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NASA
NASA

@nasa

Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official NASA Instagram account

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NASA
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This edge-on view of a galaxy located about 45 million light-years away, showcases its beautiful arms, which swirl like a whirlpool around its bright central region. Astronomers took this image as they were observing an extraordinary exploding star – a supernova – near the galaxy’s central yellow core! The star rapidly evolved from a supernova containing very little hydrogen to one that is hydrogen-rich — in just one year. This rarely observed metamorphosis was luminous at high energies and provides unique insight into the poorly understood final phases of massive stars. By studying similar galaxies we hold a scientific mirror up to our own, allowing us to build a better understanding of our galactic environment, which we cannot always observe, and of galactic behavior and evolution as a whole. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA/D. Milisavljevic (Perdue University) #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #galaxy #lightyears #spacetelescope #telescope #pictureoftheday #spiral #swirl #whirlpool #astronomy #solarsystem #universe #beautiful #science #supernova
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NASA
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On Feb. 1, we fired up one of the four RS-25 engines that will power our Space Launch System rocket to destinations like the Moon and Mars. Did you see that start up!? Fun Fact: Hot gases exit the nozzle at 13X the speed of sound! The full-duration, 365-second test helped verify that the flight controller – the engine’s “brain” – can properly communicate with the rocket. This test also used a 3D-printed component on the engine as an ongoing effort to use advanced manufacturing techniques as a means of reducing engine construction costs. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #rocket #rocketscience #engine #science #fire #smoke #steam #ignite #gas #brain #moon #mars #rocket #orion #spacecraft #video
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NASA
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What’s up in the night sky for February? In honor of Valentine's Day, we look at celestial star pairs and constellation couples. A pair of star clusters will be visible throughout the month after sunset. The Perseus Double Cluster will be high in the sky near Andromeda’s parents: Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Watch to see what else you’ll be able to spot in February! Credit: NASA #nasa #space #february #whatsup #nightsky #astronomy #solarsystem #valentinesday #valentines #celestial #star #constellation #couple #cluster #sunset #perseus #cepheus #cassiopeia
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Distant interacting galaxies – located 23 million light-years away – bear an uncanny resemblance to a penguin guarding an egg. The “penguin” part of the pair was probably once a relatively normal-looking spiral galaxy, flattened like a pancake with smoothly symmetric spiral arms. Rich with newly-formed hot stars, seen in visible light as bluish filaments, its shape has now been twisted and distorted as it responds to the gravitational tugs of its neighbor. The “egg” of the pair is distinctly different with its greenish glow, which tells the story of a population of much older stars. The absence of glowing red dust features informs us that it has long since lost its reservoir of gas and dust from which new stars can form. Eventually these two galaxies will merge to form a single object, with their two populations of stars, gas and dust intermingling. This kind of merger was likely a significant step in the history of most large galaxies we see around us in the nearby universe, including our own Milky Way. Data from our Spitzer and Hubble (@NASAHubble) space telescopes have been combined to show these dramatic galaxies in light that spans the visible and infrared parts of the spectrum. Credit: NASA-ESA/STScI/AURA/JPL-Caltech #nasa #space #hubble #spitzer #spacetelescope #spothubble #visible #infrared #spectrum #galaxies #beautiful #penguin #egg #spiral #galaxy #science #pair #gravity #merge #pictureoftheday
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NASA
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Much of the western United States began the morning with the view of a super blue blood moon total lunar eclipse. This Jan. 31 full moon was special for three reasons: it was the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit – known as perigee – and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It was also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” Swipe to explore views from NASA photographers, starting with the Moon hanging over Langley Research Center in Virginia. Next is the Moon photographed from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The next three images show various scenes at our Armstrong Flight Research Center's such as over the aircraft hangar that houses our jets and other aircraft, a communications facility with radar dish and antennas showing and lastly seen over Trona Pinnacles near Armstrong. Trona Pinnacles is an unusual geological feature of California’s Desert National Conservation. Credits: NASA Langley/David C. Bowman, NASA Johnson/Robert Markowitz, NASA Armstrong #superbluebloodmoon #supermoon #bluemoon #bloodmoon #moon #fullmoon #LunarEclipse #NASA #picoftheday #photooftheday
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NASA
nasa
