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It's a long ways down. This is a view from the vantage point of astronaut Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) during his spacewalk Friday outside the International Space Station (@ISS). Shane posted this photo and wrote, Two Interacting Galaxies Defying Cosmic Convention - The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking view of two interacting galaxies located some 60 million light-years away. They are so close that they are being distorted by the gravitational forces between them, and are twisting themselves into the unusual and unique shapes seen here.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#hubble #nasa #space #hst #nasabeyond #astronomy #galaxy #science Dark Spot and Jovian 'Galaxy' - This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian Mount Etna Erupting from Space: The crew aboard the International Space Station (@ISS) had a nighttime view from orbit of Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, erupting on March 19, 2017. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro) of ESA (@europeanspaceagency) captured this image and shared it with his social media followers, writing, [ARTIST CONCEPT] Some 290 million years ago, a star much like the sun wandered too close to the central black hole of its galaxy. Intense tides tore the star apart, which produced an eruption of optical, ultraviolet and X-ray light that first reached Earth in 2014. Now, a team of scientists using observations from our Swift satellite have mapped out how and where these different wavelengths were produced in the event, named ASASSN-14li, as the shattered star's debris circled the black hole.

This artist's rendering shows the tidal disruption event named ASASSN-14li, where a star wandering too close to a 3-million-solar-mass black hole was torn apart. The debris gathered into an accretion disk around the black hole. 
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

#nasa #space #nasabeyond #blackhole #swift #astronomy #galaxy #science From the vantage point of the International Space Station (@ISS), astronaut Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) captured this image over the Earth and wrote, Looking west over the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  #EarthArt from the amazing space station.' The space station serves as the world's leading laboratory for conducting cutting-edge microgravity research, and is the primary platform for technology development and testing in space to enable human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars.

Credit: NASA

#nasa #iss #space #earth #spacestation #astronauts Glittering Frisbee Galaxy: This image from Hubble's shows a section of a spiral galaxy located about 50 million light-years from Earth. We tend to think of spiral galaxies as massive and roughly circular celestial bodies, so this glittering oval does not immediately appear to fit the visual bill. What's going on? Imagine a spiral galaxy as a circular frisbee spinning gently in space. When we see it face on, our observations reveal a spectacular amount of detail and structure. However, the galaxy frisbee is very nearly edge-on with respect to Earth, giving it an appearance that is more oval than circular. The spiral arms, which curve out from the galaxy's dense core, can just about be seen.

Although spiral galaxies might appear static with their picturesque shapes frozen in space, this is very far from the truth. The stars in these dramatic spiral configurations are constantly moving as they orbit around the galaxy's core, with those on the inside making the orbit faster than those sitting further out. This makes the formation and continued existence of a spiral galaxy's arms something of a cosmic puzzle, because the arms wrapped around the spinning core should become wound tighter and tighter as time goes on - but this is not what we see. This is known as the winding problem.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

#nasa #space #hubble #hst #galaxy #nasabeyond #astronomy #science Goodbye Dragon! Astronauts Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro) of ESA (@europeanspaceagency) and Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) of NASA released the @SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station's (@ISS) robotic arm at 5:11 a.m. EDT today. Pesquet posted this images and wrote, 'Today we said good bye to #Dragon! She is taking part of us back to ground with her - important scientific samples, some from the crew!' Credit: NASA/ESA

#nasa #iss #spacestation #dragon #spacex #science #astronauts #esa Stars were battling each other in a gravitational tussle, which ended with the system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions. The speedy, wayward stars went unnoticed for hundreds of years until, over the past few decades, two of them were spotted in infrared and radio observations, which could penetrate the thick dust in the Orion Nebula. The observations showed that the two stars were traveling at high speeds in opposite directions from each other. The stars' origin, however, was a mystery. Astronomers traced both stars back 540 years to the same location and suggested they were part of a now-defunct multiple-star system. But the duo's combined energy, which is propelling them outward, didn't add up. The researchers reasoned there must be at least one other culprit that robbed energy from the stellar toss-up.

Now Nthe Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of the puzzle by nabbing a third runaway star. The astronomers followed the path of the newly found star back to the same location where the two previously known stars were located 540 years ago. The trio reside in a small region of young stars called the Kleinmann-Low Nebula, near the center of the vast Orion Nebula complex, located 1,300 light-years away.

The image by Hubble shows a grouping of young stars, called the Trapezium Cluster. 
Credits: NASA, ESA, K. Luhman (Penn State University), and M. Robberto (STScI)

#nasa #space #nasabeyond #astronomy #hubble #science #stars #nebula Happy #StPatricksDay! Celebrating with a wave of green aurora that @Astro_JeffW was lucky enough to see in person during his 2016 mission on the space station (@ISS). The dancing lights of the aurora provide stunning views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

Credit: NASA

#nasa #space #spacestation #iss #aurora #australia #happystpatricksday Heat Below the Icy Surface of Enceladus: A new study in the journal Nature Astronomy reports that the south polar region of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is warmer than expected just a few feet below its icy surface. This suggests that Enceladus' ocean of liquid water might be only a couple of miles beneath this region -- closer to the surface than previously thought.

The excess heat is especially pronounced over three fractures that are not unlike the [No Audio] Earth’s radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet, were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, new observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission show that the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are not present as much of the time as previously thought. The results are presented in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research and show that there typically isn’t as much radiation in the inner belt as previously assumed — good news for spacecraft flying in the region.

The 3-dimensional radiation belt model in the visualizations above was constructed by propagating electron flux measurements, corresponding to a given time and distance from Earth measured by the Van Allen Probes, along a 3-dimensional structure of magnetic dipole field lines.

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Tom Bridgman

#nasa #space #vanallenbelt #sun #radiation #earth #nasabeyond #science
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