Keyword: orion

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- LL Orionis: When Cosmic Winds Collide

    05/22/2016 5:31:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | Sunday, May 22, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What created this great arc in space? This arcing, graceful structure is actually a bow shock about half a light-year across, created as the wind from young star LL Orionis collides with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion's stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged sun. As the fast stellar wind runs into slow moving gas a shock front is formed, analogous to the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed. The slower...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared

    05/17/2016 2:52:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | Tuesday, May 17, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion is a colorful place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. Long exposure, multi-wavelength images like this, however, show the Orion Nebula to be a busy neighborhood of young stars, hot gas, and dark dust. This digital composite features not only three colors of visible light but four colors of infrared light taken by NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope as well. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the Trapezium - four of the brightest stars in the nebula. Many of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The SONG and the Hunter

    05/05/2016 6:49:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, May 05, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near first quarter, the Moon in March lights this snowy, rugged landscape, a view across the top of Tenerife toward La Palma in the Canary Islands Spanish archipelago. The large Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain, looms over the horizon. Shining above are familiar bright stars of Orion, the Hunter. Adding to the dreamlike scene is the 1 meter diameter prototype telescope of the global network project called the Stellar Observations Network Group or SONG. The SONG's fully robotic observatory was captured during the 30 second exposure while the observatory dome, with slit open, was rotated across the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion in Red and Blue

    04/13/2016 2:15:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | Wednesday, April 13, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: When did Orion become so flashy? This colorful rendition of part of the constellation of Orion comes from red light emitted by hydrogen and sulfur (SII), and blue-green light emitted by oxygen (OIII). Hues on the featured image were then digitally reassigned to be indicative of their elemental origins -- but also striking to the human eye. The breathtaking composite was painstakingly composed from hundreds of images which took nearly 200 hours to collect. Pictured, Barnard's Loop, across the image bottom, appears to cradle interstellar constructs including the intricate Orion Nebula seen just right of center. The Flame Nebula...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion's Belt and Sword over Teide's Peak

    03/29/2016 9:38:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, March 28, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The southern part of Orion, the famous constellation and mythical hunter, appears quite picturesque posing here over a famous volcano. Located in the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa, the snow-peaked Teide is one of the largest volcanoes on Earth. Lights from a group planning to summit Teide before dawn are visible below the volcano's peak. In this composite of exposures taken from the same location one night last month, the three iconic belt stars of Orion are seen just above the peak, while the famous Orion Nebula and the rest of Orion's sword are visible beyond...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Phoenix Aurora over Iceland

    03/16/2016 4:37:13 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: All of the other aurora watchers had gone home. By 3:30 am in Iceland, on a quiet night last September, much of that night's auroras had died down. Suddenly though, a new burst of particles streamed down from space, lighting up the Earth's atmosphere once again. This time, unexpectedly, pareidoliacally, they created an amazing shape reminiscent of a giant phoenix. With camera equipment at the ready, two quick sky images were taken, followed immediately by a third of the land. The mountain in the background is Helgafell, while the small foreground river is called Kaldá, both located about 30...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Reflections on the 1970s

    01/13/2016 2:59:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | January 13, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers, like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula. Found along Orion's sword just north of the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud about 1,500 light-years away, but are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars. In this sharp color image a portion of the Orion Nebula...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geminids of the South

    12/17/2015 12:18:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | December 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Earth's annual Geminid meteor shower did not disappoint, peaking before dawn on December 14 as our fair planet plowed through dust from active asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Captured in this southern hemisphere nightscape the meteors stream away from the shower's radiant in Gemini. To create the image, many individual frames recording meteor streaks were taken over period of 5 hours. In the final composite they were selected and registered against the starry sky above the twin 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes of Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Rigel in Orion, and Sirius shine brightly as the Milky Way stretches toward...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- When Gemini Sends Stars to Paranal

    12/12/2015 9:52:57 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | December 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rain down on planet Earth. Tonight, the Geminds reach their peak and could be quite spectacular. The featured blended image, however, captured the shower's impressive peak in the year 2012. The beautiful skyscape collected Gemini's lovely shooting stars in a careful composite of 30 exposures, each 20 seconds long, from the dark of the Chilean Atacama Desert over ESO's Paranal Observatory. In the foreground Paranal's four Very Large Telescopes, four Auxillary Telescopes, and the VLT Survey telescope are all open and observing. The skies...
  • Orion Gets Beefed Up, Silver-Metallic Thermal Protection Coating for Next Flight on EM-1

    12/01/2015 8:08:44 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on November 30, 2015 | Ken Kremer
    In the wake of NASA's supremely successful inaugural test flight of the Orion deep space capsule on the EFT-1 mission in Dec. 2014, NASA is beefing up the critical thermal protection system (TPS) that will protect astronauts from the searing heats experienced during reentry as the human rated vehicle plunges through the Earth’s atmosphere after returning from ambitious expeditions to the Moon and beyond. Based in part on lessons learned from EFT-1, engineers are refining Orion's heat shield to enhance the design, ease manufacturing procedures and significantly strengthen is heat resistant capabilities for the far more challenging space environments and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A 212-Hour Exposure of Orion

    11/22/2015 11:03:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | November 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, an extremely long exposure was taken over many clear nights in 2013 and 2014. After 212 hours of camera time and an additional year of processing, the featured 1400-exposure collage spanning over 40 times the angular diameter of the Moon emerged. Of the many interesting details that have become visible, one that particularly draws the eye is Barnard's Loop, the bright red circular filament arcing down...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Orion Nebula M42

    11/04/2015 11:49:43 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are on the right in this sharp and colorful image that includes the bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulas represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Within the well-studied stellar nursery, astronomers have also identified what appear to be numerous infant planetary systems. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Over and Under Tibet

    10/05/2015 3:44:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This night was so serene you could see Orion rise downwards. The unusual spectacle was captured in this single-exposure image, featuring a deep sky around the famous constellation of Orion that appeared both above -- and reflected in -- a peaceful lake in the Gyirong Valley of Tibet, China. Taken last year at this time, the three belt stars of Orion can be seen lined up almost vertically above and below the Himalayan Mountains. The complex Orion Nebula can be seen to the belt stars' right, while the red-glowing circular structure surrounding Orion is Barnard's Loop. Also, the bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Spring

    03/26/2015 3:55:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | March 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As spring comes to planet Earth's northern hemisphere, familiar winter constellation Orion sets in early evening skies and budding trees frame the Hunter's stars. The yellowish hue of cool red supergiant Alpha Orionis, the great star Betelgeuse, mingles with the branches at the top of this colorful skyscape. Orion's alpha star is joined on the far right by Alpha Tauri. Also known as Aldebaran and also a giant star cooler than the Sun, it shines with a yellow light at the head of Taurus, the Bull. Contrasting blue supergiant Rigel, Beta Orionis, is Orion's other dominant star though, and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Clouds of Orion the Hunter

    03/16/2015 5:05:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cradled in cosmic dust and glowing hydrogen, stellar nurseries in Orion the Hunter lie at the edge of giant molecular clouds some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning about 30 degrees, this breath-taking vista stretches across the well-known constellation from head to toe (left to right) and beyond. At 1,500 light years away, the Great Orion Nebula is the closest large star forming region, here visible just right and below center. To its left are the Horsehead Nebula, M78, and Orion's belt stars. Sliding your cursor over the picture will also find red giant Betelgeuse at the hunter's shoulder, bright blue...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Return at Sunrise

    03/14/2015 6:29:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Thursday, shortly after local sunrise over central Asia, this Soyuz spacecraft floated over a sea of golden clouds during its descent by parachute through planet Earth's dense atmosphere. On board were Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Touch down was at approximately 10:07 p.m. EDT (8:07 a.m. March 12, Kazakh time) southeast of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The three were returning from low Earth orbit, after almost six months on the International Space Station as members of the Expedition 41 and Expedition 42 crews.
  • Astroquizzical: What happens when Betelgeuse explodes?

    02/25/2015 6:57:23 AM PST · by C19fan · 31 replies
    Starts with a Bang! ^ | February 24, 2015 | Jillian Scudder
    Question: If Betelgeuse explodes right now, could we see it with naked eye? It is over 400 light years away, so you might think that people would see it long after it actually happens? Betelgeuse is already one of the brightest stars in the night sky, sitting somewhere around the 8th or 9th brightest star in the night sky. (These lists don’t include the Sun, which is somewhat obviously always the brightest object in the sky.) It sits in the constellation Orion, along with a number of other bright stars, and makes up the left hand shoulder of the warrior....
  • Apollo 15 command module pilot Alfred M. Worden: ‘NASA took a step backwards’

