Friday, November 30, 2012

Question 141: 30 November 2012 (Week 48)

Q141: What is a Globular cluster?

Answer to Question 140

A140: The Galactic Center is the rotational center of the Milky Way galaxy. It is located at a distance of 8.33±0.35 kpc (~27,000±1,000 ly) from the Earth in the direction of the constellations Sagittarius,Ophiuchus, and Scorpius where the Milky Way appears brightest. There is strong evidence that supports the existence of asupermassive black hole at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way.

The Galactic Centre as seen by one of the 2MASS infrared telescopes, is located in the bright upper left portion of the image.

Source: wikipedia

A Multi-Wavelength View of Radio Galaxy Hercules A

Spectacular jets powered by the gravitational energy of a super massive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy's cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Water Ice on Mercury: How It Stays Frozen (Infographic)

Learn about how billions of tons of water ice stays frozen at the north pole of the hottest planet, Mercury, in this infographic.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Water-Ice On Mercury - How It Was Found | Video


 It has been estimated that there may be up to 1 trillion metric tons of water ice on Mercury. Scientist David Lawerence explains how NASA's MESENGER mission's neutron spectroscopy data contributed to the find.
Credit: NASA.

A Mosaic of MESSENGER Images of Mercury's North Polar Region

Tradar image of Mercury's north polar region from Image 2.1 is shown superposed on a mosaic of MESSENGER images of the same area. All of the larger polar deposits are located on the floors or walls of impact craters. Deposits farther from the pole are seen to be concentrated on the north-facing sides of craters. Updated from N. L. Chabot et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004172 (2012). 

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory

Permanently Shadowed Polar Craters

Shown in red are areas of Mercury’s north polar region that are in shadow in all images acquired by MESSENGER to date. Image coverage, and mapping of shadows, is incomplete near the pole. The polar deposits imaged by Earth-based radar are in yellow (from Image 2.1), and the background image is the mosaic of MESSENGER images from Image 2.2. This comparison indicates that all of the polar deposits imaged by Earth-based radar are located in areas of persistent shadow as documented by MESSENGER images. Updated from N. L. Chabot et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004172 (2012). 

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory

MESSENGER Finds New Evidence for Water Ice at Mercury's Poles

New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed polar craters.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Super-Giant Black Hole Discovered | Video

This animation depicts the orbit of a giant, super-massive black hole discovered in the compact galaxy NGC 1277. One second represents 22 million years of time in the simulation. Credit: NASA/ESA/Fabian/Remco C. E. van den Bosch of MPIA (animation)

Titan's Changing Seasons

This artist's impression of Saturn's moon Titan shows the change in observed atmospheric effects before, during and after equinox in 2009. The Titan globes also provide an impression of the detached haze layer that extends all around the moon (blue). This image was inspired by data from NASA's Cassini mission. 

Enormous Vortex On Saturn Snapped By Spacecraft | Video

Source: NASA,

Swirling Storms on Saturn

This image from NASA's Cassini mission was taken on Nov. 27, 2012, with Cassini's narrow-angle camera. The camera was pointing toward Saturn from approximately 224,618 miles (361,488 kilometers) away. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Question 140: 29 November 2012 (Week 48)

Q140: What is Galactic Center of the Milky Way?

Answer to Question 139

A139: Baade's Window is an area of the sky with relatively low amounts of interstellar "dust"along the line of sight from the Earth. This area is considered an observational "window" as the normally obscured Galactic Center of the Milky Way is visible in this direction. It is named for astronomer Walter Baade who first recognized its significance. This area corresponds to one of the brightest visible patches of the Milky Way.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Question 139: 28 November 2012 (Week 48)

Q139: What is known as the Baade's Window?

Answer to Question 138

A138:Sagittarius A* (pronounced "Sagittarius A-star", standard abbreviation Sgr A*) is a bright and very compact astronomical radio source at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, near the border of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius. It is part of a larger astronomical feature known as Sagittarius A. Sagittarius A* is believed to be the location of a supermassive black hole,such as those that are now generally accepted to be at the centers of most spiral and elliptical galaxies. Observations of the star S2 in orbit around Sagittarius A* have been used to show the presence of, and produce data about, the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole, and have led to the conclusion that Sagittarius A* is the site of that black hole.


