at the edge of consciousness…where the juice is…

Posts tagged ‘NASA’

the largest picture ever taken…

Published on YouTube by daveachuk, Jan 6, 2015
First & Last photo by Cory Poole:…
Music is ‘Koda – The Last Stand’ from Silk…
Super-high resolution image of Andromeda from Hubble (NASA/ESA):…

space photos to put your life in perspective…

0105-4x5color.aiThis is a NASA photo of the Horsehead Nebula. To see 26 other spectacular NASA photos from 2013, click here.

the sun’s magnetic field about to flip…

Apparently this happens about every 11 years. It’s amazing that it doesn’t turn everything on earth topsy-turvy. For more information, check out


our pale blue dot…

a musical trip in space…

horsehead nebula…

Hubble Telescope Snaps Stunning Nebula Photo for 23rd Birthday

by Mike Wall, Senior Writer*
Date: 19 April 2013 Time: 11:27 AM ET
This new Hubble image, captured and released to celebrate the telescope’s 23rd year in orbit, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Rising like a giant seahorse from turbulent waves of dust and gas is the Horsehead Nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33. Image released April 19, 2013.
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
View full size image

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a spectacular new image of an iconic nebula to celebrate its 23 years of peering deep into the heavens.

The Hubble observatory, which launched on April 24, 1990, captured the Horsehead Nebula in infrared light, peering through obscuring veils of dust to reveal the object’s hidden features.

“The result is a rather ethereal and fragile-looking structure, made of delicate folds of gas — very different to the nebula’s appearance in visible light,” mission officials wrote in an image description today (April 19). The new observations allowed astronomers to create a dazzling video of the Horsehead Nebula based on Hubble’s photos.


the sun in all its glory…

NASA released a time-lapse video of the sun showing three years’ solar activity in two minutes. The images are the latest from a project started in 2010 by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Photo: NASA

billions and billions of planets…


An assortment of planets beyond our solar system is depicted in this artist’s concept (credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech)

From, January 4, 2013

How many planets are in our galaxy?

Billions and billions of them at least. That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology, which provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm.

The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32 — planets that are representative, they say, of the vast majority of planets in our galaxy and thus serve as a perfect case study for understanding how most of these worlds form.

“There are at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy, just our galaxy,” says John Johnson, assistant professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech and coauthor of the study, which was recently accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. “That’s mind-boggling.”

“It’s a staggering number, if you think about it,” adds Jonathan Swift, a postdoctoral student at Caltech and lead author of the paper. “Basically, there’s one of these planets per star.”

M-dwarf study

Like the Caltech group, other teams of astronomers have estimated that there is roughly one planet per star, but this is the first time researchers have made such an estimate by studying M-dwarf systems, the most numerous population of planets known.

The planetary system in question, which was detected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, contains five planets. Two of the planets orbiting Kepler-32 had previously been discovered by other astronomers. The Caltech team confirmed the remaining three, then analyzed the five-planet system and compared it to other systems found by Kepler.

M-dwarf systems like Kepler-32′s are quite different from our own solar system. For one, M dwarfs are cooler and much smaller than the sun. Kepler-32, for example, has half the mass of the sun and half its radius. The radii of its five planets range from 0.8 to 2.7 times that of Earth, and those planets orbit extremely close to their star. The whole Kepler-32 system fits within just over a tenth of an astronomical unit (the average distance between Earth and the sun) — a distance that is about a third of the radius of Mercury’s orbit around the sun.

The fact that M-dwarf systems vastly outnumber other kinds of systems carries a profound implication, according to Johnson, which is that our solar system is extremely rare. “It’s just a weirdo,” he says.


earth’s chorus…

From the “Atlantic”:

Here’s What the Space Around Earth Sounds Like

OCT 1 2012, 5:30 PM ET 9

One of NASA’s newest missions has recorded the radio waves coming from our magnetosphere. Musicians: Sample away.

A graphic of Earth’s twin rings of plasma known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts in our planet’s magnetosphere (NASA)

Surrounding our planet are rings of plasma, part of Earth’s magnetosphere, which are pulsing with radio waves. Those waves are not audible to the human ear alone, but radio antennae can pick them up, and that’s just what an instrument — the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) — on NASA’s recently launched Radiation Belt Storm Probes has done.

The noises, often picked up here on Earth by ham-radio operators, are called Earth’s “chorus” as they are reminiscent of a chorus of birds chirping in the early morning. So here’s your planet, singing its song into space. Musicians: Sample away.

leaving the solar system?

Voyager 1 has flown into or is on the cusp of a place no man or spacecraft has been before – Interstellar Space. For 35 years, the NASA probe has been on a journey that would take it outside the Sun’s heliosphere, leaving the Solar System.

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