After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation today for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system,” NASA announced in a statement on Saturday December 6.
This is a composite image of all four rockets for the M-TeX and MIST experiments is made up of 30 second exposures. The rocket salvo began at 4:13 a.m. EST, Jan. 26, 2015, from the Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska.
On January 20th, I witnessed my very first rocket launch — an Atlas V rocket punching into space to drop a communications satellite for the US Navy into orbit 22,000 miles above Earth. That required about 2.5 million pounds of thrust: a very large explosion that must be precisely controlled in order to be successful. It’s not as ambitious as the things that are coming next, but I found it awe-inspiring all the same. Read and see more at The Verge .
Light shines on new views: The year of 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light (IYL) by the United Nations. Organizations, institutions, and individuals involved in the science and applications of light will be joining together for this yearlong celebration to help spread the word about the wonders of light. In many ways, astronomy uses the science of light. And to celebrate, our Chandra X-ray Observatory released new images. Here’s one of them:
This has awe-inspiring written all over it!
Mount Changbai, China
Known in the north as a winter meteor shower, the 2014 Geminids rain down on this rugged, frozen landscape. The scene was recorded from the summit of Mount Changbai along China’s northeastern border with North Korea as a composite of digital frames capturing bright meteors near the shower’s peak. Orion is near picture center above the volcanic crater lake. The shower’s radiant in the constellation Gemini is to the upper left, at the apparent origin of all the meteor streaks.