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NASA Goddard  The official Instagram account of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Twitter: @NASAGoddard & @NASAGoddardPix Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

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Southern African Agricultural "slash and burn" fires overwhelm landscape. --- The Suomi NPP satellite's instrument known as VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) detected hundreds of fires burning in southern Africa on October 15, 2017. The fires are outlined in red. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Places where traditional plots of open land is not available because the vegetation in the area is dense are the places where "slash and burn" agriculture is practiced most often. These regions include parts of Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia, where an abundance of grasslands and rainforests are found.

Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. In southern Africa, the agricultural burning season usually runs from June through September when the next growing season begins.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #fire #africa #science

Hubble Turns its Gaze Towards New Gravitational-Wave Event —

The glow from this titanic collision, shining within the galaxy NGC 4993 is at a distance of 130 million light-years away. On August 17, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from a neutron star collision within this galaxy. The event also resulted in a flare of light called a kilonova, which is visible to the upper left of the galactic center in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

@NASAHubble also obtained an infrared spectrum that may yield signs of exotic, radioactive elements. The analysis will continue while astronomers wait for the gravitational wave source to emerge from behind the Sun from Earth’s point of view, where it slipped just days after discovery.
Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble #nasagoddard #space #GravitationalWave #Hubble #galaxy

NASA Satellite Sees a Tail of Smoke Over 500 Miles Long from California Fires --- ASA’s Terra satellite saw a stream of smoke that extended over 500 miles from various fires raging in northern California out over the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra passed over California on Oct. 12 and captured a visible light image of the smoke plume. The MODIS image showed the stream of smoke extending from Santa Rosa, #California, located north of San Francisco, out into the Eastern Pacific, parallel to San Diego. A stream that stretched over 550 miles.
Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #wildfire #science

Hubble’s sees diminutive galaxy with a shocking rate of star production -- As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble), can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy!

Clusters of young, hot stars are speckling the galaxy, burning with a fierce blue glow. The intense radiation they produce also causes surrounding gas to light up, which is bright red in this image. The small mass and distinctive coloring of galaxies of this type prompted astronomers to classify them, appropriately, as blue compact dwarfs.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #star #science

Wildfires in California Not Slowing Down

Wildfires continue to cause widespread destruction in the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley areas of #California. Hot, dry conditions, high winds, and lack of water in the area continue to hamper firefighter efforts in fighting these fires. Thousands of structures have been burned and stark landscapes show acres of standing fireplaces as the only structures that survived the fires that spread through neighborhoods. New evacuations have been called for as the fires continue to ravage this area of California. #nasagoddard #wildfire

Today's @dictionarycom Word of the Day is "astrobleme," a scar on Earth's surface produced by the impact of a meteorite or asteroid.

Lake Manicouagan in northern Quebec, Canada, lies in one of the largest impact craters still preserved on Earth's surface. The lake itself surrounds a central uplift of the impact structure, which is about 70 kilometers in diameter and composed of broken fragments of minerals and rock. Overtime glaciation and other erosional processes have reduced the size of the crater.

The impact that formed Manicouagan is thought to have occurred about 212 million years ago, and some scientists believe it may have been responsible for a mass extinction that wiped out more than half of all living species. Today Lake Manicouagan serves as a reservoir and is one of Quebec's most important regions for Atlantic salmon fishing.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team
#astrobleme #manicouagan #earth #science #wordoftheday

Cloud or glacier? From our friend Sara Bareilles.
We're going with lenticular cloud ☁️ Lenticular clouds are unique in that sometimes you may see bright colors — what scientists call irisation — along the edges of the clouds. This can give them a definite outer space feel. Airplane pilots will usually try to avoid flying near lenticular clouds. 📷 credit: @sarabareilles
・・・
Cloud glacier.

#repost #cloud #science #lenticularclouds

Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris II had already become the youngest African American to perform and lead an integration efforts on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a combined mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that serves as a successor to the highly popular Hubble Space Telescope; however, this was not his first mission. In fact, he has completed work on four successful satellite missions over the course of his more than nine year tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a combination of paid internships, academic projects, volunteer positions, and career opportunities.
These missions include MMS, GPM, JWST, and JPSS. Now, at age 25, Kenneth continues to accomplish incredible feats. Read more about this on the @nasawebb page & help support him by commenting #Forbes & #30under30

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
#JWST #NASA #30under30 #Kennyfharris #Forbes #Tech #nasagoddard

At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left). The Honeycomb Nebula was found serendipitously by astronomers using ESO’s New Technology Telescope to image the nearby SN1987A, the closest observed supernova to Earth for more than 400 years. The nebula’s strange bubble-like shape has baffled astronomers since its discovery in the early 1990s. Various theories have been proposed to explain its unique structure, some more exotic than others.

In 2010, a group of astronomers studied the nebula and, using advanced data analysis and computer modelling, came to the conclusion that its unique appearance is likely due to the combined effect of two supernovae — a more recent explosion has pierced the expanding shell of material created by an older explosion. The nebula’s especially striking appearance is suspected to be due to a fortuitous viewing angle; the honeycomb effect of the circular shells may not be visible from another viewpoint.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla) #nasagoddard #space #Hubble #galaxy #supernova

Pictured above is @kennyfharris preparing to enter a cleanroom at NASA Goddard. By age 24, Kenneth Harris II had already become the youngest African American to perform and lead an integration efforts on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a combined mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that serves as a successor to the highly popular Hubble Space Telescope; however, this was not his first mission. In fact, he has completed work on four successful satellite missions over the course of his more than nine year tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a combination of paid internships, academic projects, volunteer positions, and career opportunities.
These missions include MMS, GPM, JWST, and JPSS. Now, at age 25, Kenneth continues to accomplish incredible feats. Read more about this on the @nasawebb page & help support him by commenting #Forbes & #30under30

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
#JWST #NASA #30under30 #Kennyfharris #Forbes #Tech #nasagoddard

A NASA Black Brant IX sounding rocket carrying a parachute test platform was successfully launched at 6:45 a.m. EST, October 4, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The 58-foot tall rocket carried the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission is to evaluate the performance of the ASPIRE payload, which is designed to test parachute systems in a low-density, supersonic environment.

The next launch currently scheduled from Wallops is Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft with supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. Antares is scheduled for launch no earlier than November 10.

Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #rocket #launch #space #science #nasagoddard

Three distinct solar active regions with towering arches rotated into view over a three-day period from Sept. 24-26, 2017. Charged particles spinning along the ever-changing magnetic field lines above the active regions trace out the magnetic field in extreme ultraviolet light, captured here by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Extreme ultraviolet light is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in gold. To give some sense of scale, the largest arches are many times the size of Earth.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO #nasagoddard #sun #earth #flare #science

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