Check out this promotional video from SpaceX showing a crewed Dragon capsule. I loved the “high five” at the end.
Viewed from space, the most striking feature of our planet is the water. In both liquid and frozen form, it covers 75% of the Earthâ€™s surface. It fills the sky with clouds. Water is practically everywhere on Earth, from inside the planet’s rocky crust to inside the cells of the human body.
This detailed, photo-like view of Earth is based largely on observations from MODIS, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, on NASA’s Terra satellite. It is one of many images of our watery world featured in a new story examining water in all of its forms and functions.
If you are visiting sunny Arizona and have an interest in Astronomy, you should check out the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory,
an exceptional science learning facility located at Steward Observatory’s “sky island” observing site just north of Tucson, Arizona.
Star charts, binoculars and the superb 32-inch Schulman telescope are just some of the resources of this program. The Schulman telescope is the LARGEST dedicated telescope in the Southwest for public viewing. The SkyNights experience is offered virtually every night throughout the year. The five hour program starts in the late afternoon and accommodates 7-20 people. The cost of the SkyNights experience is pretty reasonable (Adults: $48 Youth: $25)
Renowned Astrophotographer Adam Block, is the Public Observing Programs Coordinator for the center and has had his work featured on Astronomy Picture Of The Day on numerous occasions.
In addition to the Skynights experience, Astronomer Nights is a Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter program in which visitors observe as professional astronomers for one night. As a visitor for this extended observing program, YOU become the astronomer investigating the cosmos and deciding how the night unfolds.
The unique astronomical experience includes observing at a telescope with an astronomer/guide acquiring high quality data lodging on site in astronomer dormitories, and data and image processing by astrophotographer Adam Block. If the visiting astronomer(s) prefer, the telescope can be used to do visual observing as well. The cost is $750 per night for up to two people, including lodging.
Below is a Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter short video (with permission from Arizona Public Media):
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory is located at 9800 Ski Run Road Mt. Lemmon, Arizona 85619
You can contact the Observatory at: 520.626.8122 or via e-mail at: [email protected]
Commonly known simply as the shuttle, the orbiter is both the brains and heart of NASA’s Space Transportation System. Hence, the STS before the number of every shuttle flight. About the same size and weight as a DC-9 aircraft, the orbiter contains the pressurized crew compartment (which can carry up to seven crew members), the cargo bay and the three main engines mounted on its aft end.
On April 12, 1981, commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen roared into space on the first ever shuttle mission. Twenty years earlier on April 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin ushered in the era of human space flight when he became the first person to orbit the Earth.
Source:Image of the Day Gallery
NASA and co-researchers from the United States, South Korea and Japan have found a new mineral named “Wassonite” in one of the most historically significant meteorites recovered in Antarctica in December 1969.The new mineral was discovered within the meteorite officially designated Yamato 691 enstatite chondrite. The meteorite was discovered the same year as other landmark meteorites Allende and Murchison and the return of the first Apollo lunar samples. The study of meteorites helps define our understanding of the formation and history of the solar system.
The meteorite likely may have originated from an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Wassonite is among the tiniest, yet most important, minerals identified in the 4.5-billion-year-old sample. The research team, headed by NASA space scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, added the mineral to the list of 4,500 officially approved by the International Mineralogical Association.
“Wassonite is a mineral formed from only two elements, sulfur and titanium, yet it possesses a unique crystal structure that has not been previously observed in nature,” said Nakamura-Messenger.
In 1969, members of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition discovered nine meteorites on the blue ice field of the Yamato Mountains in Antarctica. This was the first significant recovery of Antarctic meteorites and represented samples of several different types. As a result, the United States and Japan conducted systematic follow-up searches for meteorites in Antarctica that recovered more than 40,000 specimens, including extremely rare Martian and lunar meteorites.
Researchers found Wassonite surrounded by additional unknown minerals that are being investigated. The mineral is less than one-hundredth the width of a human hair or 50×450 nanometers. It would have been impossible to discover without NASA’s transmission electron microscope, which is capable of isolating the Wassonite grains and determining their chemical composition and atomic structure.