U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast at night from International Space Station
Just plain amazing.
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun and has left our solar system.
Peering Into The Heart of Darkness
Peering Into The Heart of Darkness originally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution.
space-pics: Meteorite From Mars is Water-Rich
Looks like in the NY/NJ area clouds are going to cancel the Perseids display overnight - unless there is some clearing by 3am. Who is staying/getting up to check?
The peak of the shower, when you will see the highest concentration of meteors, will occur between 3 and 5am on Sunday the 12th—but viewers should see sparks before then. Rao suggests heading out around 10pm to situate yourself, but make sure you’re prepared for a long night. “There are only two dangers to keep you from seeing the Perseid meteor shower: being drenched in dew and falling asleep,” says Rao.
Fortunately, the Perseids are visible to the naked eye, but if you must bring additional equipment, leave your telescope at home—it will just restrict your view of the sky. Instead, grab a pair of binoculars: The magnifying lenses will help you quickly zoom in on the meteors and follow the vapor trails that they leave behind.
Set your gaze on the northeastern part of the sky, where the constellation Perseus (for which the shower is named) is located. This group of stars will rise in view throughout the night, but avoid concentrating on any one spot, as sightings tend to occur sporadically. “Just keep looking around.There will be lull periods when nothing much is happening, but eventually a meteor will come through your line of sight.”
On June 18, 1983, a young physicist from California took her seat aboard the space shuttle and launched into history. On that date, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a mission specialist on STS-7. In this image, Ride monitors control panels from the pilot’s chair on the flight deck.
Image Credit: NASA
This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows Venus (top left) as it nears the disk of the sun on June 5, 2012. Venus’s 2012 transit was the last such event until 2117. Credit: NASA/SDO, AIA
Apollo 15 Onboard Photo: Earth’s Crest Over the Lunar Horizon Collection: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection Name of Image: Apollo 15 Onboard Photo: Earth’s Crest Over the Lunar Horizon Full Description: This view of the Earth’s crest over the lunar horizon was taken during the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission. Apollo 15 launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on July 26, 1971 via a Saturn V launch vehicle. Aboard was a crew of three astronauts including David R. Scott, Mission Commander; James B. Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot; and Alfred M. Worden, Command Module Pilot. The first mission designed to explore the Moon over longer periods, greater ranges and with more instruments for the collection of scientific data than on previous missions, the mission included the introduction of a $40,000,000 lunar roving vehicle (LRV) that reached a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph) across the Moon’s surface. The successful Apollo 15 lunar landing mission was the first in a series of three advanced missions planned for the Apollo program. The primary scientific objectives were to observe the lunar surface, survey and sample material and surface features in a preselected area of the Hadley-Apennine region, setup and activation of surface experiments and conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit. Apollo 15 televised the first lunar liftoff and recorded a walk in deep space by Alfred Worden. Both the Saturn V rocket and the LRV were developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Date of Image: 1971-07-26
Venus as the Morning Star
I never will have time
I never will have time enough
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.
I never will have time enough
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.
by Anne Porter, from Living Things: Collected Poems
Moons outnumber the planets by around 20 to 1 - here is a guide to ten of the solar system’s most noteworthy moons 10 Moons Every Person Should Know
Mimas, moon of Saturn
Beloved if only because of its resemblance to a certain sci-fi film location…
Mimas is small and icy, but it’s also home to “Herschel” — the name astronomers have given that massive crater situated on the moon’s leading hemisphere.
At 139-kilometers wide, Herschel is almost one-third the diameter of Mimas itself, and is what makes it seem so Death Star-ish. (BTW, the Herschel crater was discovered three years after the release of that Star Wars - but those films do have a knack for predicting some astronomical discoveries).
Plus, it’s also geeky cool that temperature maps of Mimas reveal hot regions that look like Pac-Man eating a dot.
One of my favorite moons. Everyone has favorite moons, right?
Io moon to Jupiter - very close in size to our own moon, but it couldn’t be more different. Despite having a mean surface temperature of less than -250 degrees Fahrenheit, Io is home to over 400 raging volcanoes, making it the single most geologically active object in the solar system.