ASIM hardware attached to exterior of space station

Lightning flashes from a storm cloud to strike the ground. Such bolts represent only a small part of the overall phenomenon of lightning. The most powerful activity occurs high above the surface, in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Up there, lightning creates brief bursts of gamma rays that are the most high-energy naturally produced phenomena on the planet. Researchers recently measured these high-energy terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs, using instruments on the International Space Station. The work helps reveal the mechanism behind the creation of the bright flashes we call lightning.

The instruments are part of the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM), an Earth observation facility on the outside of the space station used to study severe thunderstorms and their role in Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

This photo of the ASIM investigation installed on the International Space Station’s Columbus External Payload Facility was taken by the ground-controlled External High Definition Camera 3.

Image Credit: NASA


Source: www.nasa.gov
Engineers and technicians working on the Mars 2020 Perseverance team

The samples Apollo 11 brought back to Earth from the Moon were humanity's first from another celestial body. NASA's upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission will collect the first samples from another planet (the red one) for return to Earth by subsequent missions. In place of astronauts, the Perseverance rover will rely on the most complex, capable and cleanest mechanism ever to be sent into space, the Sample Caching System.

In this image taken on May 20, 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center, engineers and technicians insert 39 sample tubes into the belly of the rover. Each tube is sheathed in a gold-colored cylindrical enclosure to protect it from contamination. Perseverance rover will carry 43 sample tubes to the Red Planet's Jezero Crater. 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 


Source: www.nasa.gov
Women of the Candomblé faith give thanks to the sea goddess for the first catch of the day. Founded in Salvador, Brazil, the faith is a mixture of African beliefs that resulted from enslaved people's export to the country.
A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard

A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, as photographed by NASA's Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). This is one of the seven regions where ice loss is accelerating, causing the depletion of freshwater resources.

Seven of the regions that dominate global ice mass losses are melting at an accelerated rate, a new study shows, and the quickened melt rate is depleting freshwater resources that millions of people depend on.

The impact of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica on the world's oceans is well documented. But the largest contributors to sea level rise in the 20th century were melting ice caps and glaciers located in seven other regions: Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Southern Andes, High Mountain Asia, the Russian Arctic, Iceland and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. The five Arctic regions accounted for the greatest share of ice loss.

Image Credit: NASA/John Sonntag


Source: www.nasa.gov
Demo-2 launch

On Saturday, May 30, 2020, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft launched on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station and made its way into the history books. The Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX’s crew transportation system. Behnken and Hurley launched at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky


Source: www.nasa.gov
Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen illuminated on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen illuminated on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX’s crew transportation system. Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are scheduled to launch at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky


Source: www.nasa.gov
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View of the ceiling of the main nave of the church and Monastery of St. Francis, Quito, Ecuador. The Roman Catholic temple, finalized in the 17th century, is the largest architetural ensemble among the historical structures of colonial Latin America. The church is also featured by the mixture of different architecture styles as the construction took 150 years.


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Ritual shaman pillars know as serge with colored ribbons in sacred place Cape Burhan on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Russia.


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Castle ruins of Aggstein, Wachau, Lower Austria



What’s higher than the Himalayas? Although the Himalayan Mountains are the tallest on planet Earth, they don't measure up to the Milky Way. Visible above the snow-capped mountains in the featured image is the arcing central band of our home galaxy. The bright spot just above the central plane is the planet Jupiter, while the brightest orange spot on the upper right is the star Antares. The astrophotographer braved below-zero temperatures at nearly 4,000-meters altitude to take the photographs that compose this image. The featured picture is a composite of eight exposures taken with same camera and from the same location over three hours, just after sunset, in 2019 April, from near Bimtang Lake in Nepal. Over much of planet Earth, the planets Mercury (faint) and Venus (bright) will be visible this week after sunset.

Experts Debate: How will humanity first discover extraterrestrial life?

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Berlin central station, as seen from south-east. The building is reflecting in the water of the Humboldt harbour. It was built by architect Meinhard von Gerkan of Gerkan, Marg and Partners and was opened on May 26, 2006.


In Cornwall, England, cows peer over a hedgerow while munching on their breakfast. A featyre story was devoted to Britain's iconic hedgerows in the September 1993 issue.


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Winged altar at the pilgrimage church St. Wolfgang ob Grades, municipality of Metnitz, Carinthia, Austria. Shrine statues by an anonymous master probably of the elder Villach Workshop, 1490; reliefs and arrangement by the younger Villach Workshop, around 1520.



The largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The featured mosaic was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s.


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Davidson Glacier, Haines, Alaska, United States. The glacier, a tourist attraction in Haines, was discovered by 1867.


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Chantilly castle, Oise department, France, as seen from north-west.


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Eurasian blue tit leaves the nest box.


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Would you like a NASA astronomy-exploration poster? You are just one page-print away. Any of the panels you see on the featured image can appear on your wall. Moreover, this NASA page has, typically, several more posters of each of the Solar System objects depicted. These posters highlight many of the places humanity, through NASA, has explored in the past 50 years, including our Sun, and planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Moons of Jupiter that have been posterized include Europe, Ganymede, Callisto, and Io, while moons of Saturn that can be framed include Enceladus and Titan. Images of Pluto, Ceres, comets and asteroids are also presented, while six deep space scenes -- well beyond our Solar System -- can also be prominently displayed. If you lack wall space or blank poster sheets don't despair -- you can still print many of these out as trading cards.


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Devotion of Polish People in All Saints' Day, Holy Cross Cemetery in Gniezno, Poland.