Penumbral lunar eclipse

Sunspot's Death Throes Unleash Strong Flare | Video

Although decaying, the Sun's active region (AR1618) erupted with an M1.6 flare on November 27th. Captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. There is no threat of geomagnetic storms on Earth.

Space Station's ISSAC Continues to Keep a Helpful Eye on Earth

ISSAC image of flooding in Minot, N.D., on June 24, 2011. (UND UMAC)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of cameras aboard the International Space Station, a picture may impact a thousand lives or more. The International Space Station Agricultural Camera, or ISSAC, provides images capable of important impacts for Earth users. Originally meant as an agricultural resource, ISSAC completed its primary science operations in September, but now answers the call for disaster response on a global level. 

GOES-R Satellite Program Undergoes Successful Review

Artist's concept of the GOES-R satellite in geostationary orbit around the Earth.Credit: NOAA 

The GOES-R Series Program, which is leading the effort to replace and upgrade NOAA’s existing fleet of geostationary satellites that track severe weather across the United States, received a favorable appraisal conducted by an external team of aerospace experts of its preparations to launch the new series, beginning in late 2015.

Plants in Space

Samples from the Seedling Growth investigation aboard the International Space Station help researchers study the impact of the microgravity environment on plant growth. (NASA) 

Why is NASA conducting plant research aboard the International Space Station? Because during future long-duration missions, life in space may depend on it. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Penumbral lunar eclipse on November 28

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the moon on November 28. The eclipse starts at 5.45pm and maximum eclipse takes place at 8.03pm. It will end at10.21pm. The eclipse will be visible in Alaska, Hawaii, Australia or East Asia. Eastern Canada and the USA will miss the phenomenon. However, observers in western Canada and the USA will see the mid-eclipse.
Enthusiasts can see the lunar eclipse with naked eyes. It will cause no harm. Good time to look at the progress of the eclipse is between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm. A pair of binoculars would certainly help but the shades of gray would be visible to the naked eyes too, closer to 8pm.
A lunar eclipse takes place when the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon, or in other words, the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. Shadow of the earth, or any other object, has two parts — the central dark part called umbra and fainter outer part called penumbra.
Director of Nehru Science Centre Dr Arvind Paranjapye said, “The penumbral shadow can be easily seen or demonstrated by holding an object such as a pencil or a ball in the sun and looking at its shadow. If the object is closer to the ground or where it cast the shadow, the shadow is very sharp but as the object is moved away from screen the outer region becomes faint. This is the penumbral region of the shadow. The central part where the shadow is dark is the umbral region.”

Question 138: 27 November 2012 (Week 48)

Q138: Name the black hole thought to exist at the center of the Milky Way?

Answer to Question 137

A1378: Approximately 100 billion

A Pair of 'Pac-Men'

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spotted two features shaped like the 1980s video game icon "Pac-Man" on moons of Saturn. One was observed on the moon Mimas in 2010 and the latest was observed on the moon Tethys. The pattern appears in thermal data obtained by Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer, with warmer areas making up the Pac-Man shape. 

Continuing Thanksgiving Eruptions On the Sun

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured this image of a coronal mass ejection (CME), erupting on the left side of the sun, on Nov. 23, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. EST as it was moving away from the sun into space. This image from SOHO is what's known as a coronagraph, in which the bright light of the sun is blocked in order to make the dimmer structures in the sun's atmosphere, or corona, visible. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO

Panoramic View From 'Rocknest' Position of Curiosity Mars Rover

This panorama is a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the NASA Mars rover Curiosity while the rover was working at a site called "Rocknest" in October and November 2012. 

A Martian Rock Called 'Rocknest 3'

This view of a Martian rock called "Rocknest 3" combines four images taken by the right-eye camera of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument, which has a telephoto, 100-millimeter-focal-length lens. The component images were taken a few minutes after Martian noon on the 59th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's operations on Mars (evening of Oct. 5, 2012, PDT).

Solar Minimum; Solar Maximum

The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, a peak known as solar maximum, predicted for 2013. Both images were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observing light emitted from the 1 million degree plasma, which is a good temperature for observing the quiet corona. Credit: NASA/SDO

The sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years. The cycle is marked by the increase and decrease of sunspots -- visible as dark blemishes on the sun's surface, or photosphere. The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as "solar maximum." The lowest number is "solar minimum."

