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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
Categories
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.

Categories
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.”

Categories
Nature Space

Friday’s ‘Strawberry Moon’ is the sixth Full Moon of the year

In what will be the sixth full moon of the year, the Strawberry Moon will bring a penumbral lunar eclipse.

The term “Strawberry Moon” originates from the berries that harvest in North America in June. Other names include the Rose Moon, Hot Moon, Mead Moon, and Honey Moon.

A penumbral eclipse occurs when the Earth’s outer (penumbral) shadow slightly darkens the moon to hues of orange, brown, yellows, and pinks.

The Strawberry moon happens on Friday June 5 at 3:12 pm ET with prime viewing at the dawn and dusk hours for East Coasters of the United States.

Take a look at the Strawberry Moon around the world in year’s past.

photo/John Entwisle
Photo/Doug DeDecker
via tw
via tw
via tw
Categories
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
Nature

Views of the Super Pink Moon from around the world

Miss the ‘Super Pink Moon’ rise on Wednesday? We’ve got you covered.

The pink moon is the largest full moon of the year and occurs when the moon gets in close proximity to Earth, making it appear 7% larger and 15% brighter than the average full moon.

The Super Pink Moon isn’t really pink

The Super Pink Moon, however, is not exactly pink. Rather, stargazers should’ve seen a super moon that appeared more reddish-orange and yellow than moss pink.

The dusty particles in the Earth’s atmosphere filter out the traditional white/blue wavelengths to allow more red light to pass through.

The “Pink Moon” is named after the pink wild ground phlox (flower) and signifies the rebirth and renewal of spring after a long, dark winter.

Check out some of the images from across the globe after the jump. 

Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
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Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw
Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw
Views of the Pink Moon from around the world
via tw

 

Categories
Architecture & Design Space

What cities look like at night without electricity

In his series Villes éteintes (Darkened Cities), French photographer Thierry Cohen imagines the world’s biggest cities at night without urban light.

Cohen uses a special exposure technique called day for night which enables him to capture the cities in the daytime but increase the impression of darkness. Then, he combines the city skylines into the backdrop of starry skies captured at the same altitude.

“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” Cohen told Wired.

“Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”

Cities lit by the stars

What appears to be an eerie blackout in some of the world’s biggest cities (Hong Kong, LA, New York, Paris, Rio, Shanghai, Tokyo) nonetheless creates a beautiful mirage.

“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” added Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.” See more images on the artist’s website.

NYC at night
New York City
Hong Kong at night under stars
Hong Kong
Paris at night under stars
Paris
Tokyo at night under stars
Tokyo
San Francisco at night under stars
San Francisco
Categories
Space

What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.

U-2 pilot and instructor and avid photographer Ross Franquemont took these snaps of the spectacular aurora borealis — or, northern lights, while flying the legendary U-2 spycraft.

“I had no idea how fast the aurora moved and changed. It danced around, changing shape several times a second. That made it a challenge for the photographer in a spacesuit sitting in shaking metal can moving 500 mph,” Ross told The Aviationist about the photos.

The northern lights, which also occur in the Southern Hemisphere — the “Aurora Australis” — have always fascinated mankind. They develop as a result of a solar storm that originates from the sun and blows a stream of charged electrons toward Earth.

The process creates a natural light phenomenon when the electrons collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The colors green and red display between 60 to 150 miles in altitude when the electrons hit atoms of oxygen. Meanwhile, the blue and purple/violet colors occur up to 60 miles away from Earth’s magnetic field.

What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
What the northern lights look like from a U-2 spy plane at 70,000ft.
Categories
Science Space

See the sharpest movie of the sun ever made, with each plasma cell the size of Texas

The sun is about 93,000,000 miles away from Earth. The sun’s light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, in total taking just 8 minutes to reach us.

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) has brought us the sharpest view of the sun we’ve seen yet using the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. Each plasma cell is about the size of Texas.

This is how NSO describes capturing the footage:

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has produced the highest resolution observations of the Sun’s surface ever taken. In this movie, taken at a wavelength of 705nm over a period of 10 minutes, we can see features as small as 30km (18 miles) in size for the first time ever. The movie shows the turbulent, “boiling” gas that covers the entire sun.

The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. Hot solar material (plasma) rises in the bright centers of “cells,” cools off and then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection. In these dark lanes we can also see the tiny, bright markers of magnetic fields. Never before seen to this clarity, these bright specks are thought to channel energy up into the outer layers of the solar atmosphere called the corona. These bright spots may be at the core of why the solar corona is more than a million degrees!

Categories
Space

Breathtaking views of the Earth from the International Space Station

Ever wanted to see Planet Earth from 248 miles away? That’s how high the International Space Station orbits above the earth, which is about the same distance as New York to Washington DC, or London to Durham.

Thanks to these epic views of our planet from the International Space Station in the thermosphere, now you can get glimpse of the perspective.

Watch the crescent Earth rotate among the solar panels and the sun in various views as the International Space Station orbits Earth at 17,500mph.

Stunning. And be sure to follow the International Space Station on Twitter for more live shots.

views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA
views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA
views of the Earth from the International Space Station
Photo: NASA

Videos via Nasa/Images via Astro_Jessica