NASA Captures Massive Solar Flare; May Amplify Northern Lights

Photo: NASA/SDO

Photo: NASA/SDO

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured photos and video of the first super-powerful solar flare of 2015.

The X-class solar flare was directed at Earth, and while the Earth’s atmosphere protects us from the harmful radiation, it caused a strong radio blackout. More importantly for us photographers, though, such massive radiation bursts may lead to spectacular displays of the Northern Lights.

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Hubble Telescope Captures Space Smiley

A smiling lens

Photo: NASA/ESA

There’s a saying that goes “Smile, and the world will smile back”. In this case it was the universe that smiled back, as the Hubble Space Telescope photographed deep space galaxies.

The smiley in the photo appeared thanks to a cosmic lens which was created due to warped spacetime (English explanation below).

Photographed at least three years ago, The Hubble team processed the photo after the smiley face was spotted during a public contest.

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NASA Reshoots Iconic Image 20 Years Later. Releases Hubble’s Largest Image Ever of Andromeda.

New view of the Pillars of Creation — visible

NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team

Twenty years ago NASA released an image which blew minds all over the world. Still regarded as one of the most popular space images to have been beamed to Earth, Pillars of Creation has recently been re-captured using Hubble’s latest imaging technology.

Astronomers and astrophotographers are over the moon about another incredible image captured by NASA/European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope. The 1.5 billion pixel image, the largest ever released by Hubble, shows over 100 million stars.

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NASA High-Res Photos Organized Into A Huge Creative NASA Pack (First Of A Series)

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If you are like me and just LOVE space images this is going to be some very sweet news. Creative Reid Southen  went through the tedious job of organizing the many photos NASA releases into a creative Pack.

This is a huge pack consisting of 2,400 high-res photos from the Expeditions 30-42 to the International Space Station. They are mostly sourced from Flickr.

Those 8 expeditions provide plenty of eye opening images that NASA distributes under the Creative Common License (and they are usually marked CC-by, which means that you can use the photo however you would like as long as you attribute them back to NASA, or or CC-by-nc which means that you can use it but not make money out of it ).

Reid makes no claims on originality and has simply organized the photos into a usable pack, which is totally OK under the CC-by license. He also included an attribution folder which will help you to verify that you are using the image correctly without infringing on NASAs copyrights:

Being Creative Commons though, the licenses will vary, so it’ll be up to you to abide by them. I’d include a text file for each photo with the link to the source to make attribution and getting license details easy

The package is ordered by topics:

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In Santa’s Sleigh Tracks: Watch The International Space Station Crossing The Moon

2014-12-28-ISS_moon_2

The ISS crossing the moon. Eidelheit extracted this frame from the video he shot.

How high must your shutter speed be in order to photograph an object traveling at 17,500 mph while crossing another object moving at 2,288 mph? Not very high actually, when the nearest of the two objects is over 200 miles away and the other is over 225,000 miles away. However, you must be prepared well in advance and ready for the action as you will have less than one second to get your shot!

Gadi Eidelheit of Venus Transit did just this when he captured some rather rare footage of the International Space Station crossing in front of the moon.

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Astronauts Aboard The ISS Immerse A GoPro Into A Floating Sphere Of Water

nasa-goproThis is proof that astronauts are just the best. The team aboard the International Space Station decided to kill some time by releasing a large ball of water into the spacecraft and sticking a GoPro inside it. Because they are in space, the surface tension of the water caused it to take on a spherical shape, allowing enough room for the action camera to fit inside as it floated around in the cabin. There’s also some really cool footage of the astronauts attempting to handle the sphere. Their reaction to the experience is almost as fun to watch as the GoPro water ball itself.

As further proof that astraunts rule, NASA even filmed the entire thing in 3D for our ultimate viewing pleasure (so long as you have the appropriate 3D eyewear to make it work). But, even if you don’t have 3D glasses, the 2D version is pretty rad, too. Take a look at the awesome footage, below. It certainly puts a whole new perspective on underwater photography. [Read more…]

A Picture of This Week’s Meteor Shower from Space Itself

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We’ve all got that picture that we can only shoot once in a lifetime. With the upcoming meteor shower this week, that shot might even come for one of us then. So when you’re a photographer working for NASA, it’s safe to say that you’re not just limited to one once-in-a-lifetime capture.

That’s the kind of shots that Ron Garan takes, while working as a photographer for NASA. Back in 2011, he had the opportunity to capture how the Perseid Meteor Shower looks from space, onboard the International Space Station itself; in celebration of the Perseid’s return, the picture was just recently posted on NASA’s website.

“Denizens of planet Earth typically watch meteor showers by looking up. But this remarkable view, captured on August 13, 2011 by astronaut Ron Garan, caught a Perseid meteor by looking down. From Garan’s perspective onboard the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of about 380 kilometers, the Perseid meteors streak below, swept up dust left from comet Swift-Tuttle heated to incandescence. The glowing comet dust grains are traveling at about 60 kilometers per second through the denser atmosphere around 100 kilometers above Earth’s surface. In this case, the foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center, below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow, just below bright star Arcturus.”

– A description of the photo from NASA

By the way, this isn’t an event only exclusive to North Americans or Europeans. People from all over the world will be able to witness it this week. With the Supermoon coinciding this week, you should probably check out a few articles online on how best to view it from where you live. We might not all get a change to photograph these lights from space, but we can still shoot that lifetime-worthy picture. All it takes is inspiration and the will to act on it.

And money for gear. But mostly inspiration.

[NASA via PetaPixel]

A Beautiful 4 Years Timelapse Showing A Star Exploding 20,000 Years Ago

v838-monocerotis

While this star exploded about 20,000 years ago (and captured on film starting  12 years ago), NASA has just released a mesmerizing time lapse showing its explosion and death and trippy music.

The star called was captured by the Hubble space telescope “erupting” about 10 years ago, emitting a flash-bulb like burst of light, illuminating the interstellar dust.

Just to get a sense of scale, the image is 13.6 light-years wide, this is not even at the scale of our solar system which is roughly 8 light-hours wide. [Read more…]

NASA Releases Massive 3.2-Gigabyte Mosaic of Earth, Made Entirely from Selfies

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

Last month on the 22nd – NASA marked Earth Day by asking readers around the world to submit a selfie, answering where exactly they were at that moment. While reading that out loud can slightly come off as an Illuminati theorist’s heart attack, the aeronautics administration had completely different plans. Today, they released what they accomplished with that request: a gigantic 3.2-gigabyte mosaic of the earth, composed of the pictures that everyone sent.

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A Reminder: Meteor Shower for North America Tonight Friday-Saturday

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

While we’re usually given a fairly early warning on when to expect an eclipse in the sky, or a meteor shower in the middle of the night, this is a pretty different situation. According to NASA, there’s a meteor shower headed our way late tonight – Friday- into Saturday Morning; the shower itself has never been visible to us before. It’s an entirely new swarm of meteors; remnants of a comet called the Camelopardalids.

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