NASA to Provide Live Coverage and Commentary of April 15 Lunar Eclipse

This photo was taken by Doug Murray of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, during the total lunar eclipse of Oct. 27, 2004. NASA Science News.

The public will have the opportunity to view and learn more about the Tuesday, April 15 total lunar eclipse on NASA television, the agency’s website, and social media. Coverage begins at 2 a.m. EDT and will last about three hours. The eclipse’s peak, when the moon will enter the Earth’s full shadow or umbra, will occur at 3:45 a.m.

Credit: Sky and Telescope.com

The United States will be in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse. Depending on local weather conditions, the public will get a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon’s appearance will change from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray. The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth’s shadow.  The United States will not be able to witness a full lunar eclipse in its entirety again until 2019.

Leading up to the eclipse, NASA will host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Monday, April 14 at 2 p.m. with astronomers from the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Various NASA researchers also will be available for media interviews. NASA Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram followers will be able to join the conversation and ask questions using the hashtag #eclipse.

The public will be able to tag and share their images of the eclipsed moon on Instagram and on the agency’s Flickr group at:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/nasalunareclipse

Live NASA TV coverage and commentary will begin at 1 a.m. To view the coverage and access eclipse streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

 

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Janet Anderson
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
janet.l.anderson@nasa.gov

Nancy Neal Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039
nancy.n.jones@nasa.gov

Supernova . . . The Galactic Sweeper.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Morehead State Univ/T.Pannuti et al.; Optical: DSS; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NRAO/VLA/Argentinian Institute of Radioastronomy/G.Dubner

Supernovas are the spectacular ends to the lives of many massive stars.  These explosions, which occur on average twice a century in the Milky Way, can produce enormous amounts of energy and be as bright as an entire galaxy. These events are also important because the remains of the shattered star are hurled into space.  As this debris field – called a supernova remnant – expands, it carries the material it encounters along with it.

Astronomers have identified a supernova remnant that has several unusual properties. First, they found that this supernova remnant – known as G352.7-0.1 (or, G352 for short) – has swept up a remarkable amount of material, equivalent to about 45 times the mass of the Sun.

Chandra Space Telescope. Credit: NASA

Another atypical trait of G352 is that it has a very different shape in radio data compared to that in X-rays. Most of the radio emission is shaped like an ellipse, contrasting with the X-ray emission that fills in the center of the radio ellipse.  This is seen in a new composite image of G352 that contains X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-

Very Large Array. Credit: NSF/NASA

ray Observatory in blue and radio data from the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in pink.  These data have also been combined with infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope in orange, and optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey in white. (The infrared emission to the upper left and lower right are not directly related to the supernova

The Spitzer Space Telescope. Credit: NASA Jpl/Caltech

remnant.)

A recent study suggests that, surprisingly, the X-ray emission in G352 is dominated by the hotter (about 30 million degrees Celsius) debris from the explosion, rather than cooler (about 2 million degrees) emission from surrounding material that has been swept up by the expanding shock wave. This is curious because astronomers estimate that G352 exploded about 2,200

Sloan Digitized Sky Survey Telescope. Credit: SDSS

years ago, and supernova remnants of this age usually produce X-rays that are dominated by swept-up material.  Scientists are still trying to come up with an explanation for this behavior.

Although it does not produce a lot of X-ray emission, the amount of material – the aforementioned 45 times the Sun’s mass – swept up by G352 is remarkably high for a supernova remnant located in our Galaxy. This may indicate that a special type of evolution has occurred, in which the massive star that exploded to create G352 interacted with an extraordinary amount of dense surrounding material.

Astronomers also conducted a search for a neutron star that may have been produced by the supernova explosion. They did not find any hints of a neutron star in G352, another astronomical puzzle involved with this system. One possibility is simply that the neutron star is too faint to be detected or that the supernova created a black hole instead.

G352 is found about 24,000 light years from Earth in the Milky Way galaxy. A paper describing these enigmatic results was published in the February 20th, 2014 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, and is available online.  The first author of this paper is Thomas Pannuti from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, with co-authors Oleg Kargaltsev (George Washington University), Jared Napier (Morehead State), and Derek Brehm (George Washington).

Nasa’s Twin Study to Launch Next Year.

Next year, with the assistance of the world’s only twin astronauts, NASA will conduct an unprecedented experiment in human biology.

While one twin remains on the ground, the other will circle Earth onboard the International Space Station for a full year.

Will the twins still be identical when they are re-united?

The answer could help NASA make space travel safer for generations of astronauts to come.

At the Edge of NGC 2174

APOD. 3 April, 2014 Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

This fantastic skyscape lies near the edge of NGC 2174 a star forming region about 6,400 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation of Orion.

It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds and radiation from the region’s newborn stars, now found scattered in open star clusters embedded around the center of NGC 2174, off the top of the frame.

Though star formation continues within these dusty cosmic clouds they will likely be dispersed by the energetic newborn stars within a few million years.

Recorded at infrared wavelengths by the Hubble Space Telescope, the interstellar scene spans about 6 light-years.

The image celebrates the upcoming 24th anniversary of Hubble’s launch onboard the space shuttle orbiter Discovery on April 24, 1990.

 

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)

A service of:  ASD at NASA / GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

NASA Creates A Minute of Dynamic Perfection. Enjoy.


Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The Goddard Space Flight Center presents this video accompanied by the perfect symphonic background. Relax and Enjoy a break from life.

On April 2, 2014, the sun emitted an M6.5 mid-level solar flare, peaking at 10:05 a.m. EDT, and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured imagery of the event.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

This video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the flare in a blend of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light: 304 Angstroms and 171 Angstroms, colorized in yellow and red, respectively.

Astronaut Karen Nyberg Inspires Future Explorers

Astronaut Karen Nyberg poses for a photograph with an enthusiastic NASA Social attendee following a presentation about her time living, working, and conducting research on the International Space Station. The NASA Social was held on Monday, March 24, 2014 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Nyberg served as a flight engineer aboard the space station during Expeditions 36 and 37, from May to November 2013. In addition to her time on the orbiting outpost, Nyberg also flew aboard space shuttle Discovery during its STS-124 mission in 2008.

Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani