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nasa's Media: Millions AND billions! This enormous galaxy cluster, seen by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubbl

Millions AND billions! This enormous galaxy cluster, seen by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns! Nicknamed “El Gordo” (“the Fat One” in Spanish), it is the largest, hottest and brightest X-ray galaxy ever discovered in the distant Universe. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe that are bound together by gravity. They form over billions of years as smaller groups of galaxies slowly come together. In 2012, observations showed that El Gordo is actually composed of two galaxy clusters colliding at millions of kilometers per hour. The formation of galaxy clusters depends heavily on dark matter and dark energy; studying such clusters can therefore help shed light on these elusive phenomena. In 2014, Hubble found that most of El Gordo’s mass is concealed in the form of dark matter. Evidence suggests that El Gordo’s “normal” matter — largely composed of hot gas that is bright in the X-ray wavelength domain — is being torn from the dark matter in the collision. The hot gas is slowing down, while the dark matter is not. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #galaxy #cluster #galaxycluster #milliion #billion #telescope #elgordo #observe #science #discover #darkmatter #universe #astrophysics #solarsystem #light #beautiful #pictureoftheday

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nasa's Media: “Pardon Me!”…This supermassive black hole, billions of times the mass of our Sun, was caught by our

“Pardon Me!”…This supermassive black hole, billions of times the mass of our Sun, was caught by our Chandra X-Ray Observatory doing some cosmic snacking then "burping" 🗣— twice! This image shows the galaxy, in a composite image with data from Chandra (purple), and the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) (red, green and blue). Chandra detected a bright, point-like source of X-ray emission from the galaxy, a telltale sign of the presence of a supermassive black hole millions or billions of times more massive than our sun. The X-rays are produced by gas heated to millions of degrees by the enormous gravitational and magnetic forces near the black hole. Some of this gas will fall into the black hole, while a portion will be expelled in a powerful outflow of high-energy particles. By comparing images from Chandra and Hubble, the team determined that the black hole is located in the center of the galaxy, the expected location for such an object. The X-ray data also provide evidence that the supermassive black hole is embedded in a heavy veil of dust and gas. Credit: X-ray NASA/CXC/University of Colorado/J. Comerford et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #chandra #xray #visible #light #blackhole #observatory #billions #sun #universe #galaxies #supermassive #data #science #beautiful #pictureoftheday

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nasa's Media: Saturn’s rings, made of countless icy particles, form a translucent veil in this view from our Cass

Saturn’s rings, made of countless icy particles, form a translucent veil in this view from our Cassini spacecraft. That little dot peeking through the ring gap is Saturn’s tiny moon Pan, which is about 17 miles across. Beyond, we can see the arc of Saturn itself, its cloud tops streaked with dark shadows cast by the rings. This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 12, 2016, at a distance of approximately 746,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Pan. Although the Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017, an enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons – will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come. Want to learn more about the giant ringed planet? Check out the latest Gravity Assist Podcast to explore all of Saturn’s mysteries: go.nasa.gov/GravityAssistSaturn Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute #nasa #space #saturn #pan #cassini #spacecraft #moon #rings #planet #solarsystem #explore #discover #pictureoftheday #veil #ice #icy #beautiful #mission #science #data

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nasa's Media: Bright and early this morning, a SpaceX #Dragon cargo vehicle departed its month-long home on the I

Bright and early this morning, a SpaceX #dragoncargo vehicle departed its month-long home on the International Space Station (@iss). Astronauts Joe Acaba and Scott Tingle of NASA released the spacecraft from the station's robotic arm at 4:58 a.m. EST. Dragon, the only space station resupply spacecraft currently able to return to Earth intact, carried nearly 4,100 pounds of cargo and science experiments back to our home planet. Currently, six humans are living and working on the space station, which orbits our planet at 17,500 mph. Located 250 miles above Earth, the crew conducts important science and research that will help send us deeper into the solar system than ever before. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #spacex #spacecraft #science #research #depart #orbit #earth #crew #astronauts #video #departure #cargo #experiments

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nasa's Media: The rich, colorful tapestry of Jupiter's southern hemisphere abound with vibrant cloud bands and st

The rich, colorful tapestry of Jupiter's southern hemisphere abound with vibrant cloud bands and storms was beheld by our Juno (@NasaJuno) spacecraft from 8,453 miles above during its tenth close flyby of the giant planet on Dec. 16, 2017. The dark region in the far left is called the South Temperate Belt. Intersecting the belt is a ghost-like feature of slithering white clouds, the largest feature in Jupiter's low latitudes. Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. All of JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products! Just visit go.nasa.gov/JunoCam. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill #nasa #space #juno #junocam #spacecraft #jupiter #planet #solarsystem #aurora #clouds #storm #swirls #turbulent #atmosphere #pictureoftheday #beautiful #textured #explore #discover #science #southern #hemisphere

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nasa's Media: Looking for planets outside our solar system, also known as exoplanets, just got a little more comp

Looking for planets outside our solar system, also known as exoplanets, just got a little more complicated. Scientists typically search for patterns like rings, arcs and spirals in disks of dust and gas around young stars because those patterns are often considered a sign that an unseen planet orbits a star. But this new simulation shows that planets aren’t the only explanation — the dust and gas in the disk can interact to make those patterns, too. The light from the star strips the dust of electrons, which heats up the gas, which traps more dust, creating a cycle. Lumps of dust grow into spirals, rings and arcs. No planets necessary. Of course, planets could still be the cause, but the new study cautions against jumping to conclusions! Credit: NASA/Alex Richert #nasa #space #simulation #stars #space #exoplanets #astronomy #astrophysics #spiral #ring #arc #dust #science #animation #light #orbit

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nasa's Media: Behold the gold! The massive, 18-segment primary mirror of our James Webb Space Telescope (@NASAWeb

Behold the gold! The massive, 18-segment primary mirror of our James Webb Space Telescope (@NASAWebb) will allow us to see out to 13 billion years of cosmic time. Spying some of the very first luminous objects formed in the universe, Webb will not only change what we know…but will change how we think about ourselves. Ahead of its launch next year, the telescope is being put to the test! In order to ensure it can withstand the extreme environment of space, Webb was put into a cryogenic chamber at our Johnson Space Center (@NASAJohnson) for about 100 days. These cryogenic tests, performed in a massive thermal vacuum chamber that is capable of reaching temperatures of -440°F/-262°C, mimic the extreme coldness of space. Once in space, Webb will travel more than 1 million miles from Earth, where it will need to operate perfectly in theses frigid conditions. One of the main science goals of Webb is to look back through time when galaxies were young. This giant, gold-plated primary mirror will allow Webb to do just that. Check out the people in the picture for scale! A telescope’s sensitivity, or how much detail it can see, is directly related to the size of the mirror area that collects light from the objects being observed. A larger area collects more light, just like a larger bucket collects more water in a rain shower. A mirror the size of Webb’s has never before been launched into space! Why is the mirror gold? Gold improves the mirror's reflection of infrared light. Learn more about this mission at nasa.gov/webb. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn #nasa #space #webb #jameswebb #jwst #telescope #mirror #gold #cryogenic #test #cold #freezing #billion #solarsystem #universe #science #technology #johnsonspacecenter #chamber #pictureoftheday #beautiful #nofilter

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nasa's Media: Just days after a powerful nor’easter dumped snow across a thousand miles of the U.S. East Coast, a

Just days after a powerful nor’easter dumped snow across a thousand miles of the U.S. East Coast, another blast of bitterly cold air spilled into the region. One of our Earth observing satellites saw the many rivers, bays and estuaries that have frozen over, including some that only rarely have ice. Swipe to see them all! The first image shows ice in the Delaware Bay – between New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware – and the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Delaware. Ice in the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina is visible in the second image. The third image shows Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, with ice in Buzzards Bay and Nantucket Sound. The Terra satellite that captured these views explores the connections between Earth's atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand Earth's climate and climate change and to map the impact of human activity and natural disasters on communities and ecosystems. Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response/Adam Voiland #nasa #space #earth #ice #winter #cold #rivers #bays #estuaries #frozen #icy #noreaster #snow #weather #satellite #earthscience #planet #delaware #northcarolina #maryland #chesapeake #albemarle #rhodeisland #buzzardsbay #nantucket #sound #science

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nasa's Media: Mind-bending, color-enhanced swirls of Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere can be seen in this Juno spac

Mind-bending, color-enhanced swirls of Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere can be seen in this Juno spacecraft (@NASAJuno) image of the planet. Juno captured this picture of colorful, textured clouds in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere on Dec. 16, 2017 at a distance of about 8,292 miles above the cloud tops. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. All of JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products! Just visit www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam. Our Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016 with a goal to understand the origin and evolution of the planet, look for a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in the atmosphere and observe the planet’s auroras. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran #nasa #space #juno #junocam #spacecraft #jupiter #planet #solarsystem #aurora #clouds #storm #swirls #turbulent #atmosphere #pictureoftheday #beautiful #textured #explore #discover #science #northern #hemisphere

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nasa's Media: Beautiful, sparkling arms swirl outward from a bar slicing through this galaxy’s center in this ima

Beautiful, sparkling arms swirl outward from a bar slicing through this galaxy’s center in this image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble). It is classified as an active galaxy, which means that it hosts an active galactic nucleus – a compact region at a galaxy’s center where material is dragged towards a supermassive black hole. As this black hole devours the surrounding matter it emits intense radiation, causing it to shine brightly. But this galaxy is more exotic still. It essentially acts as a giant astronomical laser that also spews out light at microwave, not visible, wavelengths — this type of object is dubbed a megamaser (maser being the term for a microwave laser). Megamasers such as this can be some 100 million times brighter than masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way! Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #telescope #galaxy #universe #solarsystem #swirl #arms #beautiful #center #active #microwave #visible #light #bright #pictureoftheday #astronomy #science

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nasa's Media: What’s up in the night sky for the rest of January? On the morning of Jan. 6, look in the south-sou

What’s up in the night sky for the rest of January? On the morning of Jan. 6, look in the south-southeast sky 45 minutes before sunrise to see Jupiter and fainter Mars. Mars is only one-sixth the apparent diameter of Jupiter, but the two offer a great binocular and telescopic view with a pretty color contrast. They remain in each other’s neighborhood from Jan. 5-8. Also, to end the month, a great total lunar eclipse! It favors the western U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii and British Columbia on Jan. 31. Australia and the Pacific Ocean are well placed to see a major portion of the eclipse–if not all of it. Watch to find out when and where to look up! Credit: NASA #nasa #nasagif #meteors #eclipse #astronomy #science #moon #lunareclipse #upinthesky #january #nightsky #constellations #jupiter #mars #january #whatsup

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nasa's Media: Blistering cold temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds are battering coastal areas from Florida

Blistering cold temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds are battering coastal areas from Florida to Maine thanks to the powerful nor-easter seen in this NOAA GOES-16 satellite image. This Geocolor image captured the deepening storm off the East coast of the United States on Jan. 4, 2018, at 16:22 UTC. Geocolor is a multispectral product composed of True Color (using a simulated green component) during the daytime, and an Infrared product that uses bands 7 and 13 at night. During the day, the imagery looks approximately as it would appear when viewed with human eyes from space. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) – R Series is a collaborative development and acquisition effort between NOAA and NASA. The GOES-16 satellite, the first of the series, provides continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s western hemisphere and space weather monitoring. Credit: @NOAA #nasa #space #storm #winter #winterishere #earth #snow #wind #cold #satellite #noaa #clouds #blizzard2018 #freezing #ice #bombcyclone #pictureoftheday

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nasa's Media: Do you see the❓rotate into view in this video of the Sun? This question mark shaped feature that wa

Do you see the❓rotate into view in this video of the Sun? This question mark shaped feature that was seen Dec. 21 – 22 is an elongated coronal hole, which are areas of open magnetic field that appear darker in extreme ultraviolet light. These holes are the source of streaming plasma that we call solar wind. While this exercise is akin to seeing shapes in clouds, it is fun to consider what the sun might be asking? Perhaps what the new year will bring? Credit: NASA #nasa #space #sun #solar #question #questionmark #curious #coronal #solarwind #plasma #streaming #ultraviolet #light #earth #solarsystem #science #video

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nasa's Media: What’s up in the night sky this January?  A meteor shower! The Quadrantid meteor shower lasts for j

What’s up in the night sky this January? A meteor shower! The Quadrantid meteor shower lasts for just a few hours on Jan. 4, coinciding with a very bright, nearly full moon that will sadly wash out most of the meteors. ProTip: You can look in any direction to see all meteor showers. When you see one of these meteors, hold a shoestring along the path it followed. The shoestring will lead you back to the constellation containing the meteor's origin. Watch to find out when and where to look up! Credit: NASA #nasa #nasagif #meteors #eclipse # moon #orionids #leonids #quadrantids # lunareclipse #upinthesky #january #nightsky #constellations # jupiter #mars #january #whatsup

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nasa's Media: “Of all celestial bodies within reach or view, as far as we can see, out to the edge, the most wond

“Of all celestial bodies within reach or view, as far as we can see, out to the edge, the most wonderful and marvelous and mysterious is turning out to be our own planet Earth. There is nothing to match it anywhere, not yet anyway.” —Lewis Thomas This image was taken by NavCam 1 on September 22, 2017, as our OSIRIS-REx—Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer—spacecraft completed an Earth gravity-assist maneuver—flying close enough to our planet to steal some momentum and speed up the craft on its way asteroid Bennu. This is the view from 69,000 miles away. The purpose of our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is to map and return samples from asteroid Bennu, a carbon-rich hunk of rock that might contain organic materials or molecular precursors to life. NavCam images will track starfields and landmarks on Bennu to determine the spacecraft position during mission operations. Image Credit: NASA #NASA #space #earth #solarsystem #exploration #astropics #osirisrex #research #starfield #blackandwhite #bennu

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nasa's Media: Happy New Year’s Eve! A lunar event will greet us all in the New Year. Tomorrow, January 1, the ful

Happy New Year’s Eve! A lunar event will greet us all in the New Year. Tomorrow, January 1, the full Moon will be at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth, making it a supermoon. Sometimes, it’s hard for our eyes to distinguish these small changes in size when the Moon is high amidst the vastness of the night sky. But any time you catch a full Moon as it rises or sets, while it’s suspended low on the horizon beaming through the silhouettes of trees or buildings, its apparent size might make you do a double-take. You almost feel as though you could reach out, grab the glowing orb, and drop it into your coffee cup. Even more so if it’s a supermoon. Bundle up, get outside and look up! #happynewyear This picture was taken during the Dec. 3, 2017 supermoon. An aircraft taking off from Ronald Reagan National Airport was seen passing in front of the Moon as it rose. The Jan. 1 full Moon is the second of three consecutive supermoons. The first occurred on Dec. 3 and the third will happen on Jan. 31, 2018. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #nasa #space #moon #supermoon #lunar #earth #january #newyear #newyearseve #orbit #orbit #solarsystem

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nasa's Media: Beneath its icy exterior shell, Saturn's moon Enceladus hides a global ocean of liquid water. This

Beneath its icy exterior shell, Saturn's moon Enceladus hides a global ocean of liquid water. This 2011 view shows a plume of water ice particles and other material spewing from the moon's south pole via fractures in the ice, backdropped by Saturn's rings glowing brightly in the sunlight. The bright speck to the right of Enceladus is a distant star. The Cassini spacecraft took this image during its time at Saturn, which ended on Sept. 15, 2017. While the Cassini spacecraft is gone, an enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons – will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute #nasa #space #saturn #cassini #spacecraft #enceladus #planets #solarsystem #astronomy #observe #science #picoftheday #exploration

