Earth from Space: Reindeer Island

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. In the 253rd edition, discover Canada’s Reindeer Island – where we believe Santa Claus stops for a rest during his busy night before Christmas.

See also Earth from Space: Reindeer Island, Canada to download the image.

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Reindeer Island

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Lake Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba, with Reindeer Island visible in the lower-right part of the image.

While our friends on the other side of the pond might be able to tell us why this place is called ‘Reindeer Island’, we believe that this is a rest-stop for Santa Claus during his busy night before Christmas.

Smaller islands can be seen along the edges of the image, while the swirling shades of green in the waters is an algal bloom.

Although algae grows naturally in the lake, high levels of phosphorus – found in fertilisers and common household products – seeping into the water have caused a steady surge of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue–green algae, posing a threat to ecology and human health.

Sentinel-2’s frequent revisits over the same area and high resolution allow changes in inland water bodies and the coastal environment to be closely monitored. 

With its 13 spectral channels, the mission’s novel imager can capture water quality indicators such as the surface concentration of chlorophyll, detect harmful algal blooms and measure water clarity – giving a clear indication of the health and pollution levels.

By providing measurements of water quality and detecting changes, Sentinel-2 supports the sustainable management of water resources, and can also indicate areas that are safe, or unsafe, for swimming.

This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured on 6 October 2017.

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Highlights 2017

With 2018 approaching rapidly and 2017 coming to a close, ESA can look back on a fruitful year.

It has been a year dominated by the ESA astronaut missions to the International Space Station, the launch of more Sentinel satellites and the first launch of a small Geo satellite.

This video looks back at the highlights of 2017 for ESA.

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Highlights 2017

With 2018 approaching rapidly and 2017 coming to a close, ESA can look back on a fruitful year.

It has been a year dominated by the ESA astronaut missions to the International Space Station, the launch of more Sentinel satellites and the first launch of a small Geo satellite.

This video looks back at the highlights of 2017 for ESA.

Click here to visit Original posting

Highlights 2017

With 2018 approaching rapidly and 2017 coming to a close, ESA can look back on a fruitful year.

It has been a year dominated by the ESA astronaut missions to the International Space Station, the launch of more Sentinel satellites and the first launch of a small Geo satellite.

This video looks back at the highlights of 2017 for ESA.

Click here to visit Original posting

Lake Chany imaged by Proba-V

Russia’s frozen Lake Chany dusted by snow, as seen by ESA’s Proba-V Earth-observing minisatellite.

Sitting just north of the border with Kazakhstan, Lake Chany is a large but shallow freshwater lake surrounded by wetlands, salt marshes and birch and aspen forests, making it an important stop for birds migrating southwards from colder Siberia.

Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.

Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at 300 m resolution and down to 100 m resolution in its central field of view.

VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.

This 100 m-resolution image was acquired on 1 December 2016.

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Lake Chany imaged by Proba-V

Russia’s frozen Lake Chany dusted by snow, as seen by ESA’s Proba-V Earth-observing minisatellite.

Sitting just north of the border with Kazakhstan, Lake Chany is a large but shallow freshwater lake surrounded by wetlands, salt marshes and birch and aspen forests, making it an important stop for birds migrating southwards from colder Siberia.

Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.

Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at 300 m resolution and down to 100 m resolution in its central field of view.

VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.

This 100 m-resolution image was acquired on 1 December 2016.

Click here to visit Original posting

Plastic fir-tree forest

This image shows how a metal alloy could look like as it solidifies – using a transparent organic mixture as a stand-in for metals. Likened to a ‘star rain’, the fir tree-like crystallisations that form during the casting of metal alloys are called dendrites. Dendrites can be crucial to the mix – the atomic structures can form a strong and flexible metal or cause a brittle and weak one.

How materials solidify from their melted form can be influenced by many things. Have you ever noticed that the ice cubes in your drinks can be opaque or pristinely transparent? This depends on such factors as the water used and the temperature of your freezer influencing how ice crystals form and solidify.

This variation is the same for metal alloys and can seriously affect the strength and other properties of the final metal. A bolt in a bridge that was cast imperfectly could shear off at any moment, underlining the importance of metallurgy .

Understanding the finer details of how metals form could allow cheaper, better or even new metallic alloys to be made.

