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Awesomeness Round-up – 9/20/10

galaxy PGC 39058

Remember that squirrel that photobombed that couple’s vacation photo? Well, this is kind of like the astronomical equivalent! This image of dwarf galaxy PGC 39058 is dominated by this bright star that just happens to lie between us and the galaxy! The star, much dimmer when viewed from Earth, shines with great intensity in this Hubble image.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

More incredible imagery from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This is a “high Sun” view of a pit crater in the Sea of Tranquility, showing boulders on its floor.

Tonight (September 20) is the closest approach of Jupiter (368 million miles) – it’ll be closer and brighter than at any point between 1963 and 2022! So be sure to look up tonight! Maps of where it is in the sky available at this link.’s Big Picture is this nifty pictoral tour around the Solar System!

Here’s a new Hubble image release – beautiful columns of cold dust and hydrogen gas in the Carina Nebula:

Hubble Captures Cosmic Ice Sculptures

Last Saturday was International Observe the Moon Night, and we had a big event here at NASA Goddard.

Here is Goddard’s Laser Ranging Facility directing a laser toward the Lunar Reconassaince Orbiter the same night.

Goddard Celebrates International Observe the Moon Night with Laser Show

International Observe the Moon Night

A talk at our Visitor Center during the event:

International Observe the Moon Night

NASA Goddard technicians install instrument mass simulators onto the James Webb Space Telescope ISIM structure in this image. The mass sims simulate the mass of the instruments and where that mass is distributed in the ISIM. They are preparing to do cryogenic tests on the ISIM with the mass sims in it.

NASA Webb Telescope

Finally, don’t forget to keep an eye on our Twitter feed (@NASAblueshift) to follow our wacky roadtrip adventures this week! We’ve given a few clues about where we’re going… but I think you’ll all enjoy the surprises we’ve got in store!

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