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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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The RockSat-X student payload was successfully launched on a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket at 5:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 13, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The payload flew to an altitude of 94 miles during its suborbital flight. It descended by parachute and landed in the Atlantic Ocean where it was recovered.

More than 100 students from 15 universities and community colleges from across the Unites States participating in RockSat-X were on hand to witness the launch.

The experiments were flown through the RockSat-X program in conjunction with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. RockSat-X is the most advance of NASA’s three-phase sounding rocket program for students. The RockOn launches are at the entry level then progress to the intermediate level RockSat-C missions, culminating with the advanced RockSat-X.
Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins #nasagoddard #rocket #space #science

Hubble's Hockey Stick Galaxy 🏒🌌 The star of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 4656, located in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). However, it also has a somewhat more interesting and intriguing name: the Hockey Stick Galaxy! The reason for this is a little unclear from this partial view, which shows the bright central region, but the galaxy is actually shaped like an elongated, warped stick, stretching out through space until it curls around at one end to form a striking imitation of a celestial hockey stick.

This unusual shape is thought to be due to an interaction between NGC 4656 and a couple of near neighbors, NGC 4631 (otherwise known as The Whale Galaxy) and NGC 4627 (a small elliptical). Galactic interactions can completely reshape a celestial object, shifting and warping its constituent gas, stars, and dust into bizarre and beautiful configurations.

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

Morphologies, masses, and structures - oh, my!
This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). This image was produced by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as it embarked upon compiling the first Hubble ultraviolet “atlas,” for which the telescope targeted 50 nearby star-forming galaxies. The collection spans all kinds of different morphologies, masses, and structures. Studying this sample can help us to piece together the star-formation history of the Universe.

By exploring how massive stars form and evolve within such galaxies, astronomers can learn more about how, when, and where star formation occurs, how star clusters change over time, and how the process of forming new stars is related to the properties of both the host galaxy and the surrounding interstellar medium (the gas and dust that fills the space between individual stars). This galaxy was imaged with observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #galaxy #star #hubble

NASA snaps nighttime view of a massive Delaware-sized Iceberg split in Antarctica -- As Antarctica remains shrouded in darkness during the Southern Hemisphere winter, the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on Landsat 8 captured a new snap of the 2,240-square-mile iceberg that split off from the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf on July 10-12. The satellite imagery is a composite of Landsat 8 as it past on July 14 and July 21 and shows that the main berg, A-68, has already lost several smaller pieces. The A-68 iceberg is being carried by currents northward out of its embayment on the Larsen C ice shelf. The latest imagery also details a group of three small, not yet released icebergs at the north end of the embayment.

Credits: NASA Goddard/UMBC JCET, Christopher A. Shuman #nasagoddard #iceberg #Antarctica #science #space

#RIPChester of Linkin Park
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
....Well I do
-Chester Bennington

Timelapse of V838 Monocerotis (dying star) by NASA Hubble

Hubble’s Hunting Dog Galaxy

Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us. At this distance from Earth, actually not all that far on a cosmic scale, NGC 4242 is visible to anyone armed with even a basic telescope, as British astronomer William Herschel found when he discovered the galaxy in 1788.

This image shows the galaxy’s bright center and the surrounding dimmer and more diffuse “fuzz.” Despite appearing to be relatively bright in this image, studies have found that NGC 4242 is actually relatively dim (it has a moderate-to-low surface brightness and low luminosity) and also supports a low rate of star formation. The galaxy also seems to have a weak bar of stars cutting through its asymmetric center, and a very faint and poorly-defined spiral structure throughout its disk. But if NGC 4242 is not all that remarkable, as with much of the Universe, it is still a beautiful and ethereal sight.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #Hubble #space #science #galaxy #universe #star #HuntingDog 🐕🌌

NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash onto the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI) #nasagoddard #Hubble #Mars #space #science

NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet -- While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash onto the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI) #nasagoddard #Hubble #Mars #space #science

Hubble Spots a Barred Lynx Spiral

Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx. As this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows, NGC 2500 is a particular kind of spiral galaxy known as a barred spiral, its wispy arms swirling out from a bright, elongated core.

Barred spirals are actually more common than was once thought. Around two-thirds of all spiral galaxies — including the Milky Way — exhibit these straight bars cutting through their centers. These cosmic structures act as glowing nurseries for newborn stars, and funnel material towards the active core of a galaxy. NGC 2500 is still actively forming new stars, although this process appears to be occurring very unevenly. The upper half of the galaxy — where the spiral arms are slightly better defined — hosts many more star-forming regions than the lower half, as indicated by the bright, dotted islands of light.

There is another similarity between NGC 2500 and our home galaxy. Together with Andromeda, Triangulum and many smaller natural satellites, the Milky Way is part of the Local Group of galaxies, a gathering of over 50 galaxies all loosely held together by gravity. NGC 2500 forms a similar group with some of its nearby neighbors, including NGC 2541, NGC 2552, NGC 2537 and the bright, Andromeda-like spiral NGC 2481 (known collectively as the NGC 2841 group). Image Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA #nasagoddard #space #science #MilkyWay #Galaxy

Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica -
Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about the size of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Now that nearly 5,800 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) of ice has broken away, the Larsen C shelf area has shrunk by approximately 10 percent.

This false-color image was captured by Landsat’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). It shows the relative warmth or coolness of the landscape. Orange indicates where the surface is the warmest, most notably the mélange between the new berg and the ice shelf. Light blues and whites are the coldest areas, including the ice shelf and the iceberg.

On July 13, the U.S. National Ice Center issued a press release confirming the new iceberg and officially naming it A-68.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey #nasagoddard #earth #science #ice #iceberg

Sometime between July 10 and July 12, an iceberg about the size of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Now that nearly 5,800 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) of ice has broken away, the Larsen C shelf area has shrunk by approximately 10 percent.

Scientists have been tracking the stability of this ice shelf for several years. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image (above) of the new iceberg on July 12, 2017. The false-color view uses MODIS band 31, which measures infrared signals known as “brightness temperature.” This measurement is useful for distinguishing the relative warmth or coolness of a landscape. Dark blue depicts where the surface is the warmest—most notably between the new iceberg and the ice shelf, but also in areas of open ocean or where water is topped by thin sea ice. Lighter blue colors show intact or thicker ice (cooler surfaces). Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens

No, your screen isn't dirty and smudged with fingerprints, IC 342 is just a really challenging cosmic target. (And you think getting that ultra cool selfie is tricky?!) Although it is bright, the galaxy sits near the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust. In order for astronomers to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, they must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy — no easy feat! As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the “Hidden Galaxy.” Located very close (in astronomical terms) to the Milky Way, this sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, depicting the very central region of the galaxy. A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus — a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen — that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasagoddard #hubble #space

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