Light is not playing a trick on your eyes - in between the blazing night lights of China on the left and South Korea on the right - 25 million Earthlings of North Korea in the dark. This picture was taken by a human living and working on the International Space Station 30 January 2014. Credit: NASA
This very detailed enhanced-colour image from European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope shows the dramatic effects of very young stars on the dust and gas from which they were born in the star-forming region NGC 6729. The baby stars are invisible in this picture, being hidden behind dust clouds at the upper left of the picture, but material they are ejecting is crashing into the surroundings.
Credit: ESO/Sergey Stepanenko
Reflect that we, humans, have walked on the surface of that moon. We have robotic probes surveying its celestial nature, and a robotic emissary collecting data/samples toward the purpose of establishing further presence, study and establishment as a mutual segue and springboard unto other worlds.
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In honor of fallen astronauts -
NASA assigned today as a day of remembrance for astronauts that were killed in three major agency tragedies:
- Apollo 1 in 1967: A fire broke out in the capsule, killing astronauts Gus Grisson, Ed White and Roger Chaffee
- The space shuttle Challenger in 1986: An O-ring failure caused the shuttle to explode after liftoff, killing astronauts Francis “Dick” Scobee, Ronald McNair, Mike Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik, Greg Jarvis and Connecticut teacher Christa McAuliffe
- The Colombia shuttle in 2003: The shuttle broke apart during re-entry, killing astronaut Rick Husband; pilot Willie McCool; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and David Brown; payload commander Michael Anderson; and payload specialist (and first Israeli astronaut) Ilan Ramon.
The “CCCP” on Yuri Gagarin’s helmet was painted on less than half an hour before his launch on April 12, 1961. Original color images without the “CCCP” were published only very recently.
Things I didn’t know.
I’ve been thinking about it in ages! Great to finally see the answer. :)
Él fue simplemente el primero.
He was simply the first.
Galaxies, Stars, and Dust
Spiky stars and spooky shapes abound in this deep cosmic skyscape. Its well-composed field of view covers about 2 Full Moons on the sky toward the constellation Pegasus. Of course the brighter stars show diffraction spikes, the commonly seen effect of internal supports in reflecting telescopes, and lie well within our own Milky Way galaxy. The faint but pervasive clouds of interstellar dust ride above the galactic plane and dimly reflect the Milky Way’s combined starlight. Known as high latitude cirrus or integrated flux nebulae they are associated with molecular clouds. In this case, the diffuse cloud cataloged as MBM 54, less than a thousand light-years distant, fills the scene. Other galaxies far beyond the Milky Way are visible through the ghostly apparitions, including the striking spiral galaxy NGC 7497 some 60 million light-years away. Seen almost edge-on near the center of the field, NGC 7497’s own spiral arms and dust lanes echo the colors of the Milky Way’s stars and dust.
NGC 2359 (also known as Thor’s Helmet) is an emission nebula in the constellation Canis Major. The nebula is approximately 15,000 light-years away and 30 light years in size. The central star is the Wolf-Rayet star HD 56925, an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Interactions with a nearby large molecular cloud are thought to have contributed to the more complex shape and curved bow-shock structure of Thor’s Helmet. [x]