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

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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
Saying goodbye to a parting spacecraft. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer posted this video Thursday saying, “How super cool this is! Our robot arm releases Cygnus and the spaceship flies away! Moments like this happen all the time on @iss”. The Cygnus spacecraft had been docked to the International Space Station since April and was released on June 4, after delivering supplies and science to the crew onboard. Cygnus will remain in orbit for a week in support of the SAFFIRE experiment, which studies fire in microgravity.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #cygnus #orbitalatk #cargo #spacestation #earth #science #fire #nofilter #video
In biology, “symbiosis” refers to two organisms that live close to and interact with one another. There happens to also be a class of stars that co-exist in a similar way. Data from our Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, is helping us understand how volatile this close stellar relationship can be.  Located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth, R Aquarii (R Aqr, for short) is one of the best known of the symbiotic stars. Changes in its brightness were first noticed with the naked eye almost a thousand years ago. Since then, astronomers have studied this object and determined that R Aqr is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star.  Since shortly after Chandra launched in 1999, astronomers began using the X-ray telescope to monitor the behavior of R Aqr, giving them a better understanding in more recent years. Chandra data reveal a jet of X-ray emission that extends to the upper left. The X-rays have likely been generated by shock waves, similar to sonic booms around supersonic planes, caused by the jet striking surrounding material.  Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. Montez et al.; Optical: Adam Block/Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter/U. Arizona  #nasa #space #astronomy #spacegram #chandra #xray #star #stars #stellar
People of Earth…we happily introduce you to America’s #newastronauts! These 12 humans were selected from more than 18,300 applicants, which is more than double the previous record of 8,000 set in 1978. These astronaut candidates will return to Johnson Space Center in August to begin two years fo training. Then they could be assigned to any of a variety of missions, including: performing research on the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and departing for deep space missions in our Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.  Applicants included U.S. citizens in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories Puerto Rico, Guam and America Samoa. The talented women and men selected for the new astronaut class represent the diversity of America and the career paths that can lead to a place in America’s astronaut corps.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #newastronauts #astronauts #space #humanspaceflight #exploration #classof2017 #2017 #astronautcandidates #training #announcement #picoftheday #spacecraft
The wait is (almost) over! Meet America’s #newastronauts TOMORROW at 2 p.m. EDT live online from our Johnson Space Center in Houston. After evaluating a record number of applications (18,300+), we will introduce our newest class of astronaut candidates on June 7. Watch live on NASA’s Facebook page!  After completing two years of training, the new astronaut candiates could be assigned to missions performing research on the International Space Station, launchign from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies and launching on deep space missions on our new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #newastronauts #astronaut #astronauts #astro #johnsonspacecenter #space #astronautclass #2017 #classof2017 #america
A pair of relatively small active regions rotated into view of our solar observatory May 31 – June 2, spouting off numerous small flares and sweeping loops of plasma. At first, only the one active region was observed, but mid-way through the video clip a second one behind the first can be picked out. The dynamic regions were easily the most remarkable areas on the sun during this 42-hour period.  The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #solar #observator #sdo #sun #solarsystem #flare #active #loops #videooftheday #star
Jagged spikes, speckled noise and weird, clashing colors…what does this Hubble Space Telescope image show? A distant galaxy, visible as the smudge to the lower right, as it begins to align and pass behind a star sitting nearer to us within the Milky Way. This is an event known as a transit and can tell us a lot about these celestial objects.  Image credit: ESA/NASA  #nasa #space #hubble #stars #galaxy #galaxies #spothubble #esa #spacetelescope #telescope #nasahubble #light #universe #nofilter #weird #colorful
LIFTOFF! SpaceX’s Dragon cargo vehicle successfully launched from Launch Complex 39A at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:07 p.m. EDT today. Carrying more than 6,000 pounds of supplies and science to the International Space Station, the spacecraft will arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Monday, where it will stay for about a month.  Numerous experiments are packed inside the Dragon spacecraft, including some that will enhance study of the heart in microgravity, study microbial aboard the space station and continue research on plants grown in orbit.  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #launch #liftoff #cargo #science #supplies #research #spacex #dragon #videooftheday #video #rocket #spacecraft #spacestation #orbit
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro) of the European Space Agency (@europeanspaceagency) shared this image saying "One last glance...before we depart. The Space Station is such a unique and remote and almost magical place… I will miss it." After spending 196 days in space, Pesquet and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos landed their spacecraft in Kazakhstan at approximately 10:10 a.m. EDT on June 2. Together, the crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory. The International Space Station (@iss) is also the primary platform for technology development and testing in space enabling human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.  Credit: ESA/NASA #nasa #space #iss #spacestation #astronauts #esa #earth #proxima #tech #technology
What's Up in the sky for June? Have a planet party and compare Saturn and Jupiter! We’ll show you where and when to point your telescope or binoculars to see these planets and their largest moons. Through a telescope, you’ll even be able to compare cloud bands on two planets!  Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #stars #stargaze #solarsystem #jupiter #saturn #telescope #binoculars #planets #moons #night #instagramvid #videooftheday #june
It's Launch Day! Final preparations are underway for today's 5:55 p.m. EDT launch of the eleventh SpaceX (@SpaceX) cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (@ISS) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (@NASAKennedy). The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will liftoff into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket carrying about 6,000 pounds of crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crewmembers living aboard the station. The flight will deliver investigations and facilities that study neutron stars, osteoporosis, solar panels, tools for Earth-observation, and more.  Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #nasa #space #spacex #launch #cargo #spacestation #rocket #science #dragon

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