A coronal mass ejection observed by the ESA/NASA SOHO space mission on 4 January 2002 has been coloured to indicate the intensity of the matter being ejected by the Sun. White represents the greatest intensity, red/orange somewhat less, and blue the least.
An extreme-ultraviolet image of the Sun captured by SOHO’s EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) instrument is superimposed on the image. The shaded blue disc surrounding the Sun at the centre is a mask in SOHO’s LASCO instrument that blots out direct sunlight to allow study of the details in the Sun’s corona.
ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and NASA astronauts Mike Barratt and Jack Fischer on their first underground training into the depths of the island of Sardinia, Italy.
The first job was getting used to moving around a cave. Like spacewalking, caving involves thinking in three dimensions, tethering and having a buddy for safety.
The unique course offers practical experience for the astronauts on leadership, teamwork, making the right decisions and solving problems in a multicultural team.
In many ways, the ‘cavenauts’ will be working in a more remote and hostile environment than on the International Space Station. In an emergency, astronauts in space can return to Earth faster than the cavenauts can ascend to the surface.
Deep in the Sahara Desert, the Al Jawf oasis in southeastern Libya is pictured in this image from Japan’s ALOS satellite. The city can be seen in in the upper left corner, while large, irrigated agricultural plots appear like Braille across the image. Between the city and the plots we can see the two parallel runways of the Kufra Airport. The agricultural plots reach up to a kilometre in diameter. Their circular shapes were created by a central-pivot irrigation system, where a long water pipe rotates around a well at the centre of each plot. Since the area receives virtually no rainfall, fossil water is pumped from deep underground for irrigation.
Japan’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) captured this image on 24 January 2011 with its Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type-2, which charts land cover and vegetation in the visible and near-infrared spectral bands at a resolution of 10 m. ESA supports ALOS as a Third Party Mission, which means ESA uses its multimission ground systems to acquire, process, distribute and archive data from the satellite to its user community.
This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.
This new image, snapped by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the star HD 184738, also known as Campbell’s hydrogen star. It is surrounded by plumes of reddish gas — the fiery red and orange hues are caused by glowing gases, including hydrogen and nitrogen.
HD 184738 is at the centre of a small planetary nebula. The star itself is known as a [WC] star, a rare class resembling their much more massive counterparts — Wolf-Rayet stars. These stars are named after two French astronomers, Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet, who first identified them in the mid-nineteenth century.
Wolf-Rayet stars are hot stars, perhaps 20 times more massive than the Sun, that are rapidly blowing away material and losing mass. [WC] stars are rather different: they are low-mass Sun-like stars at the end of their lives. While these stars have recently ejected much of their original mass, the hot stellar core is still losing mass at a high rate, creating a hot wind. It is these winds that cause them to resemble Wolf-Rayet stars.
However, astronomers can look more closely at the composition of these winds to tell the stars apart; [WC] stars are identified by the carbon and oxygen in their winds. Some true Wolf-Rayet stars are rich in nitrogen instead, but this is very rare among their low-mass counterparts.
HD 184738 is also very bright in the infrared part of the spectrum, and is surrounded by dust very similar to the material that the Earth formed from. The origin of this dust is uncertain.
A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Jean-Christophe Lambry.
This caption was revised on 18/09/2013 to more accurately describe this image.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano works inside the International Space Station to install the Centerline Berthing Camera System in preparation for the arrival of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on Sunday. Developed by Orbital Sciences Corp., Cygnus was launch from NASA's Wallops facility on Wednesday and is set to rendezvous with the ISS on Sunday on its demonstration mission to deliver cargo, including food and clothing. When Cygnus nears the Station on Sunday, Luca, assisted by crewmate
Karen Nyberg, will use the Station's Canadarm2 to grapple the vehicle. He will then manouevre the robotic arm to berth Cygnus with the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module.
Follow Luca's Volare Mission blog: http://blogs.esa.int/luca-parmitano/
Week in Images
16-20 September 2013