ESA astronaut Timothy Peake training at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters for his mission on the International Space Station.
This mosaic of the lunar north pole was obtained with images taken by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1. The pictures were taken between May 2005 and February 2006, during different phases of the mission.
The mosaic, composed of about 30 images, covers an area of about 800 by 600 km. The lunar near-side facing Earth is at the bottom of the map, while the far-side is at the top.
A number of interesting lunar craters are indicated.
Peary, visible in the centre of the mosaic, is the crater closest to the lunar north pole. It is nearly circular (about 73 km across), with an eroded rim and a relatively flat crater floor marked by smaller craters inside. The southern part of its interior is permanently in shadow, making it difficult to image. It was named after the American polar explorer Robert Edwin Peary (1856-1920).
Byrd, in the bottom-centre part of the mosaic, is a crater about 94 km across. Its rim is eroded, and its floor was once flooded by lava which left it nearly flat. It was named after the American polar explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957).
Hermite is an impact crater about 104 km across, located along the northern lunar limb, close to the north pole of the Moon. From Earth, this crater is viewed nearly from the side, illuminated by oblique sunlight. It is eroded and has a rugged outer rim, incised from past impacts. Its interior forms a wide plain marked by numerous tiny craters and low hills.
Sylvester, about 58 km in diameter, is an almost-circular lunar impact crater visible on the left-hand side of the image. It is located along the northern limb, and has a sharp-edged rim. Due its location, it only receives sunlight at a low angle. It is named after the English mathematician James Joseph Sylvester (1814-1897).
Plaskett crater, about 109 km across, is located on the northern far-side of the Moon, 200 km from the north pole, near the lunar limb. It receives sunlight at a low angle.
When obtaining the images, SMART-1 was flying over the north pole at a distance of about 3000 km, allowing large-field (about 300 km across) and medium-resolution views (300 m/pixel). Each individual image includes areas imaged with colour filters and a more exposed area. The differences have been corrected accordingly to obtain this mosaic.
A monstrous black hole's rude table manners include blowing huge bubbles of hot gas into space. At least, that's the gustatory practice followed by the supermassive black hole residing in the hub of the nearby galaxy NGC 4438. Known as a peculiar galaxy because of its unusual shape, NGC 4438 is in the Virgo Cluster, 50 million light-years from Earth.
Because quasars are extremely bright and distant, they can be used as reference points for spacecraft navigation.
In the delta-DOR technique, radio signals from a spacecraft are received by two separate ground stations, one, say, in New Norcia, Australia and one in Cebreros, Spain, and the difference in the times of arrival is precisely measured.
Next, errors due to the radio signals passing through Earth’s atmosphere are corrected by simultaneously tracking a quasar – the coordinates of which are precisely known.
Using the results of the delta-DOR processing together with the range and Doppler measurements, which are also derived from the spacecraft signals received on ground, ESA can achieve an accuracy in spacecraft location of just several hundred metres at a distance of 100 000 000 km.
Clouds blur our view of the snow below in parts of this image acquired over the southern tip of Greenland by the Landsat-8 satellite on 30 May 2013. Long fjords reach far inland and, zooming in on the tips of some of their 'fingers', we can see ice streams that drain the Greenland ice sheet. In the lower part of the image, white dots speckle the North Atlantic Ocean, like stars in the night sky. These are icebergs that – although they appear insignificant in this image – pose a major threat to ships.
This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the planetary nebula NGC 2452, located in the southern constellation of Puppis. The blue haze across the frame is what remains of a star like our Sun after it has depleted all its fuel. When this happens, the core of the star becomes unstable and releases huge numbers of incredibly energetic particles that blow the star's atmosphere away into space.
At the centre of this blue cloud lies what remains of the nebula's progenitor star. This cool, dim, and extremely dense star is actually a pulsating white dwarf, meaning that its brightness varies over time as gravity causes waves that pulse throughout the small star's body.
A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestants Luca Limatola and Budeanu Cosmin Mirel.
Acknowledgements: Luca Limatola, Budeanu Cosmin Mirel
Cygnus arrives at the International Space Station. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Karen Nyberg worked together to capture the cargo craft using the Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA's Karen Nyberg in the Station's Cupola shortly after capturing the Cygnus spacecraft.v
Of all ESA establishments, ESTEC is the largest, with around 2700 personnel. This is where ESA missions are conceived then guided through development, and work on new technology is coordinated.
When ESTEC was constructed in the early 1960s, foundations 25 metres deep were sunk to ensure sufficient stability for precision engineering tests. Even so, modern test instruments used in ESTEC laboratories are so sensitive that the tides of the nearby North Sea can be detected.
Week in Images
30 September-04 October 2013