Indian satellite destruction created 400 pieces of debris, endangering ISS: NASA
Indian satellite destruction created 400 pieces of debris, endangering ISS: NASA
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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is late to its own party, and it’s not just a little bit late. NASA originally planned to have the spacecraft ready to roll as early as 2007, but a laundry list of setbacks (and stupid human errors on the part of manufacturer Northrop Grumman) have pushed the project back by over a decade and roughly 20 times its original cost.
With that much cash dumped into a project, you can bet that NASA is eager to see some hints of serious progress, especially with its tentative 2021 launch window rapidly approaching. The good news is that half of the telescope just completed a round of testing at its manufacturing facility, besting a vacuum chamber designed to put it through conditions it would experience while in space.
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The telescope is being built in two parts. One half contains the telescope itself as well as various scientific instruments, and the other half is the spacecraft platform which allows it to move and maintain its orbit. The spacecraft half is the portion that just completed its vacuum chamber testing, which put it up against temperatures ranging from negative 235 degrees Fahrenheit to 215 degrees Fahrenheit.
“The teams from Northrop Grumman and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are to be commended for a successful spacecraft thermal vacuum test, dedicating long hours to get where we are now,” Jeanne Davis, James Webb program manager, said in a statement. “This incredible accomplishment paves the way for the next major milestone, which is to integrate the telescope and the spacecraft elements.”
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Related Slideshow: Provided by Photo Services
The Hubble Space Telescope has been mankind's eyes into the ever-expanding universe for the last 25 years. The telescope has been responsible for capturing some of the most breathtaking images of the universe ever seen.
Join us as we take a look at the universe's stellar tapestry with some of the iconic images from the earth-orbitting observatory.
Pictured: Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302. What resemble the creatures dainty wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour—fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes!
This photo, made available by NASA on March 28, 2019, shows the asteroid (6478) Gault gradually self-destructing itself. It is spinning fast and the dusty material ejected from the surface has formed two long, thin, comet-like tails. The longer tail stretches more than 500,000 miles (800,000 km) and is roughly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) wide. The shorter tail is about a quarter as long. The streamers will eventually disperse into space.
NASA says now is a great time to leave Earth
When you're planning on taking a trip it pays to plan ahead, and one of the first things you should do is check the weather forecast. The same is true for space travelers, and with so many missions in the works, NASA is now gazing ahead to see what the space weather forecast is looking like for the upcoming decade, and things appear to be shaping up rather nicely.
Ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from a giant star called Herschel 36 push through the dust in curtain-like sheets in the Lagoon Nebula, a stellar nursery, located 4,000 light-years away, in this image obtained on Sept. 26, 2018.
This Sept. 26, 2018, image shows bright blue gas threading through the galaxy IC 4870 that shines because it emits radio wave and gamma-ray radiation.
A cluster of young stars resembles an aerial burst, surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust, in nebula NGC 3603 located in the constellation Carina, in this image captured in August 2009 and December 2009, and obtained on Sept. 26, 2018.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has trained its razor-sharp eye on one of the universe's most stately and photogenic galaxies, the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104 (M104). The galaxy's hallmark is a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by the thick dust lanes comprising the spiral structure of the galaxy.
NASA's Curiosity Rover Detects Spike in Methane on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered “startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air” on Wednesday in what could potentially be a sign of life on the Red Planet, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The detection of methane would be a major discovery because, as the Times noted, it breaks down within a few centuries due to sunlight and chemical reactions—meaning it would have had to have been generated quite recently in historical terms. High levels of methane could potentially be generated underground by microbes called methanogens that survive without oxygen and produce the gas as a metabolic byproduct.
The image was released by NASA to mark 400 years of telescope. It was in 1609, that the first telescope was used to peek into space by Galileo. The images of the galactic center region were released to various planetariums, museums, nature centers, libraries, and schools across the US to mark the occasion.
Globular star cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) located in the Centaurus constellation can be seen in this image provided by NASA, ESA.
This image, released for Hubble's 17th anniversary, shows a region of star birth and death in the Carina Nebula. The nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun.
Star forming pillar of gas and dust called the Cone Nebula (NGC 2264). This is the clearest image of distant universe ever seen by man.
