NASA Day of Remembrance

Martha Chaffee, widow of Roger Chaffee, Sheryl Chaffee, daughter, and Roger Purvenas, son of Sheryl Chaffee, left, along with acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, right, place wreaths at the graves of Apollo 1 crewmembers Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee as part of NASA's Day of Remembrance, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. via NASA

Coy Dione

Dione's lit hemisphere faces away from Cassini's camera, yet the moon's darkened surface features are dimly illuminated in this image, due to Saturnshine. via NASA

Apollo 1 Crew Honored

Astronauts, from the left, Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee stand near Cape Kennedy's Launch Complex 34 during training for Apollo 1 in January 1967. via NASA

January 1986 - Voyager 2 Flyby of Miranda

Uranus' moon Miranda is shown in a computer-assembled mosaic of images obtained Jan. 24, 1986, by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. Miranda is the innermost and smallest of the five major Uranian satellites, just 480 kilometers (about 300 miles) in diameter. Nine images were combined to obtain this full-disc, south-polar view. via NASA

Juno’s Close Look at a Little Red Spot

The JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft snapped this shot of Jupiter’s northern latitudes. via NASA

Giants agree with C Nick Hundley on $2M, 1-year deal; hit .260, 10 HR, 48 RBI in 83 games for Rockies last season (ESPN)

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NASA Simulates Orion Spacecraft Launch Conditions for Crew

In a lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, engineers simulated conditions that astronauts in space suits would experience when the Orion spacecraft is vibrating during launch atop the agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket on its way to deep space destinations. via NASA

New Weather Satellite Sends First Images of Earth

The release of the first images today from NOAA’s newest satellite, GOES-16, is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. This composite color full-disk visible image is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on Jan. 15, 2017, and was created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument. via NASA

SpaceX Falcon 9 to Orbit

Birds don't fly this high. Airplanes don't go this fast. The Statue of Liberty weighs less. No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago. The launch of a rocket bound for space is an event that inspires awe and challenges description. Pictured here, a SpaceX Falcon 9 V rocket lifted off through a cloud deck from Cape Canaveral, Florida last July to deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station. From a standing start, the 300,000+ kilogram rocket ship lifted its Dragon Capsule up to circle the Earth, where the outside air is too thin to breathe. Rockets bound for space are now launched from somewhere on Earth about once a week. via NASA

Daphnis the Wavemaker

Plunging close to the outer edges of Saturn's rings, on January 16 the Cassini spacecraft captured this closest yet view of Daphnis. About 8 kilometers across and orbiting within the bright ring system's Keeler gap, the small moon is making waves. The 42-kilometer wide outer gap is foreshortened in the image by Cassini's viewing angle. Raised by the influenced of the small moon's weak gravity as it crosses the frame from left to right, the waves are formed in the ring material at the edge of the gap. A faint wave-like trace of ring material is just visible trailing close behind Daphnis. Remarkable details on Daphnis can also be seen, including a narrow ridge around its equator, likely an accumulation of particles from the ring. via NASA

Daphnis Up Close

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. via NASA

Space Station Vista: Planet and Galaxy

If you could circle the Earth aboard the International Space Station, what might you see? Some amazing vistas, one of which was captured in this breathtaking picture in mid-2015. First, visible at the top, are parts of the space station itself including solar panels. Just below the station is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, glowing with the combined light of billions of stars, but dimmed in patches by filaments of dark dust. The band of red light just below the Milky Way is airglow -- Earth's atmosphere excited by the Sun and glowing in specific colors of light. Green airglow is visible below the red. Of course that's our Earth below its air, with the terminator between day and night visible near the horizon. As clouds speckle the planet, illumination from a bright lightning bolt is seen toward the lower right. Between work assignments, astronauts from all over the Earth have been enjoying vistas like this from the space station since the year 2000. via NASA

Giants: Jeff Kent (16.7%) falls short of election to Baseball Hall of Fame (ESPN)

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MLB: Trevor Hoffman misses HOF election by 1% (5 votes); Roger Clemens (54.1%) and Barry Bonds (53.8%) also fall short (ESPN)

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Possible Signs of Ancient Drying in Martian Rock

A grid of small polygons on the Martian rock surface near the right edge of this view may have originated as cracks in drying mud more than 3 billion years ago. via NASA

MLB: Hall of Famer Willie McCovey pardoned by President Barack Obama on tax evasion charges from 1995 (ESPN)

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NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough on Jan. 13 Spacewalk

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA at work outside the International Space Station on Jan. 13, 2017, in a photo taken by fellow spacewalker Thomas Pesquet of ESA. The two astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the station. via NASA

Crescent Jupiter with the Great Red Spot

This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist (Roman Tkachenko) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. via NASA

