Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower is Worth a Shot This Year

Image Credit & Copyright: Thomas O’Brien of the Geminids meteor shower near Aspen Colorado.

The night of Thursday, July 28 until Friday, July 29 before dawn will host the peak viewing hours for this year’s annual Delta Aquarids meteor shower.  As with all meteor showers there’s an estimated viewing window aka; “active dates” which in this case run from mid-July to mid-August.  Peak viewing however, is almost primarily a single given night through the following morning before dawn.

This year’s peak hourly rates will be around 20 per hour and you will want to be looking in the general direction of Aquarius in the south.  This is a primarily Southern Hemisphere show and this year is that the big floodlight in the night sky (the Moon) will be in its waning crescent phase and won’t be rising well past midnight midnight. That means peak morning may be hampered but only slightly.

WHAT CAUSES THIS SHOWER?:  As with all meteor showers; they’re created as Earth plows though a debris field left in space by a long past comet or asteroid.  The parent body responsible for this event is listed in the data below.

HOW MANY WILL I SEE?: Keep in mind predictions are just that, predictions based of past totals, performance and future forecasts so just because it says “X” per-hour you have to understand that meteor shower prediction is about as fickle as weather prediction. Also when you see “X” per-hour, that’s DARK SKY totals with the radiant point (where they’re coming from) directly overhead, 360 degree horizons and that’s if you catch every streak, including faint meteors. So your totals (like mine) will probably be half that if you’re viewing from your back yard and are within 30 min or so of a medium sized city. Probably half that yet again if the moon is out and larger than a small, few day young or old crescent.

WHEN DO I LOOK?: Peak night is usually a given night and next morning with the “next morning” often being the absolute best time to watch. In fact the closer to morning twilight you can get, the better…..here’s why. If you view the solar system from “above” planets orbit the Sun in a counter clockwise motion and we also rotate in a counter clockwise motion. That means, just before your sunrise the Earth’s rotation has it pointed in the direction of travel of the Earth as it orbits the Sun and meteors are mere “bugs (or if you prefer; “snowflakes”) hitting the windshield” of Spaceship Earth as it plows through the debris field.

WHERE DO I LOOK?: You will want to look in the direction of the radiant point of the shower for best results. The radiant point is where it appears that the meteors radiate from and is usually associated with the constellation they are named after. For example; the radiant point for the Orionids is the constellation of Orion. Just above his head or over his shoulders actually. Also the higher that the radiant point gets the better observing may become because meteors radiate out in all directions and most aren’t visible until they’re approximately 30 degrees or so from said radiant point.

NOTE: Something to also take into consideration is where the constellation will be. For example; Perseus won’t start the night very high in the sky but through the night it will rise in the northeast and set in the northwest so just looking north should be just fine. For other, more non-polar showers this may be something to consider as the radiant point will move a great distance through the night.

WHAT DO I NEED?: Well, as for seeing them….nothing. The most important things you need are a clear, dark sky, preferably with a nice wide open horizon with no Moon. In fact you really can’t use binoculars or telescopes for meteor showers because the streak is too long, too fast and you won’t be able to physically move your equipment into position in the about of time a streak takes to appear and burn out. Also just as a quick reference; first quarter moon rises around noon, is high overhead around sunset and sets around midnight. Full Moon rises around sunset is up all night (usually highest around midnight) and sets with sunrise. Third (last) quarter moon rises around midnight is high overhead around sunrise and sets around noon. These aren’t exact but pretty good gauges to use when trying to figure out when the moon will show up and or go away.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: Weather and subsequently how you plan to dress for that weather can make or break a night of meteor shower watching. Red flashlights will help save your eyes because dark adaptation is a key in picking out the faint streaks you won’t be able to see after you just check your cell phone (which I’m always guilty of). Besides that you might want some good company, a chair, some blankets, bug spray, food and try not to land on any ant hills.

Delta Aquarids (July/August)

ACTIVE DATES: Mid-July – Mid-August, 2016.

PEAK VIEWING: Night of Thursday, July 28 through the dawn of Friday, July 29.

HOURLY RATE: Approximately 20 per-hour.

RADIANT POINT: South in the general direction of Aquarius.

MOON IMPACT = Minimal. Waning crescent moon, 25% illuminated and will rise well after midnight.

VELOCITY: 25 miles per second.

PARENT BODY: Comet 96P/Machholz.

HEMISPHERE FAVORED: Southern Hemisphere.

