Tuesday, November 1, 2011: Lynds' Dark Nebula (LDN) 1622 demonstrates the evolution of stars. Star formation results from the collapse of giant clouds…Read More »
of molecular gas and dust. The stars eventually emerge into visibility with their blue light scattering and reflecting off dust particles present in the gas. LDN 1622 lies near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, close on the sky to Barnard's Loop. LDN 1622 is situated perhaps only 500 light-years away.
Monday, November 7, 2011: Before a dawn sky, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) nestles inside its payload fairing. At the Vertical Integration Facility…Read More »
building, the spacecraft was raised and attached to the Atlas 5 rocket that will launch on November 25, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. MSL's components include a rover, Curiosity, possessing 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence of former and present environments favorable to microbial life.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011: A laser beams out of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. The laser energises sodium atoms high in the…Read More »
Earth's mesosphere, causing them to glow and create a laser guide star, an artificial star 90 km above the surface of the Earth. Observations of how this "star" twinkles are fed into the Very Large Telescope’s adaptive optics system, controlling a deformable mirror in the telescope to restore the image of the star to a sharp point.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011: Saturn's moon Titan hangs dimly in the background of this photograph, which also shows the bright moon Dione in the foreground.…Read More »
Pandora, another moon, floats at the right, just outside the narrow sliver of Saturn's rings visible in this image. A fourth moon, Pan, almost imperceptibly makes it into this image in the dark Encke Gap of Saturn's A ring at left.
Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Kriss (STScI), and J. de Plaa (SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research)
Thursday, November 10, 2011: Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 took this photograph of galaxy Markarian 509 (Mrk 509), 500 million…Read More »
light-years away, in April 2007. A supermassive black hole lies at the center of Mrk 509 containing 300 million times the mass of the sun. Data from several spacecraft including Hubble uncovered new details in the surroundings of the black hole. Observations reveal huge bullets of gas flinging from the gravitational monstrosity and a corona of very hot gas hovering above the disk of matter falling into the black hole.
Credit: Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense
Friday, November 11, 2011: SPACE.com would like to salute the men and women of the US military on Veterans Day. This photograph captures the launch of…Read More »
a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii on October 5, 2011. The test was conducted by the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency with the support of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. THAAD is a mobile interceptor missile designed to intercept short to medium range ballistic missiles inside or just outside the earth's atmosphere.
Monday, November 14, 2011: Tharsis Tholus, a giant Martian volcano towering almost 5 miles (8 km) in height, shows signs of much dramatic activity in its…Read More »
four-billion-year history. At least two large sections have collapsed around its eastern and western flanks, as evidenced by scarps up to several miles high. Researches believe that the volcano emptied its magma chamber during eruptions and, as the lava escaped, the chamber roof could no longer support its own weight. Thus, the volcano collapsed, forming the large caldera.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011: About 2,400 massive stars in the center of 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, produce intense radiation and…Read More »
powerful winds as they blow off material. The star-forming region, 30 Doradus, represents one of the largest located close to the Milky Way, and it lies in the neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Multimillion-degree gas detected in X-rays comes from shock fronts similar to sonic booms formed by these stellar winds and by supernova explosions. This hot gas blasts out gigantic bubbles in the surrounding cooler gas and dust shown here in orange.
Thursday, November 17, 2011: Probably the largest sunspot observed in several years appears in the center of the Sun (Nov. 6-8, 2011) as viewed by the…Read More »
Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Many smaller sunspots accompany his large sunspot. The large sunspot already propelled several medium- to large-sized solar flares, and has the potential to hurl out more. The large sunspot group extends more than 62,000 miles (100,000 km), and each dark core is larger than Earth.
Monday, November 21, 2011: Graphics with a fun flavor highlight the Interactive Exploration Roadmap. Clicking on various exploration targets on the map…Read More »
(located here) allows the viewer to access information about the International Space Station, moon, near-Earth asteroids, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and other celestial destinations. Sadly, one mission featured on the roadmap, Phobos-Grunt, already experienced serious setbacks, and may not achieve its goals. The following space agencies participated in developing the roadmap: ASI (Italy), CNES (France), CSA (Canada), DLR (Germany), ESA (European Space Agency), ISRO (India), JAXA (Japan), (KARI (Republic of Korea), NASA (United States of America), NSAU (Ukraine), Roscosmos (Russia), UKSA (United Kingdom), all part of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG).
Credit: ISS Crew Earth Observations/Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center
Tuesday, November 22, 2011: The ISS Progress 42P supply vehicle (Russian designation M-10M) streaks across the sky after undocking from the International…Read More »
Space Station on October 29, 2011, as seen by astronauts on the ISS. The unmanned spacecraft is sent to the ISS carrying supplies, but after transferring the supplies, the crew fills the empty spacecraft with refuse, and sends it hurtling Earthward, incinerating both the spent spacecraft and the refuse.
Thursday, November 24, 2011: Two coronal mass ejections blasted out of the sun almost right on top of each other, over about half a day as seen by the…Read More »
STEREO Behind spacecraft on Nov. 3-4, 2011. The first event heads away from Earth (positioned to the right of the combined coronagraphs image) and the second blast headed towards the spacecraft, with the expanding particles forming a halo around the Sun. In the combined image, the first event is the broad, lighter arc to the left, and the second event is the bright area above the Sun in the green area.
Friday, November 25, 2011: NASA conducted a 500-second test firing of the J-2X rocket engine on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.The…Read More »
test marked another step in the development of an upper stage for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS).The engine uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. This core stage engine was developed originally for the space shuttle. The J-2X engine is being developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif.
Monday, November 28, 2011: NGC 4631, known as the Whale Galaxy, lies about 30 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The…Read More »
Hunting Dogs), and is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. Profuse starbirth lights the galactic center, revealing bands of dark material between us and the starburst. From Earth, we see the Whale Galaxy edge-on, its profile suggesting an enormous cetacean.
Credit: ISS Crew Earth Observations Experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory/Johnson Space Center.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a picture on July 31, 2011 showing the layers of the Earth's atmosphere.…Read More »
The orange-red troposphere lies closest to Earth’s surface. A brown transitional layer marks the upper edge of the troposphere, the tropopause. A milky white and gray layer rests above that, likely part of the stratosphere possibly containing some noctilucent clouds. The upper atmosphere composed of the mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere fades from blue to the blackness of space.