The geeks at NASA just released a treasure trove of new images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble telescope can take very clear pictures because it orbits above the Earth's atmosphere. The telescope is continually improved by spacewalking astronauts too so the pictures just keep getting better. Check out the newest Hubble Space Telescope images in the picture gallery below. This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.
The geniuses at NASA have given us another great video - this time a flyby over the planet Jupiter! Check it out below: https://youtu.be/83DwrViZQIE The video was created using images from NASA's Juno mission during its 27th close flyby of the planet on June 2, 2020. The Juno spacecraft flies about 2,1000 miles from the tops of Jupiter's clouds. Jupiter has such tremendous gravity, that it accelerates Juno's speed to about 130,000 mph! Juno was launched from Earth about 9 years ago. It took 5 more years before it settled into a polar orbit of Jupiter and began sending NASA scientists photos and data of the planet. When Juno's mission is complete, it will crash into Jupiter, snapping photos all the way.
This before/after comparison shows the dramatic reduction in pollution since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to work from home.
NASA released the images below which show NO2 levels in 2019 (on the left), before the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2020 (on the right). The reduction in NO2 pollution levels is dramatic. The pandemic gave NASA a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study human impact on the climate. Even before the pandemic has ended, it is already clear that mankind produces a dire impact on the planet's climate - and shows us how easily and quickly we can turn it around if we try.
Crew Dragon launches today! For the first time in nearly a decade, the US will launch 2 passengers into space from US soil.
It's really happening! Today NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will board a SpaceX capsule named Crew Dragon. The capsule will be carried from Florida into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket. They will travel to the International Space Stations (ISS) as a major test of SpaceX's new Dragon 2 spacecraft. The event is historic for various reasons. It's the first time since 2011 that the US launched astronauts from its own soil. Also, this historic flight is a new type of partnership between a public entity (NASA) and a private aerospace firm (SpaceX). If all goes well, we can expect much more from these guys in the future. The flight is currently targeted for 4:33PM ET on Wednesday, May 27th. That may change if the
We’ve all seen the pictures of astronauts triumphantly placing an American flag on the surface of the moon, evidence of mankind’s excursion to a heavenly body far from home. But flag planting wasn’t as easy as the astronauts made it seem. American flags on the moon Apollo 11, the first mission to land on the moon, learned an important lesson about the moon’s surface when they tried to plant the American flag. It has been supposed that the dirt on the moon would be similar to earth’s. It was not and its unusual composition made the flag impossible to plant deeply into the soil. Unlike dirt granules on earth which are roundish, moon dirt is flattened with sharp edges. The granules tend to lock into place making for
NASA announces its next mission “Dragonfly” – will explore Saturn’s moon Titan with a drone-like lander.
As part of NASA’s New Frontiers program, they have selected their next mission – a drone-like lander that will explore the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. The Dragonfly mission will send a dual-quadcopter to the surface of Titan. About every 16 days it will fly tens of miles above the surface for about an hour before stopping to rest and recharge. During these “hops”, Dragonfly will sample the moon’s surface material and observe its weather patterns. The Huygens probe (carried by Cassini) was the first to give us a good view of the moon’s surface. It was found that Titan had a thick atmosphere and liquid methane coverings its surface. This interested NASA scientists who have been longing to send a lander to the moon to better
NASA launches fastest manmade object in history – Parker Solar Probe will travel more than 400,000 miles per hour and “touch” the Sun!
It hasn’t made it into the popular news channels much which is puzzling (and sad) because the device, and its mission, is so very, very cool. On August 12, 2018, NASA will launch the Parker Solar Probe, a car-sized spacecraft with a mission to examine the Sun’s corona. It’s no small feat and will require the probe maintain speeds of 430,000 miles per hour as it whirls around the sun. The Polar Solar Probe is an attempt to unravel some of the mystery around the Sun’s corona, that layer of hot plasma that floats millions of miles around the sun. The corona is the source of the Sun’s solar wind and is what causes the beautifully, colorful aurorae in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Parker's mission is not an
A sungrazer comet (technically known as Kreutz sungrazers) crashed into the sun on August 4, 2016 and lucky for us, the entire event was captured on video by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Analysis of the video shows the comet plunged into the sun at a mind-boggling 373 miles per second! That’s 1.34 million miles per hour! At that speed, you could drive completely around the earth in about a minute. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments of larger comets, called Kreutz comets, that have broken apart as they neared the sun. When the sun pulls these smaller fragments toward it, they accelerate until eventually, they are vaporized by the intense forces near the sun. Kreutz comets travel around the sun on a path called the Kreutz path.
This past week, NASA's Curiosity rover spent quite a bit of its time happily playing in the sand – on Mars. In December 2016, Curiosity reached a new frontier on Mars – the Bagnold Dunes. The dunes are located on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp (officially given the rather geeky name, Aeolis Mons), a mountain at the center of the Gale Crater, and feature a landscape unlike anything Curiosity has come across before. In fact, in some photos, the sandy dunes and mountainous Mars terrain in the background look quite earthly. Here is Curiosity earlier in the year. You can see the dunes in the distance as Curiosity makes it way toward them. The dune to the left of Curiosity is Namib Dune which the rover
As NASA’s New Horizons space probe raced past Pluto, it snapped photos as fast as it could, beaming back pictures to the grinning geeks at NASA. NASA then took the images and created this animated gif showing what it would look like had you hitched a rid aboard the spacecraft. Each second of the movie represents about 30 minutes travel time for New Horizons. New Horizons flew about 7,800 miles above Pluto at a speed of about 32,435 miles per hour. It was launched on January 19, 2006 – over 9 years ago! When it passed Pluto on July 15, 2015, it became the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. New Horizons is alive and well and heading towards the Kuiper Belt. This month, it will