Milky Way over Shipwreck

What happened to this ship? It was carried aground by a giant storm that struck the coast of Argentina in 2002. The pictured abandoned boat, dubbed Naufragio del Chubasco, wrecked near the nearly abandoned town of Cabo Raso (population: 1). The rusting ship provides a picturesque but perhaps creepy foreground for the beautiful sky above. This sky is crowned by the grand arch of our Milky Way and features galaxies including the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, stars including Canopus and Altair, planets including Mars and Neptune, and nebulas including the Lagoon, Carina, and the Coal Sack. The mosaic was composed from over 80 images taken in early September. A 360-degree interactive panoramic version of this image is also available. The adventurous astrophotographer reports that the creepiest part of taking this picture was not the abandoned ship, but the unusual prevalence of black and hairy caterpillars. via NASA

NASA's Webb Telescope Clean Room 'Transporter'

What looks like a teleporter from science fiction being draped over NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, is actually a "clean tent." The clean tent protects Webb from dust and dirt when engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center transport the telescope out of the relatively dust-free cleanroom and into the vibration and acoustics testing areas. via NASA

W5: The Soul of Star Formation

Where do stars form? Many times, stars form in energetic regions where gas and dark dust are pushed around in chaotic mayhem. Pictured, bright massive stars near the center of W5, the Soul Nebula, are exploding and emitting ionizing light and energetic winds. The outward-moving light and gas push away and evaporate much surrounding gas and dust, but leave pillars of gas behind dense protective knots. Inside these knots, though, stars also form. The featured image highlights the inner sanctum of W5, an arena spanning about 1,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. The Soul Nebula, also cataloged as IC 1848, lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Queen of Aethopia (Cassiopeia). Likely, in few hundred million years, only a cluster of the resulting stars will remain. Then, these stars will drift apart. via NASA

Fiery South Atlantic Sunset

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station photographed a sunset that looks like a vast sheet of flame. With Earth’s surface already in darkness, the setting sun, the cloud masses, and the sideways viewing angle make a powerful image of the kind that astronauts use to commemorate their flights. via NASA

Tiny Mimas, Huge Rings

Saturn's icy moon Mimas is dwarfed by the planet's enormous rings. via NASA

Arp 240: A Bridge between Spiral Galaxies from Hubble

Why is there a bridge between these two spiral galaxies? Made of gas and stars, the bridge provides strong evidence that these two immense star systems have passed close to each other and experienced violent tides induced by mutual gravity. Known together as Arp 240 but individually as NGC 5257 and NGC 5258, computer modelling and the ages of star clusters indicate that the two galaxies completed a first passage near each other only about 250 million years ago. Gravitational tides not only pulled away matter, they compress gas and so caused star formation in both galaxies and the unusual bridge. Galactic mergers are thought to be common, with Arp 240 representing a snapshot of a brief stage in this inevitable process. The Arp 240 pair are about 300 million light-years distant and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of Virgo. Repeated close passages should ultimately result in a merger and with the emergence of a single combined galaxy. via NASA

Verona Rupes: Tallest Known Cliff in the Solar System

Could you survive a jump off the tallest cliff in the Solar System? Quite possibly. Verona Rupes on Uranus' moon Miranda is estimated to be 20 kilometers deep -- ten times the depth of the Earth's Grand Canyon. Given Miranda's low gravity, it would take about 12 minutes for a thrill-seeking adventurer to fall from the top, reaching the bottom at the speed of a racecar -- about 200 kilometers per hour. Even so, the fall might be survivable given proper airbag protection. The featured image of Verona Rupes was captured by the passing Voyager 2 robotic spacecraft in 1986. How the giant cliff was created remains unknown, but is possibly related to a large impact or tectonic surface motion. via NASA

Celebrating Thanksgiving Aboard the International Space Station

The six Expedition 50 crew members celebrate Thanksgiving in space, Nov. 24, 2016, with rehydrated turkey, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables. via NASA

Prototype of Space Station's Advanced Plant Habitat

A high fidelity test version of NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat (APH), the largest plant chamber built for the agency, arrived at Kennedy Space Center the third week of November, 2016. The APH unit, containing small flowering plant seeds, will be delivered to the International Space Station in 2017. via NASA

Plutos Sputnik Planum

Is there an ocean below Sputnik Planum on Pluto? The unusually smooth 1000-km wide golden expanse, visible in the featured image from New Horizons, appears segmented into convection cells. But how was this region created? One hypothesis now holds the answer to be a great impact that stirred up an underground ocean of salt water roughly 100-kilometers thick. The featured image of Sputnik Planum, part of the larger heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio, was taken last July and shows true details in exaggerated colors. Although the robotic New Horizons spacecraft is off on a new adventure, continued computer-modeling of this surprising surface feature on Pluto is likely to lead to more refined speculations about what lies beneath. via NASA

