Tuesday, May 1, 2012: A Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft returning Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank, and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin…Read More »
touches down in a remote area outside of the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on Friday, April 27, 2012. NASA astronaut Burbank, Russian cosmonauts Shkaplerov and Ivanishin were returning from more than five months onboard the International Space Station, where they served as members of the Expedition 29 and 30 crews.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Camilla Corona SDO, mascot of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, went on another of her amazing adventures, this time flying to…Read More »
the edge of space in March 2012, during the most intense radiation storm since 2003. Camilla flew with the aid of a balloon sent up by Bishop Union High School's Earth to Sky student group in Bishop, California. Camilla, the plucky adventurer, reached an altitude of 120,000 ft where she was exposed to high-energy solar protons. While it might look like Camilla is shrieking in terror, it’s all right — she always looks like that.
Thursday, May 3, 2012: Astronomers discovered an aging star blowing a lot of dust (orange dot at upper left) using images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared…Read More »
Survey Explorer (WISE) in 2010. The newfound dusty star, called WISE J180956.27–330500.2, was not seen by an all-sky survey in 1983, but astronomers report the star has brightened by a factor of 100 since then. Stars like our sun age in this way, expanding into red giants and shedding dust later incorporated into new stars, planets, and in our solar system, living beings. Image released April 26, 2012.
Monday, May 7, 2012: Looking like a scene from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” dramatic backlight illuminates a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch…Read More »
vehicle at Space Launch Complex-41 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket successfully launched the Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency 2 satellite (AEHF 2) satellite on May 4, 2012.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012: Aqua satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on May 4, 2002. Ten years later, it's far exceeded its expected three- to…Read More »
five-year mission. The six science instruments aboard the satellite have collected a remarkable 29 million gigabytes of data so far. Aqua satellite studies a broad range of natural hazards from severe storms to dust storms and haze to droughts and crop health. Aqua's MODIS instrument has detected more than 20 million actively burning fires to date. Researchers have published more than 2,000 papers based on Aqua data over the past decade.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012: Cassini spacecraft swung by Saturn’s moon Janus on March 27, 2012. Deep shadows darken some of the moon’s large craters. The spacecraft…Read More »
got this shot at a distance of approximately 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) from Janus. Intriguingly, another moon of Saturn, Epimetheus, orbits close to Janus, and the two moons periodically change orbits, so that one becomes closer to Saturn, while the other floats further away.
Friday, May 11, 2012: Galaxy cluster Abell 1185 contains galaxies of various shapes and sizes drifting close to one another, putting each other at risk.…Read More »
Some galaxies have already been ripped apart in the maelstrom, spewing trails of matter. Abell 1185 is located approximately 400 million light-years away from Earth, and spans one million light-years. Image released April 30. 2012.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012: Components of the James Webb Space Telescope undergo testing in the thermal vacuum test chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center…Read More »
in Greenbelt, Md. Here, the Optical Telescope Element Simulator (OSIM), wrapped in a silver blanket on a platform, descends into the Space Environment Simulator vacuum chamber via crane to see if it will withstand the cold temperatures of space. Image released April 30, 2012.
Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Thursday, May 17, 2012: Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 interact with each other in this dramatic photograph. Whether the two galaxies will collide…Read More »
and merge is not yet known, but the mutual gravitation attraction has already created a bridge of stars. This pas de deux of the two galaxies, known jointly as Arp 271, will continue for tens of millions of years, creating new stars. Located 90 million light-years away towards the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin), Arp 271 stretches about 130,000 light-years across.
Friday, May 18, 2012: A Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur launch site at 07:01:23 AM Moscow Time on May 15, 2012. The spacecraft brings…Read More »
three spaceflyers to complete the six-person crew of Expedition 31. The crew of Soyuz TMA-04M consists of Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka (commander) and Sergei Revin (flight engineer) and US astronaut Joseph Acaba (flight engineer).
Wedneday, May 23, 2012: Galaxy NGC 891 lies approximately 30 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Andromeda. This Hubble Space Telescope…Read More »
photo shows the galaxy's northern half, with the central bulge outside the image on the bottom left. Filaments of dust and gas clearly extend outwards from the plane of the galaxy into the galaxy halo over hundreds of light-years, unlike our own Milky Way.
Thursday, May 24, 2012: Spiral galaxy ESO 498-G5 features spiral arms that wind all the way into the center, so ESO 498-G5's core looks like somewhat like…Read More »
a miniature spiral galaxy. Many other spiral galaxies possess elliptical star-filled centers, also called bulges. Astronomers refer to the spiral-like bulge of galaxies like ESO 498-G5 as disc-type bulges, or pseudobulges, while bright elliptical centres are known as classical bulges. ESO 498-G5 is located around 100 million light-years away in the constellation of Pyxis (The Compass).
Friday, May 25, 2012: Two of Saturn's moons affect the planet's rings visibly. Daphnis, at lower left, orbits in the Keeler Gap of the A right, creating…Read More »
waves in the edge of the gap. Pan, in the top right, orbits in the Encke Gap of the A ring, creating wakes that are seen in the ring below Pan in the image.The image was taken in visible light by Cassini spacecraft on June 3, 2010.
Talkin' 'Bout the Young Style … Talking ‘Bout the Old Style Too
Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum
Tuesday, May 29, 2012: Star cluster M46 is a young celestial object only some hundreds of millions of years old, containing a large population of massive…Read More »
blue stars. M46 lies near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, and the star cluster is coincidentally joined in this photo by a star in the foreground, NGC 2348, a much older star already at the stage of planetary nebula.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012: The antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope stand against the the Milky Way, in this photo…Read More »
taken on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile's Atacama region. The constellations of Carina (The Keel) and Vela (The Sails) glow in this picture. The Milky Way shines from middle top left to middle bottom right. The bright orange star in the upper left is Suhail in Vela.