Corona from Svalbard

During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s extensive outer atmosphere, or corona, is an inspirational sight. Streamers and shimmering features that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single photograph. But this composite of 29 telescopic images covers a wide range of exposure times to reveal the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The aligned … Read More →

[NASA] Pushing the Boundaries of Propelling Deep Space Missions

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are advancing the propulsion system that will propel the first ever mission to redirect an asteroid for astronauts to explore in the 2020s.  NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission will test a number of new capabilities, like advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), needed for future astronaut expeditions into deep space, including to Mars. The Hall thruster is part of an SEP system that uses 10 times … Read More →

A Flag Shaped Aurora over Sweden

It appeared, momentarily, like a 50-km tall banded flag. In mid-March, an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection directed toward a clear magnetic channel to Earth led to one of the more intense geomagnetic storms of recent years. A visual result was wide spread auroras being seen over many countries near Earth’s magnetic poles. Captured over Kiruna, Sweden, the image features an unusually straight auroral curtain with the green color emitted low … Read More →

[NASA] Hubble Views a Galaxy on Edge

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Due to its orientation we cannot appreciate its spiral arms, but we can admire the elegant profile of its disk. The galaxy lies over 30 million light-years away from us. NGC 5023 is part of the M51 group of galaxies. The brightest galaxy in this group is Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, which has … Read More →

Shadow of a Martian Robot

What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn’t human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars. Opportunity has been exploring the red planet since early 2004, finding evidence of ancient water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System. Pictured above in 2004, Opportunity looks opposite the Sun into Endurance Crater and sees its own shadow. Two wheels are visible on the lower … Read More →

Diamond Rings and Baily s Beads

Near the March 20 equinox the cold clear sky over Longyearbyen, Norway, planet Earth held an engaging sight, a total eclipse of the Sun. The New Moon’s silhouette at stages just before and after the three minute long total phase seems to sprout glistening diamonds and bright beads in this time lapse composite of the geocentric celestial event. The last and first glimpses of the solar disk with the lunar … Read More →