NASA, Roscosmos Assign Veteran Crew to Yearlong Space Station Mission

NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and their international partners have selected two veteran spacefarers for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station in 2015. This mission will include collecting scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. NASA has selected Scott Kelly and Roscosmos has chosen Mikhail Kornienko. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Question 137: 26 November 2012 (Week 48)

A137: Approximately, How many stars are there in Milky way Galaxy?

Kepler Mission Manager Update

During a scheduled contact on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, engineers discovered that the Kepler spacecraft, although at science attitude, was not in finepoint, a mode where the pointing accuracy is sufficient to take precision science data. While implementing procedures to return the spacecraft to this precision-pointing mode, on-board fault protection detected a larger pointing error and placed the spacecraft in safe mode. 

Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) is an Explorer mission

The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) is an Explorer mission that was managed by the Office of Space Science Mission and Payload Development Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

Pressure Cycles on Mars

This graph shows the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars, as measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on NASA's Curiosity rover. The blue curve shows data from Sol 31 (Sept. 6, 2012) and the green curve shows data from Sol 93 (Nov. 7, 2012). Pressure is a measure of the amount of air in the whole column of atmosphere sitting above the rover. 

Five Bites Into Mars

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used a mechanism on its robotic arm to dig up five scoopfuls of material from a patch of dusty sand called "Rocknest," producing the five bite-mark pits visible in this image from the rover's left Navigation Camera (Navcam). Each of the pits is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide. 

Answer to Question 136

A13 6

The universe is a big, big place. But how big? And how do we know?

Throughout history, humans have used a variety of techniques and methods to help them answer the questions 'How far?' and 'How big?' Generations of explorers have looked deeper and deeper into the vast expanse of the universe. And the journey continues today, as new methods are used, and new discoveries are made. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Question 136: 24 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q136: How big is our universe?

Answer to Question 135

There are two main types of telescopes, Refractors and Reflectors. 

Refractors are the most popular telescope for beginners. They use a lens to gather and focus the light of the object it's pointing at. Using a lens which is made from two elements or more, the refractor reduces false colors. There are two different types of refractor telescopes, achromatic or apochromatic.
Characteristics of Refractor telescopes
  • small and compact
  • maintenance free
  • high resolution (excellent planet scopes)
  • can be used during the day for terrestrial viewing without the image being upside down
  • expensive for larger models and apochromatic
  • less light gathering power than reflecting telescopes because of their smaller size
  • awkward to use when pointing straight up (straight up is the best place to view with a telescope)
  • false color especially in larger models
Reflectors gather light using a mirror which is curved. The curved mirror concentrates the light and is then magnified by an eyepiece. Newtonian reflectors (invented by Sir Issac Newton) can be identified by the eyepiece protruding from the side of the telescope. These are the most common and cheapest to buy. Other types of reflectors incorporate a front lens which corrects the incoming light first before hitting the main reflective mirror. These front lenses are called corrector plates and the different types used determine the type of reflecting telescope. The more popular types are the Schmidt-Cassegrain and the Maksutov-Cassegrain.
Characteristics of Reflecting telescopes
  • excellent light gathering power - the bigger the better
  • cheapest per centimeter of aperture
  • wider field of view than refractors
  • some maintenance required (re-coat the mirror faces every 8-10 years, re-align mirrors if necessary)
  • optics are not enclosed, but can be cleaned occasionally
  • lower resolution due to secondary mirror obstruction, generally suited better for faint objects

Friday, November 23, 2012

Question 135: 23 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q135: What are two main types of telescopes?

Answer to Question 134

A134: Mars

ISS Update: Packing and Preparing Space Food (Part 2)

Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer talks with NASA Food Scientist Vickie Kloeris at Johnson Space Center's Space Food Laboratory. They are inside the Packaging Room that filters out contaminants and packages food for the astronauts. Beverages, freeze-dried food and snacks such as cookies and M&Ms are packaged here.

ISS Update: Packing and Preparing Space Food (Part 1)

Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer talks with NASA Food Scientist Vickie Kloeris at Johnson Space Center's Space Food Laboratory. They talk about preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for the residents of the International Space Station.

Curiosity has some plans this Thanksgiving

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove 83 feet eastward during the 102nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Nov. 18, 2012), and used its left navigation camera to record this view ahead at the end of the drive.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has some plans this Thanksgiving, and they don't involve watching football in a food-coma stupor.

