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Ever wondered what auroras look like from space? Astronaut Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex_ESA) gives us his space-based view from aboard the International Space Station (@ISS), tweeting that the experience is "[m]ind-blowing, every single time." The dancing lights of the auroras provide spectacular views on the ground and from space, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the 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 and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections. After a trip toward Earth that can last 2 or 3 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.

Image Credit: @europeanspaceagency/NASA-A.Gerst
#NASA #space #aurora #science #northernlights #southernlights #spacestation #iss #earth #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

Behold - a swirling mystery!
During its 12th close flyby of Jupiter, our @NASAJuno spacecraft captured this close-up view of the gas giant planet’s tapestry of vivid colors and swirling atmospheric vortices. This image captures the easternmost edge of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and surrounding south tropical disturbance.
Many aspects of the planet’s atmosphere are still a mystery. For example, the origin of individual storms or churning cloud features is unknown. By studying Jupiter’s weather up close for the first time, our Juno spacecraft is helping researchers better understand how atmospheres work in general – including our own. What we learn about Jupiter’s atmosphere will also help scientists understand how gas-giant planets work in general, including those now being discovered beyond our solar system.
Since 2016 Juno has been penetrating Jupiter’s deep, colorful zones and belts in a quest to answer fundamental questions about the gas giant planet's origin and evolution.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Brian Swift/Kevin M. Gill
#nasa #space #juno #jupiter #gasgiant #planet #clouds #swirling #pattern #solarsystem #science #spacecraft #pictureoftheday #astronomy #jetstream #jet #stream

Wow! Our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) looked toward the constellation of the Swordfish (Dorado) and captured this stunning celestial image.
Nestled within the Large Magellanic Cloud, this globular cluster – a tightly bound group of stars – features a ruby-red spot that is actually a carbon star. Carbon stars are almost always cool red giants, with atmospheres containing more carbon that oxygen, which is the opposite of our Sun.
Carbon monoxide forms in the outer layer of the star through a combination of these elements, until there is no more oxygen available. Carbon atoms are then free to form a variety of other carbon compounds, which scatter blue light within the star, allowing red light to pass through undisturbed.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #spacetelescope #telescope #cluster #star #galaxy #universe #solarsystem #red #ruby #swordfish #largemagellaniccloud #herschel #science #carbon #sun #elements

3-2-1… and we have liftoff of Parker Solar Probe atop United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy rocket 🚀. The probe is headed toward the Sun with a whopping 55 times more energy than is required to reach Mars. About the size of a small car, it weighs a mere 1,400 pounds. Zooming through space in a highly elliptical orbit, Parker Solar Probe will reach speeds up to 430,000 miles per hour — fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in a second — setting the record for the fastest spacecraft in history. During its nominal mission lifetime of just under 7 years, Parker Solar Probe will complete 24 orbits of the Sun — reaching within 3.8 million miles of the Sun’s surface at closest approach. We’ll be going where no spacecraft has dared go before — within the corona of a star. With each orbit, we’ll be seeing new regions of the Sun’s atmosphere and learning things about stellar mechanics that we’ve wanted to explore for decades. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #NASA #space #Parker #ParkerSolarProbe #SolarProbe #Solar #Sun #spacecraft #launch #liftoff #ULA #rocket #DeltaIV #science #heliophysics #orbit #probe #corona

‘Twas the night before launch... Before calling it a night, set an alarm so that you won’t miss the 3:33 a.m. EDT launch of our first-ever mission to “touch” the Sun.
Our Parker #SolarProbe spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 on Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The spacecraft will fly directly into the Sun’s atmosphere where, from a distance of – at the closest approach — approximately 4 million miles from its surface, the spacecraft will trace how energy and heat move through the Sun’s atmosphere and explore what accelerates the solar wind and solar energetic particles.

NASA TV launch coverage will begin at 3 a.m. EDT on air and streaming at
https://www.nasa.gov/live.

Image credit: Bill Ingalls

#nasa #solarprobe #sun #launch #rocketlaunch #science #kennedyspacecenter #solarsystem #planets #space #planetary #outerspace

Ready for liftoff! The Parker #SolarProbe, our mission to touch the Sun, will have its first opportunity to lift off on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 3:33 a.m. EDT. Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Parker Solar Probe will make its journey all the way to the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona — closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.

Nestled atop a United Launch Alliance (@ulalaunch) Delta IV Heavy — one of the world’s most powerful rockets — with a third stage added, Parker will blast off toward the Sun with a whopping 55 times more energy than is required to reach Mars. About the size of a small car, it weighs a mere 1,400 pounds.
Zooming through space in a highly elliptical orbit, the probe will reach speeds up to 430,000 miles per hour — fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in a second — setting the record for the fastest spacecraft in history. During its nominal mission lifetime of just under 7 years, Parker Solar Probe will complete 24 orbits of the Sun — reaching within 3.8 million miles of the Sun’s surface at closest approach.

