Old Moon in the New Moon s Arms #NASA

Also known as the Moon’s “ashen glow” or the “Old Moon in the New Moon’s arms”, earthshine is earthlight reflected from the Moon’s night side. This stunning image of earthshine from a young crescent moon was taken from Las Campanas Observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile, planet Earth near moonset on January 18. Dramatic atmospheric inversion layers appear above the Pacific Ocean, colored by the sunset at the planet’s western horizon. But the view from the Moon would have been stunning, too. When the Moon appears in Earth’s sky as a slender crescent, a dazzlingly bright, nearly full Earth would be seen from the lunar surface. A description of earthshine, in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth’s oceans in turn illuminating the Moon’s dark surface, was written 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FXjHml

Prepping the Parker Solar Probe for Space #NASA

At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the Parker Solar Probe is lowered into the 40-foot-tall thermal vacuum chamber. The thermal vacuum chamber simulates the harsh conditions that the spacecraft will experience on its journey through space, including near-vacuum conditions and severe hot and cold temperatures. via NASA http://ift.tt/2Dl77LM

Clouds in the LMC #NASA

An alluring sight in southern skies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen in this deep and detailed telescopic mosaic. Recorded with broadband and narrowband filters, the scene spans some 5 degrees or 10 full moons. The narrowband filters are designed to transmit only light emitted by hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ionized by energetic starlight, the atoms emit their characteristic light as electrons are recaptured and the atoms transition to a lower energy state. As a result, in this image the LMC seems covered with its own clouds of ionized gas surrounding its massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing clouds, dominated by emission from hydrogen, are known as H II (ionized hydrogen) regions. Itself composed of many overlapping H II regions, the Tarantula Nebula is the large star forming region at the left. The largest satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC is about 15,000 light-years across and lies a mere 160,000 light-years away toward the constellation Dorado. via NASA http://ift.tt/2Dm6ENt

Jupiter’s Swirling South Pole #NASA

This image of Jupiter’s swirling south polar region was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet. via NASA http://ift.tt/2mM8M68

Even in the Desert #NASA

For the second time in three years, snow has accumulated in the desert near the northern Algerian town of Aïn Séfra. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FLXibp

In the Valley of Orion #NASA

This exciting and unfamiliar view of the Orion Nebula is a visualization based on astronomical data and movie rendering techniques. Up close and personal with a famous stellar nursery normally seen from 1,500 light-years away, the digitally modeled frame transitions from a visible light representation based on Hubble data on the left to infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope on the right. The perspective at the center looks along a valley over a light-year wide, in the wall of the region’s giant molecular cloud. Orion’s valley ends in a cavity carved by the energetic winds and radiation of the massive central stars of the Trapezium star cluster. The single frame is part of a multiwavelength, three-dimensional video that lets the viewer experience an immersive, three minute flight through the Great Nebula of Orion. via NASA http://ift.tt/2B5EHUd

Three of the ‘Thirty-Five New Guys’ #NASA

On January 16, 1978, NASA announces the first astronaut class in nine years, which included the first African Americans. via NASA http://ift.tt/2FHMDPa