This image combines an image taken with Hubble Space Telescope in the optical (taken in spring 2014) and observations of its auroras in the ultraviolet, taken in 2016.
Read more about this image: Hubble captures vivid auroras in Jupiter's atmosphere
ESA’s proposed Asteroid Impact Mission and its twin CubeSats, with its microlander in place on the smaller of the two Didymos asteroids. ESA performs a wide variety of asteroid research, and is participating in international Asteroid Day tomorrow.
AIM is proposed for launch in 2020 to be in place around Didymos in late 2022 when the NASA DART spacecraft impacts. As well as demonstrating key deep-space technologies and studying Didymoon in unprecedented detail, the mission will be ideally placed to document the effect of the impact on the asteroid body and its orbital path. AIM and DART together form the international Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA).
Asteroid Day is an annual global movement to increase public awareness of potential asteroid impacts with Earth, and the importance of guarding against them. It is held each year on 30 June, the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia.
ESA asteroid experts will be speaking at Asteroid Day events in Barcelona, Rome, Heidelberg and Munich.
Agency specialists will also be available to field questions online at a special ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on social media platform Reddit: “We are experts of the European Space Agency working on Near Earth Objects such as asteroids, their detection and deflection and the respective activities and missions – ask us anything!”
The AMA will take place at 14:45 GMT / 16:45 CEST on reddit.com/r/IAmA (but will appear there only a few hours before it starts).
The following team will answer your questions:
- Dario Izzo (DI), Advanced Concepts Team
- Michael Khan (MK), Mission Analyst
- Vasco Pesquita (VP), Systems and Concurrent Engineering Section
- Borja Garcia Gutierrez (BGG), System Simulation Engineer
- Paolo Concari (PC), Communication Systems Engineer
- Ninja Menning (NM), Head of ESA ESTEC Communication Unit
- Sean Blair (SB), Senior Editor, Space Engineering and Technology
- Marco Trovatello (MT), Cross-Media Coordinator
Tomorrow’s Asteroid Day will also see the launch of an interactive strategy game, called ‘AIM-Space Challenge’, allowing players to learn more about the AIM mission and ESA in general, developed for the Agency by students from MediaLab Amsterdam.
ESA’s Facebook page will also be hosting a couple of Facebook Live sessions from ESA’s site in Noordwijk, the Netherlands – the technical heart of the Agency. The first, at 12:30 GMT /1430 CEST, will focus on the AIM game. The second, at 13:45 GMT / 15:45 CEST, will demonstrate how AIM would navigate around its target binary asteroid system.
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the iridescent interior of one of the most active galaxies in our local neighbourhood — NGC 1569, a small galaxy located about eleven million light-years away in the constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe).
This galaxy is currently a hotbed of vigorous star formation. NGC 1569 is a starburst galaxy, meaning that — as the name suggests — it is bursting at the seams with stars, and is currently producing them at a rate far higher than that observed in most other galaxies. For almost 100 million years, NGC 1569 has pumped out stars over 100 times faster than the Milky Way!
As a result, this glittering galaxy is home to super star clusters, three of which are visible in this image — one of the two bright clusters is actually the superposition of two massive clusters. Each containing more than a million stars, these brilliant blue clusters reside within a large cavity of gas carved out by multiple supernovae, the energetic remnants of massive stars.
In 2008, Hubble observed the galaxy's cluttered core and sparsely populated outer fringes. By pinpointing individual red giant stars, Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys enabled astronomers to calculate a new — and much more precise — estimate for NGC 1569’s distance. This revealed that the galaxy is actually one and a half times further away than previously thought, and a member of the IC 342 galaxy group.
Astronomers suspect that the IC 342 cosmic congregation is responsible for the star-forming frenzy observed in NGC 1569. Gravitational interactions between this galactic group are believed to be compressing the gas within NGC 1569. As it is compressed, the gas collapses, heats up and forms new stars.
This is a test version of the parachute that will slow the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing module as they plummet through the martian atmosphere on 19 October.
When the module is about 11 km from the surface, descending at about 1700 km/h, the parachute will be deployed by a mortar. The parachute will slow the module to about 200 km/h by 1.2 km above the surface, at which stage it will be jettisoned.
The parachute is a ‘disc-gap-band’ type, as used for the ESA Huygens probe descent to Titan and for all NASA planetary entries so far.
The canopy, with a normal diameter of 12 m, is made from nylon fabric and the lines are made from Kevlar, a very strong synthetic material.
Tests of how the parachute will inflate at supersonic speeds were carried out with a smaller model in a supersonic wind tunnel in the NASA Glenn Research Center.
The full-scale qualification model, pictured here, was used to test the pyrotechnic mortar deployment and the strength of the parachute in the world’s largest wind tunnel, operated by the US Air Force at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex in the Ames Research Center, California.
The tower is needed to place the mortar – the horizontal tube at the top of the tower – at the centre of the wind tunnel for testing.
Schiaparelli was launched on 14 March with the Trace Gas Orbiter on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan.
Astronauts on ESA's 2016 underground training course CAVES pose for a picture in front of a cave entrance. From left: cosmonaut Sergei Vladimirovich, ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, taikonaut Ye Guangfu, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jessica Muir.
Caves offer a dark and alien underground environment with many analogies to space. Deep underground, our senses are deprived of many sounds and natural light. The procedure for moving along a cave wall resembles spacewalking and cave explorers need to stay alert, take critical decisions both as an individual and as a team, just as in space.
The CAVES – Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising – course focuses on multicultural approaches to leadership, following orders, teamwork and decision-making.
Astronauts from five space agencies around the world are taking part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills.
The two-week course prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively in multicultural teams in an environment where safety is critical.
As they explore the caves of Sardinia they will encounter caverns, underground lakes and strange microscopic life. They will test new technology and conduct science – just as if they were living on the International Space Station. The six astronauts will rely on their own skills, teamwork and ground control to achieve their mission goals – the course is designed to foster effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, leadership and team dynamics.
This year is the first international space cooperation to involve astronauts from China, Russia, Japan, ESA and America, with cosmonaut Sergei Vladimirovich, ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, taikonaut Ye Guangfu, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jessica Muir taking part.
After a week of training (pictured), the ‘cavenauts’ will say goodbye to sunlight and spend six nights underground, setting up basecamp in the Sa Grutta cave in Sardinia, Italy.
Sentinel-2A captured this image of Mount St Helens in the US state of Washington on 8 February.
The active volcano is known for its 18 May 1980 eruption. The event claimed some 57 lives and damaged homes and infrastructure. The eruption was caused by an earthquake that lead to a massive landslide of the volcano’s north face, exposing it to lower pressures. The volcano then exploded, depositing widespread ash and melting the mountain’s snow, ice and glaciers that formed a number of volcanic mudslides – or lahars.
Some of these lahars are still visible, particularly in the upper left in pink.
In this false-colour image, snow cover appears light blue while pink represents areas with little to no vegetation. In the lower-central part of the image, we can see how snow cover ends in the rectangular areas as the elevation drops closer to the river.
The rectangular areas show land division, possibly for timber extraction, with the blue and red areas revealing where the trees have been cleared.
Sentinel-2 can be used to manage natural resources, to check rates of deforestation, reforestation and areas affected by wildfire. Information from Sentinel-2 can help governing bodies and commercial enterprises make informed decisions about how best to manage, protect and sustain our important forest resources.
This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.
Sentinel-2A image of Grub and Corbett Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The change in seafloor reflectance is shown colour coded according to the legend. An increase in seafloor reflectance is caused by the seafloor exhibiting brighter albedo (reflectivity), which is what would be expected from coral bleaching.
Week In Images
27 June - 1 July 2016