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Milky Way Panorama

How Many Stars in the Milky Way?

Recently I was asked to help someone answer the question of how many stars are in the Milky Way – that there were differing answers out there, and which was the right one? This question turns out to have a really interesting (and possibly frustrating?) answer. And the answer is … Continue Reading →

MAC Panels

Protecting Test Hardware to Protect Flight Hardware

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • July 15, 2015
  • Comments Off on Protecting Test Hardware to Protect Flight Hardware

The title may seem a little circular, but this is not a story that often gets told – that is, we have to keep our test hardware clean to keep our flight hardware clean. To that end, a new NASA Goddard tech is being tested out in NASA Johnson’s giant … Continue Reading →

Galaxy cluster PKS 0745-191

The Learning Curve

Japan has established a strong presence in X-ray astronomy ever since the successful launch of the Hakucho satellite in 1979. Hakucho was followed by Tenma (launched in 1983), Ginga (1987), ASCA (1993), and Suzaku (2005), with the last three in collaboration with international (notably US) partners. Suzaku was designed to … Continue Reading →

Pluto, July 8


We are finally going to get to see what Pluto looks like, thanks to the New Horizons mission, which is set for a closest approach on July 14. It’s amazing to me that as much as we know about the solar system (and indeed the Universe) that we have not … Continue Reading →

Image credit:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN/D.Takei et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA

Cosmic Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July to those of you that celebrate it! We couldn’t let the date slip by without presenting a little display of cosmic fireworks. We think you’ll find they’re much quieter than the earthly kind. We start with this 3D visualization of the nebula Gum 29 with the … Continue Reading →


The Most Important Wavelength

I was recently asked whether optical telescopes were the most important kind – or if they weren’t – what the most important wavelength of light was. The answer truly is – they are all important! Most astronomical objects and phenomena emit light at more than one wavelength – so if … Continue Reading →

Hubble 25th Image

Happy Birthday, Hubble!

After all our satellite birthday celebrations, we’d be remiss if we didn’t wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy 25th! We’re a little belated, but that’s ok – it just means that our birthday wish won’t be lost amongst the millions of others on Hubble’s metaphorical Facebook wall! And of … Continue Reading →

Fermi MICA videos

Fermi Inspires

We blogged last year about students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) collaborating with Fermi scientists to create short films illustrating or inspired by results from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Observatory. Just recently, a new group of students presented their own Fermi videos, and we thought we would share … Continue Reading →

Hubble's view of Hanny's Voorwerp and IC 2497. Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team

More “Voorwerps”?

Back in 2010, Koji wrote a guest blog for us on Hanny’s Voorwerp. What is this? Back in 2007, a Dutch woman named Hanny van Arkel discovered an odd and until then unclassified ghostly gaseous structure near the galaxy IC 2497 while using the citizen science site, Galaxy Zoo. The … Continue Reading →


JWST’s Pathfinder On the Move

2014 held a lot of excitement for NASA Goddard’s cleanroom. We had a huge piece of James Webb Space Telescope hardware there – which made giving talks and tours about the telescope really fun. Especially since it was really impressive looking! This piece of hardware I’m talking about is the … Continue Reading →

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