beauty

The View From LightSail 2

Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 snaps amazing photos ahead of solar sail deployment: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/17/crowdfunded-spacecraft-lightsail-2-snaps-amazing-photos-ahead-of-solar-sail-deployment/.

LightSail 2’s development was funded in part via a successful crowdfunding campaign run by the Bill Nye-led Planetary Society. Its goal is to test a spacecraft’s ability to fly powered only by the force of photons from the Sun striking a solar sail constructed of Mylar. This method of space-based transportation is extremely slow to get started, but thanks to the inertia-free medium of outer space, it could be an extremely energy-efficient way for research craft to travel long distances.

It launched on June 25 as part of the shared payload of SpaceX’s most recent Falcon Heavy launch.

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Originally posted on Twitter.

ISS Crossing a Spotless Sun

The Space Station Crosses a Spotless Sun (by Rainee Colacurcio): https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190715.html

I saw this image yesterday morning, and I continue to be transfixed by it. Obviously, there is one heck of a visual illusion going on here, as the ISS is in low Earth orbit and the sun is 93 million miles away, but it's powerful nonetheless.😯

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Map of 4,000+ Exoplanets

NASA has dropped an insane map of 4,000 planets outside our solar system: https://www.cnet.com/…/nasa-drops-insane-map-of-4000-plane…/

The video is absolutely worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=aiFD_LBx2nM. It's only a minute long and is a great visualization of how exoplanet discovery just exploded in the last decade (go Kepler!📡✨).

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Falcon Heavy Fireworks

The good kind ;). From the hugely difficult - and - hugely successful - SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch this week, an incredible image by astrophotographer Erik Kuna. In the photographer’s own words: “Cannot believe this happened just above the earth on the edge of the Mesosphere and Thermosphere around 85-120km in altitude yet it looks like something from a deep space Hubble telescope image.”

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Initially posted on Twitter.

Tumultuous Clouds of Jupiter

This stunning image of Jupiter's stormy northern hemisphere was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet. Some bright-white clouds can be seen popping up to high altitudes on the right side of Jupiter's disk.

Juno took the four images used to produce this color-enhanced view on May 29, 2019, as the spacecraft performed its 20th science pass of Jupiter. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 11,600 miles (18,600 kilometers) and 5,400 miles (8,600 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/tumultuous-clouds-of-jupiter/

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Initially posted on Twitter.

Stunning Close-Up of Asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Takes Stunning Photo of Asteroid Bennu From Just 0.4 Miles Away. This image of asteroid Bennu was captured on Jun. 13, 2019, shortly after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second orbital insertion maneuver. From the spacecraft’s vantage point in orbit, half of Bennu is sunlit and half is in shadow. At this distance, details as small as 1.6 ft (0.5 m) across can be resolved in the center of the image.

https://gizmodo.com/nasas-osiris-rex-spacecraft-takes-stunning-photo-of-ast-1835601275

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Extrasolar Fireworks

For the 1st time, we've detected a coronal mass ejection (CME) from a star other than our own. This event, located 450 light years from Earth, was marked by an intense flash of X-rays followed by the emission of a big bubble of plasma, and was captured by the Chandra X-ray Observatory: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/chandra-detects-a-coronal-mass-ejection-from-another-star

Hey, CMEs figure prominently in The Stars Like Gods….

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Asteroid Selfie

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft grabs epic close-up just 30 feet above asteroid Ryugu: https://www.cnet.com/news/japans-hayabusa2-spacecraft-snaps-close-up-just-30-feet-above-asteroid/

Hayabusa2 has been hanging out orbiting Ryugu for almost a year now, doing science, shooting cannonballs at it, snapping pics and, soon, snagging a material sample.

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Originally posted on Twitter.

The Sky In X-Ray

NASA is building up a map of the entire sky seen in X-rays, line by line with its NICER experiment.

In this image, numerous sweeping arcs seem to congregate at various bright regions. You may wonder: What is being shown? Air traffic routes? Information moving around the global internet? Magnetic fields looping across active areas on the Sun?

In fact, this is a map of the entire sky in X-rays recorded by NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), a payload on the International Space Station.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/nsfc-nnm053019.php

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Boulders on Bennu

An abundance of boulders litters the surface of asteroid 101955 Bennu in this dramatic close-up from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Taken on March 28 from a distance of just 3.4 kilometers (2.1 miles) the field of view is about 50 meters across while the light colored boulder at top right is 4.8 meters tall. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190524.html

Incredible to think about, isn’t it?

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Hubble Deep-Sky Mosaic

Via NASA: “This might be the most exciting “history book” we’ve ever read. Astronomers have put together the largest and most comprehensive image of the evolving universe — using 16 years’ worth of observations from Hubble. Take a peek at this deep-sky mosaic.” https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/hubble-astronomers-assemble-wide-view-of-the-evolving-universe

Make sure and check out the short video at the link for a mind-boggling sense of scale.

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Originally posted on Twitter.