Author: Just Space

Live: Cosmic Rays from Minnesota : Cosmic ray…

Live: Cosmic Rays from Minnesota : Cosmic rays from outer space go through your body every second. Typically, they do you no harm. The featured image shows some of these fast moving particles as streaks going through Fermilab’s NOvA Far Detector located in Ash River, Minnesota, USA. Although the image updates every 15 seconds, it only shows cosmic rays that occurred over a (changing) small fraction of that time, and mostly shows only one type of particle: muons. The NOvA Far Detector’s main purpose is not to detect cosmic rays, though, but rather neutrinos from the NuMI beam shot through the Earth from Fermilab near Chicago, Illinois, USA, 810 kilometers away. Only a few neutrino events are expected in NOvA per week, though. The NuMI / NOvA experiment is allowing humanity to better explore the nature of neutrinos, for example how frequently they change type during their trip. Cosmic rays themselves were discovered only about 100 years ago and can not only alter computer memory, but may have helped to create DNA mutations that resulted in, eventually, humans. via NASA

Central Cygnus Skyscape : Supergiant star Gamm…

Central Cygnus Skyscape : Supergiant star Gamma Cygni lies at the center of the Northern Cross, famous asterism in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Known by its proper name, Sadr, the bright star also lies at the center of this gorgeous skyscape, featuring a complex of stars, dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. The field of view spans almost 4 degrees (eight Full Moons) on the sky and includes emission nebula IC 1318 and open star cluster NGC 6910. Left of Gamma Cygni and shaped like two glowing cosmic wings divided by a long dark dust lane, IC 1318’s popular name is understandably the Butterfly Nebula. Above and left of Gamma Cygni, are the young, still tightly grouped stars of NGC 6910. Some distance estimates for Gamma Cygni place it at around 1,800 light-years while estimates for IC 1318 and NGC 6910 range from 2,000 to 5,000 light-years. via NASA

A New Era in Spaceflight : The first U.S. astr…

A New Era in Spaceflight : The first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made commercial spacecraft, to and from the International Space Station, wave after being announced, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. (via NASA)

Central Lunar Eclipse : Reddened by scattered …

Central Lunar Eclipse : Reddened by scattered sunlight, the Moon in the center is passing through the center of Earth’s dark umbral shadow in this July 27 lunar eclipse sequence. Left to right the three images are from the start, maximum, and end to 103 minutes of totality from the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The longest path the Moon can follow through Earth’s shadow does cross the shadow’s center, that’s what makes such central lunar eclipses long ones. But July 27 was also the date of lunar apogee, and at the most distant part of its elliptical orbit the Moon moves slowest. For the previous lunar eclipse, last January 31, the Moon was near its orbital perigee. Passing just south of the Earth shadow central axis, totality lasted only 76 minutes. Coming up on January 21, 2019, a third consecutive total lunar eclipse will also be off center and find the Moon near perigee. Then totality will be a mere 62 minutes long. via NASA

The Future of Space Exploration : Administrati…

The Future of Space Exploration : Administration Jim Bridenstine tours the inside of the Orion test crew capsule, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. (via NASA)

Eclipse over the Gulf of Poets : The total pha…

Eclipse over the Gulf of Poets : The total phase of the July 27 lunar eclipse lasted for an impressive 103 minutes. That makes it the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The Moon passed through the center of Earth’s shadow while the Moon was near apogee, the most distant point in its elliptical orbit. From start to finish, the entire duration of totality is covered in this composite view. A dreamlike scene, it includes a sequence of digital camera exposures made every three minutes. The exposures track the totally eclipsed lunar disk, accompanied on that night by bright planet Mars, as it climbs above the seaside village of Tellaro, Italy. In the foreground lies the calm mediteranean Gulf of La Spezia, known to some as the Gulf of Poets. In the 3rd century BCE, heliocentric astronomer Aristarchus also tracked the duration of lunar eclipses, though without the benefit of digital clocks and cameras. Using geometry he devised a way to calculate the Moon’s distance from the eclipse duration, in terms of the radius of planet Earth. via NASA

Satellite Views Fires Raging in California : M…

Satellite Views Fires Raging in California : More than a dozen wildfires are burning in the state of California, with several of them threatening life and property (via NASA)

Prepping to Launch for the Sun : NASA’s Parker…

Prepping to Launch for the Sun : NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has cleared the final procedures in the clean room before its move to the launch pad. (via NASA)

Soaring Into an Orbital Sunrise : The Internat…

Soaring Into an Orbital Sunrise : The International Space Station soars into a sunrise every 90 minutes, each and every day. (via NASA)

Lunar Eclipse over Rio : Moonrise doesn&rsquo…

Lunar Eclipse over Rio : Moonrise doesn’t usually look this interesting. For one thing, the full moon is not usually this dark – but last Friday the moon rose here as it simultaneously passed through the shadow of the Earth. For another thing, the Moon does not usually look this red – but last Friday it was slightly illuminated by red sunlight preferentially refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere. Next, the Moon doesn’t usually rise next to a planet, but since Mars was also coincidently nearly opposite the Sun, the red planet was visible to the full moon’s upper right. Finally, from the vantage point of most people, the Moon does not usually rise over Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Last Friday’s sunset eclipse, however, specifically its remarkable Micro Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse, was captured from Rio’s Botofogo Beach, along with an unusually large crowd of interested onlookers. via NASA