nasa nasa

2,319 posts   31,915,893 followers   66 followings

NASA  Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official NASA Instagram account

Our Solar Dynamics Observatory watched an active region on the Sun — an area with intense, complex magnetic activity — rotate into view on April 18-19, seen here in extreme ultraviolet. These bright, towering arches consist of charged particles spiraling along magnetic field lines that were revealed in this view in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. They rise up above the Sun's surface many times the size of Earth. This view covers just 16 hours of activity and our scientists are keeping their eyes on this region to see if it has the potential to produce solar storms.
Video Credit: NASA/SDO
#nasa #space #sun #solar #sdo #light #earth #solarsystem #science #video #ultraviolet #uv #uvlight #picoftheday

Ice, ice baby! Sea ice is seen outside in this view from our P-3 research aircraft's bubble windows during a flight conducted on April 16, 2018, to gather data as part of our Operation IceBridge mission.

Using a fleet of research aircraft, Operation IceBridge monitors Earth's polar ice to better understand annual changes in the thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. IceBridge collects data to bridge the gap between ICESat and the forthcoming ICESat-2 satellites.

This mission is part of a focus on Earth's frozen regions at a time when decades of observations from the ground, air and space have revealed signs of change in Earth's ice sheets, sea ice, glaciers, snow cover and permafrost. Collectively, scientists call these frozen regions of our planet the "cryosphere." Ongoing changes with the cryosphere, while often occurring in remote regions, have impacts on people all around the world: sea level rise affects coastlines globally, more than a billion people rely on water from snowpack, and the diminishing sea ice that covers the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in Earth's climate and weather patterns.

Image Credit: NASA
#nasa #space #icebridge #operationicebridge #frozen #ice #permafrost #cryosphere #polar #northpole #southpole #earth #aircraft #airplane #p3 #earthobservations #picoftheday #window #world #pictureoftheday #science

What would you name this massive galaxy cluster? Despite its beauty, it bears the distinctly unpoetic name of PLCK G308.3-20.2.

Galaxy clusters can contain thousands of galaxies all held together by the glue of gravity. At one point in time they were believed to be the largest structures in the universe — until they were usurped in the 1980s by the discovery of superclusters.
These massive formations typically contain dozens of galaxy clusters and groups and span hundreds of millions of light-years. However, clusters do have one thing to cling on to: superclusters are not held together by gravity, so galaxy clusters still retain the title of the biggest structures in the universe bound by gravity.

Credit: ESA/@NasaHubble/NASA

#NASA #space #astronomy #hubbletelescope #solarsystem #potd #galaxies #clusters #stars #gravity #universe #lightyears

LIFTOFF! Our Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched at 6:51 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to search for unknown worlds beyond our solar system.
When a planet crosses in front of the star it’s orbiting, that event is called a transit – and the telltale sign of a transit is a drop in the brightness of that star’s light. TESS is heading into high Earth orbit, where it will rely on the transit method to locate planets that are outside our solar system, but close enough to study with ground-based telescopes. Since its launch in 2009, our Kepler space telescope has discovered nearly 2,700 of these worlds orbiting other stars known as “exoplanets” using the transit method. Now Kepler, the past master of transits, is passing the torch of discovery to TESS whose adventure is just beginning... Credit: NASA
#nasa #space #falcon9 #liftoff #launch #wow #fire #smoke #orbit #spacestation #exoplanets #rocket #spacex #tess #stars #picoftheday #imageofthedaytv

How do we spot something as tiny and faint as a planet trillions of miles away? The trick is to look at the star! So far, most of the exoplanets – worlds beyond our solar system – we’ve found were detected by looking for tiny dips in the brightness of their host stars!
These dips are caused by the planet passing between us and its star – an event called a “transit.” Our newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), will seek out transits around 200,000 of the nearest and brightest stars in the sky. TESS is slated to launch tomorrow, April 18, at 6:51 p.m. EDT on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Credit: @NASAGoddard
#nasa #space #exoplanets #planets #astronomy #satellite #picoftheday #spacecraft #tess #science #nasatess #habitableplanets #star #NewWorlds #astrophysics #launch #transit #solarsystem

Today, on the other side of the globe, an astronomy experiment to study how stars are born took flight.

To the casual onlooker, the space between the stars is benign and quiet. But, vast clouds of neutral atoms and molecules, as well as charged plasma particles drift in this area called the interstellar medium — that may, over millions of years, evolve into new stars and even planets. These clouds have very low densities and the only way to study them is to measure how a cloud is affected by a star — and its associated outpouring of stellar material, the stellar wind — moving through it. This afternoon at 12:47 p.m. EDT, the fourth iteration of our Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS-4) mission lifted off from the Kwajalein Atoll in The Republic of the Marshall Islands aboard a Black Brant IX research rocket to study these floating interstellar reservoirs and the earliest stages of star formation.
The CHESS-4 instrument was developed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Credit: NASA

#NASA #Rocket #SoundingRocket #CHESS4 #Space #Interstellar #Stars #Clouds #MilkyWay #picoftheday #liftoff #planets

Today at the National Space Foundation's 34th #SpaceSymposium, Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) congratulated Acting Administrator Lightfoot on his 30 years of service and reemphasized plans to return humans to the Moon. To learn more about our missions what's next for us visit nasa.gov.

Credit: @SpaceFoundation

#space #spacesymposium #nasa #space #vp #vicepresident #moon #solarsystem

What’s up for April in the night sky? The Lyrid Meteor Shower, which peaks on April 22!
Mid-April, start looking for the Lyrid meteors, which are active from April 14 – 30. In the early morning sky, a patient observer will see up to a dozen or more meteors per hour. Observers in the United States should see good meteor rates on the nights before and after the April 22 peak.
A bright first quarter Moon plays havoc with sky conditions, but Lyra will be high overhead after the Moon sets at midnight, so that’s the best time to look for Lyrids!
Credit: NASA
#nasa #space #lyrids #lyridmeteor #meteor #shootingstar #meteorshower #lyra #april #whatsup #nightsky #astronomy #solarsystem #observe #moon #stars #peak

For phytoplankton in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, ideal conditions to flourish recently included a combination of ample sunlight and nutrients, a long stretch of warm weather, and calm winds. Colorful blooms of phytoplankton appeared on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain several times in March 2018, seen here on March 3, 2018 by the Landsat 8 satellite.

Lake Pontchartrain and other nearby lakes and inlets compose a huge estuary east of the Mississippi Delta. Unusually warm temperatures in February and March helped spur the early spring bloom, even before nutrients from the Upper Mississippi River could pour into the region. Blooms become more likely when excess river nutrients reach the lake through the Bonnet Carré Spillway. During flood season, the spillway is occasionally opened to divert excess water from the Mississippi River and relieve pressure on levees near New Orleans.

On March 8, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started to open the spillway in response flooding along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Such inputs of nutrients—often fertilizer from the Mississippi watershed—can set the stage for large blooms of algae and cyanobacteria—single-celled organisms that can contaminate drinking water and pose a risk to human and animal health. Satellite imagery can help identify the occurrence of a phytoplankton bloom, but direct sampling is required to discern the species.

Image credit: NASA/@USGS
#nasa #earth #algae #phytoplankton #lakepontchartrain #pontchartrain #louisiana #earthobservations #algaebloom #mississippiriver #lake #satelliteimage #earthobs #color #green #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

Sunrise is seen creeping across Earth as the green glow of the southern hemisphere's aurora dances below the International Space Station (@iss). NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold snapped this image from his perch high above the planet on humanity's orbiting laboratory on April 9.

The glimmering lights of auroras provide spectacular views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from our Sun. Auroras are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the Sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind or from giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.
After a trip toward Earth that can last three days, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light. The result: the Northern and Southern lights.

Credit: NASA/@Astro_Ricky

#nasa #space #spacestation #aurora #southernlights #dance #glow #green #beautiful #science #solarwind #solarsystem #view #sunrise #earth #sun #planet #science #pictureoftheday

This seemingly endless winter has brought many intense and powerful storms, with cold fronts sweeping across much of the United States. On a much grander scale, astronomers have discovered enormous cosmic “weather systems” that are millions of light years in extent.

A gigantic and resilient "cold front" hurtling through the Perseus galaxy cluster has been studied using data from our Chandra X-ray Observatory (@nasachandraxray). This cosmic weather system spans about two million light years and has been traveling for over 5 billion years, longer than the existence of our Solar System.

This graphic shows the cold front in the Perseus cluster. The cold front is the long vertical structure on the left side of the image. It is about two million light years long and has traveled away from the center of the cluster at about 300,000 miles per hour.

Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/GSFC/S. Walker, ESA/XMM, ROSAT
#chandra #spitzer #telescope #astronomy #xray #space #weather #nasa #astronomy #science #perseus #galaxy #cluster #coldfront #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

Graceful arcs in the center of this galaxy-packed Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image are an example of a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring. Created as the light from distant objects, like galaxies, pass by an extremely large mass, like the galaxy cluster seen here.
This galaxy cluster - a monstrous collection of hundreds of galaxies all shackled together in the unyielding grip of gravity has a mass large enough to severely distort the space-time around it, creating the odd, looping curves that almost encircle the center of the cluster. In this image, the light from a background galaxy is diverted and distorted around the massive intervening cluster and forced to travel along many different light paths toward Earth, making it seem as though the galaxy is in several places at once.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt

#nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #telescope #astronomy #solarsystem #universe #galaxy #cluster #galaxycluster #beautiful #einstein #ring #mass #gravity #science

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags