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

In August of 1968, three NASA astronauts received a call telling them to cancel their winter holiday plans — they were going to the Moon. Fifty years later we are celebrating the historic mission of Apollo 8.

1. The rising Earth is about five degrees above the lunar horizon in this telephoto view taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. This iconic photo was later nicknamed "Earthrise." 2. Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman leads the way as he, Command Module Pilot James A. Lovell Jr., and Lunar Module Pilot William A. Anders head to the launch pad for humanity’s maiden voyage around the Moon and its first aboard the Saturn V vehicle.

3. This oblique view of the lunar surface was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft.
4. A striking view from the Apollo 8 spacecraft showing nearly the entire Western Hemisphere, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, including nearby Newfoundland, extending to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. Central America is clearly outlined. Nearly all of South America is covered by clouds, except the high Andes Mountain chain along the west coast. A small portion of the bulge of West Africa shows along the sunset terminator.

5. Apollo 8 prime crew inside the Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training.

6. Apollo 8 crew is photographed posing on a Kennedy Space Center (KSC) simulator in their space suits. From left to right: James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders and Frank Borman.

7. Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third stage. Reflected sunlight illuminates small particles, resulting in a "firefly" phenomenon.

8. View of the Moon's surface showing Earth rising above the lunar horizon, looking west-southwest, as photographed from the Apollo 8 spacecraft as it orbited the Moon.

9. Astronauts William A. Anders, James A. Lovell Jr., and Frank Borman, (left to right) are seen inside Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training.

10. The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Dec. 21, 1968.

All images credit: NASA #NASAGoddard #science #space #rocket #apollo50 #nasa

Like a bright ornament in a holiday wreath, this bright star decorates its surrounding nebula with waves of light. This image from @NASAHubble shows RS Puppis, a Cepheid variable star which rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. Its average intrinsic brightness is 15,000 times greater than the Sun's luminosity.

The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the Cepheid propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a "light echo." Even though light travels through space fast enough to span the gap between Earth and the Moon in a little over a second, the nebula is so large that reflected light can actually be photographed crossing the nebula.

Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) – Hubble/Europe Collaboration; Acknowledgement: H. Bond (STScI and Pennsylvania State University)

#space #Hubble #HST #star #astronomy #telescope #nebula

This iconic image, Earthrise, was taken on Christmas Eve, 1968, but the photo took days to return to Earth. Today, NASA sends and receives images like this in the blink of an eye. Learn more in episode two of our podcast, “The Invisible Network.” Check it out at nasa.gov/invisible, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Credit: @NASA

#Earthrise #ChristmasEve #OTD #podcast #audio #TakeYouThere #NASA #atlasobscura

Some presents are just too big to put under a tree. What’s wrapped up in this picture, however, is @NASAWebb, and the wrapping job is a special mobile clean room to ensure it remains pristine while moving from building to building.

The mobile clean room is, essentially, a giant sealed bag that is purged with clean, dry air injected from pressurized bottles though a flexible tube. A small leak is included in the design so that the container can maintain positive pressure by releasing clean air while blocking air inflow.
Once Webb launches in 2021, and is “opened” and functioning, Webb will be a present to scientists that helps them unwrap mysteries of the cosmos. It will bring countless discoveries to scientists and people around the world.

Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

#space #telescope #jameswebb #jwst #infrared

Some presents are just too big to put under a tree. What’s wrapped up in this picture, however, is @NASAWebb, and the wrapping job is a special mobile clean room to ensure it remains pristine while moving from building to building.

The mobile clean room is, essentially, a giant sealed bag that is purged with clean, dry air injected from pressurized bottles though a flexible tube. A small leak is included in the design so that the container can maintain positive pressure by releasing clean air while blocking air inflow.
Once Webb launches in 2021, and is “opened” and functioning, Webb will be a present to scientists that helps them unwrap mysteries of the cosmos. It will bring countless discoveries to scientists and people around the world.

Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

#space #telescope #jameswebb #jwst #infrared

@NASAHubble's powerful sensitivity and resolution captures a soft blue haze, called intracluster light, among the galaxies of the Abell S1063 cluster. The stars producing this glow have been thrown out from their galaxies. These stars now live solitary lives, no longer part of a galaxy but aligning themselves with the gravity of the overall cluster. Astronomers have found that intracluster light's association with a map of mass distribution in the cluster's overall gravitational field makes it a good indicator of how invisible dark matter is distributed in the cluster.

