Rolling hills of farmland in the northwest United States are pictured in this image from the Kompsat-2 satellite. Acquired over Washington state, the south and west areas of the image are in Walla Walla county, while the central-eastern-upper area is Columbia County. The area pictured is part of the Palouse region – an agricultural zone that mainly produces wheat and legumes. The rolling, picturesque landscape has sometimes been compared to Italy’s Tuscany. Zooming in, we can see swirling patterns in the vegetation created by ploughs. Roads cut through the shallow valleys and buildings can also be seen. Touchet River, known for its trout fishing, can been seen in the lower left. The diagonal line running next to the river is a road that connects the town of Prescott to the west to Waitsburg to the east.
This image is featured on the: Earth from Space video programme
The soft glow in the picture above is NGC 2768, an elliptical galaxy located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). It appears here as a bright oval on the sky, surrounded by a wide, fuzzy cloud of material. This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dusty structure encircling the centre of the galaxy, forming a knotted ring around the galaxy’s brightly glowing middle. Interestingly, this ring lies perpendicular to the plane of NGC 2768 itself, stretching up and out of the galaxy.
The dust in NGC 2768 forms an intricate network of knots and filaments. In the centre of the galaxy are two tiny, S-shaped symmetric jets. These two flows of material travel outwards from the galactic centre along curved paths, and are masked by the tangle of dark dust lanes that spans the body of the galaxy.
These jets are a sign of a very active centre. NGC 2768 is an example of a Seyfert galaxy, an object with a supermassive black hole at its centre. This speeds up and sucks in gas from the nearby space, creating a stream of material swirling inwards towards the black hole known as an accretion disc. This disk throws off material in very energetic outbursts, creating structures like the jets seen in the image above.
Lowering the ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) structural model onto the Multishaker at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, for vibration testing to simulate the rigours of launching into space. The structural module consists of all the structural components of the spacecraft, with the instruments, electronics boxes and other non-structural hardware represented by mass dummies. It is 2.4 m in diameter, 1.8 m high and weighs about 600 kg.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet descending underwater during spacewalk training at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, USA.
Training underwater on a life-size mockup of the Space Station is one way astronauts prepare for their mission. Floating underwater is one of the best ways to train on Earth for weightlessness.
Kappa Coronae Borealis, based on Herschel PACS observations at 100 μm. North is up and east is left. The star is in the centre of the frame (not visible in this graphic) with an excess of infrared emission detected around it, interpreted as a dusty debris disc containing asteroids and/or comets. The inclination of the planetary system is constrained at an angle of 60º from face-on.
ESA’s Hertz Hybrid European RF and Antenna Test Zone for antenna testing, formerly known as the Compact Payload Test Range. Metal walls screen outside radio signals while spiky foam interior cladding absorbs radio signals internally to create conditions simulating the infinite void of space.
This colour-coded overhead view is based on an ESA Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera digital terrain model of the Thaumasia Planum region on Mars at approximately 17°S / 296°E. The image was taken during orbit 11467 on 4 January 2013. The colour coding reveals the relative depth of the craters, in particular the depths of their central pits, with the left-hand crater penetrating deeper than the right (Arima crater).
A perspective view of a 50 km diameter crater in Thaumasia Planum. The image was made by combining data from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express with digital terrain models. The image was taken on 4 January 2013, during orbit 11467, and shows a close up view of the central ‘pit’ of this crater, which likely formed by a subsurface explosion as the heat from the impact event rapidly vapourised water or ice lying below the surface.
Week In Images
08-12 April 2013