Edge On NGC 891

Large spiral galaxy NGC 891 spans about 100 thousand light-years and is seen almost exactly edge-on from our perspective. In fact, about 30 million light-years distant in the constellation Andromeda, NGC 891 looks a lot like our Milky Way. At first glance, it has a flat, thin, galactic disk of stars and a central bulge cut along the middle by regions of dark obscuring dust. But remarkably apparent in NGC 891's edge-on presentation are filaments of dust that extend hundreds of light-years above and below the center line. The dust has likely been blown out of the disk by supernova explosions or intense star formation activity. Fainter galaxies can also be seen near the edge-on disk in this deep portrait of NGC 891. (Editor's Note: The NGC 891 image used in today's APOD posting has been replaced and the credit corrected to indicate the author of the original work.) via NASA

Well-Preserved Impact Ejecta on Mars

This image of a well-preserved unnamed elliptical crater in Terra Sabaea, is illustrative of the complexity of ejecta deposits forming as a by-product of the impact process that shapes much of the surface of Mars. via NASA

Crescent Jupiter with the Great Red Spot

This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist (Roman Tkachenko) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. via NASA

Giants and 3B Conor Gillaspie agree to a one-year contract worth $1.4 million to avoid arbitration - FanRag Sports (ESPN)

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Rocky Mountains From Orbit

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency photographed the Rocky Mountains from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. He shared the image with his social media followers on Jan. 9, 2017, writing, "the Rocky mountains are a step too high – even for the clouds to cross." via NASA

In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 5033

What's happening in the center of spiral NGC 5033? Many things -- some circular, some energetic, and some not well understood. NGC 5033 is known as a Seyfert galaxy because of the great activity seen in its nucleus. Bright stars, dark dust, and interstellar gas all swirl quickly around a galactic center that appears slightly offset from a supermassive black hole. This offset is thought to be the result of NGC 5033 merging with another galaxy sometime in the past billion years. The featured image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2005. NGC 5033 spans about 100,000 light years and is so far away that we see it only as it existed about 40 million years ago. via NASA

Breaking Boundaries in New Engine Designs

In an effort to improve fuel efficiency, NASA and the aircraft industry are rethinking aircraft design. via NASA

Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars

Here is a view of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars. It combines two images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with brightness adjusted separately for Earth and the moon to show details on both bodies. via NASA

Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273

The spiky stars in the foreground of this sharp cosmic portrait are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. The two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close encounters. Cataloged as Arp 273 (also as UGC 1810), the galaxies do look peculiar, but interacting galaxies are now understood to be common in the universe. In fact, the nearby large spiral Andromeda Galaxy is known to be some 2 million light-years away and approaching the Milky Way. Arp 273 may offer an analog of their far future encounter. Repeated galaxy encounters on a cosmic timescale can ultimately result in a merger into a single galaxy of stars. From our perspective, the bright cores of the Arp 273 galaxies are separated by only a little over 100,000 light-years. via NASA

Abell 3411 and Abell 3412: Astronomers Discover Powerful Cosmic Double Whammy

Astronomers have discovered what happens when the eruption from a supermassive black hole is swept up by the collision and merger of two galaxy clusters. via NASA

Hues in a Crater Slope

Impact craters expose the subsurface materials on the steep slopes of Mars. However, these slopes often experience rockfalls and debris avalanches that keep the surface clean of dust, revealing a variety of hues, like in this enhanced-color image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, representing different rock types. via NASA

Pandora Close up at Saturn

What do the craters of Saturn's small moon Pandora look like up close? To help find out, NASA sent the robotic Cassini spacecraft, now orbiting Saturn, past the unusual moon two weeks ago. The highest resolution image of Pandora ever taken was then captured from about 40,000 kilometers out and is featured here. Structures as small as 300 meters can be discerned on 80-kilometer wide Pandora. Craters on Pandora appear to be covered over by some sort of material, providing a more smooth appearance than sponge-like Hyperion, another small moon of Saturn. Curious grooves and ridges also appear to cross the surface of the small moon. Pandora is partly interesting because, along with its companion moon Prometheus, it helps shepherd the particles of Saturn's F ring into a distinct ring. via NASA

Send in the Clouds

Floating high above the hydrocarbon lakes, wispy clouds have finally started to return to Titan's northern latitudes. via NASA

Comet 45P Returns

An old comet has returned to the inner Solar System. Not only is Comet 45P/Honda–Mrkos–Pajdušáková physically ancient, it was first discovered 13 orbits ago in 1948. Comet 45P spends most of its time out near the orbit of Jupiter and last neared the Sun in 2011. Over the past few months, however, Comet 45P's new sunward plummet has brightened it considerably. Two days ago, the comet passed the closest part of its orbit to the Sun. The comet is currently visible with binoculars over the western horizon just after sunset, not far from the much brighter planet Venus. Pictured, Comet 45P was captured last week sporting a long ion tail with impressive structure. Comet 45P will pass relatively close to the Earth early next month. via NASA

A Full Sky Aurora Over Norway

Higher than the highest building, higher than the highest mountain, higher than the highest airplane, lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons striking molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. Frequently, when viewed from space, a complete aurora will appear as a circle around one of the Earth's magnetic poles. The featured wide-angle image, horizontally compressed, captured an unexpected auroral display that stretched across the sky five years ago over eastern Norway. via NASA