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NASA joins Instagram

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

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NASA has created an official Instagram profile for sharing its images on the photography social network.

OK, it's official. Your selfies have been outdone and shown up until the end of time. You may as well pack it in and close your Instagram account — you'll never have a photo as cool as this — the first photo published to NASA's new official Instagram channel.

The new account joins the space agency's other two Instagram accounts: NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (where you can find this even more amazing selfie), created in May 2011, and NASA Ames Research Center, created in June 2012.

NASA kicked off the new Instagram account with pictures of its latest probe, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). LADEE launched on 6 September 2013 at 11.27pm EDT from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, and is due to arrive in the moon's orbit around 6 October. After positioning itself in orbit around the moon, the probe will spend 40-60 days testing its solar array and equipment, before entering 100 days of scientific observation.

What LADEE will be examining is the moon's atmosphere. It's a tiny one, to be sure, but it is there, and LADEE will collect information about its make-up, as well as the dust and particles that fill it. Once its 100 days are up, NASA will crash the probe into the moon's surface.

New NASA images will be made available on Instagram as they come in. You can follow the page here. NASA's full list of social media accounts — and it's a huge one, across Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Ustream, Foursquare and Slideshare — can be found here.

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