Page for Erskine College students currently taking astronomy
Operating as usual
: Space Station Transit
The International Space Station captured while transiting the 4% illuminated Moon during the daytime.
📷: A. James McCarthy, @cosmic_background
How exactly does a black hole help *create* stars?
Material falling in toward a black hole can sometimes get redirected by magnetic fields into outflowing gas streams and jets.
A new Hubble finding in dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10 shows an outflow of gas from a black hole slamming into a dense cocoon of gas, triggering the birth of new stars!
Find out more: https://go.nasa.gov/3IvKPIp
Image credits: NASA, ESA, Zachary Schutte (XGI), Amy Reines (XGI); Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
So do these baby stars, which shine in bright blue light in this snippet of a larger, soon-to-be-released Hubble image! This brilliant star-forming region is called the Chamaeleon Cloud Complex.
🧩 Everything’s coming together on January 29 for . Pieces will be released throughout the week before the spectacular final image reveal!
Our mirror segment deployments are complete! 🎉
Using motors, each segment was moved out about half the length of a paper clip to clear the mirrors from their launch restraints and give each segment enough space for mirror alignment.
🐞 🎶 You say you want a revolution? How about over a million? 's mirror motors made over a million revolutions this week as we moved all 132 actuators on the backs of the primary mirror segments and the secondary mirror!
💪 Fun fact: Our mirrors are made of beryllium. Even against beryllium’s bending stiffness per weight, which is six times greater than that of ordinary steel, the motors can actually individually shape the curvature of each mirror segment! [This fact was updated on January 25, based on our updated blog post.]
Read more: https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/01/19/webb-mirror-segment-deployments-complete/
Where Is Webb? 👉 webb.nasa.gov/whereiswebb
Note: This is an image from 2016 when the telescope mirrors were at NASA Goddard. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
This galaxy, NGC 976, played host to a supernova explosion! But, what exactly is a supernova?
A supernova is the biggest explosion that humans have ever seen. It’s the extremely bright, super-powerful explosion of a star. One type of supernova is caused by the “last hurrah” of a dying massive star. This happens when a star at least five times the mass of our Sun goes out with a bang!
Massive stars burn huge amounts of nuclear fuel at their cores, or centers. This produces tons of energy, so the center gets very hot. Heat generates pressure, and the pressure created by a star’s nuclear burning also keeps that star from collapsing. A star is in balance between two opposite forces. The star’s gravity tries to squeeze the star into the smallest, tightest ball possible. But the nuclear fuel burning in the star’s core creates strong outward pressure. This outward push resists the inward squeeze of gravity.
When a massive star runs out of fuel, it cools off. This causes the pressure to drop. Gravity wins out, and the star suddenly collapses. Imagine something one million times the mass of Earth collapsing in 15 seconds! The collapse happens so quickly that it creates enormous shock waves that cause the outer part of the star to explode!
Usually a very dense core is left behind, along with an expanding cloud of hot gas called a nebula. A supernova of a star more than about 10 times the size of our sun may leave behind the densest objects in the universe—black holes.
While supernovae mark the deaths of massive stars, they are also responsible for the creation of heavy elements that are incorporated into later generations of stars and planets.
Supernovae are not very common. Astronomers believe that about two or three supernovae occur each century in galaxies like our own Milky Way. Because the universe contains so many galaxies, astronomers observe a few hundred supernovae per year outside our galaxy. Space dust blocks our view of most of the supernovae within the Milky Way.
Learn more about this image: https://go.nasa.gov/3rmlKsH
“I may have been one of the first women to leave my community who was not married, and who went abroad, pursued PhD… I had no role model in that sense. I had to take that challenge on my own.”
Meet Naseem Rangwala, project scientist for our SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy: https://go.nasa.gov/3nMIi50
The James Webb Space Telescope’s target launch date is moving from Dec. 18 to no earlier than Dec. 22, following a recent incident that occurred during launch preparations.
During operations at the satellite preparation facility in Kourou, French Guiana, a clamp band that secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter was unexpectedly released, causing a vibration throughout the observatory. Additional testing is required to determine with certainty that the incident did not damage any components.
NASA and its mission partners — ESA - European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency & launch vehicle provider Arianespace — will provide an update when the testing is completed at the end of this week.
More details: https://go.nasa.gov/3r1tW38
955 Years Ago: Halley’s Comet and the Battle of Hastings Through the ages, people have attributed meaning to unusual celestial apparitions such as comets. Such is the case for perhaps the most famous comet, the one named after British astronomer Edmond Halley, who determined that periodic sightings of a comet were in fact of the same object.
