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NASA Goddard  The official Instagram account of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Twitter: @NASAGoddard & @NASAGoddardPix

You'll want to turn your #SoundON 🔊

This illustration shows a sample of how NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope saw blazar TXS 0506+056 in gamma rays over the past 10 years, followed by data from its 2017 flare-up. Larger, darker ripples represent higher-energy gamma rays.

Last week, the National Science Foundation (@NSFgov) announced the detection of a speedy, super high-energy neutrino traveling from a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy.

Fermi had been watching the same blazar for nearly 10 years before it flared up in 2017, coinciding with the ejection of this particular neutrino. This video first shows a typical emission, and then the flare. Larger, darker circles indicate higher energies, but the data is also represented in the sound, so turn it up!

#Fermi #astronomy #space #blackhole #cosmos #telescope

This is an artist's impression of the Jupiter-size extrasolar planet, HD 189733b, being eclipsed by its parent star. Astronomers using @NASAHubble have measured carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the planet's atmosphere. The planet is a "hot Jupiter," which is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in only 2.2 days. The planet is too hot for life as we know it. But under the right conditions, on a more Earth-like world, carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of extraterrestrial life. This observation demonstrates that chemical biotracers can be detected by space telescope observations.

@NASAWebb will have many tricks up its sleeve when it comes to looking into the atmospheres of gas giants orbiting other stars.
Webb can directly observe how a planet’s atmosphere strips certain colors out of the starlight passing through it using spectrometry: molecules in the atmosphere absorb different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, leaving clues to their presence.
Webb can indirectly observe a planet’s contribution to starlight by watching what changes when the planet passes behind its star. This will give clues to what’s happening on the day side of the planet.

Using something called a phase curve — the changes in reflected or refracted light throughout a planet’s orbit — Webb can look for dynamic processes such as weather patterns.

Ultimately, astronomers want to use Webb to study potentially habitable planets. In particular, Webb will target planets orbiting red dwarf stars because those stars are smaller and dimmer, making it easier to tease out the signal from an orbiting planet. Red dwarfs are also the most common stars in our galaxy. However, astronomers will target easier, gas giant exoplanets first.

Credits: ESA, NASA, M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), and STScI #nasagoddard #space #science

This animation shows a supermassive black hole billions of times the mass of the Sun. This particular black hole anchors a type of galaxy called a blazar, which produces two jets of particles moving at nearly the speed of light — one of which points almost directly at Earth.
On September 22, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope saw a powerful flare of high-energy light from this blazar. At the same time, the @nsfgov's IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole detected a neutrino — a high-energy cosmic particle — from the same direction.
The neutrino was the first we’ve ever detected from a source outside our galactic neighborhood, and this discovery is also the first time we’ve seen light and a neutrino from the same black hole source. Fermi and IceCube’s work represents a new chapter in multimessenger astronomy — viewing the same event using different messengers like light, particles and gravitational waves.

Credit: NASA/Goddard
#nasagoddard #space #science #astronomy #blackhole #galaxy #light #particles #gammaray #blazar #neutrino

Satellites are crucial to everyday life and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to manufacture and launch. Currently, they are simply decommissioned when they run out of fuel. There is a better way. It centers on satellite servicing, which can make spaceflight more sustainable, affordable and resilient. Our satellite servicing technologies will open up a new world where mission managers can call on space robots to diagnose, maintain and extend a spacecraft’s life.

Our new and unique 10-foot-by-16-foot robot tests satellite servicing capabilities on Earth before they’re put to use in space. Sitting on top of the six-legged hexapod is a partial mock-up of a satellite. Mounted to a panel close by is an advanced robotic arm. Together, these robots practice a calculated dance. As the hexapod moves, it mimics microgravity as the robotic arm reaches out to grab the satellite. More:

Credit: NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth #nasagoddard #space #robot #satellite #hexapod #photooftheday

Come Aboard!
You are invited to register for a behind-the-scenes look aboard our ocean laboratories on Thurs., Aug. 9, in Seattle before scientists set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean later this summer.
Did we mention that it’s on a ⛴?! Sign up at – the deadline to apply is July 2.

This is an opportunity to go inside an ocean glider lab, tour a scientific research vessel, and learn all about how and why NASA studies our ocean.
#nasagoddard #NASA #Seattle #phytoplankton #imonaboat #nasasocial #ocean #universityofwashington

@NASAHubble Captures Cluster of Aging Stars

This rich and dense field of stars is a massive globular cluster, a gravitationally bound collection of stars that orbits the Milky Way. Globular clusters are denser and more spherical than open star clusters like the famous Pleiades. They typically contain hundreds of thousands of stars that are thought to have formed at roughly the same time.

Studies have shown that this globular cluster, named NGC 6139, is home to an aging population of stars. Most globular clusters orbiting the Milky Way are estimated to be over 10 billion years old; as a result, they contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, formed very early in the galaxy’s history. However, their role in galactic evolution is still a matter of study.

This cluster is seen roughly in the direction of the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation of Scorpius (the Scorpion). This constellation is a goldmine of fascinating astronomical objects. Hubble has set its sights on Scorpius many times over the years to observe objects such as the Butterfly Nebula, surprising binary star systems, and other dazzling globular clusters.

Image Credit: ESA (European Space Agency)/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #galaxy

A Slice of Glory

If you have ever seen a series of concentric rings of color near a mist or fog, you have likely seen a glory. This colorful optical phenomenon, bright red on the outside and blue toward the center, forms when water droplets scatter sunlight back toward a source of light.

