies in the solar system, including Earth, the Moon has both a bumpy surface and a lumpy interior. Spacecraft in orbit around the Moon experience slight variations in gravity caused by both of these irregularities.

The free-air gravity map shows deviations from the mean gravity that a cueball Moon would have. The deviations are measured in milliGals, a unit of acceleration. On the map, purple is at the low end of the range, at around -400 mGals, and red is at the high end near +400 mGals. Yellow denotes the mean.

Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio #nasagoddard #moon #space #gravity #space
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nasagoddard RockOn Sounding Rocket Launches Successfully -- The RockOn Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket containing multiple student-built experiments launched successfully at 7:21 a.m. EDT on June 26, 2014 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The payload was recovered and has been returned to Wallops. The students will conduct their preliminary analysis on their experiments later this afternoon. According to the preliminary information, the payload flew to an altitude of 73.3 miles and landed via parachute 43.9 miles from Wallops Island in the Atlantic Ocean 12.16 minutes after launch.

Credit: NASA/Wallops/G. Qian

#nasagoddard #rocket #launch #space #stem
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nasagoddard Hubble Sees a Dwarf Galaxy Shaped by a Grand Design

The subject of this Hubble image is NGC 5474, a dwarf galaxy located 21 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This beautiful image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The term "dwarf galaxy" may sound diminutive, but don't let that fool you — NGC 5474 contains several billion stars! However, when compared to the Milky Way with its hundreds of billions of stars, NGC 5474 does indeed seem relatively small.

NGC 5474 itself is part of the Messier 101 Group. The brightest galaxy within this group is the well-known spiral Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101). This galaxy's prominent, well-defined arms classify it as a "grand design galaxy," along with other spirals Messier 81 and Messier 74.

Also within this group are Messier 101's galactic neighbors. It is possible that gravitational interactions with these companion galaxies have had some influence on providing Messier 101 with its striking shape. Similar interactions with Messier 101 may have caused the distortions visible in NGC 5474.

Both the Messier 101 Group and our own Local Group reside within the Virgo Supercluster, making NGC 5474 something of a neighbor in galactic terms.

Credit: ESA/NASA

#Hubble #nasagoddard #space #star #galaxy
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nasagoddard A stream of plasma burst out from the sun, but since it lacked enough force to break away, most of it fell back into the sun (May 27, 2014). This eruption was minor and such events occur almost every day on the sun and suggest the kind of dynamic activity being driven by powerful magnetic forces near the sun's surface.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Solar Dynamics Observatory

#nasagoddard #sun #sdo #eruption #plasma
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nasagoddard National Stadium of Brasília -- Brazil’s national football stadium, the Estado Nacíonal, lies near the heart of the capital city of Brasília. The roof appears as a brilliant white ring in this photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS). The stadium is one of Brasília’s largest buildings. Renovation began in 2010, and it is now the second most expensive stadium in the world after Wembley Stadium in London.

To accommodate World Cup fans visiting from all over the world, renovations were made to nearly all modes of transportation—particularly airports—in Brasília and other host cities.

Brasília is widely known for its modern building designs and city layout. Astronauts have the best view of the city’s well-known “swept wing” city layout, which takes the form of a flying bird that is expressed in the curves of the boulevards (image left). The stadium occupies the city center, between the wings.

Credit: NASA

#WorldCup #Brazil #ISS #Space #Brasília
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nasagoddard Taking center stage in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 3081, set against an assortment of glittering galaxies in the distance. Located in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent), NGC 3081 is located over 86 million light-years from us. It is known as a type II Seyfert galaxy, characterized by its dazzling nucleus.

NGC 3081 is seen here nearly face-on. Compared to other spiral galaxies, it looks a little different. The galaxy's barred spiral center is surrounded by a bright loop known as a resonance ring. This ring is full of bright clusters and bursts of new star formation, and frames the supermassive black hole thought to be lurking within NGC 3081 — which glows brightly as it hungrily gobbles up in-falling material.

These rings form in particular locations known as resonances, where gravitational effects throughout a galaxy cause gas to pile up and accumulate in certain positions. These can be caused by the presence of a "bar" within the galaxy, as with NGC 3081, or by interactions with other nearby objects. It is not unusual for rings like this to be seen in barred galaxies, as the bars are very effective at gathering gas into these resonance regions, causing pile-ups which lead to active and very well-organized star formation.

Hubble snapped this magnificent face-on image of the galaxy using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. This image is made up of a combination of ultraviolet, optical, and infrared observations, allowing distinctive features of the galaxy to be observed across a wide range of wavelengths.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; acknowledgement: R. Buta (University of Alabama)

#nasagoddard #Hubble #Space #star #Galaxy
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nasagoddard Excitement is building for fans across the globe with today’s first match of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 2014 World Cup tournament. These fans include NASA engineers, who used the lead-up to the tournament to test the aerodynamics of this year’s new ball design, developed by @Adidas and dubbed the Brazuca ball.

Although NASA is not in the business of designing or testing balls, the tournament provides an opportunity to explain the concepts of aerodynamics to students and individuals less familiar with the fundamentals of aerodynamics.

Aerodynamics is the study of how air and liquids, referred to collectively as "fluids" in aerodynamics research, flow around objects. Engineers at Ames, a world leader in fundamental aerodynamics research, possess an in-depth understanding of how fluids flow around simple three-dimensional shapes such as cylinders and spheres. With this knowledge, engineers can predict how even the minor alterations in these basic shapes change flow patterns.

Read more at nasa.gov/worldcup

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

#nasagoddard #worldcup #worldcup2014
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nasagoddard A solar flare bursts off the left limb of the sun in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 10, 2014, at 7:41 a.m. EDT. This is classified as an X2.2 flare, shown in a blend of two wavelengths of light: 171 and 131 angstroms, colorized in gold and red, respectively.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However, when intense enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

This flare is classified as an X2.2 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard/Wiessinger

#nasagoddard #sun #space
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nasagoddard This new Hubble image shows NGC 1566, a beautiful galaxy located approximately 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish). NGC 1566 is an intermediate spiral galaxy, meaning that while it does not have a well-defined bar-shaped region of stars at its center — like barred spirals — it is not quite an unbarred spiral either.

The small but extremely bright nucleus of NGC 1566 is clearly visible in this image, a telltale sign of its membership of the Seyfert class of galaxies. The centers of such galaxies are very active and luminous, emitting strong bursts of radiation and potentially harboring supermassive black holes that are many millions of times the mass of the sun.

NGC 1566 is not just any Seyfert galaxy; it is the second brightest Seyfert galaxy known. It is also the brightest and most dominant member of the Dorado Group, a loose concentration of galaxies that together comprise one of the richest galaxy groups of the southern hemisphere. This image highlights the beauty and awe-inspiring nature of this unique galaxy group, with NGC 1566 glittering and glowing, its bright nucleus framed by swirling and symmetrical lavender arms.

This image was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the near-infrared part of the spectrum.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Flickr user Det58
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