    01/24/2015 5:50:40 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 23.01.2015 | Cornelia Bormann
    He’s one of a handful of men to have orbited the moon. Today, Alfred M. Worden says NASA’s on the wrong track. He also tells DW why he likes the moon’s dark side and what he wanted most—but didn't get—upon returning. […] “We took a step backwards back in the late 70s when they decided to build the space shuttle. That was, in my opinion, a mistake. The shuttle was a very complicated machine. It did some pretty unusual, clearly spectacular things, like launch vertically and land horizontally. But from a technical standpoint, we launched a 280,000 pound machine to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Hunter, the Bull, and Lovejoy

    01/14/2015 8:19:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | January 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Heading north, Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is putting on its best show for comet watchers now, with moonlight absent from mid-January's early evening skies. An easy binocular target and just visible to the unaided eye from dark sites, the comet sweeps across the constellation Taurus the Bull in this deep night skyscape. The starry scene was captured just two days ago on January 12, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, planet Earth. In fact, the head of Taurus formed by the V-shaped Hyades star cluster points toward Lovejoy at the right. The comet's greenish coma and tail streaming in the anti-sunward...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy before a Globular Star Cluster

    12/31/2014 11:47:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy has become visible to the unaided eye. To see the comet, just go outside an hour or so after sunset and look for a fuzzy patch to the right of Orion's belt. Binoculars and a star chart may help. Pictured here, Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was captured three days ago passing nearly in front of M79, the globular star cluster visible as the bright spot slightly above and to the left of the comet's green-hued coma. The nucleus of Comet Lovejoy is a giant dirty iceberg that is shedding gas into a long and intricate ion tail,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- This Comet Lovejoy

    12/25/2014 4:29:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | December 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, is framed like a cosmic Christmas tree with starry decorations in this colorful telescopic portrait, snapped on December 16th. Its lovely coma is tinted green by diatomic C2 gas fluorescing in sunlight. Discovered in August of this year, this Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Columba, heading for Lepus south of Orion and bright enough to offer good binocular views. Not its first time through the inner Solar System, this Comet Lovejoy will pass closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy over the Great Wall

    02/20/2014 3:29:47 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky, a delicate apparition in binoculars or small telescopes. The comet, a relic of the solar system's formative years, is seen here rising in the morning twilight on January 12 among the stars of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Posing near the comet is bright star Alpha Ophiuchi, also known as Rasalhague, from Arabic "the head of the serpent collector". Of course, the serpentine shape below is the ancient Great Wall of China, along the Panlongshan section northeast of Beijing. Panlongshan is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lovejoy in the New Year

    01/04/2014 12:44:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | January 03, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A rival to vanquished Comet ISON in 2013, Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still sweeps through early morning skies, captured in this starry scene on New Year's day. The frame stretches some 3.5 degrees (about 7 full moons) across a background of faint stars in the constellation Hercules. Only just visible to the naked eye from dark sites before dawn, Lovejoy remains a good target for the northern hemisphere's binocular equipped skygazers. But this deep exposure shows off Lovejoy's beautiful tails and tantalizing greenish coma better than binocular views. Not a sungrazer, this Comet Lovejoy made its closest approach to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy Over a Windmill

    12/09/2013 5:28:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | December 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Lovejoy continues to be an impressive camera comet. Pictured above, Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) was imaged above the windmill in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire in southern France with a six-second exposure. In the foreground is a field of lavender. Comet Lovejoy should remain available for photo opportunities for northern observers during much of December and during much of the night, although it will be fading as the month progresses and highest in the sky before sunrise. In person, the comet will be best viewed with binoculars. A giant dirty snowball, Comet Lovejoy last visited the inner Solar System about 7,000 years ago,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy through Mörby Castle Ruins

    12/04/2013 8:11:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This new comet is quite photogenic. Comet Lovejoy, discovered only three months ago, was imaged through ruins of ancient Mörby Castle in Sweden last week sporting a green-glowing coma and tails trailing several degrees. The past few weeks have been an unusually active time for comet watchers as four comets were visible simultaneously with binoculars: ISON, Lovejoy, Encke, and LINEAR. C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) comet is currently visible to the unaided eye from a dark location. As Monday's new Moon will provide little glare, the next few days provide a good time to see Comet Lovejoy as it reaches its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy Before Galaxy M63

    12/02/2013 8:49:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | December 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy was captured last week passing well in front of spiral galaxy M63. Discovered only three months ago and currently near its maximum brightness, Comet Lovejoy can be seen near the Big Dipper from dark northerly locations before dawn with the unaided eye. An unexpected rival to Comet ISON, C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), pictured above, is currently sporting a large green coma and a beautifully textured ion tail. Comet Lovejoy is now headed back to the outer Solar System but should remain a good sight in binoculars for another few weeks. Conversely, spiral galaxy M63, lies far in the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy with M44

    11/09/2013 11:29:50 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | November 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: While anxiously waiting for Comet ISON to brighten further as it falls toward the Sun, northern skygazers can also find three other bright comets in the east before dawn. In fact, Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 is currently the morning sky's brightest. Only discovered in September and not a sungrazing comet, this Comet Lovejoy is nearing the edge of naked-eye visibility and might be spotted from very dark sky sites. Sporting a greenish coma and tail in this telescopic view taken on November 7, Comet Lovejoy is about 0.5 AU from our fair planet and 1.2 AU from the Sun....
  • Video: Close Call in the Corona

    06/09/2013 11:10:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 June 2013 | Sid Perkins
    Credit: Video courtesy of Cooper Downs Deep inside the sun's atmosphere, temperatures reach millions of degrees—so hot that even the best-shielded spacecraft can't go there (even at night). But natural objects that pass exceptionally close to the sun do provide scientists opportunities to directly probe the solar corona. Enter sun-grazing comets, such as comet Lovejoy, which whizzed within 140,000 kilometers of the sun's surface in mid-December 2011 (as seen in the first 20 seconds of the video). When a comet is far from the sun, its tail acts like a weather vane in the solar wind (the torrent of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Little Planet Lovejoy

    01/10/2012 9:47:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | January 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once a bright apparition in the southern hemisphere dawn Comet Lovejoy is fading, but its long tail still stretches across skies near the south celestial pole. Captured on the morning of December 30th, the comet appears near edge of this little planet as well. Of course, the little planet is actually planet Earth and the image was created from a 12 frame mosaic used to construct a spherical panorama. The type of stereographic projection used to map the image pixels is centered directly below the camera and is known as the little planet projection. Stars surrounding this little planet...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy and the ISS

    12/30/2011 9:36:05 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On December 24, Comet Lovejoy rose in dawn's twilight, arcing above the eastern horizon, its tails swept back by the solar wind and sunlight. Seen on the left is the comet's early morning appearance alongside the southern Milky Way from the town of Intendente Alvear, La Pampa province, Argentina. The short star trails include bright southern sky stars Alpha and Beta Centauri near the center of the frame, but the long bright streak that crosses the comet tails is a little closer to home. Waiting for the proper moment to start his exposure, the photographer has also caught the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy over Paranal

    12/28/2011 2:28:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | December 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) survived its close encounter with the Sun earlier this month, taking its place among wonders of the southern skies just in time for Christmas. Seen here before sunrise from Paranal Observatory in Chile, the sungrazing comet's tails stretch far above the eastern horizon. Spanning over 20 degrees they rise alongside the plane of the our Milky Way galaxy. A breathtaking spectacle in itself, Lovejoy performs on this celestial stage with southern stars and nebulae, including the Large and Small Magellanic clouds right of the telescope dome, and the glow of zodiacal light along the left...
  • New Comet 2007 E2(Lovejoy)-Destination unknown ?

    03/17/2007 6:28:40 AM PDT · by Orlando · 31 replies · 2,005+ views
    spaceweather.com ^ | 3-17-07 | spaceweather
    New Comet(Lovejoy): On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thomlands, Australia discovered a new comet (C/2007 E2) in the southern constellation Indus. Remarkably, to make the find he used not a telescope but just a camera- a Canon 350D. At Lovejoy's request John Frummund of Gisborme, New Zealand confirmed the comet with this photo taken through a 0.41-m reflector. The new comet is green, 9th-magnitude, and located approximately at right ascension 20h 42m 55s, declination -50o 43' 14" (ref: International Astronomical union Circular 8819). A detailed ephemeris is not yet available, so it is impossible to say how bright Comet Lovejoy...
  • New Green Comet Set for April Show (Comet Lovejoy - C/2007 E2)

    04/01/2007 4:09:11 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 2,370+ views
    A new comet has recently been discovered, and like the brilliant Comet McNaught from earlier this year, this latest discovery belongs to an Australian: Comet Lovejoy (C/2007 E2). On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thornlands, Queensland, Australia, discovered a 9th-magnitude comet in the southern constellation Indus the Indian. In reporting the find to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lovejoy described the comet as having a coma that appeared distinctly green in color, with a slight extension to the southwest. Remarkably, Lovejoy made the discovery not with a telescope but using an off-the-shelf digital camera! In...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy: Sungrazing Survivor

