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Space Image of the Day - 2013

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Nov 26, 2012.

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  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Expedition 25 flight engineer, is pictured in the Cupola of the International Space Station on Oct. 14, 2010. NASA has selected Kelly for a one-year mission aboard the station in 2015. Kelly will join Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko on a mission that will collect scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. The goal of the yearlong expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory is to understand better how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. Data from the 12-month expedition will help inform current assessments of crew performance and health and will determine better and validate countermeasures to reduce the risks associated with future exploration as NASA plans for missions around the moon, an asteroid and ultimately Mars. Image Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  2. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    After more than a month of eruption, lava continues to flow from Tolbachik, one of many active volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The current eruption at Tolbachik began on Nov. 27, 2012. Lava flowed up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) from a line of fissures on the volcano’s southern flank. Since then, some of the lava has cooled enough to allow snow to accumulate. Snow-covered lava flows appear gray in this natural-color satellite image. Fresher lava appears black. A faint orange glow at the head of the northern flow marks the location of an erupting fissure. The image was collected on Dec. 22, 2012, by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Satellite. According to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) the eruption continued through Dec. 30, 2012. ›See image with detailed labels. Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  3. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    Snow-covered deserts are rare, but that’s exactly what the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite observed as it passed over the Taklimakan Desert in western China on Jan. 2, 2013. Snow has covered much of the desert since a storm blew through the area on Dec. 26. The day after the storm, Chinese Central Television (CNTV) reported that the Xinjian Uygyr autonomous region was one of the areas hardest hit. The Taklimakan is one of the world’s largest—and hottest—sandy deserts. Water flowing into the Tarim Basin has no outlet, so over the years, sediments have steadily accumulated. In parts of the desert, sand can pile up to 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) high. The mountains that enclose the sea of sand—the Tien Shan in the north and the Kunlun Shan in the south—were also covered with what appeared to be a significantly thicker layer of snow in January 2013. Image Credit: NASA/Aqua (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  4. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on Dec. 31, 2012, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun. With Earth about 7,900 miles in diameter, this relatively minor eruption is about 20 times the diameter of our planet. › See video and relative size of Earth to eruption on 'Solar Ballet on the Sun' feature. Image Credit: NASA/SDO (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  5. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    In the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory, Robonaut 2 is pictured on Jan. 2, during a round of testing for the first humanoid robot in space. Ground teams put Robonaut through its paces as they remotely commanded it to operate valves on a task board.Robonaut is a testbed for exploring new robotic capabilities in space, and its form and dexterity allow it to use the same tools and control panels as its human counterparts do aboard the station.Photo Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  6. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT). The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush on the turret at the end of the rover's arm. Its first use was on the 150th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Jan. 6, 2013). MAHLI took this image from a distance of about 10 inches (25 centimeters) after the brushing was completed on this rock target called "Ekwir_1." The patch of the rock from which dust has been brushed away is about 1.85 inches by 2.44 inches (47 millimeters by 62 millimeters). The scale bar at bottom right is 1 centimeter (0.39 inch). A view of Curiosity's turret at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA15699 shows the DRT on the right side of the image and the MAHLI at the center. Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y., built the DRT for Curiosity. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built the MAHLI. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  7. Martian

    Martian Rocket Ranger

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    Interesting! Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    This new view of the historical supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, located 11,000 light-years away, was taken by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. Blue indicates the highest energy X-ray light, where NuSTAR has made the first resolved image ever of this source. Red and green show the lower end of NuSTAR's energy range, which overlaps with NASA's high-resolution Chandra X-ray Observatory. Light from the stellar explosion that created Cassiopeia A is thought to have reached Earth about 300 years ago, after traveling 11,000 years to get here. While the star is long dead, its remains are still bursting with action. The outer blue ring is where the shock wave from the supernova blast is slamming into surrounding material, whipping particles up to within a fraction of a percent of the speed of light. NuSTAR observations should help solve the riddle of how these particles are accelerated to such high energies X-ray light with energies between 10 and 20 kiloelectron volts are blue; X-rays of 8 to 10 kiloelectron volts are green; and X-rays of 4.5 to 5.5 kiloelectron volts are red. The starry background picture is from the Digitized Sky Survey. › Image without background stars Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  9. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    The first stage of the Atlas V rocket that will carry the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K, into orbit has been erected at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. Launch of the TDRS-K on the Atlas V rocket is planned for January 29, 2013. The TDRS-K spacecraft is part of the next-generation series in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, a constellation of space-based communication satellites providing tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services.Photo Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  10. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    Faraway Quasar Group Is The Largest Structure In The Universe
    (Via Popular Science)

