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Discover Instagram posts, photos and videos taken by NASA (@nasa)

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An interstellar visitor…scientists have confirmed that an intriguing asteroid that zipped through our solar system in October is the first confirmed object from another star! New data reveal the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. Observations suggest that this unusual object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system.The asteroid is up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly-elongated—perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide. While its elongated shape is quite surprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solar system, it may provide new clues into how other solar systems formed.Two of our space telescopes (@nasahubbleand Spitzer) are tracking the object the week of Nov. 20. As of Monday, the asteroid is travelling about 85,700 miles per hour (38.3 kilometers per second) relative to the Sun.Credit: European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser#nasa#space#interstellar#rocky#asteroid#solarsystem#milkyway#discovery#firstever#first#picoftheday#scientists

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See that swirling cloud that looks like cream in coffee? It’s actually a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere. The bright clouds and their shadows range from approximately 4 to 8 miles in both widths and lengths. These appear similar to the small clouds in the other bright regions our Juno spacecraft (@nasajuno ) has detected and are expcted to be updrafts of ammonia ice crystals possibly mixed with water ice.This image was captured on Oct. 24 at 10:32 a.m. EDT by our Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.Credit: NASA/JPL-Calthech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran#nasa#space#jupiter#juno#planet#gasgiant#clouds#coffee#swirls#storm#shadows#solarsystem#spacecraft#picoftheday

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The 3rd time was a charm for @noaa ’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1)! It lifted off on a @ulalaunchDelta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 4:47 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Approximately 63 minutes after launch, the solar arrays on JPSS-1 deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power and was on its own orbit.JPSS-1 is equipped with five instruments, each of which is significantly upgraded from the instruments on NOAA’s previous polar-orbiting satellites. The more-detailed observations provided by JPSS-1 will allow forecasters to make more accurate predictions. JPSS-1 data will also improve recognition of climate patterns that influence the weather, such as El Nino and La Nina.The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA.Credit: @ulalaunch#nasa#spacecraft#satellite#jpss1#weather#liftoff#launch#rocket#orbit#space#rocketlaunch

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A cosmic search for a missing arm… This image shows a dwarf galaxy, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (@nasahubble ), the picture reveals the single major spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance.But why is there only one such spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two? Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disk of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy – only visible in the ultraviolet.At first, astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy. They speculated this galactic neighbor may be the culprit, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim. The gas in the outermost regions of the neighboring dwarf galaxy has been strongly affected by the galaxy in this image.Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA#nasa#space#hubble#spothubble#galaxy#dwarfgalaxy#spiral#arm#astrophysics#solarsystem#universe#stars#formation#picoftheday

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NASA

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Can you identify this river? This image, taken by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei shows the beauty of planet Earth from his unique vantage point on the International Space Station (@iss ). He posted this to social media saying, “Can you identify this river? The views up here never get old, especially sun glinting off the water!”. Currently, there are six humans living and working on the orbiting laboratory where they conduct important science and research that will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before.Credit: NASA#nasa#space#earth#spacestation#sun#river#amazonriver#glint#astronaut#microgravity#laboratory#science#photography#picoftheday#earthphotography

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One of eight massive rotating storms that appear as white ovals, christened the "String of Pearls," was recently captured on Oct. 24 in this stunning Juno spacecraft image of Jupiter. It shows the southern hemisphere of the gas giant planet. Since 1986, these colossal white ovals have varied in number from six to nine.Since arriving at Jupiter on July 4, 2016, Juno has been on a mission of exploration where it soars low over the planet's cloud tops -- as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 km). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/ Seán Doran#nasa#space#jupiter#juno#spacecraft#storm#planet#cloudscape#stringofpearls#solarsystem#astronomy#science

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What's up in the night skies this #november ? On Nov. 13 and 14, early risers all around the world will have a chance to see #venusand #jupitertogether before dawn. At their closest on Monday morning, they will be about half the diameter of the full moon from each other.This month, both Jupiter and Venus rise above the eastern horizon about an hour before the sun rises.You should be able to see the two planets about 5 degrees above the horizon a half hour later (5 degrees can be measured by holding three fingers of your outstretched hand to the horizon). Venus will be to the lower right of Jupiter on Monday, when they will be less than one finger length apart, and farther below Jupiter on the Tuesday.Look with your binoculars, but take care not to aim on the horizon at the rising sun because you will damage your eyes. On Thursday, the moon will be visible above Jupiter in the dawn sky. A conjunction occurs when the apparent motion of one or both of two planets brings them into apparent proximity. In reality, since conjunctions are only from our perspective here on Earth, the objects are never really close to each other physically. You can make a conjunction by holding up your thumb near the moon in the sky:They look close together, but are really far apart.Credit: NASA/JPL#astronomy#fun#free#night#sky#planets#stars#moon#nasa#jpl#whatsup#science#video#nightsky#stargazing#space#jupiter#venus

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LIFT OFF! The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A at 7:19 a.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station (@iss ), set to rendezvous in two days.This eighth cargo resupply mission by Orbital ATK (@orbital_atk ) to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbiting laboratory and its crew.Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls#nasa#space#rocket#rocketlaunch#launch#wallops#orbitalatk#cygnus#antares#nasawallops#wff

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'Twas the night before launch... Tomorrow morning at 7:37 a.m. EST, Orbital ATK (@orbitalatk ) will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station (@iss ) from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.This launch will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Live NASA TV coverage and commentary will begin at 7 a.m. EST on our website at www.nasa.gov/live.The launch window is open for about five minutes, while the journey from launch to orbit takes about nine minutes. Cygnus is then scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Nov. 13.Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls#nasa#rocket#launch#rocketlaunch#wallops#wff#iss#spacecraft#spacestation#cygnus#orbitalatk#science

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Throwback Thursday: On November 9, 1967, the uncrewed Apollo 4 test flight made a great ellipse around Earth as a test of the translunar motors and of the high speed entry required of a crewed flight returning from the Moon. A 70mm camera was programmed to look out a window toward Earth, and take a series of photographs from "high apogee." Seen looking west are coastal Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean, West Africa and Antarctica. This photograph was made as the Apollo 4 spacecraft orbited Earth at an altitude of 9,544 miles.The Saturn/Apollo 4 mission was the first all-up test of the three stage Saturn V rocket. It carried the Apollo Command and Service Module into Earth orbit. The mission was designed to test all aspects of the Saturn V launch vehicle and return pictures of Earth. The mission was deemed successful and ushered in a golden era of space travel.Photo Credit: NASA#nasa#space#apollo#apollo4#saturnv#earth#picoftheday#solarsystem#astronomy#50years#tbt#throwbackthursday#planet#bluemarble#homeworld

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