NASA Filmed the Sun For 5 Years And Squeezed It Down Into This 3 Minute Time-lapse

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) yesterday,NASA released this comprehensive time-lapse of our amazing sun. Although it spans 5 years of footage, with one frame captured every 8 hours, they condensed the spinning star dance into 3 minutes. According to NASA, “The different colors represent the various wavelengths (sometimes blended, sometimes alone) in which SDO observes the sun.” And the best part about this video is that you can stare at the sun, at a range you could never see it in real life, without even damaging your vision!

This 1.5 Billion Pixel Shot Is The Biggest Picture of Andromeda Ever Taken

In order to display the latest image of Andromeda that the Hubble Space Telescope recently captured, it would take 600 HD television screens! With 1.5 billion pixels, it is the biggest picture of Andromeda, which lies 2.5 million light years from the Earth, ever taken! And even this massive image only shows one third of the entire Andromeda galaxy! The view shows over 100 million of the more than one thousand billion stars in this galaxy.

Wild View From Inside A Water Bubble In The Microgravity of Outer Space

If you spent your childhood dreaming you would grow up to be an astronaut and didn’t, this video will make you want to take out a loan to get one of those 20 newly available reservations on the first Virgin Galactic space flight. This past summer 2014, on the International Space Station during Expedition 40, astronauts recorded their exploration of water surface tension in microgravity. Pushing a Go-Pro Camera into a softball sized ball of floating water, they got a view from inside the bubble as well. They also recorded the wild phenomenon with a 3-D camera, another version you can view here if you have stereoscopic red/blue 3-D glasses.

Party Beneath the Space Shuttle Endeavour

For some of us non-astronauts, the closest we will get to outer space is to be in the presence of something that has been in space. That’s why attending or hosting an event at the California Science Center Los Angeles is pretty flipping awesome. In the Samuel Oschin Pavillion, the space shuttle Endeavour, which spent 296 days in space, floats overhead as people beneath celebrate Earthly accomplishments like weddings and corporate parties. Check out the videos below to see how awesome the lighting looks in this space ship’s retirement home.

A Day in the Life of Everyday Astronaut

Many of us have had childhood dreams of becoming astronauts, creating space ships out of refrigerator boxes and imagining ourselves flying through space. Photographer Tim Dodd never let his childlike wonder disappear and still has fun playing astronaut. After placing the winning (and only) bid for a Russian high altitude space suit in an RRauction, Dodd began enlisting the help of fellow Redditors to help him come up with amazing ideas for an astronaut suit photo shoot. After months of putting his ideas into action, he has finally released his series, which he calls “A Day in the Life of Everyday Astronaut” on r/Space. Among the pictures are hidden “Easter Eggs” that will delight Space Geeks of all ages- see how many you can spot!

Missing NASA? Here are Photos of Earth from the European Space Agency’s Archive: Observing the Earth

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Unless you’re one of those cool people who makes a daily trip to space via NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, you might not have noticed that the long running and much loved site is currently down. The site has been running consistently for over 18 years in a co-effort between NASA and Michigan Technological University… but due to some unexpected budget cuts amounting to a 97% cut in workforce (and in other news much of the US federal government), we’re not getting our daily dose of fascinating imagery from outer space.

Visualizing the Fires of Yosemite: Interactive Graphics, Maps, and Photos

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(Image source: NPR)

Nearly 400 square miles have burned as a result of an August 17th campfire that went awry.  After three and a half weeks of battling the blaze, the wildfire is now 80% contained, and costs estimates are totaling $96.2 million. The LA Times reports, “The blaze has destroyed at least 11 homes and 97 outbuildings, according to the Forest Service. More than 3,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.”

How Would Planets Look if They Replaced the Moon?

Ron Miller Other Planets as the Moon 2

It’s easy to forget that the moon is a real place. We look up at the familiar orb in our sky and see it as a flat, lighted disk with dark grey patches (and a face if we use our imagination). Perhaps it’s the fact that the moon is so small in our sky that we have to wait for a “super moon” to even get excited about it orbiting our planet. Now let’s use our imagination a little: what if the planets of our solar system were in place of the moon? It would be hard to forget Jupiter floating that close – it’s around 11 times the size of Earth!

Cosmic Creatures Formed From NASA’s Space Images

1 Chris Keegan

Looking up at the sky and forming images from the stars has been going on for just about as long as human life has existed, but that was only what could be seen from the Earth. Digital illustrator Chris Keegan has taken constellations to a whole new level with the use of images from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. He steps back from the images and tries to see what kind of creatures he can find, then digitally emphasizes those figures so that everyone can see them. The result is some highly unique creatures made up of celestial elements. In an interview with WIRED Keegan explained, “In one picture you can see thousands of stars and the idea of having a person or a bird taking up that sort of size was quite unusual.”

One Hot Year: Visualizing US Fires in 2012

By just about any standard, 2012 was a massive year for U.S. wildfires. According to data from both the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and NASA, over 9.1 million acres burned this year… and that was only tracking until November 30th. That figure places 2012 as the 3rd most wildfire filled year since 1960, and with the total number of fires being 55,505 – a relatively low number – the year holds the current record for the largest average fire size.