Big Brother to the Milky Way

This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows NGC 6744, one of the galaxies most similar to our Milky Way in the local universe. This ultraviolet view highlights the vast extent of the fluffy spiral arms, and demonstrates that star formation can occur in the outer regions of galaxies. The galaxy is situated in the constellation of Pavo at a distance of about 30 million light-years. NGC 6744 is bigger than the Milky Way, with a disk stretching 175,000 light-years across. A small, distorted companion galaxy is located nearby, which is similar to our galaxy's Large Magellanic Cloud. This companion, called NGC 6744A, can be seen as a blob in the main galaxy's outer arm, at upper right. On June 28, 2013, NASA turned off its Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) after a decade of operations in which the venerable space telescope used its ultraviolet vision to study hundreds of millions of galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic time. Highlights from the mission's decade of sky scans include: -- Discovering a gargantuan, comet-like tail behind a speeding star called Mira. -- Catching a black hole "red-handed" as it munched on a star. -- Finding giant rings of new stars around old, dead galaxies. -- Independently confirming the nature of dark energy. -- Discovering a missing link in galaxy evolution -- the teenage galaxies transitioning from young to old. The mission also captured a dazzling collection of snapshots, showing everything from ghostly nebulas to a spiral galaxy with huge, spidery arms. › Read more about GALEX Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Big Brother to the Milky Way

This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows NGC 6744, one of the galaxies most similar to our Milky Way in the local universe. This ultraviolet view highlights the vast extent of the fluffy spiral arms, and demonstrates that star formation can occur in the outer regions of galaxies. The galaxy is situated in the constellation of Pavo at a distance of about 30 million light-years. NGC 6744 is bigger than the Milky Way, with a disk stretching 175,000 light-years across. A small, distorted companion galaxy is located nearby, which is similar to our galaxy's Large Magellanic Cloud. This companion, called NGC 6744A, can be seen as a blob in the main galaxy's outer arm, at upper right. On June 28, 2013, NASA turned off its Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) after a decade of operations in which the venerable space telescope used its ultraviolet vision to study hundreds of millions of galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic time. Highlights from the mission's decade of sky scans include: -- Discovering a gargantuan, comet-like tail behind a speeding star called Mira. -- Catching a black hole "red-handed" as it munched on a star. -- Finding giant rings of new stars around old, dead galaxies. -- Independently confirming the nature of dark energy. -- Discovering a missing link in galaxy evolution -- the teenage galaxies transitioning from young to old. The mission also captured a dazzling collection of snapshots, showing everything from ghostly nebulas to a spiral galaxy with huge, spidery arms. › Read more about GALEX Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Buckley keeps tradition alive

With Buckley's change of command coming to a close, the 460th Space Wing decided to bring back a tradition and prepared for its own pass in review.

As the wing said farewell to Col. Dan Dant and welcomed Col. Daniel Wright III as the new commander, the military tradition of pass in review gave the commanders a chance to show how impressive the Airmen are to the reviewing official.

"I think it is appropriate that Col. Dant wanted to do this. It doesn't hurt to remember your roots, to remember that we do have traditions that we fall back on," said Barbara Atwell, 460th SW chief of protocol.
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Aircraft Carrying IRIS Solar Observatory Takes Off

An Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a mission to launch NASA's IRIS spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. IRIS, short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, was launched on June 27, 2013 aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket released from the L-1011.   IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind.   Photo Credit: VAFB/Chris Wiant

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Probing Mesopotamia

The recently launched Proba-V miniaturised satellite captured this image over the border region of northern Syria, southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq on 28 May. The area pictured is about 500 km across, with large reservoir lakes along the Euphrates River visible on the left, and another along the Tigris River on the right. In the central-right portion of the image, we can see Iraq’s Sinjar mountains. Proba-V will map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days with its Vegetation imager. In this image, the contrast between the green areas – some with agricultural plots – and the sparsely vegetated areas is evident. It demonstrates Proba-V’s ability to see slight differences in vegetation cover. Vegetation intensity and health can help in crop yield predictions and to map interannual changes in vegetation cover.

This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

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Aircraft Carrying IRIS Solar Observatory Takes Off

  An Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a mission to launch NASA's IRIS spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. IRIS, short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, was launched on June 27, 2013 aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket released from the L-1011.   IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind.   Photo Credit: VAFB/Chris Wiant

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