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Researchers Just Discovered The Brightest Dead Star Ever Found
Astronomers using NASA’s NuSTAR telescope array have found something beautiful about 12 million light-years from our planet Earth: The brightest dead star, or pulsar, ever found. It’s only called a dead star because it’s the leftovers from a supernova — this thing is still very much alive, pumping out around 10 million suns’ worth of energy, according to NASA. Scientists originally thought the pulsar, located in the Messier 82 galaxy, was a black hole, but it turns out that isn’t the case at all.
“You might think of this pulsar as the ‘Mighty Mouse’ of stellar remnants,” said Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, in a NASA release about the pulsar. “It has all the power of a black hole, but with much less mass.”
from Time

Researchers Just Discovered The Brightest Dead Star Ever Found

Astronomers using NASA’s NuSTAR telescope array have found something beautiful about 12 million light-years from our planet Earth: The brightest dead star, or pulsar, ever found. It’s only called a dead star because it’s the leftovers from a supernova — this thing is still very much alive, pumping out around 10 million suns’ worth of energy, according to NASA. Scientists originally thought the pulsar, located in the Messier 82 galaxy, was a black hole, but it turns out that isn’t the case at all.

“You might think of this pulsar as the ‘Mighty Mouse’ of stellar remnants,” said Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, in a NASA release about the pulsar. “It has all the power of a black hole, but with much less mass.”

from Time

Florida to Louisiana Viewed From the International Space Station: NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the space station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.Image Credit: NASA
through NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration facebook page

Florida to Louisiana Viewed From the International Space Station: NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the space station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.

Image Credit: NASA

through NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration facebook page

Tags: NASA space cool

NASA Probes Record Sounds In Space – And It’s Terrifying.

Despite what you’ve heard, there are actual sounds in space.

Due to the virtual vacuum in space, it’s not sound like you and I experience it (that being waves pulsing through the air), but there are electromagnetic waves that pulsate at the same wavelength as the sound waves we can hear.

Instruments on several NASA probes including Voyager have recorded these waves and translated them into a sound that we can hear, and they are all kinds of spooky. This is the kind of thing you hear in a movie just before someone opens a door in a dark hallway.

So, take a listen to the true nature of the solar system. And sleep tight.

source

A Mysterious Ring
The European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescope pictured a puzzling ring (top, center) in the middle of a stellar nursery in this image released on June 12. The nursery, labeled NGC 7538, contains clumps of gas that astronomers believe could eventually give rise to O-type stars, the most massive stars in the universe.
Violent winds given off by these stars can result in bubble- or ring-shaped formations in their surrounding cloud of gas and dust. The death of O-type stars, in the stellar explosions called supernovae, can also produce these structures.
However, the remains of such a star are absent in the middle of this particular ring. It’s possible that one of the enormous stars blew this bubble, then scooted away before researchers were able to detect it, leaving behind the ring.
source 

A Mysterious Ring

The European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescope pictured a puzzling ring (top, center) in the middle of a stellar nursery in this image released on June 12. The nursery, labeled NGC 7538, contains clumps of gas that astronomers believe could eventually give rise to O-type stars, the most massive stars in the universe.

Violent winds given off by these stars can result in bubble- or ring-shaped formations in their surrounding cloud of gas and dust. The death of O-type stars, in the stellar explosions called supernovae, can also produce these structures.

However, the remains of such a star are absent in the middle of this particular ring. It’s possible that one of the enormous stars blew this bubble, then scooted away before researchers were able to detect it, leaving behind the ring.

source 

Dust Glints on Martian Dunes
High-flying winds on Mars lead to twin-toned dunes, seen in this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image released on April 9.
The HiRISE camera aboard the orbiter sees into the infrared spectrum, revealing the dual coloring of the dunes located in the Meridiani Terra region of Mars.
Rusty, light-colored dust coats the lower-lying folds of the dunes. That’s because they are left unmolested by fierce winds that flow at higher altitudes. 
Higher up on the dunes, the winds scour their surfaces, removing the dust and revealing the dark blue sands underlying the dune crests.
photo by NASA
text from Nat Geo

Dust Glints on Martian Dunes

High-flying winds on Mars lead to twin-toned dunes, seen in this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image released on April 9.

The HiRISE camera aboard the orbiter sees into the infrared spectrum, revealing the dual coloring of the dunes located in the Meridiani Terra region of Mars.

Rusty, light-colored dust coats the lower-lying folds of the dunes. That’s because they are left unmolested by fierce winds that flow at higher altitudes. 

Higher up on the dunes, the winds scour their surfaces, removing the dust and revealing the dark blue sands underlying the dune crests.

photo by NASA

text from Nat Geo

As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile’s Atacama desert, our galaxy’s dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal’s four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut by dust lanes and charged with clouds of stars and glowing nebulae, the center of our galaxy sprawls across the darker zenith even as the deep blue sky grows brighter and buildings still glint in moonlight…Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD ExpeditionPosted on: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
text from the Planetary Landscapes facebook page 

As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile’s Atacama desert, our galaxy’s dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal’s four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut by dust lanes and charged with clouds of stars and glowing nebulae, the center of our galaxy sprawls across the darker zenith even as the deep blue sky grows brighter and buildings still glint in moonlight…

Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD Expedition

Posted on: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

text from the Planetary Landscapes facebook page 

New image of the Pleiades star cluster, a group of 800 stars formed about 100 million years ago that is located 410 light-years away from Earth.Read more: http://bit.ly/1hg6nbC via space.comImage: Chuck Manges
source 

New image of the Pleiades star cluster, a group of 800 stars formed about 100 million years ago that is located 410 light-years away from Earth.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1hg6nbC via space.com

Image: Chuck Manges

source 

Pushing the Bounds of Human Performance

Grueling Demands of the Job and How to Train For Them

By Patrick J. Kiger

It was Christmas Eve 2013, and NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio floated in space outside the International Space Station, where they had gone on the second of two spacewalks to fix a failing pump module that was critical to the station’s cooling system.

The repair work was something that on Earth might seem fairly basic—unplugging and removing a refrigerator-sized pump module, moving a replacement into place, and then reconnecting electrical lines and hoses that pumped ammonia into the unit. But in the unforgiving environment of orbital space, astronauts must cope with the rigors of working in a pressurized suit and adjusting one’s movements to microgravity, and they must work with great care and precision, since the slightest mistake can lead to disaster.

The December spacewalks provide an example of the extraordinary physical and mental demands of being a space station astronaut, and the extensive, painstaking training and preparation that allows them to succeed in one of the most difficult professions anyone could imagine.

Only the best of the best even get a shot. Last year, more than 6,000 applicants competed for a slot in the 2013 astronaut candidate class. Ultimately, eight were deemed worthy of entering the rigorous training that qualifies an astronaut to work on the space station, which includes extensive work in flotation tanks that simulate the microgravity environment of space.

Since the first spacewalk in the mid-1960s, astronaut training has become increasingly sophisticated, according to Allison Bolinger, NASA’s lead U.S. spacewalk officer, who has trained astronauts and worked as a controller from Earth. “We’re continually improving the training,” Bolinger says. “After a mission, we have the astronauts sit down and discuss the process with us. What are the things we need to train for, and how to we improve the training? What the things we teach that they don’t need? We’ve also had the benefit of astronauts with a lot of experience, including guys who’ve done six or so spacewalks. They can tell us how things actually are when you’re up there.”

While the basic and pre-mission training builds muscle memory and familiarity with equipment, NASA leaves nothing to chance. In the case of last December’s spacewalks, Hopkins and Mastracchio spent nine days on the station devoted to preparing for the spacewalks, according to Bolinger. They conducted daily video conferences with NASA officials on the ground, in which they planned every detail of the job and virtually every movement they would make in space. They studied slides of the equipment they would be fixing and the tools they would use to do it, and rehearsed the sequence of tasks on DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics), a virtual-reality trainer on the station. They even practiced one of the trickier tasks, closing and disconnecting four fluid lines on the pump that are filled with pressurized ammonia, by working with a fluid-line trainer device inside the station.

But spacewalks, in a sense, are like running marathons, in that no matter how much preparation, the experience remains a grueling one. Because of the need to accomplish as much as possible in a limited time, astronauts may have to work for six hours or more without any scheduled breaks, or even anything other than drinking water to nourish them. During that time, they’re compelled to concentrate to make sure that untethered tools and parts don’t float away, and they’ve got to pay attention to a continuous stream of verbal instructions from ground controllers, who are watching a video feed from cameras mounted on the astronauts’ helmets. And while it might seem that the microgravity of space would make movement effortless, in reality astronauts continually must move slowly and methodically, and struggle against the stiffness of the pressurized spacesuits. “You’re in an inflated balloon,” Bolinger explains. “You constantly have to fight the pressure, so that even grasping the handle of a ratchet is difficult.” After spacewalks, she says, astronauts often complain most of extreme fatigue in their hands.

Spacewalks are sufficiently trying physically that controllers on Earth continuously monitor data from sensors in the astronauts’ spacesuits, which enable them to keep tabs on the astronauts’ vital signs. “Mike Hopkins has a higher metabolic rate, so and we saw his CO2 creep up, an indication that he might be working too hard,” Bolinger recalls. “We made him stop for 10 minutes, so that we could try to get his heart rate down.” Additionally, while the astronauts are working in space, they periodically glanced down to check digital displays mounted on their spacesuits, which indicated whether the equipment needed to keep them alive in space was still working. As an additional precaution, each astronaut carried a small piece of paper attached to an elastic band on his wrist, a sort of cheat-sheet that reminded them what to do in the event they saw certain warning codes on those digital displays.

Despite all those challenges, the astronauts and their handlers managed to work so efficiently that they accomplished a task in two spacewalks that had required three walks when it was last performed in 2010. According to an Associated Press account, Hopkins held the bulky pump module with both hands and guided it to the installation spot, where he slid it into place as an astronaut inside the station, Japan’s Koichi Wakata, carefully steered a robotic arm to which the pump was attached. One complication did slow the work—what Mission Control called a “mini blizzard” of frozen chunks of ammonia that leaked from one of the lines, which bounced off the equipment and possibly the astronauts’ spacesuits as well.

But in the end, the work was successful. Six hours into the spacewalk, Hopkins announced, “Houston, you’ve got yourself a new pump module.”

source 

Plumes of water vapor discovered on dwarf planet Ceres. Water is always an exciting discovery since it is necessary for life (at least as we know it). -http://sciencenews.cc/plumes-of-water-vapor-discovered-on-dwarf-planet/
from biology 101

Plumes of water vapor discovered on dwarf planet Ceres. Water is always an exciting discovery since it is necessary for life (at least as we know it). -http://sciencenews.cc/plumes-of-water-vapor-discovered-on-dwarf-planet/

from biology 101

bacteriophage virus, by Chok Bun LamFollow me on facebook, and also tumblr for more art :)

bacteriophage virus, by Chok Bun Lam

Follow me on facebook, and also tumblr for more art :)