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utcjonesobservatory:

Awesome View Of The Small Magellanic Cloud

The tip of the “wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy is dazzling in this view from NASA’s Great Observatories. The Small Magellanic Cloud, or SMC, is a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years way that orbits our own Milky Way spiral galaxy.

 The colors represent wavelengths of light across a broad spectrum. X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in purple; visible-light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue; and infrared observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are also represented in red.

 The spiral galaxy seen in the lower corner is actually behind this nebula. Other distant galaxies located hundreds of millions of light-years or more away can be seen sprinkled around the edge of the image.

 The SMC is one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors. Even though it is a small, or so-called dwarf galaxy, the SMC is so bright that it is visible to the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere and near the equator. Many navigators, including Ferdinand Magellan who lends his name to the SMC, used it to help find their way across the oceans.

 Modern astronomers are also interested in studying the SMC (and its cousin, the Large Magellanic Cloud), but for very different reasons. Because the SMC is so close and bright, it offers an opportunity to study phenomena that are difficult to examine in more distant galaxies. New Chandra data of the SMC have provided one such discovery: the first detection of X-ray emission from young stars, with masses similar to our sun, outside our Milky Way galaxy.

 Caption: NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI
  NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI 

utcjonesobservatory:

Awesome View Of The Small Magellanic Cloud
The tip of the “wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy is dazzling in this view from NASA’s Great Observatories. The Small Magellanic Cloud, or SMC, is a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years way that orbits our own Milky Way spiral galaxy.
 The colors represent wavelengths of light across a broad spectrum. X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in purple; visible-light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue; and infrared observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are also represented in red.
 The spiral galaxy seen in the lower corner is actually behind this nebula. Other distant galaxies located hundreds of millions of light-years or more away can be seen sprinkled around the edge of the image.
 The SMC is one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors. Even though it is a small, or so-called dwarf galaxy, the SMC is so bright that it is visible to the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere and near the equator. Many navigators, including Ferdinand Magellan who lends his name to the SMC, used it to help find their way across the oceans.
 Modern astronomers are also interested in studying the SMC (and its cousin, the Large Magellanic Cloud), but for very different reasons. Because the SMC is so close and bright, it offers an opportunity to study phenomena that are difficult to examine in more distant galaxies. New Chandra data of the SMC have provided one such discovery: the first detection of X-ray emission from young stars, with masses similar to our sun, outside our Milky Way galaxy.
 Caption: NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI   NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI 

canadian-space-agency:

NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman aboard the ISS: “Earth Art – the Bahamas always makes for a great subject.” September 18th 2014.

Credit: Reid Wiseman/NASA

canadian-space-agency:

NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman aboard the ISS: “Earth Art – the Bahamas always makes for a great subject.” September 18th 2014.
Credit: Reid Wiseman/NASA

explorationimages:

A new image of Mars from India’s Mars Orbiter Mission.

spaceexp:

Emission and Reflection Nebulae in Cepheus

spaceexp:

Emission and Reflection Nebulae in Cepheus

spaceexp:

Trinity Alps

Source: johnmorris19 (reddit)

spaceexp:

Trinity Alps Source: johnmorris19 (reddit)

spaceexp:

Unusual Rocks near Pahrump Hills on Mars.

spaceexp:

Unusual Rocks near Pahrump Hills on Mars.

spaceexp:

Emission and Reflection Nebulae in Cepheus

Source: rbrecher (reddit)

spaceexp:

Emission and Reflection Nebulae in Cepheus Source: rbrecher (reddit)

spaceexp:

South polar ice cap layers

Source: ASUMarsSpaceFlight

spaceexp:

South polar ice cap layers Source: ASUMarsSpaceFlight

just—space:

The stunning Sombrero galaxy (seriously, there should be a blog that’s just photos of the Sombrero galaxy)

just—space:

The stunning Sombrero galaxy (seriously, there should be a blog that’s just photos of the Sombrero galaxy)

spaceexp:

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst releases timelapse showing lightning, aurora, sunrise from International Space Station.

Living on the Edge: Rosetta’s Lander Philae Is Set to Take the Plunge

spaceexp:

Moffet Field CA (NASA) Sep 30, 2014
This is a very exciting time for space science in general and for the Rosetta spacecraft in particular. A little more than a month after arriving at comet 7P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta has mapped its surface well enough to help scientists choose a location to set down Philae, the first-ever comet lander. Or, at least, try to. Here to tell us more about the recent mapping of comet 7P/Ch
Full article

spaceexp:

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station, September 23rd 2014. German astronaut Alexander Gerst used the space station’s robotic arm to grab the capsule with help from NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman

spaceexp:

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station, September 23rd 2014. German astronaut Alexander Gerst used the space station’s robotic arm to grab the capsule with help from NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman

spaceexp:

Dark slope streaks on crater rim

Source: ASUMarsSpaceFlight

spaceexp:

Dark slope streaks on crater rim Source: ASUMarsSpaceFlight

hella-space:

Saturn’s moon Enceladus. 

