Archives

December 2017



Despite the many impressive discoveries humans have made about the universe, scientists are still unsure about the birth story of our solar system.


Filled with trash, the unpiloted ISS Progress 67 Russian cargo ship undocked from the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station at 8:03 p.m. EST.


A portion of the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan and its snow-capped mountains are pictured with the tip of one of the International Space Station's main solar arrays in the foreground.


The International Space Station's three newest crew members are beginning their second week familiarizing themselves with the orbital lab's operations and systems. They and the other three Expedition 54 crew mates are also busy today with cargo operations, space science and station maintenance.


Mizuna is pictured being cultivated inside the Veggie facility for the Veg-03 botany experiment.


An international study co-led by SFU researcher Brendan Dyck has revealed that the sun may not have evaporated away all of Mars' surface water after all.


Today - Rodent Research 6 (RR-6): In support of the on-going RR-6 investigation, the crew removed the mice and restocked the rodent habitats with new food bars in addition to cleaning the lids and interiors cages of the habitats.


This is NASA's 2018 'To Do' list. The work we do, which will continue in 2018, helps the United States maintain its world leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery.
Launches, discoveries and more exploration await in the year ahead.


This is an photograph from the Oct. 31, 2017 Operation IceBridge flight over the Larsen C.


Located 530 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Grus (The Crane), π1 Gruis is a cool red giant.


The crew has the day off today.


With 2018 approaching rapidly and 2017 coming to a close, the European Space Agency (ESA) can look back on a fruitful year.


Don't be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy, known as ESO 580-49, actually displays some explosive tendencies.


Collision that produced gravitational waves raises questions about the source of short gamma-ray bursts


Six Expedition 54 crew members will spend Christmas orbiting Earth sharing a traditional meal and opening goodies delivered on recent cargo missions to the International Space Station. Veteran crew member Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos is spending his third holiday season in space.


At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way's closest companions.


Speeding through the atmosphere high above Jupiter's equator is an east-west jet stream that reverses course on a schedule almost as predictable as a Tokyo train's. Now, a NASA-led team has identified which type of wave forces this jet to change direction.


This is an photograph from the Oct. 31, 2017 Operation IceBridge flight over the Larsen C.


Kelp forests grow along coastlines worldwide, largely hidden from view. Like rainforests, they're among the planet's most important ecosystems: beautiful but fragile habitats for a wide array of plant and animal species.


Arecibo has provided the highest-resolution images to date of near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon.


Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei swaps out a payload card from the TangoLab-1 facility and places into the TangoLab-2 facility.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


Today - Marrow: Upon wakeup a 53S crewmember collected breath and ambient air samples. With operator assistance, the subject collected blood samples to support the Marrow investigation.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Lake Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba, with Reindeer Island visible in the lower-right part of the image.


A team of U.S. astronomers studying the star RZ Piscium has found evidence suggesting its strange, unpredictable dimming episodes may be caused by vast orbiting clouds of gas and dust, the remains of one or more destroyed planets.


Today - Zebrafish Muscle 2: Following the fixation and stowing of experiment units (EUs) from Group A earlier this week, today the crew performed fixation on the EUs from Groups B and C and then stowed them in the refrigerator of the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).


Stars forming in galaxies appear to be influenced by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, but the mechanism of how that happens has not been clear to astronomers until now.


NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency joined Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and crewmates Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 5:55 a.m. EST. The welcoming ceremony will begin shortly.


An innovative interpretation of X-ray data from a cluster of galaxies could help scientists fulfill a quest they have been on for decades: determining the nature of dark matter.


The Sentinel-1 radar satellite mission takes us over Orange County and surrounding areas in the US state of California.


The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station's Rassvet module at 3:43 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 19.


When scientists recorded a rippling in space-time, followed within two seconds by an associated burst of light observed by dozens of telescopes around the globe, they had witnessed, for the first time, the explosive collision and merger of two neutron stars.


The Soyuz MS-07 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 2:21 a.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 17 (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time).


Today - 51 Soyuz (51S) Undock and Landing: The 51S crew Randolph Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Paolo Nespoli undocked from the ISS at 11:13 pm CST on Wednesday evening and landed at 2:37am CST on Thursday.


Today would have been Sir Arthur C. Clarke's 100th birthday. Arthur C. Clarke has had more influence on me as a writer than just about anyone else has - and it started at a very early age.


An experiment in space manufacturing and an enhanced study of solar energy are among the research currently heading to the International Space Station following Friday's launch of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at 10:36 a.m. EST.


A riot of colour and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256.


The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft is seen as it lands near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.


Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.


At 9:02 p.m. EST, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 12:14 a.m. NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 11:45 p.m.


A 60-year-old mystery about the source of energetic, potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts has been solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by students.


The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet), more than any other ice sheet on the planet.


The Expedition 53 crew is getting ready to split up Thursday morning before another crew begins its mission next week.


Randy Bresnik‏@AstroKomrade Approaching the Himalayas, truly a needle in a haystack trying to find Mt. Everest/Sagarmatha. Amazingly enough, we did. #4DaysOverEverest


Randy Bresnik @AstroKomrade With the blackness of space above, far away on our horizon, the impressive vertical of Mt. Everest/ stands out. #4DaysOverEverest


The OmegaCAM camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29.


New Shepard flew again for the seventh time on Dec. 12, 2017, from Blue Origin's West Texas Launch Site.


Scientists were already excited to learn this summer that New Horizons' next flyby target - a Kuiper Belt object a billion miles past Pluto - might be either peanut-shaped or even two objects orbiting one another.


If you could fly aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the surface of dwarf planet Ceres would generally look quite dark, but with notable exceptions.


The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida counting down to its launch to the International Space Station Tuesday at 11:46 a.m. EST. Meanwhile, the six-member Expedition 53 crew is preparing to split up this week.


Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the Sun.


The Progress 68 (68P) cargo craft is pictured docked to the Pirs docking compartment.


Data collected by NASA's Juno spacecraft during its first pass over Jupiter's Great Red Spot in July 2017 indicate that this iconic feature penetrates well below the clouds


The chemical composition of a planetary body reflects its starting conditions modified by numerous processes during its formation and geological evolution.


Today - Lighting Effects: A 52S crewmember logged into the sleep log application and provided a sleep log entry to track his daily sleep patterns and wakefulness.


Scientists from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) joined in the recent international effort to observe -- and create a detailed profile of -- the first known large object from interstellar space to pass through our solar system.


The southern California wildfires could be seen by the International Space Station crew.


A portion of the Himalayan mountain range was pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited about 250 miles above the Earth.


The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft, which launched three Expedition 53 crew members to the International Space Station in July 28, 2017, is pictured docked to the Rassvet module.


Red lettuce is pictured being cultivated inside the Veggie facility for the Veg-03 botany experiment.


Composite image of tropical cyclones Dahlia (NE of Australia) and Three (tip of India) from 06:00 UTC on Thursday, 30 November 2017.


Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik aboard the International Space Station took this photo of the California wildfires in the Los Angeles area on Dec. 6, 2017.


2017: A year of groundbreaking discoveries and record-setting exploration at NASA.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


Observations of two galaxies made with the National Science Foundation-funded Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope suggest that large galaxies formed faster than scientists had previously thought.


Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet.


Two International Space Station crews are preparing to swap places at the orbital lab next week. In the midst of the crew swap activities, Commander Randy Bresnik also sent down dramatic photographs of the wildfires in California.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over Toulouse in southern France and the surrounding agricultural landscape.


These images were taken by ESO's SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) instrument, installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory, Chile.


Laboratories on Earth hardly make the news, unless they come up with life-saving cures. So why would anyone care about a lab in space?


Atafu Atoll in the Southern Pacific Ocean is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 18 crewmember on the International Space Station.


Tiny satellites called CubeSats have attracted a lot of attention in recent years.


After delivering almost 7,400 pounds of cargo to support dozens of science experiments from around the world, the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft has departed the International Space Station. At 8:11 a.m., Expedition 53 Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA gave the command to release Cygnus.


The first international comparative list of astronomical words in sign languages is now available.


NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, has just passed the shortest-daylight weeks of the long Martian year with its solar panels in encouragingly clean condition for entering a potential dust-storm season in 2018.