Sic itur ad astra
University student of biology. Science enthusiast & avid tea drinker.

1 of 15


Speedy Satellite Beams Pictures Of Massive Floods Only Weeks After Reaching Orbit

After dodging space debris and living to tell the tale, Sentinel-1A is now being put through its paces for its primary mission: to beam back pictures of the Earth as quickly as possible, to provide officials with the information they need during natural disasters or weather events.

The picture above gives a taste of what the European satellite will do when it’s fully commissioned. The picture of flooding in Namibia was downloaded only two hours after acquisition and then made available generally less than an hour after that, the European Space Agency said. Not only that, believe it or not — the view was socked in by cloud when the image was taken.

“Sentinel-1A’s ability to ‘see’ through cloud and rain and in pitch darkness make it particularly useful for monitoring floods and for offering images for emergency response,” the European Space Agency stated. “In fact, this area of the Caprivi plain was shrouded in thick cloud when the satellite acquired the image on 13 April.”

The satellite can also monitor long-term but serious weather events such as climate change, as the picture below of Pine Island Glacier shows.

“As well as monitoring glaciers, Sentinel-1A is poised to generate timely maps of sea-ice conditions, particularly for the increasingly busy Arctic waters,” ESA stated. “Images from its advanced radar can be used to distinguish clearly between the thinner more navigable first-year ice and the hazardous, much thicker multiyear ice to help assure safe year-round navigation in polar waters.”

Read more about the Sentinel-1A mission in this past Universe Today story.

Source: European Space Agency

posted 9 hours ago with 22 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #esa #science



Messier 82 the magnificent starburst galaxy

posted 6 days ago with 969 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science

I am a friend, comrades, a friend! —

Yuri Gagarin’s first words upon returning to earth, to a woman and a girl near where his capsule landed. (12 April 1961) The woman asked: “Can it be that you have come from outer space?” to which Gagarin replied: "As a matter of fact, I have!" (via asonlynasacan)

Reblogging again for today’s historical significance

(via asonlynasacan)

posted 1 week ago with 1,449 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #cosmonauts #yuri gagarin


A Salad Bar for the Space Station

Freeze-dried bags of dehydrated “astronaut food” may seem like a fun novelty for school kids on Earth, but despite all the hard work that goes into providing the residents of the Space Station with nutritious and varied meal options there’s one thing that remains a rare and elusive commodity on astronauts’ menus: fresh produce.

Although fruit and vegetables do occasionally find their way aboard the ISS via resupply missions (to the delight of the crew) researchers are moving one step closer to actually having a vegetable garden in orbit. On Monday, April 14, NASA’s Veg-01 experiment will launch to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule to test the in-flight viability of an expandable plant growth chamber named “Veggie.”

In development for several years, Veggie is now getting its chance to be space-tested with the launch of the SpaceX-3 resupply mission. Veggie uses clear collapsible “pillows” as miniature greenhouses, inside which plants can be grown with the aid of root-mats and a bank of LED lights.

Astronauts will see how well “Outredgeous” romaine lettuce fares in microgravity inside the Veg-01 experiment, and can also use the LED bank as a light source for other experiments.

“Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station,” said Gioia Massa, the NASA payload scientist for Veggie.

“Determining food safety is one of our primary goals for this validation test.”

While other plant-growth experiments are currently aboard ISS, Veggie boasts the simplest design and largest growing area of any of them to date.

With the ultimate success of Veggie, ISS astronauts may soon find themselves floating in line at the in-house salad bar. (Watch out for those rogue croutons!)

Read more in the NASA news article by Linda Herridge here, and learn more about the Veggie project here.

posted 1 week ago with 250 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science #nasa


The heart of the Rosette Nebula and its details

In the heart of the Rosette Nebula lies a bright open cluster of stars that lights up the nebula. The stars of NGC 2244 formed from the surrounding gas only a few million years ago. The above image taken in January using multiple exposures and very specific colors of Sulfur (shaded red), Hydrogen (green), and Oxygen (blue), captures the central region in tremendous detail. A hot wind of particles streams away from the cluster stars and contributes to an already complex menagerie of gas and dust filaments while slowly evacuating the cluster center. The Rosette Nebula’s center measures about 50 light-years across, lies about 4,500 light-years away, and is visible with binoculars towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros). [via APOD]

Image by Don Goldman

posted 1 week ago with 3,329 notes , via - reblog
#science #space


April 7, 1983: Astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson perform the first spacewalk of the space shuttle era. Tethered to the Challenger by safety slide wires, they were able to move along the cargo bay without floating off into space. The extra-vehicular activity (EVA) lasted 4 hours, 17 minutes.


posted 1 week ago with 117 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science


Nasa release images to coincide with Gravity Oscar win

After the film Gravity picked up a handful of Oscars, including for best cinematography and best visual effects, Nasa releases images of the real thing. See more

Click photos for captions and credit

posted 1 week ago with 3,403 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space


Cosmonaut Valeri V. Polyakov looks out Mir's window at the Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-63 on 6 February 1995.

This was the first time a shuttle had performed a rendezvous with Mir, although the two did not dock - Discovery only did a flyaround of the station. Docking had to wait until Atlantis's STS-71 mission in July of ‘95.

When this photo was taken, Valeri had been in space for 394 days. He had been launched to space on Soyuz TM-18 on January 8th of 1994; docking with Mir two days later.  He did not return to earth until March 22nd of 1995, setting a record of 437 continuous days in space; a record that remains unbroken to this day. 

posted 1 week ago with 177 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science


Super Nova

posted 1 week ago with 165 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science


A technical glitch causes the Hubble Space Telescope, which ordinarily captures magnificently crisp scientific imagery of the cosmos, to lose balance and create this inadvertent piece of modern art.

It is suspected that in this case, Hubble had locked onto a bad guide star, potentially a double star or binary. This caused an error in the tracking system, resulting in this remarkable picture of brightly colored stellar streaks. The prominent red streaks are from stars in the globular cluster NGC 288. 

posted 2 weeks ago with 4,193 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space #hubble


Interacting Galaxy NGC 772, CFHT Astronomy Image of the month (January 2013) 

posted 2 weeks ago with 75 notes , via , source - reblog
#space #science


Nasa - W49B, the highly distorted supernova remnant shown in this image, may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. If I think about this for too long I’ll have a panic attack.

posted 2 weeks ago with 1,028 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space


Travel Posters by Ron Guyatt
Explanatory descriptions by Ron Guyatt

Personal Website - Ron Guyatt
E-mail -
Stores: Etsy - Society6

Commonly called Trojans or Trojan asteroids and less often Greek asteroids, the Jovian asteroids are a large group of objects that share the orbit of the planet Jupiter around the Sun. Relative to Jupiter, each trojan librates around one of Jupiter’s two stable Lagrangian points, L4 and L5, that respectively lie 60° ahead of and behind the planet in its orbit. 

The planet Jupiter has a system of rings, known as the rings of Jupiter or the Jovian ring system. It was the third ring system to be discovered in the Solar System, after those of Saturn and Uranus.
     It was first observed in 1979 by the Voyager 1 space probe and thoroughly investigated in the 1990s by the Galileo orbiter. It has also been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope and from Earth for the past 23 years. Ground-based observations of the rings require the largest available telescopes.

The Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm, 22° south of Jupiter’s equator; Earth observations establish a minimum storm lifetime of, variously, 184 years to possibly 349 years. The storm is large enough to be visible through Earth-based telescopes, 

posted 3 weeks ago with 363 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space


Confused? This is tough stuff. But we love this explanation by Phil Plait via Slate!

posted 3 weeks ago with 449 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space


Catching up on APOD site pics:

1) Orion Nebula in Surrounding Dust by Robert Fields   Mar. 25, 2014

2) M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds by Ian Sharp   Mar. 26, 2014

3) Stephen’s Quintet Plus One by Robert Gendler & Judy Schmidt, Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Legacy Archive   Mar 27, 2014

posted 3 weeks ago with 31 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #space