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

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This stunning image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The region is rendered in exquisite detail - deep red and bright blue stars are scattered across the frame, set against a background of thousands of more distant stars and galaxies. Two features are particularly striking: the colors of the stars, and the dramatic crosses that burst from the centers of the brightest bodies. While some of the colors in this frame have been enhanced and tweaked during the process of creating the image from the observational data, different stars do indeed glow in different colors. Stars differ in color according to their surface temperature: very hot stars are blue or white, while cooler stars are redder. They may be cooler because they are smaller, or because they are very old and have entered the red giant phase, when an old star expands and cools dramatically as its core collapses.  Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA  #nasa #esa #space #hubble #hst #sagittarius #nasabeyond #astronomy #science
Jupiter Pearl and Swirling Cloud Tops: This amateur-processed image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016, at 9:27 a.m. PST (12:27 p.m. EST), as our Juno spacecraft (@NASAJuno) performed its third close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 15,200 miles (24,400 kilometers) from the gas giant planet.  The citizen scientist (Eric Jorgensen) cropped the JunoCam image and enhanced the color to draw attention to Jupiter's swirling clouds southeast of the "pearl." The "pearl" is one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on Jupiter, known colloquially as the "string of pearls." The processing of this image highlights the turbulence of the clouds in the south temperate belt of the planet.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Eric Jorgensen  #nasa #space #solarsystem #astronomy #jupiter #clouds #juno #nasabeyond #science
This galaxy with an active galactic nucleus is seen in this image combining data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory. It contains an example of a supermassive black hole hidden by gas and dust. Researchers analyzed NuSTAR data from this object and compared them with previous observations from our Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Japanese-led Suzaku satellite. The findings from NuSTAR, which is more sensitive to higher energy X-rays than these observatories, confirm the nature the galaxy as an active galactic nucleus that is heavily obscured, and intrinsically much brighter than observed.  Credit: ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI  #nasa #hubble #hst #astronomy #nustar #chandra #nasabeyond #astronomy #galaxy #science
What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by ours New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip down onto the surface of Pluto -- starting with a distant view of Pluto -- and leading up to an eventual ride in for a "landing" on the shoreline of Pluto's informally named Sputnik Planitia.  After a 9.5-year voyage covering more than three billion miles, New Horizons flew through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015, coming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto. Carrying powerful telescopic cameras that could spot features smaller than a football field, New Horizons sent back hundreds of images of Pluto and its moons that show how dynamic and fascinating their surfaces are.  Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI  #nasa #space #planets #pluto #plutoflyby #charon #astronomy #nasabeyond #newhorizons #science
Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (@NOAA). Scientists at our Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analyzed measurements from 6,300 locations and found that Earth's average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late-19th century, largely a result of human emissions into the atmosphere. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures.  Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Kathryn Mersmann @nasagoddard  #nasa #space #earth #earthrightnow #giss #noaa #science
From aboard the International Space Station, European Space Agency astronauts Thomas Pesquet Verified account (@thom_astro) posted this image and wrote, 'No lack of cameras on the @ISS! We store them in between the Russian window and the Cupola, an @europeanspaceagency-built observatory module.  Credit: NASA/ESA  #nasa #space #esa #astronaut #photography #observation #view #cupola #iss #expedition50 #mission #proxima
Magnetic arcs of plasma that spiraled above two active regions held their shape fairly well over 18 hours (Jan. 11-12). The charged plasma is being controlled the magnetic field lines of the active regions. The field lines become clearly visible when viewed in this wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Often the arches bend and twist more dynamically than the relatively stable ones seen here.  Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA  #nasa #space #sun #solar #coronalhole #sdo #observatory #aurora #solarwind#particles #solarsystem #spaceweather
We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, died today, Jan. 16. "We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind." -- Cernan's closing words on leaving the moon at the end of Apollo 17  Credit: NASA  #nasa #apollo #apollo17 #space #moon
Here's a view you don't normally see on the other end of feet! 'This is what a spacewalk is: 400km of void under your feet,' wrote European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro). Two astronauts spent Friday morning working outside the International Space Station (@ISS) in the vacuum of space!  Credit; NASA/ESA  #nasa #space #iss #astronauts #spacestation #esa #astronaut #spacewalk #iss #expedition50 #mission #proxima
Crescent Jupiter with the Great Red Spot: This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist (Roman Tkachenko) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. You can also see a series of storms shaped like white ovals, known informally as the 'string of pearls.' Below the Great Red Spot a reddish long-lived storm known as Oval BA is visible. The image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016, as the Juno spacecraft performed its third close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 285,100 miles (458,800 kilometers) from the planet.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko @nasajpl  #nasa #jupiter #astronomy #planets #nasabeyond #solarsystem #juno #science