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nasa's Media: We posted more than 360 images and videos to our Instagram account in 2017. This video showcases th

We posted more than 360 images and videos to our Instagram account in 2017. This video showcases the 10 most liked posts from the year. From images of our beautiful planet Earth to the 2017 total solar eclipse, we shared the universe with our more than 29 million followers on Instagram. Which one is your favorite? Thank you for a spectacular year! Credit: NASA #nasa #space #like #2017 #year #newyear #images #instagram #beautiful #earth #blackhole #spacestation #astronauts #science #solarsystem

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nasa's Media: What did the astronauts on the International Space Station (@ISS) see when they looked upon the Ear

What did the astronauts on the International Space Station (@ISS) see when they looked upon the Earth from orbit in 2017? Swipe to see some of the top Earth observations from the year, as chosen by our Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at the Johnson Space Center (@NASAJohnson) in Houston. Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 55 years. Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken more than 1.5 million photographs of the Earth. Today, the International Space Station continues this tradition of Earth observation from human-tended spacecraft. Operational since November 2000, the space station is well suited for documenting Earth features. The orbiting laboratory maintains an altitude of about 250 miles above the Earth, providing an excellent stage for observing most populated areas of the world. #NASA #space #internationalspacestation #spacestation #iss #earth #2017 #photography #photo #solarsystem #exploration #astropics #astronaut

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nasa's Media: Glowing wisps of outpouring gas, lit up by a central star nearing the end of its life, looks like a

Glowing wisps of outpouring gas, lit up by a central star nearing the end of its life, looks like a colorful holiday ornament in space. This image, captured by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), shows the vivid blue and red hues of a planetary nebula that is located about 11,000 light-years from Earth. When a star ages and the red giant phase of its life comes to an end, it starts to eject layers of gas from its surface leaving behind a hot and compact white dwarf. Sometimes this ejection results in elegantly symmetric patterns of glowing gas, but this planetary nebula is much less structured. Planetary nebulae are one of the main ways in which elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are dispersed into space after their creation in the hearts of stars. Eventually some of this out-flung material may form new stars and planets. In this iamge, the vivid blue and red hues come from material including ionized oxygen and hydrogen glowing under the action of the fierce ultraviolet radiation from the still hot central star. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #nebula #planetary #univese #solarsystem #telescope #lightyears #ornament #holidays #merrychristmas #blue #red #colorful #beautiful #pictureoftheday

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nasa's Media: The varying hues seen in this image of a crater slope on Mars represent different rock types. Impac

The varying hues seen in this image of a crater slope on Mars represent different rock types. Impact craters expose the subsurface materials on the steep slopes of the Red Planet. However, these slopes often experience rockfalls and debris avalanches that keep the surface clean of dust, revealing a variety of complexions, like in this enhanced-color image from our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The bright reddish material at the top of the crater rim is from a coating of the Martian dust. The long streamers of material are from downslope movements. Also revealed in this slope are a variety of bedrock textures, with a mix of layered and jumbled deposits. This sample is typical of the Martian highlands, with lava flows and water-lain materials depositing layers, then broken up and jumbled by many impact events. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona #nasa #space #mars #martian #redplanet #crater #impact #slope #rockfall #debris #pictureoftheday #beautiful #mro #orbiter #explore #planet #solarsystem #color

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nasa's Media: The beautiful space between Earth and the International Space Station (@iss) was immortalized by NA

The beautiful space between Earth and the International Space Station (@iss) was immortalized by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei while orbiting 250 miles above the planet we call home. Vande Hei posted this majestic image to social media on Dec. 17 saying, "Hello Little Rock, Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, Birmingham, Miami, and many places in between! #SpaceIsCloserThanYouThink" Currently, there are six people living and working on the space station. They are not only conducting cutting-edge research aboard the orbital laboratory; their images of Earth help monitor conditions on our planet, and also showcase its beauty. Image Credit: NASA/Mark Vande Hei #nasa #space #spacestation #astronauts #picoftheday #crew #orbit #earth #laboratory #science #research #journey #beautiful