(photo courtesy of Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA)

hella-space:

Saturn’s moon Enceladus. 
(photo courtesy of Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA)

utcjonesobservatory:

New Molecule Found In Space Connotes Life Origins:  

Hunting from a distance of 27,000 light years, astronomers have discovered an unusual carbon-based molecule — one with a branched structure — contained within a giant gas cloud in interstellar space. Like finding a molecular needle in a cosmic haystack, astronomers have detected radio waves emitted by isopropyl cyanide. The discovery suggests that the complex molecules needed for life may have their origins in interstellar space.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, known as the ALMA Observatory, a group of radio telescopes funded partially through the National Science Foundation, researchers studied the gaseous star-forming region Sagittarius B2.

Astronomers from Cornell, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and the University of Cologne (Germany) describe their discovery in the journal Science (Sept. 26.)

Organic molecules usually found in these star-forming regions consist of a single “backbone” of carbon atoms arranged in a straight chain. But the carbon structure of isopropyl cyanide branches off, making it the first interstellar detection of such a molecule, says Rob Garrod, Cornell senior research associate at the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.

This detection opens a new frontier in the complexity of molecules that can be formed in interstellar space and that might ultimately find their way to the surfaces of planets, says Garrod. The branched carbon structure of isopropyl cyanide is a common feature in molecules that are needed for life — such as amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. This new discovery lends weight to the idea that biologically crucial molecules, like amino acids that are commonly found in meteorites, are produced early in the process of star formation — even before planets such as Earth are formed.

Garrod, along with lead author Arnaud Belloche and Karl Menten, both of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, and Holger Müller, of the University of Cologne, sought to examine the chemical makeup of Sagittarius B2, a region close to the Milky Way’s galactic center and an area rich in complex interstellar organic molecules.

With ALMA, the group conducted a full spectral survey — looking for fingerprints of new interstellar molecules — with sensitivity and resolution 10 times greater than previous surveys.

The purpose of the ALMA Observatory is to search for cosmic origins through an array of 66 sensitive radio antennas from the high elevation and dry air of northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. The array of radio telescopes works together to form a gigantic “eye” peering into the cosmos.

"Understanding the production of organic material at the early stages of star formation is critical to piecing together the gradual progression from simple molecules to potentially life-bearing chemistry," said Belloche.

About 50 individual features for isopropyl cyanide (and 120 for normal-propyl cyanide, its straight-chain sister molecule) were identified in the ALMA spectrum of the Sagittarius B2 region. The two molecules — isopropyl cyanide and normal-propyl cyanide — are also the largest molecules yet detected in any star-forming region.

utcjonesobservatory:

New Molecule Found In Space Connotes Life Origins:  
Hunting from a distance of 27,000 light years, astronomers have discovered an unusual carbon-based molecule — one with a branched structure — contained within a giant gas cloud in interstellar space. Like finding a molecular needle in a cosmic haystack, astronomers have detected radio waves emitted by isopropyl cyanide. The discovery suggests that the complex molecules needed for life may have their origins in interstellar space.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, known as the ALMA Observatory, a group of radio telescopes funded partially through the National Science Foundation, researchers studied the gaseous star-forming region Sagittarius B2.
Astronomers from Cornell, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and the University of Cologne (Germany) describe their discovery in the journal Science (Sept. 26.)
Organic molecules usually found in these star-forming regions consist of a single “backbone” of carbon atoms arranged in a straight chain. But the carbon structure of isopropyl cyanide branches off, making it the first interstellar detection of such a molecule, says Rob Garrod, Cornell senior research associate at the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.
This detection opens a new frontier in the complexity of molecules that can be formed in interstellar space and that might ultimately find their way to the surfaces of planets, says Garrod. The branched carbon structure of isopropyl cyanide is a common feature in molecules that are needed for life — such as amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. This new discovery lends weight to the idea that biologically crucial molecules, like amino acids that are commonly found in meteorites, are produced early in the process of star formation — even before planets such as Earth are formed.
Garrod, along with lead author Arnaud Belloche and Karl Menten, both of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, and Holger Müller, of the University of Cologne, sought to examine the chemical makeup of Sagittarius B2, a region close to the Milky Way’s galactic center and an area rich in complex interstellar organic molecules.
With ALMA, the group conducted a full spectral survey — looking for fingerprints of new interstellar molecules — with sensitivity and resolution 10 times greater than previous surveys.
The purpose of the ALMA Observatory is to search for cosmic origins through an array of 66 sensitive radio antennas from the high elevation and dry air of northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. The array of radio telescopes works together to form a gigantic “eye” peering into the cosmos.
"Understanding the production of organic material at the early stages of star formation is critical to piecing together the gradual progression from simple molecules to potentially life-bearing chemistry," said Belloche.
About 50 individual features for isopropyl cyanide (and 120 for normal-propyl cyanide, its straight-chain sister molecule) were identified in the ALMA spectrum of the Sagittarius B2 region. The two molecules — isopropyl cyanide and normal-propyl cyanide — are also the largest molecules yet detected in any star-forming region.