LIFTOFF! #NASA

The GRACE Follow-On spacecraft launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. via NASA https://ift.tt/2knuFI1
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GRACE-FO Launches to Provide a Unique View of Earth’s Climate #NASA

(GRACE-FO) mission launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California via NASA https://ift.tt/2scBdNx

Spiral Galaxy NGC 4038 in Collision #NASA

This galaxy is having a bad millennium. In fact, the past 100 million years haven’t been so good, and probably the next billion or so will be quite tumultuous. Visible toward the lower right, NGC 4038 used to be a normal spiral galaxy, minding its own business, until NGC 4039, to its upper left, crashed into it. The evolving wreckage, known famously as the Antennae, is featured here. As gravity restructures each galaxy, clouds of gas slam into each other, bright blue knots of stars form, massive stars form and explode, and brown filaments of dust are strewn about. Eventually the two galaxies will converge into one larger spiral galaxy. Such collisions are not unusual, and even our own Milky Way Galaxy has undergone several in the past and is predicted to collide with our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years. The frames that compose this image were taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope by professional astronomers to better understand galaxy collisions. These frames — and many other deep space images from Hubble — have since been made public, allowing interested amateurs to download and process them into, for example, this visually stunning composite. via NASA https://ift.tt/2xdXGj1

Craters and Shadows at the Lunar Terminator #NASA

Why does the right part of this image of the Moon stand out? Shadows. The terminator line — the line between light and dark — occurs in the featured image so that just over half the Moon’s face is illuminated by sunlight. The lunar surface appears different nearer the terminator because there the Sun is nearer the horizon and therefore causes shadows to become increasingly long. These shadows make it easier for us to discern structure, giving us depth cues so that the two-dimensional image, when dominated by shadows, appears almost three-dimensional. Therefore, as the Moon fades from light to dark, shadows not only tell us the high from the low, but become noticeable for increasingly shorter structures. For example, many craters appear near the terminator because their height makes them easier to discern there. The image was taken two weeks ago when the lunar phase was waning gibbous. The next full moon, a Moon without shadows, will occur one week from today. via NASA https://ift.tt/2IBQM8k

Orbital ATK Antares Rocket Lifts Off on Resupply Mission to the International Space Station #NASA

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Cygnus will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the International Space Station and its crew. via NASA https://ift.tt/2x5XtxU

Jupiter Cloud Animation from Juno #NASA

How do Jupiter’s clouds move? To help find out, images taken with NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its last pass near Jupiter have been analyzed and digitally extrapolated into a time-lapse video. The eight-second time-lapse video, digitally extrapolated between two images taken only nine minutes apart, estimates how Jupiter’s clouds move over 29 hours. Abstractly, the result appears something like a psychedelic paisley dream. Scientifically, however, the computer animation shows that circular storms tend to swirl, while bands and zones appear to flow. This overall motion is not surprising and has been seen on time-lapse videos of Jupiter before, although never in this detail. The featured region spans about four times the area of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Results from Juno are showing, unexpectedly, that Jupiter’s weather phenomena can extend deep below its cloud tops. via NASA https://ift.tt/2GAdjka

Antares Rocket Set to Launch NASA Science to the International Space Station #NASA

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is seen at launch Pad-0A, Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Liftoff is currently targeted for 4:39 a.m. Eastern on Monday, May 21. via NASA https://ift.tt/2KDn4jU