Hubble Spies Spiral Galaxy

Spiral galaxy NGC 3274 is a relatively faint galaxy located over 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). via NASA

Faint F Ring and Prometheus

Surface features are visible on Saturn's moon Prometheus in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. via NASA

NGC 4414: A Flocculent Spiral Galaxy

How much mass do flocculent spirals hide? The featured true color image of flocculent spiral galaxy NGC 4414 was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope to help answer this question. The featured image was augmented with data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Flocculent spirals -- galaxies without well-defined spiral arms -- are a quite common form of galaxy, and NGC 4414 is one of the closest. Stars and gas near the visible edge of spiral galaxies orbit the center so fast that the gravity from a large amount of unseen dark matter must be present to hold them together. Understanding the matter and dark matter distribution of NGC 4414 helps humanity calibrate the rest of the galaxy and, by deduction, flocculent spirals in general. Further, calibrating the distance to NGC 4414 helps humanity calibrate the cosmological distance scale of the entire visible universe. via NASA

GOES-R Weather Satellite Ready For Launch

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and its GOES-R payload at the launchpad as preparations continue for launch at 5:42 p.m. EST, Saturday, Nov. 19, from Space Launch Complex 41. via NASA

Expedition 50 Crew Launches to the International Space Station

In this one second exposure photograph, the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is seen launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Expedition 50 crewmembers NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, Kazakh time (Nov 17 EST). via NASA

Expedition 50 Crew Waves Farewell

Expedition 50 crewmembers ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, top, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, middle, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos wave farewell before boarding their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft for launch Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, (Kazakh Time) in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. via NASA

Cloudscape Over the Philippine Sea

Flying over the Philippine Sea, an astronaut looked toward the horizon from the International Space Station and shot this photograph of three-dimensional clouds, the thin blue envelope of the atmosphere, and the blackness of space. The late afternoon sunlight brightens a broad swath of the sea surface on the right side of the image. via NASA

Rumor Central: Giants, Tigers have had discussions about a trade involving OF J.D. Martinez - MLB Network (ESPN)

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November 15, 1966: Gemini XII Crew Returns to Earth

Following the Gemini XII splashdown on Nov. 15, 1966, astronauts Buzz Aldrin, left, and Jim Lovell are welcomed aboard the recovery aircraft carrier, USS Wasp, concluding their four-day mission. Gemini XII was the final flight of the Gemini program, a bridge between the Mercury and Apollo programs. via NASA

Supermoon and Space Station

What are those specks in front of the Moon? They are silhouettes of the International Space Station (ISS). Using careful planning and split-second timing, a meticulous lunar photographer captured ten images of the ISS passing in front of last month's full moon. But this wasn't just any full moon -- this was the first of the three consecutive 2016 supermoons. A supermoon is a full moon that appears a few percent larger and brighter than most other full moons. The featured image sequence was captured near Dallas, Texas. Occurring today is the second supermoon of this series, a full moon that is the biggest and brightest not only of the year, but of any year since 1948. To see today's super-supermoon yourself, just go outside at night and look up. The third supermoon of this year's series will occur in mid-December. via NASA

Supermoon and Expedition 50 Soyuz

The moon, or supermoon, is seen rising behind the Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station at 3:20 p.m. EST Nov. 17. via NASA

NGC 7822 in Cepheus

Hot, young stars and cosmic pillars of gas and dust seem to crowd into NGC 7822. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the northern constellation Cepheus, the glowing star forming region lies about 3,000 light-years away. Within the nebula, bright edges and dark shapes stand out in this colorful skyscape. The image includes data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues. The emission line and color combination has become well-known as the Hubble palette. The atomic emission is powered by energetic radiation from the central hot stars. Their powerful winds and radiation sculpt and erode the denser pillar shapes and clear out a characteristic cavity light-years across the center of the natal cloud. Stars could still be forming inside the pillars by gravitational collapse but as the pillars are eroded away, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from their reservoir of star stuff. This field of view spans over 40 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 7822. via NASA

Great Rift Near the Center of the Milky Way

Over 100 telescopic image panels in this stunning vertical mosaic span about 50 degrees across the night sky. They follow part of the Great Rift, the dark river of dust and molecular gas that stretches along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Start at top center and you can follow the galactic equator down through brighter stars in constellations Aquila, Serpens Cauda, and Scutum. At the bottom is Sagittarius near the center of the Milky Way. Along the way you'll encounter many obscuring dark nebulae hundreds of light-years distant flanked by bands of Milky Way starlight, and the telltale reddish glow of starforming regions. Notable Messier objects include The Eagle (M16) and Omega (M17) nebulae, the Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24), the beautiful Trifid (M20) and the deep Lagoon (M8). via NASA

Rumor Central: Giants showing interest in free-agent P Greg Holland - FanRag Sports; former All-Star closer for Royals (ESPN)

