Hubble Spots Galaxy’s Dramatic Details


Some of the most dramatic events in the universe occur when certain stars die — and explode catastrophically in the process. When these star deaths, or supernovae, occur, their brightness can rival the light of a whole galaxy. The galaxy NGC 5468, shown in this Hubble image, has hosted a number of these supernovae the past 20 years. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Lrf1JW

Pleiades to Hyades


This cosmic vista stretches almost 20 degrees from top to bottom, across the dusty constellation Taurus. It begins at the Pleiades and ends at the Hyades, two star clusters recognized since antiquity in Earth's night sky. At top, the compact Pleiades star cluster is about 400 light-years away. The lovely grouping of young cluster stars shine through dusty clouds that scatter blue starlight. At bottom, the V-shaped Hyades cluster looks more spread out in comparison and lies much closer, 150 light-years away. The Hyades cluster stars seem anchored by bright Aldebaran, a red giant star with a yellowish appearance. But Aldebaran actually lies only 65 light-years distant and just by chance along the line of sight to the Hyades cluster. Faint and darkly obscuring dust clouds found near the edge of the Taurus Molecular Cloud are also evident throughout the celestial scene. The wide field of view includes the dark nebula Barnard 22 at left with youthful star T Tauri and Hind's variable nebula just above Aldebaran in the frame. via NASA https://ift.tt/2LrZjOy

Luca Parmitano Works to Upgrade a Cosmic Particle Detector


European Space Agency astronaut and current International Space Station Commander Luca Parmitano and ​crewmate Andrew Morgan (out of frame) performed the third spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. via NASA https://ift.tt/2DQfO2M

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744


Beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo and appears as only a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards our line of sight in this remarkably detailed galaxy portrait, a telescopic view that spans an area about the angular size of a full moon. In it, the giant galaxy's elongated yellowish core is dominated by the light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core, grand spiral arms are filled with young blue star clusters and speckled with pinkish star forming regions. An extended arm sweeps past a smaller satellite galaxy (NGC 6744A) at the lower right. NGC 6744's galactic companion is reminiscent of the Milky Way's satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. via NASA https://ift.tt/2r44b5D

Carina Nebula's 'Mystic Mountain'


Within the tempestuous Carina Nebula lies “Mystic Mountain.” via NASA https://ift.tt/2OO0V7c

Electric Night


It may appear, at first, like the Galaxy is producing the lightning, but really it's the Earth. The featured nighttime landscape was taken from a southern tip of the Italian Island of Sardinia in early June. The foreground rocks and shrubs are near the famous Capo Spartivento Lighthouse, and the camera is pointed south toward Algeria in Africa. In the distance, across the Mediterranean Sea, a thunderstorm is threatening, with several electric lightning strokes caught together during this 25-second wide-angle exposure. Much farther in the distance, strewn about the sky, are hundreds of stars in the neighborhood of our Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. Furthest away, and slanting down from the upper left, are billions of stars that together compose the central band of our Milky Way. via NASA https://ift.tt/34XpQLz

‘Robot Hotel’ Launching to the International Space Station


Robots need a place to stay in space, too. NASA is attaching a “robot hotel” to the outside of the International Space Station with the upcoming launch of the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS). via NASA https://ift.tt/35VjJaz

M27: The Dumbbell Nebula


Is this what will become of our Sun? Quite possibly. The first hint of our Sun's future was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier's list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the type of nebula our Sun will produce when nuclear fusion stops in its core. M27 is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky, and can be seen toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula) with binoculars. It takes light about 1000 years to reach us from M27, featured here in colors emitted by hydrogen and oxygen. Understanding the physics and significance of M27 was well beyond 18th century science. Even today, many things remain mysterious about bipolar planetary nebula like M27, including the physical mechanism that expels a low-mass star's gaseous outer-envelope, leaving an X-ray hot white dwarf. via NASA https://ift.tt/35ZOco2

Mercury Crosses a Quiet Sun


What's that black dot crossing the Sun? The planet Mercury. Mercury usually passes over or under the Sun, as seen from Earth, but last month the Solar System's innermost planet appeared to go just about straight across the middle. Although witnessed by planet admirers across the globe, a particularly clear view was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in Earth orbit. The featured video was captured by the SDO's HMI instrument in a broad range of visible light, and compresses the 5 1/2 hour transit into about 13 seconds. The background Sun was unusually quiet -- even for being near Solar Minimum -- and showed no sunspots. The next solar transit by Mercury will occur in 2032. via NASA https://ift.tt/33G3wV7

Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble


Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the outskirts of its broad disk. But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about 7,000 light-years across M94's central region. The featured close-up highlights the galaxy's compact, bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars. The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formation. The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions. Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better explore details of its starburst ring. via NASA https://ift.tt/2r1lDrk

Star Trails for a Red Planet


Does Mars have a north star? In long exposures of Earth's night sky, star trails make concentric arcs around the north celestial pole, the direction of our fair planet's axis of rotation. Bright star Polaris is presently the Earth's North Star, close on the sky to Earth's north celestial pole. But long exposures on Mars show star trails too, concentric arcs about a celestial pole determined by Mars' axis of rotation. Tilted like planet Earth's, the martian axis of rotation points in a different direction in space though. It points to a place on the sky between stars in Cygnus and Cepheus with no bright star comparable to Earth's north star Polaris nearby. So even though this ruddy, weathered landscape is remarkably reminiscent of terrain in images from the martian surface, the view must be from planet Earth, with north star Polaris near the center of concentric star trails. The landforms in the foreground are found in Qinghai Province in northwestern China. via NASA https://ift.tt/2rADqpl

Black Hole Nurtures Baby Stars a Million Light-Years Away


Black holes are famous for ripping objects apart, including stars. But now, astronomers have uncovered a black hole that may have sparked the births of stars over a mind-boggling distance, and across multiple galaxies. via NASA https://ift.tt/2rrDlUR

Galileo s Europa Remastered


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 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. via NASA https://ift.tt/37M1E0j

Moon and Planets at Twilight


This week's ongoing conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have whetted your appetite for skygazing. Tonight is the main course though. On November 28, a young crescent Moon will join them posing next to the two bright planets above the western horizon at twilight. Much like tonight's visual feast, this night skyscape shows a young lunar crescent and brilliant Venus in the western evening twilight on October 29. The celestial beacons are setting over distant mountains and the Minya monastery, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China, planet Earth. Then Mercury, not Jupiter, was a celestial companion to Venus and the Moon. The fleeting innermost planet is just visible here in the bright twilight, below and left of Venus and near the center of the frame. Tomorrow, November 29, the crescent Moon will also help you spot planet Saturn for desert. via NASA https://ift.tt/2XRe2Yr

Thanksgiving 2019 Aboard the Space Station


See what the holiday means to NASA’s Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan aboard the International Space Station. via NASA https://ift.tt/35EhND1

Hoags Object: A Nearly Perfect Ring Galaxy


Is this one galaxy or two? This question came to light in 1950 when astronomer Arthur Hoag chanced upon this unusual extragalactic object. On the outside is a ring dominated by bright blue stars, while near the center lies a ball of much redder stars that are likely much older. Between the two is a gap that appears almost completely dark. How Hoag's Object formed, including its nearly perfectly round ring of stars and gas, remains unknown. Genesis hypotheses include a galaxy collision billions of years ago and the gravitational effect of a central bar that has since vanished. The featured photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and recently reprocessed using an artificially intelligent de-noising algorithm. Observations in radio waves indicate that Hoag's Object has not accreted a smaller galaxy in the past billion years. Hoag's Object spans about 100,000 light years and lies about 600 million light years away toward the constellation of the Snake (Serpens). Many galaxies far in the distance are visible toward the right, while coincidentally, visible in the gap at about seven o'clock, is another but more distant ring galaxy. via NASA https://ift.tt/34qUa0D

Inspiring a New Generation of Astronauts


Native American NASA Astronaut, John Herrington is pictured here with Lucasti and Caibiya Tsabetsaye in front of the NASA Artemis banner at the 2019 American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s National Conference. via NASA https://ift.tt/33nQtHL

