This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in April 1990, and has since been upgraded five times by astronauts in orbit.
In a more modern twist of astronauts taking super-hip photos while in space, here’s Japanese ISS astronaut Aki Hoshide taking a self-portrait during a spacewalk earlier this year.
Miss NASA Beauty Pageant … so, this is something that used to happen. Meet Miss NASA 1968-69.
(More at Artifacting)
Badass Scientist of the Week: Dr. Ellen Ochoa
Ellen Ochoa (1958—) is an astronaut, engineer and musician best known as the world’s first Hispanic female astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, Ochoa completed her undergraduate degree in physics at San Diego State University in 1975, then went on to achieve her Masters and PhD at Stanford University in electrical engineering. She’s a pioneer of spacecraft technology—she researched optical systems for automated space exploration at the NASA Ames Research Center, and she has co-invented an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method, and a method to remove noise from images. In 1990, she was selected by NASA as a mission specialist and flight engineer, and served on her first space flight in 1993: a nine-day mission on the shuttle Discovery, during which the crew conducted atmospheric and solar studies, and Ochoa operated a research satellite in the study of the sun. Ochoa went on to undertake four space flights in total, logging over 950 hours in space. Her assignments while in the Astronaut Office included flight software, computer hardware development, and robotics development, and her awards include NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal (1997), Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995) and Space Flight Medals (2002, 1999, 1994, 1993). Aside from being an astronaut, Ochoa is also a classical flutist and a private pilot, and she currently lives in Texas with her husband and two children, where she serves as Director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center, Houston.
LOOKER A mosaic of images from the Curiosity rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager on Oct. 31 shows the rover’s camera mast and deck. The pictures were taken during operations at a Martian sampling site known as Rocknest. (Photo: NASA / CalTech / JPL via NBC News)
NASA’s Intense Satellite Views of Hurricane Sandy
Astronomers have spotted a rare X-ray star explosion near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, revealing a previously unknown black hole munching on gas from a neighboring sun-like star.
Image: Gas builds up in a storage disk around a black hole, eventually leading to a bright X-ray nova. Credit:NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s Swift satellite made the cosmic find last month when it detected a new and rapidly brightening X-ray source a few degrees from the galactic center of the Milky Way. Astronomers identified the outburst as a short-lived bright X-ray nova, which is produced when a stream of gas rushes toward either a neutron star or a black hole. Unlike a supernova, which is the explosive death of a star, novas are smaller explosions that do not completely destroy a star.
The black hole is thought to be 20,000 to 30,000 light-years away in the galaxy’s inner region. Astronomers, who named the bright X-ray nova Swift J1745-26 after its coordinates in space, said witnessing such an event is rare.