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Meet #UltimaThule! After flying by the most distant object ever explored our New Horizons spacecraft beamed back the first pictures and science data. These new images taken from as close as 17000 miles revealed that this object is a &ampldquocontact binary&amprdquo consisting of two connected spheres. End to end Ultima Thule measures 19 miles in length. The team has dubbed the larger sphere &ampldquoUltima&amprdquo and the smaller sphere &ampldquoThule&amprdquo. The team says that the two spheres likely joined as early as 99 percent of the way back to the formation of the solar system colliding no faster than two cars in a fender-bender. It likely formed over time as a rotating cloud of small icy bodies started to combine. Eventually 2 larger bodies remained and slowly spiraled closer until they touched forming the bi-lobed object we see today. 
Studying Ultima Thule is helping us understand how planets form &ampmdash both those in our own solar system and those orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Data from the New Years Day flyby will continue to arrive over the next weeks and months with much higher resolution images yet to come.

Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute 
#nasa #space #kuiperbelt #ultimathule #science #explore #spacecraft #newhorizons #newyearseve #newyearsday #discovery #contactbinary #data #spheres #solarsystem.

Meet #UltimaThule! After flying by the most distan ...

Happy Holidays &ampamp Merry Christmas! This @NASAHubble Space Telescope image of a bipolar star-forming region reminds us of a soaring celestial snow angel. The outstretched &ampldquowings&amprdquo aren&amprsquot snow at all but are actually twin lobes of super-hot gas that glows blue. Additionally a ring of dust and gas orbits the star like a belt. 
Just admire the space-angel that lies nearly 2000 light-years from us and appears in a relatively isolated region of the Milky Way galaxy. A massive young star is responsible for the furious activity we see in the nebula. Hubbles sharp resolution reveals ripples and ridges in the gas as it interacts with the cooler interstellar medium in this February 2011 view. Visible narrow-band filters that isolate the hydrogen gas were combined with near-infrared filters that show structure in the cooler gas and dust.

Image credit NASA ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA
#nasa #hubble #universe #astronomy #angel #christmas #science #space #milkyway #galaxy #star #gas #picoftheday.

Happy Holidays &amp Merry Christmas! This @NASA ...

&ampldquoThe vast loneliness up here of the Moon is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth. The Earth from here is a grand oasis to the big vastness of space.&amprdquo &ampmdash Apollo 8 astronaut Jim Lovell

Fifty years ago today this iconic Earthrise photo was taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders. Before humanity ventured to the Moon our view of our home planet consisted of what we could see from horizon to horizon. It was not until this stunning photo along with many others came back to Earth with the three Apollo 8 astronauts in December 1968 that we saw Earth as a vibrant delicate blue and white globe d by the velvety blackness of space. This iconic picture shows Earth peeking out from beyond the lunar surface as the first crewed spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon.

Image credit NASA
#space #earth #nasa #earthrise #moon #lunar #earth #iconic #picoftheday #1968 #apollo8 #apollo #astronaut #astronomy #planet #science.

&ldquoThe vast loneliness up here of the Moon i ...

Starry night🌟4000 light years from Earth the Lagoon Nebula is seen with its swirling clouds of gas and dust in a pattern reminiscent of Van Gogh. This nebula provides astronomers an excellent opportunity to study the properties of very young stars. Many infant stars give off copious amounts of high-energy light including X-rays which are seen in the Chandra X-ray data in pink to reveal the infant stars budding in the surreal nightscape. The X-ray data have been combined with an optical image of Messier 8 from the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center in Arizona. 
Image credit X-ray NASA/CXC/SAO Optical Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

#universe #stars #nebula #nasa #space #chandra #xray #optical #telescope #astronomy #science.

Starry night🌟4000 light years from Earth the La ...

A celestial holiday wreath made of sparkling lights! Swaddled in a gossamer cocoon of reflective dust and illuminated the super star in the center of this image from the @NASAHubble Space Telescope is ten times more massive than the Sun and 200 times larger. The super star is also one of the most luminous with an average intrinsic brightness is 15000 times greater than the Suns luminosity.