    It would take a light-speed craft 4 billion years to get from one side of the group to the other.

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    Behold, the largest structure in the universe. An international team of astronomers has discovered a large quasar group (also known as an LQG) that is some 4 billion light years across. For comparison, that’s something like 1600 times farther than the distance between the Milky Way and the “nearby” Andromeda Galaxy.That’s huge.

    It’s also really far away. Quasars are the cores of galaxies during the early days of the universe. Periodically, these cosmological artifacts emit huge amounts of extremely bright light, which makes them visible across vast distances of space. This LQG is so far away that it looks as it did when the universe was just 770 million years old. It is hands down the brightest object we’ve ever observed out there, so bright and huge that it actually challenges one of the underpinnings of modern cosmology: the Cosmological Principle.

    The Cosmological Principle is the assumption that the universe, if viewed from a large enough scale, looks the same no matter where you are viewing it from. It’s one of those things that fits in with the work theorists like Einstein and others who have vastly influenced 20th- and 21-st century cosmological thinking, but that we obviously can’t observe. Cosmologists (generally speaking) just believe it, or at least recognize it. But the Cosmological Principle, when factored into the prevailing theories of cosmology, suggests that astrophysicists shouldn’t be able to find anything bigger than 370 megaparsecs (again, for scale, the distance from here to Andromeda is roughly 0.75 megaparsecs, or 2.5 million light-years).

    This new LQC appears to average more like 500 megaparsecs across, with its longest dimension reaching up to 1,200 megaparsecs. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Cosmological Principle is toast, but we may have to take what we think we understand about it back to the drawing board.

     
  11. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. High-energy X-ray data from NuSTAR have been translated to the color magenta, and superimposed on a visible-light view highlighting the galaxy and its star-studded arms. NuSTAR is the first orbiting telescope to take focused pictures of the cosmos in high-energy X-ray light; previous observations of this same galaxy taken at similar wavelengths blurred the entire object into one pixel. The two magenta spots are blazing black holes first detected at lower-energy X-ray wavelengths by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. With NuSTAR's complementary data, astronomers can start to home in on the black holes' mysterious properties. The black holes appear much brighter than typical stellar-mass black holes, such as those that pepper our own galaxy, yet they cannot be supermassive black holes or they would have sunk to the galaxy’s center. Instead, they may be intermediate in mass, or there may be something else going on to explain their extremely energetic state. NuSTAR will help solve this puzzle. IC 342 lies 7 million light-years away in the Camelopardalis constellation. The outer edges of the galaxy cannot be seen in this view. This image shows NuSTAR X-ray data taken at 10 to 35 kiloelectron volts. The visible-light image is from the Digitized Sky Survey. › NuSTAR data only Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  12. Martian

    Martian Rocket Ranger

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    Space shots always look so amazing! I never tire of them.
     
  13. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    ISS034-E-016601 (4 Jan. 2013) --- On Jan. 4 a large presence of stratocumulus clouds was the central focus of camera lenses which remained aimed at the clouds as the Expedition 34 crew members aboard the International Space Station flew above the northwestern Pacific Ocean about 460 miles east of northern Honshu, Japan. This is a descending pass with a panoramic view looking southeast in late afternoon light with the terminator (upper left). The cloud pattern is typical for this part of the world. The low clouds carry cold air over a warmer sea with no discernable storm pattern. (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  14. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA Awards $17.8 Million For An Inflatable Addition To The ISS
    (Via Popular Science)

    'Space hotel' company Bigelow lands its first major deal with NASA and a chance to prove the future of human space exploration is inflatable.

