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From satellites to #stars, the auroras to the Milky Way, NASA, the solar system and beyond...[tag us for reposts and adoration]

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Yesterday

A "Slice" of Mars⠀ This view of the Red Planet, which is part of a larger image from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, shows bright clouds and over the planet's icy north pole contrasted against the dark and dusty plains farther south. Mars Express captured this image using its High Resolution Stereo Camera. #Mars #redplanet #space #cosmos

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Yesterday

On Sept. 20, 1970, the Soviet Union's Luna 16 moon probe landed on the moon to retrieve a soil sample. Four days later, it became the first robotic spacecraft to return a sample of lunar soil to Earth. #Luna16 was the first robotic #spacecraft to succeed in landing on the #moon , scooping up a soil sample and returning it to Earth. Before Luna 16, the Soviet space program had tried and failed five times to return a sample from the moon. Overall, this was the third lunar sample brought to Earth. NASA's #Apollo11 and 12 missions had also brought back some rocks and soil from the moon. Luna 16 made a soft landing on the lunar surface in a mare known as "the Sea of Fertility," where it retrieved 101 grams of lunar soil. #otd #space #otdinspace More: https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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2 days ago

The Nile Delta at Night⠀ City lights around the #NileRiver and its delta sparkle by night in this stunning view from the International Space Station. When an #Expedition60 #astronaut captured this photo, the International Space Station was flying 255 miles (410 kilometers ) above the border between Sudan and #Egypt around 1 a.m. local time on Sept. 2. #earth #space

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2 days ago

On Sept. 19, 1996, the Space Shuttle Atlantis rendezvoused with Russia's #Mir space station to deliver supplies and equipment. The mission also picked up @NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid, who had spent a record-breaking 188 days aboard the orbiting laboratory. In exchange, they dropped off another NASA #astronaut , John Blaha, who would spend the next four months aboard the space station. STS-79 was the first shuttle mission to visit the #Mirspacestation since its construction was completed, and it was the fourth shuttle mission to dock to the Mir space station. Using lasers and video cameras as guidance, Atlantis seamlessly docked with Mir, and the astronauts delivered necessary food, water, clothes and #science experiments to the crew on board. #otd #space #otdinspace

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3 days ago

Southern Lights in Antarctica ⠀ (Image credit: A. Mancini/ESA/IPEV/PNRA )⠀ ⠀ A brilliant #aurora appears to rise like a glowing, green smoke plume from Concordia research station in Antarctica in this photo by European Space Agency (ESA ) photographer Alessandro Mancini. ⠀ ⠀ "I turn my gaze away from the horizon and dusk, there is a stripe in the sky that is not the Milky Way, at first just white and cloud-like, but there is no doubt — the green hues are visible and the curtain-like waves in the sky are unmistakable," ESA's on-site doctor Nadja Albertsen wrote in a blog post after witnessing the aurora at the remote research station. #space #cosmos #earth

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3 days ago

On Sept. 18, 1977, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft took a photo of Earth and the moon. It was the first time both the Earth and the moon were captured in a single frame. At the time, #Voyager1 was more than 7 million miles away from #Earth It had launched about two weeks earlier on a mission to explore the outer planets. Voyager 1 passed through the asteroid belt and visited #Jupiter and #Saturn Then it took a sharp turn and started heading straight out of the plane of the solar system. Before Voyager 1 went into interstellar space, Carl Sagan convinced NASA to turn its cameras around one last time to take a family portrait of all the planets in the solar system. This family portrait shows Earth as a tiny speck in a ray of sunshine. It is now famously known as the "Pale Blue Dot." #palebluedot #earth #space #otd #otdinspace

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4 days ago

The faint galaxy UGC 695 shimmers in deep space in this view from the Hubble Space Telescope. Located 30 million light-years away within the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster ), UGC 695 is considered a low-surface-brightness galaxy, which means that it's even dimmer than the background brightness of Earth’s atmosphere, which makes it difficult to observe. While galaxies like this don't contain as many stars as their brighter counterparts, they are rich with dark matter. #galaxies #galaxy #astrophotography #astrophotos #space #spacephotos #hubble #cetus #stars #darkmatter

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4 days ago

A wispy layer of mesospheric clouds illuminates Earth's atmosphere in this photo taken from the International Space Station. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano tweeted this photo from space, writing, "Mesospheric clouds tinge the sunset, south of the Indian Ocean." Mesospheric clouds, also known as noctilucent clouds, form 47 to 53 miles (76 to 85 kilometers ) above Earth's surface, an altitude where water vapor can freeze into clouds of ice crystals. For comparison, the International Space Station orbits at an average altitude of 250 miles (400 km ). #space #esa #spacestationphotos #spacephotos #clouds

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1 weeks ago

A close-up of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, captured by astrophotographer Miguel Claro from the Cumeada Observatory, the headquarters of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal. (Image credit: Miguel Claro ) #space #spacephotos #spacephotography #astrophotography #photography #portugal #clouds

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2 weeks ago

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC ), one of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbors, gets a new close-up in this image from the European Southern Observatory's VISTA telescope, located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. VISTA, which stands for the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, has been studying this dwarf galaxy and its smaller galactic sibling, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC ), for the past decade to image the two galaxies in unprecedented detail. The LMC is located about 163,000 light-years away from Earth, while the SMC is slightly farther away at a distance of 200,000 light-years. Both are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. #space #spacephotos #astrophoto #astrophotography #galaxy #milkyway #vista

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2 weeks ago

In this new view of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3351, massive bubbles of hot gas are erupting from the galaxy's nucleus. Those gas bubbles will affect the formation of new stars in the interstellar medium, or the space between the stars in the galaxy. This process of redistributing mass and energy in star-forming galaxies is known as "stellar feedback," and it is a driving force in galactic evolution. ⠀ ⠀ Also known as Messier 95, this particular galaxy is location about 33 million light years away from Earth in the constellation of Leo, the Lion. Astronomers captured this image using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA ) in Chile. #galaxy #spiral #space #spacephotography #astrophotography #star #galactic #evolution #leo #astronomy #atacama #chile

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2 weeks ago

When NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over Schroeter Crater on the Red Planet, it captured views of some interesting smaller craters within the crater's floor. The two impact craters shown here are located inside Schroeter Crater, which is about 190 miles (300 kilometers ) wide, and they contain some intricate dune structures on their own crater floors. These Martian dunes were shaped by wind, much in the same way that dunes form on Earth. #mars #nasa #dunes #space #spacephotography #moon #crater #planet #dune #geography

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2 weeks ago

This shimmering swarm of stars, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, is an irregular dwarf galaxy named UGC 685. While its shape may be difficult to discern at first glance, UGC 685 is an unbarred spiral galaxy. It is located about 15 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pisces. #nasa #spacephotos #spacephotgraphy #astrophotography #hubble #galaxy #pisces

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2 weeks ago

After the Sept. 11 terror attack on New York City 18 years ago today, the United States Geological Survey's (USGS ) Landsat 7 satellite captured this view of the aftermath from space. In this image, acquired by the satellite's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ ) instrument on Sept. 12, 2001, a plume of smoke is seen rising from lower Manhattan, where the World Trade Center was destroyed. #nasa #space #usgs #911 #manhattan #neverforget

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3 weeks ago

'Quiet' Caribbean After Hurricane Dorian⠀ In this astronaut's view of Earth from space, bright turquoise features ripple across the seafloor of the Caribbean shortly after Hurricane Dorian passed through the Bahamas. "Just a few miles away from the storm, the Caribbeans are incredibly quiet," European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano tweeted from the International Space Station on Wednesday (Sept. 4 ). To see photos of #Hurricane #Dorian from space, visit our site or click the link in bio. #HurricaneDorian #space

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3 weeks ago

Earth Satellite Observes a Chain of Cyclones⠀ Four tropical cyclones simultaneously churn across the Western Hemisphere in this image from the GOES-16 weather satellite. When GOES-16 captured the data for this natural-color composite on Wednesday (Sept. 4 ), both #Hurricane #Dorian in the Atlantic and Hurricane Juliette in the Pacific were Category 2 #storms Hurricane Dorian has since strengthened to a Category 3 storm. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fernand has made landfall in northeastern #Mexico , and Tropical Storm Gabrielle is gaining strength over the eastern Atlantic. You can see a full-disk version of this image in higher resolution here. #earth #space

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3 weeks ago

On Sept. 5, 1977, Voyager 1 began its epic journey through deep space with a glorious morning launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Voyager 1 initially launched on a mission to explore the outer planets. After flying by Jupiter and Saturn in 1979 and 1980, the spacecraft took a sharp turn and started heading straight out of the #solarsystem#Voyager1 became the first #spacecraft to reach #interstellar space in 2012, although scientists are still debating about exactly where that boundary lies. The spacecraft’s next big encounter will take place in about 40,000 years, when it will fly by another #star system. And just in case it comes across any intelligent life out in the universe, it's carrying a golden record with sights, sounds and greetings from planet #Earth #otd #space #otdinspace

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3 weeks ago

Stellar Feedback in a Barred Spiral Galaxy⠀ In this new view of the barred spiral #galaxy NGC 3351, massive bubbles of hot gas are erupting from the galaxy's nucleus. Those gas bubbles will affect the formation of new stars in the interstellar medium, or the #space between the stars in the galaxy. This process of redistributing mass and energy in star-forming #galaxies is known as "stellar feedback," and it is a driving force in galactic evolution. ⠀ ⠀ Also known as Messier 95, this particular galaxy is location about 33 million light years away from Earth in the constellation of Leo, the Lion. Astronomers captured this image using data from the #HubbleSpaceTelescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA ) in Chile. #Hubble #cosmos

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3 weeks ago

On Sept. 4, 1962, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft performed the first-ever rocket maneuver in deep space as it did a quick mid-course correction on its way to Venus. It had launched just eight days earlier and needed to burn its engines to ensure that its trajectory would take it to #Venus The midcourse maneuver was necessary because the Atlas-Agena #rocket that launched Mariner 2 didn't launch with enough accuracy to get the trajectory right in one shot. When it was about 1.5 million miles (2.4 million km ) from #Earth , it fired its engines for 34 minutes to help steer it in the right direction. The entire maneuver required five separate commands sent from mission control, telling the #spacecraft to roll, pitch, turn and burn its motor. One hundred days later, #Mariner2 flew by Venus and became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by another planet. #otd #space #otdinspace More: https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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3 weeks ago

Hurricane Dorian Seen from Space⠀ #Hurricane #Dorian swirls off the east coast of #Florida in this view from the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Christina Koch shared this photo of the storm during the Labor Day holiday yesterday (Aug. 2 ), when she and her Expedition 60 crewmembers had the day off from work. #Earth

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3 weeks ago

Hurricane Dorian Looks Massive from Space as NASA Prepares for Impacts⠀ ⠀ Hurricane Dorian's #clouds are staggering, a massive swirl of white surrounding the knotted eyewall at the storm's heart, in this image taken from #space ⠀ ⠀ The image relies on data captured by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, part of a constellation designed to provide environmental monitoring services. The image shows #Hurricane #Dorian at 11:16 a.m. EDT (1516 GMT ) on Monday (Sept. 2 ).⠀ ⠀ At the time, the storm had been stalled over Grand Bahama Island and its neighbors for a full day. Its winds have weakened slightly, with maximum sustained gusts of 120 mph (195 km/h ), making it a Category 3 storm.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ https://buff.ly/2ZLHsWY

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3 weeks ago

On Sept. 3, 2006, a European satellite named SMART-1 crashed into the moon! This wasn't actually as disastrous as it sounds, because the spacecraft did it on purpose. SMART-1 launched in 2003 and was the first European spacecraft to go to the #moon It was also the first mission of a program called Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology, which was a series of low-cost #spacecraft that the European Space Agency launched to test new spaceflight technologies. #SMART1 's primary objective was to do a flight test something called Solar Electric Primary Propulsion, or a solar-powered electric engine. While it orbited the moon for almost two years, it looked for water ice and other chemicals on the lunar surface. When it slammed into the moon, that was also done for science. Astronomers back on Earth watched the impact with their #telescopes , hoping that it would give them some insight into the mechanics of #meteor impacts. #otd #space #otdinspace ⠀ ⠀ More:https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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4 weeks ago

Hubble Captures Planetary Nebula in Centaurus Constellation ⠀ Located around 10,000 light years away in the constellation #Centaurus , a planetary nebula glows in this image by #Hubble Space Telescope. A planetary #nebula is the final stages in the life of a red giant #star , as it ejects layers of ionized gas and the core of the star collapses in on itself. Observing planetary nebulae gives us a glimpse into the future of our own #sun #cosmos #planet #space

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4 weeks ago

On Aug. 30, 1992, astronomers spotted an object orbiting the sun beyond Pluto for the very first time.Before then, #Pluto was believed to be the most distant planetary body of our #solarsystem No one had seen anything orbiting farther out because these so-called Trans-Neptunian objects were far too faint to detect with the technology they had at the time. With new digital imaging techniques, #astronomers were able to spot a new and tiny world orbiting 4 billion miles beyond #Neptune Officially designated 1992 QB1, this 100-mile-wide (160 kilometers ) object was thousands of times fainter than Pluto. Now astronomers have confirmed more than two thousand objects orbiting out there in what is now known as the #KuiperBelt #otd #space #otdinspace

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4 weeks ago

On Aug. 29, 1965, two NASA astronauts returned from their record-breaking #Gemini5 mission. Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad spent eight days in Earth's orbit, and for the first time, the United States set a world record for the duration of a crewed spaceflight. While in orbit, the #astronauts were supposed to test rendezvous capabilities and maneuvers using a pod that deployed from their spacecraft. But due to an electrical problem, they had to cancel those plans along with several science experiments. Pete Conrad later called the mission "eight days in a garbage can," referring to the cramped quarters of the Gemini #spacecraft #otd #otdinspace #space

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4 weeks ago

Flying Dragon Sweeps Over Canadian Rocky Mountains⠀ Astronaut Christina Koch @astro_christina captured an image of the @SpaceX Dragon capsule flying over the Canadian Rocky Mountains on its way back to #Earth The spacecraft departed from the International Space Station on August 27, carrying over a ton of science experiments and other gear to Earth for analysis by NASA staff. #space #cosmos ⠀ https://buff.ly/2GPwY08

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4 weeks ago

On Aug. 28, 1993, NASA's #Galileo spacecraft flew by the asteroid Ida on its way Jupiter. Galileo was the first spacecraft to fly by an #asteroid in the asteroid belt. Ida was actually the second one it visited after another flyby of the asteroid Gaspra in 1991. It whizzed by Ida going almost 28,000 miles per hour and came within 1,500 miles of the asteroid's surface. During the encounter, Galileo actually discovered a tiny #moon orbiting #Ida ! This was the first confirmed satellite of an asteroid. The International Astronomical Union named the moon Dactyl after a group of mythological beings who lived on a sacred mountain called Mount Ida. #otd #otdinspace #space More: https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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4 weeks ago

Starhopper's biggest leap was also its last. @spacex 's first prototype for its Mars-colonizing Starship vehicle aced its final test flight today (Aug. 27 ), rising several hundred feet off the ground at the company's facility in the tiny South Texas town of Boca Chica. #Starhopper lifted off just after 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT; 5 p.m. local Texas time ), reached a hover altitude and then flew sideways to touch town at a separate nearby landing pad. The entire flight lasted just 57 seconds. #mars #colonizemars Visit Space.com for the full story!

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4 weeks ago

Smoke Clouds Over Amazon Rainforest ⠀ As devastating fires continue to sweep through the #Amazon #rainforest in #Brazil , astronaut Luca Parmitano captured a grim view of the smoke from the #InternationalSpaceStation Parmitano tweeted out the images on August 26, saying that the smoke was visible for thousands of kilometers from the man-made fires. This year's Amazon fires have reached a record high, increasing by about 80% from previous dry seasons, according to Brazil's space research center (INPE ). #fire #AmazonFire

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4 weeks ago

On Aug. 27, 1962, @NASA launched Mariner 2, the world's first successful interplanetary #spacecraft #Mariner2 flew by #Venus after a 3½-month voyage through space. The mission launched just one month after the Mariner 1 mission failed during launch. After departing from Cape Canaveral, Mariner 2 almost met the same fate when an electrical problem with the Atlas-Agena #rocket caused it to start rolling, which made it unable to respond to any guidance commands from mission control. By some miracle, the problem fixed itself, and Mariner 2 was on its way to #Venus ! #otd #space

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4 weeks ago

Dying Star Sheds Its Outer Layer⠀ #HubbleSpaceTelescope captured this image of a dying #star after it shed its outer layers, blasting them off into space. The stellar object confused astronomers at first, who recorded the star as two objects rather than one due to the symmetrical lobes on either of its sides. However, the lobes are formed of expanding #clouds of material that are spreading outwards in opposite directions with the star at the center. #cosmos #space

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4 weeks ago

On Aug. 26, 1978, cosmonaut and pilot Sigmund Jähn became the first German to fly in space! 🇩🇪🇩🇪🇩🇪⠀ Jähn was an experienced pilot for the East German Air Force and studied at the Gagarin Air Force Academy in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. In 1976, he and one other German pilot were selected for the Interkosmos program, which was designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with #space missions. Jähn joined three Soviet cosmonauts on the Soyuz 31 mission to the Salyut 6 space station, where he took photos of the Earth using a new multispectral camera. He also conducted experiments in #biology , #physics and #materialsscience After almost eight days in space, he safely returned to Earth. #germany #otd #spaceMore : https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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5 weeks ago

Earth's Glowing, Red Skin⠀ Astronaut Luca Parmitano captured this stunning view of the African continent from the International Space Station, as he marveled at the 'skin of #Earth ' The image shows off Africa's red soil, a type of clay enriched with iron and aluminum, which covers large areas of the continent. (However, Parmitano did not specify which part of #Africa he was flying over. ) #space #cosmos ⠀ https://buff.ly/2GPwY08

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5 weeks ago

On Aug. 23, 1961, @NASA launched the Ranger 1 robotic #spacecraft on a precursor mission to test new technologies for later #moon missions. NASA's Ranger program had the ultimate goal of photographing and mapping the lunar surface. #Ranger1 was launched with the primary mission of testing the performance of the spacecraft's functions and parts. It also studied particles and fields around the #Earth in space. While it was designed to enter a high orbit 37,000 by 684,000 miles (60,000 by 1,100,000 km ), but it never made it beyond low-Earth orbit. A malfunction with the #rocket caused the engine to shut down prematurely, which sent it tumbling around the Earth. On Aug. 30, it re-entered Earth's atmosphere and was incinerated. #otd #space

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5 weeks ago

Fires Rage Through the Amazon Rainforest⠀ Several fires are raging through the #Amazon #rainforest in Brazil, striking a devastating blow to the ongoing fight against climate change. Environmentalists are blaming the fires on people wanting to create more space for agricultural land. However, this year's #fires have reached a record high, increasing by about 80%, according to Brazil's space research center (INPE ). NASA's Aqua #satellite captured this image of the fires burning through Brazil, as seen from space on August 11. #PrayForTheAmazon

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