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Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official NASA Instagram account http://www.nasa.gov/

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LIFTOFF! Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off at 4:44 a.m. EDT from our Wallops Flight Facility (@NASAWallops) in Virginia. It is on its way to the International Space Station (@ISS). Cygnus is carrying about 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations for the orbital laboratory and its crew. Photo Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani #nasa #cygnus #antares #orbitalatk #launch #rocketlaunch #science #space #rocket #rocketscience #fire #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #wallops #nasawallops #liftoff

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‘Twas the night before launch and Orbital ATK’s #Antares rocket with the #Cygnus spacecraft perched on top, sits ready on the launch pad for tomorrow’s 4:39 a.m. EDT liftoff. Packed with around 7,400 pounds of science experiments, food and supplies, this marks Orbital ATK’s ninth contracted cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station (@iss). Orbiting 250 miles above Earth, the space station has had a continuous human presence since the year 2000, and is currently home to six astronauts. While onboard, crew members conduct important scientific research that will not only pave the way for humans to travel deeper into the solar system than ever before, but also has benefits to life here on Earth. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani #nasa #space #spacestation #launch #cargo #supplies #science #liftoff #rocket #earth #humans #astronaut #resupply #launchpad #wallops #nasawallops #wallopsisland #pictureoftheday

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Behold: see galaxies like never before! Astronomers have used the unparalleled sharpness & spectral range of the Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) to create the most comprehensive, high-resolution ultraviolet-light look at nearby star-forming galaxies. The researchers combined new Hubble observations with archival Hubble images for 50 star-forming spiral and dwarf galaxies in the local universe, offering a large and extensive resource for understanding the complexities of star formation and galaxy evolution. The project, called the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS), has amassed star catalogs for each of the LEGUS galaxies and cluster catalogs for 30 of the galaxies, as well as images of the galaxies themselves. The data provide detailed information on young, massive stars and star clusters, and how their environment affects their development. Seen here is a look at one of the galaxies included in the LEGUS survey. It is a spiral galaxy located in the Canes Venatici constellation about 20 million light-years away from Earth. Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the LEGUS team #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #telescope #galaxy #lightyears #beautiful #pictureoftheday #science #astronomy #pretty #legus

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A powerful X-ray pulsar is whipping around its stellar partner at a record-breaking speed! These two stars orbit each other every 38 minutes, less than the amount of time it takes to stream an episode of your favorite tv sitcom. It’s the fastest-known orbit for this kind of binary star system, where a rapidly spinning, very dense star called a pulsar pulls material away from a lighter companion star. In this visualization you can see that the two stars in this system are closer to each other than Earth is to the Moon! Scientists were able to confirm the new record using our Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer aboard the International Space Station (@ISS). Credit: @NASAGoddard #nasa #space #spacetelescope #star #universe #science #binarystars #pulsar #spacestation #iss #nicer #neutronstar #stars #xrays #orbit #space

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Imagine taking in breathtaking views of the Earth below you while experiencing a sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes. Astronaut Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) experienced that mind-blowing workday as he performed a 6.5 hour spacewalk yesterday and captured this selfie. Alongside fellow spacewalker Drew Feustel (@astro_feustel), Arnold finished upgrading cooling system hardware and installed new and updated communications equipment for future dockings of commercial crew spacecraft. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 54 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes working outside the International Space Station (@ISS) in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Credit: NASA #nasa #spacewalk #astronaut #views #earth #space #spacestation #science #solarsystem #picoftheday

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This natural-color image of the erupting Kilauea volcano in Hawaii shows the aftermath of lava fountains and explosions that rose more than 100 feet into the air on May 14. Our satellites acquire data to measure the height of volcanic plumes and make observations about the properties of the particles found within the plumes. In this image, the areas appearing red show where our satellite detected unusually warm temperatures associated with lava, while recent lava flows appear gray, forested areas are dark green and homes are small white dots. We will continue to use satellite data to understand Kilauea’s geology and behavior. Credit: NASA/Joshua Stevens/@USGS #nasa #science #volcano #kilauea #hawaii #earth #landsat #picoftheday #greenisland #earthview #views #satellite #lava #explosion #erupt #data

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Each and every day, our Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite collects data about our brightest star☀️. Our satellite helps researchers understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. This image of the sun, taken today, combines images in three wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light. Each different wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light present in the Sun's corona correlates to material of different temperatures, resulting sometimes in completely different views of the same Sun. Scientists examine the combined images to reveal the solar atmosphere in all its detail. To learn more about how we study solar activity, visit: www.nasa.gov/sdo Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory #nasa #space #sun #solar #light #earth #solarsystem #science #video #ultraviolet #uv #uvlight #picoftheday #views #shinebright

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Scientists found independent evidence that Europa’s subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell when our Galileo mission collected data on the moon in 1997. New analysis of old data brings new insights to the question of whether Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. Scientists found independent evidence that Europa’s subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell when our Galileo mission collected data on the moon in 1997. Taken by our Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s, this image shows the puzzling, fascinating surface of Europa. Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and re-frozen into new patterns. Areas that appear blue or white contain relatively pure water ice, while reddish and brownish areas include non-ice components in higher concentrations. The polarregions, visible at the left and right of this view, are noticeably bluer than the more equatorial latitudes, which look more white. This color variation is thought to be due to differences in ice grain size in the two locations. During our Europa Clipper mission, which may launch as early as June 2022, we will learn more about whether Europa has those necessary ingredients that could support life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute #nasa #space #jupiter #solarsystem #pictureoftheday #moons #astronomical #astrophoto #icy #planetary

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Make your mom feel out-of-this-world this #MothersDay by sending her this interstellar rose, courtesy of our Spitzer Space Telescope. Bright young stars fill this rosebud-shaped cloud of gas & dust, known as a nebula. A recent census of the cluster reveals the presence of 130 young stars. The stars formed from a massive cloud of gas and dust that contains enough raw materials to create a thousand Sun-like stars. In a process that astronomers still poorly understand, fragments of this molecular cloud became so cold and dense that they collapsed into stars. Most stars in our Milky Way galaxy are thought to form in such clusters. Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech-Harvard-Smithsonian CfA #nasa #space #spitzer #telescope #mother #mothersday #mom #science #solarsystem #universe #pictureoftheday #rose #rosebud #flower #beautiful #nebula #star #gas #dust

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Astronaut Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) shared this image from the International Space Station (@ISS) stating that "fishing boats look like stars seemingly adrift in the Gulf of #Thailand while [the] lights of #Bangkok illuminate the distant shore." Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 50 years. Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken more than 1.5 million photographs of the Earth. Today, the International Space Station continues this tradition of Earth observation from human-tended spacecraft. Operational since November 2000, the ISS is well suited for documenting Earth features and provides an excellent stage for observing most populated areas of the world. Image credit: NASA/@astro_ricky #nasa #space #spacestation #pretty #beautiful #science #view #earth #planet #views #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #views #clouds

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Located about 5,200 light years from Earth, this stellar cluster is at an ideal stage for studying its evolution: not long after star formation has stopped. In some ways, star clusters are like giant families with thousands of stellar siblings. The stars come from the same origins – a common cloud of gas and dust – and are bound to one another by gravity. By using the Chandra X-ray Observatory (@chandraxray) to study young astral clans, like this one, astronomers hope to learn more about how stars – including our Sun – are born. Credits: NASA/CXC/University of Valparaiso/M. Kuhn et. al WISE:NASA/JPL/WISE #chandra #hubble #spitzer #telescope #astronomy #xray #nebula #space #nasa #astronomy #science #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

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Look above the bright, light-speckled galaxy in the foreground of this Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) image to see galaxies smeared and twisted into odd shapes, arcs and streaks. This phenomenon indicates the presence of a giant galaxy cluster, which is bending the light coming from the galaxies behind it with its monstrous gravitational influence! Located some three billion light-years away, this cluster of galaxies has been studied for its strong lensing properties – where their gravity stretches and warps the light of more distant galaxies sitting behind them, creating these weird and spectacular arcs. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt #nasa #space #hubble #spothubble #solarsystem #universe #galaxy #cluster #warp #monstrous #gravity #science #pictureoftheday #beautiful #arc #bend #light

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