45th CES member receives GEICO Military Service Award

For 27 years, the Government Employees Insurance Company has recognized enlisted service members of the Armed Forces for improving their local military and civilian communities by addressing important safety and health issues.

Master Sgt. Keval A. Smith, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, NCO in charge of unit safety and vehicle control, received the 2014 Government Employees Insurance Company Military Service Award for the Air Force at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., April 27 for his work in traffic safety and accident prevention.

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Overview of MESSENGER Spacecraft’s Impact Region on Mercury

On April 30th, this region of Mercury's surface will have a new crater! Traveling at 3.91 kilometers per second (over 8,700 miles per hour), the MESSENGER spacecraft will collide with Mercury's surface, creating a crater estimated to be 16 meters (52 feet) in diameter.

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Sentinel-6 carries a radar altimeter to provide high-precision and timely observations of the topography of the global ocean. This information is essential for the continued monitoring of changes in sea level, a key indicator of climate change. It is also essential for operational oceanography.

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Galactic refurbishment

The smudge of stars at the centre of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as UGC 5797. UGC 5797 is an emission line galaxy, meaning that it is currently undergoing active star formation. The result is a stellar population that is constantly being refurbished as massive bright blue stars form. Galaxies with prolific star formation are not only veiled in a blue tint, but are key to the continuation of a stellar cycle.

In this image UGC 5797 appears in front of a background of spiral galaxies. Spiral galaxies have copious amounts of dust and gas — the main ingredient for stars — and therefore often also belong to the class of emission line galaxies.

Spiral galaxies have disc-like shapes that drastically vary in appearance depending on the angle at which they are observed. The collection of spiral galaxies in this frame exhibits this attribute acutely: Some are viewed face-on, revealing the structure of the spiral arms, while the two in the bottom left are seen edge-on, appearing as plain streaks in the sky. There are many spiral galaxies, with varying colours and at different angles sprinkled across this image — just take a look.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by Luca Limatola.

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Nepal earthquake displacement

Based on data from the Sentinel-1A satellite, this image shows how and where the land uplifted and sank from the 7.8-magnitute earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015.

Near the boundary of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, blue shows areas of uplift of up to 0.8 m towards the satellite (called ‘line of sight’) which could be caused by a vertical uplift of 1 m. The yellow area depicts areas of subsidence, a movement that often occurs as a counter movement to the uplift in subduction zones (where one plate dips below the other) during earthquakes. Additionally, a horizontal north–south shift of up to 2 m was detected.

This image was generated using data acquired by Sentinel-1A before and after the earthquake event.

This image was originally released by the DLR German Aerospace Center.

Read more about mapping the Nepal quake with satellites.

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Barycentric balls in space – classroom demonstration video, VP07b

This video, part of a new series of ESA teaching resources called 'Teach with space', shows an experiment performed by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on the International Space Station demonstrating the concept of a barycentre, or centre of mass, freefall and how objects in orbit around each other move.

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