Special Celestial Events in June 2020
From the first-ever image of a black hole, to astronaut Christina Koch breaking the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman – 2019 was full of awe-inspiring events!
As we look forward to a new decade, we’ve taken ten of our top Instagram posts and put them here for your viewing pleasure. With eight out of ten being carousels, be sure to click on each title to navigate to the full post.
In a historic feat by the Event horizon Telescope and National Science Foundation, an image of a black hole and its shadow was captured for the first time. At a whopping 3.4 million likes, this image takes home the gold as our most loved photo of 2019. Several of our missions were part of a large effort to observe this black hole using different wavelengths of light and collect data to understand its environment. Here’s a look at our Chandra X-Ray Observatory’s close-up of the core of the M87 galaxy with the imaged black hole at its center.
When you wish upon a star… Hubble captures it from afar ✨On April 18, 2019 our Hubble Space Telescope celebrated 29 years of dazzling discoveries, serving as a window to the wonders of worlds light-years away.
Hubble continues to observe the universe in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light. Over the past 29 years, it has captured the farthest views ever taken of the evolving universe, found planet-forming disks around nearby stars and identified the first supermassive black hole in the heart of a neighboring galaxy. Want more? Enjoy the full 10 photo Instagram carousel here.
Patriotism was in the air June 14 for Flag Day, and coming in at number three in our most liked Instagram line up is a carousel of our stars and stripes in space! One of the most iconic images from the Apollo 11 missions is of Buzz Aldrin saluting the American flag on the surface of the Moon. But did you know that over the years, five more flags joined the one left by Apollo 11 – and that many other flags have flown onboard our spacecraft? Scroll through the full carousel for flag day here.
Since 2003, our Spitzer Space Telescope has been lifting the veil on the wonders of the cosmos, from our own solar system to faraway galaxies, using infrared light! Thanks to Spitzer, we’ve confirm the presence of seven rocky, Earth-size planets, received weather maps of hot, gaseous exoplanets and discovered a hidden ring around Saturn. In honor of Spitzer’s Sweet 16 in space, enjoy 16 jaw-dropping images from its mission here.
“That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.” – Carl Sagan
Seeing Earth from space can alter an astronauts’ cosmic perspective, a mental shift known as the “Overview Effect.” First coined by space writer Frank White in 1987, the Overview Effect is described as a feeling of awe for our home planet and a sense of responsibility for taking care of it. See Earth from the vantage point of our astronauts in a carousel of perspective-changing views here.
Astronaut Christina Koch (@Astro_Christina) set a record Dec. 28, 2019 for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, eclipsing the former record of 288 days set by Peggy Whitson. Her long-duration mission is helping us learn how to keep astronauts healthy for deep space exploration to the Moon and Mars. Congrats to Christina on reaching new heights! Join in the celebration and view few photos she captured from her vantage point aboard the Space Station here.
Earth is special. It’s the only place in the universe that we know contains life.
On July 7, 2019, two million people joined us in celebrating its beauty with a jaw dropping carousel of our home planet, as captured by crew members aboard the International Space Station. Bright blue oceans, glowing city lights and ice-capped mountain peaks come to life in a collection of breathtaking images, found here.
Every 29 days our Moon turns over a new leaf, and on May, 18 we saw a very special one of its faces. Appearing opposite the Sun at 5:11 p.m. EDT, the world looked up to find a Blue Moon! Though the Moon didn’t actually look blue, the site of one is kind of rare. They occur on average about every two-and-a-half years when a season ends up having four full moons instead of three. Click through a carousel of high-definition lunar phases here.
On December 23, a new gallery of Hubble Space Telescope images highlighting celestial objects visible to amateur and professional astronomers alike was released. All of the objects are from a collection known as the Caldwell catalog, which includes 109 interesting objects visible in amateur-sized telescopes in both the northern and southern skies. Flip through the jaw-dropping carousel here, and learn more about how you can study the night sky with Hubble here.
The Moon: “Y’all on the way yet?” 👀
We’re working on it, Moon. Under the Artemis program, we’re sending the first woman and the next man to walk on your surface by 2024. Find out how we’re doing it here.
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Published at Sat, 20 Jun 2020 15:48:05 +0000