Dawn Orbiting Vesta
This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbiting the giant asteroid Vesta. The depiction of Vesta is based on images obtained by Dawn's framing cameras. Dawn is an international collaboration of the US, Germany and Italy. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Dawn Asteroid Orbiter successfully spiraled down today to the closest orbit the probe will ever achieve around the giant asteroid Vesta, and has now begun the most critical science observations that will ultimately yield the highest resolution measurements to be obtained of this spectacular body throughout the entire mission.
“What can be more exciting than to explore an alien world that until recently was virtually unknown!” Dr. Marc Rayman gushed in an exclusive to Universe Today. Rayman is Dawn’s Chief Engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.. and a protégé of Star Trek’s Mr. Scott.
Before Dawn, Vesta was little more than a fuzzy blob in the world’s most powerful telescopes. Vesta is the second most massive object in the main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.(…) Read the rest of Dawn swoops to lowest orbit around Vesta – Unveiling Spectacular Alien World (948 words)
Blastoff of Soyuz TMA-22 amidst swirling snowstorm at 11:14:03 p.m. Nov. 13 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The three man crew comprised NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin. Credit: NASA/Roscosmos
The future survival and fate of the International Space Station was on the line and is now firmly back on track following today’s (Nov. 13) successful, high stakes liftoff of a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a three man crew of two Russians and one American bound for the orbiting research platform, amidst the backdrop of a spectacular snowstorm swirling about the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan – rare even by Russian standards.
The international crew comprises Expedition 29 Flight Engineer Dan Burbank from NASA – veteran of two prior shuttle missions to the station in 2000 and 2006 – and Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin from Russia. It’s the rookie flight for both Russian cosmonauts. (…) Read the rest of Soyuz Launches to Station amid Swirling Snowy Spectacular (1,134 words)
Solar astrophysicist Dr. C. Alex Young posted this video this morning on The Sun Today website, showing a prominence eruption on the Sun earlier today that is truly amazing. “I woke up this morning first to a NOAA solar proton storm warning then an email from my office mate and helioviewer.org creator, Dr. Jack Ireland,” Young posted. “The email was titled, ”Never seen anything like this before – spectacular.” And he wasn’t kidding!”
In this video, you’ll see almost everything the Sun can throw at us: a solar flare, a coronal wave, a filament eruption, coronal rain and a coronal mass ejection, just to name a few.
There will be more info on this eruption as scientists from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and other Sun-worshiping satellites sort through the data from this eruption. You can see more details and videos at The Sun Today.
Today’s spectacular eruption follows a one-two punch yesterday from active region 1283 — see a video from SDO below:
(…) Read the rest of Sun Erupts with Spectacular Prominence (128 words)
Historic First Photos showing a Space Shuttle docked to the ISS were snapped on May 23, 2011.
This unprecedented photo was taken from an engineering camera located on the nose of the crewed Soyuz vehicle after it departed the ISS at 5:35 p.m. today (May 23). Space Shuttle Endeavour is docked to the ISS at lower right with dramatic backdrop of Earth. Astronaut Paolo Nespoli collected high resolution digital imagery from inside the Soyuz that will be released later this week. The Soyuz crew landed safely in Kazakhstan at 10:27 p.m. EDT. Credit: NASA/Roscosmos
Photo Gallery below
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Unprecedented and spectacular photos showing a US Space Shuttle Orbiter docked to the International Space Station (ISS) were snapped just hours ago and transmitted live back to ground stations and viewers on Earth as a Soyuz capsule with three space flyers departed from the station at 5:35 p.m EDT on the first leg of their journey back to Earth. And the best is yet to come.
Check out the photo galley of historic black and white gems captured from an engineering docking camera attached to the nose of the Russian Soyuz capsule that undocked this evening (May 23) from the ISS. These historic photos are the first ever showing a shuttle joined to the massive orbiting complex. (…) Read the rest of Spectacular Soyuz Photo Gallery shows Unprecedented View Of Shuttle Docked at Station (354 words)
Delta IV blast off with NROL-27 clandestine military payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on March 11, 2011 at 6:38 p.m. from Cape Canaveral at Space Launch Complex-37 in Florida. Credit: Alan Walters. awaltersphoto.com. See our Delta launch photo gallery below.
A Delta IV rocket carrying a top secret military payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) blasted off Friday evening (March 11) at 6:38 p.m. from Cape Canaveral at Space Launch Complex-37 in Florida.
The NROL-27 payload supports the national defense and all information about its mission and goals is a classified military secret. Some outside observers say NROL-27 may be a powerful military communications satellite for relay of vital national security data rather than a signals intelligence satellite.
See our launch photo gallery below from Alan Walters and Ken Kremer(…) Read the rest of Spectacular Sunset Launch of new US Spy Satellite (759 words)
ATV Rocket Launch Photo from Earth Orbiting ISS. This remarkable photo was taken by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the ISS on 16 February 2011, just minutes after ATV Johannes Kepler lifted off on board an Ariane 5 from Kourou at 22:50 UTC. It shows the rising exhaust trail of Ariane, still in its initial vertical trajectory. The trail can be seen as a thin streak framed just beneath the Station’s remote manipulator arm. Credits: ESA/ NASA
Have you ever seen a space launch from orbit ?
Check out the spectacular launch photo (above) of the Johannes Kepler ATV streaking skyward atop an Ariane 5 rocket as captured by astronaut Paolo Nespoli from his unparalleled vantage point looking out the windows aboard the International Space Station (ISS), in orbit some 350 km above Earth.
The launch photo shows the rising exhaust trail from the rocket just minutes after blast off of the Ariane booster on Feb. 16 from the ESA rocket base in Kourou, French Guiana, South America. The rocket was still on a vertical ascent trajectory to orbit. Additional launch photos below from space and Earth.(…) Read the rest of Spectacular ATV Kepler Launch Photo Captured from Orbiting ISS (471 words)
View of Mt. Etna spewing smoke or ash from the orbiting NASA Terra Satellite before the eruption. Close up view of northeastern Sicily and the Italian boot (top right). Acquired on January 11, 2011. NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day on January 15, 2011. Credit: NASA Terra Satellite
Spectacular eruptions from Mt Etna are spewing massive quantities of lava, smoke and ash many hundreds of meters high into the skies above the island of Sicily. Mt Etna is the most active volcano in Europe and one of the most active on all of Earth. The volcano rumbled to life again this week on the evening of January 12, 2011 and lit up the night sky. Mt Etna is 3350 meters high and located on the northeast coast of Sicily near the boot of Italy (see above, below).
This fearsome natural wonder is providing an awe inspiring show from both Earth and Space. Local residents and lucky tourists nearby took stunning videos and photos (below) (…) Read the rest of Spectacular Eruptions of Mt. Etna in Sicily from Space and Earth (974 words)