NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image. False colors trace different gas temperatures. Reds are relatively cool (~60,000 K); blues and greens are hotter (> 1,000,000 K).
Launched February 11, 2010, SDO will help us understand where the Sun's energy comes from, how the inside of the Sun works, and how energy is stored and released in the Sun's atmosphere.
Pillar and jets in Carina
Release date: April 22, 2010
A three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.
OBJECT: HH 901, HH 902, 'Mystic Mountain'
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
Hubble celebrates 20 years in orbit
April 24, 2010
In the telescope's two decades in orbit Hubble scientists made more than 930,000 observations and snapped over 570,000 images of 30,000 celestial objects resulting in over 8,700 scientific papers and making it one of the most productive scientific observatories ever built.
The James Webb Space Telescope passes its Mission Critical Design Review, which signifies that the integrated observatory will meet all science and engineering requirements for its mission. The sunshield also passes its critical design review, certifying that its design is complete and meets mission requirements.
The James Webb Space Telescope will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018. The space telescope is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) successfully obtained its first in-flight, nighttime celestial observations during its “First Light” mission.
SOFIA is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory, complementing NASA's space telescopes as well as major Earth-based telescopes. It features a German-built far-infrared telescope with an effective diameter of 100-inches (2.5 meters). Flying at altitudes of between 39,000 to 45,000 feet (12 – 14 kilometers) and above 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere, SOFIA facilitates observations that are unobtainable from telescopes on the ground. Because SOFIA can fly virtually anywhere in the world, change instruments between flights, and implement new capabilities, it provides greater adaptability than any space-based telescope.
Starburst Cluster NGC 3603
Release date: July 6, 2010
The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster, providing an unobstructed view of the cluster.
OBJECT: NGC 3603
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Future motions of stars in Omega Centauri
Release date: October 26, 2010
The multicolor snapshot (left) captures the central region of the giant globular cluster Omega Centauri. All the stars in the image are moving in random directions. Astronomers used Hubble to measure positions for stars in 2002 and 2006.From these measurements, they can predict the stars' future movement. The illustration (right) charts the future positions of the stars highlighted by the white box in the left image. Each streak represents the motion of the star over the next 600 years.
OBJECT: Omega Centauri, NGC 5139, Omega Cen
SCIENCE CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and J. Anderson and R. van der Marel (STScI)
ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
First private company successfully launchs and returns a spacecraft
December 8, 2010
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) tested its Falcon 9 and a fully functioning Dragon capsule combination during a brief mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The capsule parachuted back to Earth about three hours after liftoff following maneuvers in orbit.
The test flight was the first under a NASA contract called COTS, short for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. The contract was set up to encourage private companies to ship cargo to the International Space Station. The successful mission could clear the way for a Dragon spacecraft to rendezvous with the station sometime next year, potentially delivering cargo on that flight.
Hubble supernova bubble SNR 0509
Release date: December 14, 2010
This pristine shell is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Ripples in the shell's surface may be caused either by variations in the density of the ambient interstellar gas, or possibly driven from the interior by pieces of the ejecta.
OBJECT: SNR 0509, Supernova Remnant 0509-67.5
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)