Interstellar Interloper 2I Borisov


After the 2017 detecton of 1I/'Oumuamua, comet 2I/Borisov has become the second recognized interstellar interloper. Like 'Oumuamua, Borisov's measured hyperbolic trajectory and speed as it falls toward the Sun confirm that its origin is from beyond our Solar System. But while detailed observations indicate 'Oumuamua is a rocky body with differences from known Solar System objects, Borisov is definitely a far wandering comet. Taken on October 12, 2019 this Hubble Space Telescope image of Borisov reveals a familiar looking comet-like activity and concentration of dust around around its nucleus. Not resolved in the image, some estimates suggest the nucleus could be between 2 and 16 kilometers in diameter. At the time of the Hubble image, comet 2I/Borisov was about 418 million kilometers away. Borisov is still inbound though and will make its closest approach to the Sun on December 7 at a distance of about 300 million kilometers (2 Astronomical units). via NASA https://ift.tt/2o0KwC4

Moons of Saturn


On July 29, 2011 the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera took this snapshot and captured 5 of Saturn's moons, from just above the ringplane. Left to right are small moons Janus and Pandora respectively 179 and 81 kilometers across, shiny 504 kilometer diameter Enceladus, and Mimas, 396 kilometers across, seen just next to Rhea. Cut off by the right edge of the frame, Rhea is Saturn's second largest moon at 1,528 kilometers across. So how many moons does Saturn have? Twenty new found outer satellites bring its total to 82 known moons, and since Jupiter's moon total stands at 79, Saturn is the Solar System's new moon king. The newly announced Saturnian satellites are all very small, 5 kilometers or so in diameter, and most are in retrograde orbits inclined to Saturn's ringplane. You can help name Saturn's new moons, but you should understand the rules. Hint: A knowledge of Norse, Inuit, and Gallic mythology will help. via NASA https://ift.tt/2VMucBc

Astronaut Christina Koch Works in the Vacuum of Space


NASA astronaut Christina Koch works while tethered near the Port 6 truss segment of the International Space Station. via NASA https://ift.tt/32lR4tR

Artemis Generation Spacesuit Event


Amy Ross, a spacesuit engineer at Johnson Space Center, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, watch as Kristine Davis and Dustin Gohmert wear prototype spacesuits. via NASA https://ift.tt/33AwnKU

The Galaxy Above


Have you contemplated your home galaxy lately? If your sky looked like this, perhaps you'd contemplate it more often! The featured picture is actually a composite of two images taken last month from the same location in south Brazil and with the same camera -- but a few hours apart. The person in the image -- also the astrophotographer -- has much to see in the Milky Way Galaxy above. The central band of our home Galaxy stretches diagonally up from the lower left. This band is dotted with spectacular sights including dark nebular filaments, bright blue stars, and red nebulas. Millions of fainter and redder stars fill in the deep Galactic background. To the lower right of the Milky Way are the colorful gas and dust clouds of Rho Ophiuchus, featuring the bright orange star Antares. On this night, just above and to the right of Antares was a bright planet Jupiter. The sky is so old and so familiar that humanity has formulated many stories about it, some of which inspired this very picture. via NASA https://ift.tt/2oHA82j

Andromeda before Photoshop


What does the Andromeda galaxy really look like? The featured image shows how our Milky Way Galaxy's closest major galactic neighbor really appears in a long exposure through Earth's busy skies and with a digital camera that introduces normal imperfections. The picture is a stack of 223 images, each a 300 second exposure, taken from a garden observatory in Portugal over the past year. Obvious image deficiencies include bright parallel airplane trails, long and continuous satellite trails, short cosmic ray streaks, and bad pixels. These imperfections were actually not removed with Photoshop specifically, but rather greatly reduced with a series of computer software packages that included Astro Pixel Processor, DeepSkyStacker, and PixInsight. All of this work was done not to deceive you with a digital fantasy that has little to do with the real likeness of the Andromeda galaxy (M31), but to minimize Earthly artifacts that have nothing to do with the distant galaxy and so better recreate what M31 really does look like. via NASA https://ift.tt/33xOKAd

A Stellar Jewel Box: Open Cluster NGC 290


Jewels don't shine this bright -- only stars do. Like gems in a jewel box, though, the stars of open cluster NGC 290 glitter in a beautiful display of brightness and color. The photogenic cluster, pictured here, was captured in 2006 by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Open clusters of stars are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher fraction of blue stars than do globular clusters of stars. NGC 290 lies about 200,000 light-years distant in a neighboring galaxy called the Small Cloud of Magellan (SMC). The open cluster contains hundreds of stars and spans about 65 light years across. NGC 290 and other open clusters are good laboratories for studying how stars of different masses evolve, since all the open cluster's stars were born at about the same time. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Mej0dD

Interplanetary Earth


In an interplanetary first, on July 19, 2013 Earth was photographed on the same day from two other worlds of the Solar System, innermost planet Mercury and ringed gas giant Saturn. Pictured on the left, Earth is the pale blue dot just below the rings of Saturn, as captured by the robotic Cassini spacecraft then orbiting the outermost gas giant. On that same day people across planet Earth snapped many of their own of their own pictures of Saturn. On the right, the Earth-Moon system is seen against the dark background of space as captured by the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft, then in Mercury orbit. MESSENGER took its image as part of a search for small natural satellites of Mercury, moons that would be expected to be quite dim. In the MESSENGER image, the Earth (left) and Moon (right) are overexposed and shine brightly with reflected sunlight. Destined not to return to their home world, both Cassini and Messenger have since retired from their missions of Solar System exploration. via NASA https://ift.tt/2q73ckd

Serena Auñón-Chancellor Talks to Girls About Life on the Station


NASA astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor speaks about her experience on Expeditions 56 and 57 onboard the International Space Station (ISS) at Excel Academy Public Charter School, Monday, June 10, 2019. via NASA https://ift.tt/2B72oy6

Serena Aunon-Chancellor Talks to Girls About Life on the Station


NASA astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor speaks about her experience on Expeditions 56 and 57 onboard the International Space Station (ISS) at Excel Academy Public Charter School, Monday, June 10, 2019. via NASA https://ift.tt/328RfZt

Planet Earth at Blue Hour


Nature photographers and other fans of planet Earth always look forward to the blue hour. That's the transition in twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, when the Sun is below the horizon but land and sky are still suffused with beautiful bluish hues of light. On August 8 this early morning blue hour panorama scanned along the clear western sky, away from the impending sunrise. A breathtaking scene, it looks down the slopes of Mt. Whitney, from along the John Muir Trail toward rugged peaks of planet Earth's Sierra Nevada mountain range. Above the horizon a faint pinkish band of back scattered sunlight, the anti-twilight arch or Belt of Venus, borders the falling grey shadow of Earth itself. Subtle bands of light across the clear sky are anti-crepuscular rays, defined by shadows of clouds near the sunward horizon. Actually following parallel lines they seem to converge along the horizon at the point opposite the rising Sun due to perspective. via NASA https://ift.tt/2M4Jgqt

NASA’s X-59 QueSST Airplane Takes Shape at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works


NASA’s X-59 QueSST, an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing the annoying – if not alarming – sonic booms of previous supersonic aircraft is taking shape.. via NASA https://ift.tt/2VBLOj9

NASA’s X-59 QueSST Airplane Takes Shape at Lockheed Skunkworks


NASA’s X-59 QueSST, an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing the annoying – if not alarming – sonic booms of previous supersonic aircraft is taking shape.. via NASA https://ift.tt/2p6lcuu

Mid Air Meteor and Milky Way


On September 24, a late evening commercial flight from Singapore to Australia offered stratospheric views of the southern hemisphere's night sky, if you chose a window seat. In fact, a well-planned seating choice with a window facing toward the Milky Way allowed the set up of a sensitive digital camera on a tripod mount to record the galaxy's central bulge in a series of 10 second long exposures. By chance, one of the exposures caught this bright fireball meteor in the starry frame. Reflected along the wing of the A380 aircraft, the brilliant greenish streak is also internally reflected in the double layer window, producing a fainter parallel to the original meteor track. In the southern sky Jupiter is the bright source beneath the galactic bulge and seen next to a green beacon, just off the wing tip. via NASA https://ift.tt/2MqQsMU

Revealing the Milky Way’s Center


Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras penetrate much of the dust, revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region of our Milky Way. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LY3u5o

NGC 7714: Starburst after Galaxy Collision


Is this galaxy jumping through a giant ring of stars? Probably not. Although the precise dynamics behind the featured image is yet unclear, what is clear is that the pictured galaxy, NGC 7714, has been stretched and distorted by a recent collision with a neighboring galaxy. This smaller neighbor, NGC 7715, situated off to the left of the featured frame, is thought to have charged right through NGC 7714. Observations indicate that the golden ring pictured is composed of millions of older Sun-like stars that are likely co-moving with the interior bluer stars. In contrast, the bright center of NGC 7714 appears to be undergoing a burst of new star formation. The featured image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NGC 7714 is located about 130 million light years away toward the constellation of the Two Fish (Pisces). The interactions between these galaxies likely started about 150 million years ago and should continue for several hundred million years more, after which a single central galaxy may result. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LXq8uK

Sprite Lightning in HD


This phenomenon occurs in the sky over our heads, not the sea. It is a type of lightning known as red sprite, and rarely has it ever been photographed in this detail. Even though sprites have been recorded for over 30 years, their root cause remains unknown. Some thunderstorms have them, but most don't. These mysterious bursts of light in the upper atmosphere momentarily resemble gigantic jellyfish. A few years ago high speed videos were taken detailing how red sprites actually develop. The featured image was captured last month in high definition from Italy. One unusual feature of sprites is that they are relatively cold -- they operate more like long fluorescent light tubes than hot compact light bulbs. In general, red sprites take only a fraction of a second to occur and are best seen when powerful thunderstorms are visible from the side. via NASA https://ift.tt/2obzIRH