Thomas O’Brien Photography: http://www.tmophoto.com/

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The Beautiful Face-On View of M74

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Image Credit & copyright: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

32 million light years away in the constellation Pisces (Fish) is this beautifully structured spiral galaxy cataloged as Messier 74 (M74). What makes this galaxy special isn’t just its size but also we can see it face-on.  Galaxies that we view in this manner offer a great opportunity to study and they allow us to compare aspects like structure and composition to other galaxies to better understand how these star cities evolve.

This particular spiral has a beautiful structure with nice thick lanes of dark star forming material throughout. There are also numerous pockets of star formation taking pace as we can see in the pink colored regions all along the spiral arms.  Bright blue stars seem to shower the arms as well while at the nucleus, the telltale golden hue of ancient stars give away clues as to its origins.

It’s worth remembering that although we see this image today, it’s actually what old M74 looked like 32 million years ago.

NAME: Messier 74, M74, New General Catalog 628, NGC 628.

WHAT IS IT?: Spiral Galaxy.

HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 32 million light years.

HOW BIG IS IT?: 95,000 light years which is close to the same estimated diameter of our Milky Way.

APPARENT MAGNITUDE: A pretty dim 10. Remember, naked eye visible in very dark skies is around 6 or 6.5 but 10 would still be within telescope range.

WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Pisces.

WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/Dec J2000): RA 01h 36m 41s.84 / Dec Dec. +15° 46′ 59″.60.

NASA Hubblesite page for this image: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/41

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SpaceX CRS 9 Space Station Resupply Just After Midnight Monday

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Image credit & copyright: SpaceX.

LAUNCH ALERT: Monday July 18, 2016 at 00:45 EDT (04:45 UTC), a SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust (FT) rocket will be launching from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) Florida as part of CRS-9 (SpaceX-9 or SpX-9) to resupply the International Space Station.

This, the 10th dragon capsule will be grappled and berthed to the Harmony module (Node-2) nadir (Earth facing) on Wednesday, July 20 where it will deliver more than 7,000 lbs. of supplies to the ISS. It is then scheduled to be released after roughly four weeks when it will return 1,400 lbs. of cargo back to Earth where is will make splashdown off the coast of Baja California.

This will be Space-X’s 27th Falcon 9 flight (F9-27), 7th flight for the FT Falcon, 9th of 12 contracted ISS resupply missions, 10th Dragon capsule (Dragon C-11) and 10th operational Dragon capsule.  The parameters of this mission will allow for a Return To Landing Site (RTLS) where the first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to and land back at Cape Canaveral at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) allowing them to forego SpaceX’s East Coast Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).  If successful this will be SpaceX’s 5th landing overall; 3 on drone ships and two on land.

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Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS): Were built at the Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, Louisiana, the same place that NASA’s Pegasus barge is being refitted to support the SLS program. Pegasus carried lots of equipment throughout the years but most famously the space shuttle external fuel tanks from NASA’s Michaud Plant in Louisiana to KSC.

SpaceX’s barges are 300 by 100 ft. with wings that extend that width to 170 ft. It has also been fitted with thrusters repurposed from deep sea oil rigs that are able to hold balance and position to within 3 meters even in storm conditions. ASDS’s are painted black with the SpaceX “X” logo, a yellow inner ring and outer white ring acting as a bull eye. The East Coast ASDS is “Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY)” and the West Coast’s ship is “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).”

In total there have been three ASDS’s. The first of which was Marmac 300, a deck barge named “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).” That ASDS was used for two east coast landing attempts (CRS 5 & 6), deconstructed and retired. East Coast duties were then transferred to Marmac 304 named “Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).” A third ASDS, Marmac 303 was constructed and stationed on the West Coast where it fields launches from Vandenberg AFB, CA. Its name, “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).”

These fun yet odd names come from Scottish Sci-fi legend Iain Banks’s “Culture” series of 10 novels. They are spacecraft known as General Contact Units (GCU’s) from the novel “Player of Games.” Other spacecraft in the series (which get to name themselves) are even more entertaining such as “Size Isn’t Everything,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Death and Gravity.” Here’s a fun Wiki page with more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series

The Rocket: The greatly improved Falcon 9R FT rocket is a 2-stage partially reusable rocket with future ambitions of becoming fully reusable. The new version is 3.7 m (12 ft.) in diameter and 70 m (229.6 ft.) tall which is about 1.6 m (5.6 ft.) taller than the Falcon 9 v1.1 or “Block 2” in order to house a higher volume fuel tank. It is also fitted with upgraded Merlin family main engines. They have replaced the 9 Merlin-1D (and before them were the 1C engines), with the more powerful Merlin-1D+ engines that will provide a thrust of nearly 694,000kg (1.53 million lb.) at sea level. Each Merlin-1D+ provides 180,000 lb. (81,600 kg) of thrust at sea level, which equates to roughly a 20% increase in overall performance. If you add that with the new process of densifying the fuel and improving the overall airframe, the total gain in performance is about 33%.