This star also rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the star propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a &ampquotlight echo.&ampquot Even though light travels through space fast enough to span the gap between Earth and the Moon in a little over a second the nebula is so large that reflected light can actually be photographed traversing the nebula.

By observing the fluctuation of light itself as well as recording the faint reflections of light pulses moving across the nebula astronomers are able to measure these light echoes and pin down a very accurate distance. The distance to the super star has been narrowed down to 6500 light-years with a margin of error of only one percent. Image credit NASA ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA &ampndash Hubble/Europe Collaboration Acknowledgement H. Bond STScI and Pennsylvania State University
#nasa #hubble #star #nebula #flicker #light #space #universe #science #astronomy #telescope #picoftheday.

A celestial holiday wreath made of sparkling light ...

Using the @NASAHubble Space Telescopes past observations of six massive galaxy clusters astronomers saw that intracluster light &ampmdash the diffuse glow between galaxies in a cluster &ampmdash traces the path of dark matter illuminating its distribution more accurately than existing methods that observe X-ray light. 
Hubbles powerful sensitivity and resolution captures a soft blue haze called intracluster light among innumerable galaxies in the cluster pictured here. It is the byproduct of interactions between galaxies that disrupt their structures. In the chaos individual stars are thrown free from their home galaxies to realign themselves with the gravity of the overall cluster. 
This is also where the vast majority of dark matter the unobservable material that makes up the majority of the universe resides. X-ray light indicates where groups of galaxies are colliding but not the underlying structure of the cluster. This makes it a less precise tracer of dark matter.

Credits NASA ESA and M. Montes University of New South Wales

#nasa #space #astronomy #darkmatter #universe #stars #galaxies #cluster #hubble #nasahubble #picoftheday.

Using the @NASAHubble Space Telescopes past observ ...

😮 This is a supernova remnant in a nearby galaxy the Small Magellanic Cloud. It was produced by a massive star that exploded. X-rays from our Chandra X-Ray Observatory @NASAChandraXRay are shown in blue and purple and have helped astronomers confirm that most of the oxygen in the universe is synthesized in massive stars. The amount of oxygen seen here is enough for thousands of solar systems. This image also contains optical data from NASAs Hubble Space Telescope @NASAHubble and the Very Large Telescope in Chile -- seen in red and green.

Image credit X-ray NASA/CXC/ESO/F.Vogt et al Optical ESO/VLT/MUSE Optical NASA/STScI
#nasa #space #galaxy #supernova #remnant #science #astronomy #universe #astrophysics #hubble #chandra #xray #smallmagellaniccloud #picoftheday #stars #oxygen.

😮 This is a supernova remnant in a nearby galax ...

Enjoy this while you can! 🌞 The sun is approaching its minimum level of activity in its 11-year solar cycle meaning we won&amprsquot be seeing very many active regions like this for quite a while. 
Active regions on the Sun are spots that have particularly strong magnetic fields. In this visualization &ampmdash which comes from the extreme ultraviolet wavelength &ampmdashyou can clearly see the numerous magnetic loops of charged particles rapidly changing their shapes and directions. 
This active region appeared on Dec. 5 2018 and grew to average size in the days after. This was the only active region observed that week. So soak it up while you can! 😎

Credit Solar Dynamics Observatory NASA

#NASA #SolarSystem #Sun #Ultraviolet #ExtremeUltraviolet #SolarCycle #Universe #Beyond #Galaxy #Space #SolarRays #Light #UltravioletLight #UltravioletImage #ActiveRegion #SunSpot #SoakUpTheSun #Magnetic #Heliophysics.

Enjoy this while you can! 🌞 The sun is approach ...