Replacing the Space Station’s Solar Array Batteries


After completing the first of 10 spacewalks to upgrade the station, astronaut Christina Koch, wrote: The great @Space_Station battery swap series of spacewalks is underway! via NASA https://ift.tt/35f34iE

Io Eclipse Shadow on Jupiter from Juno


What's that dark spot on Jupiter? It's the shadow of Jupiter's most volcanic moon Io. Since Jupiter shines predominantly by reflected sunlight, anything that blocks that light leaves a shadow. If you could somehow be in that shadow, you would see a total eclipse of the Sun by Io. Io's shadow is about 3600 kilometers across, roughly the same size as Io itself -- and only slightly larger than Earth's Moon. The featured image was taken last month by NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter. About every two months, Juno swoops close by Jupiter, takes a lot of data and snaps a series of images -- some of which are made into a video. Among many other things, Juno has been measuring Jupiter's gravitational field, finding surprising evidence that Jupiter may be mostly a liquid. Under unexpectedly thick clouds, the Jovian giant may house a massive liquid hydrogen region that extends all the way to the center. via NASA https://ift.tt/31VIYYw

The Horsehead Nebula


The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the dark indentation to the red emission nebula in the center of the above photograph. The horse-head feature is dark because it is really an opaque dust cloud that lies in front of the bright red emission nebula. Like clouds in Earth's atmosphere, this cosmic cloud has assumed a recognizable shape by chance. After many thousands of years, the internal motions of the cloud will surely alter its appearance. The emission nebula's red color is caused by electrons recombining with protons to form hydrogen atoms. On the image left is the Flame Nebula, an orange-tinged nebula that also contains filaments of dark dust. Just to the lower left of the Horsehead nebula featured picture is a blueish reflection nebulae that preferentially reflects the blue light from nearby stars. via NASA https://ift.tt/2AKR8av

Jupiter and the Moons


After sunset on October 3, some of the Solar System's largest moons stood low along the western horizon with the largest planet. Just after nightfall, a pairing of the Moon approaching first quarter phase and Jupiter was captured in this telephoto field of view. A blend of short and long exposures, it reveals the familiar face of our fair planet's own large natural satellite in stark sunlight and faint earthshine. At lower right are the ruling gas giant and its four Galilean moons. Left to right, the tiny pinpricks of light are Ganymede, [Jupiter], Io, Europa, and Callisto. Our own natural satellite appears to loom large because it's close, but Ganymede, Io, and Callisto are actually larger than Earth's Moon. Water world Europa is only slightly smaller. Of the Solar System's six largest planetary satellites, only Saturn's moon Titan, is missing from this scene. But be sure to check for large moons in your sky tonight. via NASA https://ift.tt/31QTY9y

Stephen Hawking and Our Changing Ideas of the Universe


Cosmologist Stephen Hawking changed our view of the universe with his remarkable theories and outreach even thought he suffered from ALS, which slowly paralyzed him over the years. via NASA https://ift.tt/2VaZ4v1

InSight on a Cloudy Day


Clouds drift through the sky as the light fades near sunset in this three frame animated gif. The scene was captured on sol 145 beginning around 6:30pm local time by a camera on the Mars InSight lander. Of course, InSight's martian day, sol 145, corresponds to Earth calendar date April 25, 2019. Under the 69 centimeter (2.3 foot) diameter dome in the foreground is the lander's sensitive seismometer SEIS designed to detect marsquakes. Earthquakes reveal internal structures on planet Earth, and so tremors detected by SEIS can explore beneath the martian surface. In particular, two typical marsquakes were recorded by SEIS on May 22 (sol 173) and July 25 (sol 235). The subtle tremors from the Red Planet are at very low frequencies though, and for listening have to be processed into the audio frequency range. In the sped up recordings external noises more prevalent on cool martian evenings and likely caused by mechanical shifts and contractions have been technically dubbed dinks and donks. via NASA https://ift.tt/30GdVid

Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Documentary Looks at Both the Promising and Controversial Sides of CBD

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, is most recently known for his documentary series on the cannabis industry. On Sunday, he introduced the fifth in that series, Weed 5: The CBD Craze, on CNN by addressing how much the industry has evolved since his first documentary, WEED 1 aired in 2013.

In it, Gupta attends the World CBD Expo, visits the Stanley brothers of Charlotte’s Web in Colorado again, and re-tells the story of Charlotte Figi, “patient zero” of the CBD craze. He briefly looks at the countless CBD products available at the expo, from balms and lotions to bath bombs and pet products.

“It’s been more than six years since our first investigation into medical marijuana,” Gupta begins. “Since we first introduced you to an ingredient in the cannabis plant. Then, it was a word few could even pronounce: cannabidiol, or CBD. Now, it’s part of our daily dialogue, and it’s ignited a multibillion-dollar industry. That got us wondering: Has it gone too far?”

Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, then went on to explore the ubiquity of CBD. He cited statistics such as the fact that two in three Americans now know what CBD is, with one in seven using the cannabinoid. He explained the 2018 Farm Bill so viewers could have a better understanding of the complex legal side of CBD, before turning to the fiscal side of things: CBD was a $591 million market in 2018, Gupta says, a number that is projected to reach $22 billion by 2022.

What exactly prompted Gupta to produce this CBD documentary for CNN?

“CBD is everywhere,” he says. “It’s a word most people didn’t know when we first reported on cannabis more than six years ago in WEED 1. Many people wonder if what’s in the stores is safe and effective. It felt like we had to weigh in now.”

The Risk Posed by Unethical Companies

After addressing the national craze CBD has ignited, Gupta focuses on the controversial side of things.

“Many [people think] because it’s non-psychoactive, it’s safe – [they’re] thinking, can’t hurt, might help, why not?” Gupta says. “Because CBD is not regulated, the products are not required to go through safety testing or even prove they are authentic. While CBD itself is generally safe and non-psychoactive, there are unscrupulous players taking advantage of people. We went out to investigate if the craze had gone too far. And what we uncovered was surprising, to say the least.”

Gupta met with Jay Jenkins, a teenager who was hospitalized due to a tainted CBD oil product called YOLO. A similar issue was seen in Salt Lake City, Utah, where several people were also hospitalized due to YOLO. Gupta says lab tests showed this product did not contain CBD but rather a synthetic cannabinoid. 

He then met with a family similar to Figi’s: The Wilson family. They moved from New Jersey to Colorado in order to get their daughter, who suffered from seizures, access to CBD. Unfortunately, CBD didn’t work for her seizures the way it did for Figi’s.

The Need for More Regulation in the Industry

The lack of regulation in the CBD industry poses problems, Gupta says. In one research study, for example, researchers tested 84 CBD products. Over three-quarters were improperly labeled.

“The product you are buying at your local store or online is not regulated,” Gupta says. “It’s not tested for safety and efficacy. The buyer should know that and take precautions.”

Gupta then explored the regulatory side of CBD by taking a trip to a small town in the U.K. where a company called GW Pharmaceuticals produces Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical product used to treat seizures that is derived from cannabis.

Here, Gupta addressed one major area of concern in the world of CBD: Is it better for companies to go the pharma route or the supplement route with their products? The pharma route has more oversight and regulation, of course, but nearly all CBD companies are going the supplement route in order to keep up with rising consumer demand. Gupta mentioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ever-changing role related to CBD, citing their increased involvement in coming down on fraudulent companies as of late. 

Shortly before wrapping up, Gupta took a look at the promising side of CBD. There are myriad potential benefits to using the product, in particular when it comes to helping addicts manage pain without the use of opioids. More research, however, is needed in this area. There is a paucity of research on CBD, Gupta says, with only five studies examining its potential therapeutic benefits.

Gupta ended by addressing one major question: How can consumers be discerning when purchasing CBD products? He encouraged people to read the ingredients label on their CBD product carefully and look for a certificate of analysis from the company.

The post Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Documentary Looks at Both the Promising and Controversial Sides of CBD appeared first on CBD Snapshot.



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Astronaut Nick Hague Returns to Earth After 203 Days Aboard the Space Station


NASA astronaut Nick Hague is seen outside the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft after he landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. via NASA https://ift.tt/2oJcOkp

The Hydrogen Clouds of M33


Gorgeous spiral galaxy M33 seems to have more than its fair share of glowing hydrogen gas. A prominent member of the local group of galaxies, M33 is also known as the Triangulum Galaxy and lies a mere 3 million light-years away. The galaxy's inner 30,000 light-years or so are shown in this magnificent 25 panel telescopic mosaic. Based on image data from space and ground-based telescopes, the portrait of M33 shows off the galaxy's reddish ionized hydrogen clouds or HII regions. Sprawling along loose spiral arms that wind toward the core, M33's giant HII regions are some of the largest known stellar nurseries, sites of the formation of short-lived but very massive stars. Intense ultraviolet radiation from the luminous, massive stars ionizes the surrounding hydrogen gas and ultimately produces the characteristic red glow. To enhance this image, broadband data was used to produce a color view of the galaxy and combined with narrowband data recorded through a hydrogen-alpha filter. That filter transmits the light of the strongest visible hydrogen emission line. via NASA https://ift.tt/2oDShxK

Space Launch System Mock Up Arrives at Kennedy for Testing


NASA's Pegasus Barge arrives at the Launch Complex 39 turn basin wharf at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to make its first delivery to Kennedy in support of the agency's Artemis missions. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pn7kfB

Astronaut Nick Hague Soaks Up Views of Earth


Today is my last Monday living on this orbiting laboratory and I’m soaking up my final views, said astronat Nivk Hague. via NASA https://ift.tt/2nxqG0L