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Dragon Spacecraft (when in use) = The Dragon spacecraft is about 23.6 ft. (7.2 m) tall with trunk attached and 12 ft. (3.7 m) wide. It’s comprised of two main sections; the pressurized cargo area which can carry 388 cubic ft. of cargo as well as the unpressurized cargo area. The trunk (unpressurized area) carries 494 cubic ft. of cargo as well as the solar arrays. OR: Main Composite Payload Fairing (when in use) = the composite payload fairing is 13.1 meters (43ft) in length and 5.2 meter (17ft) in diameter.

Second Stage: Powered by a single Merlin-1D+ Vacuum engine with aluminum-lithium alloy tanks fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (LOX/RP-1). The Merlin 1D+ are basically the same Merlin-1D engines used previously but instead of utilizing them at only 80%, they will now be operating at 100%. This stage can be restarted multiple times to place multiple payloads into desired orbits. For maximum reliability, the second stage has redundant igniter systems and has a burn time of 375 seconds.

Interstage: a composite structure that connects the first stage to the second stage and holds the release and separation system. Its al all pneumatic stage separation system for low shock, highly reliable separation that can be tested on the ground, unlike pyrotechnic systems used on most launch vehicles.

Core/Boost Stage is powered by nine (9) Merlin-1D+ engines in their circular “octaweb” configuration with aluminum-lithium alloy tanks fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (LOX/RP-1). The Merlin 1D+ engines are basically the same Merlin-1D engines used previously but instead of utilizing them at only 80%, they will now be operating at 100%. The core stage has a burn time of 180 seconds and is gradually throttled. Its 9 Merlin-1D+ engine system can sustain up to two engine shutdowns during flight and still successfully complete its mission.

The first stage is fitted with four independently steerable grid fins that help control pitch, yaw and roll during vertical decent. It’s also fitted with four landing legs that will extend before touchdown.

Watch Live: NASA TV coverage for the 16:43 EDT launch begins at 15:30 EDT with grapple and berthing coverage beginning on April 10 at 05:30 EDT with an estimated berthing at 09:30 EDT.

NASA TV: www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

SpaceX Webcast: http://www.spacex.com/webcast/

SpaceX YouTube (Hosted Webcast): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bMeDj76ig

SpaceX YouTube (Technical Webcast): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lYZLxr3L4E

CRS-9 MISSION:

NASA CRS-9 Launch Timeline: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex/2016/07/16/launch-timeline/

NASA SpaceX page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/spacex.html

NASA CRS-9 press release: http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-televise-prelaunch-briefing-launch-of-next-commercial-resupply-mission-to

NASA CRS-9: http://www.nasa.gov/content/spacex-crs-9-briefings-and-events

SPACEX:

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 page: http://www.spacex.com/falcon9

Elon Musk Twitter: https://twitter.com/elonmusk

SpaceX Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpaceX

SpaceX Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceX

SpaceX YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/spacexchannel

SpaceX Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SpaceX

SpaceX Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacexphotos

SpaceX launches (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches

SpaceX booster landing attempts (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9_booster_controlled-descent_and_landing_tests

SpaceX Stats: https://spacexstats.com/

General ISS Pages:

NASA’s HDEV 24hr LIVE streaming feed from the ISS: https://danspace77.com/2014/05/07/nasahdev-deliver-live-streaming-view-of-earth-from-the-iss/

NASA ISS main mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/

NASA ISS Blog: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

ISS Main Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station

ISS Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISS_Research

ISS CASIS Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISSCASIS?lang=en

ISS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISS

ISS CASIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISSCASIS

ISS Instagram: http://instagram.com/iss

ISS CASIS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iss_casis/

NASA ISS multimedia pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/index.html

NASA ISS Photos (All the photos you will ever need from the ISS): http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/index.html

NASA “2 Explore” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/

NASA “HQ Photostream” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/

NASA “Goddard” Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

NASA Spaceflight TMA-15M: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31414.0

Roscosmos homepage: http://www.federalspace.ru/

Great ISS schedule page: http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

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Big Sur Sky

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Image credit & copyright: Jeremy Johnson.

