pennyfornasa:

NASA’s annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. Imagine what we could do with a full penny. http://bit.ly/-Imagine

The Penny4NASA campaign was founded to highlight how dramatically underfunded NASA has become in recent years. NASA’s appropriations budget for FY2014 is currently $17.6 billion, representing 0.48% of the U.S. federal budget, or less than half a penny on your tax dollar. We are firmly committed to seeing NASA funded to a level commensurate with the tremendous economic, technological and inspirational value it confers. With your help we can get NASA the funding it deserves! http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

Come meet Penny at the new Penny4NASA.org: http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Want to help spread the word? Sign up for our Thunderclap campaign: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/11017-new-penny4nasa-site-video

If you want to become more involved with the Penny4NASA campaign, go here: http://www.penny4nasa.org/volunteer/

Don’t forget to follow us on social media:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PennyForNASA
Google+: http://www.gplus.to/Penny4NASA
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Penny4NASA1
LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1eNlq8J

Really great stuff. Imagine what could be done with just a penny. So many wonders await us.

HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE!About 1,500 galaxies are visible in this deep view of the universe, taken by allowing the Hubble Space Telescope to stare at the same tiny patch of sky for 10 consecutive days in 1995. The image covers an area of sky only about width of a dime viewed from 75 feet away. (Credit: Robert Williams and the Hubble Deep Field Team (STScI) and NASA)


I also wanted to share this fascinating excerpt about Hubble from Ross Andersen in his essay “Golden Eye”:

In its two decades in space, the telescope has captured an astonishing range of images, from the glowing ring of the Sombrero Galaxy to the ghostly arabesques of the Eagle Nebula. It has also confirmed a number of theoretical phenomena, including dark energy, the mysterious force pushing the universe apart at ever increasing speeds. Historically, discoveries of pure science are slow to reach the mainstream compared with those of the applied sciences, which noisily announce themselves with new medicines and gadgets. 
The Hubble has proved an exception, remaking, in a single generation, the popular conception of the universe. It has accomplished this primarily through the aesthetic force of its discoveries, which distill the difficult abstractions of astrophysics into singular expressions of color and light, vindicating Keats’s famous couplet: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Though philosophy has hardly registered it, the Hubble has given us nothing less than an ontological awakening, a forceful reckoning with what is. The telescope compels the mind to contemplate space and time on a scale just shy of the infinite.

HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE!

About 1,500 galaxies are visible in this deep view of the universe, taken by allowing the Hubble Space Telescope to stare at the same tiny patch of sky for 10 consecutive days in 1995. The image covers an area of sky only about width of a dime viewed from 75 feet away.

(Credit: Robert Williams and the Hubble Deep Field Team (STScI) and NASA)

I also wanted to share this fascinating excerpt about Hubble from Ross Andersen in his essay “Golden Eye”:

In its two decades in space, the telescope has captured an astonishing range of images, from the glowing ring of the Sombrero Galaxy to the ghostly arabesques of the Eagle Nebula. It has also confirmed a number of theoretical phenomena, including dark energy, the mysterious force pushing the universe apart at ever increasing speeds. Historically, discoveries of pure science are slow to reach the mainstream compared with those of the applied sciences, which noisily announce themselves with new medicines and gadgets.

The Hubble has proved an exception, remaking, in a single generation, the popular conception of the universe. It has accomplished this primarily through the aesthetic force of its discoveries, which distill the difficult abstractions of astrophysics into singular expressions of color and light, vindicating Keats’s famous couplet: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Though philosophy has hardly registered it, the Hubble has given us nothing less than an ontological awakening, a forceful reckoning with what is. The telescope compels the mind to contemplate space and time on a scale just shy of the infinite.

"Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future." — H. G. Wells, The Time Machine 
(Image Credit: Mark Gee)http://www.markg.com.au/

"Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future." — H. G. Wells, The Time Machine

(Image Credit: Mark Gee)
http://www.markg.com.au/

kqedscience:

10 Planetary Facts for Earth Day 2014Astronomer Phil Plait has put together some fun facts about our planet in honor of today’s Earth Day, such as, “What does the Earth have that no other planet we know of has? A lot of water on the surface - nearly a third of the planet.”Read more at Slate - and Happy Earth Day!

Great stuff.

kqedscience:

10 Planetary Facts for Earth Day 2014

Astronomer Phil Plait has put together some fun facts about our planet in honor of today’s Earth Day, such as, “What does the Earth have that no other planet we know of has? A lot of water on the surface - nearly a third of the planet.”

Read more at Slate - and Happy Earth Day!

Great stuff.

Reblogged from kqedscience

MARVELOUS MESSIER 5
When you look at some of these stars, you are looking toward the beginning of time itself. At 13 billion years old, Messier 5 is staggeringly ancient, dating back close to the beginning of the Universe. Messier 5 is a globular cluster consisting of hundreds of thousands of stars bound together by their collective gravity. 
This is no normal globular cluster though. At only 25K light years away, it is also one of the biggest clusters known. Incredibly, we can hold wonders like Messier 5 in the palm of our hand thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope. 
Messier 5 also presents a puzzle for astronomers. Stars in globular clusters grow old and young together. So Messier 5 should, by now, consist of old, low-mass red giants and other ancient stars. But it is actually teeming with young blue stars known as blue stragglers. These incongruous stars spring to life when stars collide, or rip material from one another. 
(Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

MARVELOUS MESSIER 5

When you look at some of these stars, you are looking toward the beginning of time itself. At 13 billion years old, Messier 5 is staggeringly ancient, dating back close to the beginning of the Universe. Messier 5 is a globular cluster consisting of hundreds of thousands of stars bound together by their collective gravity. 

This is no normal globular cluster though. At only 25K light years away, it is also one of the biggest clusters known. Incredibly, we can hold wonders like Messier 5 in the palm of our hand thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Messier 5 also presents a puzzle for astronomers. Stars in globular clusters grow old and young together. So Messier 5 should, by now, consist of old, low-mass red giants and other ancient stars. But it is actually teeming with young blue stars known as blue stragglers. These incongruous stars spring to life when stars collide, or rip material from one another.

(Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

A Cosmic Easter Egg
In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula.
Called a planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula is the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. It is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra and measures roughly one light-year across.
Most Sun-like stars become planetary nebulae at the end of their lives. Once a star consumes all of its hydrogen, the nuclear fuel that makes it shine, it expands to a red giant. The bloated star then expels its outer layers, exposing its hot core. Ultraviolet radiation from the core illuminates the discarded material, making it glow. The smoldering core, called a white dwarf, is the tiny white dot in the center of the Ring Nebula.
(Credit: NASA, ESA, and C. R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt University)

A Cosmic Easter Egg

In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula.

Called a planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula is the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. It is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra and measures roughly one light-year across.

Most Sun-like stars become planetary nebulae at the end of their lives. Once a star consumes all of its hydrogen, the nuclear fuel that makes it shine, it expands to a red giant. The bloated star then expels its outer layers, exposing its hot core. Ultraviolet radiation from the core illuminates the discarded material, making it glow. The smoldering core, called a white dwarf, is the tiny white dot in the center of the Ring Nebula.

(Credit: NASA, ESA, and C. R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt University)

This is IC 1396 or as it’s more commonly known, the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule near the top of the above image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a much larger region on the sky than shown here, with an apparent width of more than 10 full moons.

Credit: T. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF)

This is IC 1396 or as it’s more commonly known, the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule near the top of the above image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a much larger region on the sky than shown here, with an apparent width of more than 10 full moons.

Credit: T. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF)

NASA’s Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in ‘Habitable Zone’
Kepler-186f is 1.1 times the size of Earth.
Due to its size and location, it’s likely to be rocky. It’s (probably) not some gaseous ball.
It’s 500 lightyears away from Earth.
Scientists hypothesize it is at least several billion years old.
Its years are 130 days long and it gets one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from the sun. So it’s chilly. On the chilliest end of the habitable zone.
At noon on Kepler-186f, its sun would be about as bright as ours is an hour before sunset.
It has four brother planets, though none of them are habitable. They fly around their sun once every four, seven, 13 and 22 days, so they are way too close and too hot for life.

NASA’s Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in ‘Habitable Zone’

  • Kepler-186f is 1.1 times the size of Earth.
  • Due to its size and location, it’s likely to be rocky. It’s (probably) not some gaseous ball.
  • It’s 500 lightyears away from Earth.
  • Scientists hypothesize it is at least several billion years old.
  • Its years are 130 days long and it gets one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from the sun. So it’s chilly. On the chilliest end of the habitable zone.
  • At noon on Kepler-186f, its sun would be about as bright as ours is an hour before sunset.
  • It has four brother planets, though none of them are habitable. They fly around their sun once every four, seven, 13 and 22 days, so they are way too close and too hot for life.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot 
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is an atmospheric storm that has been raging in Jupiter’s southern Hemisphere for at least 400 years.
About 100 years ago, the storm covered over 40,000 km of the surface. It is currently about one half of that size and seems to be shrinking. 
At the present rate that it is shrinking it could become circular by 2040. The GRS rotates counter-clockwise(anti-cyclonic) and makes a full rotation every six Earth days. 
It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot’s reddish color. The most popular theory, which is supported by laboratory experiments, holds that the color may be caused by complex organic molecules, red phosphorus, or other sulfur compounds. 
The GRS is about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h) 
Infrared data has indicated that the Great Red Spot is colder (and thus, higher in altitude) than most of the other clouds on the planet
Sources: http://www.universetoday.com/15163/jupiters-great-red-spot/ http://www.space.com/23708-jupiter-great-red-spot-longevity.html

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is an atmospheric storm that has been raging in Jupiter’s southern Hemisphere for at least 400 years.
  • About 100 years ago, the storm covered over 40,000 km of the surface. It is currently about one half of that size and seems to be shrinking. 
  • At the present rate that it is shrinking it could become circular by 2040. The GRS rotates counter-clockwise(anti-cyclonic) and makes a full rotation every six Earth days. 
  • It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot’s reddish color. The most popular theory, which is supported by laboratory experiments, holds that the color may be caused by complex organic molecules, red phosphorus, or other sulfur compounds. 
  • The GRS is about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h) 
  • Infrared data has indicated that the Great Red Spot is colder (and thus, higher in altitude) than most of the other clouds on the planet

Sources:
http://www.universetoday.com/15163/jupiters-great-red-spot/ http://www.space.com/23708-jupiter-great-red-spot-longevity.html

I’m working on a new sleeve inspired by the Voyager missions and finished phase 1 this weekend. To me, the Voyager spacecrafts go beyond just their scientific purposes but truly represent an extension of humanity as they venture into interstellar space. They act as a kind of time capsule on behalf of our planet. In this portion of the design, Mother Earth gazes in wonder at the outer solar system and greater cosmic unknown. 
Artist: Megan Jean Morrishttp://instagram.com/meganjeanmorrishttp://www.paintedsoultattoo.com/

I’m working on a new sleeve inspired by the Voyager missions and finished phase 1 this weekend. To me, the Voyager spacecrafts go beyond just their scientific purposes but truly represent an extension of humanity as they venture into interstellar space. They act as a kind of time capsule on behalf of our planet. In this portion of the design, Mother Earth gazes in wonder at the outer solar system and greater cosmic unknown. 

Artist: Megan Jean Morris
http://instagram.com/meganjeanmorris
http://www.paintedsoultattoo.com/

Our Milky Way galaxy gleams in all its splendor above the desert observatory at La Silla in Chile.

The Milky Way spans more than 100,000 light-years across, putting Earth in the cosmic suburbs, some 27,000 light-years away from the brightly glowing center of the galaxy, seen at the center of this image.

(PHOTO BY BABAK TAFRESHI)

Our Milky Way galaxy gleams in all its splendor above the desert observatory at La Silla in Chile.

The Milky Way spans more than 100,000 light-years across, putting Earth in the cosmic suburbs, some 27,000 light-years away from the brightly glowing center of the galaxy, seen at the center of this image.

(PHOTO BY BABAK TAFRESHI)

Telescopes as Time Machines | Richard Dawkins

Telescopes awaken a cosmic perspective on life and our place in the cosmos like nothing else can. Astronomers are time travelers allowing us to see closer and closer to the origins of the universe, which is ultimately our origin.

This particular quote was borrowed from Richard Dawkins’ fantastic documentary, “Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life.” Watch it all HERE.