We're working to understand why up to 10 million jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface at any moment. Called spicules, they can erupt as fast as 60 miles per second and reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. Now, for the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how they break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly. Observing spicules has been a thorny problem for scientists, because spicules are transient, forming and collapsing over the course of just five to 10 minutes. These tenuous structures are also difficult to study from Earth, where the atmosphere often blurs our telescopes’ vision. This work relied upon high-cadence observations from our Interface Region Imaging Spectrogragh, or IRIS, and the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope in La Palma, in the Canary Islands. Together, the spacecraft and telescope peer into the lower layers of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the interface region, where spicules form. Image credit: NASA #Sun #NASA #Solarsystem #Spicules #Science #Heliophysics #Space
Swirling bands of light and dark clouds on Jupiter are seen in this image made by citizen scientists using data from our Juno spacecraft. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (km) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. This image was acquired on May 19, 2017 from about 20,800 miles (33,400km) above Jupiter's cloud tops. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran #nasa #space #jupiter #solarsystem #juno #spacecraft #gasgiant #storms #pearls #clouds #planet #imageoftheday #junocam
Mark your calendars! For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States, and we're preparing to share this experience of a lifetime on Aug. 21. Viewers around the world will be provided a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event. More information is at http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov Seen here is an image of the moon crossing in front of the sun was captured on Jan. 30, 2014, by our Solar Dynamics Observatory observing an eclipse from its vantage point in space. Image Credit: NASA #Eclipse2017 #SolarEclipse #Eclipse #Sun #Solar #Moon #Astronomy #Science #Space #NASA #SDO
Over the weekend, engineers on the ground remotely operated the International Space Station’s robotic arm to remove the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) from the trunk of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo vehicle. Here, you see the experimental solar array unfurl as the station orbits Earth. Solar panels are an efficient way to power satellites, but they are delicate and large, and must be unfolded when a satellite arrives in orbit. The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) is a new type of solar panel that rolls open in space like a party favor and is more compact than current rigid panel designs. ROSA is 20% lighter and 4x smaller in volume than rigid panel arrays! This experiment will remain attached to the robotic arm over seven days to test the effectiveness of the advanced, flexible solar array that rolls out like a tape measure. During this time, we will also measure power produced by the array and monitor how the technology handles retraction. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #spacestation #solar #solararray #array #roboticarm #power #experiment #technology #roll #rollout #videooftheday
[Artist Rendering] Our Kepler Space Telescope team has identified 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and in their respective star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet. This illustration is based on data of one of thousands of planets beyond the solar system, called exoplanets, that Kepler has detected. These other worlds vary widely in size and orbital distances, showing us that most stars are home to at least one planet. Kepler continues the search for exoplanets and the study of notable star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech #exoplanets #kepler #nasa #space #habitableplanets #star #NewWorlds #planets #science #astrophysics
Behold: the final stage in the evolution of a star similar to our sun…also known as a planetary nebula. Glowing like a multifaceted jewel, this nebula will gradually disperse into space over the next several thousand years, and then the star will cool and fade away for billions of years as a white dwarf. Our own sun is expected to undergo a similar fate, but fortunately, this will not occur until some 5 billion years from now. Credit: NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) #nasa #space #astrophysics #planetarynebula #nebula #sun #billions #hubble #telescope #galaxy #universe #picoftheday #nofilter #star
Two dozen scientists and members of our New Horizons spacecraft team ventured to Argentina and South Africa hoping to capture the fleeting starlit shadow of 2014 MU69 overnight on June 2-3, 2017 as MU69 passed in front of a distant star. MU69 is the target that the New Horizons spacecraft will explore in a flyby on New Year’s Day 2019. Swipe to see the teams in action in Argentina and South Africa as they collected data on the stellar occultation of MU69. It was reported that all 54 telescope teams collected data and that team scientists started digging into that data when they returned home after the observations. The main goal of these observations was to search for hazards to the spacecraft, while the teams also tried to glimpse the occultation of MU69 itself, in order to learn its precise size. Image 1 Credit: Kai Getrost Images 2 & 3 Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Henry Throop #mu69occ #science #space #nasa #newhorizons #2014mu69 #mu69 #KuiperBeltObject #kbo #astronomy #nightsky #picoftheday
Jupiter's clouds of many colors are seen in this image from our Juno spacecraft as it was racing away from the planet following its seventh close pass on May 19, 2017, from about 29,100 miles (46,900 km) above the cloud tops. This image was processed to enhance color differences, showing the amazing variety in Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere. The result? A surreal world of vibrant color, clarity and contrast! You’ll notice four white oval storms are visible near the top of the image, known as the “String of Pearls”. Interestingly, one orange-colored storm can be seen at the belt-zone boundary, while other storms are more of a cream color. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran #nasa #space #jupiter #solarsystem #juno #spacecraft #gasgiant #storms #pearls #clouds #planet #imageoftheday #junocam
Get outside and see what’s up in the night sky! On June 15, Saturn reaches opposition, which is when Saturn, Earth and the sun are all in a straight line, with Earth in the middle. Opposition provides the best and closest views of the ringed planet and several of its brightest moons. If you see just one, that’s Titan. Titan is 50% larger than our own moon and orbits Saturn about every 16 Earth days. Through a telescope you’ll be able to compare the cloud bands on both Saturn and Jupiter. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #solarsystem #whatsup #stars #planets #stargazing #saturn #jupiter #titan #moons #rings #clouds #telescope #june #astronomy
Today is #FlagDay, commemorating the adoption of the United States flag, which took place on June 14, 1777. Seen here is the American flag in one of the windows of the International Space Station's (@iss) cupola, a dome-shaped module through which operations on the outside of the station can be observed and guided. Astronaut Jack Fischer took this photograph and shared it on social media. Throughout NASA's history, spacecraft and launch vehicles have always been decorated with flags. When Ed White became the first American astronaut to perform a spacewalk on June 3, 1965, his spacesuit was one of the first to be adorned with a flag patch. White's crewmate Jim McDivitt also wore a flag on his suit. The astronauts purchased the flags themselves, but following their flight, NASA made the flag patch a regular feature on the spacesuits. NASA astronauts still wear them today. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #flag #usflag #flagday #space #spacestation #starsandstripes #iss #earth #cupola
Once installed aboard the International Space Station, our Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer will provide high-precision measurements of neutron stars, objects containing ultra-dense matter at the threshold of collapse into black holes. NICER will also test, for the first time in space, technology that uses pulsars as navigation beacons. Seen here, NICER is extracted from the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft trunk on orbit. Following installation onto the space station, NICER will be powered up, deployed and its range of motion verified by robotic camera. Credit: NASA #nicer #nasa #space #spacestation @iss @spacex #spacex #dragon #onorbit #video #neutronstar
Saturn's moon Mimas is a mere speck in the upper right, as our Cassini spacecraft gazes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere with its intriguing hexagon and bullseye-like central vortex. At 246 miles (396 km) across, Mimas is considered a medium-sized moon. It is large enough for its own gravity to have made it round, but isn't one of the really large moons in our solar system, like Titan. Even enormous Titan is tiny beside the mighty gas giant Saturn. This image was taken on March 27, 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute #cassini #saturn #solarsystem #nasa #space #planet #spacecraft #nofilter #moon
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