World Space Week 2021: Women in Space Day Day Two: Katherine Johnson. In 1952 that a relative told Katherine Johnson about open positions at the all-black West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory. A wife and mother, Johnson had a degree in mathematics and quickly became an essential member of the Langley team that eventually became part of NASA. She did trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s May 1961 suborbital mission, America’s first human spaceflight and co authored a report laying out the equations describing an orbital spaceflight in which the landing position of the spacecraft is specified. It was the first time a woman in the Flight Research Division had received credit as an author of a research report. In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Johnson was called upon to do the work that she would become most known for. Although Glenn’s flight was run by several IBM computers across the world, he would not launch until Johnson ran the same numbers through the same equations that had been programmed into the computer, but by hand, on her desktop mechanical calculating machine.
Read more . https://www.nasa.gov/content/katherine-johnson-biography
World Space Week 2021: Women in Space Day One (A Day Late Due to FB Outage): Annie Jump Cannon. Cannon was hired by Harvard College Observatory in 1896 to analyze astronomical photographic prints, a task deemed untechnical and tedious (and could therefore be done by women). Cannon took earlier star classification systems, simplified them, and created the system that is still used today based on a star’s temperature. Her classification had just seven letters arranged by decreasing temperature: OBAFGKM and she created this device to remember it “Oh! Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me!” During her career she used her system to classify over 350,000 stars at a rate, legend has it, of just 3 seconds a star!
Read more about Cannon: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Annie-Jump-Cannon
How The James Webb Space Telescope Will Hunt For Exoplanets | Digital Trends The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch in the coming months, and when it does, it will completely revolutionize how we hunt for habitable planets.
Astronomy For Everyone - Episode 146 - Get Ready For The James Webb Space Telescope http://www.fordastronomyclub.comAstronomy For Everyone is a TV series of monthly TV shows developed by members of the Ford Amateur Astronomy Club (FAAC) targ...
Meet the Mother of Hubble, Nancy Roman, born on May 16, 1925.
Nancy Roman (1925-2018) | Astronomer / "Mother of Hubble" – NASA Solar System Exploration "If you enjoy puzzles, science or engineering may be the field for you. Scientific research and engineering is a continuous series of solving puzzles."
NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover: I will watch over you, baby!
Sol 0046 (April 7, 2021)
🎬 360VR video 8K: https://youtu.be/3HNZUEHsNcs with real sounds from the surface
🔎 360VR photo 20K: http://bit.ly/perseverance-sol0046
NASA's Mars Exploration Program
Source images credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Stitching and retouching: Andrew Bodrov / 360pano.eu
Landing of Perseverance photographed by MRO
Perseverance's Landing ... Seen From Orbit! - Universe Today The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has done it again. The imaging team was able to capture the Perseverance rover as it descended through the Martian atmosphere, hanging under its parachute. Stunning. If you feel you’ve seen something like this before, you have. HiRISE (High Reso...
LIVE: Landing of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind.
NASA's Perseverance rover faces 'seven minutes of terror' before it lands on Mars Despite having bridged a gap of nearly 300 million miles between Earth and Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover still has its most perilous moments ahead.
Watch Online: Mars Landing Information on how to watch the landing of the Perseverance rover.
Japan's Martian moon mission may reveal clues to Mars' past Phobos, one of the Martian moons, may actually hold key information about what Mars was like in the past, according to new research, because it was right in the path of the Martian atmosphere as it escaped out into space.
Largest asteroid to fly past Earth in 2021 "potentially hazardous"—here's why The giant space rock will make a close approach to our planet on March 21. About 25,000 near-Earth objects have been identified so far, according to NASA.
Second Earth Trojan Asteroid Discovered - Sky & Telescope A recently discovered asteroid appears to be an Earth Trojan, orbiting a gravitationally stable area with only one other known occupant.
Reminder: NASA Lends Moon Rock for Oval Office Display A Moon Rock Now Sits in the Oval Office of the White House A Moon rock from the Lunar Sample Laboratory at our Johnson Space Center is on loan to the White House. The Moon rock went on display i
See the moon and Mars shine close together on Thanksgiving eve tonight See the moon and Mars rendezvous in the evening sky this Wednesday (Nov. 25).
The closest alignment between Jupiter and Saturn in 800 years will happen on December 21, 2020.
We're About to Witness a Super-Rare Planetary Alignment Not Seen in 800 Years Star-gazers are in for a treat over Christmas, as Jupiter and Saturn will get closer to each other in Earth's night sky than they have been for nearly 800 years. Set up your telescope, hope for a clear night, and get ready.
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