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WHAM 💥 A camera on NASA satellite survives meteoroid hit -- On Oct.13, 2014 something very strange happened to the camera aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which normally produces beautifully clear images of the lunar surface, produced an image that was wild and jittery. From the sudden and jagged pattern apparent in the image, the LROC team determined that the camera must have been hit by a tiny meteoroid, a small natural object in space.
Credit: NASA/GoddardLRO #moon #nasagoddard #meteoroid #space #science

The Moon Just Photobombed NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

On May 25, 2017, the moon photobombed one of our sun-watching satellites by passing directly between the satellite and the sun.

The lunar transit lasted almost an hour, between 2:24 and 3:17 p.m. EDT, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the sun’s face. The moon’s crisp horizon can be seen from this view because the moon has no atmosphere to distort the sunlight.

SDO sees lunar transits about twice a year, and this one lasted about an hour with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the sun’s face.

When they’re seen from Earth, we call lunar transits by another name: eclipses.
Solar eclipses are just a special kind of transit where the moon blocks all or part of our view of the sun. Since SDO’s view of the sun was only partially blocked, it saw a partial eclipse. Later this year, on Aug. 21, a total eclipse will be observable from the ground: The moon will completely block the sun’s face in some parts of the US, creating a total solar eclipse on a 70-mile-wide stretch of land, called the path of totality, that runs from Oregon to South Carolina.

Throughout the rest of North America — and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe and Asia — the moon will partially obscure the sun, creating a partial eclipse. SDO will also witness this partial eclipse.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO/Joy Ng

A Whole New Jupiter -- Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles #nasagoddard #space #Jupiter #science

Gulf of Alaska - The spring bloom in the Gulf of Alaska was well underway on April 12, 2017, when the Aqua/MODIS and Suomi-NPP/VIIRS data from which the above image was created were collected.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/NPP #nasagoddard #Earth #science #Alaska

NASA Aims to Create First-Ever Space-Based Sodium Lidar to Study Poorly Understood Mesosphere

A team of NASA scientists and engineers now believes it can leverage recent advances in a greenhouse-detecting instrument to build the world’s first space-based sodium lidar to study Earth’s poorly understood mesosphere.

Scientist Diego Janches and laser experts Mike Krainak and Tony Yu, all of whom work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are leading a research-and-development effort to further advance the sodium lidar, which the group plans to deploy on the International Space Station if it succeeds in proving its flightworthiness.
From its berth on the orbiting outpost, the instrument would illuminate the complex relationship between the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere that lies 40-100 miles above Earth’s surface — the region where Earth’s atmosphere meets the vacuum of space.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/W. Hrybyk #nasagoddard #science #space

NASA successfully launched the SubTec-7 payload on a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket at 5:45 a.m. EDT, May 16, from the NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

The payload flew to an altitude of about 154 miles before descending by parachute and landing in the Atlantic Ocean. SubTec-7 provided a flight test for more than 20 technologies to improve sounding rocket and spacecraft capabilities. Good data was received during the flight. The payload has been recovered.

Credit: NASA/Wallops #nasagoddard #rocket #space #science

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare). Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instruments observed the galaxy from a distance of 500 million light-years.

This particular object stands out from the crowd by actually being composed of two separate galaxies rushing past each other at about 2 million kilometers (1,243,000 miles) per hour. This speed is most likely too fast for them to merge and form a single galaxy. However, because of their small separation of only about 20,000 light-years, the galaxies will distort one another through the force of gravity while passing each other, changing their structures on a grand scale.

Such galactic interactions are a common sight for Hubble, and have long been a field of study for astronomers. The intriguing behaviors of interacting galaxies take many forms; galactic cannibalism, galaxy harassment and even galaxy collisions. The Milky Way itself will eventually fall victim to the latter, merging with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4.5 billion years. The fate of our galaxy shouldn’t be alarming though: while galaxies are populated by billions of stars, the distances between individual stars are so large that hardly any stellar collisions will occur.

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

Observatories Combine to Crack Open the Crab Nebula
Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves seen by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to the powerful X-ray glow as seen by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. And, in between that range of wavelengths, the Hubble Space Telescope's crisp visible-light view, and the infrared perspective of the Spitzer Space Telescope.

This composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Credits: NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires) #nasagoddard #space #science

Strands of plasma at the sun's edge shifted and twisted back and forth over a 22-hour period (May 2-3, 2017). In this close-up, the strands are being manipulated by strong magnetic forces associated with active regions. This kind of activity is not at all uncommon, but best viewed in profile. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. To give a sense of scale, the strands hover above the sun more than several times the size of Earth.

https://go.nasa.gov/2qJzPD2 #nasagoddard #sun #science #space

Our Suomi NPP satellite caught a clear view of Sweden and its neighbors the day before His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s visit to NASA Goddard yesterday.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Suomi NPP #nasagoddard #sweden

A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in this NASA Hubble View

Much like the eclectic group of space rebels in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has some amazing superpowers, specifically when it comes to observing innumerable galaxies flung across time and space.

A stunning example is a galaxy cluster called Abell 370 that contains an astounding assortment of several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. That’s a lot of galaxies to be guarding, and just in this one cluster!

Photo caption: Galaxy cluster Abell 370 contains several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. Photographed in a combination of visible and near-infrared light, the brightest and largest galaxies are the yellow-white, massive, elliptical galaxies containing many hundreds of billions of stars each. Spiral galaxies have younger populations of stars and are bluish. Mysterious-looking arcs of blue light are distorted images of remote galaxies behind the cluster. The cluster acts as a huge lens in space that magnifies and stretches images of background galaxies like a funhouse mirror.

Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz and the HFF Team (STScI) #nasagoddard #StarWarsDay #MayTheFourthBeWithYou #science #Hubble #stars

Gigantic Wave Discovered in Perseus Galaxy Cluster

Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists has discovered a vast wave of hot gas in the nearby Perseus galaxy cluster. Spanning some 200,000 light-years, the wave is about twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy.

The researchers say the wave formed billions of years ago, after a small galaxy cluster grazed Perseus and caused its vast supply of gas to slosh around an enormous volume of space. "Perseus is one of the most massive nearby clusters and the brightest one in X-rays, so Chandra data provide us with unparalleled detail," said lead scientist Stephen Walker at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The wave we've identified is associated with the flyby of a smaller cluster, which shows that the merger activity that produced these giant structures is still ongoing." Read more at nasa.gov

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Stephen Walker #nasagoddard #space #science

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