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Getting to Know the Getz Ice Shelf

As scientists and crew with NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission prepared for a research flight on Nov. 5, 2016, the weather in Punta Arenas, Chile, was cold, wet, and windy. But when they reached their survey site in West Antarctica, skies were clear and winds were calm—a perfect day for scientists to collect data over the Getz Ice Shelf. via NASA

M63: The Sunflower Galaxy from Hubble

One of the bright spiral galaxies visible in the north sky is M63, the Sunflower Galaxy. M63, also catalogued as NGC 5055, can be found with a small telescope toward the constellation of Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). The featured picture from the Hubble Space Telescope exhibits the center of M63, complete with long winding spiral arms glowing blue from a few bright young stars, emission nebulae glowing red from hot ionized hydrogen gas, and dark dust in numerous filaments. M63 interacts gravitationally with M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) and several smaller galaxies. Light takes about 35 million years to reach us from M63, and about 60,000 years to cross the spiral galaxy. Stars in the outer regions of the Sunflower Galaxy rotate about the center at a speed so high that, given the matter seen and assuming normal gravity, they should fly off into space. The fact that the stars remain indicates the presence of sort of invisible, gravitationally-binding, dark matter. via NASA

Wind Carved Rock on Mars

The distinctively fluted surface and elongated hills in this image in Medusae Fossae are caused by wind erosion of a soft fine-grained rock. Called yardangs, these features are aligned with the prevailing wind direction. This wind direction would have dominated for a very long time to carve these large-scale features into the exposed rock. via NASA

MLB: Giants C Buster Posey, 2B Joe Panik and SS Brandon Crawford all selected as a 2016 Gold Glove Award winners (ESPN)

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Election Day 2016

Thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislators that put in place technical voting procedure for astronauts, they have the ability to vote from space through specially designed absentee ballots. To preserve the integrity of the secret vote, the ballot is encrypted and only accessible by the astronaut and the county clerk responsible for casting it. via NASA

Starburst Cluster in NGC 3603

A mere 20,000 light-years from the Sun lies NGC 3603, a resident of the nearby Carina spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is well known to astronomers as one of the Milky Way's largest star-forming regions. The central open star cluster contains thousands of stars more massive than our Sun, stars that likely formed only one or two million years ago in a single burst of star formation. In fact, nearby NGC 3603 is thought to contain a convenient example of the massive star clusters that populate much more distant starburst galaxies. Surrounding the cluster are natal clouds of glowing interstellar gas and obscuring dust, sculpted by energetic stellar radiation and winds. Recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope, the image spans about 17 light-years. via NASA

Hubble Takes Flight with the Toucan and the Cluster

NGC 299 is an open star cluster located within the Small Magellanic Cloud just under 200,000 light-years away. via NASA

Giants exercise $7M 2017 team option on P Matt Moore; 6-5, 4.08 ERA in 12 starts after being traded to San Francisco (ESPN)

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Orion Crew Module Underway Recovery Testing

U.S. Navy divers and other personnel in a rigid hull Zodiac boat have attached tether lines to a test version of the Orion crew module during Underway Recovery Test 5 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. NASA and the U.S. Navy are conducting a series of tests to practice for recovery of Orion on its return from deep space missions. via NASA

Giants sign P Josh Johnson to a minor league contract; last pitched in majors in 2013 (3 Tommy John surgeries) (ESPN)

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James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors Will Piece Together Cosmic Puzzles

The primary mirror of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope that consists of 18 hexagonal mirrors looks like a giant puzzle piece standing in the massive clean room of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The telescope will help piece together puzzles scientists have been trying to solve throughout the cosmos. via NASA

Arp 299: Black Holes in Colliding Galaxies

Is only one black hole spewing high energy radiation -- or two? To help find out, astronomers trained NASA's Earth-orbiting NuSTAR and Chandra telescopes on Arp 299, the enigmatic colliding galaxies expelling the radiation. The two galaxies of Arp 299 have been locked in a gravitational combat for millions of years, while their central black holes will soon do battle themselves. Featured, the high-resolution visible-light image was taken by Hubble, while the superposed diffuse glow of X-ray light was imaged by NuSTAR and shown in false-color red, green, and blue. NuSTAR observations show that only one of the central black holes is seen fighting its way through a region of gas and dust -- and so absorbing matter and emitting X-rays. The energetic radiation, coming only from the galaxy center on the right, is surely created nearby -- but outside -- the central black hole's event horizon. In a billion years or so, only one composite galaxy will remain, and only one central supermassive black hole. Soon thereafter, though, another galaxy may enter the fray. via NASA

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Prototype Capture System, Mock Asteroid Help Simulate Mission Sequence

A prototype of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) robotic capture module system is tested with a mock asteroid boulder in its clutches at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The robotic portion of ARM is targeted for launch in 2021. via NASA