The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is in the Virgo constellation and imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. It presents an interesting puzzle. At first glance, this galaxy appears to be a normal spiral galaxy, much like the Milky Way, but first appearances can be deceptive! The Milky Way galaxy, like most large galaxies, has a supermassive black hole at its center, but some galaxies are centered on lighter, intermediate-mass black holes. This is such a galaxy - in fact, it is centered on one of the lowest black hole masses known in any luminous galactic core. What puzzles scientists about this particular galaxy is that the calculations don't add up. With such a relatively low mass for the central black hole, models for the emission from the object cannot explain the observed spectrum. There must be other mechanisms at play in the interactions between the inner and outer parts of the accretion disk surrounding the black hole.  Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt  #nasa #space #hubble #hst #nasabeyond #astronomy #galaxy #milkyway #blackhole #science
Second spacewalk of 2017 successfully complete! Station (@ISS) Commander Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) and @europeanspaceagency astronaut Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro) concluded their spacewalk at 12:20 p.m. EST today. During the nearly six hour spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. This image was posted by Shane, who wrote, 'Went outside for a #spacewalk today with @Thom_astro. So amazing to be a part of a huge TEAM that made it all happen.' Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #iss #astronauts #spacestation
That's no moon... oh wait, yes it is. It's Saturn's moon Mimas and it's large Herschel Crater. Shadows cast across the moon, provide an indication of the size of the crater's towering walls and central peak.  Named after the icy moon's discoverer, astronomer William Herschel, the crater stretches 86 miles (139 kilometers) wide -- almost one-third of the diameter of Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers) itself. Large impact craters often have peaks in their center. Herschel's peak stands nearly as tall as Mount Everest on Earth.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute  #nasa #space #nasabeyond #astronomy #starwars #mimas #planets #saturn #science
This elongated coronal hole rotated across the surface of the sun this past week so that it is now streaming solar wind towards Earth. Coronal holes are areas of open magnetic field from which solar wind particles stream into space. The particle stream will likely generate aurora here on Earth.  In this wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, the coronal hole appears as a dark area near the center and lower portion of the sun.  CREDIT: NASA/SDO  #nasa #space #sun #solar #coronalhole #sdo #observatory #aurora #solarwind#particles #solarsystem #spaceweather
Like monsters hiding under your bed... monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that our NuSTAR mission can detect. That's how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby galaxies.  NGC 1448, a galaxy with an active galactic nucleus hidden by gas and dust, is seen in this image.  Credits: Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey/NASA/JPL-Caltech  #nasa #blackhole #astronomy #nasabeyond #nustar #space #telescope #hst #science
Your Home Planet, as Seen From Mars! From the most powerful telescope orbiting Mars comes a new view of Earth and its moon, showing continent-size detail on the planet and the relative size of the moon. The image combines two separate exposures taken on Nov. 20, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images were taken to calibrate HiRISE data, since the reflectance of the moon's Earth-facing side is well known. For presentation, the exposures were processed separately to optimize detail visible on both Earth and the moon. The moon is much darker than Earth and would barely be visible if shown at the same brightness scale as Earth.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona  #nasa #space mars #earth #moon #redplanet #orbiter #hirise #mro #nasabeyond #science
[Artist Concept] Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into a youthful, 23 million year old star that resides 95 light-years from Earth. This illustration shows several comets speeding across a vast protoplanetary disk of gas and dust and heading straight for the youthful, central star. These "kamikaze" comets will eventually plunge into the star and vaporize. The comets are too small to photograph, but their gaseous spectral "fingerprints" on the star's light were detected by Hubble. The gravitational influence of a suspected Jupiter-sized planet in the foreground may have catapulted the comets into the star. This star, called HD 172555, represents the third extrasolar system where astronomers have detected doomed, wayward comets.  Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Feild and G. Bacon (STScI)  #nasa #space #hubble #hst #comet #stars #nasabeyond #astronomy #science
Today, astronauts Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) and Peggy Whitson conducted a six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk. They successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. They also accomplished several get-ahead tasks. Shane posted this selfie pic and wrote, "We went outside for a walk today! So honored to be part of the @NASA @ISS #spacewalk team." Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #iss #astronauts #spacestation #selfie
Double whammy! Astronomers have discovered what happens when the eruption from a supermassive black hole is swept up by the collision and merger of two galaxy clusters. This composite image contains X-rays, radio emission, and optical data of the colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412.  Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. van Weeren et al; Optical: NAOJ/Subaru; Radio: NCRA/TIFR/GMRT  #nasa #aas229 #chandra #galaxy #astronomy #nasabeyond #blackhole #science
Earth is beautiful a blue from space! From the International Space Station (@iss) astronaut Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) posted this image and wrote, 'Wishing everyone on Earth a Happy New Year from 250 miles above our planet!' Image Credit: NASA  #nasa #space #iss #astronauts #earth
Send in the clouds... Floating high above the hydrocarbon lakes, wispy clouds have finally started to return to Titan's northern latitudes.  Clouds like these disappeared from Titan's (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across) northern reaches for several years (from about 2010 to 2014). Now they have returned, but in far smaller numbers than expected. Since clouds can quickly appear and disappear, Cassini scientists regularly monitor the large moon, in the hopes of observing cloud activity. They are especially interested in comparing these observations to predictions of how cloud cover should change with Saturn’s seasons. Titan’s clear skies are not what researchers expected.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute  #nasa #space #saturn #titan planets #moon #nasabeyond #astronomy #science @nasajpl

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