Results tagged “ESA”

"Have you taken an interesting astronomical photo this year? From planets and moons to the Sun, stars and galaxies, we'd like you to send us your images to feature as our Space Science Image of the Week on 31 December. The ESA Space Science team's favourite image will take the slot of our weekly image during the week beginning 31 December 2012 as a celebration of the astronomical events of the year gone by. The best of the rest will feature in our dedicated ESA Space Science images Flickr gallery. During 2012, the sky has staged a series of astronomical theatrics to provide plenty of inspiration for your entry. Perhaps you were lucky enough to observe a solar eclipse, or even the transit of Venus. Maybe you snapped a meteor streaking through the sky, or perhaps you found beauty in the constellations this year. Images of galaxies and nebulae are also welcomed." More

Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets.

Tomorrow's Total Solar Eclipse

Tomorrow's total solar eclipse will only be visible in its entirety to ground-based observers watching from northern Australia, but ESA's Sun-watching Proba-2 satellite will have a ringside seat from its orbit around Earth.

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams recently controlled an ESA rover in Germany from the International Space Station in a joint test of a communication protocol designed for interplanetary spaceflight.

Mission-X: space training back to school

"Future space explorers are getting on their marks to invade gyms and train like astronauts for the 2013 Mission-X challenge. Luca Parmitano, the next European to fly to the Space Station, is giving youngsters tips on being fit and having a healthy lifestyle. In its third year, Mission-X fever is spreading across the planet. Schoolchildren aged 8-12 years will follow the six-week challenge in over 20 different countries. In Europe, new participants will include Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Young explorers worldwide will earn points by completing activities inspired by astronaut training." More

Opening the curtains at Concordia

Set against a star-studded backdrop and a splash of the Milky Way, the green glow of an auroral curtain pervades the permanently dark winter skies of the South Pole.

On 6 June, the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA's Mars Express revisited the Argyre basin as featured in our October release, but this time aiming at Nereidum Montes, some 380 km northeast of Hooke crater.

"This year's "Fly Your Thesis!" campaign ended on 25 October. For three days, a specially equipped aircraft flew 31 manoeuvres - or parabolas - that generate microgravity conditions, giving students invaluable experience in how to design, construct and run experiments in a near weightless environment. Three student teams participated along with nine professional teams in the 57th ESA parabolic flight campaign. All investigated phenomena that are virtually impossible to study on the ground under the normal pull of gravity. The campaign began on 15 October and for the first five days the student teams readied their experiments for flight. This included loading the equipment into the body of the specially modified A-300 Airbus, and checking that everything was working." More

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

The cosmic cauldron has brewed up a Halloween trick in the form of a ghostly face that glows in X-rays, as seen by ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope. The eerie entity is a bubble bursting with the fiery stellar wind of a 'live fast, die young' star.

Earth's Grand Canyon inspires awe for anyone who casts eyes upon the vast river-cut valley, but it would seem nothing more than a scratch next to the cavernous scar of Valles Marineris that marks the face of Mars.

CHEOPS Will Study Super-Earths

Studying planets around other stars will be the focus of the new Small-class Science Programme mission, Cheops, ESA announced today. Its launch is expected in 2017.

The first direct detection of radioactive titanium associated with supernova remnant 1987A has been made by ESA's Integral space observatory. The radioactive decay has likely been powering the glowing remnant around the exploded star for the last 20 years.

Using Space Internet to Control Robots

"ESA and NASA have tested a communications protocol that will allow astronauts to control robots from space stations orbiting planets or asteroids. The test marks the way for a trial-run with an astronaut on the International Space Station next week. Last week a Space Station user centre at the University of Boulder, USA sent a command to a NASA laptop on the International Space Station to start a script that controlled the Mocup robot at ESA's ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The robot was commanded to move forward and take pictures, which it performed as planned. Mocup is one of the robots in ESA's Meteron - Multi-purpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network - initiative for future missions to the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies. Space exploration will most likely involve sending robotic explorers to test the waters on uncharted planets before sending humans to land." More

Photo: Downtown Dubai As Seen From Orbit

This image from the Pleiades satellite shows part of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Located south east of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai lies within the Arabian Desert. The city is a major business hub, and its revenues come from tourism, real estate and financial services.

Bouncing on Titan

ESA's Huygens probe bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest in the 10 seconds after touching down on Saturn's moon, Titan, in January 2005, a new analysis reveals. The findings provide novel insight into the nature of the moon's surface.

ESA's Herschel space observatory has discovered enough water vapour to fill Earth's oceans more than 2000 times over, in a gas and dust cloud that is on the verge of collapsing into a new Sun-like star.

Chasing clouds on Venus

Clouds regularly punctuate Earth's blue sky, but on Venus the clouds never part, for the planet is wrapped entirely in a 20 km-thick veil of carbon dioxide and sulphuric dioxide haze. This view shows the cloud tops of Venus as seen in ultraviolet light by the Venus Express spacecraft on 8 December 2011, from a distance of about 30 000 km.

This Envisat image shows us a very rare, cloud-free view of Iceland. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and immediately south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is the westernmost European nation, and has more land covered by glaciers than the whole of continental Europe.

On 8 June, the high-resolution stereo camera on Mars Express captured a region within the 1800 km-wide and 5 km-deep Argyre basin, which was created by a gigantic impact in the planet's early history. After Hellas, the Argyre impact basin is the second largest on the Red Planet.

ESA's third Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ferry, Edoardo Amaldi, completed the final part of its highly successful six-month servicing mission to the International Space Station by reentering the atmosphere today and burning up as planned over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific ocean.

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