In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

NASA’s X-59 QueSST Airplane Takes Shape at Lockheed Martin 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/2M5iazO
In the Moment

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
In the Moment

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