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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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2 days 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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2 days 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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3 days 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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3 days ago

On Aug. 22, 1963, U.S. #AirForce Captain Joe Walker flew an X-15 space plane higher than any pilot had ever flown before. Walker reached an altitude of over 67 miles (108 kilometers ). That's about 5 miles (8 km ) above the edge of space! Walker experienced about five minutes of weightlessness over the course of the 11-minute flight. This was the second and final suborbital #spaceflight of the X-15 program. Walker piloted both flights and became the first person to go to space twice. For both flights, he flew in the space plane X-15 #3, which also became the first reused spacecraft to return to space. #otd #space

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4 days ago

Throwback to the Great American Solar Eclipse⠀ Two years ago today, a rare coast-to-coast #totalsolareclipse swept across the continental United States, briefly turning day into night for millions of spectators from Oregon to South Carolina. ESO photographer Petr Horálek created this stunning composite of the #moon and the sun's corona during totality by combining many exposures of varying duration. The moon is illuminated by light reflecting off the Earth, and some pink solar prominences are visible around its edge. #space #cosmos #solareclipse #otd

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4 days ago

A young German astronomer and friend of #AlbertEinstein 's, Erwin Finlay-Freundlich, led an expedition to the #CrimeanPeninsula of Russia, where he hoped to record observations that would verify Albert Einstein's general relativity theory. This theory predicted that the light from distant stars appearing very close to the sun's edge should shift due to the curvature of space. Those stars would only be visible during a total #solareclipse , when the #moon blocks out the sun's bright light. Unfortunately, the start of World War One just 20 days before the eclipse foiled the expedition. After Germany declared war on #Russia , Freundlich and his colleagues were captured by the Russian army and their equipment was confiscated. #WWI #otd #space

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5 days ago

On Aug. 20, 1977, @NASA launched the Voyager 2 spacecraft on a mission to explore the outer planets. Despite its name, this was the first of two Voyager missions NASA launched that year. Thanks to a rare alignment of the planets, NASA had the opportunity to send a spacecraft on an unprecedented journey to #Jupiter , #Saturn , #Uranus and #Neptune While Voyager 1 ended its planetary mission after Saturn, #Voyager2 completed a 12-year journey to Neptune. But they didn't stop there! Voyager 1 left the solar system and entered interstellar space in 2012, and Voyager 2 is expected to do the same by the year 2020. #otd #space

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6 days ago

Eerie 'Fire Cloud' Floats Like Alien Structure Over Washington⠀ ⠀ It looks like a #scifi vision of another world, but it's actually the blazing heart of a fire cloud floating above our own planet.⠀ ⠀ The image, shared online by NASA Earth Observatory (NEO ), @nasaearth , was snapped in skies over eastern Washington state at an altitude of about 30,000 feet (9 kilometers ) as a NASA pilot flew into a so-called #firecloud This phenomenon, also known as a pyrocumulonimbus or PyroCb cloud, occurs when heat and moisture from wildfires rise up into the atmosphere and form smoke-filled thunderclouds atop the fire's plumes, NEO reported.⠀ ⠀ In the photo, taken on Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. local time, puffy, white #clouds hover in the right side of the picture in a horizontal strip of bluish light, while the top and bottom of the image glow orange. The #sun glows in the upper left corner, transformed by an orange halo; particles from the fire far below reflect light and lend the sun its orange color, according to NEO. #cosmos #earth

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6 days ago

A Tiny Meteor in the Milky Way⠀ Can you spot the #meteor in the #MilkyWay ? After taking this photo of the night sky over Mount Rainier in Washington state on July 30, astrophotographer Tony Corso was surprised to find a tiny trail of a meteor near the center of this image. Look for the short streaker on the right edge of the Milky Way's dusty band. ⠀ ⠀ The meteor was likely a member of either the Southern Delta Aquarid #meteorshower or the Alpha Capricornids, both of which peaked at the end of July. It could have also been a Perseid meteor, although that shower didn't peak until about two weeks later.⠀ https://buff.ly/2GPwY08

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6 days ago

On Aug. 19, 1997, the #Philippines launched its own satellite for the first time. Before then, the country's only communications satellite was one that had been purchased from Indonesia after it was already in orbit. One year later, the Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation sent their own satellite into orbit using a Chinese Long March 3B #rocket The new satellite was named Agila-2 in honor of the great Philippine eagle. To this day, it provides the most powerful satellite coverage in Asia and the Pacific. In 2009, the Philippines sold it to the Asia Broadcast Satellite company. #birds of instagram #filipino #otd #space

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2 weeks ago

This classic image of the Pillars of Creation inside of the Eagle Nebula reveals a stellar nursery where new stars may be hatched.

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2 weeks ago

A skywatcher in silhouette appears to hold up the night sky in the Azores, Portugal, in this photo by Miguel Claro. The constellation Sagittarius glows at the left, with Scorpius on the right. (Image: © Miguel Claro )

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2 weeks ago

In this new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, what looks like a top-down view of a jellyfish glowing in deep space is actually the planetary nebula NGC 2022. The cosmic orb of ionized gas was expelled from a dying red giant star located at its center. As the star sheds material into space, its core shrinks and grows hotter while emitting ultraviolet radiation that illuminates its gassy shell.

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2 weeks ago

In this timelapse image of the Great South American Eclipse on July 2, the sun sets behind the Andes mountains as the moon crosses directly in front of it, creating a stunning "diamond ring" effect in the evening sky. Astrophotographer Chirag Upreti created this composite using images he captured from Bella Vista, Argentina.⠀ ⠀ "Totality occurred about 11 degrees above the horizon, and it was emotionally exhilarating to the naked eye, especially because it formed a beautiful connection with the Earth being so close to the horizon," Upreti told Space.com. #space #skywatching #photography #iod

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2 weeks ago

Andromeda and the Perseids⠀ Two meteors dart across the night sky near the #Andromedagalaxy , the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbor, in this starry image captured by astrophotographer Omid Qadrdan during the peak of the #Perseid #meteorshower Andromeda's tiny satellite galaxy Messier 110 is also visible in this photo, appearing as a fuzzy "star" above and to the left of the galaxy's bright core. #galaxy #star #cosmos

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2 weeks ago

On Aug. 14, 1992, a meteorite entered the atmosphere over Mbale, Uganda and exploded into hundreds of pieces! Debris from this #meteorite shower was strewn over an area of about 2 by 4 miles, and the biggest piece weighed more than 60 pounds! Scientists estimated that the original meteorite weighed upwards of 2,000 pounds. A young boy was hit in the head with a smaller meteorite fragment, but thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed by any of the falling #space #rocks #rocksofinstagram #otd #space

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2 weeks ago

Fire and Fireballs Over Macedonia⠀ Several bright Perseid meteor dash across the sky near a wildfire in Macedonia in this fisheye view by Stojan Stojanovski. He captured this photo during the peak of the #Perseidmeteorshower last night. In the center of what appears to be a ring of smoke, the #MilkyWaygalaxy is faintly visible behind four bright meteors, and one smaller meteor can be seen in the distance. #space #cosmos ⠀ https://buff.ly/2GPwY08

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2 weeks ago

On Aug. 13, 2014, a company called DigitalGlobe launched what was then the sharpest-eyed #satellite of all time. WorldView-3 is a high-resolution imaging satellite that can resolve features as small as 1 foot (31 centimeters ) across. Its instruments allow it to peer through fog and smoke to see Earth's surface at a level of detail that was unprecedented for a nongovernmental #spacecraft WorldView-3 lifted off on a United Launch Alliance #Atlas5rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has been orbiting the #Earth ever since. #otd #space

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2 weeks ago

Milky Way Shines Over VISTA⠀ The arc of the Milky Way galaxy sparkles above the European Southern Observatory's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA ) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile in this colorful night-sky photo by astrophotographer Petr Horálek. Barely visible on top of a mountain peak in the background is ESO's Very Large Telescope array. #space #cosmos #milkyway

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2 weeks ago

On Aug. 12, 2005, @NASA launched its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO ) mission. Some of the best cameras ever launched into space are on MRO, and the spacecraft has taken some seriously amazing, photos of #Mars The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE camera, takes high-resolution photos of the Martian surface and has helped NASA scout the Red Planet for suitable landing sites for rovers like Curiosity. It also serves as a data relay station for other spacecraft on Mars that needed to beam data back to #Earth MRO has also studied water and ice on Mars, and its cameras have revealed some pretty weird landscapes. #otd #space More: https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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2 weeks ago

On Aug. 11, 1960, part of the Discoverer 13 satellite became the first human-made object to be recovered from Earth's orbit. The United States Department of Defense launched the mission as part of the C.I.A.'s Corona spy #satellite program. They wanted to see if they could return a satellite's instrument package to #Earth safely and gently enough to retrieve the object intact. The reentry capsule was a big, bowl-shaped hunk of metal that weighed about 120 pounds and contained only an American flag. After deploying a heat shield and parachute, the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. A Navy helicopter pulled it out of the water and airlifted it to a ship, which brought it back to Pearl Harbor. #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

A 'Seagull' in Space⠀ Flying through the cosmos some 3,400 light-years away from Earth is a bird-shaped cloud of dust and gas known as the Seagull Nebula, or Sharpless 2-296. The European Southern Observatory's VLT Survey Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile captured this new view of the cosmic #seagull , which is rich with new star formation. #birdsofinstagram #cosmos #space #nebula

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3 weeks ago

On Aug. 9, 1976, the Soviet space program launched its last #moon mission. Luna 24 was a robotic sample return mission and the third of its kind. It lifted off on a Proton-K rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and safety landed on the lunar surface nine days later. The probe landed in a dark plain known as Mare Crisium, or the "Sea of Crises" and collected 6 ounces (170.1 grams ) of soil samples, which is brought back to #Earth on August 22. Scientists then found that the samples from #Luna24 contained tiny traces of water — about 0.1 percent by mass. #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

Hail Félicette! ⠀ A bronze statue of Félicette, the first cat in space, will perch on top of the Earth and gaze at the stars.⠀ ⠀ Fifty-six years after a cat named #Félicette became the first feline to launch into space, plans to build the cosmic cat's first proper memorial are beginning to take shape. ⠀ ⠀ In 2017, a Kickstarter campaign raised more than $57,000 to build a statue of Félicette commemorating her historic mission. After a long search, the campaign's organizers have finally found a permanent home for the memorial. And last week, they shared the first photos of the statue's new design, featuring an out-of-this-world (literally ) replica of Félicette. ⠀ ⠀ The new photos show a clay model of what will eventually be the bronze sculpture of Félicette sitting on top of planet Earth and gazing up at the stars. It's still a work in progress, and in order to keep the statue from toppling over on its round bottom, the planet's Southern Hemisphere has been temporarily set aside. The final product will be around 69 inches (175 centimeters ) tall, and it will be displayed at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. #InternationalCatDay #Cats #CatsofInstagram ⠀ https://buff.ly/2KuisxS

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3 weeks ago

Live Science just got a new look! Follow our sister site, @live_science for the latest science stories and images! #science #sciencenews ⠀ https://buff.ly/2ZIq9ak

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3 weeks ago

The Cat's Paw Nebula⠀ In honor of #InternationalCatDay , today we share an iconic image of the Cat's Paw Nebula, or NGC 6334, a cosmic cloud of dust and gas with three distinct features shaped like "toe beans." Astronomers with the European Southern Observatory created this image of the #nebula using data from the second Digitized Sky Survey back in 2010. You can see more photos of the Cat's Paw Nebula here. #cats #catsofinstagram #space

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3 weeks ago

On Aug. 8, 1977, the Salyut 5 space station fell out of space and burned up in Earth's atmosphere. #Salyut5 was a Soviet space station and part of the highly-secretive Almaz military space station program. It launched in 1976 and housed two crew of #cosmonauts as they conducted military experiments and other scientific research in orbit. Originally, four crewed missions were supposed to go to Salyut 5. However, the third crew was unable to dock their spacecraft and had to return home. The fourth mission had to be cancelled because Salyut 5 was starting to run low on propellant for its main engines and attitude control system. Salyut 5 couldn't be refuelled, so it was deorbited and left to burn up in Earth's atmosphere. #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

On Aug. 7, 1980, NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft ended its epic and historic mission on the Red Planet. #Viking1 was the first spacecraft to successfully land on #Mars It was one of two Viking missions @NASA launched in 1975 to go look for evidence of life on Mars. Each of the Viking missions were composed of an orbiter and a lander. Viking 1's orbiter took photos of the Martian surface that helped NASA decide where to drop the lander. After four years of orbiting Mars, the orbiter ran out of attitude-control propellant, so NASA had to shut it down. The lander continued its scientific observations for another three years before it lost contact with NASA in 1983. #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

Reflections in NASA's Webb Telescope⠀ During a recent test of NASA's new #JamesWebbSpaceTelescope , an engineer snapped this photo of the telescope's enormous primary mirror reflector off its smaller secondary mirror. If you look closely, you can see part of the secondary mirror reflecting off the gold panels that make up the telescope's primary mirror. This photo was taken while @NASA engineers were performing a test run of the mechanism that deploys the secondary mirror's support structure. After the #telescope launches into #space , it will have to perform a series of maneuvers to "unfold" all of its parts.

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3 weeks ago

Happy Birthday, Curiosity!⠀ NASA's #Curiosityrover , which landed on #Mars seven years ago today, took this selfie while making its way up Mount Sharp, a 3-mile (5-kilometer ) peak located in the middle of Gale Crater. When Curiosity arrived at the Red Planet in 2012, it touched down inside that same #crater It has since traveled more than 13 miles (21 km ), stopping to drill the Martian surface here and there along the way. In this photo, you can see two drill holes near the rover's base. #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

On Aug. 6, 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover successfully touched down on the Martian surface. Curiosity is NASA's biggest and most ambitious Mars rover ever launched. Its landing involved a new kind of maneuver that had never been tried before using something called a "sky crane." Like previous rovers that have landed on Mars, Curiosity used a parachute and rocket engines to slow down. But while other rovers used airbags to cushion the last part of the fall, Curiosity's rocket-propelled sky crane hovered over the ground and gently lowered it with cables. #curiosityrover #Mars #otd #space

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3 weeks ago

On Aug. 5, 2011, @NASA launched the Juno spacecraft on a mission to study #Jupiter , the largest #planet in the solar system. The robotic spacecraft lifted off on an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and spent the next five years making the 1.74-billion-mile trek to Jupiter. Since it arrived in Jupiter's orbit in 2016, Juno has taken the most amazing photos of Jupiter anyone has ever seen! But it has also taken plenty of scientific measurements to study Jupiter's composition, magnetic fields, weather patterns and more. #otd #space More: https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW

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4 weeks ago

A Spiral Galaxy's Edge⠀ What looks like a long, narrow stretch of stars in this #HubbleSpaceTelescope image is actually a spiral #galaxy just like the #MilkyWay From our position in the cosmos, we view this galaxy edge-on. Named NGC 3432, this galaxy is located about 45 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Leo Minor.

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