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Nature Space

Meet the first flower grown entirely in space, a zinnia flower

“The earth laughs in flowers,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in Nature and Selected Essays.

We humans spend our entire lives blistering through space on a giant rock we call Earth with flowers in abundance. It is fascinating to know that we too can pollinate the cosmos.

NASA astronaut and American engineer Scott Kelly captured the Orange Zinnia , enjoying the sunshine aboard the International Space Station in 2016.

The harvest was part of the VEG-01 experiment during Expedition 46. Nasa used the seeds from growing pillows — watered via injected syringes — delivered on ISS Cargo to foster the Zinnia flowers.

See more of Kelly’s beautiful pictures after the jump.

Meet the first flower grown entirely in space, a zinnia flower
Photo: NASA/Scott Kelly
Meet the first flower grown entirely in space, a zinnia flower
Photo: NASA/Scott Kelly
Meet the first flower grown entirely in space, a zinnia flower
Photo: NASA/Scott Kelly
Meet the first flower grown entirely in space, a zinnia flower
Photo: NASA/Scott Kelly
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Nature Science Space

NASA and ESA capture closest images of the sun ever taken

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have snapped the closest pictures ever taken of the sun.

The images, taken nearly 48 million miles away from the sun’s surface by the Solar Orbiter probe (launched February 9), reveal countless tiny flares which scientists have called “campfires.”

Scientists hope that these never-before seen exterior shots will help explain why the sun’s solar corona or atmosphere (over 1 million °C) is 300x hotter than its actual surface.

Earlier this year, the National Solar Observatory (NSO) brought us the sharpest movie of the sun we’ve seen which revealed each plasma cell the size of Texas.

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Space

Take a look back at NASA’s true-color view of Pluto

On this day in 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft gave us the first look at Pluto’s dynamic planetary body.

The flyby images capture a world with ice mountains, nitrogen glaciers, and hauntingly beautiful blues hazes in the dwarf planet’s atmosphere.

Writes NASA in its love letter to Pluto, the farthest world in our solar system: “Distance has nothing on this relationship.”

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Space

The evolution of the spacesuit

As spacesuit design continues to become thinner, intricate, and more dynamic — there are touchscreen sensitive gloves, an attached helmet and built-in ventilation in the latest uniform — it’s worth looking at how both US and Russian spacesuits have evolved over time.

Start by looking at the original suit (the Marshmallow Moon-Suit) designed for the moon mission above, which was licensed to Mattel for toys, then check out the diagram detailing the history of suits below.

We still like the simplicity and balance of the Apollo A7-L EVA but the blue Apollo A5-L suit is ace as well.

The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
The evolution of the spacesuit

Naturally, there will be variations of spacesuit design especially as other companies invest into future. For example, SpaceX is already working on its own version while other patents like an auto-return home button should the astronauts become untethered, are in development as well.

The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
The evolution of the spacesuit
via Twitter
Categories
Science Space

Nasa unveils Pumpkin sun just in time for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween, NASA has posted a photo of the sun that looks like a massive flaming jack-o’-lantern.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shot the photo earlier this month.

The fiery slits in the image reveal the most active parts of the sun.

Writes NASA:

Active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face on Oct. 8, 2014. The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy — markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This image blends together two sets of wavelengths at 171 and 193 angstroms, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO