Did you know that at any given time, there are around 250 active experiments on the International Space Station? In this image, you see NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson as she stores blood samples in the station’s ULTRA-COLD freezer to maintain sample integrity. Blood and urine samples help researchers on the ground investigate the effects of microgravity on the human body. Studying samples like this will help us test the effectiveness of possible countermeasures that could help reduce the risks associated with long-duration space missions. Want to learn more about all the science done on the orbiting laboratory? We’re participating in the International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISS R&D) in Washington, DC this week! The conference highlights the benefits and opportunities to conduct science in microgravity. Visit nasa.gov/live to watch live panels throughout the week and check out today’s Instagram Story to meet some of our female science experts at the conference! Credit: NASA
Darker, cooler areas on the Sun – known as sunspots – have been absent for almost two weeks, as of Feb. 1.
February 06 | 2018
A single, tiny one appeared on Jan. 31, but even that is hard to see in this rotating view from our Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video shows a rotating sun in filtered light for the past week, but it is even hard to tell the sun is rotating since there are just about no features. This spotless period is a prelude to the approaching period of solar minimum next year, when the Sun’s activity will be at the low end of its 11-year cycle. Credit: NASA/SDO