Credits: NASA, ESA and M. Montes (University of New South Wales)

#Space #astronomy #Hubble #telescope #galaxy #galaxycluster #darkmatter #universe #cosmos

NASA intern Ricky Velasquez spent his summer at Goddard working on communications schemes for constellations of CubeSats, small satellites that can offer big research opportunities! Learn more about how NASA fosters the next generation of space professionals and technology in episode six of our podcast, “The Invisible Network.” go.nasa.gov/2LntIMS

Saturn’s rings are changing.

New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago, meaning they may be gone in less than 300 million years.

The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn’s magnetic field.

Scientists have long wondered if Saturn was formed with the rings or if the planet acquired them later in life. The new research favors the latter scenario, indicating that they are unlikely to be older than 100 million years.

Saturn’s rings are mostly chunks of water ice ranging in size from microscopic dust grains to boulders several yards (meters) across. Ring particles are caught in a balancing act between the pull of Saturn’s gravity, which wants to draw them back into the planet, and their orbital velocity, which wants to fling them outward into space. Tiny particles can get electrically charged by ultraviolet light from the Sun or by plasma clouds emanating from micrometeoroid bombardment of the rings. When this happens, the particles can feel the pull of Saturn’s magnetic field, which curves inward toward the planet at Saturn’s rings. In some parts of the rings, once charged, the balance of forces on these tiny particles changes dramatically, and Saturn’s gravity pulls them in along the magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

#Saturn #NASA #Solarsystem #space

This composite photo shows the Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics, or TRICE-2, that were launched at 3:26 and 3:28 a.m. EST, Dec. 8, 2018, from the Andoya Space Center in Andenes, Norway. The motors firing on the sides of the first stages spin the rocket to assist in stabilization during flight.
Preliminary data show that the two four-stage Black Brant XII rockets performed nominally and good science data was received from both flights.

TRICE-2, from the University of Iowa, is exploring magnetic reconnection, the explosive process that allows charged particles from space to stream into Earth’s atmosphere. The results promise to shed light on the fundamental process of magnetic reconnection and, in the long run, help us better predict how and when Earth’s magnetic shield can suddenly become porous and let outside particles in.
Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #nasagoddard #space #rocket #launch #Iowa
The mission is one of nine international missions through January 2020 as part of the Grand Challenge Initiative – Cusp.

Solar material and streamers and Mercury — oh, my!

Weeks after NASA's Parker Solar Probe made the closest-ever approach to a star, the science data from the first solar encounter is just making its way into the hands of the mission's scientists.

This image from Parker Solar Probe's WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument shows a coronal streamer, seen over the east limb of the Sun on Nov. 8, 2018. Coronal streamers are structures of solar material within the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, that usually overlie regions of increased solar activity. The fine structure of the streamer is very clear, with at least two rays visible. Parker Solar Probe was about 16.9 million miles from the Sun's surface when this image was taken. The bright object near the center of the image is Mercury. The dark spots are a result of the data processing and are not actual physical features in the corona.

Credits: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe #nasagoddard #space #sun #Mercury #planet #star

The dazzling glow of young stars dominates images of the giant stellar nursery NGC 346, in the neighboring dwarf galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud. But this photogenic beauty is more than just a “pretty face.” In this first image, infant stars still embedded in gas and dust in the nebula shine brightly in this Hubble Space Telescope image. @webbtelescope’s infrared vision will uncover thousands more developing stars in this star-forming region.
Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Nota (STScI/ESA)

The second image shows a combination of multiwavelength light from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared), the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope (visible), and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space telescope (X-ray). Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech and D. Gouliermis (Max-Planck Institute) #nasagoddard #space #astronomy #telescope #hubble #stars #jwst

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of NASA's first space servicing mission to the @NASAHubble, we are sharing this gallery of images from all five of the Hubble servicing missions.

Astronauts serviced Hubble for the first time in December 1993. Including that trip, there have been five astronaut servicing missions to Hubble between 1993 and 2009.

Credit: NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #hst #space #science #astronaut

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