Astrophoto: Clouds Above, Clouds Below

by Nancy Atkinson on August 27, 2014

A northern hemisphere summertime view of the Milky Way in Sagittarius. Credit and copyright: Greg Redfern.

A northern hemisphere summertime view of the Milky Way in Sagittarius. Credit and copyright: Greg Redfern.

What a gorgeous view of the dusty cloud of the Milky Way arch hovering over clouds low on the horizon here on Earth! Fellow NASA Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern took this image of our galactic center in the constellation Sagittarius.

“If you have dark skies look to the south to see this grand spectacle,” Greg said via email. “It stretches across the entire sky.”

Greg shot the image during the Almost Heaven Star Party, an annual astronomy event sponsored by the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. The star party is held in Spruce Knob, West Virginia, which boasts the darkest skies in the mid-Atlantic region of the US.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

Boeing unveiled full scale mockup of their commercial  CST-100  'Space Taxi' on June 9, 2014 at its intended manufacturing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The private vehicle will launch US astronauts to low Earth orbit and the ISS from US soil.   Credit: Ken Kremer - kenkremer.com

Boeing unveiled full scale mockup of their commercial CST-100 ‘Space Taxi’ on June 9, 2014 at its intended manufacturing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The private vehicle will launch US astronauts to low Earth orbit and the ISS from US soil. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

In the ‘new race to space’ to restore our capability to launch Americans to orbit from American soil with an American-built commercial ‘space taxi’ as rapidly and efficiently as possible, Boeing has moved to the front of the pack with their CST-100 spaceship by completing all their assigned NASA milestones on time and on budget in the current phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

Boeing is the first, and thus far only one of the three competitors (including Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX) to complete all their assigned milestone task requirements under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative funded under the auspices of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. [click to continue…]

Performing observations in Australia is on many astronomers’ bucket lists, and this video timelapse shows you precisely why. Famous, world-class observatories, dark sky and the beautiful desolation of the desert combine in this award-winning sequence shot by Alex Cherney and posted on Vimeo.

[click to continue…]

The fifth and sixth Galileo navigation satellites launch Aug. 22, 2014 from French Guiana. Credit: European Space Agency

The fifth and sixth Galileo navigation satellites launch Aug. 22, 2014 from French Guiana. Credit: European Space Agency

An independent investigation committee is looking at why two European navigation satellites are in the wrong orbits following their launch from French Guiana last week.

While the first part of the launch went well, officials said telemetry from the satellites showed that the satellites were not where they were supposed to be. The probe is ongoing, but officials believe it is related to a stage of the Soyuz rocket that hefted the satellites into space.

[click to continue…]

In 2013, a blocking pattern over Alaska caused a record-breaking heat wave. Credit: Photo by Jesse Allen and Jeff Schmatltz, using data from theLand Processes Distributed Active Archive Center(LPDAAC) and theLANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

In 2013, a blocking pattern over Alaska caused a record-breaking heat wave. Credit: Earth Observatory

Extreme weather is becoming much more common. Heat waves and heavy rains are escalating, food crops are being damaged, human beings are being displaced due to flooding and animals are migrating toward the poles or going extinct.

Although it has been postulated that these extreme weather events may be due to climate change, a new study has found much better evidence.

[click to continue…]