Hubble Uses Earth as a Proxy for Identifying Oxygen on Potentially Habitable Planets Around Other Stars

This illustration shows the Hubble Space Telescope superimposed on an image of the Moon, seen during a lunar eclipse. Taking advantage of a total lunar eclipse in January 2019, astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have detected ozone in Earth’s atmosphere. This method serves as a proxy for how they will observe Earth-like planets transiting in front of other stars in search of life. Our planet’s perfect alignment with the Sun and Moon during a total lunar eclipse mimics the geometry of a transiting terrestrial planet with its star. In a new study, Hubble did not look at Earth directly. Instead, astronomers used the Moon as a mirror that reflects the sunlight transmitted through Earth’s atmosphere, which was then captured by Hubble. This is the first time a total lunar eclipse was captured at ultraviolet wavelengths and from a space telescope. (Credits: M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), NASA, and ESA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Taking advantage of a total lunar eclipse, astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have detected Earth’s own brand of sunscreen – ozone – in our atmosphere. This method simulates how astronomers and astrobiology researchers will search for evidence of life beyond Earth by observing potential “biosignatures” on exoplanets  (planets around other stars).

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NASA to Provide Live Coverage of Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse

On Saturday morning, April 4, 2015 not long before sunrise, the bright full moon over North America should turn a lovely shade of celestial red during a total lunar eclipse. Beginning at 6 a.m. EDT through the end of the eclipse, NASA Marshall will offer live Ustream video and NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams will take Twitter questions via @NASA_Marshall. Use the hashtag #eclipse2015 to send your questions.

A live Ustream view of the lunar eclipse will be available here on April 4 starting at 6:00 a.m. EDT: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc

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Lunar Eclipse Wows World on Winter Solstice

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Moon Shadows

A total lunar eclipse is seen as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Arlington, VA. The eclipse lasted about three hours and twenty-eight minutes.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on the moon. As the moon moves deeper and deeper into the Earth’s shadow, the moon changes color before your very eyes, turning from gray to an orange or deep shade of red.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls











NASA to Help Guide Public Through Lunar Eclipse

NASA LUNAR ECLIPSE UPDATE

NASA has planned various ways to help the public enjoy the total lunar eclipse on the night of Dec. 20 to 21.

Astronomers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will host a pair of live web chats to answer questions and help make the rare celestial experience one to remember. Marshall Center astronomer Rob Suggs will hold the first chat from 4 – 5 p.m. EST on Dec. 20 and discuss the best ways to view the eclipse. From 12 a.m. – 5 a.m., Marshall researcher Mitzi Adams will answer questions as the eclipse passes across the continental United States. A live video feed of the eclipse will be available on the chat site at:

http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/lunar_eclipse.html

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