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NASA has just released a panoramic image of Pluto's crescent taken by the New Horizons spacecraft — and the scene is absolutely incredible. The photograph showcases the dwarf planet's icy mountains in amazing detail, as backlighting from the Sun shines through the world's hazy atmosphere.<p>The …
APOD: Earthrise (2015 Sep 06) Image Credit: Apollo 8, NASA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150906.html Explanation: What's that rising over the edge of the Moon? Earth. About 47 years ago, in December of 1968, the Apollo 8 crew flew from the Earth to the Moon and back again. Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were launched atop a Saturn V rocket on December 21, circled the Moon ten times in their command module, and returned to Earth on December 27. The Apollo 8 mission's impressive list of firsts includes: the first humans to journey to the Earth's Moon, the first to fly using the Saturn V rocket, and the first to photograph the Earth from deep space. As the Apollo 8 command module rounded the farside of the Moon, the crew could look toward the lunar horizon and see the Earth appear to rise, due to their spacecraft's orbital motion. Their famous picture of a distant blue Earth above the Moon's limb was a marvelous gift to the world. http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo-8/apollo-8.html http://www.nasa.gov/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=150906 #APOD
APOD: Full Moon, Full Earth (2015 Aug 07) Image Credit: NASA, NOAA/DSCOVR http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150807.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMdhQsHbWTs Explanation: The Moon was new on July 16. Its familiar nearside was dark when viewed from the surface of planet Earth. But on that date a million miles away, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured this view of an apparently Full Moon crossing in front of a Full Earth. In fact, seen from the spacecraft's position beyond the Moon's orbit and between Earth and Sun, the fully illuminated lunar hemisphere is the less familiar farside. Only known since the dawn of the space age, the farside is mostly devoid of dark lunar maria that sprawl across the Moon's perpetual Earth-facing hemisphere. Only the small dark spot of the farside's Mare Moscoviense (Sea of Moscow) is clear, at the upper left. Planet Earth's north pole is near 11 o'clock, with the North America visited by Hurricane Dolores near center. Slight color shifts are visible around the lunar edge, an artifact of the Moon's motion through the field caused by combining the camera's separate exposures taken in quick succession through different color filters. While monitoring the Earth and solar wind for space weather forcasts, about twice a year DSCOVR can capture similar images of Moon and Earth together as its crosses the orbital plane of the Moon. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=150807 #APOD
APOD: Space Shuttle Rising (2015 May 24) Image Credit: NASA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150524.html Explanation: What's that rising from the clouds? The space shuttle. Sometimes, if you looked out the window of an airplane at just the right place and time, you could have seen something very unusual -- a space shuttle launching to orbit. Images of the rising shuttle and its plume became widely circulated over the web shortly after Endeavour's final launch in 2011 May. The above image was taken from a shuttle training aircraft by NASA and is not copyrighted. Taken well above the clouds, the image can be matched with similar images of the same shuttle plume taken below the clouds. Hot glowing gasses expelled by the engines are visible near the rising shuttle, as well as a long smoke plume. A shadow of the plume appears on the cloud deck, indicating the direction of the Sun. The US Space Shuttle program concluded in 2011, and Endeavour can now be visited at the California Science Center. http://www.nasa.gov/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=150524 #APOD
A gallery of photos, visualizations, and other pictures of outer space.<p><i>This post was last updated on Friday, May 12, 2017.</i><p>Here at <i>Popular Science</i>, we love space—and we know you do too. From seeing the nearly-true colors of Europa, a molten metal orb levitate in microgravity, or even a map of a …Astronomy
Learn more about the sixth planet in our solar system and its rings.<p>Saturn was the most distant of the five planets known to the ancients. In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to gaze at Saturn through a telescope. To his surprise, he saw a pair of objects on either side of the …Astronomy
Colliding galaxies put on a show, Martian gullies meet Jack Frost, and cities glitter for the holidays in this week's best space pictures.
And, as the old adage goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."<p>We compiled the most unforgettable images from the past 12 months, captured by photographers from around the world.
Sky-watchers have braved freezing temperatures to enjoy one of the year’s most spectacular meteor showers. Clear skies, which sent the thermometer plunging, ensured a good view of the Geminid meteor shower<p> Share your pictures of the annual Geminid metor shower
Wintry views of the stars lead to vistas of volcanoes, clouds, and contrails in the week's best space pictures.
