On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched towards the moon from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin successfully made it to the Moon a few days later, with Armstrong being the first human to step foot on the moon, and Aldrin joining him on the lunar surface a few minutes later.
Learn more from NASA at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo11/index.html
Courtesy of the folks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we have asteroids, planets and rare meteor showers, oh my!
June skies alight with stellar happenings. Check out “What’s Up for June 2013″ at the video link shown above.
In addition to attending Phoenix Comicon this past weekend to present on a couple of science panels, I also attended Spacefest V in Tucson, AZ.
I was only able to attend Spacefest for part of Saturday, but I was able to connect with a few friends in meatspace, and visit with a number of legendary astronauts. One person in particular that I got to talk with for a while was Fred Haise. For those who aren’t familiar with Haise, he was an Apollo 13 crew member (portrayed by Bill Paxton in the movie), and was one of the test pilots for Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Learn more about Fred Haise at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/haise-fw.html
Researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have released a new image of the iconic Horsehead Nebula. The release of this image coincides with the upcoming 23rd anniversary of the space-based observatory being launched into space aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.
A mainstay of astronomy textbooks, the Horsehead Nebula is one of many targets favored by backyard astronomers. In visible light, the nebula is shadowy, but when viewed in the infrared portion of electromagnetic spectrum the nebula appears striking. In addition, many stars and distant galaxies are also visible when viewing the Horsehead Nebula in infrared.
For over twenty years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with breathtaking views of our universe. Several Space Shuttle missions were devoted to upgrading and maintaining HST, including the most recent servicing mission in 2009.
Source: NASA Image Of The Day Gallery
The image shown above maps out the oldest light visible in our Universe. ESA’s Planck mission collected the data used to create this map over a period of about 15 months, and is some of the highest precision yet.
The primordial light, known as the cosmic microwave background, shined brightly when the universe was less than 400,000 years old. The colors on the map above indicate extremely small temperature fluctuations, which also happen to correspond to areas that are just slightly denser than others, which allowed said regions to cool quicker. These slightly denser regions of the Universe are thought to be the “seeds” that allowed galaxies, galaxy clusters, and other large-scale structures in the Universe.
Planck is a European Space Agency mission, with significant participation from NASA. To learn more about the Planck mission, visit: http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=planck
Source: NASA Planck Mission Updates