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Alpha Game 170 From A to Z   Fun and Games

Started 5/11/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 5144550 views.

From: LvlSlgr


The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky with apparent magnitude 4.0. It is 1,344 ± 20 light-years (412.1 ± 6.1 pc) away and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light-years across (so its apparent size from Earth is approximately 1 degree). It has a mass of about 2,000 times that of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks and brown dwarfs within the nebula, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the photo-ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula.

The constellation of Orion with the Orion Nebula (circled in red)

Prawn Nebula (also known as IC 4628, is an emission nebula located in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way, around 6,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius. It forms part of the tail of the "False Comet" anchored by the bright open cluster NGC 6231)

Different areas of the nebula.........................................

Astronomers View the Strange and Spectacular Features of the Prawn Nebula

Off to work..............................


From: LvlSlgr


Deng Qingming (simplified Chinese: ???; traditional Chinese: ???; pinyin: Dèng Qingmíng; born 16 March 1966) is a Chinese People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonaut selected as part of the Shenzhou program. He was born in the Yihuang County, Jiangxi province of China. A fighter pilot in the People's Liberation Army Air Force, he was selected to be an astronaut in 1998. He was announced as a backup member of Shenzhou 9, Shenzhou 10, Shenzhou 11 and Shenzhou 12 before finally being selected as one of the three crew members of Shenzhou 15 in November 2022.

Deng Qingming (cropped).jpg

The "Red Planet" (aka Mars, is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, only being larger than Mercury. In the English language, Mars is named for the Roman god of war. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere (less than 1% that of Earth's), and has a crust primarily composed of elements similar to Earth's crust, as well as a core made of iron and nickel. Mars has surface features such as impact craters, valleys, dunes and polar ice caps. It has two small and irregularly shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos. Some of the most notable surface features on Mars include Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and highest known  mountain in the Solar System and Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System. The Borealis basin in the Northern Hemisphere covers approximately 40% of the planet and may be a large impact feature. Days and seasons on Mars are comparable to those of Earth, as the planets have a similar rotation period and tilt of the rotational axis relative to the ecliptic plane. Liquid water on the surface of Mars cannot exist due to low atmospheric pressure, which is less than 1% of the atmospheric pressure on Earth. Both of Mars's polar ice caps appear to be made largely of water. In the distant past, Mars was likely wetter, and thus possibly more suited for life. It is not known whether life has ever existed on Mars. Mars has been explored by several uncrewed spacecraft, beginning with Mariner 4 in 1965. NASA's Viking 1 lander transmitted the first images from the Martian surface in 1976. Two countries have successfully deployed rovers on Mars, the United States first doing so with Sojourner in 1997 and China with Zhurong in 2021. There are also planned future missions to Mars, such as a NASA-ESA Mars Sample Return set to happen in 2026, and the Rosalind Franklin rover mission, which was intended to launch in 2018 but was delayed to 2024 at the earliest, with a more likely launch date at 2028. Mars can be viewed from Earth with the naked eye, as can its reddish coloring. This appearance, due to the iron oxide prevalent on its surface, has led to Mars often being called the Red Planet. It is among the brightest objects in Earth's sky, with an apparent magnitude that reaches −2.94, comparable to that of Jupiter and surpassed only by Venus, the Moon and the Sun. Historically, Mars has been observed since ancient times, and over the millennia has been featured in culture and the arts in ways that have reflected humanity's growing knowledge of it)

Mars Planet Red Planet Solar System Stock Illustration - Illustration ...

Introduction To Mars

What are 5 facts about Mars? –

A sunset on Mars is blue. Mars has less than 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere. So the sunsets on Mars appear as blue due to the way the blue light from the Sun is captured within the atmosphere of Mars...........................

Mars sunset photo: We are first humans to see a Mars sunset but ...



From: LvlSlgr


Wally Schirra - Walter Marty Schirra Jr. (March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007) was an American naval aviator, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. In 1959, he became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, which was the United States' first effort to put human beings into space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7. At the time of his mission in Sigma 7, Schirra became the fifth American and ninth human to travel into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module and the first crewed launch for the Apollo program.

Before becoming an astronaut, Schirra graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1945 and served at sea during World War II. In 1948, he became a naval aviator, served as a fighter pilot and flew 90 combat missions in the Korean War, and then in 1958 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Schirra retired from the Navy in 1969 with the rank of captain.

He was the first astronaut to go into space three times and was the only astronaut to have flown in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He was not the only Mercury astronaut, however, to be in all three programs; Gus Grissom did it too. In total, Schirra logged 295 hours and 15 minutes in space. After Apollo 7, he retired as a captain from the U.S. Navy as well as from NASA, subsequently becoming a consultant to CBS News in the network's coverage of following Apollo flights. Schirra joined Walter Cronkite as co-anchor for all seven of NASA's Moon landing missions.

Schirra (3rd from right) with fellow Mercury astronauts (1961)

Schirra during training before Mercury-Atlas 8 mission (1962)

Schirra as the Commander of Apollo 7 crew (1968)

Comment: A few years ago, I read the book "The Right Stuff" by Thomas Wolfe about the early years of the space program. Of course, I had already seen the movie years earlier when it came out, but the book had so many more details about the early missions and testing.

  • Edited January 25, 2023 9:23 pm  by  LvlSlgr

Tarantula Nebula ((also known as 30 Doradus) is a large H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), forming its south-east corner (from Earth's perspective). The Tarantula Nebula was observed by Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille during an expedition to the Cape of Good Hope between 1751 and 1753. He catalogued it as the second of the "Nebulae of the First Class", "Nebulosities not accompanied by any star visible in the telescope of two feet". It was described as a diffuse nebula 20' across. Johann Bode included the Tarantula in his 1801 Uranographia star atlas and listed it in the accompanying Allgemeine Beschreibung und Nachweisung der Gestirne catalogue as number 30 in the constellation "Xiphias or Dorado". Instead of being given a stellar magnitude, it was noted to be nebulous. The name Tarantula Nebula arose in the mid 20th century from its appearance in deep photographic exposures. 30 Doradus has often been treated as the designation of a star, or of the central star cluster NGC 2070, but is now generally treated as referring to the whole nebula area of the Tarantula Nebula)

Astronomy fact card #18! learn more interesting facts about the ...

Pictures of the Tarantula Nebula from the Hubble Telescope........................

Cosmic Spider: Amazing Tarantula Nebula Photos | Space

Calling it a night..........................


From: LvlSlgr


Nyota Uhura (/ni'o?t? ?'h?r?/), or simply Uhura, is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. In the original television series, the character was portrayed by Nichelle Nichols, who reprised the role for the first six Star Trek feature films. A younger Uhura is portrayed by Celia Rose Gooding in the 2022 prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, while an alternate timeline version of Uhura has been portrayed by actress Zoe Saldaña in the feature films Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016).

Uhura is a translator and communications officer who specializes in linguistics, cryptography, and philology. She was an important part of the original series' multicultural crew and one of the first Black characters to be portrayed in a non-menial role on an American television series.

Gene Roddenberry had intended his new female communications officer to be called "Lieutenant Sulu". Herb Solow pointed out how similar this was to "Zulu" and thought it might act against the plan for racial diversity in the show, so the name Sulu remained with George Takei's character. "Uhura" comes from the Swahili word uhuru, meaning "freedom". Nichols states in her 1994 book Beyond Uhura that the name was inspired by Robert Ruark's 1962 book Uhuru, which she had with her on the day she read for the part. When producer Robert Justman explained to Roddenberry what the word uhuru meant, he changed it to Uhura and adopted that as the character's name. 