APOD: Orion Launch (2014 Dec 06) Image Credit: NASA, Bill Ingalls http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141206.html Explanation: Headed for two orbits of planet Earth and a splashdown in the Pacific, Orion blazed into the early morning sky on Friday at 7:05am ET. The spacecraft was launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its first voyage into space on an uncrewed flight test, the Orion traveled some 3,600 miles from Earth, about 15 times higher than the orbital altitude of the International Space Station. In fact, Orion traveled farther into space than any spacecraft designed for astronauts since the Apollo missions to the Moon. The Orion crew module reached speeds of 20,000 miles per hour and temperatures approaching 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere about 4.5 hours after launch. http://www.nasa.gov/orion http://ingallsimages.squarespace.com/about/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141206 #APOD
After a series of cancelled launches yesterday, Orion's first test flight launched smoothly at 7:05AM ET. It attained low Earth orbit at 7:30AM, and reached an apogee of 3,600 miles from the Earth. That's the farthest any capsule designed for a crew has been since the Apollo mission. Orion …
APOD: Galileo's Europa Remastered (2014 Nov 27) Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SETI Institute, Cynthia Phillips, Marty Valenti http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141127.html Explanation: Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo's Europa image data has been newly remastered here, using improved new calibrations to produce a color image approximating what the human eye might see. Europa's long curving fractures hint at the subsurface liquid water. The tidal flexing the large moon experiences in its elliptical orbit around Jupiter supplies the energy to keep the ocean liquid. But more tantalizing is the possibility that even in the absence of sunlight that process could also supply the energy to support life, making Europa one of the best places to look for life beyond Earth. What kind of life could thrive in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean? Consider planet Earth's own extreme shrimp. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ http://www.seti.org/ http://www.seti.org/users/cynthia-phillips Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141127 #APOD
For this year's competition, the judges decided on the theme of "Home, Habitat, and Shelter," and all the photos play on that concept of where nature seeks haven.<p>After receiving over 800 submissions, the judges have whittled them down to a short list of 12 photographs, which we share with you …
But as space technology moves further away from governmental oversight and towards commercialization, what happens to the history and relics of our nation's revered past in space exploration?<p>Many once-important facilities now sit dormant, decommissioned years ago, now rusting in the sun. Others …
APOD: Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita (2014 Nov 16) Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141116.html Explanation: Leonids Meteor Shower came to an impressive crescendo in 1999. Observers in Europe saw a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm. At other times and from other locations around the world, observers typically reported respectable rates of between 30 and 100 meteors per hour. This photograph is a 20-minute exposure ending just before the main Leonids peak began. Visible are at least five Leonid meteors streaking high above the Torre de la Guaita, an observation tower used during the 12th century in Girona, Spain. In 2014, over the next few nights, the Leonids meteor shower will again peak. This year, although the crescent Moon should not create much competing skyglow, the Earth is predicted to pass through a more moderate stream of debris left over from Comet Tempel-Tuttle than in 1999, perhaps resulting in as many as 15 visible meteors per hour from dark locations. http://twanight.org/casado Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141116 #APOD
Astronomers capture the brilliant glow of a dying star, ice on Mars begins to crack, and a supermassive black hole belts out exotic particles in this week's best space pictures.
APOD: Descent to a Comet (2014 Nov 13) Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141113.html Explanation: Yesterday, the first soft landing on a comet took place some 500 million kilometers from planet Earth as the Rosetta mission lander Philae settled on the nucleus of C67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The landing site, dubbed Agilkia, is located near the center of this remarkable image snapped by Philae's ROLIS (ROsetta Lander Imaging System) camera. Taken from a distance of about 3 kilometers the image has a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel at the surface. After Philae's release from the orbiter, its seven-hour long descent was made without propulsion or guidance. Following its descent the lander is in place, though its anchoring harpoon system did not fire. For 2.5 days the lander is intended to conduct its main science mission returning extensive images and data. An extended surface mission may be possible if sunlight and dust conditions allow solar panels to recharge Philae's battery. http://rosetta.esa.int/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141113 #APOD
Rosetta left earth in 2004, whipped around it three times to gain speed, and caught up to a comet called 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (both seen above, in a photo taken by Rosetta's lander). On Nov. 12, 2014, the spacecraft dropped a lander onto the comet's surface. Here's the decade-long journey in …