California’s Rt. 1 is a drive everyone should make at least once in their lives. The entire stretch is a wonder to see with incredible views that impose a sense of awe. This image by Jeremy Johnson is of a particularly beautiful location along the drive called Bixby Creek Bridge about 120 miles south of San Francisco.

This 280 ft. high 714 ft. long bridge opened in 1932 and before that time, those living in the Big Sur area were all but cut off from the surrounding area in winter. At the time, at 320 ft. this was also the longest concrete arch span bridge bridge in California. The entire bridge is 714 ft. but we’re talking about the arch segment.

How do you make this location even more beautiful? Capture the Milky Way galaxy stretching across the sky far beyond and its mission accomplished here for sure. Don’t forget, it is Milky Way season so if you haven’t been out to see our home star city from a dark location near you, you have roughly through fall before the winter constellations show up and the Milky Way is no longer visible.

Main Site: http://www.jjohnsonphotography.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JJohnsonPhotography1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jjohnson_photography/

500px: https://500px.com/jeremyjohnson4

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Not of This World

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Image credit & copyright: Dave Morrow.

This beautiful Milky Way image by Dave Morrow takes place at a location that I truly hope to visit someday, Crater Lake, Oregon. Formerly Mount Mazama, it erupted about 7700 years ago creating the beautiful vista seen today. Its crater in total is 2148 ft. deep (Though filled to a maximum of 1943 ft. with water), and about 6 miles long at its longest. An interesting fact is that there are no rivers in or out of the caldera lake and its estimated that its water comes only from snow melt and precipitation while the rate of evaporation takes about 250 years to fully evaporate all the water out of the lake.

While evaporation takes place, new water is being rained, snowed and melted in to create a fresh supply. 2 small islands break the water’s surface, “Wizard Island” (The prominent cinder cone island) and “Phantom Ship”. Another interesting feature is the “Old Man of the Lake”; A tree stump (Formerly a full sized tree) that’s been bobbing up and down in place for over a century. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest lake in North America (After Great Slave Lake in Canada) and 7th deepest lake in the world.

This location whether day or night presents an incredible vista and I hope you enjoy Dave’s image as much as I do.

Dave Morrow Photography: http://www.davemorrowphotography.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dave.morrow

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaveMorrowPhoto

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+DaveMorrow/posts

Instagram: http://instagram.com/davemorrowphoto#

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDmorrow32

500px: http://500px.com/davemorrow

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daves-f-stop/

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Expedition 48/49 Crew to Station Tomorrow

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 21:36 EDT (01:36 UTC on the 7th) a Soyuz-FG rocket; MS-01 (ISS 47S or Soyuz 49) will be lifting off from Launch Pad 1/Launcher 5 (LC 1/5) at the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will carry three crew members of Expedition 48/49 to the International Space Station (ISS) on a two-day, 34-orbit launch to docking vs the now standard, four orbit, 6 hour “fast-track” launch to docking.   This will be the 130th launch of a Soyuz spacecraft and the 1st of the upgraded Soyuz which replaces the TMA series. The testing of this spacecraft is the reason the launch to docking timeline will be longer this launch.

The crew will dock with the Russian Mini Research module-1 (MRM-1) Rassvet “Dawn” Module later that evening and that capsule will remain there for approximately 6 months as a crew escape vehicle should they need it and ultimately a return vehicle.

Want to see the ISS overhead? Here’s everything you need! https://danspace77.com/iss-tracking/

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Crew Image Credit & Copyright: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.

CREW OF: MS-01, Soyuz 49, ISS 47S, Expedition 48/49:

NASA astronaut, Kate Rubins:

NASA bio: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/astro_kate7

Roscosmos cosmonaut, Anatoly Ivanishin:

NASA bio: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ivanishin.html

JAXA astronaut, Takuya Onishi:

JAXA bio: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/astro/biographies/onishi/index.html

THEY WILL JOIN:

NASA astronaut & Expedition 48 Commander, Jeff Williams:

NASA bio: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/williamsj.pdf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Astro_Jeff

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astro_jeffw/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASAAstronautJeffWilliams/

Roscosmos cosmonaut, Aleksey Ovchinin:

NASA bio: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ovchinin.html

Roscosmos cosmonaut, Oleg Skripochka:

NASA bio: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/skripochka-oi.pdf

Exp 47 Soyuz Rollout

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani of the rollout of TMA-20M on March 16, 2016.

The Rocket: Russian Roscosmos Soyuz FG is a three-stage (sort of), medium lift rocket developed and manufactured by the Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center (TSsKB Progress). The FG was introduced in 2001 to deliver humans to the International Space Station (ISS). It’s derived from the Soyuz U rocket which is the most flown rocket in history with almost 800 launches and delivered Progress vehicles to the ISS until the recent addition of the Soyuz 2.   The Soyuz “Union” rocket family is the most used space launch system in history with more than 1700 launches and traces its roots back to 1957 in the form of the Soviet R7 missile.

Third Stage (Assembly 1): The third stage, which would really be a second stage on other rockets is 6.7 m in length and 2.6 m in diameter and is powered by a single RD-0110 engine in a four thrust chamber configuration. It utilizes Kerosene fuel and Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burns for about 230 seconds.

Second Stage (Core Unit): The core stage of the Soyuz is odd in the fact that it burns during the first and second stage of the rocket. As the rocket lifts off, it and the boosters work together as the first stage then after the strap on boosters are jettisoned the core stage continues to operate as the then second stage.

The core (1st & 2nd stage) stage is 27.1 m in length and 2.95 m in diameter and is powered by a single RD-108A engine in a four cruise thrust chamber configuration. It utilizes Kerosene fuel, Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burns for a total of about 280-290 seconds. Attitude control is powered by four Vernier thrusters.

First Stage/Boosters (Lateral Assembly): The Soyuz is equipped with four strap-on boosters that are used during first stage flight. They are each 19.6 m in length and 2.68 m in diameter and are each powered by a single RD-107A engine four cruise thrust chamber configuration. They utilize Kerosene fuel and Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burn for approximately 118 seconds. Attitude control is powered by two Vernier thrusters.

Watch Live:

Launch coverage begins July 6th at 20:30 EDT (00:30 UTC on the 7th).

Docking coverage begins at 23:30 on Friday, July 8 EDT (03:30 UTC on the 9th).

Hatch Opening coverage begins at 02:30 on Saturday, July 9 EDT (06:30 UTC).

Live Streaming Feed (NASA TV): http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV on Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

Mission Information:

NASA Expedition 48/49 press release: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-television-to-air-next-international-space-station-crew-launch

NASA ISS Expedition 48: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition48/index.html

General ISS Pages:

NASA’s HDEV 24hr LIVE streaming feed from the ISS: https://danspace77.com/2014/05/07/nasahdev-deliver-live-streaming-view-of-earth-from-the-iss/

NASA ISS main mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/

NASA ISS Blog: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

ISS Main Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station

ISS Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISS_Research

ISS CASIS Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISSCASIS?lang=en

ISS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISS

ISS CASIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISSCASIS

ISS Instagram: http://instagram.com/iss

ISS CASIS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iss_casis/

NASA ISS multimedia pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/index.html

NASA ISS Photos (All the photos you will ever need from the ISS): http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/index.html

NASA “2 Explore” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/

NASA “HQ Photostream” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/

NASA “Goddard” Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

NASA Spaceflight TMA-15M: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31414.0

Roscosmos homepage: http://www.federalspace.ru/

Great ISS schedule page: http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

All ISS Expeditions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Space_Station_expeditions

All Russian manned missions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_manned_space_missions

 

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Arizona Startrails

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Image credit & copyright: Mike Ince.

Hiking alone or with one or two other people for long distances at night in the middle of nowhere is an incredibly rewarding yet spine tingling experience. While your eyes can play tricks on you, your ears can be downright cruel.  Every squirrel sounds like a bear for a second, I swear.  This beautiful set of startrails comes to us via Mike Ince after a night hike into Arizona’s Superstition Mountains behind Gold Canyon.

Startrail photography is great because depending on where you set up, you get a different look to the image. If you’re shooting north like Mike did here, you get these beautiful circular trails centered on Polaris the North Star.  Just to digress for a moment because I still hear this prom people all the time.  The North Star (Polaris) isn’t the brightest star in the night sky; it’s actually around the 48 or 50th brightest stars as we see them from Earth.  The brightest star belongs to the Dog Star, Sirius which is easily seen in the winter in the constellation Canis Major near Orion.  It’s of importance because its due north which helps with outdoor night navigation, aligning our telescope mounts and creating amazing images like these.

I hope you all like this image and check out more of Mike’s work!

Mike Ince Photography: http://mikeince.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.ince.7

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+MikeInce/posts

500px: http://500px.com/MikeInce/photos

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mike_ince

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