Ghost light

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint, ghostly glow of stars ejected from ancient galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago. The mayhem happened 4 billion light-years away, inside an immense collection of nearly 500 galaxies nicknamed 'Pandora's Cluster', also known as Abell 2744. The scattered stars are no longer bound to any one galaxy, and drift freely between galaxies in the cluster. By observing the light from the orphaned stars, Hubble astronomers have assembled forensic evidence that suggests as many as six galaxies were torn to pieces inside the cluster over a stretch of 6 billion years.

Click here to visit Original posting

Space Station at night

The International Space Station at night taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. The six astronauts on the weightless research centre live by GMT, and generally sleep at the same time. This picture was taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst during his six-month Blue Dot mission.

Follow Alexander via alexandergerst.esa.int

Click here to visit Original posting

Space Station at night

The International Space Station at night taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. The six astronauts on the weightless research centre live by GMT, and generally sleep at the same time. This picture was taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst during his six-month Blue Dot mission.

Follow Alexander via alexandergerst.esa.int

Click here to visit Original posting

Space Station at night

The International Space Station at night taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. The six astronauts on the weightless research centre live by GMT, and generally sleep at the same time. This picture was taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst during his six-month Blue Dot mission.

Follow Alexander via alexandergerst.esa.int

Click here to visit Original posting

Sunny seas on Titan

As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

In the past, Cassini had captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off them, but this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

Titan's seas are mostly liquid methane and ethane. Before Cassini's arrival at Saturn, scientists suspected that Titan might have bodies of open liquid on its surface. Cassini found only great fields of sand dunes near the equator and lower latitudes, but located lakes and seas near the poles, particularly in the north.

The new view shows Titan in infrared light. It was obtained by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on 21 August.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency ASI. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The VIMS team is based at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Click here to visit Original posting

Sunny seas on Titan

As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

In the past, Cassini had captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off them, but this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

Titan's seas are mostly liquid methane and ethane. Before Cassini's arrival at Saturn, scientists suspected that Titan might have bodies of open liquid on its surface. Cassini found only great fields of sand dunes near the equator and lower latitudes, but located lakes and seas near the poles, particularly in the north.

The new view shows Titan in infrared light. It was obtained by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on 21 August.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency ASI. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The VIMS team is based at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Click here to visit Original posting

Sunny seas on Titan

As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

In the past, Cassini had captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off them, but this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

Titan's seas are mostly liquid methane and ethane. Before Cassini's arrival at Saturn, scientists suspected that Titan might have bodies of open liquid on its surface. Cassini found only great fields of sand dunes near the equator and lower latitudes, but located lakes and seas near the poles, particularly in the north.

The new view shows Titan in infrared light. It was obtained by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on 21 August.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency ASI. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The VIMS team is based at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Click here to visit Original posting

Egmont National Park, New Zealand

Egmont National Park on New Zealand’s North Island is pictured in this satellite image. 

National parks protect forested areas from human activities that cause land degradation and deforestation. The boundary between protected and non-protected areas is often very clear in satellite images – as we see here between the green, densely forested area and surrounding agricultural landscape.

The land here was first formally protected in 1881, within a 9.6 km radius of the mountain summit.

With high rainfall and a mild coastal climate, the park is home to a lush rainforest, with some plants unique to the park. Halfway up the mountain slopes, the forest is sometimes called the ‘Goblin Forest’ for its gnarled trees and thick moss.

The mountain at the centre of the national park has two names: Mount Egmont and Mount Taranaki. Taranaki is the original name given by the indigenous Māori people, while the name Egmont was given by British explorer James Cook after John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont in 1770. Many places in New Zealand have official dual names or, as in this case, alternate names in the original Māori and English (following colonisation by the British).

The mountain is considered an active volcano, although it has been dormant for over 150 years.

According to Māori mythology, Taranaki used to reside over 100 km farther east near other large volcanoes when a fight broke out over the female Mount Pihanga. Taranaki lost and fled west, carving the gorges of the Whanganui River along the way before stopping. When the mountain peak is covered by clouds and mist, it is believed that Taranaki is weeping for Pihanga.

This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was acquired on 6 March 2013 by Korea’s Kompsat-2 satellite.

Click here to visit Original posting