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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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Hubble Frames an Explosive Galaxy

Don’t be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this ESA/ @NASAHubble Space Telescope image may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy, known as ESO 580-49, actually displays some explosive tendencies.

In October of 2011, a cataclysmic burst of high-energy gamma-ray radiation — known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB — was detected coming from the region of sky containing ESO 580-49. Astronomers believe that the galaxy was the host of the GRB, given that the chance of a coincidental alignment between the two is roughly 1 in 10 million. At a distance of around 185 million light-years from Earth, it was the second-closest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever detected.

Gamma-ray bursts are among the brightest events in the cosmos, occasionally outshining the combined gamma-ray output of the entire observable Universe for a few seconds. The exact cause of the GRB that probably occurred within this galaxy, catalogued as GRB 111005A, remains a mystery. Several events are known to lead to GRBs, but none of these explanations appear to fit the bill in this case. Astronomers have therefore suggested that ESO 580-49 hosted a new type of GRB explosion — one that has not yet been characterized.

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

Santa Ana Winds Help Flame Huge Firestorm in Southern California

The fires in Southern California went from 0 to 30,000 (acres) in a matter of hours fueled by the Santa Ana winds. These winds, also dubbed the Diablo (Devil) Winds, are hot, dry, and ferocious. They can whip a small brush fire into a raging inferno in just hours. This is exactly what Southern California experienced on Monday night (Dec. 4). Thousands of residents found themselves evacuating when the Thomas Fire suddenly pushed into Ventura by the Santa Ana winds. These horrific winds are expected to continue through the end of the week making firefighting more difficult and much more dangerous. Winds in the area could reach 70 mph and this would have a devastating effect on the fire's movement. The fire has consumed over 50,000 acres at present as it jumped over Highway 101 and moved towards the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed in this latest round of wildfires in #California. Per the National Weather Center red flag conditions are expected to continue through the end of the week. This current round of Diablo Winds has been the longest and strongest wind event recorded this season.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on Dec. 05, 2017. Actively burning areas (hot spots), detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. Each hot spot is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC #nasagoddard #science

NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Arabian Sea on Dec. 4 and found Tropical #Cyclone Ockhi moving north as desert dust pushed into the region north of the storm.

NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Ockhi on Dec. 4 at 1:20 a.m. The image shows thunderstorms were being pushed to the northeast into the leading edge of an approaching trough (elongated area) of low pressure from the west. That vertical wind shear that's causing the displacement has been increasing as the tropical cyclone moves north.

The tropical cyclone is battling wind shear that is forecast to increase over the next two days, and it is moving into an area with dry air. Both factors will weaken the storm, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Ockhi is expected to continue weakening and become a remnant low pressure area by the time of landfall near the Gulf of Khambhat on Dec. 6.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response #nasagoddard #space #science #dust #duststorm

Hubble Sees Galaxy Cluster Warping Space and Time
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This picturesque view from the ESA/@NASAHubble Space Telescope peers into the distant universe to reveal a galaxy cluster called Abell 2537.
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Galaxy clusters such as this one contain thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes and sizes, together totaling a mass thousands of times greater than that of the Milky Way. These groupings of galaxies are colossal — they are the largest structures in the Universe to be held together by their own gravity.
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Clusters are useful in probing mysterious cosmic phenomena like dark energy and dark matter, which can contort space itself. There is so much matter stuffed into a cluster like Abell 2537 that its gravity has visible effects on its surroundings. Abell 2537’s gravity warps the very structure of its environment (spacetime), causing light to travel along distorted paths through space. This phenomenon can produce a magnifying effect, allowing us to see faint objects that lie far behind the cluster and are thus otherwise unobservable from Earth. Abell 2537 is a particularly efficient lens, as demonstrated by the stretched stripes and streaking arcs visible in the frame. These smeared shapes are in fact galaxies, their light heavily distorted by the gravitational field of Abell 2537.
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Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #galaxy #science

“I know for certain that having strong #women mentors in college, graduate school and NASA let me know that my goals in science were achievable. The more women in these roles, the better it will be for those who follow.” — Astronaut Peggy Whitson on the new @MediaplanetUSA #WomeninResearch campaign.

Hear from @NASAGoddard's Christyl Johnson along with esteemed colleagues Sandra Coleman, Peggy Whitson and Ellen Ochoa as they speak about finding support with fellow women in male-dominated fields at: educationandcareernews.com #nasagoddard #nasa #science #stem #WomenInSTEM #WomenInScience

Hubble is searching for a missing arm, 30 million light-years away .
This new picture of the week, taken by the ESA/@NASAHubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single major spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one such spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two?
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Astronomers looked at NGC 4625 in different wavelengths in the hope of solving this cosmic mystery. Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disk of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot — hence mainly visible in the ultraviolet — stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy. These young stars are only around one billion years old, about 10 times younger than the stars seen in the optical center. At first astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy called NGC 4618.
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They speculated that NGC 4618 may be the culprit “harassing” NGC 4625, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim. The gas in the outermost regions of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4618 has been strongly affected by NGC 4625.

