The universe seems to be calm and empty … until you are struck by a pulsar racing through space and which are turning 8.7 times per second! Scientists using NASA's Fermi-Gamma-Ray Space Telescope and New Mexico's Very Large Array have recorded the intense radio waves coming from this high-energy object called PSR J0002 + 6216 in the constellation Cassiopeia. The picture shows the mind bubble of a supernova remnant, and on the left side you will notice a long strip of light. This is the tail this pulsar left as it shoots 2.5 million miles per hour across the Great Afterlife.
Earlier this year, NASA's OSIRIS_REx came into orbit around the asteroid Bennu. Scientists want to collect a sample of this ancient rock and bring it back to Earth for analysis. When the spaceship arrived, things did not go as expected. For starters, Bennu is not smooth, but a rough and stony place. It also turns out that this is a rare asteroid, referred to as the active asteroid. This means that Bennu shares some characteristics with a comet, spitting material into space. This photo shows pebbles and dust being thrown off Bennu's right side. This poses a new challenge, not only for the team that wants to pick up material for analysis, but also for the safety and viability of the spacecraft itself. Watch out for flying rocks, brave explorers.
The times when they change to Neptune. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been observing this far-flung planet for about 40 years, noting storms. On the picture on the left side of the upper part of Neptune you can see dark spots: This is a new storm. Scientists are increasingly intrigued, for as they realize that storms are emerging and then fading, some seem to disappear as fast as they appear ̵
In February, NASA's Juno stormed into another epic photo shoot with their massive Jupiter storms. The Big Red Spot is of course in the top right corner. These images are not only beautiful, but also space science team scientists and others seeking scientific insights into the active atmosphere of Jupiter.
If only Isaac Asimov were nearby: This stunning red and ghosting figure is an active star factory called W40, also known as the Butterfly Nebula. A particularly bright cluster of stars in the center of the nebula creates the "wings" as hot gas jets hurl dust and debris into space. W40 is about 1,400 light-years from Earth, roughly as far as the famous Orion Nebula.
Spring is here: We have recently experienced an equinox when most parts of the planet have the same amount of sunlight. This happens twice a year, once in March and once in September. The March Equinox marks the change of season and the promise of much more sunshine in the Northern Hemisphere. On March 20, NASA used the Sun and Heliospheric Observatories to observe the sun in four different UV wavelengths and produce this colorful rainbow series.