Black Hole Safety Video


If you were a small one-eyed monster, would you want to visit a black hole? Well the one in this video does -- but should it? No, actually, but since our little friend is insistent on going, the video informs it what black holes really are, and how to be as safe as possible when visiting. Black holes are clumps of matter so dense that light cannot escape. Pairs of black holes, each several times the mass of our Sun, have recently been found to merge by detection of unusual gravitational radiation. The regions surrounding supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies can light up as stars that near them get shredded. The closest known black hole to the Earth is V616 Mon, which is about 3,300 light years away. The best way for our monster friend to stay safe, the video informs, is to not go too close. via NASA https://ift.tt/2nhrA1r

Viewing a Launch From Above


Expedition 60 astronaut Christina Koch photographed the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship ascending into space after its launch from Kazakhstan. via NASA https://ift.tt/2n5Jynw

Orion Rising over Brazil


Have you seen Orion lately? The next few months will be the best for seeing this familiar constellation as it rises continually earlier in the night. However, Orion's stars and nebulas won't look quite as colorful to the eye as they do in this fantastic camera image. In the featured image, Orion was captured by camera showing its full colors last month over a Brazilian copal tree from Brazil's Central-West Region. Here the cool red giant Betelgeuse takes on a strong orange hue as the brightest star on the far left. Otherwise, Orion's hot blue stars are numerous, with supergiant Rigel balancing Betelgeuse at the upper right, Bellatrix at the upper left, and Saiph at the lower right. Lined up in Orion's belt (bottom to top) are Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka all about 1,500 light-years away, born of the constellation's well studied interstellar clouds. And if a "star" toward the upper right Orion's sword looks reddish and fuzzy to you, it should. It's the stellar nursery known as the Great Nebula of Orion. via NASA https://ift.tt/2nK8Jfr

MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass Planetary Nebula


Do you see the hourglass shape -- or does it see you? If you can picture it, the rings of MyCn 18 trace the outline of an hourglass -- although one with an unusual eye in its center. Either way, the sands of time are running out for the central star of this hourglass-shaped planetary nebula. With its nuclear fuel exhausted, this brief, spectacular, closing phase of a Sun-like star's life occurs as its outer layers are ejected - its core becoming a cooling, fading white dwarf. In 1995, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to make a series of images of planetary nebulae, including the one featured here. Pictured, delicate rings of colorful glowing gas (nitrogen-red, hydrogen-green, and oxygen-blue) outline the tenuous walls of the hourglass. The unprecedented sharpness of the Hubble images has revealed surprising details of the nebula ejection process that are helping to resolve the outstanding mysteries of the complex shapes and symmetries of planetary nebulas like MyCn 18. via NASA https://ift.tt/2nxkKoo

The Latest in a Cannabis Documentary Series Focuses on CBD Exclusively

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s fifth documentary on the cannabis industry, WEED 5: The CBD Craze, will premiere this Sunday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CNN.

The hour-long film will focus exclusively on CBD and the emerging industry. Gupta published an op-ed ahead of the film’s release. He argues that lack of regulation in the marketplace can be harmful to consumers.

“Without the respect of being treated like the medicine it is, or reasonable regulation when it is purchased as a supplement, CBD has been hijacked by unscrupulous actors peddling crooked, corrupt and contaminated products,” Gupta writes. “They’re making a quick buck and disappearing into the ether without a trace.”

He cited a JAMA study that shows 69 percent of a group of 84 CBD products purchased online were inaccurately labeled.

“The legitimate vendors of CBD, who took the time to ensure consistency, safety and quality, are now sadly lumped together with the dishonest and dodgy ones, leaving the consumer confused about where to turn,” Gupta adds.

According to a CNN spokesman, WEED 5 will follow Gupta as he travels around the country to learn about the CBD industry. The film includes footage from New York City, Utah, Colorado, Virginia and South Carolina, the spokesman says.

Gupta also provides updates on families he met during his previous WEED documentary projects, including a 12-year-old girl named Charlotte Figi, who uses a CBD-rich extract known as Charlotte’s Web to treat her seizures.

“Make no mistake: Cannabis is a medicine,” Gupta writes. “Over the last six years, through countless articles and essays, and now five documentary films, my team and I have made that case and we have provided the proof. At times, it can heal when nothing else can. Denying people this substance represents a moral issue just as much as a medical one.”

The post The Latest in a Cannabis Documentary Series Focuses on CBD Exclusively appeared first on CBD Snapshot.



