There are advances being made almost daily in the disciplines required to make space and its contents accessible.
This blog brings together a lot of that info, as it is reported, tracking the small steps into space that will make it just another place we carry out normal human economic, leisure and living activities.
Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series This mosaic image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (aka Cigar Galaxy) is a really sharp wide-angle view of M82. It is a galaxy remarkable for its webs of shredded clouds and flame-like plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out from its central regions where young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA). Acknowledgment: J. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin), M. Mountain (STScI) and P. Puxley (NSF). Click to customize. via Zazzle Astronomy market place
NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is on its way to the moon after launching Friday from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Team members are analyzing a situation with LADEE's reaction wheels, but say the spacecraft is communicating and working as designed, with plenty of time to resolve the issue before reaching lunar orbit.
Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series A breathtaking mobile phone shell with a stylized Rising Phoenix and showing a spectacular three-colour composite mosaic image of the Eagle Nebula (Messier 16, or NGC 6611). It's based on images obtained with the Wide-Field Imager camera on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory.
At the centre, the so-called “Pillars of Creation” can be seen and this wide-field image shows not only the central pillars, but also several others in the same star-forming region, as well as a huge number of stars in front of, in, or behind the Eagle Nebula.
The cluster of bright stars to the upper right is NGC 6611, home to the massive and hot stars that illuminate the pillars. The “Spire” - another large pillar - is in the middle left of the image.
A fantastic postcard featuring a colour composite image of RCW120.
It reveals how an expanding bubble of ionised gas about ten light-years across is causing the surrounding material to collapse into dense clumps where new stars are then formed.
The 870-micron submillimetre-wavelength data were taken with the LABOCA camera on the 12-m Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope. Here, the submillimetre emission is shown as the blue clouds surrounding the reddish glow of the ionised gas (shown with data from the SuperCosmos H-alpha survey). The image also contains data from the Second Generation Digitized Sky Survey (I-band shown in blue, R-band shown in red).
Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series A stunning outer space picture featuring two merging galaxies, known as the Antennae Galaxies - NGC4038 and NGC4039. As these galaxies hurtle through each other, billions of new stars are forced to precipitate out of the gas and dust clouds by the bunching and heating that's caused by the massive gravitic interactions. These tend to occur in clusters, the brightest and most condensed of them being known as super star clusters.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: B. Whitmore ( Space Telescope Science Institute) and James Long (ESA/Hubble). via Zazzle Astronomy market place