These days, most people who fly regularly and spend time looking out the window have seen the circular feature around an aircraft’s shadow on the clouds. Astronauts flying on the space shuttles reported seeing circular glories that look similar to what one might observe from an airplane.

Polar-orbiting satellite sensors, such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites, get a somewhat different view. As MODIS scans Earth’s surface from an altitude of about 700 kilometers (400 miles), it makes swaths perpendicular to the path followed by the satellite. So an individual swath shows a horizontal cross-section through the glory circle, containing two colored areas. As a result, a glory in a natural-color satellite image from MODIS consists of two elongated, colorful bands parallel to the path of the satellite. The MODIS on the Terra satellite acquired this image of a glory near the eastern Pacific island of Guadalupe on June 3, 2018.

Another notable feature in this image are the swirling von Karman vortices visible between the glory. The alternating double row of #vortices form in the wake of an obstacle—in this instance Guadalupe—as air masses get disturbed as they pass over this bump in the sea surface.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response #nasagoddard #earth #space #science #glory #clouds #cloud

Is 'Oumuamua an Interstellar Asteroid or Comet?

This artist’s illustration shows the wayward interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua (pronounced oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah) racing toward the outskirts of our solar system. The object, heated by the Sun (lower right), is venting gaseous material from its surface, as a comet would.

Researchers suggest this “outgassing” is one possible cause for ‘Oumuamua’s slight acceleration, as detected by several telescopes. The irregularly shaped object is now traveling away at about 70,000 miles per hour. The orbits of the major planets are included for scale. The box-shaped constellation Corvus is in the background near image center, and the bright blue star Spica is at upper left of center, in the constellation Virgo. The stars at bottom left belong to the constellation Hydra.

As the complex rotation of the object makes it difficult to determine the exact shape, there are many models of what it could look like.

CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted and F. Summers (STScI) #nasagoddard #comet #space #asteroid

Curious how NASA’s Curiosity Rover takes #selfies and why you can't see its arm in the image? Wonder no more. This animation shows how the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover takes multiple images that are later combined into a single image.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech #nasagoddard #space #science #mars

A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations. But across the planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. While Opportunity is powered by sunlight, which can’t penetrate the dust at its current location, Curiosity has a nuclear-powered battery that runs day and night.

Martian dust storms are common, especially during southern hemisphere spring and summer, when the planet is closest to the Sun. As the atmosphere warms, winds generated by larger contrasts in surface temperature at different locations mobilize dust particles the size of individual talcum powder grains. Carbon dioxide frozen on the winter polar cap evaporates, thickening the atmosphere and increasing the surface pressure. This enhances the process by helping suspend the dust particles in the air. In some cases, the dust clouds reach up to 40 miles (60 kilometers) or more in elevation.

Though they are common, Martian dust storms typically stay contained to a local area. By contrast, the current storm, if it were happening on Earth, would cover an area bigger than North America and Russia combined.

Image 1. This self-portrait by NASA's Curiosity rover was taken on June 15, 2018
Image 2 and 3. These two views from NASA's Curiosity rover, acquired specifically to measure the amount of dust inside Gale Crater, show how much dust increased over three days. Image 2 shows a view of the east-northeast rim of Gale Crater on June 7, 2018; image 3 shows a view of the same feature on June 10, 2018. The images were taken by the rover's Mastcam.

Credit: NASA #nasagoddard #mars #space #science #storm #dust #rover #NationalSelfieDay

NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) will demonstrate new advanced technologies to store and transfer liquid methane in space. Once proven, the methods can be applied to other cryogenic fluids – fluids with extremely low boiling points that can function as fuel or coolant – for a variety of missions. The ability to transfer these fluids can help NASA embark on longer journeys to explore the depths of our solar system, as well as prolong the lifespans of existing satellites.

Engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, perform a fit check of RRM3’s three external tools. After RRM3 is installed to the outside of the International Space Station, the Dextre robotic arm will mount the pedestal and tools, pre-assembled by astronauts on the space station.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn #nasagoddard #space #science #ISS #robotics

Happy #FlagDay! 🇺🇸
What better way to celebrate than by sharing some of our favorite flag images from the Apollo Moon missions?
1. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the lunar surface. The Lunar Module is on the left, and the footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible in the soil of the Moon. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this picture with a 70mm Hasselblad lunar surface camera.
2. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11 mission commander, at the modular equipment storage assembly of the Lunar Module "Eagle" on the historic first extravehicular activity on the lunar surface. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin took the photograph with a Hasselblad 70mm camera. Most photos from the Apollo 11 mission show Buzz Aldrin. This is one of only a few that show Neil Armstrong.
3. Tranquility Base and flag from the Apollo 11 Lunar Module window.
4. Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., Apollo 14 commander, stands by the U.S. flag on the lunar Fra Mauro Highlands during the early moments of the first extravehicular activity of the mission. Shadows of the Lunar Module "Antares," astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module pilot, and the erectable S-band Antenna surround the scene of the third American flag planting to be performed on the lunar surface.
5. View from station Lunar Module of Commander Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan with Earth visible top center, taken during the first moonwalk of the Apollo 17 mission.
6. Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 commander, salutes the deployed United States flag on the lunar surface during Extravehicular Activity of NASA's final lunar landing mission in the Apollo series. The Lunar Module is at left background and the Lunar Roving Vehicle also in the background and is partially obscured.
7. During the first moonwalk of Apollo 17, Eugene Cernan photographed Harrison Schmitt with the American flag and Earth (250,000 miles away) in the background. Cernan is visible in the reflection in Schmitt's helmet visor in the awkward position he assumed to obtain this image.

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