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Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official NASA Instagram account

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While many in the U.S. experienced a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, our satellites were hard at work observing the Sun from orbit, affording missions like our Solar Dynamics Observatory views of the eclipse. This movie, created from images taken by SDO, shows the Sun first in visible light, and then in 171-angstrom extreme ultraviolet light. The apparent slight movement of the Sun is because SDO has a hard time keeping the Sun centered in its images during eclipses, with so much light being blocked by the Moon. The fine guidance systems on SDO's instruments need to see the whole Sun in order keep the images centered from one exposure to the next. Once the transit was over, the fine guidance systems started back up, once again providing steady images of the Sun.  Swipe to see a far out view of the eclipse -- From a million miles out in space! NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured 12 natural color images of the moon’s shadow crossing over North America on Aug. 21, 2017. EPIC is aboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), where it photographs the full sunlit side of Earth every day, giving it a unique view of total solar eclipses. EPIC normally takes about 20 to 22 images of Earth per day, so this animation appears to speed up the progression of the eclipse.  Lastly, swipe and see this composite image showing the Sun's atmosphere, the corona (as seen by the SOHO satellite) and a ground-based image of the Aug. 21, 2017, solar eclipse at totality. During a total solar eclipse, ground-based telescopes can observe the lowest part of the solar corona in a way that can’t be done at any other time, as the dim corona is normally obscured by the bright light of the Sun.  EPIC Earth Image Credit: NASA EPIC Team SDO Video Credit: NASA/SDO SOHO Image Credits: Innermost image credit: NASA/SDO; Ground-based eclipse image credit: Jay Pasachoff, Ron Dantowitz, Christian Lockwood and the Williams College Eclipse Expedition/NSF/National
Total(lit)y awesome! This beautiful image depicts a total solar eclipse that was seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. The eclipse revealed the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, which is otherwise too dim to see next to the bright Sun. Sweeping across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States, the total solar eclipse gave scientists a unique opportunity to study the Sun. Swipe to see other stages of the total solar eclipse!  The Bailey’s Beads effect is visible in image two, as the Moon makes its final move over the Sun. Bailey’s Beads occur when the rugged lunar geography allows beads of sunlight to shine through in some places but not others.  Image three depicts the Diamond Ring effect, which is created when rays of sunlight shine through edge-on lunar valleys creating the fleeting appearance of a single glistening diamond set in a bright ring around the Moon's silhouette.  Because Earth’s surface is mostly ocean, most eclipses are visible over land for only a short time, if at all. This year’s eclipse was different – its path stretched over land for nearly 90 minutes, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to make scientific mesurements from the ground.  Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani  #nasa #space #eclipse #eclipse2017 #solareclipse2017 #solareclipse #totality #partialeclipse #totaleclipse #sun #earth #moon #planet #solarsystem #astronomy #corona #science
In this video captured at 1,500 frames per second with a high-speed camera, the International Space Station (@ISS), with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming. Onboard as part of the crew are: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer (@Astro2Fish), and Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade); Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy (@SergeyISS); and ESA (@EuropeanSpaceAgency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli (@Astro_Paolo). A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.  Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky #sun #solareclipse #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #eclipse2017 #astronomy #heliophysics #moon #nasa #eclipse #solarsystem #science #research #nasa #space #spacestation #view #internationalspacestation #research #technology #astronomy #picoftheday
Behold! This progression of the partial solar eclipse took place over Ross Lake, in Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse swept across the path of totality, a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls  #sun #solareclipse #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #eclipse2017 #astronomy #heliophysics #moon #nasa #eclipse #solarsystem #science #research
Today, the Sun disappeared, seemingly swallowed by our Moon–at least for a while. The August 21 solar eclipse cut through a swath of North America from coast to coast and those along the path of totality, that is where the Moon completely covered the Sun, were faced with a sight unseen in the U.S. in 99 years. Elsewhere across the country, many were able to view at least a partial eclipse. This series of images shows the progression of a partial solar eclipse near Banner, Wyoming.  Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)  #sun #solareclipse #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #eclipse2017 #science #research #astronomy #heliophysics #sun #moon #nasa #eclipse
Today, a solar eclipse will be visible across North America. Throughout the continent, the Moon will cover part – or all – of the Sun’s super-bright face for part of the day. For those within the narrow path of totality, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, that partial eclipse will become total for a few brief moments.  Make sure you’re using proper solar filters (not sunglasses) or an indirect viewing method if you plan to watch the eclipse in person.  Wherever you are, you can also watch today’s eclipse online with us at http://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. Starting at noon ET, our show will feature views from our research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially modified telescopes, as well as live reports from cities across the country and the International Space Station.  Learn all about #eclipse2017 at http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov. Watch live coverage at http://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. #nasa #sun #eclipse2017 #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #moon #astronomy #eclipsesafety #eclipse #science
On Aug. 21, all of North America will experience a solar eclipse. If skies are clear, eclipse-watchers will be able to see a partial solar eclipse over several hours, and some people – within the narrow path of totality – will see a total solar eclipse for a few moments.  It’s never safe to look at the Sun, and an eclipse is no exception. During a partial eclipse (or on any regular day) you must use special solar filters or an indirect viewing method to watch the Sun. Make sure you’re using proper solar filters (not sunglasses) or an indirect viewing method if you plan to watch the eclipse in person.  You don’t necessarily need fancy equipment to watch one of the sky’s most awesome shows: a solar eclipse. With just a few simple supplies, you can make a pinhole camera that allows you to view the event safely and easily.  Learn all how to safety view #eclipse2017 at http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. #nasa #sun #eclipse2017 #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #moon #astronomy #science #eclipsesafety #eclipse
On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible across North America. Throughout the continent, the Moon will cover part – or all – of the Sun’s super-bright face for part of the day. For those within the narrow path of totality, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, that partial eclipse will become total for a few brief moments.  Make sure you’re using proper solar filters (not sunglasses) or an indirect viewing method if you plan to watch the eclipse in person.  Wherever you are, you can also watch Monday’s eclipse online with us at http://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. Starting Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 at noon ET, our show will feature views from our research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially modified telescopes, as well as live reports from cities across the country and the International Space Station.  Learn all about #eclipse2017 at http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov. #nasa #sun #eclipse2017 #totalsolareclipse #partialsolareclipse #moon #astronomy #eclipsesafety #eclipse #science
Gravity governs the movements of the cosmos. It can even bring galaxies so close that they begin to tug at one another, causing them to abandon their former identities and merge to form a single accumulation of gas, dust and stars.  In this Hubble Space Telescope image is one such interaction where a galaxy called IC 1727 is currently interacting with its near neighbor galaxy, NGC 672 (which is just out of frame). The pair’s interactions have triggered peculiar and intriguing phenomena within both objects — most noticeably in IC 1727. The galaxy’s structure is visibly twisted and asymmetric, and its bright nucleus has been dragged off-center.  In interacting galaxies such as these, astronomers often see signs of intense star formation (in episodic flurries known as starbursts) and spot newly-formed star clusters. They are thought to be caused by gravity churning, redistributing and compacting the gas and dust. In fact, astronomers have analyzed the star formation within IC 1727 and NGC 672 and discovered something interesting — observations show that simultaneous bursts of star formation occurred in both galaxies some 20 to 30 and 450 to 750 million years ago. The most likely explanation for this is that the galaxies are indeed an interacting pair, approaching each other every so often and swirling up gas and dust as they pass close by.  Image Credit: NASA/ESA #nasa #space #science #astronomy #hubble #telescope #galaxy #stars #pictureoftheday #picoftheday
NASA goes "X" this National Aviation Day as we celebrate the birthday of one of America’s original U.S. aviation pioneers – Orville Wright. But this year we also celebrate the pioneers of right now –  the women and men of NASA who are changing the face of aviation by going “X.” We’re starting the design and build of a series of piloted experimental aircraft – X-planes – for the final proof that new advanced tech and revolutionary aircraft shapes will give us faster, quieter, cleaner ways to get from here to there.  Pictured here is an artist concept of possible X-plane aircraft. Since the early days of aviation, X-planes have been used to demonstrate new technologies in their native flying environment. X-planes are the final step after ground tests. They provide valuable data that can lead to changes in regulation, design, operations, and options for travel. We – along with our government, industry and academic partners – have begun the great aviation transformation. Happy #nationalaviationday!  Image credit: NASA #aeronautics #planes #avgeek #xplane #experimental #aviation #nasa #aircraft #plane #pictureoftheday #picoftheday #science #concept #design
The tumultuous Great Red Spot is fading from Juno's view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. North is to the left of the image, and south is on the right.  This striking Jovian vista was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft that was taken on July 10, 2017 at 7:12 p.m. PDT (10:12 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its seventh close flyby of Jupiter.  Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran #nasa #space #jupiter #juno #junocam #spacecraft #storm #planet #polar #cloudscape #picoftheday #greatredspot #solarsystem #grs
LIFTOFF! Today at 8:29 a.m. EDT, we launched our next communications satellite, named the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M). This satellite will join a fleet in space that helps us with global communications for more than 40 of our missions. From the beautiful images we receive from the Hubble Space Telescope, to communicating with astronauts on the International Space Station, the TDRS network helps facilitate the work we do at NASA.  With the launch of TDRS-M, the lifespan of our Space Network will be extended for another 15 years or more. Seen here as it leaves Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41 in Florida, the Atlas V rocket safely delivered the satellite in orbit.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #satellite #tdrsm #communications #launch #liftoff #kennedy #kennedyspacecenter #capecanaveral #ula #spacecraft #orbit #launchpad
‘Twas the night before launch…sitting atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, is our next communications satellite ready for Friday’s 8:03 a.m. EDT launch to space. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M, or TDRS-M, will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida tomorrow and is the latest addition to join our space communications network.  In spaceflight, communication is crucial. Whether it's the International Space Station linking to the Mission Control Center at our Johnson Space Center or interstellar images being transmitted to Earth by the Hubble Space Telescope, the vital link is our Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system. With tomorrow’s launch, this network’s lifespan will be extended by 15 years or more.  CREDIT: United Launch Alliance (ULA)  #nasa #spacecommunications #hubble #spacestation #trackinganddatarelaysatellite #satellitecommunications #satellite #astronomy #spaceexploration #solarsystem
Clouds on Saturn take on the appearance of strokes from a cosmic brush thanks to the wavy way that fluids interact in the planet's atmosphere. Neighboring bands of clouds move at different speeds and directions depending on their latitudes. This generates turbulence where bands meet and leads to the wavy structure along the interfaces. Saturn’s upper atmosphere generates the faint haze seen along the limb of the planet in this image. Now 20 years since launching from Earth, and after 13 years orbiting the ringed planet and its moons, our Cassini mission prepares for its ‘Grand Finale’ on September 15, when the mission will end with a purposeful plunge into Saturn this year in order to protect and preserve the planet's moons for future exploration – especially the potentially habitable Enceladus.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute  #nasa #cassini #saturn #clouds #spaceexploration #solarsystem #science #astronomy #picoftheday #planet
After launching on Monday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Dragon has journeyed to the International Space Station (@iss). It arrives to the space station Wednesday, Aug. 16. Astronaut Jack Fischer (@astro2fish) shared this image of the robotic arm on space station saying "The arm is out and ready to capture a @SpaceX Dragon by the tail. Can’t wait to get to work on 2 tons of science!" The flight will deliver investigations and instruments that study cosmic ray particles, protein crystal growth, stem cell-mediated recellularization and a nanosateliite technology demonstration. The vehicle also will deliver supplies and equipment to crew members living aboard the station.  In all, 6,400 pounds of experiments and supplies will arrive when Astronauts Jack Fischer of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency - @europeanspaceagency) use the station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon on Wednesday morning.  Image credit: NASA/Jack Fischer #nasa #space #spacestation #earth #view #bluemarble #astro2fish #microgravity #research #science #spacex #internationalspacestation #research #cosmicrays #dragoncargocraft #parkinsonsdisease #technology #astronomy #picoftheday
And … Liftoff! SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket launched carrying the Dragon cargo craft to the International Space Station. Dragon will bring more than 6,400 pounds of supplies, equipment and new science experiments to the crew aboard station. Included in the latest round of science and experiments is a collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to study Parkinson’s Disease, as well as CREAM, a mission to study cosmic rays. Liftoff was at 12:31 p.m. EDT. This was SpaceX’s 12th resupply mission to the International Space Station.  Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett  #spacex #nasa #spacestation #internationalspacestation #research #cosmicrays #dragoncargocraft #science #parkinsonsdisease #technology #astronomy #falcon9 #rocket
Cool starburst and a pretty planet. From 250 miles above planet Earth, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer peered outside his home on the International Space Station and caught this view. He posted the image to social media on Aug. 9 saying, “Tried new lens & snapped a lucky pic as sun ducked behind space station – that’s a cool starburst, & a pretty planet we have! #earthshapes”  Tomorrow, we’re launching science and cargo to the space station (@iss) aboard SpaceX’s #dragon cargo vehicle. Liftoff is currently scheduled for 12:31 p.m. EDT from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Six people are currently living and working on this microgravity laboratory that orbits our planet at 17,500 miles per hour. They are conducting research that will not only help us venture farther into our solar system, but also has direct benefits to life here on Earth.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #spacestation #star #starburst #earth #view #bluemarble #astro2fish #microgravity #research #science
This is a dwarf spiral galaxy named NGC 5949. Thanks to its proximity to Earth — it sits at a distance of around 44 million light-years from us, placing it within the Milky Way’s cosmic neighborhood — NGC 5949 is a perfect target for astronomers to study dwarf galaxies.  With a mass of about a hundredth that of the Milky Way, NGC 5949 is a relatively bulky example of a dwarf galaxy. Its classification as a dwarf is due to its relatively small number of constituent stars, but the galaxy’s loosely-bound spiral arms also place it in the category of barred spirals. This structure is just visible in this Hubble Space Telescope image, which shows the galaxy as a bright yet ill-defined pinwheel. Despite its small proportions, NGC 5949’s proximity has meant that its light can be picked up by fairly small telescopes, something that facilitated its discovery by the astronomer William Herschel in 1801.  Credit: ESA/NASA #nasa #space #science #astronomy #hubble #telescope #galaxy #stars #pictureoftheday #picoftheday
What’s up for August? Don’t miss the Perseid Meteor Shower, which peaks this month at 1 p.m. EDT on August 12. That means the nights before and after (August 11 -12) will produce good rates from midnight to dawn.  The Moon rises at around midnight local time, which will cut the expected meteor rate in half this year to about 25 – 50 meteors per hour at the peak, in a very dark sky. Watch for more!  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #meteor #meteorshower #perseid #perseids #august #whatsup #astronomy #solarsystem #stars #moon #earth #night #lookup
Discovered more than 100 years ago, this glowing nebula is a small galaxy about 2.2 million light years from Earth. Known as the “starburst” galaxy IC 10, referring to the intense star formation activity occurring there, observations from our Chandra X-Ray Observatory that span a decade, have found the galaxy is home to over a dozen black holes and neutron stars feeding off gas from young, massive stellar companions.  Starburst galaxies like this are excellent places to search for double star systems (aka X-ray binaries) because they are churning out stars rapidly. Many of these newly born stars will be pairs of young and massive stars. The most massive of the pair will evolve more quickly and leave behind a black hole or a neutron star partnered with the remaining massive star. If the separation of the stars is small enough, an X-ray binary system will be produced.  Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass Lowell/S. Laycock et al.; Optical: Bill Synder Astrophotography  #nasa #space #chandra #xray #observatory #universe #imageoftheday #stars #blackhole #binary #galaxies #galaxy #lightyears #neutron #starburst #astronomy
Solar déjà vu. The large sunspot that rotated out of view about two weeks ago has returned. Though much reduced in size, it did blast a good-sized coronal mass ejection about a week ago on the far side of the Sun.  It was showing off numerous magnetic loops and arches above it as it came into view. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one for more solar activity. Sunspots can last from days to months, so for it to return again is not an unusual event.  Credit: NASA/SDO  #nasa #space #sun #science #solar #solarflare #observatory #solarsystem #sunspot #eruption #rotate #orbit #spacecraft #flare

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