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7 1/2 years after starting this thread about testing the Orion program launch system, and NASA is still having problems getting to a wet launch rehearsal. frustrating.

 

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"NASA’s Webb In Full Focus, Ready for Instrument Commissioning"
https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/04/28/nasas-webb-in-full-focus-ready-for-instrument-commissioning/

"Alignment of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is now complete. After full review, the observatory has been confirmed to be capable of capturing crisp, well-focused images with each of its four powerful onboard science instruments. Upon completing the seventh and final stage of telescope alignment, the team held a set of key decision meetings and unanimously agreed that Webb is ready to move forward into its next and final series of preparations, known as science instrument commissioning. This process will take about two months before scientific operations begin in the summer."

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"Engineering images of sharply focused stars in the field of view of each instrument demonstrate that the telescope is fully aligned and in focus. For this test, Webb pointed at part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, providing a dense field of hundreds of thousands of stars across all the observatory’s sensors. The sizes and positions of the images shown here depict the relative arrangement of each of Webb’s instruments in the telescope’s focal plane, each pointing at a slightly offset part of the sky relative to one another. Webb’s three imaging instruments are NIRCam (images shown here at a wavelength of 2 microns), NIRISS (image shown here at 1.5 microns), and MIRI (shown at 7.7 microns, a longer wavelength revealing emission from interstellar clouds as well as starlight). NIRSpec is a spectrograph rather than imager but can take images, such as the 1.1 micron image shown here, for calibrations and target acquisition. The dark regions visible in parts of the NIRSpec data are due to structures of its microshutter array, which has several hundred thousand controllable shutters that can be opened or shut to select which light is sent into the spectrograph. Lastly, Webb’s Fine Guidance Sensor tracks guide stars to point the observatory accurately and precisely; its two sensors are not generally used for scientific imaging but can take calibration images such as those shown here. This image data is used not just to assess image sharpness but also to precisely measure and calibrate subtle image distortions and alignments between sensors as part of Webb’s overall instrument calibration process." Credit: NASA/STScI

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This visualization presents 22 X-ray binary systems that host confirmed black holes at the same scale, with their orbits sped up by about 22,000 times. The view of each system reflects how we see it from Earth. Star colors ranging from blue-white to reddish represent temperatures from 5 times hotter to 45% cooler than our Sun. In most of these systems, a stream of matter from the star forms an accretion disk around the black hole. In others, like the famous system called Cygnus X-1, the star produces a hefty outflow that is partly swept up by the black hole’s gravity to form the disk. The accretion disks use a different color scheme because they sport even higher temperatures than the stars. The largest disk shown, belonging to a binary called GRS 1915, spans a distance greater than that separating Mercury from our Sun. The black holes themselves are shown larger than in reality using spheres scaled to reflect their masses.

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We got a very cool view of the SpaceX launch here yesterday morn, the rocket’s vapor cloud condensed, then froze, then expanded in the upper atmosphere 🚀 

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Posted (edited)

Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy
https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2208-eht-mw/
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"Today, at simultaneous press conferences around the world, including at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) headquarters in Germany, astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes."
 

 

 

Edited by MaartenVC
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Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai

NASA Mission Finds Tonga Volcanic Eruption Effects Reached Space

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano’s effects also reached space.

Analyzing data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the ionosphere – Earth’s electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of space.

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The GOES-17 satellite captured images of an umbrella cloud generated by the underwater eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Jan. 15, 2022. Crescent-shaped bow shock waves and numerous lighting strikes are also visible.
Credits: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens using GOES imagery courtesy of NOAA and NESDIS


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But on January 13-14, an unusually powerful set of blasts sent ash surging into the stratosphere. Then explosions on January 15 launched material as high as 40 kilometers (25 miles) in altitude and possibly as high as 50 kilometers, blanketing nearby islands with ash and triggering destructive tsunami waves. An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photo of ash over the South Pacific.

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The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption on Jan. 15, 2022, caused many effects, some illustrated here, that were felt around the world and even into space. Some of those effects, like extreme winds and unusual electric currents were picked up by NASA’s ICON mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm. Image not to scale.
Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith


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a mysterious 'doorway' was found on Mars by Curiosity...
oooooh... spooky...

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The opening is about 30cm (11 inches) by 45cm (17 inches).
So smoll elians. Like little Jawas maybe? Cute. Maybe we can keep them as pets.
NASA should make little saddles for them so they can go into battle riding cats or dogs.
Wait, if it were Jawas the Mars rovers would've already been kidnapped or disassembled and sold.

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Edited by MaartenVC
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How the Earth moves through the universe. / Position is relative.
"Look around you. Where are you? Where is this place you are occupying? Somewhere in a room, maybe in a city on a continent on a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy among billions. But… where is all of that? While this may feel like a daft question, it turns out that the concept of an absolute position is something humans made up.
In a nutshell, the universe is a big bag of space that has things in it. If someone removed all these things, the stars and planets and black holes and dust, there would just be empty space left. In empty space, the concept of having a position loses all meaning. Empty space is uniform, the same everywhere."



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