Seen here is the rocket payload fairing at Launch Complex 37.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
#nasa #parker #parkersolarprobe #solarprobe #sun #mission #rocket #satellite #space #science #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

From his vantage point on the International Space Station (@ISS), 250 miles above Earth, astronaut Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) shared this image of Hurricane Hector on Aug. 8 saying "#HurricaneHector continues to strengthen as it moves closer to #Hawaii." For information on making preparations for Hector, visit the FEMA website at: http://ready.gov/hurricanes
Six people are currently living and working on this microgravity laboratory that orbits our planet at 17,500 miles per hour. They are conducting research that will not only help us venture farther into our solar system, but also directly benefits life here on Earth.
Credit: NASA
#nasa #space #hurricane #spacestation #hurricanehector #hector #storm #rain #wind #clouds #astronaut #earthviews #storms

The Columbia Glacier in Alaska descends from an ice field 10,000 feet above sea level, down the flanks of the Chugach Mountains, and into a narrow inlet. It is one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world and our Earth observing satellites have been tracking its shifting form for over 30 years.
False-color images show how the glacier and the surrounding landscape has changed since 1986. The Landsat images combine shortwave-infrared, near-infrared and green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. With this combination of wavelengths, snow and ice appears bright cyan, vegetation is green, clouds are white or light orange, and open water is dark blue. Exposed bedrock is brown, while rocky debris on the glacier’s surface is gray.

Credit: NASA/USGS/Landsat/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon

#nasa #space #earth #landsat #satellite #earthscience #science #glacier #decades #change #columbiaglacier #alaska #snow #ice #melt #inlet #infrared

Smoke from 250 miles above. These images of the Carr and Ferguson fires in California were captured from the vantage point of European Space Agency (@europeanspaceagency) astronaut Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex_ESA) and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (@Astro_Ricky) from the International Space Station (@ISS). Over 4,300 personnel are working to battle the fires in California. Satellite data and emergency response tools enabled by space technology are helping first responders in the field. From a satellite instrument that can provide better estimates of the amounts of particles fires release into the air to tracking fires all over the planet, data gathered in space can have a real impact to saving lives here on Earth. Credit: @Astro_Alex_ESA | @Astro_Ricky #nasa #space #earth #fire #forestfire #esa #astronaut #spacestation #carr #ferguson #california #smoke #science #satellite #earth

On its 14th flyby of Jupiter, our Juno spacecraft (@NASAJuno) caught this striking view of the gas giant planet.
Like our home planet, Jupiter has cyclones and anticyclones, along with fast-moving jet streams that circle its globe. This image taken on July 16 captures a jet stream located on the far right of the image. It is next to an anticyclonic white oval that is the brighter circular feature in the top right corner. The North Little Red Spot is also visible in this view.

Since 2016, Juno has been penetrating Jupiter’s deep, colorful zones and belts in a quest to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Brian Swift/Seán Doran

#nasa #space #juno #jupiter #gasgiant #planet #clouds #swirling #pattern #solarsystem #science #spacecraft #pictureoftheday #astronomy #jetstream #jet #stream

Gravitational lenses — such as this galaxy cluster captured by our Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble) — possess immense masses that warp their surroundings and bend the light from faraway objects into rings, arcs, streaks, blurs and other odd shapes. This lens is bending the light from a more distant galaxy into a grand arc, which is blue because of the energetic star formation activity in the galaxy. The lens, however, is not only warping the appearance of the distant galaxy — it is also amplifying its light, making it appear much brighter than it would be without the lens.
Star formation is a key process in astronomy. Everything that emits light is somehow connected to stars, so understanding how stars form is key to understanding countless objects lying across the cosmos. Astronomers can probe these early star-forming regions to learn about the sizes, luminosities, formation rates and generations of different types of stars.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA/Judy Schmidt

#nasa #space #hubble #universe #solarsystem #galaxy #beautiful #lightyears #discovery #exploration #telescope #astronomy #lens #warp #pictureoftheday #stars

The excitement level was 💯 today as we announced the nine astronauts that will fly on some of the first Commercial Crew flights to the International Space Station (@ISS). American companies Boeing (@Boeing) and SpaceX (@SpaceX) have been building brand new, high-tech spaceships to transport astronauts from American soil into space for the first time since the space shuttle retirement in 2011. This new spaceflight capability will allow us to maintain a crew of seven astronauts on the space station. That means more science! This scientific research leads to breakthroughs and also aids in understanding and mitigating the challenges of long-duration spaceflight, which is important in our journey to send humans to the Moon and Mars. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #nasa #space #astronauts #LaunchAmerica #CommercialCrew #Boeing #SpaceX #spacecraft #spaceship #science #spacestation #launch #american #US #SpaceShuttle #excitement #crew #announcement

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