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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 →

Credit: Barb Mattson

Eating Eta Car

We recently posted about the gamma-ray novae cake made for a Science as Food competition at a Poster Party here at Goddard. Dr. Barb Mattson also participated in this contest and we caught up with her to find out more about her Eta Carina cake. NASA Blueshift: Can you introduce … Continue Reading →

ISS Photo of the Moon

No Mardi Gras under a Full Moon

  • By Koji Mukai
  • February 12, 2015
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Here is a fun factoid: Mardi Gras is never celebrated under a Full Moon. If you have come across any books, movies, songs or whatever that describes Mardi Gras under a Full Moon, you know it’s a work of fiction. Calendar and astronomy are intimately linked. The civil calendar used … Continue Reading →

Gamma-ray Novae Cake

Science as Food

We’ve got a little running theme here of space cakes here at Blueshift. And we’ve got another one for you – this time it’s a gamma-ray Novae cake. And we also have an interview with the cake-makers, who we have actually featured before (links to their other cakes at at … Continue Reading →

Clouds on GJ 1214b, Credit: NASA/ESA

Weather or not…

Recently I got a question about the James Webb Space Telescope and weather on exoplanets and how we know what type of weather is occurring. Essentially, do we take pictures of these planets and then interpret the weather from them? The answer is – not exactly. Aside from the fact … Continue Reading →

Credit: Gail Rohrbach

Rossi X-ray Timing (and cake) Explorer

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • January 26, 2015
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We just passed the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer’s 20th birthday last month – a little tricky since the satellite is no longer in service. But why not take a quick look back and its awesome history, which we did in this blog on its 15th anniversary. In the grand (and … Continue Reading →


Space Cakes – James Webb Space Telescope edition…

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • December 19, 2014
  • Comments Off on Space Cakes – James Webb Space Telescope edition…

We’ve somehow managed to post about a variety of astronomical and satellite-oriented cakes on this blog. There was Swift’s 10th birthday, and Fermi’s 5th birthday – and then I stumbled across these photos from 2012 of a James Webb Space Telescope cake and had to share. This cake was made … Continue Reading →

SES in the 1960s

The Space Environment Simulator

One of the coolest (literally!) facilities at NASA Goddard is the Space Environment Simulator (SES). It’s a massive thermal vacuum chamber, which is used to expose spacecraft and their components to environmental conditions like those they will experience in space. Image Credit: Maggie Masetti From this page on unique Goddard … Continue Reading →

Swift birthday cake

Happy Birthday, Swift!

This is our third Happy Birthday post for a satellite in the last year or so – which is pretty cool actually, to have satellites that are hitting significant milestones and have had the longevity to still be doing great science. We had Fermi’s 5th birthday in August 2013, followed … Continue Reading →

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