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Milad Parsian
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Charon
Image Credit: +NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150717.html

Icy world Charon is 1,200 kilometers across. That makes Pluto's largest moon only about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. Charon is seen in unprecedented detail in this image from New Horizons. The image was captured late July 13 during the spacecraft's flight through the Plutonian system from a range of less than 500,000 kilometers. For reference, the distance separating Earth and Moon is less than 400,000 kilometers. Charonian terrain, described as surprising, youthful, and varied, includes a 1,000 kilometer swath of cliffs and troughs stretching below center, a 7 to 9 kilometer deep canyon cutting the curve of the upper right edge, and an enigmatic dark north polar region unofficially dubbed Mordor.
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The Milky Way from a Malibu Sea Cave
Image Credit & Copyright: +Jack Fusco
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150707.html

What’s happening outside this cave? Nothing unexpected – it’s just the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy passing by. As the Earth turns, the band of our Galaxy appears to rotate and shift along the horizon. The featured image was taken by a photographer who professes a passion for locating sea caves, and who found this spectacular grotto in Leo Carrillo State Park near Malibu, California, USA. After some planning, he timed this single shot image through the 10-meter high cave entrance to show the Milky Way far in the distance. In the foreground, several rocks about one meter across are visible. Visible in the background starscape are millions of stars including the relatively bright and orange Antares, situated just to the right of the image center.
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Can you spot the International Space Station? Seen from #Australia, this image was taken by amateur photographer Dylan O'Donnell as the #ISS passed by the #Moon at 28 800 km/h. At such speeds the weightless research laboratory was visible for only about a third of a second before returning to the dark skies.

Credit: Public domain - Dylan O'Donnell

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/07/Station_Moon_transit
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All the Colors of the Sun
Credit & Copyright: Nigel Sharp (NSF), FTS, NSO, KPNO, AURA, NSF
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150628.html

It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Here are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device. The spectrum was created at the McMath-Pierce Solar Observatory and shows, first off, that although our white-appearing Sun emits light of nearly every color, it does indeed appear brightest in yellow-green light. The dark patches in the above spectrum arise from gas at or above the Sun's surface absorbing sunlight emitted below. Since different types of gas absorb different colors of light, it is possible to determine what gasses compose the Sun. Helium, for example, was first discovered in 1870 on a solar spectrum and only later found here on Earth. Today, the majority of spectral absorption lines have been identified - but not all.
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That's an awesome picture!
 
The Milky Way over the Temple of Poseidon
Image Credit & Copyright: Alexandros Maragos; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150608.html

What's that glowing in the distance? Although it may look like a lighthouse, the rays of light near the horizon actually emanate from the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, Greece. Some temple lights are even reflected in the Aegean Sea in the foreground. Although meant to be a monument to the sea, in this image, the temple's lights seem to be pointing out locations on the sky. For example, the wide ray toward the right fortuitously points toward the Lagoon Nebula in the central band of our Milky Way, which runs diagonally down the image from the upper left. Also, the nearly vertical beam seems to point toward the star clouds near the direction of the Wild Duck open cluster of stars. The featured image was taken less than three weeks ago.
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Supernova 1994D and the Unexpected Universe
Image Credit: High-Z Supernova Search Team, HST, +NASA
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150531.html

Long ago, far away, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae. In fact, the light emitted during the weeks after its explosion caused it to be given the familiar designation of a Type Ia supernova. If all Type 1a supernovae have the same intrinsic brightness, then the dimmer a supernova appears, the farther away it must be. By calibrating a precise brightness-distance relation, astronomers are able to estimate not only the expansion rate of the universe (parameterized by the Hubble Constant), but also the geometry of the universe we live in (parameterized by Omega and Lambda). The large number and great distances to supernovae measured over the past few years, when combined with other observations, are interpreted as indicating that we live in a previously unexpected universe.
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New Horizons Launch to Pluto
Image Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150712.html

Destination: Pluto. The New Horizons spacecraft roared off its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA in 2006 toward adventures in the distant Solar System. The craft is the fastest spaceships ever launched by humans, having passed the Moon only nine hours after launch, and Jupiter only a year later. After spending almost a decade crossing the Solar System, New Horizons will fly past Pluto on Tuesday. Pluto, officially a planet when New Horizons launched, has never been visited by a spacecraft or photographed up close. After Pluto, the robot spaceship will visit one or more Kuiper Belt Objects orbiting the Sun even further out than Pluto. Pictured, the New Horizons craft launches into space atop a powerful Atlas V rocket.
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Amazing!
 
NASA Space Shuttle Columbia Launch: June 25, 1992 | STS-50
The Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 12:12 p.m. (EDT) on June 25, 1992. Five NASA astronauts and two scientists/payload specialists were aboard, beginning a 13-day trip that would feature extensive research in the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory I. Altogether, 31 experiments were completed, and the crew landed on July 9.

Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated Space Shuttle in NASA's orbiter fleet. It launched for the first time on mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981—the first flight of the Space Shuttle program. Over 22 years of service it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107 on February 1, 2003, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members.

Credit: NASA

+NASA's Kennedy Space Center 
+NASA Johnson Space Center 

#NASA #Space #ISS #Shuttle #Columbia #Launch #STS50
#Astronauts #History #Kennedy #KSC #Florida #USA #UnitedStates
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An Unusual Mountain on Asteroid Ceres
Image Credit: +NASA, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, UCLA, MPS/DLR/IDA
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150630.html

What created this large mountain on asteroid Ceres? No one is yet sure. As if in anticipation of today being Asteroid Day on Earth, the robotic spacecraft Dawn in orbit around Ceres took the best yet image of an unusually tall mountain on the Asteroid Belt's largest asteroid. Visible at the top of the featured image, the exceptional mountain rises about five kilometers up from an area that otherwise appears pretty level. The image was taken about two weeks ago from about 4,400 kilometers away. Although origin hypotheses for the mountain include volcanism, impacts, and plate tectonics, clear evidence backing any of these is currently lacking. Also visible across Ceres' surface are some enigmatic light areas: bright spots whose origin and composition that also remain an active topic of investigation. Even though Dawn is expected to continue to orbit Ceres, officially dubbed a dwarf planet, for millions of years, the hydrazine fuel used to point Dawn's communications antenna toward Earth is expected to run out sometime next year.
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Breaking news! #wakeupPhilae  
Tweet Rosetta's lander Philae is out of hibernation! The signals were received at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). "Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available," explains DLR Philae Project Manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec. "The lande...
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Encapsulation begins

Sentinel-2A being encapsulated in the rocket fairing, which protects the satellite during the first part of the launch.
 
Credits: ESA–M. Pedoussaut, 2015
https://flic.kr/p/upg4QD

#ESA #space
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I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. (Galileo Galilei)
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