It all underlines that solar physicists really don’t know what the heck is happening on the sun.
I’m hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it’s certainly possible for that to occur. But the thing that really matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars. To make life multi-planetary.

NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has captured video of a coronal mass ejection — solar material shooting out of the sun — in unprecedented detail.

With IRIS, scientists are trying to get to the bottom of what is known as “the solar corona mystery” (a phrase that a cursory Google search suggests is not yet a band name, if you were wondering).

Reporter Deborah Netburn talked to an IRIS scientist about the project.

Video: NASA

Sometime between 11 p.m. tonight and 1 a.m. Saturday morning, the Earth is expected to pass through a trail of dust shed by the comet 209P/LINEAR hundreds of years ago. That could — emphasis on could — mean the peak of a never-before-seen meteor shower, the May Camelopardalids. The astronomy website Slooh.com has partnered with NASA to provide this live feed from cameras in Alabama.

Here, science reporter Deborah Netburn explains what may happen when we pass through that debris field — and why we may see nothing at all.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is the smallest it’s been since astronomers began keeping track of it.

Video via the HubbleESA YouTube channel.

There’s a planet that spins so fast, its days are only 8 hours long

It’s called Beta Pictoris b, and it spins at 62,000 miles per hour.

PSA: Starting at 5 p.m. Pacific, the astronomy website Slooh.com will live-stream video of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, which peaks tonight.

stevebev:

The clouds over Los Angeles cleared up just enough to snap a picture of the Blood Moon.

Nice shot, Steven. This photo was our pick today for our Southern California Moments project. 

stevebev:

The clouds over Los Angeles cleared up just enough to snap a picture of the Blood Moon.

Nice shot, Steven. This photo was our pick today for our Southern California Moments project. 

test reblogged from stevebev

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare on April 2, and NASA captured it in this video, which, the agency says, “shows the flare in a blend of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light: 171 Angstroms and 304 Angstroms, colorized in yellow and red, respectively.”

The movements of a newly discovered dwarf planet beyond Pluto’s orbit, dubbed 2012 VP113, suggest that a mysterious frontier of the solar system may include a planet much larger than Earth.

Experts say the discovery could lead scientists to rewrite our understanding of the fringes of our solar system.

Top images: The motion of 2012 VP113 clearly stands out compared with the steady state background stars and galaxies in these images, which were taken about two hours apart. Credit: Scott S. Sheppard / Carnegie Institution for Science. Bottom image: The three images combined into one to show the positions of 2012 VP113. Credit: Scott S. Sheppard / Carnegie Institution for Science.

What you’re looking at right now are some of the earliest galaxies ever observed by human eyes, dated to just 500 million years after the big bang.
Science reporter Amina Khan has the full story on these crazy astronomical spirals here.

What you’re looking at right now are some of the earliest galaxies ever observed by human eyes, dated to just 500 million years after the big bang.

Science reporter Amina Khan has the full story on these crazy astronomical spirals here.

The Last Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Space Shuttle Endeavour has retired from service, and for the moment NASA is reliant on Russian rockets to keep the International Space Station stocked up and operating. NASA is developing a replacement for the Shuttle – the Orion CEV – but for the moment, lets take a look at the Shuttle and remember the many years of sterling service it has given us.

Image credit: Dan Winters

Some incredible photos, and another reminder of the Endeavour’s victory lap around Los Angeles before settling down in the California Science Center.

test reblogged from theatlantic