Much of the western United States began the morning with the view of a super blue blood moon total lunar eclipse. In this silent time lapse video, the complete eclipse is seen over our Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@NASAJPL), located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, California. This Jan. 31 full moon was special for three reasons: it was the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit – known as perigee – and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It was also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech #superbluebloodmoon #supermoon #bluemoon #bloodmoon #moon #fullmoon #LunarEclipse #NASA #timelapse #video
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NASA
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How do space plants grow? This experiment on the International Space Station (@iss) hopes to find out. Space-grown plants look mostly normal, but have some distinct features compared to plants grown on Earth – most notably in the way their roots grow. Roots evolved to grow “down” to search out nutrients and water, and on Earth, that response is predominantly governed by the force of gravity. But how does a plant know which way is down when there is no “down”? What determines the direction in which the plant’s roots should grow in space? We are studying the molecular genetic signals that help guide plant growth in the novel environment of spaceflight, including how plants use new molecular “tools” to sense and respond to their environment when familiar signals are absent. What we learn could improve the way we grow plants in microgravity on future space missions, enabling crews to use plants for food and oxygen. This is just one of many petri plates filled with tiny plants from the Characterizing Arabidopsis Root Attractions-2 (CARA-2) that was recently harvest aboard the space station. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #science #plants #roots #grow #microgravity #experiment #earth #down #up #environment #research
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Earth or Mars? Although it could be mistaken for a desert on Earth, layers seen in this image are evidence of erosion on the Red Planet. This erosion has even produced several small mesas & a prominent channel that cuts through this region of the planet: The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona #nasa #space #mars #planet #solarsystem #science #marsorbiter #desert #earth #mesas #channel
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Super soon...there will be a #Supermoon! Just before dawn on Jan. 31 a lunar trifecta – the Super Blue Blood Moon – will be visible in the sky. This full moon is the third in a series of “supermoons,” which is when the full Moon is at or near its closest point to Earth in its orbit. It will also be the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” Make sure you get outside to experience this lunar event for yourself! Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish (swipe to see the map). Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #moon #supermoon #eclipse #lunareclipse #superbluebloodmoon #earth #sun #trifecta #sky #astronomy #solarsystem #orbit #bloodmoon #january
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This glistening globular cluster, which is a gathering of hundreds of thousands of stars that are bound together by gravity, was first discovered in 1826 and described as a “pretty large, pretty bright” object. How would you describe it? Globular clusters are found around all large galaxies, but their origin and role in galaxy formation remain tantalizingly unclear. Astronomers recently discovered a black hole lurking at the heart of this globular cluster — its position was revealed by the strange movements of a star being quickly flung around a massive, invisible counterpart. This sparkling group of stars, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), also has some strange properties that make it unique amongst the more than 150 globular clusters belonging to the Milky Way. It has an extremely fast velocity with respect to the Sun, and its orbit is retrograde, meaning that it moves speedily in the opposite direction to the galactic center. The unusual behavior of this cluster suggests that it may have extragalactic origins but at some point was captured by the Milky Way’s gravity. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Sarajedini et al #nasa #space #globular #cluster #stars #hundreds #thousands #large #bright #hubble #spothubble #telescope #science #universe #astronomy #glistening #gravity #pictureoftheday #beautiful
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Spread your solar wings! Our next mission to Mars – the InSight lander – extended the solar arrays that will power the spacecraft once it lands on the Red Planet this November during a test to confirm the solar cells were collecting power. The fan-like solar panels are specially designed for Mars' weak sunlight, caused by the planet's distance from the Sun and its dusty, thin atmosphere. InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a terrestrial planet explorer that will study the Red Planet’s deep interior. This mission will also address one of the most fundamental issues of planetary and solar system science: understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system – including Earth – more than four billion years ago. Credit: @lockheedmartin #nasa #space #insight #mars #redplanet #planet #rockyplanet #explorer #terrestrial #interior #solarsystem #science #mission #lander #solar #solararrays #spacecraft #spread #wings #timelapse #gif
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NASA
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Each year we hold a Day of Remembrance. Today, Jan. 25, we pay tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other NASA colleagues who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #dayofremembrance #nasaremembers #apollo #columbia #challenger #nasafamily #discovery #exploration
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