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nasa's Media: We successfully captured a 🐉 Dragon! SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft was successfully captured and ins

We successfully captured a 🐉 Dragon! SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft was successfully captured and installed at the International Space Station (@ISS) on Sunday, Dec. 17. The commercial spacecraft launched on Dec. 15 carrying around 4,800 pounds of supplies and research to the orbiting laboratory. Including experiments that will study muscle atrophy, the Sun’s energy output, orbital debris and plant biology. Station crew members Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba used the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon, then handed command over to ground controllers to attach Dragon to the station, seen here. Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in Jan. 2018 and return to Earth with more than 3,600 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies. Credit: NASA #nasa #iss #spacestation #dragon #spacex #experiments #cargo #resupply #science #astronauts #space #cargo #internationalspacestation #biology #laboratory

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nasa's Media: Galaxies glow like fireflies in this spectacular image taken by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHu

Galaxies glow like fireflies in this spectacular image taken by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble). This flickering swarm exhibits exceptional properties, including a large and bright radio halo and extraordinarily high temperatures. This cluster of galaxies is a member of the Abell catalog, an all-sky catalog of over 4,000 galaxy clusters. This one in particular happens to be the hottest cluster recorded in the catalog! Observing massive clusters like this can help us study dark matter and provide a new perspective on the distant Universe via phenomena such as gravitational lensing. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #space #nasa #galaxy #cluster #fireflies #glow #spectacular #hubble #spothubble #spacetelescope #flickering #swarm #abell #darkmatter #science #beautiful #pictureoftheday

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nasa's Media: When the Orion spacecraft hurtles toward Earth during its return from deep-space, the capsule’s sys

When the Orion spacecraft hurtles toward Earth during its return from deep-space, the capsule’s system of 11 parachutes will slow it from 300 mph to 20 mph for splashdown in the ocean in about 10 minutes. We put it to the test! Through a series of tests in the Arizona desert, engineers have refined Orion’s parachutes and worked to certify them for flights with astronauts, including the recent successful test Dec. 13, seen here, that looked at a failure case in which only two of the systems three orange and white main parachutes deploy after several other parachutes in the system used to slow and stabilize Orion endure high aerodynamic stresses. But behind the scenes, engineers are working hard to understand and perfect the system that must be able to work across a broad range of potential environmental conditions and bring the crew home since the astronauts inside descend with their lives hanging by a series of threads during the parachute-assisted end of future Orion missions. Image credit: U.S. Army @exploreNASA #orion #nasa #space #spacecraft #capsule #nasaorion #parachute #test #arizona #returntoearth

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nasa's Media: Liftoff of science and supplies! This morning at 10:36 a.m. EST, a SpaceX #Dragon cargo spacecraft

Liftoff of science and supplies! This morning at 10:36 a.m. EST, a SpaceX #Dragon cargo spacecraft left Earth carrying more than 4,800 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the International Space Station (@iss). This super science-heavy flight will deliver experiments and equipment that will study phenomena on the Sun, materials in microgravity, space junk and more. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station early Sunday morning. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #dragon #liftoff #launch #cargo #science #supplies #wow #fire #smoke #orbit #spacestation #astronauts #experiments #rocket #spacex

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nasa's Media: Welcome to Earth! Three people landed back on planet Earth this morning after spending more than fo

Welcome to Earth! Three people landed back on planet Earth this morning after spending more than four months in space. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade), European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy landed in their Soyuz spacecraft in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 at 3:37 a.m. EST. Together, the crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, as well as Earth and other physical sciences aboard the International Space Station (@iss). Their time aboard marked the first long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment of the International Space Station from three to four, allowing us to maximize time dedicated to research on the station. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #nasa #space #spacecraft #touchdown #landing #astronauts #crew #earth #home #return #souyz #microgravity #laboratory #trip #travel #esa #roscosmos #planetearth #science

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nasa's Media: Did you know that stellar explosions and their remains -- “supernova remnants” -- are a source of c

Did you know that stellar explosions and their remains -- “supernova remnants” -- are a source of chemical elements essential for life here on Earth? A new Chandra X-ray Observatory image captures the location of several vital elements like silicon (red), sulfur (yellow), calcium (green) and iron (purple), located on Cassiopeia A -- a supernova remnant ~11,000 light years from Earth. Chandra’s sharp X-ray vision allows astronomers to gather detailed information about the elements that objects like Cas A produce. For example, they are not only able to identify many of the elements that are present, but how much of each are being expelled into interstellar space. Oxygen is the most abundant element in the human body (about 65% by mass), calcium helps form and maintain healthy bones and teeth, and iron is a vital part of red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body. All of the oxygen in the Solar System comes from exploding massive stars. About half of the calcium and about 40% of the iron also come from these explosions, with the balance of these elements being supplied by explosions of smaller mass, white dwarf stars. Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO #nasa #space #chandra #supernova #explosion #remnants #oxygen #carbon #chemical #elements #beautiful #pictureoftheday #picoftheday #universe #solarsystem #calcium #stars #earth #xray #observatory #astronomy #astronomers

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nasa's Media: Don’t be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image may s

Don’t be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy actually displays some explosive tendencies. In October of 2011, a cataclysmic burst of high-energy gamma-ray radiation — known as a gamma-ray burst — was detected coming from the region of sky containing this galaxy. Astronomers believe that the galaxy was the host of the burst, given that the chance of a coincidental alignment between the two is roughly 1 in 10 million. At a distance of around 185 million light-years from Earth, it was the second-closest gamma-ray burst ever detected. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #galaxy #spiral #astrophysics #solarsystem #universe #stars #formation #picoftheday #photooftheday #science #astronomy #beautiful

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nasa's Media: Heads-up, Earthlings! The annual Geminid meteor shower has arrived, peaking overnight Dec. 13-14. I

Heads-up, Earthlings! The annual Geminid meteor shower has arrived, peaking overnight Dec. 13-14. It's a good time to bundle up! Then, go outside and let the universe blow your mind! The Geminids are active every December, when Earth passes through a massive trail of dusty debris shed by a weird, rocky object named 3200 Phaethon. The dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth's atmosphere in a flurry of "shooting stars." The Geminids can be seen with the naked eye under clear, dark skies over most of the world, though the best view is from the Northern Hemisphere. Observers will see fewer Geminids in the Southern Hemisphere, where the radiant doesn't climb very high over the horizon. Skywatching is easy. Just get away from bright lights and look up in any direction! Give your eyes time to adjust to the dark. Meteors appear all over the sky. Video credit: NASA #nasa #space #science #astronomy #video #meteorshower #geminids #meteors #skywatching #shootingstar #shootingstars

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nasa's Media: As massive wildfires continue to rage in southern California, our satellites, people in space and a

As massive wildfires continue to rage in southern California, our satellites, people in space and aircraft are keeping an eye on the blazes from above. This data and imagery not only gives us a better view of the activity, but also helps first responders plan their course of action. A prolonged spell of dry weather primed the area for major fires. Powerful Santa Ana winds fanned the flames and forecasters with the LA office of the National Weather Service warned that the region is in the midst of its strongest and longest Santa Ana wind event of the year. These winds are hot, dry and ferocious. They can whip a small brush fire into a raging inferno in just hours. Astronaut Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) shared these images from the International Space Station (@ISS) over the last two days showing the smoke plumes from space, saying "Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires." Image credits: NASA/@AstroKomrade #wildfire #nasa #iss #spacestation #astropics #earth #california #fire #cafires #photooftheday #picoftheday #smoke #thomasfire #santaana #space

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