Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is featured in this ALOS image. Recognised as the capital in 1955, Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital city. Together Wales, England and Scotland form Great Britain an island lying off the north-western coast of mainland Europe and to the east of Ireland. Of the British Isles, Great Britain is the largest and is also the largest island in Europe.
NASA scientists have determined the formation of clouds is affected by the lightness or darkness of air pollution particles. This also impacts Earth’s climate.
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In space, there’s no up or down, and exact distances between objects are difficult to judge. Astronauts using Canadarm on the Space Shuttle and Canadarm2 on the International Space Station must delicately manoeuvre precious cargo on a precise path. Helping the crews achieve this task as they guide the robotic arms is a special 3-D vision system that calculates both the position and orientation. The Space Vision System, developed by Ottawa’s Neptec for the Canadian Space Agency, is cutting-edge technology that has many space applications. It is also used commercially to monitor structures on Earth.
On 20 April 2006, after its first 9-day, elongated orbit around Venus, ESA’s Venus Express started to get closer to the planet, until it reached its final 24-hour long orbit on 7 May. During this time, and up to today, the spacecraft has been working relentlessly: the new data coming in are already providing first glimpses on planetary features never seen before.
As part of ESA’s ambitious, long-term Aurora exploration programme, ExoMars will search for traces of life on Mars. The mission requires entirely new technologies for self-controlled robots, built-in autonomy and cutting-edge visual terrain sensors.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is highlighted in the lower left corner of this Envisat image. The Okavango Delta the world’s largest inland delta is a labyrinth of lagoons, swamps, channels and islands and is home to a vast array of wildlife, with a third of the greater delta area being protected by the Moremi Wildlife Reserve.
Thanks to data from ESA’s XMM-Newton satellite, a team of scientists taking a closer look at an object discovered over 25 years ago have found that it is like none other known in our galaxy.
Thousands of scientists from 60 countries will be conducting research during International Polar Year 2007-2008 and will, for the first time during an International Polar Year, be armed with satellite measurements offering complete coverage of the polar regions, which play a vital role in the Earth’s climate and ecosystems.
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This animation, made from images taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA’s SMART-1 spacecraft, shows Kepler crater on the Moon.
Picture by Editor Arthur J. Byrnes