The 1-ton Curiosity rover will spend the holiday scouting out possible routes and target rocks for its first-ever drilling activity, NASA officials wrote in a mission update Tuesday (Nov. 20). The reconnaissance work follows a lengthy drive to an overlook the rover team has dubbed "Point Lake."

"Thanksgiving isn't so different on Mars. I had a long drive & plan to take photos. No pie, though," the Curiosity team said via the rover's official Twitter feed, @MarsCuriosity.

Expedition 34 Thanksgiving Message

Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford shares a Thanksgiving message from the International Space Station. Ford demonstrates how the crew will spend the holiday on orbit and describes the menu he and his two crewmates will share on Thursday. Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin joined Ford to send their best wishes in Russian

Martian Dust Storm, Nov. 18, 2012

This nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 18, 2012, shows a dust storm in Mars' southern hemisphere. Small white arrows outline the area where dust from the storm is apparent in the atmosphere. 

Locations of NASA's Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity are labeled. 

Black areas in the mosaic are the result of data drops or high angle roll maneuvers by the orbiter that limit the camera's view of the planet. Equally-spaced blurry areas that run from south-to-north (bottom-to-top) result from the high off-nadir viewing geometry, a product of the spacecraft's low-orbit. 

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, provided and operates the Mars Color Imager. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Question 134: 22 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q134: Which planet has the highest mountain and deepest valley in the solar system?

Answer to Question 133

A133: God of War

Transit of Venus visible only from the planet Saturn

On December 21, the planet Venus will appear to cross the face of the Sun, as seen from the planet Saturn. 
CREDIT: Starry Night Software

On Dec. 21, there will be a transit of Venus visible only from the planet Saturn. Like the transit of Venus visible from Earth earlier this year, the planet Venus will appear to cross the face of he sun, but you would have to be near Saturn to see it. This is another three-object alignment: sun, Venus, and Saturn.

Dwarf Planets of Our Solar System (Infographic)

Learn about the dwarf planets of our solar system, in this infographic.

In 2006 the organization responsible for classifying celestial bodies, the International Astronomical Union, decided that a new class of objects was needed. The solar system's erratic ninth planet, Pluto, was assigned to the new “dwarf planet” category along with four other bodies, all tinier than Earth’s moon. Some astronomers expect there may be as many as 50 dwarf planets in the solar system.

ISS Tour: Labs, Exercise Bike & Space Suits | Video

What Did Curiosity Find On Mars? | Video

Mission scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory, Dr. John Grotzinger, talks to about how the instrumentation on the rover made the find that he calls "one for the history books". Results to be announced early December.
Credit: / NASA / JPL-Caltech

Hubble Eyes a Loose Spiral Galaxy

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37, seen here against a backdrop of distant galaxies, scattered with nearby stars.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Planck discovers filament of hot gas linking two galaxy clusters

This image shows the two galaxy clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401, which can be seen in the upper left corner (Abell 401) and in the central lower portion of the image (Abell 399), respectively. They are located at redshift z~0.07 – about one billion light-years away from us. In the optical image, obtained with ground-based telescopes, galaxies are visible as slightly elliptical, bright flecks. The two clusters can be seen as the two portions of the images that show a higher concentration of galaxies. The image is also dotted with several foreground stars that belong to our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Depicted in orange is the hot gas that pervades the two clusters and the space between them, based on data from ESA's Planck satellite. Planck can detect the hot gas via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. Credit: Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect: ESA Planck Collaboration; Optical image: STScI Digitized Sky SurveI

Soyuz Re-Entry

Seen from the International Space Station, the Soyuz TMA-05M descent module begins to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, leaving a plasma trail as the Expedition 33 crew streaks toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. 

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide landed northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk at 8:56 p.m. EST Sunday (7:56 a.m. Monday, Kazakhstan time). 

Credit: NASA

Question 133: 21 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q133: Name of Mars is name of which god.

Sunita Williams

Sunita Williams
NASA Astronaut
Other namesSunita Pandya Krishna
BornSeptember 19, 1965 (age 47)
Euclid, OhioUnited States
Other occupationTest pilot
Time in space321 days 17 hours 15 minutes
Selection1998 NASA Group
Total EVAs7
Total EVA time50 hours and 40 minutes
MissionsSTS-116Expedition 14Expedition 15STS-117Soyuz TMA-05M,Expedition 32Expedition 33
Mission insigniaSTS-116 ISS Expedition 14 ISS Expedition 15 STS-117 Soyuz TMA-05M Expedition 32 Expedition 33

Source: Wikipedia

Answer to Question 132

A132: 321days 17 hours 15 minutes

Club Sent Post Card to ISS Crew

Mars Video

NASA Spacecraft Observe Nov. 20 Solar Eruption

On Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection or CME. Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later. When Earth-directed, CMEs can affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth.