Experiments with X-rays allow us to peer into the casting process but ideally researchers should look at the process under normal lighting. Unfortunately, metals are not transparent.

The Transparent Alloy experiment will use organic materials that form molecular crystals as stand-ins for metal. Carefully chosen to be transparent, but solidify like a metal, these mixtures are now on the International Space Station. Held in a glass-wall cartridge, a mixture of succinonitrile, D-camphor and neopentyl glycol will pass through a miniature conveyor-belt furnace to melt and solidify. The process will be filmed by via a microscope and recorded on a hard disk for analysis later on Earth.

Why is this being run in space? Eliminating gravity simplifies the equation: on Earth it can cause the liquid to stir continuously instead of allowing the chemicals to diffuse slowly. Running this experiment on the Space Station allows researchers to focus on specific aspects of the casting process without gravity’s interference.

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Plastic fir-tree forest

This image shows how a metal alloy could look like as it solidifies – using a transparent organic mixture as a stand-in for metals. Likened to a ‘star rain’, the fir tree-like crystallisations that form during the casting of metal alloys are called dendrites. Dendrites can be crucial to the mix – the atomic structures can form a strong and flexible metal or cause a brittle and weak one.

How materials solidify from their melted form can be influenced by many things. Have you ever noticed that the ice cubes in your drinks can be opaque or pristinely transparent? This depends on such factors as the water used and the temperature of your freezer influencing how ice crystals form and solidify.

This variation is the same for metal alloys and can seriously affect the strength and other properties of the final metal. A bolt in a bridge that was cast imperfectly could shear off at any moment, underlining the importance of metallurgy .

Understanding the finer details of how metals form could allow cheaper, better or even new metallic alloys to be made.

Experiments with X-rays allow us to peer into the casting process but ideally researchers should look at the process under normal lighting. Unfortunately, metals are not transparent.

The Transparent Alloy experiment will use organic materials that form molecular crystals as stand-ins for metal. Carefully chosen to be transparent, but solidify like a metal, these mixtures are now on the International Space Station. Held in a glass-wall cartridge, a mixture of succinonitrile, D-camphor and neopentyl glycol will pass through a miniature conveyor-belt furnace to melt and solidify. The process will be filmed by via a microscope and recorded on a hard disk for analysis later on Earth.

Why is this being run in space? Eliminating gravity simplifies the equation: on Earth it can cause the liquid to stir continuously instead of allowing the chemicals to diffuse slowly. Running this experiment on the Space Station allows researchers to focus on specific aspects of the casting process without gravity’s interference.

Click here to visit Original posting

Star rain

This video shows how a metal alloy could look like as it solidifies – using a transparent organic mixture as a stand-in for metals. Likened to a ‘star rain’, the fir tree-like crystallisations that form during the casting of metal alloys are called dendrites. Dendrites can be crucial to the mix – the atomic structures can form a strong and flexible metal or cause a brittle and weak one.

How materials solidify from their melted form can be influenced by many things. Have you ever noticed that the ice cubes in your drinks can be opaque or pristinely transparent? This depends on such factors as the water used and the temperature of your freezer influencing how ice crystals form and solidify.

This variation is the same for metal alloys and can seriously affect the strength and other properties of the final metal. A bolt in a bridge that was cast imperfectly could shear off at any moment, underlining the importance of metallurgy .

Understanding the finer details of how metals form could allow cheaper, better or even new metallic alloys to be made.

Experiments with X-rays allow us to peer into the casting process but ideally researchers should look at the process under normal lighting. Unfortunately, metals are not transparent.

The Transparent Alloy experiment will use organic materials that form molecular crystals as stand-ins for metal. Carefully chosen to be transparent, but solidify like a metal, these mixtures are now on the International Space Station. Held in a glass-wall cartridge, a mixture of succinonitrile, D-camphor and neopentyl glycol will pass through a miniature conveyor-belt furnace to melt and solidify. The process will be filmed by via a microscope and recorded on a hard disk for analysis later on Earth.

Why is this being run in space? Eliminating gravity simplifies the equation: on Earth it can cause the liquid to stir continuously instead of allowing the chemicals to diffuse slowly. Running this experiment on the Space Station allows researchers to focus on specific aspects of the casting process without gravity’s interference.

Click here to visit Original posting