Earth From the Moon
The Earth as seen from the Moon. LROC NAC mosaic of images snapped on 12 June 2010 during a calibration sequence, E130954785L and E130954785R.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center built and manages the mission for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera was designed to acquire data for landing site certification and to conduct polar illumination studies and global mapping. Operated by Arizona State University, LROC consists of a pair of narrow-angle cameras (NAC) and a single wide-angle camera (WAC). The mission is expected to return over 70 terabytes of image data.
Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University [high-resolution]
Another mind = blown moment from I love Space :
One of Herschel’s most profound images, in this photo the telescope shows us the very distant universe…some 10-billion light-years away. Every speck of light is an entire galaxy.
Image Credit: ESA & SPIRE Consortium & HerMES consortia
With thanks to From Quarks to Quasars
May have posted something about her before, I am too obsessed with her! From NASA’s site:
Cassiopeia A: Death Becomes Her
This stunning false-color picture shows off the many sides of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. It is made up of images taken by three of NASA’s Great Observatories, using three different wavebands of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope are colored red; visible data from the Hubble Space Telescope are yellow; and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are green and blue.
Located 10,000 light-years away in the northern constellation Cassiopeia, Cassiopeia A is the remnant of a once massive star that died in a violent supernova explosion 325 years ago. It consists of a dead star, called a neutron star, and a surrounding shell of material that was blasted off as the star died. The neutron star can be seen in the Chandra data as a sharp turquoise dot in the center of the shimmering shell.
Each Great Observatory highlights different characteristics of this celestial orb. While Spitzer reveals warm dust in the outer shell about a few hundred degrees Kelvin (80 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature, Hubble sees the delicate filamentary structures of hot gases about 10,000 degrees Kelvin (18,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Chandra probes unimaginably hot gases, up to about 10 million degrees Kelvin (18 million degrees Fahrenheit). These extremely hot gases were created when ejected material from Cassiopeia A smashed into surrounding gas and dust. Chandra can also see Cassiopeia A’s neutron star (turquoise dot at center of shell).
Blue Chandra data were acquired using broadband X-rays (low to high energies); green Chandra data correspond to intermediate energy X-rays; yellow Hubble data were taken using a 900 nanometer-wavelength filter, and red Spitzer data are from the telescope’s 24-micron detector.
The animation begins with the false-color picture of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. It then pans out to show a Spitzer view of Cassiopeia A (yellow ball) and surrounding clouds of dust (reddish orange). Here, the animation flips back and forth between two Spitzer images taken one year apart. A blast of light from Cassiopeia A is seen waltzing through the dusty skies. Called an “infrared echo,” this dance began when the remnant’s dead star erupted, or “turned in its grave,” about 50 years ago.
Infrared echoes are created when a star explodes or erupts, flashing light into surrounding clumps of dust. As the light zips through the dust clumps, it heats them up, causing them to glow successively in infrared, like a chain of Christmas bulbs lighting up one by one. The result is an optical illusion, in which the dust appears to be flying outward at the speed of light. Echoes are distinct from supernova shockwaves, which are made up material that is swept up and hurled outward by exploding stars.
This infrared echo is the largest ever seen, stretching more than 50 light-years away from Cassiopeia A. If viewed from Earth, the entire movie frame would take up the same amount of space as two full moons.
Hints of an older infrared echo from Cassiopeia A’s supernova explosion hundreds of years ago can also be seen.
The earlier Spitzer image was taken on November 30, 2003, and the later, on December 2, 2004.
second photo from here
First Photo of the Sun
Photograph courtesy National Science Foundation, High Altitude Observatory
Taking advantage of a relatively new technology, the daguerreotype, French physicists Louis Fizeau and Leon Foucault made the first successful photographs of the sun on April 2, 1845. The original image, taken with an exposure of 1/60th of a second, was about 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) in diameter and captured several sunspots, visible in this reproduction.
White Dwarfs May be Keys to Detecting Life
A white dwarf is essentially a “dead star”, lacking the required power source to keep it from cooling and fading out. New evidence from the University of Tel Aviv shows these stellar corpses may be the best places to look for Earth-like planets. Using advanced technology Professor Dan Maoz and Professor Avi Loeb proved it will be possible to detect the biomarkers indicative of life on Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs.
The James Webb Space Telescope (available for launch in 2018) will be the main tool in their arsenal. JWST is designed to pick up oxygen and water in the atmospheres of Earth-like planets and is able to make these observations in only a few hours’ time. This observation time only applies to planets orbiting white dwarfs; planets orbiting “normal stars” are much more difficult to detect.
A postmortem study of the beautiful remnant of Kepler’s supernova, the famous explosion discovered by Johannes Kepler in 1604, reveals that the supernova was triggered by a compact white dwarf containing more heavy elements than the sun. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/40du
Polar Mapping of Structures in the Universe
So you think you’re big?
No actually, I’m 4’11” I think I’m small ;) I JK, Thanks!
Printing a Moon Base
Illustration courtesy Foster and Partners/ESA
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced January 31 that it is looking into building a moon base (pictured in an artist’s conception) using a technique called 3-D printing.
It probably won’t be as easy as whipping out a printer, hooking it to a computer, and pressing “print,” but using lunar soils as the basis for actual building blocks could be a possibility.
“Terrestrial 3-D printing technology has produced entire structures,” said Laurent Pambaguian, head of the project for ESA, in a statement.
On Earth, 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, produces a three-dimensional object from a digital file. The computer takes cross-sectional slices of the structure to be printed and sends it to the 3-D printer. The printer bonds liquid or powder materials in the shape of each slice, gradually building up the structure. (Watch how future astronauts could print tools in space.)
The ESA and its industrial partners have already manufactured a 1.7 ton (1.5 tonne) honeycombed building block to demonstrate what future construction materials would look like.
—Jane J. Lee