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura on the set of Star Trek: The Original Series

Nichelle Nichols, NASA Recruiter - GPN-2004-00017.jpg

Venus (is the second planet from the Sun. It is sometimes called Earth's "sister" or "twin" planet as it is almost as large and has a similar composition. As an interior planet to Earth, Venus (like Mercury) appears in Earth's sky never far from the Sun, either as morning star or evening star. Aside from the Sun and Moon, Venus is the brightest natural object in Earth's sky, capable of casting visible shadows on Earth at dark conditions and being visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. Venus is the second largest terrestrial object of the Solar System. It has a surface gravity slightly lower than on Earth and has a weak induced magnetosphere. The atmosphere of Venus consists mainly of carbon dioxide, and, at the planet’s surface, is the densest and hottest of the atmospheres of the four terrestrial planets. With an atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface of about 92 times the sea level pressure of Earth and a mean temperature of 737 K (464 °C; 867 °F), the carbon dioxide gas at Venus's surface is in the supercritical phase of matter. Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, making it the planet with the highest albedo in the Solar System. It may have had water oceans in the past, but after these evaporated the temperature rose under a runaway greenhouse effect. The possibility of life on Venus has long been a topic of speculation but convincing evidence has yet to be found. Like Mercury, Venus does not have any moons.[24] Solar days on Venus, with a length of 117 Earth days, are just about half as long as its solar year, orbiting the Sun every 224.7 Earth days. This Venusian daylength is a product of it rotating against its orbital motion, halving its full sidereal rotation period of 243 Earth days, the longest of all the Solar System planets. Venus and Uranus are the only planets with such a retrograde rotation, making the Sun move in their skies from their western horizon to their eastern. The orbit of Venus around the Sun is the closest to Earth's orbit, bringing them closer than any other pair of planets. This occurs during inferior conjunction with a synodic period of 1.6 years. However, Mercury is more frequently the closest to each. The orbits of Venus and Earth result in the lowest gravitational potential difference and lowest delta-v needed to transfer between them than to any other planet. This has made Venus a prime target for early interplanetary exploration. It was the first planet beyond Earth that spacecraft were sent to, starting with Venera 1 in 1961, and the first planet to be reached, impacted and in 1970 successfully landed on by Venera 7. As one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been a major fixture in human culture for as long as records have existed. It has been made sacred to gods of many cultures, gaining its mainly used name from the Roman goddess of love and beauty which it is associated with. Furthermore it has been a prime inspiration for writers, poets and scholars. Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BCE. Plans for better exploration with rovers or atmospheric missions, potentially crewed, at levels with almost Earth-like conditions have been proposed)

Venus Planet Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Did You Know? Venus is the only planet in the solar system that rotates ...


Venus is portrayed just to the right of the large cypress tree near the center of the image in Vincent van Gogh's 1889 painting The Starry Night.............................

Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, which makes it the only planet in the solar system named after a female.....................................

Taylin final planet



From: LvlSlgr


Westerlund 1-26 -  or Wd 1-26 is a red supergiant within the outskirts of the Westerlund 1 super star cluster. It is one of the largest known stars discovered so far although its radius is uncertain but is calculated to be 1,165–1,221 solar radii (810,000,000–849,000,000 km; 5.42–5.68 au), with a possible but very unlikely upper estimate of 2,519 solar radii (1.752×109 km; 11.71 au), corresponding to a volume between 1.58 and 16 billion times bigger than the Sun. Assuming the upper estimate is correct, if placed at the center of the Solar System, its photosphere would engulf the orbit of Jupiter.

Westerlund 1 with the inset showing W1-26 and the associated ionized hydrogen cloud

  • Edited January 26, 2023 9:58 pm  by  LvlSlgr

Xichang Satellite Launch Center (also known as the Xichang Space Center, is a spaceport of China. It is located in Zeyuan Town (???), approximately 64 kilometers (40 mi) northwest of Xichang, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. The facility became operational in 1984 and is used to launch numerous civil, scientific, and military payloads annually. It is notable as the site of Sino-European space cooperation, with the launch of the first of two Double Star scientific satellites in December 2003. Chinese officials have indicated interest in conducting additional international satellite launches from XSLC. In 1996, a fatal accident occurred when the rocket carrying the Intelsat 708 satellite failed on launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Also, a 2007 test of an anti-satellite missile was launched from the center)

'Following CPC Footprints': Xichang Satellite Launch Center - CGTN

Xichang2 launch center.gif