NASA Space Place October 2017
This article is provided by NASA Space Place.
With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology.
Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!








Spooky in Space: NASA Images for Halloween
By Linda Hermans-Killiam

Have you ever seen a cloud that looks sort of like a rabbit? Or maybe a rock formation that looks a bit like an elephant? Although you know that a cloud isn’t really a giant rabbit in the sky, it’s still fun to look for patterns in images from nature. Can you spot some familiar spooky sites in the space images below?


Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

This might look like the grinning face of a jack-o’-lantern, but it’s actually a picture of our Sun! In this image, taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, the glowing eyes, nose and mouth are some of the Sun’s active regions. These regions give off lots of light and energy. This causes them to appear brighter against the rest of the Sun. Active regions are constantly changing locations on the Sun. On the day this image was captured, they just happened to look like a face!


Credit: NASA/ESA/A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of Jupiter. Do you notice something that looks like a big eye peeking back at you? That’s actually the shadow of Jupiter's moon Ganymede as it passed in front of the planet’s Great Red Spot. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a gigantic, oval shaped storm that is larger than Earth and is shrinking. It has been on Jupiter for several hundred years, and its winds can swirl up to 400 miles per hour!


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Can you see the profile of a witch in this image? This image, from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, shows the Witch Head nebula. The nebula is made up of clouds of dust heated by starlight. These dust clouds are where new stars are born. Here, the dust clouds happen to be in the shape of an open mouth, long nose and pointy chin.


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisc.
The Black Widow Nebula looks like a giant spider in space. It is a huge cloud of gas and dust containing massive young stars. Radiation and winds from these stars push the dust and gas around, creating a spider-like shape. This image is from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.


Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS

Did a skeleton lose one of its leg bones on Mars? Nope! It’s just an image of a Martian rock. NASA's Curiosity rover captured this image. The rock was probably shaped to look this way over time by wind or water. If life ever existed on Mars, scientists expect that it would be small organisms called microbes. So, it isn’t likely that we’ll ever find a large fossil on Mars!



To learn some fun planet facts and make a planet mask, check out NASA Space Place: **link**


2017 Eclispe
Our travels to Ravenna Nebraska for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse when more than expected. Thanks to our great hosts for opening up their property for us and over 1500 eclipse watchers, the Moffet Place just east of Ravenna. Below are some quick images that members took of the eclipse. More images to be posted later. What we experienced during this event was unbelievable, no words to explain it. You had to be there to witness this event, one embedded into your mind that you will never forget.











See you in 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Texas.


NASA Space Place August 2017
This article is provided by NASA Space Place.
With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology.
Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!








The 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America
By Teagan Wall

On August 21st, the sky will darken, the temperature will drop and all fifty United States will be able to see the Moon pass—at least partially—in front of the Sun. It’s a solar eclipse!

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow on Earth. Sometimes the Moon only covers up part of the Sun. That is called a partial solar eclipse. When the Moon covers up the Sun completely, it’s called a total solar eclipse. As our planet rotates, the Moon’s shadow moves across Earth’s surface. The path of the inner part of this shadow, where the Moon totally covers the Sun, is called the path of totality.

The path of totality on August 21 stretches from Oregon to South Carolina. If you happen to be in that path, you will be able to experience a total solar eclipse! If you’re in any of the 50 United States during this time, you can see a partial solar eclipse.

No matter where you’ll be for the eclipse, remember that SAFETY is very important. Never look at the Sun when any part of it is exposed, like during a partial eclipse! It can hurt your eyes very badly. If you want to view the eclipse, you can buy special eclipse glasses. Go the NASA 2017 Eclipse Safety website to learn more about what glasses to buy.

If you are in the path of the total eclipse, you may look directly at the eclipse only when the Moon has completely covered the Sun. This is called totality, and it lasts a very short time. You must be sure to put your eclipse glasses back on before the Sun peeks out from behind the Moon.

You won’t be the only one watching this event! NASA scientists will use this eclipse to study our Sun. During a total solar eclipse, we can see the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Usually the Sun is so bright that we can’t see the corona. However, when the Moon blocks out most of the Sun’s light, we can get a glimpse of the corona.

The surface of the Sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but the corona is much hotter. It’s about 2 million degrees Fahrenheit! The eclipse gives NASA researchers the chance to learn more about why the corona is so hot. In fact, while the eclipse will only last about two to three minutes in one place, scientists have found a way to have more time to study it.

NASA will use two research jets to chase the eclipse as it crosses the country. The jets will fly very high, and spend seven minutes in the shadow of the Moon. Researchers are using jets to help look for small explosions on the Sun, called nanoflares. These nanoflares may help to explain the corona’s extreme heat.

Whether you’re watching with eclipse glasses from the ground, or in a NASA jet from the sky, the 2017 eclipse should be quite a show! It’s a fun reminder of our place in the solar system, and how much we still have to learn.

To learn about what eclipse glasses to buy and other eclipse safety guidelines, visit: **link**

To learn more about solar eclipses, check out this NASA Space Place video: **link**



Caption: A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Image credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio




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