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

NASA is launching the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 early next year! This mission will test tools, technologies and techniques to transfer and freeze cryogenic propellant (e.g., liquid methane) and electric propellant (e.g., xenon) in orbit. Pictured is Senior Tools Engineer Matt Ashmore inspecting one of the tools to be used in the mission-- the Cryogen Servicing Tool.
Cryogen is used as a potent propellant or coolant to keep critical optical equipment cold and operational, and xenon is a highly efficient propellant used for solar electric propulsion. The ability to transfer and replenish both is critical to enabling long duration journeys to destinations like the Moon and Mars.
Read more: https://sspd.gsfc.nasa.gov/RRM3.html

Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn #space #science #nasagoddard #tool

No matter where you are in the solar system, our Pale Blue Dot takes your breath away. This #CarlSaganDay, we'd like to share these humbling views of Earth from near and far: from here at home, the Moon, Mars, Saturn and beyond.
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"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." - Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Image credits
Blue Marble: NASA Earth Observatory
Earthrise: NASA
Mars: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU
Saturn: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Pale Blue Dot: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This massive galaxy cluster located in the well-known constellation of Ursa Major, contains at least 300 individual galaxies
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The universe contains some truly massive objects. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is known as hierarchical clustering, whereby small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever larger. The 14-billion-year history of the Universe has seen the formation of some enormous cosmic structures, including galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters — the largest known structures in the cosmos!
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This particular cluster is called Abell 665. It was named after its discoverer, George O. Abell, who included it in his seminal 1958 cluster catalogue. Abell 665 is located in the well-known northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This incredible image combines visible and infrared light gathered by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope using two of its cameras: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3.
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Abell 665 is the only galaxy cluster in Abell’s entire catalogue to be given a richness class of 5, indicating that the cluster contains at least 300 individual galaxies. Because of this richness, the cluster has been studied extensively at all wavelengths, resulting in a number of fascinating discoveries — among other research, Abell 665 has been found to host a giant radio halo, powerful shockwaves, and has been used to calculate an updated value for the Hubble constant (a measure of how fast the Universe is expanding).
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Credit: ESA/ @nasahubble #nasagoddard #hubble #galaxy #space #science

Happy Halloween! 👻
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NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites send thrilling scientific data from low-Earth orbit 24/7/365! They provide communications and tracking support for more than 40 NASA missions and just launched a new TDRS satellite in August! This illustration shows first-generation TDRS from the 1980s, overlaid with an image from @nasahubble, one of the spacecraft that TDRS supports.
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Credit: NASA Goddard #nasagoddard #Halloween #HappyHalloween #space #science

NASA’s DC-8 research plane flew over the Palmer Peninsula of #Antarctica on Oct. 14, 2017. The flight was part of the Atmospheric Tomography mission to survey over 200 gases as well as airborne particles on a 30-day tour around the world. This Antarctic flight coincides with the annual formation of the hole in the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. The scientists aboard the DC-8 are interested in studying the gases present below the ozone hole to better understand the chemical processes at work in this region of the atmosphere. In addition, the flight reprises research flights made 30 years ago by the DC-8 during the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (AAOE), a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and other international agencies and universities.

The AAOE flights in 1987 paired the DC-8 with the ER-2 research plane to follow up on the British Antarctic Survey’s 1985 report characterizing the ozone layer’s destruction. The ozone layer protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet light from the Sun that can damage DNA and, for example, cause skin cancer and other health problems. In the 1980s scientists discovered that ozone was being depleted, and the AAOE data confirmed that it was indeed the result of chlorine and bromine chemistry caused by human-emitted #chlorofluorocarbons, which were banned by the Montreal Protocol in the same year.

Credit: Caltech/Paul Wennberg #nasagoddard #science #ice #snow

Hubble digs into massive galaxies in hopes to aid the forthcoming NASA James Webb Space Telescope.
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This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is chock-full of galaxies. Each glowing speck is a different galaxy, except the bright flash in the middle of the image which is actually a star lying within our own galaxy that just happened to be in the way. At the center of the image lies something especially interesting, the center of the massive galaxy cluster called WHL J24.3324-8.477, including the brightest galaxy of the cluster.
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The Universe contains structures on various scales — planets collect around stars, stars collect into galaxies, galaxies collect into groups, and galaxy groups collect into clusters. Galaxy clusters contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. Dark matter and dark energy play key roles in the formation and evolution of these clusters, so studying massive galaxy clusters can help scientists to unravel the mysteries of these elusive phenomena.
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This infrared image was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing program called RELICS (Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey). RELICS imaged 41 massive galaxy clusters with the aim of finding the brightest distant galaxies for the forthcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope to study. Such research will tell us more about our cosmic origins.
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Credit: ESA/@NASAHubble #space #nasagoddard #galaxy #science #Hubble

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