Animation of Curiosity Rover's First 'Touch and Go'

Animation shows NASA's Mars Curiosity rover touching a rock with an instrument on its arm, then stowing the arm and driving on. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Moon Phase & Libration 2013: Additional Graphics

This visualization shows the phase and libration of the Moon throughout the year 2013, at hourly intervals. Each frame represents one hour. In addition, this version of the visualization shows additional relevant information, including the Moon's orbit position, subsolar and subearth points, distance from the Earth, and more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Question 132: 20 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q132: How much time is spent by Sunita Williams at International Space Station?

Answer to Question 131

A131: Microgravity

Giant Super-Jupiter Planet Discovered

Super-Jupiter Kappa AndromedaeCredit: NAOJ/Subaru/J. Carson(College of Charleston)/T. Currie(University Toronto)This is a false color, near-infrared (3.8 micron) image of the Kappa And system. The light from the host star (center) has been removed through image processing. The super-Jupiter, Kappa And b (upper left), has a projected separation of 55 Astronomical Units, about 1.8 times that of Neptune's orbital separation. The speckled pattern surrounding the software-generated mask at the center represents residual noise from the starlight subtraction. The Subaru Telescope in Hawaii captured the image in July 2012.

Venera 13: First Color Pictures From Venus

A panoramic view of the surface of Venus from the Venera 13 lander.

Venera 13, a Soviet spacecraft, was the first lander to transmit color images from the surface of Venus. Although other landers arrived before and after it, pictures from Venera 13 tend to be more widely circulated because they are in color.

The spacecraft was designed to last about half an hour on Venus' harsh surface, but sent back data for more than two hours after its landing March 1, 1982.

Since no lander has ventured on to Venus since the 1980s, the Venera program's images of the surface stand as the best close-up record of the planet today.


Expedition 34

Image above: Pictured on the front row are NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (left), commander; and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, flight engineer. Pictured from the left (back row) are Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin, Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, all flight engineers. Photo credit: NASA

Gray Egg

It's difficult not to think of an egg when looking at Saturn's moon Methone, seen here during a Cassini flyby of the small moon. The relatively smooth surface adds to the effect created by the oblong shape. 

Expedition 33 Post-Landing Activities

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko are greeted by local and space officials at an airport in Kostanay, Kazakhstan, after completing their mission. They landed after 127 days in space and 125 days aboard the station on Sunday Nov. 18, 2012.

Astronomers Directly Image Massive Star's 'Super-Jupiter'

Astronomers using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii have discovered a "super-Jupiter" around the bright star Kappa Andromedae, which now holds the record for the most massive star known to host a directly imaged planet or lightweight brown dwarf companion.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Expedition 33 Crew Sunita Returns

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide land in Kazakhstan aboard their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft after more than four months aboard the International Space Station.


Three members of the Expedition 33 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, wrapping up a mission lasting more than four months.

Giant Sun Eruption Captured in NASA Video

Space Station Crew Lands Tonight: Watch Live on

The space station crew will depart the space station on Sunday at 5:26 p.m. EST (2226 GMT) when a Russian Soyuz ferry ship unlocks from the orbiting lab. The Soyuz TMA-05M space capsule will land on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 8:53 p.m. EST (0153 Nov. 19 GMT).

Question 131: 19 November 2012 (Week 47)

Q131: What kind of gravity is experienced by the astronauts When in orbit on the Space Shuttle?

Answer to Question 130

A130: The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields. It has a diameter of about 1,392,684 km, about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass (about 2×1030 kilograms, 330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium. The remainder (1.69%, which nonetheless equals 5,628 times the mass of Earth) consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon and iron, among others.

Soyuz Undocks; Station Crew Heading Home

The Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft carrying Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide undocked from the Rassvet module of the International Space Station at 5:26 p.m. EST Sunday. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Photo of Day - Taken by Photographer Kirti Dangwal

This is picture taken by photographer Kirti Sing Dangwal on the eve of Diwali 2012 at Nainital.