Aurora Borealis from SPACE #HiDef #ISS #beauty

The current election climate in the U.S. has gotten me all annoyed and depressed. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to take a step back and appreciate the beauty in our planet. THANK YOU International Space Station for capturing this Ultra-High Definition time lapse of an Aurora Borealis from space. More details here. Enjoy!

Highlights from Scott Kelly’s #YearInSpace

From The Guardian: Look back at the highlights of Scott Kelly’s year in space. The US astronaut touched down on Earth after a 340-day mission on board the International Space Station which helped Nasa study the long-term effects of space travel. Kelly kept himself busy doing everything from science experiments to space walks and dressing up as a gorilla. Nasa are also able to compare his condition with that of his identical twin brother Mark on Earth

Astronaut Scott Kelly is home after #YearInSpace. #WelcomeBack

Astronaut Scott Kelly, along with Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov landed late Tuesday night in the Kazakhstan desert, NASA and Russian mission control said.

Kelly could be seen pumping his fist and giving a thumbs up after being hoisted from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that brought the trio back.

More details here.

Astronaut Scott Kelly to head home today after #YearInSpace

Be sure to watch along on NASA TV as Astronaut Scott Kelly completes his Year in Space and heads back home to Mother Earth today. Live coverage begins at 4:15pm EST with a farewell and hatch closure. De-orbit and landing coverage should begin around 10:15pm and touch down in Kazakhstan is expected around 11:25pm.

Kelly, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, will head back today after spending 340 straight days in space (ok, so it’s not a full year… but it’s WAY more time than you’ve spent in space). This year-long mission will help NASA and other scientists understand how the human body adapts to long periods of time in space and in 0 gravity -not to mention, Scott Kelly has a twin whose spent this whole time on Earth, which makes for a nice control (check out some details on how space may affect the body here). This is all in efforts to hopefully begin manned missions to Mars #PlanningForTheFuture.

Also, be sure to check out some of Astronaut Kelly’s amazing space pics featured in National Geographic!




Scientists observe Gravitational waves! Go Einstein!!

This is AMAZING news! The Guardian summarizes:

Physicists have announced the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.

“We have detected gravitational waves. We did it,” said David Reitze, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo), at a press conference in Washington.

The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error, and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror.

The phenomenon detected was the collision of two black holes. Using the world’s most sophisticated detector, the scientists listened for 20 thousandths of a second as the two giant black holes, one 35 times the mass of the sun, the other slightly smaller, circled around each other.

At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.

Also, hilarious… the embargo of the news was broken by a tweeted picture of the NASA celebratory cake:



RIP Challenger. Remembering the explosion, 30 years later #NASA

RIP to all seven crew members aboard the Challenger, which devastatingly blew up 30 years ago today:

(CNN)Much like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, or the morning of September 11, 2001, most Americans remember where they were when they heard the news of the Challenger disaster.

It was NASA’s first in-flight tragedy. Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. Shortly after liftoff, the space shuttle’s external fuel tank collapsed, causing what looked like an explosion, and the shuttle broke apart and fell.

CNN dives into How the Challenger Disaster changed NASA.

and NPR also remembers the disaster: 30 years after explosion, engineer still blames himself.