The image was released on the 15th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 25, 2005. The image taken by Advanced Camera Surveys (ACS) is one of the largest and sharpest images taken by the telescope. The new image is so incredibly sharp they could be enlarged to billboard size and still retain all of their stunning details.
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
HOUSTON (AP) — Inside a locked vault at Johnson Space Center is treasure few have seen and fewer have touched. The restricted lab is home to hundreds of pounds of moon rocks collected by Apollo astronauts close to a half-century ago. And for the first time in decades, NASA is about to open some of the pristine samples and let geologists take a crack at them with 21st-century technology. What better way to mark this summer's 50th anniversary of humanity's first footsteps on the moon than by sharing a bit of the lunar loot. © Provided by The Associated Press The "Genesis Rock," a 4.
This image, released on the 15th anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope, shows the Eagle Nebula. This was one of the sharpest images ever taken by the telescope.
This is the most detailed visible-light image of the surounding areas of the star Fomalhaut (not visible in the image). In the image, the narrow dusty rings can be easily seen surrounding the star.
The image was taken by the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. As the name implies, Stephan’s Quintet is a group of five galaxies.
This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.
In this image taken by Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, a third red spot appeared on the surface of Jupiter. The other two spots- Great Red Spot and Red Spot Jr. can also be seen in the image.
In this image, Galaxy Hoag's Object is seen encircled by a perfect ring of hot, blue stars.
Hubble captured a small area of M17, also known as Omega or Swan Nebula. The image shows a vast expanse of glowing hydrogen accompanied by other gases.
NASA’s Voyager twins refuse to die
It's been almost 42 years since NASA sent its two Voyager spacecraft on record-breaking missions, and both of the decades-old robots are still alive.
The image of the open cluster of stars, known by the name NGC 3063, was captured by Advanced Camera for Surveys onboard Hubble. The image is spread across 19 light-years.
The undated image was released by NASA September, 2009. Taken by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope, the image shows Gravitational Lensing in Galaxy Cluster Abell 370.
Planetary nebula NGC 2818, which lies to the south of constellation Pyxis, can be seen in striking details. The spectacular structure of the planetary nebula contains the outer layers of a star that were expelled into interstellar space. NGC 2818 is often heralded as one of the Galaxy’s few planetary nebulae to be discovered as a member of an open star cluster.
The spectacular image was captured by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 of the NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. In the image, two spiral galaxies can be seen passing each other. The larger one has been designated as NGC 2207 (L) and the smaller one, situated on the right, has been catalogued as IC 2163.
This view of the Crab Nebula in visible light comes from the Hubble Space Telescope and spans 12 light-years.
The following image is a combination of observations made by the ALMA and NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope. In the image, Antennae Galaxies, located 70 million light-years away, can be seen in the Corvus Constellation (The Crow).
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured images of Comet Ison after it was predicted that it would make its closest approach to Earth on December 26, 2012. However, the comet completely disintegrated before it could be visible to the naked eye as it passed close to the Sun.
Chris Kraft, legendary NASA flight director, has died at age 95
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This 2006 image provided by NASA shows thousands of stars forming in the cloud of gas and dust known as the Orion nebula, as viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image assembled from 100 different images sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope. The original Hubble pictures are black and white photos, which are then carefully colorized.
Hubble captured this young planetary nebula located 8,000 light-years away. The image of MyCn18 was captured via Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The four moons of the planet Saturn can be seen passing in front of their parent planet.
This photograph of the coil-shaped Helix Nebula is one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever made. The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona.
Resembling a diamond-encrusted bracelet, a ring of brilliant blue star clusters wraps around the yellowish nucleus of what was once a normal spiral galaxy. The image, released on the 14th anniversary of the telescope, shows the galaxy, cataloged as AM 0644-741, which is also a member of the class of so-called "ring galaxies." It lies 300 million light-years away in the direction of the southern constellation Dorado.
Young star Pismis 24-1, located at the core of small open star cluster Pismis 24, can be seen in this image provided by NASA and ESA. The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 that extends on the arm of the Sagittarius constellation.
In this image, hundreds of blue stars can be seen wreathed by warm glowing clouds. The image is the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.
The image of distorted galaxy Ugc 10214 was captured by The Advanced Camera For Surveys Aboard Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy is also known by the name of Tadpole and resides 420 million light-years away in the constellation Draco.
This portion of the Monkey Head Nebula was imaged in the infrared using Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. The image demonstrates Hubble's powerful infrared vision and offers a tantalizing hint of what scientists can expect from the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.
Swirls of gas and dust reside in this ethereal-looking region of star formation imaged by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. This majestic view, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), reveals a region where low-mass, infant stars and their much more massive stellar neighbors reside.
This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released to mark its 18th launch anniversary. In this image, NGC 6670, an overlapping edge-on galaxy can be observed. The galaxy is located 400 million light-years away from Earth.
Hubble Space Telescope image of Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300 taken in September 2004. It is located around 69 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Eridanus.
The image shows episodes of star formation taking place across the face of nearby galaxy NGC 4214. The galaxy is currently forming clusters of new stars from its interstellar gas and dust. The picture was created from exposures taken in several color filters with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.
Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region. At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the picture spans about 200 light-years, but a tantalizing assortment of background galaxies are also visible in the sharp Hubble view. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602.
This is one of the eight galaxies observed by the astronomers to study universe’s expansion rate. The NGC 584, located 72 million light-years away in the Virgo constellation, consists of two main stars — la supernova and Cepheid variables.
A huge, billowing pair of gas and dust clouds in Hubble Space Telescope image of the supermassive star Eta Carinae.
The delicate filaments, sheets of debris from a stellar explosion in a neighboring galaxy, resemble the puffs of smoke and sparks from a summer fireworks display in this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Galaxy Zwicky 18 has been compared with the famous painting of Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde novel as it appears to look older the more astronomers study it.
To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 16 years of success, the two space agencies involved in the project, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), released this image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). This image is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of M82. The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds, and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.
A majestic face-on spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which lies 320 million light-years away in the northern constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy, known as NGC 4911, contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its center.
In this photo, released by NASA and the European Space Agency to commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope’s completion of 100,000th orbit around the Earth in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. In the image, a small portion of the nebula star cluster NGC 2074, located 170,000 light-years away, can be observed.
The Bug Nebula is one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae known. At its center lies a superhot, dying star smothered in a blanket of hailstones. The new Hubble image reveals fresh detail in the wings of this cosmic butterfly.
Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera For Survey captured this image of 2 galaxies from the constellation Coma Berenices, also known as ‘The Mice’ (NGC 4674).
Discovered more than a century ago, the Horsehead Nebula has been captured in a different light by the Hubble Space Telescope. The nebula is a small part of a vast star-forming complex in the Orion constellation.
The V838 Monocerotis had its moment of fame in 2002 when it emerged from obscurity and suddenly became 600,000 times more luminous than the Sun. The star's rise to fame was short-lived and it soon faded into obscurity.
Also known as the "Little Ghost Nebula", owing to its appearance to a small ghostly cloud. The picture captures the dying moments of the star NGC 6369.
In celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment into space, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., pointed Hubble's eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.
Saturn is seen here in ultraviolet light. Particles in Saturn's atmosphere reflect different wavelengths of light in discrete ways, causing some bands of gas in the atmosphere to stand out vividly in an image, while other areas will be very dark or dull.
The Calabash Nebula, also known as the Rotten Egg Nebula, pictured here is a spectacular example of the death of a low-mass star like the sun. The star is seen going through a rapid transformation from a red giant to a planetary nebula, blowing its outer layers of gas and dust out into the surrounding space. Astronomers rarely capture a star in this phase of its evolution because it occurs within the blink of an eye — in astronomical terms.
This colorful bubble is a planetary nebula called NGC 6818, also known as the Little Gem Nebula. It is located roughly 6,000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius.
This image captures the cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427, commonly known as WR 124, and the nebula M1-67 which surrounds it. Both objects are found in the constellation of Sagittarius and lie 15,000 light-years away. The nebula is estimated to be no more than 10,000 years old — just a baby in astronomical terms.
This picture of young stars flaring to life was released by NASA to commemorate a quarter century of solar system exploration by Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists aimed Hubble’s near-infrared Wide Field Camera 3 through a dusty veil covering the stellar nursery to capture the nebula and the dense concentration of stars in the central cluster. The star cluster is about 2 million years old and contains some of our galaxy’s hottest, brightest and most massive stars.
