Mission Control Celebrates Success of Apollo 11 

Hubble Sees a Stranger in the Crowd

The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is the largest of the Zodiac constellations, and the second largest overall after Hydra (The Water Snake). Its most appealing feature, however, is the sheer number of galaxies that lie within it. In this picture, among a crowd of face- and edge-on spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies, lies NGC 4866, a lenticular galaxy situated about 80 million light-years from Earth.

Lenticular galaxies are somewhere between spirals and ellipticals in terms of shape and properties. From the picture, we can appreciate the bright central bulge of NGC 4866, which contains primarily old stars, but no spiral arms are visible. The galaxy is seen from Earth as almost edge-on, meaning that the disc structure — a feature not present in elliptical galaxies — is clearly visible. Faint dust lanes trace across NGC 4866 in this image, obscuring part of the galaxy’s light.

To the right of the galaxy is a very bright star that appears to lie within NGC 4866’s halo. However, this star actually lies much closer to us; in front of the galaxy, along our line of sight. These kinds of perspective tricks are common when observing, and can initially deceive astronomers as to the true nature and position of objects such as galaxies, stars, and clusters.

This sharp image of NGC 4866 was captured by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, an instrument on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

European Space Agency Mission: Hubble

Hubble Space Telescope

Walt Whitman described a “strange, huge meteor-procession” in a poem entitled “Year of Meteors (1859-60)” published in his landmark work Leaves of Grass.

Nor forget I sing of the wonder, the ship as she swam up my bay,
Well-shaped and stately, the Great Eastern swam up my bay, she was 600 feet long,
Her moving swiftly surrounded by myriads of small craft I forget not to sing;
Nor the comet that came unannounced out of the north flaring in heaven,
Nor the strange huge meteor-procession dazzling and clear shooting over our heads.
(A moment, a moment long, it sail’d its balls of earthly light over our heads,
Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone.)

By Walt Whitman ..


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The Apollo 12 lunar landing mission.
Source: Beast 1

Thomas O’Brien sent SPACE.com this image of the Milky Way over Machu Picchu on July 4, 2013. He captured the photo from Putucusi Mountain, which is located across the Urubamba River Valley from the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru. Machu Picchu is the dark, saddle-shaped area between mountains on right side of the image where the arc of the Milky Way intersects with the horizon.
Credit: Thomas O’Brien | www.tmophoto.com

1. NASA Orion spacecraft blasts off atop 1st Space Launch System rocket in 2017 – attached to European provided service module – on an ambitious mission to explore Deep Space some 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, where an asteroid could be relocated as early as 2021. Credit: NASA

2. Orion crew module separates from Space Launch System (SLS) upper stage. Credit: NASA

3. Concept of NASA spacecraft with Asteroid capture mechanism deployed to redirect a small space rock to a stable lunar orbit for later study by astronauts aboard Orion crew capsule. Credit: NASA.

4. Asteroid Capture in Progress

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/103368/nasa-alters-1st-orionsls-flight-bold-upgrade-to-deep-space-asteroid-harbinger-planned/#ixzz2ZMkFPGrC

Astronaut Chris Cassidy Takes a Photo

Composite photo of ISON as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 30th.

All of the gold on Earth might have come from cosmic crashes between superdense dead stars, new research suggests.

The origin of the universe’s gold is mysterious, since it’s not formed within stars like lighter elements such as carbon and iron. But the mystery may now be solved, as a new study posits that the collision of two neutron stars — the tiny, incredibly dense cores of exploded stars — could catalyze the creation of the valuable metal.

- See more at: http://www.space.com/21995-gold-origins-neutron-star-collisions.html#sthash.1IfI48hj.dpuf


The Last Photograph of an Astronaut on the Surface of the Moon. Jack Schmitt, LMP of Apollo 17, 12:40 a.m. December 14, 1972.

The Milky Way and airglow seen in the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Portugal

Neptune’s Newest Moon. Astronomers have spotted a tiny object circling Neptune. This find, designated S/2004 N 1, brings the planet’s moon count to 14.

Saturn seen on Saturday. A view from Cassini of south pole: clouds, translucent rings, shadows