Centaurus-A is located in the southern hemisphere skies. I have never seen it from my location 42˚ north latitude. It rises only 5˚ above my southern horizon in early December. I’m certain it is very familiar to my blogger friend Roger in Australia. It is the 5th brightest galaxy and easily viewed by amateurs. It contains a black hole of 55 million solar masses ejecting jets of x-ray and radio wavelengths. Models suggest the galaxy collided with another smaller galaxy in the past leading to areas of star formation in the resulting complex structure. I enjoyed combining 3 greyscale Hubble images into this composite. In the center are several newly formed bluish stars. The dark areas are dust blocking the passage of light.
Centaurus-A | Hubble Legacy Archive | My Version
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The last time American astronauts were launched to the International Space Station from U.S. soil was in 2011. Since then, we have relied on launches from Russian soil. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 4:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 27, for the launch from Florida of a two astronaut crew to the ISS. Crew Dragon Demo-2 is scheduled to dock to the ISS at 11:29 a.m. Thursday, May 28. More details of the timeline are here. Check NASA-TV for coverage. A successful flight of the unmanned Crew Dragon Demo-1 to the ISS was conducted in March 2020.
NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 crew Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. Credits: NASA
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NASA has gathered data about the Earth for a long time with a wide range of Earth science missions. As time has passed, missions have become more robust and collected much more data. Specialists at Earth Data have put the data starting in the mid-60s into musical tones in this brief video. Turn up the sound and enjoy.
If more data was collected from the Earth science mission, the pitch of the tone is higher. A guitar represents mission launches. The field of each mission is categorized into these orchestral parts:
- Strings = Atmosphere and Weather
- High Woodwinds = Geosphere – Landforms
- Low Woodwinds = Hydrosphere – Water Worlds
- High Brass = Cryosphere – Ice Formations
- Low Brass = Biosphere – Living Organisms
By the way, April 22 is the 50th Earth Day. Listen to the first episode of NASA’s Curious Universe podcast: www.nasa.gov/curiousuniverse.
These should be free of risk sky viewing opportunities as long as you stay the appropriate distance from other viewers, wash your hands, and keep them from your face. Enjoy. 🙂
What will the Moon look like on any date in 2020? What will it look like on your birthday? Find out at NASA Dial-a-Moon. Go here to see views for northern hemisphere and for southern hemisphere readers. Scan down that web page for much additional information about the Moon’s motions and appearance.
Enter any month and day to see a high definition image. The composite images of Dial-a-Moon are made from those of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in low altitude orbit around the Moon since 2009.
You may leave the universal time (UT) at the default value. If you wish, your local-to-Universal time conversion can be done at this link. Or, type ‘universal time’ into Google. Go back to Dial-a-Moon to enter the UT.
NASA | Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter | 1 Jan 2020
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