Venus and Jupiter on the Horizon


What are those two bright objects on the horizon? Venus and Jupiter. The two brightest planets in the night sky passed very close together -- angularly -- just two days ago. In real space, they were just about as far apart as usual, since Jupiter (on the right) orbits the Sun around seven times farther out than Venus. The planetary duo were captured together two days ago in a picturesque sunset sky from Llers, Catalonia, Spain between a tree and the astrophotographer's daughter. These two planets will continue to stand out in the evening sky, toward the west, for the next few days, with a sliver of a crescent Moon and a fainter Saturn also visible nearby. As November ends, Jupiter will sink lower into the sunset horizon with each subsequent night, while Venus will rise higher. The next Jupiter-Venus conjunction will occur in early 2021. via NASA https://ift.tt/2XSeSEb

Astronauts Complete 2nd Phase to Repair Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer


Astronaut Andrew Morgan is tethered to the Starboard-3 truss segment work site during the second spacewalk to repair the International Space Station's cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pNSW0j

NGC 6995: The Bat Nebula


Do you see the bat? It haunts this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus), the Bat Nebula, NGC 6995, spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon. That translates to 12 light-years at the Veil's estimated distance, a reassuring 1,400 light-years from planet Earth. In the composite of image data recorded through broad and narrow band filters, emission from hydrogen atoms in the remnant is shown in red with strong emission from oxygen and nitrogen atoms shown in hues of blue. Of course, in the western part of the Veil lies another seasonal apparition: the Witch's Broom Nebula. via NASA https://ift.tt/35yM1XY

Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3 Stereo View


Put on your red/blue glasses and gaze across the western Ocean of Storms on the surface of the Moon. The 3D view features Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft 50 years ago in November of 1969. Surveyor 3 had landed at the site on the inside slope of a small crater about 2 1/2 years earlier in April of 1967. Visible on the horizon beyond the far crater wall, Apollo 12's Lunar Module Intrepid touched down less than 200 meters (650 feet) away, easy moonwalking distance from the robotic Surveyor spacecraft. The stereo image was carefully created from two separate pictures (AS12-48-7133, AS12-48-7134) taken on the lunar surface. They depict the scene from only slightly different viewpoints, approximating the separation between human eyes. via NASA https://ift.tt/34fqWBF

Hubble Eyes an Emitting Galaxy


For this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope turned its powerful eye toward an emission-line galaxy called NGC 3749. It lies over 135 million light-years away and is moderately luminous. via NASA https://ift.tt/2KLnsz9

Orion Rising


Looking toward the east in the early hours of a September morning this single exposure made with tripod and camera captured a simple visual experience. Rising above the tree-lined slope are familiar stars in planet Earth's northern night and the constellation Orion the Hunter. Brighter stars marking the celestial Hunter's shoulder (Betelgeuse), foot (Rigel), belt, and sword are clearly reflected in the calm waters from northern Latvia's Vitrupe river. Of course, winter is coming to planet Earth's northern hemisphere. By then Orion and this beautiful starry vista will be seen rising in early evening skies. via NASA https://ift.tt/2QHOR8Y

Edward Gonzales: Advocating for Underserved Communities


Eddie Gonzales works to mentor Native American students and others in underserved communities. via NASA https://ift.tt/2QCKwDZ

Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant


It's easy to get lost following the intricate looping filaments in this detailed image of supernova remnant Simeis 147. Also cataloged as Sharpless 2-240 it goes by the popular nickname, the Spaghetti Nebula. Seen toward the boundary of the constellations Taurus and Auriga, it covers nearly 3 degrees or 6 full moons on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. This composite includes image data taken through narrow-band filters where reddish emission from ionized hydrogen atoms and doubly ionized oxygen atoms in faint blue-green hues trace the shocked, glowing gas. The supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years, meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 40,000 years ago. But the expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star's core. via NASA https://ift.tt/2D3lw0J

Stars Are Being Born in the Depths of a Black Hole


In the Phoenix Constellation, astronomers have confirmed the first example of a galaxy cluster where large numbers of stars are being born at its core. via NASA https://ift.tt/2s2szVk

Arp 273: Battling Galaxies from Hubble


What's happening to these spiral galaxies? Although details remain uncertain, there sure seems to be a titanic battle going on. The upper galaxy is labelled UGC 1810 by itself, but together with its collisional partners is known as Arp 273. The overall shape of the UGC 1810 -- in particular its blue outer ring -- is likely a result of wild and violent gravitational interactions. The blue color of the outer ring at the top is caused by massive stars that are blue hot and have formed only in the past few million years. The inner part of the upper galaxy -- itself an older spiral galaxy -- appears redder and threaded with cool filamentary dust. A few bright stars appear well in the foreground, unrelated to colliding galaxies, while several far-distant galaxies are visible in the background. Arp 273 lies about 300 million light years away toward the constellation of Andromeda. Quite likely, UGC 1810 will devour its galactic sidekicks over the next billion years and settle into a classic spiral form. via NASA https://ift.tt/2rTyjjY

George Gorospe: From Intern to Research Engineer


Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, George Gorospe was taught by his parents to take pride in his Native American heritage. via NASA https://ift.tt/2CW6jhV

Milky Way over Uruguayan Lighthouse


Can a lighthouse illuminate a galaxy? No, but in the featured image, gaps in light emanating from the Jose Ignacio Lighthouse in Uruguay appear to match up nicely, although only momentarily and coincidently, with dark dust lanes of our Milky Way Galaxy. The bright dot on the right is the planet Jupiter. The central band of the Milky Way Galaxy is actually the central spiral disk seen from within the disk. The Milky Way band is not easily visible through city lights but can be quite spectacular to see in dark skies. The featured picture is actually the addition of ten consecutive images taken by the same camera from the same location. The images were well planned to exclude direct light from the famous lighthouse. via NASA https://ift.tt/2KxfbyK

Astronauts Complete First Excursion to Repair Cosmic Particle Detector


Station Commander ​​Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency conducts repairs, while attached to the Canadarm during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. via NASA https://ift.tt/2KxxHHk

Passing Asteroid Arrokoth


What would it look like to pass asteroid Arrokoth? The robotic New Horizons spacecraft zoomed past Arrokoth in January, 3.5 years after the spacecraft passed Pluto. If this object's name doesn't sound familiar, that may be because the distant, double-lobed, Kuiper-belt object was unofficially dubbed Ultima Thule until recently receiving its official name: 486958 Arrokoth. The featured black and white video animates images of Arrokoth taken by New Horizons at different angles as it zoomed by. The video clearly shows Arrokoth's two lobes, and even hints that the larger lobe is significantly flattened. New Horizons found that Arrokoth is different from any known asteroid in the inner Solar System and is likely composed of two joined planetesimals -- the building blocks of planets as they existed billions of years ago. New Horizons continues to speed out of our Solar System gaining about three additional Earth-Sun separations every year. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Kvz1KO

Young Stars in the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud


How do stars form? To help find out, astronomers created this tantalizing false-color composition of dust clouds and embedded newborn stars in infrared wavelengths with WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The cosmic canvas features one of the closest star forming regions, part of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex some 400 light-years distant near the southern edge of the pronounceable constellation Ophiuchus. After forming along a large cloud of cold molecular hydrogen gas, young stars heat the surrounding dust to produce the infrared glow. Stars in the process of formation, called young stellar objects or YSOs, are embedded in the compact pinkish nebulae seen here, but are otherwise hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes. An exploration of the region in penetrating infrared light has detected emerging and newly formed stars whose average age is estimated to be a mere 300,000 years. That's extremely young compared to the Sun's age of 5 billion years. The prominent reddish nebula at the lower right surrounding the star Sigma Scorpii is a reflection nebula produced by dust scattering starlight. This view from WISE, released in 2012, spans almost 2 degrees and covers about 14 light-years at the estimated distance of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud. via NASA https://ift.tt/358m3KP

The Star Streams of NGC 5907


Grand tidal streams of stars seem to surround galaxy NGC 5907. The arcing structures form tenuous loops extending more than 150,000 light-years from the narrow, edge-on spiral, also known as the Splinter or Knife Edge Galaxy. Recorded only in very deep exposures, the streams likely represent the ghostly trail of a dwarf galaxy - debris left along the orbit of a smaller satellite galaxy that was gradually torn apart and merged with NGC 5907 over four billion years ago. Ultimately this remarkable discovery image, from a small robotic observatory in New Mexico, supports the cosmological scenario in which large spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, were formed by the accretion of smaller ones. NGC 5907 lies about 40 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Draco. via NASA https://ift.tt/359zxG2

Hubble Spots a Curious Spiral


Many galaxies we see through telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the source of this beautiful image, look relatively similar: spiraling arms, a glowing center, and a mixture of bright specks of star formation and dark ripples of cosmic dust weaving throughout. This galaxy, a spiral galaxy named NGC 772, is no exception. via NASA https://ift.tt/2rNn1Om

M16 and the Eagle Nebula


A star cluster around 2 million years young surrounded by natal clouds of dust and glowing gas, M16 is also known as The Eagle Nebula. This beautifully detailed portrait of the region was made with groundbased narrow and broadband image data. It includes cosmic sculptures made famous in Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex. Described as elephant trunks or Pillars of Creation, dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length but are gravitationally contracting to form stars. Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material near the tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars. Extending from the ridge of bright emission at lower left is another dusty starforming column known as the Fairy of Eagle Nebula. M16 lies about 7,000 light-years away, an easy target for binoculars or small telescopes in a nebula rich part of the sky toward the split constellation Serpens Cauda (the tail of the snake). via NASA https://ift.tt/2NNSzfl

Apollo 12 Sees a Solar Eclipse


Fifty years ago, on Nov. 14, 1969, Apollo 12 launched at 11:22 a.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. via NASA https://ift.tt/2XjNTRF

Mercury and the Quiet Sun


On November 11, 2019 the Sun was mostly quiet, experiencing a minimum in its 11 year cycle of activity. In fact, the only spot visible was actually planet Mercury, making a leisurely 5 1/2 hour transit in front of the calm solar disk. About 1/200th the apparent diameter of the Sun, the silhouette of the solar system's inner most planet is near center in this sharp, full Sun snapshot. Taken with a hydrogen alpha filter and safe solar telescope, the image also captures prominences around the solar limb, the glowing plasma trapped in arcing magnetic fields. Of course, only inner planets Mercury and Venus can transit the Sun to appear in silhouette when viewed from planet Earth. Following its transit in 2016, this was Mercury's 4th of 14 transits across the solar disk in the 21st century. The next transit of Mercury will be on November 13, 2032. via NASA https://ift.tt/2CIYiNm

Powtawche Valerino: Supporting NASA’s Space Launch System Program


Powtawche Valerino is a guidance engineer who works for Aerodyne Industries at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, supporting the agency’s Space Launch System program. via NASA https://ift.tt/2qL6R7z

Mercury in Silhouette


The small, dark, round spot in this solar close up is planet Mercury. In the high resolution telescopic image, a colorized stack of 61 sharp video frames, a turbulent array of photospheric convection cells tile the bright solar surface. Mercury's more regular silhouette still stands out though. Of course, only inner planets Mercury and Venus can transit the Sun to appear in silhouette when viewed from planet Earth. For this November 11, 2019 transit of Mercury, the innermost planet's silhouette was a mere 1/200th the solar diameter. So even under clear daytime skies it was difficult to see without the aid of a safe solar telescope. Following its transit in 2016, this was Mercury's 4th of 14 transits across the solar disk in the 21st century. The next transit of Mercury will be on November 13, 2032. via NASA https://ift.tt/34ZcihQ

Mercury's Solar Transit


The planet Mercury is seen in silhouette, low center, as it transits across the face of the Sun, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. via NASA https://ift.tt/2NI2nHG

NGC 3717: A Nearly Sideways Spiral Galaxy


Some spiral galaxies are seen nearly sideways. Most bright stars in spiral galaxies swirl around the center in a disk, and seen from the side, this disk can be appear quite thin. Some spiral galaxies appear even thinner than NGC 3717, which is actually seen tilted just a bit. Spiral galaxies form disks because the original gas collided with itself and cooled as it fell inward. Planets may orbit in disks for similar reasons. The featured image by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a light-colored central bulge composed of older stars beyond filaments of orbiting dark brown dust. NGC 3717 spans about 100,000 light years and lies about 60 million light years away toward the constellation of the Water Snake (Hydra). via NASA https://ift.tt/2CyVwdB

Lunar Craters Langrenus and Petavius


The history of the Moon is partly written in its craters. Pictured here is a lunar panorama taken from Earth featuring the large craters Langrenus, toward the left, and Petavius, toward the right. The craters formed in separate impacts. Langrenus spans about 130 km, has a terraced rim, and sports a central peak rising about 3 km. Petavius is slightly larger with a 180 km diameter and has a distinctive fracture that runs out from its center. Although it is known that Petravius crater is about 3.9 billion years old, the origin of its large fracture is unknown. The craters are best visible a few days after a new Moon, when shadows most greatly accentuate vertical walls and hills. The featured image is a composite of the best of thousands of high-resolution, infrared, video images taken through a small telescope. Although mountains on Earth will likely erode into soil over a billion years, lunar craters Langrenus and Petavius will likely survive many billions more years, possibly until the Sun expands and engulfs both the Earth and Moon. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Q5qEcp

A Mercury Transit Sequence


Tomorrow -- Monday -- Mercury will cross the face of the Sun, as seen from Earth. Called a transit, the last time this happened was in 2016. Because the plane of Mercury's orbit is not exactly coincident with the plane of Earth's orbit, Mercury usually appears to pass over or under the Sun. The featured time-lapse sequence, superimposed on a single frame, was taken from a balcony in Belgium shows the entire transit of 2003 May 7. That solar crossing lasted over five hours, so that the above 23 images were taken roughly 15 minutes apart. The north pole of the Sun, the Earth's orbit, and Mercury's orbit, although all different, all occur in directions slightly above the left of the image. Near the center and on the far right, sunspots are visible. After Monday, the next transit of Mercury will occur in 2032. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Q0hyhb

Saturn the Giant


On May 25, 1961 U.S. president John Kennedy announced the goal of landing astronauts on the Moon by the end of the decade. By November 9, 1967 this Saturn V rocket was ready for launch and the first full test of its capabilities on the Apollo 4 mission. Its development directed by rocket pioneer Wernher Von Braun, the three stage Saturn V stood over 36 stories tall. It had a cluster of five first stage engines fueled by liquid oxygen and kerosene which together were capable of producing 7.9 million pounds of thrust. Giant Saturn V rockets ultimately hurled nine Apollo missions to the Moon and back again with six landing on the lunar surface. The first landing mission, Apollo 11, achieved Kennedy's goal on July 20, 1969. via NASA https://ift.tt/2NV0oyU

Building the Rover of the Future


A student from Sinte Gleska University works to build a model rover for a NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pJXuoJ

This Week in NASA History: First Launch of Saturn V – Nov. 9, 1967


This week in 1967, the Apollo 4 mission launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. via NASA https://ift.tt/36I5cQw

Messier 45: The Daughters of Atlas and Pleione


Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud a mere 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades or Seven Sisters open star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae. It lies in the night sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. The sister stars and cosmic dust cloud are not related though, they just happen to be passing through the same region of space. Known since antiquity as a compact grouping of stars, Galileo first sketched the star cluster viewed through his telescope with stars too faint to be seen by eye. Charles Messier recorded the position of the cluster as the 45th entry in his famous catalog of things which are not comets. In Greek myth, the Pleiades were seven daughters of the astronomical Titan Atlas and sea-nymph Pleione. Their parents names are included in the cluster's nine brightest stars. This deep and wide telescopic image spans over 20 light-years across the Pleides star cluster. via NASA https://ift.tt/2Nn4ikQ

The Cygnus space freighter is attached to the Unity module


The U.S. Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman is pictured in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm as it was installed to the Unity module for 70 days of cargo transfers. via NASA https://ift.tt/2JVlN9U

21st Century M101


One of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed with Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsonstown. In contrast, this multiwavelength view of the large island universe is a composite of images recorded by space-based telescopes in the 21st century. Color coded from X-rays to infrared wavelengths (high to low energies), the image data was taken from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple), the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (blue), Hubble Space Telescope(yellow), and the Spitzer Space Telescope(red). While the X-ray data trace the location of multimillion degree gas around M101's exploded stars and neutron star and black hole binary star systems, the lower energy data follow the stars and dust that define M101's grand spiral arms. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101 lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major, about 25 million light-years away. via NASA https://ift.tt/2pJL4gg

How CBD Could Change Your Skin Care Routine

CBD is becoming increasingly recognized for its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and antioxidant properties when taken internally. However, recent research suggests that this same therapeutic potential translates to the skin too.

This might be why CBD is now available in lotions, creams and skin care products everywhere. And with both high-end and budget skin care companies incorporating CBD into their products, making it available to a wider audience, the buzz around CBD won’t die down soon.

There are tons of claims being made about the different benefits of CBD for skin and how amazing it is. Is it true? Let’s take a look.

How Does CBD Work for Skin?

The largest organ in the body, the skin functions as a barrier against environmental factors, which include sun exposure, toxins and harmful organisms such as bacteria and fungi. Of all the body’s organs, the skin also contains the highest amount of the cannabinoid receptors.

These cannabinoid receptors form part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which acts as a kind of auditing system within the body, and is responsible for regulating a wide range of essential physiological functions. These include processes such as inflammation, pain regulation, immune system responses and even the amount of oil the skin produces.

This is also why CBD works so well for the skin—its ability to stimulate and affect the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. Simply put, the healing, soothing and calming effects of CBD when it comes to skin is because of its ability to directly influence and regulate the endocannabinoid receptors present in the skin. 

How CBD Helps with Specific Skin Conditions

How does this translate to specific skin conditions and how does CBD work to help with each?

Acne

Acne may have different underlying causes, but some of the main culprits are an increase in the secretion of sebum couples with a bacterial infection of the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acne) bacteria. This results in swollen, red bumps on the skin that are often inflamed and painful. 

Cystic acne, which is caused by infection and inflammation deep in the skin, is said to be more responsive to treatment with CBD. Numerous studies have now shown that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. 

In addition, CBD has also been shown to be involved in the production of skin lipids—in effect having the ability to work preventatively against the initial formation of acne. Data from various clinical studies indicates that CBD effectively regulates, balances and reduces the formation of sebum in the skin’s sebaceous gland, in turn reducing the major factor involved in the formation of acne.

Anti-aging

Scientists now believe that free-radical damage is one of the major players in aging—especially the skin. Free radicals are atoms that have lost an electron and are caused by a variety of environmental factors such as smog, dust, cigarette smoke, and the sun. In an attempt to fix themselves, free radicals attempt to grab electrons from atoms in the skin, causing damage to the skin’s DNA, which results in accelerated aging of the skin.

Antioxidants are the best defense against free radical damage, with research indicating that they help fight against free radicals and reduce the signs of skin again. With CBD’s antioxidant properties, CBD-infused anti-aging creams have the potential to visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, skin dullness and redness characteristic of aging skin.

Sensitive Skin and Dermatitis

Sensitive skin is more prone to redness and irritation, and more likely to develop skin conditions such as dermatitis. Dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that’s caused by contact with an irritant, resulting in red, itchy or burning rashes.

CBD is also known for its powerful soothing, calming and normalizing effects on the skin. Because of this, CBD could be able to help minimize and reduce the redness and irritation often characteristic of sensitive skin types. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could also help reduce the symptoms of dermatitis.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis are a type of chronic autoimmune diseases for which there is no cure. Both conditions are characterized by itchy or painful patches of dry flaky skin caused by excess skin cell production and division.

Treatment is usually focussed on symptom management and involves a combination of medicinal and lifestyle changes. However, CBD is increasingly becoming a popular option for relieving the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. Studies are showing that CBD could have the ability to slow down skin cell division, in effect tackling the root cause of eczema and psoriasis.

What to Look for When Buying CBD Skin Care

Because the CBD skin care industry is relatively new, it is unfortunately also still largely unregulated. Therefore, if you are considering using CBD in your skin care, there are a couple of things to look out for before spending your hard-earned dollars. 

Price-Potency Ration

Effective, potent, pure and high-quality CBD extracts takes time, effort and money to create. Price is often a good marker. It’s worth investing a bit more money. Try to steer clear of products claiming to have a high concentration of CBD for very little money. Chances are that product is subpar and from unregulated CBD sources.

Purity

Look for products that contain pure CBD and are refined several times. When it comes to CBD for skin, the purer the better, as other compounds present in the hemp plant do not have the same therapeutic skin care properties.

Third-Party Testing

Dig a little deeper and see whether the company has lab tests available on their website. If not, contact their customer services department to request a copy. Any reputable CBD company should be able to provide an independent lab result showing the quality and purity of the CBD used in its products.

The post How CBD Could Change Your Skin Care Routine appeared first on CBD Snapshot.



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Orson John: A NASA Pathways Student Becomes a Reliability Engineer


Orson John helps prepare Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) for encapsulation in the United Launch Alliance Delta II payload fairing on Sept. 4, 2018, at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. via NASA https://ift.tt/2JUXFV0