Tuesday, December 4, 2012: NGC 5253, one of the nearest of the known Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies, lies about 12 million light-years from Earth in…Read More »
the southern constellation of Centaurus. Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies contain very active star-formation regions despite low dust content and comparative lack of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. BCD galaxies puzzle researchers, as simulations predict far more satellite dwarf galaxies should exist than do. Astronomers call this discrepancy as the Dwarf Galaxy Problem.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012: A portion of Saturn's F ring displays features believed to be caused by its shepherd moons or with small moonlets within the…Read More »
ring. A bright clump of material floats just outside the main part of the ring (at middle right). The brightness of the clump suggests dusty material. The A ring also glows at the left. Cassini spacecraft obtained this image on June 28, 2012.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.Drake et al, Optical: Univ. of Hertfordshire/INT/IPHAS, Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Thursday, December 6, 2012: The star cluster Cygnus OB2 contains hot, massive, young stars, with more than 60 O-type stars and about a thousand B-type…Read More »
stars. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has been used to detect about 1,700 X-ray sources in the cluster, including about 1,450 thought to be stars. This image combines X-rays from Chandra (blue) with infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (red) and optical data from the Isaac Newton Telescope (orange). Cygnus OB2 lies only about 5,000 light years from Earth, the closest massive star cluster. Image released Nov. 7, 2012.
Friday, December 7, 2012: Forty years ago, on Dec. 7, 1972, the final NASA mission carrying astronauts to the moon, Apollo 17, launched from Cape Canaveral,…Read More »
FL. The crew consisted of mission commander Eugene A. Cernan, lunar module pilot Harrison H. Schmitt, and command module pilot Ronald E. Evans. The Lunar Roving Vehicle assisted with collecting 257 pounds (117 kilograms) of lunar samples. The mission concluded on December 19, 1972.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012: This intriguing image does not depict a deep-space scenario, nor a microscopic terrestrial subject. Rather the shimmering light…Read More »
whorls are reflection patterns of a gold-plated spare mirror of ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray space telescope. XMM-Newton space telescope, launched in 1999, carries 3 X-ray telescopes and an optical monitor, the first flown on a X-ray observatory.
Friday, December 14, 2012: Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison H. Schmitt (left) and Eugene A. Cernan return to the lunar module (LM) at the end of the 3rd extravehicular…Read More »
activity (EVA) on the moon, Dec. 13, 1972. Forty years ago, on Dec. 14, 1972, the LM ascent stage carried the two astronauts from the moon’s surface to rendezvous with Ronald E. Evans in the Command and Service modules for the return to Earth. Apollo 17 marked the last time humans explored the moon (to date). This black and white reproduction was taken from a color television transmission made by the color RCA TV camera mounted on the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Monday, December 17, 2012: SPACE.com reader Chris Spiegel sent in his photo of a Geminid meteor under the Ocean Grove, NJ, pier, taken Dec. 14, 2012. He…Read More »
wrote: "The pier was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy in October. The little gnome guy used to sit on the side of the Ocean Grove Fishing Club building at the end of the pier that has since washed away. Somehow he was recovered and placed back in his spot with a sign reading "Down the Shore Everything's All Right."
Tuesday, December 18, 2012: This view of the Soyuz rocket rolling to the launch pad on a train at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan reveals a burst…Read More »
of bright colors in an almost surreal way on Dec. 17, 2012. The aft end of the rocket shows bright red engine nozzles, standing out starkly against the blue sky. The Soyuz rocket will launch on Dec.19, 2012, carrying Expedition 34/35 Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA, Soyuz Commander Roman Romanenko and Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to the International Space Station.
Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Thursday, December 20, 2012: Planetary nebula NGC 1535 lies in the constellation of Eridanus.
— Tom Chao
16 of 22
Don't You Know That You Are a Shooting Star?
Credit: John Chumack
Friday, December 21, 2012: John Chumack sent in this photo of Geminid meteors taken on Dec. 12, 2012, at his observatories in John Bryan State Park, Yellow…Read More »
Springs, OH. He wrote: “I was seeing one or two meteors every minute or so … counted over 400 last night during the peak, definitely one of the best Geminid showers I’ve seen in over 20 years of shooting and viewing them! The hourly rates were up around 60–70 per hour!” Less «
17 of 22
Rocketin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Credit: Chris Hadfield (via Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield)
Monday, December 24, 2012: Merry Christmas and happy holidays from SPACE.com! Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of Expedition 34/35…Read More »
to the International Space Station, tweeted this photo on Dec. 2, 2012. He wrote: "Cosmonaut Tree Ornament - it's beginning to look a lot like spaceflight :) pic.twitter.com/1SsWiQEC"
Tuesday, December 25, 2012: Merry Christmas from NASA and from SPACE.com! In NASA’s 2012 holiday poster, Santa ditches his reindeer for a spacecraft to…Read More »
deliver presents that have all been International Space Station certified. (Santa needs no pressurized suit, apparently.) In the background, NASA’s future projects, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, appear. For a black-and-white version to color, visit http://go.nasa.gov/V3KLEc.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012: The Canadian Space Agency's AuroraMAX automated camera photographed this aurora over Yellowknife on December 2, 2012.
— Tom Chao
20 of 22
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Thursday, December 27, 2012: Galaxy ESO 318-13 lies millions of light-years from Earth, but Hubble Space Telescope shows it with remarkable clarity in…Read More »
this image. The bright star that appears to shine from within the galaxy actually belongs to our galaxy, the Milky Way, and sits much closer to us than ESO 318-13. Other galaxies appear as tiny discs throughout the photograph. A distant spiral galaxy clearly shines through ESO 318-13 at the right hand side of the image.
Friday, December 28, 2012: A long camera exposure of the night sky over the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes appears to stretch the stars of the…Read More »
Milky Way into graceful arcs. This photo shows the sky above the Chajnantor Plateau, home of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, in the foreground. APEX is a pathfinder for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a telescope that ESO will complete building in 2013. Image released Dec. 10, 2012.