    12/16/2011 9:18:57 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | December 17, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Like most other sungrazing comets, Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) was not expected to survive its close encounter with the Sun. But it did. This image from a coronograph onboard the sun-staring SOHO spacecraft identifies the still inbound remnants of the tail, with the brilliant head or coma emerging from the solar glare on December 16. The Sun's position, behind an occulting disk to block the overwhelming glare, is indicated by the white circle. Separated from its tail, Comet Lovejoy's coma is so bright it saturates the camera's pixels creating the horizontal streaks. Based on their orbits, sungrazer comets are...
  • Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun, NASA Says

    12/16/2011 8:02:01 AM PST · by edpc · 28 replies
    Space.com via Yahoo News ^ | 16 Dec 2011 | Mike Wall
    A newfound comet defied long odds on Thursday (Dec. 15), surviving a suicidal dive through the sun's hellishly hot atmosphere, according to NASA scientists. Comet Lovejoy plunged through the sun's corona at about 7 p.m. EST (midnight GMT on Dec. 16), coming within 87,000 miles (140,000 kilometers) of our star's surface. Temperatures in the corona can reach 2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius), so most researchers expected the icy wanderer to be completely destroyed.
  • NASA Photo of the Day: Comet Lovejoy

    12/27/2011 5:00:17 AM PST · by EnjoyingLife · 6 replies
    ChamorroBible.org ^ | December 21, 2011 | Daniel C. Burbank, NASA Astronaut and International Space Station Expedition 30 Commander
    2250x1497 pixels, 3250x2162 pixels, 4256x2832 pixels. Via http://ChamorroBible.org/gpw/gpw-201112.htm
  • Watch the New Year's Skies for a Green Comet

    12/30/2014 2:20:17 PM PST · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    National Geographic ^ | Published December 30, 2014 | Andrew Fazekas
    Comet Lovejoy is brightening faster than expected, putting on a show you can see for yourself this holiday season. Comet Lovejoy, snapped here through a telescope on December 16, is streaking through the night sky this holiday season. Just in time for the holidays, the skies are serving up a special cosmic gift: a brightening comet that may not have been in our part of the solar system for nearly 12,000 years. Discovered only this past August, comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is now quickly brightening to naked-eye visibility as it moves from the deep southern sky into prime viewing location...
  • Bright Comet Lovejoy Rings in the New Year! (Closest approach 7JAN2015)

    01/01/2015 7:01:59 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 34 replies
    Slate.com ^ | 30DEC2014 | Phil Plait
    2014 hasn’t even ended yet and we already have one of the best comets of 2015 showing off in our skies: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), already visible to the naked eye and predicted to get brighter over the next couple of weeks! This is the fifth comet discovered by Australian "amateur" astronomer Terry Lovejoy. In 2011, one of “his” comets made a spectacular pass through the sky. This one may not be quite so ostentatious, but its location and brightness make it a winner. On Jan. 7 it will pass about 70 million kilometers (44 million miles) from Earth, and it’s...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- At the Heart of Orion

    01/02/2015 2:10:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Tightly gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster. Ultraviolet ionizing radiation from the Trapezium stars, mostly from the brightest star Theta-1 Orionis C powers the complex star forming region's entire visible glow. About three million years old, the Orion Nebula Cluster was even more compact in its younger years and a dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier age...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Reflections on the 1970s

    12/20/2014 6:50:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | December 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers, like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula. Found along Orion's sword just north of the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud about 1,500 light-years away, but are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars. In this sharp color image a portion of the Orion Nebula...
  • SpaceX Invents an X-Wing ... Sort Of: Introducing Falcon 9R's Newest Trick

    12/14/2014 2:27:44 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 25 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | 14DEC2014 | Rich Smith
    NASA's picture-perfect Orion launch to Mars was all the rage last week. Praise was heaped upon key NASA contractors Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) -- and deservedly so. Between Orion's success, and the companies' announcement that their United Launch Alliance joint venture will develope a "next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage" rocket to power launches to near-Earth orbit, Boeing and Lockheed are on a hot streak. But amid all the hullaballoo at ULA, you might have forgotten there's another space launch company that is building even more innovative products. Its name is SpaceX. It goes up,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Launch

