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Awesomeness Round-Up – 9/26/2011

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • September 23, 2011
  • Comments Off on Awesomeness Round-Up – 9/26/2011

In the Light of Two Suns
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

In the hunt for extrasolar planets, we’re interested in finding Earth-like planets… but how about Tatooine-like planets? NASA’s Kepler satellite has discovered a planet that might look a little familiar to Star Wars fans. It’s the first planet scientists have seen that orbits two stars! The planet, called Kepler-16b, is about 200 light-years away, and it’s a little different from the sci-fi home of Luke Skywalker. It’s cold and gaseous, orbiting outside of the star system’s habitable zone. Still, it shows that there’s a whole new class of planetary systems out there – and that sometimes science fact is as exciting as science fiction!

Where the Sun Sets Twice
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

NASA's WISE Mission Captures Black Hole's Wildly Flaring Jet
Image credit: NASA

Infrared observations by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) of black hole GX 339-4 captured the object’s unpredictable, dramatic outbursts. Located near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, the black hole has furious and powerful jet activity, like a firehose bursting unpredictably with water. What makes the observation special is that WISE was able to focus on the base of these jets, and make the most accurate measurements yet of the object’s magnetic field. This new information should give scientists better insights into how and why these wild bursts occur.

We have another amazing view from space – this one is the International Space Station flying over gorgeous aurorae.

Ever wanted a Neil Armstrong ringtone? Wondered what it sounds like when you turn a star’s light into sound? NASA has created a one-stop shop for all of your audio needs – NASA Sounds! They’ve got an archive of audio from across NASA history, each sound available in MP3 and M4R formats.

Here’s one of our favorites – radio waves from Saturn, captured by Cassini (MP3).

Caption This: Final Week! (9/26 Thru 9/30)

It’s your last chance to submit a caption for Goddard’s “Caption This” contest! Click on the image for more info about how to enter the caption contest this final week – come up with a clever caption for the pic, win something from NASA!

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