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Chicago in Winter

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Chicago in Winter

From the International Space Station (ISS), European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph of Chicago and posted it to social media on Feb. 19, 2015. She wrote, “How do you like #Chicago dressed for winter?”

Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface as part of the Crew Earth Observations program. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 40 years, beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s. The ISS maintains an altitude between 220 – 286 miles (354 – 460 km) above the Earth, and an orbital inclination of 51.6˚, providing an excellent stage for observing most populated areas of the world.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Samantha Cristoforetti

Page Last Updated: February 25th, 2015
Page Editor: Sarah Loff

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Chicago in Winter From the International Space Station (ISS), European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph of Chicago and posted it to social media on Feb. 19, 2015. She wrote, “How do you like #Chicago dressed for winter?” Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located […]

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Three Atmospheric ‘Dragons': Low Pressure Areas Around the U.S.

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There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that make them appear to be curled up dragons.

According to the National Weather Service, the low pressure area approaching the northwestern U.S. is expected to bring rainfall to the coast and areas of snow that stretch from western Washington state south toward the four corners region. The low in the middle of the country is located over Nebraska and dropping snow to the north and west of it. That same low is bringing rain from southern Minnesota south to eastern Texas. Meanwhile, the third low pressure system is bringing rain and snow to parts of New England.

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite sits in a fixed orbit in space capturing visible and infrared imagery of all weather over the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean.

The data to create this image was taken on March 31, 2014 at 17:45 UTC/1:45 p.m. EDT by NOAA’s GOES-East or GOES-13 satellite and made into an image by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
> More information.
Image Credit: NASA/Caption: Rob Gutro

There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that […]

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Wind Tunnel Testing a Full-Sized Aircraft Tail

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NASA recently tested a full-sized tail from a 757 commercial aircraft that was modified and equipped with tiny jets called “sweeping jet actuators” to blow air across the rudder surfaces.
The test vertical tail is an actual 757 tail that came out of an aircraft bone yard in Arizona and was refurbished into a wind tunnel model.
The tunnel hosted the 26-foot 757 tail for a series of tests of an innovative Active Flow Control system that one day might allow airplane builders to design smaller tails, which would reduce weight and drag, and help improve fuel efficiency. The “flow control” comes from the actuators, which are devices that essentially blow air in a sweeping motion along the span of the tail and manipulate that flow of air.
The image was taken inside the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex, a massive wind tunnel located at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett, Ca. In the image, an engineer braces himself against the strong winds in the tunnel as he holds a wand emitting a stream of smoke that’s used to visualize “in flight” air flow across the tail.
Actuator technology will be installed for flight tests on the tail of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program 757 flight test aircraft in early 2015 as part of an agreement with NASA.
> Read more: NASA Aces Delicate Operation with Aircraft Tail
Image Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart

NASA recently tested a full-sized tail from a 757 commercial aircraft that was modified and equipped with tiny jets called “sweeping jet actuators” to blow air across the rudder surfaces. The test vertical tail is an actual 757 tail that came out of an aircraft bone yard in Arizona and was refurbished into a wind […]

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Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity caught its own silhouette in this late-afternoon image taken by the rover’s rear hazard avoidance camera. This camera is mounted low on the rover and has a wide-angle lens.
The image was taken looking eastward shortly before sunset on the 3,609th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity’s work on Mars (March 20, 2014). The rover’s shadow falls across a slope called the McClure-Beverlin Escarpment on the western rim of Endeavour Crater, where Opportunity is investigating rock layers for evidence about ancient environments.  The scene includes a glimpse into the distance across the 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity caught its own silhouette in this late-afternoon image taken by the rover’s rear hazard avoidance camera. This camera is mounted low on the rover and has a wide-angle lens. The image was taken looking eastward shortly before sunset on the 3,609th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity’s work on Mars […]

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NASA’s Super Guppy Makes a Special Delivery

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NASA’s Super Guppy, a wide-bodied cargo aircraft, landed at the Redstone Army Airfield near Huntsville, Ala. on March 26 with a special delivery: an innovative composite rocket fuel tank. The tank was manufactured at the Boeing Developmental Center in Tukwila, Wash. The tank will be unloaded from the Super Guppy, which has a hinged nose that opens and allows large cargos like the tank to be easily unloaded. After the tank is removed from the Super Guppy, it will be inspected and prepared for testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The composite tank project is part of the Game Changing Development Program and NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given
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› Flickr: Super Guppy and Cryotank

NASA’s Super Guppy, a wide-bodied cargo aircraft, landed at the Redstone Army Airfield near Huntsville, Ala. on March 26 with a special delivery: an innovative composite rocket fuel tank. The tank was manufactured at the Boeing Developmental Center in Tukwila, Wash. The tank will be unloaded from the Super Guppy, which has a hinged nose […]

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Landslide and Barrier Lake Near Oso, Washington

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On March 22, 2014, a rainfall-triggered landslide near Oso, Washington sent muddy debris spilling across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. The slide left an earthen dam that blocked the river, causing a barrier lake to form. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired this image of landslide debris and the barrier lake on March 23, 2014.
> Read more and view annotated image
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey
Caption: Adam Voiland

On March 22, 2014, a rainfall-triggered landslide near Oso, Washington sent muddy debris spilling across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. The slide left an earthen dam that blocked the river, causing a barrier lake to form. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired this image of landslide debris and […]

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Expedition 39 Prepares for Today’s Launch

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The gantry arms begin to close around the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft to secure the rocket at the launch pad on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for 5:17 p.m. EDT, March 25 and will send Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Steven Swanson of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The gantry arms begin to close around the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft to secure the rocket at the launch pad on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for 5:17 p.m. EDT, March 25 and will send Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian […]

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Expedition 39 Crew Launches Aboard the Soyuz TMA-12M Rocket

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The Soyuz TMA-12M rocket launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on  Wednesday, March 26, 2014 carrying Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Steven Swanson of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos to the International Space Station.
Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Soyuz TMA-12M rocket launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on  Wednesday, March 26, 2014 carrying Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Steven Swanson of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos to the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

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Expedition 39 Soyuz Rollout

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The sun rises behind the Soyuz launch pad shortly before the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Sunday, March, 23, 2014. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for March 26 (5:17 p.m. U.S. EDT on March 25) and will send Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Steven Swanson of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
 
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The sun rises behind the Soyuz launch pad shortly before the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Sunday, March, 23, 2014. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for March 26 (5:17 p.m. U.S. EDT on March 25) and will send Expedition 39 Soyuz […]

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Hubble Peers at the Heart of NGC 5793

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This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking features: a beautiful dust lane and an intensely bright center — much brighter than that of our own galaxy, or indeed those of most spiral galaxies we observe.
NGC 5793 is a Seyfert galaxy. These galaxies have incredibly luminous centers that are thought to be caused by hungry supermassive black holes — black holes that can be billions of times the size of the sun — that pull in and devour gas and dust from their surroundings.
This galaxy is of great interest to astronomers for many reasons. For one, it appears to house objects known as masers. Whereas lasers emit visible light, masers emit microwave radiation. The term “masers” comes from the acronym Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Maser emission is caused by particles that absorb energy from their surroundings and then re-emit this in the microwave part of the spectrum.
Naturally occurring masers, like those observed in NGC 5793, can tell us a lot about their environment; we see these kinds of masers in areas where stars are forming. In NGC 5793 there are also intense mega-masers, which are thousands of times more luminous than the sun.
 
Credit:  NASA, ESA, and E. Perlman (Florida Institute of Technology)

This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking features: a beautiful dust lane and an intensely bright center — much brighter than that of our own galaxy, or indeed those of most spiral galaxies we […]

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