    12/06/2014 1:08:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | December 06, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Headed for two orbits of planet Earth and a splashdown in the Pacific, Orion blazed into the early morning sky on Friday at 7:05am ET. The spacecraft was launched atop a United Launch Aliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its first voyage into space on an uncrewed flight test, the Orion traveled some 3,600 miles from Earth, about 15 times higher than the orbital altitude of the International Space Station. In fact, Orion traveled farther into space than any spacecraft designed for astronauts since the Apollo missions to the Moon. The Orion...
  • Orion: a last-ditch effort by a fading empire that will never strike back

    12/05/2014 3:46:31 PM PST · by SMCC1 · 29 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 12/5/2014 | Jo Pappalardo
    If the new space race was like the movies, this week would be The Empires Strikes Back. On Friday, after a weather delay, Nasa launched a very cool space capsule, in what at first blush looked like another Apollo mission. It rose on a massive rocket spewing superheated exhaust like some creature from a Peter Jackson movie. All went well just now – and given the expertise of engineers performing what was essentially an update of a 1970s Apollo mission, that much was expected: a four-seat capsule called Orion will detach any minute now, and soar around the Earth twice,...
  • Orion launch 12/5/14 Live Thread

    12/05/2014 3:05:27 AM PST · by Monty22002 · 61 replies
    NASA TV ^ | 12/5/2014
    2nd Launch attempt. http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv The launch window opens at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT) and runs through 9:44 a.m. EST (1444 GMT).
  • NASA is sending humans to Mars

    12/04/2014 12:33:27 PM PST · by Mellonkronos · 22 replies
    Science Alert ^ | December 2, 2014 | BEC CREW
    [I love the idea of going to Mars. We humans are explorers and pioneers. But if government does this, it will be just too costly, like the Apollo Moon program. Elon Musk of the private SpaceX company already has put rockets into space and he wants to send settlers to Mars, including himself. So since governments have screwed up this planet, how about reserving Mars for free people?!] Breaking: NASA is sending humans to Mars NASA has announced that a test launch of their Orion space capsule will take place on Thursday, in the first step of a mission that...
  • Live NASA launches Orion space capsule in landmark test mission LIVE

    12/04/2014 4:09:34 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 36 replies
    Fox News ^ | 2014-12-04 | Fox News
    Live NASA launches Orion space capsule in landmark test mission
  • Cool [sic] Infographics Explain 8 Key Events on Orion’s EFT-1 Test Flight

    11/14/2014 9:18:49 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    universetoday.com/ ^ | on November 14, 2014 | Ken Kremer
    After moving out to the launch pad earlier this week, NASA’s first Orion spacecraft was hoisted atop the most powerful rocket in the world and awaits blastoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida early December on a critical test flight that will pave the way for human missions to deep space. NASA’s cool new set of infographics above and below explain 8 key events on Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) The two-orbit, four and a half hour EFT-1 flight around Earth will lift the Orion spacecraft and its attached second stage to an orbital altitude of 3,600 miles, about 15 times higher...
  • NASA’s new Orion spaceship set for first test flight

    12/03/2014 8:16:45 PM PST · by Citizen Zed · 13 replies
    kwgn ^ | 12-3-2014 | DAVID MITCHELL
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It looks like a throwback to the Apollo era, but NASA’s new spaceship is roomier and designed to go far beyond the moon — it’s expected to carry astronauts to an asteroid and eventually Mars. This is a huge, historic deal for NASA and U.S. space science. It’s also a big deal for two Colorado companies that are critical to the Orion program. United Launch Alliance builds the rocket that will carry Orion into space. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor that’s building the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Orion spaceship. Photo: NASA Orion is scheduled to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion in Gas, Dust, and Stars

    11/13/2014 2:37:10 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The brightest three stars on the far left are indeed the famous three stars that make up the belt of Orion. Just below Alnitak, the lowest of the three belt stars, is the Flame Nebula, glowing with excited hydrogen gas and immersed in filaments of dark brown dust. Below and left of the frame center and just to the...
  • NASA to Unveil Giant New Rocket Design (Obama is now a rocket scientist)

    09/14/2011 7:43:02 AM PDT · by Loud Mime · 53 replies · 1+ views
    Fox News ^ | 9/14/2011 | Not Identified
    The Obama administration on Wednesday will unveil its much-delayed general plans for its rocket design, called the Space Launch System, which will cost about $35 billion, according to senior administration sources and information obtained by The Associated Press. It will carry astronauts in a capsule on top and start test launching in six years. The size, shape and heavier reliance on liquid fuel as opposed to solid rocket boosters is much closer to Apollo than the recently retired space shuttles, which were winged, reusable ships that sat on top of a giant liquid fuel tank, with twin solid rocket boosters...