Space NASA Image of the Day

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50 years ago today, Scott Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth. In this photo, taken on May 24, 1962, Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter looks into his Mercury-Atlas 7 spacecraft, the Aurora 7, before being inserted to begin the launch. Image Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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Even in a peaceful looking scene such as this one of Saturn and its moon Tethys, the Cassini spacecraft reveals clues about how Saturn is ever-changing. Saturn's northern hemisphere still shows the scars of the huge storm that raged through much of 2011 (see PIA14905). And, day by day, the shadows cast by the rings on the planet's southern hemisphere are growing wider as the seasons progress toward northern summer. See PIA11667 and PIA09793 to learn about the changing seasons and the shadows cast by the rings. Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings to the left of the center of the image. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 10, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 39 degrees. Image scale on Saturn is 84 miles (136 kilometers) per pixel. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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This image of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft as it approached the space station was taken NASA astronaut Don Pettit. The SpaceX Falcon 9 and its Dragon spacecraft launched on Tuesday, May 22, at 3:44 a.m. EDT. This mission is a demonstration flight by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, as part of its contract with NASA to have private companies launch cargo safely to the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M101, combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-rays from four of NASA's space-based telescopes. This multi-spectral view shows that both young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101's tightly-wound spiral arms. Such composite images allow astronomers to see how features in one part of the spectrum match up with those seen in other parts. It is like seeing with a regular camera, an ultraviolet camera, night-vision goggles and X-ray vision, all at the same time. The Pinwheel Galaxy is in the constellation of Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper). It is about 70 percent larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of about 170,000 light years, and sits at a distance of 21 million light years from Earth. This means that the light we're seeing in this image left the Pinwheel Galaxy about 21 million years ago - many millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth. Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; IR & UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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SpaceX's Dragon capsule sits on a barge after being retrieved from the Pacific Ocean after splashdown. Dragon splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, May 31, 2012, at 11:42 a.m. EDT a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico, marking a successful end to the first mission by a commercial company to resupply the International Space Station. Image Credit: Image Courtesy of SpaceX (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows planetary nebula NGC 7026. Located just beyond the tip of the tail of the constellation of Cygnus (The Swan), this butterfly-shaped cloud of glowing gas and dust is the wreckage of a star similar to the sun. Planetary nebulae, despite their name, have nothing to do with planets. They are, in fact, a relatively short-lived phenomenon that occurs at the end of the life of mid-sized stars. As a star's nuclear fuel runs out, its outer layers are puffed out, leaving only the hot core of the star behind. As the gaseous envelope heats up, the atoms in it are excited, and it lights up like a fluorescent sign. Fluorescent lights on Earth get their bright colors from the gases with which they are filled. Neon signs, famously, produce a bright red color, while ultraviolet lights (black lights) typically contain mercury. The same is true for nebulae: their vivid colors are produced by the mix of gases present in them. This image was produced by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. A version of it was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Competition by contestant Linda Morgan-O'Connor. Hidden Treasures is an initiative to invite astronomy enthusiasts to search the Hubble archive for stunning images that have never been seen by the general public. Image Credit: ESA/NASA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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This image of a coronal hole on the sun bears a remarkable resemblance the 'Sesame Street' character Big Bird. Coronal holes are regions where the sun's corona is dark. These features were discovered when X-ray telescopes were first flown above the earth’s atmosphere to reveal the structure of the corona across the solar disc. Coronal holes are associated with 'open' magnetic field lines and are often found at the sun’s poles. The high-speed solar wind is known to originate in coronal holes. The solar wind escaping from this hole will reach Earth around June 5-7, 2012. Image Credit: NASA/AIA (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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Enterprise, the prototype for the space shuttle fleet, arrived at the Intrepid Museum in New York City on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, to the museum's Space Shuttle Pavilion, which will open to the public on July 19. Thousands however, got a sneak peek as they watched the shuttle move up the Hudson River. In this image, the shuttle is being towed by barge from a port in Jersey City, N.J. to the Intrepid, a retired World War II aircraft carrier that is now used to house aerospace and maritime exhibits. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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NASA astronaut Rex Walheim participated in an evaluation of the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) in the Active Response Gravity Offload System, or ARGOS, at the Johnson Space Center on Tuesday, June, 5, 2012. The modified ACES suit is fully integrated with Orion life support systems and will be used by crews for ascent and entry, as well as light extra vehicular activities, commonly referred to as spacewalks. The ARGOS system allows an astronaut to be suspended and have full freedom of motion, simulating a microgravity environment. During this test, Walheim evaluated the amount of dexterity the suit would provide for various tasks including translating across handrails, working with tools and entering a spacecraft hatch. Image Credit: NASA/Radislav Sinyak (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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During a record-breaking test on June 8, 2012, engineers throttled the J-2X powerpack up and down several times to explore numerous operating points required for the fuel and oxidizer turbopumps. The results of this test will be useful for determining performance and hardware life for the J-2X engine turbopumps. The J-2X engine will power the upper stage of the evolved NASA's Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift rocket that will provide for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit. The test was conducted at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is developing the J-2X engine for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Image Credit: NASA/SSC (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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The Veil Nebula, left behind by the explosion of a massive star thousands of years ago, is one of the largest and most spectacular supernova remnants in the sky. The image was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in November 1994 and August 1997. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration; Acknowledgment: J. Hester (Arizona State University) (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, left, congratulates SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk in front of the historic Dragon capsule that returned to Earth on May 31 following the first successful mission by a private company to carry supplies to the International Space Station. Bolden and Musk also thanked the more than 150 SpaceX employees working at the McGregor facility for their role in the historic mission. This image was taken on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at the SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
That is a great picture! Its amazing the technology and gadgets we have. Space exploration is very interesting to me. I think that is one of the reasons that I very much enjoyed reading WATDOT: List of Twenty. Its a great book if you're looking for an entertaining SciFi book. Pretty quick read too, which I liked as well!!