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    Bigelow Aerospace has for years been trying to get the world to take its inflatable space habitats seriously, and while some have regarded the Vegas-based firm’s grand visions for such things as an inflatable orbiting space hotels and manned moon bases with skepticism, NASA has always been willing to listen to Bigelow’s big ideas. And now, the space agency is investing in them. NASA has awarded the private space contractor a $17.8 million contract to develop a new inflatable addition to the International Space Station.

    We first heard about this potential partnership almost exactly a year ago, but at that point an actual deal between NASA and Bigelow was anything but certain. Bigelow had previously launched two concept space habitats into orbit (unmanned, of course) demonstrating, at the very least, that they work in prototype. But that’s a far cry from gaining a foothold aboard one of the world’s most expensive science experiments.

    For now, it appears the deal is going forward, though neither NASA nor Bigelow has released the details of the agreement (the two are holding a presser on Wednesday). Will the module actually be used as additional laboratory or living space for the astronauts aboard the ISS, or is it itself an experiment to see how inflatable space habitat technology might be deployed in future missions (or both)? More details on this when they become available.

    [NASA]

     
  15. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    Residents of Beijing and many other cities in China were warned to stay inside in mid-January 2013 as the nation faced one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. The Chinese government ordered factories to scale back emissions, while hospitals saw spikes of more than 20 to 30 percent in patients complaining of respiratory issues, according to news reports. At the time that this Jan. 14 image was taken by satellite, ground-based sensors at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported PM2.5 measurements of 291 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Fine, airborne particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) is considered dangerous because it is small enough to enter the passages of the human lungs. Most PM2.5 aerosol particles come from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass (wood fires and agricultural burning). The World Health Organization considers PM2.5 to be safe when it is below 25. Also at the time of the image, the air quality index (AQI) in Beijing was 341. An AQI above 300 is considered hazardous to all humans, not just those with heart or lung ailments. AQI below 50 is considered good. On January 12, the peak of the current air crisis, AQI was 775 the U.S Embassy Beijing Air Quality Monitor—off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scale—and PM2.5 was 886 micrograms per cubic meter. › View image comparisons with annotations. Image Credit: NASA/Terra - MODIS (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  16. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    This artist's concept of the Orion Service Module was introduced today. When the Orion spacecraft blasts off atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket in 2017, attached will be the ESA-provided service module – the powerhouse that fuels and propels the Orion spacecraft. Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed and carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. It will sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space and emergency abort capability. Orion will be launched by NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS will enable new missions of exploration and expand human presence across the solar system. The service module of the Orion spacecraft will provide support to the crew module from launch through separation prior to atmospheric re-entry. Image Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  17. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida, preparations are underway to erect the first stage of the Atlas V rocket that will carry the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K, into orbit. </br></br> TDRS-K is the first of three next-generation communications satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA. The seven TDRS spacecraft currently in orbit provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-K has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet growing S-band communications requirements. </br></br> Image Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  18. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    It'll be interesting to see if 'lighter & cheaper' concepts like this helps rejuvenate plans for private-interest commercial laboratories in space.
     
  19. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA engineer Dan Dietrich and a team of scientists at Glenn developed the Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) to monitor the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production rates of astronauts exercising during long missions. The portable unit was designed to give the crew the ability to move around the spacecraft without being tethered to a large immovable unit. PUMA measures six components to evaluate metabolic function: oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, and gas pressure and temperature. From those measurements, PUMA can compute the oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output and minute ventilation (average expired gas flow rate). A small, embedded computer takes readings of each sensor and relays the data wirelessly to a remote computer via Bluetooth. Image Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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  20. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    On Saturday morning, Jan. 19, 2013, at Joint Base Anacostia Bolling (JBAB) in Washington, Steve LaDrew, with Capitol Exhibit Services, adjusts the Mastcam on a replica of the Mars Curiosity Rover. The NASA float will participate in Monday's Inaugural Parade honoring President Barack Obama. &rsaquo; View more images from NASA's participation in Inaugural events in Washington. Image Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)

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