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An Analemma of the Sun


This week the equinox found the Sun near the middle, but not at the crossing point, of an analemma in its annual trek through planet Earth's skies. In this scenic view, that graceful, figure-8-shaped curve was intentionally posed above the iconic Danube River and the capital city of Hungary. Looking south from Budapest's Margaret Bridge it combines digital frames taken at exactly the same time of day (11:44 CET) on dates between 2018 September 24 and 2019 September 15. That puts the metropolitan Pest on the left, regal Buda on the right, and the positions of the Sun on the solstice dates at the top and bottom of the analemma curve. December's near solstice Sun is just hidden behind a dramatic cloud bank. via NASA https://ift.tt/2lSdQtq

Astronaut Candidate Frank Rubio


Frank Rubio was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class and reported for duty in August 2017. via NASA https://ift.tt/2mkqIse

The Annotated Galactic Center


The center of our Milky Way galaxy can be found some 26,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. Even on a dark night, you can't really see it though. Gaze in that direction, and your sight-line is quickly obscured by intervening interstellar dust. In fact, dark dust clouds, glowing nebulae, and crowded starfieds are packed along the fertile galactic plane and central regions of our galaxy. This annotated view, a mosaic of dark sky images, highlights some favorites, particularly for small telescope or binocular equipped skygazers. The cropped version puts the direction to the galactic center on the far right. It identifies well-known Messier objects like the Lagoon nebula (M8), the Trifid (M20), star cloud M24, and some of E.E. Barnard's dark markings on the sky. A full version extends the view to the right toward the constellation Scorpius, in all covering over 20 degrees across the center of the Milky Way. via NASA https://ift.tt/2n9bTZy

Finding Intermediate-Sized Black Holes


In this image, a galaxy called ESO 243-49 is home to an extremely bright object called HLX-1. Circled in this image, HLX-1 is the most likely example of a black hole in the intermediate mass range that scientists have found. via NASA https://ift.tt/2mYK3zu

Da Vinci Rise


An old Moon rose this morning, its waning sunlit crescent shining just above the eastern horizon before sunrise. But earthshine, light reflected from a bright planet Earth, lit the shadowed portion of the lunar disk and revealed most of a familiar lunar near side to early morning risers. In fact, a description of earthshine in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth's oceans illuminating the Moon's dark surface was written over 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci. One lunation ago this old Moon also rose above the eastern horizon. Its sunlit crescent and da Vinci glow were captured in stacked exposures from the Badain Jilin Desert of Inner Mongolia, China on August 29, 2019. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Leondardo da Vinci's death. via NASA https://ift.tt/2lR23LQ

The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars


The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070, the official designation, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The featured picture was produced in three specific colors -- light emitted by sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen -- that can help us to better understand these interactions. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming the cold gas to hot gas, with the advancing boundary between the two, known as an ionization front, visible in bright orange on the right. Particularly dense tentacles of cold gas remain. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will surely leave something that appears completely different. via NASA https://ift.tt/2kWTUF8

These 5 Professional Athletes Swear By CBD—Here’s Why

The CBD industry is hot—even professional athletes are jumping in. On September 5, a group of athletes including Olympic champion Gabby Douglas announced Motive CBD: a new line of CBD products to help athletes train, perform, and recover from intense physical activity.

“Motive was created by athletes for athletes and our goal is simply to keep people active and pain free,” said Corey Poches, founder and CEO of MotiveCBD. “We provide a line of consistently-tested CBD products, formulated to fit any routine, that help athletes of all ages, shapes and sizes recover from sports-related conditions.”

MotiveCBD is far from the only athlete-endorsed CBD brand. Olympians Lolo Jones and Kerri Walsh Jennings, both of whom are preparing to compete in the 2020 Olympics, have partnered with cbdMD.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. This decision corresponded with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to craft regulations for the sale of CBD. WADA continues to prohibit the use of “cannabis, hashish, marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids.” A reasonable observer would suppose that WADA’s regulations are similar to the FDA’s—defining CBD as the byproduct of a cannabis plant containing .3 percent or less of THC—but the regulations are not definitive.

These are just a few of the names and faces that believe in the potential of CBD.

Gabby Douglas, Olympic gymnast: uses CBD for pain relief

“My experiences in using CBD have led me to believe that I could have been more pain free throughout my gymnastics career if CBD had been allowed,” Douglas said. “I am glad that athletes across all Olympic sports will now have the opportunity to use these products and hopefully experience their benefits.”

Kerri Walsh Jennings, Olympic beach volleyball player: uses CBD for sleep

“As a mother, I’m a big fan of sleep,”Walsh Jennings said. “Implementing cbdMD’s CBD PM into my routine has improved my sleep and I definitely see a change in my overall well-being.”

Lolo Jones, Olympian athlete in track and field and bobsled: uses CBD to increase recovery speed

“I’ve always worked hard to take care of my body and be in the best shape possible, Jones said. “I’ve integrated cbdMD products into my daily routine, noticed the change in my recovery speed, and am proud to partner with them to educate others about my experience.”

Teal Stetson-Lee, professional cyclist: uses CBD to treat injuries and sore muscles

Stetson-Lee wrote on her personal blog back in 2017 about her decision to partner with 

Reno-owned KYND Cannabis Company and the MYNT Dispensary. She called herself “the first ever professional athlete, cannabis ambassador in Northern Nevada.” Recreational cannabis use became legal in Nevada in 2017.

“Most professional athletes who have come out as advocates for cannabis do not do so until after their careers are over, for fear of immediate repercussions,” wrote Stetson-Lee. “That is exactly the reason why I feel the need to take this stance, while I am still in the prime of my competitive professional career.”

“As an athlete, the CBD tinctures and creams are extremely useful for injuries and sore muscles,” she added.

Judith Hagger, professional triathlete: uses CBD as a muscle relaxant

The muscle relaxant was the main thing for me, particularly after my more intense training sessions, said Hagger, who partners with CBD company Spirit of Hemp. “I also found my sleep improved massively—I was able to really relax and recover through deeper sleep.”

The post These 5 Professional Athletes Swear By CBD—Here’s Why appeared first on CBD Snapshot.



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Stuck on the Rings


Tethys appears to be stuck to Saturn's A and F rings from this perspective. via NASA https://ift.tt/2kTep5I

Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars


What are these strange shapes on Mars? Defrosting sand dunes. As spring dawned on the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, dunes of sand near the pole, as pictured here in late May by ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, began to thaw. The carbon dioxide and water ice actually sublime in the thin atmosphere directly to gas. Thinner regions of ice typically defrost first revealing sand whose darkness soaks in sunlight and accelerates the thaw. The process might even involve sandy jets exploding through the thinning ice. By summer, spots will expand to encompass the entire dunes. The Martian North Pole is ringed by many similar fields of barchan sand dunes, whose strange, smooth arcs are shaped by persistent Martian winds. via NASA https://ift.tt/2kGShLE

Expedition 61 Soyuz Rollout


The gantry arms close around the Soyuz rocket after it was raised into vertical position on the launch pad, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. via NASA https://ift.tt/2l2GOGk

The Tulip in the Swan


Framing a bright emission region, this telescopic view looks out across a pretty field of stars along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the reddish glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms near the center of this composite image. Ultraviolet radiation from young energetic O stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. via NASA https://ift.tt/32W6jte

Hubble Takes Closer Look at Not-So-'Dead' Neighbor


Because they lack stellar nurseries and contain mostly old stars, elliptical galaxies — Like Messier 110 — are often considered “dead” when compared to their spiral relatives. But scientists have spotted signs of a population of young, blue stars at Messier 110's center, hinting that this neighbor of our Milky Way may not be so “dead” after all. via NASA https://ift.tt/34ZfN99

Saturn at Night


Still bright in planet Earth's night skies, good telescopic views of Saturn and its beautiful rings often make it a star at star parties. But this stunning view of Saturn's rings and night side just isn't possible from telescopes closer to the Sun than the outer planet. They can only bring Saturn's day into view. In fact, this image of Saturn's slender sunlit crescent with night's shadow cast across its broad and complex ring system was captured by the Cassini spacecraft. A robot spacecraft from planet Earth, Cassini called Saturn orbit home for 13 years before it was directed to dive into the atmosphere of the gas giant on September 15, 2017. This magnificent mosaic is composed of frames recorded by Cassini's wide-angle camera only two days before its grand final plunge. Saturn's night will not be seen again until another spaceship from Earth calls. via NASA https://ift.tt/34YOFXw

Layers in Mars' Danielson Crater


This image shows sedimentary rock and sand within Danielson Crater, an impact crater about 42 miles or 67 kilometers in diameter, located in the southwest Arabia Terra region of Mars. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LCWPNJ

Space Station Downlink with Actor Brad Pitt


Actor Brad Pitt speaks with NASA astronaut Nick Hague who is onboard the International Space Station, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LzuNmb

Franklin Chang-Diaz Performs a Spacewalk on the STS-111 Mission


In this mage from June 2002, astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz works with a grapple fixture during a spacewalk to perform work on the International Space Station. via NASA https://ift.tt/34NT53K

A Long Storm System on Saturn


It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet. The storm was tracked not only from Earth but from up close by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. Pictured here in false colored infrared in February, orange colors indicate clouds deep in the atmosphere, while light colors highlight clouds higher up. The rings of Saturn are seen nearly edge-on as the thin blue horizontal line. The warped dark bands are the shadows of the rings cast onto the cloud tops by the Sun to the upper left. A source of radio noise from lightning, the intense storm was thought to relate to seasonal changes when spring emerges in the north of Saturn. After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Aiw4aX

Here’s What We Know About CBD for Period Relief

Ask around your friends or family members and you probably won’t be surprised that many who experience a monthly period also experience the wide variety of not-so-pleasant side effects: cramping, headaches, sore muscles, tender breasts, joint pain, bloating, diarrhea, trouble sleeping and more. 

For a number of years, the generally accepted way to handle these symptoms was to pop a Midol while clutching a hot water bottle. Thankfully, times have changed, and with more and more people understanding the potential pain-relieving power of CBD, many are finding actual relief from typical menstruation symptoms.

My own relationship with menstruating has (excuse the pun) ebbed and flowed throughout my life. After getting my period for the first time at age 12, I went through monthly bouts of intense cramping, sore back muscles, and nausea so bad that I would occasionally miss a day of school. I started birth control pills at 15 to help with the worst of the symptoms, but didn’t catch a break until after I gave birth and my period stayed away for a glorious 18 months postpartum. Unfortunately, it returned with a vengeance and a host of similar side effects, only this time I had more tools in my arsenal to help combat them, including CBD. 

“I absolutely see it as a viable treatment option,” says Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts. “CBD can be useful in treating pain, inflammation and smooth muscle spasm, all of which are present during the experience of menstrual pain and discomfort. In addition, CBD often has a calming or anti-anxiety effect, which can be useful for the emotional side of PMS.”  

It might feel a bit overwhelming—especially when CBD seems to be everywhere—to find what works for you. First, take stock of your symptoms and then, with the guidance and approval of your doctor, decide which type of treatment you’d like to try, and if you’d prefer something topical, oral, or both. Stem, who has a background in health and science, prefers oral methods for faster, more potent relief.

“In my experience,” Stem says, “inhaled or oral use tends to be more beneficial, as menstrual pain is typically referring from deep in the abdomen. Tinctures, chocolates or other edibles will have an onset of about an hour, and will last four to six. Vape pens will have an immediate onset, but not last as long. Some people swear by topical application over the abdomen for cramps, and it’s certainly worth a try to see if it works for you. There aren’t a great deal of suppositories on the market, but I have heard great things about vaginal suppositories as well, which is sort of a hybrid between topical and internal use, as CBD is absorbed by the vaginal mucosa.”

Cramps, Aches and Pains

When you menstruate, your body releases hormones that cause muscles in your uterus to contract. These contractions can cause painful and uncomfortable cramps and back pain, a symptom that more than 90 percent of women with periods experience. CBD may be able to help combat this pain at the source. The cannabinoid has muscle-relaxing properties, easing the tightness of your uterus and, in turn, your discomfort. 

In addition to your uterus, CBD could benefit other areas that experience soreness during your period. From tender breasts to joint pain, the influx of hormones during this time can lead to aches throughout the body. The inflammation-reducing properties of CBD may provide noticeable relief for these areas. CBD also works on your vanilloid receptors (receptors in your brain that regulate pain), which can help ease the pain you feel. 

You can either rub a CBD topical into your sore spots, or take an oral dose of CBD. If you’re like me, you’ll go for the double shot of topical and oral.

Try: Moonlight Herbal Belly Balm; New Highs Tincture 

Mood Swings

The influx of hormones before and during a period can often cause a rollercoaster of emotions, making feelings like anxiety, sadness, or even anger feel extra heightened. CBD has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, and we know it interacts with the limbic system (responsible for regulating our feelings), so taking some internally, such as a tincture, in the days leading up to your period and throughout it could help combat the extreme emotions that we can experience. For a brief pick-me-up, a topical application can be useful, especially when combined with calming essential oils.

Try: White Fox Tranquility Tincture; The Healing Rose Relax & Restore Roll On Blend

Nausea and Bloating

Stomach woes can be a monthly symptom for many, resulting in bloating, queasiness, and diarrhea. CBD has been shown to help alleviate stomach issues by regulating our bowel movements, which can be especially needed during menstruation. Also, by reducing inflammation in the bowels, CBD can help reduce bloating and feelings of nausea. Although topicals can help, oral via tincture or even inhaled CBD oil via a vape pen could help target these symptoms faster. 

Try: DRAM’s Gingergrass Drops; KURED Relax OG Kush CBD Vape Oil

It is important to note that everybody’s endocannabinoid system is unique, so the way one person reacts to a certain serving size may be different than someone else. Start with a low dose and work your way up until you find what works for you. Also, make sure that the CBD product you are using is high quality, as this will provide better results. 

Stem notes that there’s some evidence that in high doses CBD can compete for liver enzyme activity, which can be a concern for folks on other medications that are metabolized by the liver. “If you are on prescription medication it’s a good idea to consult with a physician or pharmacist about possible interactions,” she says.

The post Here’s What We Know About CBD for Period Relief appeared first on CBD Snapshot.



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Mae Jemison Trains for Her Space Shuttle Flight


Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, participated in crew egress training for Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-47 mission during the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. via NASA https://ift.tt/34FXpBR

The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust


These cosmic dust clouds drift some 1,300 light-years away along the fertile starfields of the constellation Cepheus. The beautiful Iris Nebula, also known as NGC 7023, blossoms at the upper left. Not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers, its pretty, symmetric form spans about 6 light-years. This nebula's dominant blue color is characteristic of the pervasive dust grains reflecting light from a nearby hot, bluish star. But darker, obscuring dust clouds cover most of the nearly 4 degree wide field of view. At the right is the LDN 1147/1158 complex of Lynds Dark Nebulae. Stars are forming there, still hidden within the dark cloud cores. A search through the sharp image can identify Herbig-Haro objects though, jets of shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LsA53a

Remembering September 11th and Looking to the Future


This 2019 photo of Manhattan, taken by astronaut Nick Hague from aboard the International Space Station, shows a city totally recovered from the attack on September 11, 2001. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LL0O9R