Behold Moon rise! 
Captured by a crew member on the International Space Station @ISS on November 22 2018 the full Moon is seen as the orbiting outpost was 252 miles above the Indian Ocean about 1000 kilometers due south of India. 
The Moon is the fifth largest moon in the solar system and the only place beyond Earth where humans have set foot. The brightest and largest object in our night sky the Moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planets wobble on its axis leading to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years. The Moon was likely formed after a Mars-sized body collided with Earth.

Image credit NASA
#nasa #space #moon #solarsystem #earth #planet #world #science #astronomy #picoftheday #photo #lunar #luna.

Behold Moon rise! Captured by a crew member on th ...

Here comes the Sun&amphellip 🌞

Heliophysicists Scientists who study the Sun! have been waiting more than 60 years for a mission like this to be possible. 
Parker Solar Probe is journeying closer to the Sun than any of our spacecraft before in order to help us solve the solar mysteries waiting in the corona the Sun&amprsquos outer atmosphere. The solar wind along with the Sun&amprsquos magnetic field envelops the inner part of our solar system. Occasionally large amounts of this solar material spews out in a coronal mass ejection. These can create geomagnetic storms in space which can cause power outages disrupt satellite electronics and even endanger astronauts! Therefore it&amprsquos critical to understand the fundamental physics that power our Sun. 
This image from Parker Solar Probe shows a coronal streamer &ampmdash a structure of solar material within the corona that usually indicate regions of increased solar activity. Parker Solar Probe was about 16.9 million miles from the Sun&amprsquos surface when this image was taken on Nov. 8 2018. The bright object near the center of the image is Mercury! 
As Parker Solar Probe circles closer and closer to the Sun we look forward to retrieving data to help us address some of our longest unanswered questions about our Sun! ☀️ Credits NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

#NASA #ParkerSolarProbe #SolarSystem #Sun #SolarWind #Heliophysics #SolarCycle #Universe #Beyond #Galaxy #Space #SolarRays #Light #Magnetic #Star #SolarEncounter #Corona #Storms #Geomagnetic #SolarProbe #Mercury #SoakUpTheSun #Spacecraft #Science #Discovery.

Here comes the Sun&hellip 🌞 Heliophysicists ...

Parking in space FULL!

These photos taken by @Astro_Alex_ESA of the @EuropeanSpaceAgency show four different spacecraft docked to the International Space Station @ISS. Currently there are 6 spacecraft docked to our orbiting laboratory - the maximum amount that can be parked at one time. These spacecraft arrived at the station to deliver tons of science hardware crew supplies fuel and much more! 
Credit ESA/NASA-A.Gerst

#nasa #space #astronaut #spacestation #views #earth #earthviews #planet #orbit #spacecraft #internationalspacestation #home #picoftheday #northropgrumman #cygnus #spacex #dragon #soyuz #progress.

Parking in space FULL! These photos taken by @Ast ...

How much effort do you put into YOUR selfies? How many photos do you need to take before you&amprsquore ready to share? Well our InSight Mars lander is no stranger to the painstaking selfie process. The spacecraft&amprsquos first selfie had to be stitched together from 11 separate images taken from a camera on its robotic arm. 
In the selfie you can easily see the lander&amprsquos solar panel and science instruments including weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. In the coming weeks scientists will begin the strenuous process deciding where in the &ampldquoworkspace&amprdquo &ampmdash a 14-by-7-foot piece of terrain in front of the spacecraft &ampmdash the instruments should be placed. Then they will command InSight&amprsquos robotic arm to carefully set the seismometer and heat-flow probe in the chosen s. The more level the ground the more easily InSight&amprsquos heat-flow probe will reach its goal of 16 feet underneath the surface of Mars. 
There&amprsquos a lot to be excited about for InSight&ampmdash and the selfie is just the start of it!

Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

#NASA #InSight #Mars #MarsLanding #NASAInSight #JPL #RedPlanet #Martian #Space #SolarSystem #Planet #ElysiumPlanitia #Robot #Robotics #Science #Astrophysics #Aerospace #PlanetaryScience #Exploration #Selfie #NoFilter.

How much effort do you put into YOUR selfies? How ...

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