This shot shows a maelstrom of glowing gas and dark dust within one of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). At the heart of this cosmic cloud lies the butterfly-shaped Papillon Nebula, which is thought to be tightly linked to the early stages of massive star formation.
Dubbed a colorful holiday ornament in space, NGC 6326 is a planetary nebula with glowing wisps of outpouring gas that are lit up by a central star nearing the end of its life. This picture was taken using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.
This image shows the demise of a star like the sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white dwarf, is the white dot in the center.
This image shows a spiral galaxy known as NGC 7331, located about 45 million light-years away. Facing us partially edge-on, the galaxy showcases its beautiful arms, which swirl like a whirlpool around its bright central region.
IC 342, one of the brightest in the sky, is nicknamed the “Hidden Galaxy” because of its obscure position next to the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, which is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars and dust. The galaxy, however, is active, as indicated by the range of colors seen in the image.
The spiral galaxy NGC 3521 has a soft, woolly appearance as it is a member of a class of galaxies known as flocculent spirals. Fluffy patches of stars and dust show up here and there throughout the disks in flocculent spirals. NGC 3521 is located almost 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo.
Lying about 500 million light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, the cartwheel shape of this galaxy is the result of a violent galactic collision.
This image shows the center of the Lagoon Nebula in the constellation of Sagittarius. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.
Large Magellanic Cloud is home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left).
Shown in this image is a small section of the expanding remains of a massive star, Veil Nebula, that exploded about 8,000 years ago. The debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants and derives its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. This close-up look unveils wisps of gas, which are all that remain of what was once a star 20 times more massive than the sun.
The two-lobed Red Spider Nebula harbors one of the hottest stars known and its winds generate waves that are 62.4 billion miles high. The atoms caught in the supersonic shocks caused by the waves emit the radiation seen in the picture.
An underlying population of infant stars embedded in the nebula NGC 346 are seen forming from gravitationally collapsing gas clouds.
Roughly 50 million light-years away lies a somewhat overlooked little galaxy named NGC 1559. Pictured here by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, this barred spiral lies in the little-observed southern constellation of Reticulum (the Reticule).
This Hubble image shows the supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B. It is located 160,000 light-years from Earth in the neighboring galaxy of Large Magellanic Cloud. The actual supernova remnant is the irregular shaped dust cloud, at the upper center of the image. The gas in the lower half of the image and the dense concentration of stars in the lower left are the outskirts of the star cluster NGC 1850.
This image, released in celebration of Hubble Space Telescope's 28th anniversary in April 2018, records all that's happening at the heart of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery located 4,000 light-years away, visible in binoculars as merely a smudge of light with a bright core. At the center of this image is Herschel 36, a young star 200,000 times brighter than the sun.
This celestial lightsaber was spotted not in a galaxy far, far away, but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way. It’s inside a turbulent birthing ground for new stars known as the Orion B molecular cloud complex, located 1,350 light-years away.
An expanding halo of light is seen around a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon), located about 20,000 light-years away at the outer edge of Milky Way galaxy. The illumination of interstellar dust comes from the red star at the middle of the image.
Described by NASA as a glass-blown holiday ornament, this festive-looking planetary nebula is NGC 5189 at the final stage of its life.
Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 captures a very young star (between 300,000 and a million years of age) surrounded by material left over from the star's formation.
Ladder-like structures are seen within a dying star. Cataloged as HD 44179, this nebula is more commonly called the 'Red Rectangle' because of its unique shape and color as seen with ground-based telescopes.
Named Pillars of Creation, captured in this image is an active star-forming region within Eagle Nebula, located 7,000 light-years from earth. The blue colors in the image represent oxygen, red is sulfur, and green indicates presence of both nitrogen and hydrogen.
Captured here are the remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A. The huge swirls of debris glow with the heat generated by the passage of a shockwave from the supernova blast.
The news is a long time coming, but it’s definitely a big step in the James Webb program. Ensuring that all the components will work as planned once they make it into space is, of course, crucial, but plenty of hurdles still have to be scaled before the telescope is ready to head skyward. Integrating all of the components takes time, and new issues could crop up at any moment. Let’s hope the 2021 date sticks and NASA isn’t forced to delay it yet again.
Chris Kraft, legendary NASA flight director, has died at age 95.
Kraft virtually invented the mission control concept behind NASA's greatest space triumphs